Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?

Rob Naylor 02 Nov 17 - 07:27 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 17 - 10:09 AM
The Sandman 02 Nov 17 - 11:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 17 - 11:25 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 17 - 12:13 PM
Joe_F 02 Nov 17 - 06:08 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Nov 17 - 09:07 PM
r.padgett 03 Nov 17 - 04:32 AM
theleveller 03 Nov 17 - 04:53 AM
FreddyHeadey 03 Nov 17 - 06:22 AM
theleveller 03 Nov 17 - 06:47 AM
JHW 03 Nov 17 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Jerry Crossley 03 Nov 17 - 09:28 AM
Cool Beans 04 Nov 17 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Modette 04 Nov 17 - 12:29 PM
RTim 04 Nov 17 - 06:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Nov 17 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,ripov 04 Nov 17 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 06 Nov 17 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Mudcat Moaner 07 Nov 17 - 05:32 PM
Pete from seven stars link 08 Nov 17 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 17 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 08 Nov 17 - 07:12 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 17 - 03:05 AM
Tootler 09 Nov 17 - 04:34 AM
Johnny J 09 Nov 17 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Mudcat Moaner 09 Nov 17 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 09 Nov 17 - 04:59 PM
Pete from seven stars link 10 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Mudcat Moaner 11 Nov 17 - 05:57 AM
Pete from seven stars link 11 Nov 17 - 07:07 PM
Girl Friday 12 Nov 17 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Mudcat Moaner 13 Nov 17 - 03:26 PM
Girl Friday 14 Nov 17 - 05:39 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 07:27 AM

I went to an Open Mic last night. It was well-attended with about 15 performers and perhaps 25 others in the pub. There was a bit more chatter that you'd get at a normal Folk Club, but in general, if a performer and/or song was interesting, everyone would quieten down and listen. There was a great mix of ages from late teens to 70s.

Now at an Open Mic, the expectation seems to be a mix of singer-songwriters performing their own songs, usually introspective and often self-indulgent/ angst-ridden, plus people playing covers of well-known rock or pop songs. This one was different though. We had, in addition to the usual crop of guitars, a melodeon, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, all brought along by unconnected individuals.

I did 3 songs: one a traditional folk song with guitar accompaniment (plus bass and sensitive percussion on the side); one a Tom Paxton song (it having been his 80th birthday on Monday), again with some additional accompaniment from the bass, percussion and 2 lovely female voices joining in from the floor, and one an unaccompanied contemporary song "in the folk style" about the life-cycle of the hop.

A couple of the self-penned songs from other performers were "as expected" from an Open Mic, but several were humorous, and a couple were modern protest songs. Two other performers sang unaccompanied....one did so for all 3 songs in his set, including a trad ballad with chorus. The melodeon player did 2 Morris tunes and a reel.

Talking to some of the younger people there, who had expected the night's offerings to be a bit different, they were really enthusiastic and positive and said it was the best Open Mic they'd been to for ages despite the content diverging from normal expectations. They danced (though not anything recognisably a traditional form!) to the melodeon, and joined in with the chorus of the trad ballad and the "hop song" that I sang. They certainly didn't moan about it "not being a proper Open Mic", and were hoping that there'd be a similar "unusual mix" at the next one.

Which strikes me as a much more positive attitude than that exhibited by some of the people decrying the observation that many Folk Clubs haven't remained pickled in aspic for the last 60 years. For several of the attendees it was the first time they'd been exposed to traditional folk songs and tunes. The atmosphere there was wonderful!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 10:09 AM

Is this sort of gathering something completely novel for the human race or where people doing something equivalent in the past?

The past where many folk songs come from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 11:21 AM

who knows?a proper open mic, thank god for that, just like when i buy heinz baked beans i do not expect them to be caviar. trump may be about to be impeached, but so reassuring to know open mics are jolly good fun


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 11:25 AM

The open mic night I used to go to near Whitley Bay was great. Only trouble was there were no-one muttering into their A4 ring binders.

What is this world coming to.

:D tG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 12:13 PM

who knows? Don't any people with opinions on the history of the music of the common folk have an idea?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 06:08 PM

Our? Whose?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 09:07 PM

Seems you can't have an open mic without a massive PA system, even if the room is only 18ft square, and your ear-drums are be assaulted by far too many decibels: I suppose by definition there must be at least one mic. Whatever happened to the "Come all Ye"? (Should I start another thread for that??)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 04:32 AM

Open mics coud be a good way forwards ~ but the pa guy should not be the only one who gets paid!

The pub room should be controllable ~ but the audience should know what to expect

I go to a regular Doncaster session which is a pub brewery and open to the public and it has enough public and singers to be thriving ~ with no mic this to my mind is a continuation of the old folk club ~ a social gathering ~ and people should know what happens on such occasions and how to behave

But open mics can also be a simulation of the social gathering if run properly and no just for profit of landlord and the boffin running the pa who has no interest

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 04:53 AM

It seems to me that open mics are very much in the tradition of the Victorian Free and Easy, as described by Dickens in Sketches by Boz. These were happening way before folk clubs were ever thought of. The whole point of a Free and Easy is that people don't try to impose rules about what can and can't be performed.

The Free and Easy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 06:22 AM

Thanks theleveller.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here's another page

"Education for the poor - working men's clubs
This article gratefully copied from
The Informal Education Archives
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~infed/index.htm"

"... The entertainments are sometimes dramatic but more generally consist of a succession of songs, comic or sentimental, the comic songs being often sung in character with change of dress. A music hall entertainment is the ideal aimed at. A chairman presides and keeps order, as at the free-and-easy or benefit performances held at public-houses, and as till recently was invariably the practice at the public music halls.
The chairman sits at a table with his back to the stage, flanked by his intimates, and sundry jugs or pots of ale which are passed from hand to hand. He alone of all the audience is uncovered and he is faultlessly dressed. At his right hand lies his hammer of authority, and sometimes a sort of wooden platter to receive the sharp blows with which he calls for silence or emphasizes the chorus.
He does not spare this exercise of his authority, and gives out, before each song, the name of the singer, in the ordinary public-house concert room style ; the formula being "our friend so and so will now oblige."

The singers are sometimes professional, but more commonly semi-professional; those who do a good deal in this way and no doubt make money by it, but have other occupations. Others are purely amateur, members, or friends of members, who really perform to "oblige" their brother members. Two or three songs may be expected from each singer. The more purely amateur, the more purely sentimental the song as a general rule.
The performance, though poor enough, serves to amuse the audience, but except on great occasions does not empty the billiard room.

...   On the whole these clubs are a bright and lively scene, and very attractive as compared to the ordinary homes of the classes from which the members are drawn."

Charles Booth,"Labour and Life of the People", Volume 1: East London, 1889
http://www.victorianlondon.org/education/workingmen.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 06:47 AM

That's great, Freddy. We seem to be uncovering a wonderful tradition of public entertainment here. We've gone from 1836 to 1889 - anyone any idea of how this develops in the first half of the 20th century?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: JHW
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 07:52 AM

I was invited by the organiser to his Halloween Open Mike/karaoke last weekend (in my nearest pub) but didn't quite dare go. I assume if you need a PA it is because the audience are not going to listen.
I went to Mickleby FC and sang Tam Lane. I knew that audience are interested listeners.
The night described in the first post is a revelation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Jerry Crossley
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 09:28 AM

I think you?ve hit the nail on the head there. Open mic events rely on PAs because they audience won?t really be listening to you, but folk clubs can often get by without PA because the audience will listen, however badly you might perform. If you had contributed that to the that other thread, it might have saved us having to follow nearly a thousand postings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 07:43 AM

Rob Naylor's open mic sounds delightful, similar to the one I attend and sometimes host at Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak, Michigan: same mix of ages and types of performers. Some are great, some are awful, all are received respectfully, though never with reverent silence. We use a single omni-directional microphone and a small amplifier/speaker (one unit). It's a happy gathering.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 12:29 PM

JHW,

Please say more about this song 'Tam Lane'. I've never heard of it.

Ignorant Modette


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: RTim
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 06:00 PM

My immediate reaction is - "Who cares?"
AS a singer of Traditional Music - I don't expect to be accepted at an Open Mic - so really - I for one don't care.......

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 06:16 PM

Not sure about Tam Lane but this is Steeleye Span's version of Tam Lin. In my opinion one of the finest recordings of all time. :-)

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 07:03 PM

Open mic nights do vary - some do indeed need a PA for performers to be heard over the background noise; but others simply provide needed amplification for solid guitars and quiet singers. I occasionally dive into one, but forego the amplification - the fiddle being quite loud enough (some may say TOO loud) without it, and in any caes a mic on a stand is pretty useless to a fiddle, as you need to stand like a statue to keep the sound level constant.
Don't knock them - it's more important that people just get out there in the community and play, than that they play "traditional" music. And by joining in we can make folk less exclusive.
A few years ago at Tenterden in a session, a number of youths in the pub were not overly impressed; "Can you play Happy Birthday". We duly obliged, and they became a good audience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 06 Nov 17 - 03:24 PM

The advantage of open mics is that there are a lot of them - at least round my way . You get to know which ones have more listeners , and which will talk through most performers slots . Sadly often other performers ! I tend to play them less


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Mudcat Moaner
Date: 07 Nov 17 - 05:32 PM

Open Mic's are really great way for a venue be it pub club or what ever, getting live music for free. The standard doesn't matter as mostly no one is really listening that much, so it works from both sides. The Pubs gets its music and the hapless artist gets a gig.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Nov 17 - 12:16 PM

Mostly the pub pays the organiser , so it's not free . The other musos play for free , though some pubs give one free drink . Despite this the "hapless " musicians often include talented , and even professional artists


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 17 - 02:09 PM

https://youtu.be/xdopfR-nhMM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 08 Nov 17 - 07:12 PM

The session which I go to an a Friday, starts off "pure Irish", but once we've got that out of the way, we get round to other tunes and eventually start singing chorus songs - and the "punters" JOIN IN - even with the more "folky" ones. It's b****y marvellous!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 03:05 AM

could the next thing be musicians have to pay to do open mics?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 04:34 AM

Ah! But they do. It's called "the raffle"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Johnny J
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 05:06 AM

I can't be bothered with Open Mics or stages.

Generally, the performers who take part are mostly only interested in promoting themselves "Look at me"... and will invariably pack up and leave once they've done their spot. Most of the audience comprises other performers who are "waiting their turn" and aren't particularly interested in who is currently on stage. Many will be polite enough, of course.

This is very different from folk club and festival singarounds(Sometines held in pubs and community spaces too) and "Come All Ye" gatherings to which Trish referred. Usually, this is a more sharing experience as far as the songs(ocassionally tunes)are concerned. We are less interested in the performers, usually, and more so in the songs and music itself. Generally, the attendees are very supportive of the other participants and don't just pack up and go when they've done their bit.

I've also noticed that some of the pre arranged opening spots at certain folk clubs also seem to have the Open Mic mentality and will often leave just after their sets and not even listen to the main guest. However, resident singers and musicians are very unlikely to do that as they know the score and respect other performers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Mudcat Moaner
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 12:10 PM

"The pubs pay the organiser, so its not free", well yes but the organiser usually has to provide the PA, not to mention put it up and pack it away. Perhaps the word unfortunate artist might have been a better description than hapless, but the bottom line is they come for free.

I would accept that some Open Mic's do occasionally have talented performers, but from my experience the vast majority would be better suited to the X Factor auditions. However, this doesn't matter because as Johnny J says no one is particularly interested who is on stage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 17 - 04:59 PM


I've also noticed that some of the pre arranged opening spots at certain folk clubs also seem to have the Open Mic mentality and will often leave just after their sets and not even listen to the main guest. However, resident singers and musicians are very unlikely to do that as they know the score and respect other performers.

It's not so much the support or floor singer not staying, but its the dozen mates who came to hear them walking out too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM

Often true Mr moaner. If I see a few listening , I consider it worthwhile , but there have been some open mics I've not been to again, as next to no one listened . But there have been some nights when most listened and received myself and others warmly


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Mudcat Moaner
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 05:57 AM

I think the value in Open Mics is that if the PA is good enough, you can talk and listen at the same time. Asking people to be quiet in a Pub is not what Pubs are there for, they are for socialising. If you are looking for quiet or a respectful silence then Folk Clubs are best. The problem there is of course that it is easy to confuse respectful silence with people just being polite.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 07:07 PM

Yeh fair comment.   Wouldn't dream of asking people to be quiet , but it's nice to see some actually interested and listening , and I return to such venues more


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 05:35 AM

Hi. Firstly, thank you Rob Naylor for starting this thread. It makes a change from the strictly trad themes . I agree with Pete from Seven Stars. There are a lot of open mics in our area, and new ones spring up regularly. Despite this, few seem to cease, and,as Pete knows.. there is one at the Seven Stars on the first Thursday. Unfortunately, it clashes with a well established one in Swanley that is well attended. We've been to some of the local open mics, and none of them have an overly loud p.a. Despite this, at some, the performers are drowned out by chatter, even from their fellow players. Can Rob please tell us where this wonderful open mic is that has both guitars, and boxes ? It sounds like fun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: GUEST,Mudcat Moaner
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 03:26 PM

I think one thing that Open Mics have done, and it greaves me to say it, Simon Cowell and his X Factor has enthused the younger generations to go out and perform in a way that Folk Clubs cannot seem to do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What Is Happening To Our Open Mics?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 05:39 AM

Hi Guest. You are spot on with your comment "I've also noticed that some of the pre arranged opening spots at certain folk clubs also seem to have the Open Mic mentality and will often leave just after their sets and not even listen to the main guest. However, resident singers and musicians are very unlikely to do that as they know the score and respect other performers.

It's not so much the support or floor singer not staying, but its the dozen mates who came to hear them walking out too. "

Sometimes the organisers leave the room when floor singers are on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 November 2:46 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.