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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 02:12 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 19 - 02:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 02:31 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 02:54 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 19 - 03:32 PM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 03:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 03:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 19 - 03:39 PM
The Sandman 15 Feb 19 - 08:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 19 - 09:12 PM
r.padgett 16 Feb 19 - 03:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 19 - 03:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 03:41 AM
Iains 16 Feb 19 - 03:51 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 19 - 03:57 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 04:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 04:36 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 19 - 05:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 05:25 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 06:25 AM
Vic Smith 16 Feb 19 - 06:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 07:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 07:17 AM
Vic Smith 16 Feb 19 - 07:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 19 - 08:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 08:24 AM
Howard Jones 16 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,RS 16 Feb 19 - 09:02 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Sol 16 Feb 19 - 09:22 AM
Vic Smith 16 Feb 19 - 10:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 10:55 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM
r.padgett 16 Feb 19 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Feb 19 - 03:18 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 19 - 03:28 PM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 19 - 03:59 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Feb 19 - 04:44 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 03:35 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 03:41 AM
The Sandman 17 Feb 19 - 04:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Feb 19 - 04:34 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 05:01 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 05:03 AM
Howard Jones 17 Feb 19 - 05:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Feb 19 - 05:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Feb 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 06:07 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 02:12 PM

Since Jim is back could he answer my question about my links and my club for he has left me feeling puzzled?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 02:25 PM

You did the editing. I just copied it, but thanks for the compliment!

Basically when we agree with you were being 'nasty'.
When we compliment your work we're being 'patronising'.
Looks like a mild paranoia to me!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 02:31 PM

Me too, Vic!

Jim, what links and what club?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 02:54 PM

!You did the editing.
yOU WROTE IT
"but thanks for the compliment!"
No compliment intended - you need to learn to receive what you dish out
"Looks like a mild paranoia to me!"
Looks like yet another attempt to patonise and insult to me - far too much of that around as it is
"Since Jim is back"
Didn't realise I'd been anywhere - must go easy on the cooking sherry
"What links? What club?"
Sorry Vic - that was intended for Dave who put up links to his club

Off shortly to enjoy a weekend devoted to traditional concertina playing rudely interrupted by a day's traditional singing in the north of the county
When we wrote our letter (entitled "where have all the Folk-songs gone" t o The living Tradition, we were greeted by a barrage of protest not unsimilar to this - one particularity from a group sounding more like a firm of solicitors than a folk group (Boyes Cooper and summat) stood out
They suggested the we were suffering from the boredom of the "long, dark winter nights in Miltown Malbay" - wonder if they're still doing the rounds and how busy they are compared to here
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:32 PM

Boom and fizzle has been the norm for all kinds of music for centuries, with the cycles steadily shortening since the 18th century. 1815: waltzes. 1842: polkas. 1850s: Highland pipes. 1870s: brass bands.

Those all stuck around for a while. Later on they tended not to. 1900ish: ragtime 1915: jazz - which only survived by becoming something quite different every decade, finally vanishing below public visibility around 1970. The Charleston: maybe ten years from 1920. Foxtrots: not much longer. Instrumentals featuring weird sounds: 1940-1960. String-based easy listening: 1950-1970. Rock and roll: more durable but mainly hung on by fusing with other things. Trippy synthesizer music: 1970s.

Is it really surprising that revived folk ran out of novelty on the same timescale as the Twist?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:36 PM

Thank you for the clarification and apology, Jim

a group sounding more like a firm of solicitors than a folk group (Boyes Cooper and summat)
(Barry) Coope, (Jim) Boyes and (Lester) Simpson were for quite a number of years the top attraction on the folk club scene in England. The fame that surrounded them mainly due to their wonderful suites of First World War Songs which resulted in their gaining several BBC series to deliver their songs. This made them a major venue attraction with their fees way beyond the means of folk clubs but in spite of this they would fit in visits to our club in Lewes as we had booked them as individuals and as a group even before their rise to fame. I am very grateful to them for doing so.
All three have a very strong background in traditional song and I would rate their album of folk songs Hindsight and their album of folk carols A Garland of Carols as amongst the finest by folk revival singers this century.
Jim & Georgina Boyes have now moved to live in Belgium but Lester and Barry have joined forces with the superbly talented sisters Jo Freya & Fi Fraser in a quartet called Narthen.

Perhaps the oddest thing about your post was that it combined this perjorative description of these very fine performers with a sentence that included the words "you need to learn to receive what you dish out" when actually there is never any call for comments that demean others. Mudcat would be a much healthier place without them.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:38 PM

The only links I have posted are of me performing, Jim. From these you have determined that "it doesn't seem to have worked there". Thanks a bunch. You really know how to bolster a man's confidence.

Don't complain about anyone else being personally insulting again. Just when I thought we were beginning to understand each other.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:39 PM

Coope. Boyes and Simpson....not my cup of tea but i should have thought they were yours, Jim. Very traddy.

undeniably talented. i should imagine they're all doing okay.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:06 PM

Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham - PM
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

Any sensible performer wanting to please his/her/their audience would tailor their set to what they think the audience would want to hear"
Nic Jones once said to me, you dont ask the audience what they want to hear you convince them that they want to hear what you want to perform, that what performing is about, you grab the audience


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 09:12 PM

Well Nic never grabbed me, He was a fine musician. A great fiddle player. People forget that because his singing and guitar playing were so good.
because He got great reviews for his albums in MM at the time, People turned out to see him - he was definitely on the radar.

But he never spoke much on the stage and presented his songs and explained why he chose them. So it was largely unfamiliar material to the audience, which is asking a lot.

In that period, folk club audiences were always polite and appreciative, but I never seemed to hear gasps of admiration or saw people queuing up after the gig.

He was a better really as a recording artist. The albums have stood the test of time.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:20 AM

Yes the Folk club boom of the 1960s was multifaceted ~ entertainment ~ singing choruses, see and listening to the likes of Nick Jones with his guitar skills and accompaniments to traditional songs

June Tabor and Maddy Prior ~ the folk entertainers, Tony Capstick, Mike Harding etc

The opportunity to try out songs and get others to sing along ~ a voyage of discovery as to where "we" came from that is our social and family history in song ~ Fred Jordan, The Coppers, The Elliotts (of Birtley) etc

People at gigs may have been hero worshipers but I certainly was too bashful to approach the booked guests!

Must say I still enjoy harmony singing groups ~ Derek and Dorothy Elliott (of Barnsley), The Voice Squad superb

Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:30 AM

agreed.
theres a great little quartet round here of adults old enough to know better calling themselves No Direction.
very jolly!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:41 AM

Apropos of nothing at all, Derek and Dorothy had a shop in Whitby. Dunno if they still do. It had pictures of Derek with various cast members from Heartbeat on the walls. Funny that a traditional singer was in a TV series with a Buddy Holly song as a theme init... :-D


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:51 AM

Did the average punter in the 60's go to a folk club to be entertained,educated, both,or some other reason?
Speaking for myself I would not want to hear a never ending dirge like the unquiet grave in a folk club, but could happily listen to John Conolly singing selfpenned material about the Grimsby/Hull fishing industry.If I received an education from my experiences it was peripheral and incidental, I was there for entertainment.
I wonder if traditional and contemporary folk music passes the old grey whistle test and would this account for the longevity of certain material?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:57 AM

Derek was not a traditional singer he was a revival singer who sang trad songs thers a difference.the elliots of birtley are not to be confused with derek elliot


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:12 AM

Not really interested in the firm of solicitors, just their ill-informed rudeness about my chosen home town
Rudeness, envy and back-biting seems to be a built in part of today's folk scene
Nice to add yet another myth (about MacColls hidden millions) to my collection - perhaps one day we'll be able to discuss is work and ideas - should we all live that long!!!

"Any sensible performer wanting to please his/her/their audience would tailor their set to what they think the audience would want to hear"
Dedicated singer (performer sounds far too professional) should realise that the first person to please is themselves - do that and you stand a far better chance of taking your listeners with you
Despite rumors to the contrary, I have firmly come to the conclusion that our folk songs were made to respond to what was happening around them and to record it in song - we've actually been told that by source singers and have recorded descriptions of songs being made
The 'sale' aspect of singing and songwriting was, with very little doubt, always a secondary issue until the hacks entered the picture and, as has been admitted by the print origin lot, that was a two-way street - nobody will ever know which direction the bulk of the traffic moved, we can only use our common sense to decide that - dates men nothing if you don't have all the information

Ray's description of the revival in no way coincides with my experience
We were lucky to have MacColl and Seeger as residents, but we relied on all our residents - booking guests was a break in the normal run of things
Our clubs - there were several - were very much grassroots affairs designed to promote the songs - not the singers - and to encourage the making of new songs
Can't say that any of Ron's first list were among those I'd make much of an effort to seek out
The source singers, most certainly, The Stewarts, Willie Scott, Seamus Ennis, Paddy Tunney, Walter Pardon, Joe Heaney, the Travellers we recorded, Jeannie and Lizzie... I was lucky to see them all and many more
I wasn't there, but Pat remembers the night Harry Cox was the guest and started rather uncomfortably, until he turned his back on the audience, spat his new false teeth into his handkerchief and turned around and transfixed the audience with his singing

The Singers was among the first to stick traditional Irish musicians in front of a folk club audience, we saw the best, McCarthy, Casey, Meehan, McGlinchey, Sherlock...
I still have a recording of the glorious night when Offaly box player, John Bowe formed an instant friendship with Bert Lloyd on the Singers Club stage
A club member asked us to book this new fiddle play he'd just heard, so we booked a fresh-faced young Kevin Burke and his mate, P J Crotty - magic nights that never leave you - I wouldn't swap one of them for all your folk superstars
That's what the revival meant for me.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:36 AM

So, Jim, do you really think the links I provided of my performances at Swinton prove that the folk club there is no longer working? The songs I linked were me performing 3 pieces at different times. "The old cock crow" unaccompanied; "The harvest of the moon", with concertina accompaniment and a guitar piece of unknown origin that I learnt from my Dad. I would have thought they were just the type of pieces that work in folk clubs. Why do you say "from what I've seen of your club from your links, it doesn't seem to have worked there"?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM

" there is never any call for comments that demean others. "
My comments were in response to their initial rudeness Vic
You tend to be somewhat myopic when it comes to bad manner and insulting - ignoring the bits that suit you - even describing them as harmless and only objecting when it's from someone you don't agree with
I pointed this out on the 'New Book' thread.
This latest is an example
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM

If you have forgotten them just Google "Dave Polshaw YouTube" and all 3 appear. The middle one is incorrectly titled "The harvest of the moon".


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:06 AM

How are you ever going to raise the profile of your music if you call each other names.

As I say,   Lester Simpson - i've seen several times. He tells these folk tales. And Coop Boyes and Simpson have been doing their thing about twelve years that I know off. they are your actual arts council/BBC sort of thing. Immensely competent and dedicated.

My boat stays unfloated, but lots of people like them. I'm an old fart pub singer. I dropped the ball sometime after Leapy Lee made number one. you can't expect me to get it.

But these guys are on your side. they would be on your side in any argument.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:25 AM

I know you are on your way out, Jim, but if you can see your way to answering my question as soon as you can I would appreciate it. It is very important to me.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 06:25 AM

"How are you ever going to raise the profile of your music if you call each other names."
Said the feller who's just referred to several of us as "toadies"
"So, Jim, do you really think the links I provided of my performances at Swinton prove that the folk club there is no longer working?"
That wasn't my point Dave - I was a referring to poorly attended clubs populated lagely by oldies failing to attract new blood
I wouldn't dream of condemning what goes on there on the basis of a couple of clips
It's what you argue should happen at folk clubs that divides us
A folk club that fails to make folk song its main feature simply isn't doing its job
The question of standards is an important one but judging that needs a wider picture than a couple of clips can give

One thing that strikes me is that the internet may be a way of critically discussing performances with a view to improving them
The barrier to that of course is in making clear that positive criticism is not insulting or condemnation - not when it's delivered on a "good bits and bad bits" basis
THe other hurdle is the cloak of invincibility parts of the reivival has wrapped itself in - evidence of it here with good singers (ie, singers the poster happens to like) are above criticism, summed up by the old joke"
What would you do if you came home to find your missus in bed with Georgie Best   
Throw on another blanked 0- you don't want the bugger catching cold before Saturday

Nobody should ever be above criticism
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 06:53 AM


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:03 AM

Ah, OK. Thanks Jim. The clips I posted do not show what you seem to say and the chap taking the videos was in fact a young man so, if your impression was that Swinton was failing to attract new blood you are only partially right. There was certainly not many younger people but there were some. That seems to be the way of things and you will find that there are not many oldies at a rave!

It's what you argue should happen at folk clubs that divides us
A folk club that fails to make folk song its main feature simply isn't doing its job


Once again I am at a loss as to your meaning. The clips I linked are of me (and a number of others if you look) singing folk songs so, once again, how were we "failing to make folk songs a main feature"? Which of the songs I mention above are not folk songs and why? If we need to improve things we need to know what!

Also, again, I have never argued that "anything should go" at a folk club and you have failed to provide any evidence or where I am supposed to have done so. If you cannot back up the statement please stop making it, Repitition does not make something true as I think you pointed out to someone else once.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:17 AM

"That seems to be the way of things and you will find that there are not many oldies at a rave!"
Whataboutism is no excuse
I was twenty one when I became involved and by three years younger sister did so at the same time
I was still buzzing from Duane Eddy, Buddy Holly, Rickie Nelson et al, and for a while continued to do so
It is more than a litle dismissive to claim that young people can' be involved
We sat in a room alongside the two generations of late friend Tom McCarthy - Clare piper and concertina player
His daughters daughters, their spouses and their six/seven (too many to count) children - all superb musicians sat and listened whie Toomt Keane (pipe spuse of one of the daughters) gabe a two hour talk on Tom's music - then followed by a mini-concert by family members
A truely magic night dominated by youngsters just as at home in a session as they are at a rave
We misjudge the youth if we believe them to be incapable of incapable of our music, and we do ourselves no favours either
Once again, I made no comment on either the standard or the content of your club
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:50 AM

Try and follow this one:-

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 02:54 PM
When we wrote our letter (entitled "where have all the Folk-songs gone" t o The living Tradition, we were greeted by a barrage of protest not unsimilar to this - one particularity from a group sounding more like a firm of solicitors than a folk group (Boyes Cooper and summat) stood out
They suggested the we were suffering from the boredom of the "long, dark winter nights in Miltown Malbay"

In an effort to reduce unkind comments on this thread, Vic writes ...

From: Vic Smith - PM
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:36 PM
Perhaps the oddest thing about your post was that it combined this perjorative description of these very fine performers with a sentence that included the words "you need to learn to receive what you dish out" when actually there is never any call for comments that demean others. Mudcat would be a much healthier place without them.
Jim defends himself by saying....

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM
My comments were in response to their initial rudeness Vic.
Vic thinks about this. He checks, using the Mudcat member search facility to see whether Barry Coope, Jim Boyes or Lester Simpson have ever posted on Mudcat. None of the three ever have. This brings another question to Vic's mind....

None of these three people are likely to read your comments about them on this forum as there is no evidence that they ever visit here. If their comments, made in the magazine Living Tradition, about the "long, dark winter nights in Miltown Malbay" are so hurtful to you, why don't you take them up with the magazine rather than posting them here? After all, the editor of that magazine also makes her home in the western part of the fair land of Erin and probably suffers as badly from the blasts of Boreas, the shivers brought by Jack Frost and the other spirits that control the shorter daylight days. She may have sympathy for your cause.
We have enough problems with home-grown Mudcat insults without importing them.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 08:06 AM

the point is that Coope, Boyes and Simpson are very much on the traddie/purist wavelength, like yourself.

I've never pretended to be.

I just thought a bit of group solidarity might reduce the need for uncritical toadyism.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 08:24 AM

Ok, Jim. So your comment "from what I've seen of your club from your links, it doesn't seem to have worked there" was only aimed at an apparent failure to attract young people. I can see that now and apologise for my earlier misinterpretation. In my defense, it can be difficult to follow your posts at times but I will try harder. However, what you failed to see on the clips is that it was a young man that recorded the songs and there were other young people in the audience that were not captured on video so your assumption is wrong.

I will also point out that as the club is run in a pub and does not get underway until around 9pm we did not expect children to attend. By young people in this case I mean 20-40. I have never suggested that young people can't be involved either so I have no idea where your statement that it was dismissive came from.

We now go on to address your line "The question of standards is an important one but judging that needs a wider picture than a couple of clips can give" and I agree with that. One cannot condone or condemn the actions of a folk club on the evidence of a couple of clips or on pure hearsay. You need to go to the club a number of times to be able to judge how they are faring. With that in mind, I ask you how many folk clubs in England have you attended recently?

I eagerly await your response.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM

The clubs I went to in the 70s were filled mainly with young people in their 20s and 30s, although there were a few older ones as well. That generation is the still the one I see in the clubs I go to now. However young people haven't given up folk music, they are starting up their own clubs, just as my generation did, and presenting the music their own way, again just as my generation did. I don't see anything wrong with that.

As for folk clubs not featuring folk songs any more, I think that is a consequence of the shrinking club scene. Like it or not, the term "folk" covers a fairly broad spectrum, and the clubs I wrote about earlier all covered a range of music. If the music at one club didn't suit you there were plenty of other clubs which would. Now that choice isn't there, so everyone is forced together. They may be performing songs which may not be to everyone's taste, but they have no alternative.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,RS
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:02 AM

The folk clubs in Reading that I went to in the 60s were wonderfully eclectic in their range of performers, & leaned more towards the blues/Jansch side (courtsey of the likes of residents such as Mike Cooper, Derek Hall, Bill Boazman etc ) - if they'd been more trad in nature, as I later discovered was the case in many places, I reckon they'd've been less appealing to many of us - I was luckier than I knew.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:11 AM

" With that in mind, I ask you how many folk clubs in England have you attended recently
Been there, done that Dave - the internet has made that totally irrelevant
When somebody names a good singer who, with a little search, turns out to be a crap singer singing crap, you know something is not right
Equally, when people argue for clubs being venues for songs not remotely relating to folk you know that all the visits in teh world are not going to change what you will find
The same applies to using crib sheets, having no standards... and all the other things argued for here and elsewhere, the idea that all is not well is confirmed
ou only need to look on the EFDSS website and could that with Rod Stradling's editorial, you have to admit something is sadly amiss at the very place that should be at the helm
Meaningless and often insulting comments like "purist" and "folk police" are indications that people are turning away from folk song and using the term to mean something else, which by and large they are totally unable or unwilling to define (including you BTW) are indications that the scene has become directionless
"Long ballads" being "inappropriate" is an out of hand dismissal of the cream of the folk repertoire
Fall in attendance, reduction in number of clubs, often described discomfiture at singing unaccompanied songs (or even old songs) - all suggesting a terminal decline
The shift from competent resident to paid guest, festivals taking over from locally based clubs.... how much evidence do you want ?
Folk clubs with out folk songs are not only pointless, they do damage to the future of our art (that really is what it is)
I love singing, I have always loved listening to good songs reasonably performed, but my interests go far beyond that   
Last nights trip to town to hear the children and grandchildren of a twenty year dead piper friend play superbly left me waling on a cloud
A couple of minutes on Mudcat has brought me back to earth with a bump
Never mind, off to here another dead friend being discussed and demonstrated in an hour or so
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:22 AM

Clubs nowadays are tending to descibe themselves as "acoustic music clubs" rather than "folk clubs". This provides a clear open door to all genres (Americana, blues, trad, etc.) Anything involving applification is still regarded as a no-no however, I have witnessed a few discrete 'plug-ins' here & there.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 10:11 AM

Equally, when people argue for clubs being venues for songs not remotely relating to folk you know that all the visits in teh world are not going to change what you will find
The same applies to using crib sheets, having no standards... and all the other things argued for here and elsewhere, the idea that all is not well is confirmed
ou only need to look on the EFDSS website and could that with Rod Stradling's editorial, you have to admit something is sadly amiss at the very place that should be at the helm


Rod is not the person to go to for opinions about folk clubs. When we were at his place in Stroud last year, he told me that the only folk club that he had been to in the last fifteen years was ours - and that was because we had booked him. This does not mean that he is no longer involved in live music. He plays in his dance band, he is a regular at song and tune sessions in his area and he was raving to me about a concert that he has just seen in Bristol by Eliza Carthy's latest band. He finds concerts with hearing loops and small sessions more suitable and acoustic folk clubs in larger rooms more difficult with his hearing loss problems
I have more sympathy with his current position with the EFDSS and I feel that there is some sense of loss of direction since Malcolm Taylor retired. There are still great things being achieved by them in terms of the archiving of recordings of traditional song. The Full English is utterly admirable and the society hosts the vital and vast Roud Folk Song Index. I really like Katie Spicer the current CEO and she has worked wonders in terms of major fund-raising from the ACE and the HLR as well as attracting corporate funding. All this comes with strings attached so the emphasis has moved to sponsoring projects and to putting singers, dancers and musicians into schools - especially those that are finding it difficult to attract full-time music teachers. The evaluation asked for by these organisations calls for analysis of numbers of those attending, so when, as a member, I press for the Thomas McCarthys and Will Nobles of this world, it is explained to me why this is not always viable.
Unlike Rod, I remain a member of the EFDSS and will press for any action that supports traditional music. I vote in their elections and am very pleased to see people I know and respect like Alistair Anderson, Fi Fraser, Nicola Kearey, Mike Heaney and Corrine Male on the Governing Board.
I have no sympathy for those who criticise the EFDSS without joining to try to being about a change in direction. Similarly, those who do nor regularly visit and support folk clubs and encourage the organisers when they feel they are doing something well and expressing doubts about what they are less engaged by will never achieve change. I know that as an organiser I always was guided by club regulars and acted on suggestions that I thought helpful.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 10:55 AM

Been there, done that Dave - the internet has made that totally irrelevant

Sorry, Jim, but it doesn't make it irrelevant at all. There are a number of ways of measuring most things. The style, quality and general demenour of folk clubs being one of them. I agree with you entirely that the internet has a place in making these judgements but, as you said yourself, "The question of standards is an important one but judging that needs a wider picture than a couple of clips can give" (Emboldening is mine). There are clips on the internet, there is anecdotal evidence and there is experiencing things for yourself. All these things go to make up the larger picture. I am not saying that the evidence that you present is not right, but it is not the whole picture. Just as mine is not because I can only report what I see in the clubs I am familiar with.

You say the whole folk club scene is in dire straights because of the evidence you have gathered. I say it is not because of the evidence I have gathered. If we put our evidence together we will probably find that the situation is somewhere in between where not everything is failing but there is considerable room for improvement.

Neither of us is wholly right or wrong and that is something I think we can work on.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM

Dave and Vic, well put. I'm in total agreement.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:06 PM

I am pleased that some ppl had the good fortune to see and hear some traditional singers at their folk clubs in the 1960s and 1970s on a regular basis ~ I think that most like me were happy to see and hear revivalist singers and the odd opportunity to meet the likes of MacColl, Bert Lloyd, Arthur Howard, Frank Hinchliffe, Vin Garbutt, Cyril Tawney, Bod Davenport and others who were around ~ of whatever ilk showed the range of ppl around at the time!

Of course there is a fine body of upcoming ~ nay established professional artist and groups doing the rounds at the moment

Festivals and concerts and as I mentioned before vinyl records and sleeve notes were a great source of knowledge and information

Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:18 PM

Agreed, Ray
I can be as nostalgic as the next person when it comes to remembering the 60s, but if I am being honest and realistic the current performers, including the current crop under 40, are at least as good and as numerous, and, dare I say it, more knowledgeable of the background to the music simply because there is infinitely more information readily available.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:28 PM

Steve i disagree, we had closer contact to tradtional singers willie scott etc, and no i do not think they are any better, the standard is much the same, but the standard of floor singers now is lower


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 03:59 PM

Steve has put a lot of effort into discovering the historical background to traditional music. So have I, and I agree entirely that the message has got through - younger players have a much better idea of where the stuff they play came from than those of a generation ago. Partly a change of attitude and partly what the Internet makes possible - a fiddler today coming across a wacky tune like "Catharsis" might well think, what was that all about? and if they ask the question it's only going to take minutes to find the composer's story about it in her own words. And it's a good story, well worth using in a performance. The charm of wilful ignorance wears off pretty fast.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 04:44 PM

Yes, Dick, we did have access to traditional singers in the flesh, but today's youngsters have even greater access to their singing as much more is available online and on albums, thanks to many websites which make this available, Mustrad, EFDSS, ITMA, Kist of Riches, Yorkshire Garland, Farne, Sussex Traditions, etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 03:35 AM

EFDSS gives only a bunch of singer songwriters in sound and, according to Stradling, have totally abandoned anything traditional in their magazine
The editor of Mustrad has pointed out that, unless are some radical changes, Musical Traditions with have to rethink what they are doing
ITMA is part of the rise in the fortunes of Irish Music due to dedication that appears to be missing from the English scene
The School of Scottish Studies is a wonderful site but , as all such resources, can only be useful if there is back-up work to assist its use
At one time, the club scene was once very much a part of that work - no longer the case with a revival which no longer seems to know what folk song is and, even worse, does not even want to talk about it.
These sites are for people who already know about folk song; it has already been claimed that th cause of low sales and disappearing clubs etc is that the old folkies are dying off

EFDSS
It is as old as the hills to argue that you shouldn't criticise if you are not prepared to join
I was a member for a time and I did a great deal of work in helping archive what they has, along with Malcolm I helped produce several albums of traditional singers and storytellers - all now deleted
I helped get The Carpenter Collection into Britain along with the then Librarian (Theresa Thom) and Bob Thomson
Been there - done that, and was ground down by the ignorance, apathy and opposition emanating from 'them upstairs'
In those days it was largely because the Society was dance orientated
Christ only knows what motivates the present lot - it most certainly ain't folk song
The Journal is the only saving grace of EFDSS and you don't have to be a member to get that
Nobody in their right mind would join any organisation in order to expend your energy in reforming it rather than on furthering the cause of the music it claims to represent
We have the CCE in Ireland as a perfect example of how futile an exercise that is
Tilting at windmills may have been fine for Don Quixote....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 03:41 AM

Dave
I see no point in us arguing further
Your arguments are little different than those below the line who argue that I have no right to discuss UK politics because I no longer live there
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 04:16 AM

I am not sure that crticism from someone who has only been in a folk club once in fifteen years is informed criticism, how is it acceptable to make statements and pontificate about folk clubs if you have only been to one once in fifteen years, it is in fact no different from me pontificating about church services when i have not been once in fifteen years, its reminscent of alice in wonderland or the mad hatters tea party.
as for tilting at windmills, i can think of only one mudcat member who does that regularly.
CCE in ireland has been partly responsible for the promotion of irish tradtional music as has the Willie Clancy summer school, this is not opinion it is fact, that does not mean that i like the compoetitive side of CCE,
CCE also funds trad music festivals that are not competitive and sponors trad sessions. it is important to make informed and accurate criticism, to criticise for the sake of criticising and to make uninformed criticism of anything is reminscent of Don Quixote
CCE is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. We’re a non-profit cultural movement with hundreds of local branches around the world, and as you can read in our history we’ve been working for the cause of Irish music since the middle of the last century (1951 to be precise). Our efforts continue with increasing zeal as the movement launches itself into the 21st century.

Comhaltas Logo

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What We Do

Because we’re so many different things to different people, it can be hard to keep track of the true scope of our activities! You might have been involved with a Comhaltas event and not even known it.

    If you’re a student of Irish music, you might know about the music, dance and language classes that we teach through our network of branches. If you’re interested in learning the music, you might want to find which one of our 1,000 weekly classes is closest to you.

    For musicians who like to play socially, you might be interested in finding a local Comhaltas music session. And if you’re not sure, how about just going along to listen?

    Audiences around the world have seen our touring groups bringing Irish music, dance and storytelling on annual tours.

    We also run the definitive system of competitions for Irish music, called the “Fleadh Cheoil” (literally “feast of music”). Musicians compete in a series of qualifying rounds, culminating in the annual All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

    We’ve collected an archive of thousands of hours of Irish music recordings, a large print library and a growing collection of videos. You can get a sample of some of this material in the Music section of our website.

    In an effort to promote the music of Ireland, we publish recordings, books and tutorials of Irish traditional music. You might want to take a listen over in our shop.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 04:34 AM

Good grief, Jim. Where did that come from? Spilling over from the things mothers said thread, have you seen your arse this morning or something?

I have no more said you have no right to discuss anything than I have said anything goes at folk clubs. You have never provided any evidence of me saying the latter and you will find no evidence of me saying the former. In fact in my last post I specifically say

I am not saying that the evidence that you present is not right, but it is not the whole picture.

And go on to conclude

Neither of us is wholly right or wrong and that is something I think we can work on.

Now, if you believe that to be the action of someone who wants to exclude you from the discussion then, yes, there is no point continuing because you are, dare I say it, speaking a different language to me.

I have accepted, and seen, that there are faults in the folk scene. I have seen the phone mumblers and the introspective singers who think that everyone is interested in the forlorn fourteen year old love. And don't get me going on the performance poets with their overflowing ring binders. Why can they not even remember their own words?

Can you just not accept that there is also a lot of good stuff that can be built on?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 05:01 AM

You have suggested that unless I attend clubs I have no right to comment of the state of the revival Dave - or hat's how I took your question on how many I attend - Dick has just repeated your suggestion

As for being right or wrong - I really have no idea what you and many others regard as 'folk song' and until I do, we'll continue to go around in circles
I am arguing that folk song has been edged out of the club scene to make room for some nameless product that bears little resemblance to the real thing
hat do I have to be 'tolerantt about, or 'compromise' on
Folk clubs should never be an end in themselves or a place to go and meet your mates - they can be many things, bu their over-riding role should always be to promote a specific type of music
You seem to apply conditions on folk song that you would not apply to any other creative activity - I ask you all anain - is running a Jazz club to exclusively play and listen Jazz "restrictive", ""narrow", "purist" or "jazz policing"
If not, what the hell's wrong with folk song that it should be treated the way these people treat it   
Beyond all logic to me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 05:03 AM

Dave
There's no animosity or ill-feeling on my part, far from it - I just don't see the point in running around in circles and I get very tired of always being on the defensive
It's about time we got some answers here
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 05:21 AM

Dick, I don't know if you've seen it but I've just come across this website of some folk clubs around Essex which we both used to attend. Lots of familiar names there. Not sure who JKD is.

http://romfolk.com/romfolk.com/Home.html

Essex Record Office has lots of tapes of folk club performances from that period, in particular those made by Jim Etheridge and Dennis Rookard as well as those mentioned by JKD. Sadly they're not online.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 05:57 AM

I fully understand that there is no I'll feeling, Jim, which is what makes these discussions far more enjoyable than the shite we get off some. But if you think I have ever suggested that you have no right to comment then you are seriously off target. My point about you not attending clubs is that you do not have the whole picture and, because I only attend a handful of clubs, I do not have the whole picture either. Between us, and through these discussions, we have a better idea of what is going on and, from what I gather, there are the issues you mention but there is also lots of good stuff. Like everything else in life, it is not black and white but contains lots of grey areas.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 05:58 AM

Oh, and 200!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 06:07 AM

Same thing really Dave
There is enough evidence in Stradling's letter alone to suggest something has gone seriously amiss - many of the arguments here confirm that in their own negative and hostile way
The idea of embarking on a folk club pilgrimage to see how many clubs actually do present folksong might be enjoyabe but, as far as I' concerned, totally unnecessary - every "folk police" and "purist" further makes such a journey a wast of time and energy
Now - how about responding to some of the things I've claimed (not just you Dave)
Jim


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