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Heckling at Folk Clubs

Shug Hanlan 11 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 11 Oct 18 - 12:55 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 11 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,kenny 11 Oct 18 - 01:45 PM
Long Firm Freddie 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Peter 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 18 - 01:56 PM
doc.tom 11 Oct 18 - 02:28 PM
Acorn4 11 Oct 18 - 04:53 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Oct 18 - 05:15 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM
Will Fly 11 Oct 18 - 06:09 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Oct 18 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Jerry 12 Oct 18 - 04:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Oct 18 - 05:08 AM
SPB-Cooperator 13 Oct 18 - 12:16 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 15 Oct 18 - 01:52 PM
Raggytash 15 Oct 18 - 03:03 PM
Andy7 15 Oct 18 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Oct 18 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Modette 16 Oct 18 - 08:44 AM
leeneia 16 Oct 18 - 04:21 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Oct 18 - 07:06 PM
GUEST 17 Oct 18 - 04:42 AM
alex s 18 Oct 18 - 10:17 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Oct 18 - 09:29 AM
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Subject: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM

Sorry if my posts are a little too centered on Billy Connolly but I was just listening to his 1974 LP "Cop Yer Whack for This" recorded at the King's Theatre, Glasgow.

The minute he steps on stage punters in the crowd start shouting and bawling. The Big Yin handles it well but it got me thinking, did he have to face this kind of reception at Folk Clubs?

Was heckling permitted in most Folk venues? Or did some performers go out of their way to encourage banter between them and the audience.

Be really interested to hear your experiences of this sort of behavior.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 12:55 PM

I'm more familiar with heckling from the MC- Jim Irvine at the Marsden Inn folk club in the sixties was a master of this- with fellow residents often the victims.

heckling from the audience was always a feature of Birtley as well- always good natured and part of the night's fun- is fun still a feature of folk clubs in 2018?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM

I know some people who even got heckled in the audience.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:45 PM

Billy Connolly never got much heckling when I saw him because he was so good - and fairly brutal [ usually verbally ] -at dealing with it. There was a story which he told himself about a guy repeatedly shouting for "Needle Of Death" from the audience at Dundee Folk Club. This guy wouldn't take the hint, so the Big Yin ended up smacking him one.
Billy was good at dealing with hecklers, but Danny Kyle was the absolute master !
I remember Michael Marra getting heckled once at Forfar Folk Club. He was telling a joke about the Lone Ranger, and got to the point where "300 Indians came over the ridge..." A voice comes from the audience... "What were their names and addresses ?" :)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM

The Woodman Folk Club in Kingswinford has pages of very entertaining quotes and heckles on their website:

Quotes

LFF


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM

Not to forget that some bands have members who heckle each other.

I have never come across abusive heckling in folk clubs. Banter and back chat normally seems to be confined to situations where both parties know each other. At best it enhances the atmosphere at worse it becomes a tiresome series of in-jokes.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:56 PM

Don't know about heckling but Peggy Seeger who would only drink pints of water when she was performing was asked by a somewhat inebriated Scot in the audience, pointing at her nearly empty pint glass "D'ye want anither gin in that lassie?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: doc.tom
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 02:28 PM

Did that happen twice, Jim?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 04:53 PM

The situation when this can happen is when the session is in an open bar and you get the loud drunken idiots.

A friend of ours did a great putdown once:-

"I didn't realise this place had two village idiots - are you on a jobshare?"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:15 PM

Roy Chubby Brown: Did you watch Playschool when you were a kid?
Heckler: Er ... yeah?
RCB: Which F****** window do you want to go through?

(Sorry -- only funny in the UK!)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM

I enjoy a bit of banter with the audience. Trouble is, being rather deaf, I can never hear what the hecklers say! I usually tell them, if you want to heckle I don't mind, but remember I'm mutt'n'jeff, so face me, speak clearly, and bear in mind that when I've asked you to repeat what you said three times, nobody will think it's funny!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM

Maybe there's a difference in understanding of the word "heckling." In the US, "heckling" almost always has a negative connotation - heckling is mean-spirited. If the same thing is done in a friendly, light-hearted manner among friends, it's called "banter."
"Banter" happens frequently in U.S. folk performances and singarounds, and it's a very nice thing. "Heckling" is rare.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 06:09 PM

Heckling can be either over here in the UK, Joe. I've been heckled several times in Working Men's clubs, rarely in folk clubs. Folk clubs usually have good banter.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 08:10 PM

We used to have a "resident heckler" in our local folk club (sadly no longer with us): he always sat in the front row, so as a performer, you COULD usually hear what he was saying, and hopefully come up with some brilliant repartee.he was, on the whole, very funny.
Some 15 years ago, I wrote a song about being married for 30 years, and challenged the audience to say "what 30 years of marriage meant" hoping for the answer "Pearl Anniversary" - quick as flash comes back from yon resident heckler - "AGONY!!!!"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 04:57 AM

Surely there is a difference between heckling from those sat watching you and those at the rowdily back propping up the bar. In your immediate audience the friendly banter is more audience participation, poisitvely contributing to the entertainment, whereas drunken interjections from the back tends to be negative contributions from those who are just in the wrong venue on the wrong night.

Rightly or wrongly though, we have a long established culture of tolerance and equality in UK clubs and sessions, where we patiently listen and warmly applaud acts even when they are frankly not very good, or clearly can’t sing to save their life. I suppose there is always the hope, or fear, that one day they might be famous, and we can always say we saw them when they were just starting out. Cue anecdotes about Paul Simon.....


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 05:08 AM

Not a heckle as such but a well known local character used to frequent our club sometimes and insist on singing along with every song. Not bad, you may think, but when it was a song she did not know it often had unusual consequences :-)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:16 PM

At the Player's Theatre, audience repartee was an integral part of the evening's entertainment, sometimes to the bemusement of those who had never been there before.

As with all participation it can either be done well or badly. Done badly, it detracts from the performance.

In my view, good repartee involves:

Clear, controlled, measured delivery.
Knowing when not to start and when to stop (less is more).
Delivered in the context of the performance.
Not interrupting or talking over the performer.
Ensuring that it good natured and humerous.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM

I often tell people I like to sit near the front in case I have to heckle. So far, nobody's picked me up on it.
I usually try to give the performer a 'feed' they can make a witty response to, so they get a laugh from the audience. If they don't seem to find it helpful, I don't persist; and if they look nervous I keep quiet.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 01:52 PM

Heckling as in witty two way banter has always been common in folk clubs.
Heckling with malice tends to be in more theatre styled concerts, usually if the performer uses humour.

Two heckles I recall, both by “friends..”.

Hey Ian! Sing us that one you sang at your mother’s wedding!

Did you write that song? No? Who wrote it? Really? Did he write it before or after he died?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:03 PM

Many years ago Brian Dewhurst was playing in my local club. Through the night he was constantly heckled by one guy which started to detract from the proceedings.

After one heckle too many he turned round opened his guitar case took out a starting pistol (loaded with blanks, for our American friends) pointed it at the miscreant pulled the trigger and shouted F**K OFF!!!

Brilliant, shut the bugger up as well!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Andy7
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:53 PM

In my mumming days, performing in bizarre costumes round packed pubs in the festive season, we naturally got quite a bit of heckling, most of it very good natured. And often, those that heckled most would donate generously to the charity we were collecting for.

But occasionally, there would appear a nasty, aggressive heckler. It was always best to just totally ignore those as much as possible; no 'witty riposte' would ever have any positive effect.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 07:08 PM

A certain Scots performer, very fond of the drink decided to belt a heckler. Walked to the back of the room and hit the wrong bloke. He took him out for a drink the following lunchtime, to apologise. Got drunk again slipped over and knocked the bloke off his bar stool breaking the mans arm on the way down. Surprisingly he never sent him a Christmas Card that year.
Quite surprised to find myself on the above link for the Woodman Folk Club, can't remember saying it!
By the way the Nolan sisters (Yes them!!) have got a brother who works the clubs as a comedian. He's got the best put down I ever heard. After constant interruptions from an unfunny Heckler, he paused and related the following story.

" Do you know I was bought up upon a farm, I was driving a tractor when I was eight. One day I managed to drive over my Grand mothers prize pig! She was furious, she said 'You've done a terrible thing son! That pig will haunt you for the rest of your life'
(Turning to the Heckler)... 'Well she was right! Look it's bloody well here!"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 08:44 AM

Was this one of Connolly's?

"When they gave you a set of teeth they ruined a perfectly good arsehole."


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 04:21 PM

Raggytash, blank bullets can be dangerous.

Also, pulling a gun out can lead another person to pull HIS out. And that gun will not be loaded with blanks.

It's best to leave guns locked in a cabinet.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 07:06 PM

We had a lovely old lady, once a music teacher who taught both my kids, and a stalwart on Burns Nights when she'd do the poem over the haggis in her inimitable Scots accent (despite her being solid English), who often came to our pub sessions (she'd always sing a song or two, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye and Wha Wadna' Fecht for Charlie? being two of her party pieces) and heckled us after every set, shouting out "Less! Less!" rather mercilessly! Good times, good times. She died two or three years ago, well into her eighties. Many moons ago we went to her 70th birthday party, at which there was mucho great music from us folkie and bluegrass types. It was so good that I went up to her afterwards and told her that I'd enjoyed it so much that I couldn't WAIT for her 90th party. That could explain that subsequent heckling!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 04:42 AM

"Raggytash, blank bullets can be dangerous. "

Demo on firearms when I was in the air cadets many decades ago The instructor used a blank round to blow the bottom out of a tin can at close range. As leeneia says blanks are still dangerous.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: alex s
Date: 18 Oct 18 - 10:17 AM

In defence of heckling!
A local performer was notorious for picking on members of the audience and giving them a hard time, bolstered by the fact that he had the mic and could shout down any opposition.
3 of us had had enough so we went to a gig of his, sat in the front row and gave him some stick for the entire first set.
During the break he said to us "If you leave me alone, lads I'll buy you a bottle of whisky"!
Offer accepted...


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Oct 18 - 09:29 AM

I have occasionally been known to heckle, but only peeps I know. Years ago when I was a resident performer at a club in Kingston upon Thames, I could always rely on one particular chap (Ian somebody?) to try winding me up from the floor. Once and only once I managed to shut him up, when he shouted out, "Is that your mouth, or are you running it in for an idiot" Where it came from I don't know, but I immediately responded, "Yes, when do you want it?". Well that sort of floored him, and he bought me a drink at the interval, and admitted defeat. I really enjoyed that drink.


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