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Local or national for folk clubs

GUEST,FloraG 17 Jan 17 - 03:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 17 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,DTM 17 Jan 17 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jan 17 - 03:39 AM
GUEST 17 Jan 17 - 04:03 AM
banjoman 17 Jan 17 - 05:43 AM
melodeonboy 17 Jan 17 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,Peter 17 Jan 17 - 06:21 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jan 17 - 06:24 AM
BobKnight 17 Jan 17 - 06:49 AM
GUEST 17 Jan 17 - 06:54 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jan 17 - 08:41 AM
BobKnight 17 Jan 17 - 09:27 AM
Leadfingers 17 Jan 17 - 09:32 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jan 17 - 10:00 AM
The Sandman 17 Jan 17 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,FloraG 18 Jan 17 - 03:32 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jan 17 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Jan 17 - 04:03 AM
Leadfingers 19 Jan 17 - 05:22 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 17 - 06:10 AM
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Subject: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 03:10 AM

So should folk clubs follow the supermarkets and promote mostly local artists/bands?
reduce travel miles/accommodation costs/build local following/foot on the ladder etc
but most importantly give folk clubs a distinct feel.
Opinions please.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 03:21 AM

To a certain extent, yes. But there are plenty artists who tour the country and will often do local folk clubs for a reasonable rate. While they are not 'nationals' they are not local either! When I helped to run a folk club we used to alternate singers and guest nights so every other week we had a paid guest. Probably about 60% were local but the other 40% were touring artists who, quite often, had an arrangement with us that they came once a year, usually around the same time, while they were in the area. We did very occasionally book major nationals if the club funds were healthy and we could afford to subsidise the ticket price.

Hope this helps :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 03:39 AM

Nothing wrong with a bit of both. It's always good to promote your local talent however, from a social and educational point of view, I find visitors from elsewhere always add a bit of a sparkle to the night.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 03:39 AM

National if you want to make them showbiz, of course
The grassroots nature of the clubs was always their strongest feature and when that went, so did the clubs.
Leand, read and inwardly digest if you value the music over the personalities Dave - the future of the music lies in developing local talent, not shipping it in from elsewhere
I suggest people look at the Irish Inishowen, Goilín (Dublin), Wexford (Aileen Lambert and Mick Fortune) and Clare projects for their models.
Guests should never be anything more than an occasional break from what normally happens.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 04:03 AM

People will come out to enjoy good music regardless of its' place of origin. Many also enjoy a modern twist to old traditions, this often comes from young musicians who travel widely. I live in very small community, if we relied solely on local musicians we would find we needed some "outside" influences.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: banjoman
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 05:43 AM

Don't think there is any call for adhering to one policy. Personally, I prefer to be in sessions and singarounds with people like yourself, Flora, rather than sit and listen to a paid entertainer.
I do know of people who attend local clubs on a regular basis but deliberately miss out when paid guests are scheduled


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: melodeonboy
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:20 AM

I don't understand the reference to supermarkets, Flora!


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:21 AM

The mistake is to think that folk clubs represent some sort of homogeneous block.

The important thing is to stop the evenings becoming stale and uninviting. Reasons can include the same small group of floor singers doing the same old stuff week in week out or the same circle of organisers mates being booked as guests.

You need to consider what your club is there for, is it to provide a safe space for singers, to give local singers and musicians an opportunity to perform to an audience or is it to provide an audience with entertaining folk music? These are all valid reasons for running a club but each has its own set of underlying values which don't always mix.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:24 AM

"if we relied solely on local musicians we would find we needed some "outside" influences."
Sounds like a great incentive to develop local talent rather than importing it to put bums on seats
If clubs don't think long term there wont be a long term to think about
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: BobKnight
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:49 AM

Normally I agree 100% with what you say Jim, but I have to disagree to an extent with you on this one. Sure, there are quite a few excellent local singers and performers, but some performers, like myself, like to get out and about. It adds a certain wee bit of adventure travelling to clubs in other parts of the country, and is an added incentive to honing and attempting to perfect our performances. Okay, we should be doing that anyway, I know, but I like travelling (it's in my genes you know)and it's always good to meet new people.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:54 AM

The local talent is limited because we are a very small community. we don,t import musicians solely to put bums on seats, we do enjoy a bit of variety as well . If every venue becomes the same few performers month after month there won't be long term at all. I think we need to experience musicians from all over and I think it is wise to encourage young people who often bring a new take on music.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 08:41 AM

Nothing wrong with travelling to other clubs Bob, or inviting other to participate in yours - in fact, it's a necessity.
But unless you develop a base locally you may just as well organise concerts and drop the 'club' bit.
When I lived in Liverpool I travelled regularly to the Manchester clubs and all in between; I moved there and visited Liverpool regularly, and further afield - even as far as London - wherever I went I brought back to my own base.
I have always thought that clubs need to be far more than just performance nights.
WE ran a regular workshop to assist new singers, we had our own archive and library, did local research, ran themed feature evenings, worked with local libraries, schools and the media......
There is little point in doing this if you are just going to be a performance venue concentrating on bums on seats
I now live in a country that has no real history of a club scene and I know how difficult it is to achieve anything major other than as an individual
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: BobKnight
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 09:27 AM

Well, we're still in agreement then Jim. :)Aberdeen folk club, has been on the go for over 50 years, but like other clubs, we're struggling to get a younger audience. Some of the things you suggest, we're already doing, but not all, so I'll suggest them to the committee - thanks. :)


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 09:32 AM

When I was involved with the old Uxbridge Club , we decided to Upgrade from a Singers Club to a 'Proper' club with booked guests . The agreed format was a Singers Night to start each month , and a 'major' guest to end the month , with relatively cheap , mostly fairly local artists in between . By the end of the summer we had over £1000 in the bank .

Until we lost half the committee (moved away , or failed relationships) we did well using that set up .


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 10:00 AM

Any help I can offer Bob, feel free to ask, particularly in supplying recorded material
We accumulated a large archive of recordings during the 15 years of our workshop's existence and I'm more than happy to pass on anything that might be useful to a traditionally based club
Sorry Lead... I regard a "proper club" to be one that can run under its own steam
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 12:14 PM

Clubs need a good number of quality resident singers, not residents who his material is not practised.
I think it should not be a question of either local or national, but both., it really depoends on the organiser,because he/she generally has to foot the bill
folk clubs used to provide a foot on the ladder, many floor singers graduated to residents and then some eventually became national guests.
I am not sure if this still happens, I suspect thatelemtns of the pop world have infiltrated the folk club scene, in other words the importance of hype and promotion is more important than merit.
Although it is not in my own interest to say this, I think the best answer is to have clubs with good strong singers that do not have to have paid guests other than periodically, however good singers do not want to go to places where the standard is low, so national guests were in the past booked to help raise the standard of performance.
another way to raise standrd of performance is to follow the example of lewes club and have workshops, or to follow the example of the critics group, but this means having people around of the calibre of maccoll and seeger who are happy to give up their time and knowledge for nothing.
are the likes of of MacColl and Seeger people still around today?What better person could you have had than MacColl to help song writers


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 03:32 AM

Sorry if I confused anyone with the reference to supermarkets. In the 60's the supermarket chains took over the high streets and the high streets all ended up looking the same. Now at least some of the supermarkets are selling a variety of local produce.

I think the answer might in some ways depend on the audience profile. I've been to a club where the same 50 people turn up every week, and another where the audience could be all first timers, according to who is performing. I expect most clubs are somewhat in the middle of the range.

At the back of my mind I have the suspicion that its often too easy to ignore the local performer in favour of the national because you might get the larger floating audience, and money in the accounts to cover the increasing rents that venues are charging.

A good debate so far. Thanks all.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 07:37 AM

In the 60's the supermarket chains took over the high streets and the high streets all ended up looking the same. Now at least some of the supermarkets are selling a variety of local produce.

Yes, but that's mostly spin. In Scotland, when a UK-wide chain says they sell a large proportion of Scottish products, the main producer is Barr's and the best-selling product is Irn Bru. They aren't helping small farmers and artisanal producers at all.

And there are quite a few booked performers on the circuit who are music's equivalent of Irn Bru.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 04:03 AM

we could start a new thread
' If you were a soft drink, what would you be?'
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 05:22 AM

Jim Carroll - my meaning was a Paid admission club rsther than a free admission singers club


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Subject: RE: Local or national for folk clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 06:10 AM

Fine L, no problem with that - my apologies for misunderstanding you.
Jim Carroll


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