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the uk folk revival in 2019

The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Oct 19 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM
The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM
Vic Smith 03 Oct 19 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 03 Oct 19 - 09:39 AM
Acorn4 03 Oct 19 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM
r.padgett 03 Oct 19 - 11:00 AM
Vic Smith 03 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 01:15 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 03:46 PM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 19 - 06:07 PM
The Sandman 04 Oct 19 - 12:22 AM
The Sandman 04 Oct 19 - 12:25 AM
r.padgett 04 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,Observer 04 Oct 19 - 03:01 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,akenaton 04 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,matt milton 04 Oct 19 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Joe G 04 Oct 19 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,akenaton 04 Oct 19 - 05:57 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Oct 19 - 07:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Oct 19 - 08:20 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Evert 04 Oct 19 - 12:30 PM
r.padgett 05 Oct 19 - 03:48 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM
GUEST 05 Oct 19 - 04:29 AM
Jack Campin 05 Oct 19 - 04:34 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 06:01 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Oct 19 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Steve Murray 05 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 19 - 07:20 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 19 - 07:46 AM
r.padgett 05 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Oct 19 - 02:17 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 19 - 03:00 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM
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Subject: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:03 AM

Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?
here is an extract from the Newcastle degree course[ I could see no mention of teaching organisational skills or encouragement to teach how to run clubs or festivals?

Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?
How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs,


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:31 AM

To paraphrase Lord Nelson:

"I see no extract"

That being the case it makes it very hard to comment.

In the case of the Newcastle degree course I know for certain that they are taught the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. This I know as I have attended such events at Newcastle's excellent Sage venue - very good it was too.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM

Directionless, I would say Dick
No point of having a rudder if you can't agree where you're going
Jim carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM

In the case of the Newcastle degree course I know for certain that they are taught the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. if that is the case why are so few newcastle degree leavers organising events or are they? and if so who are they and are they organising clubs or festivals?
There has been criticism of MacColl, but at least he tried to help others, gave up his time, organised a club, who of the elder statesmen of the revival are doing that now?
who of the younger professionals are doing that now?
if people do not organise events, one day festivals folk clubs, festivals, workshops, there will be nowhere to perform.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM

Don't know what happens now Dick, but I do know that Critics member Sandra Kerr was taking workshops on singing there
We gave her copies of our archive in order than she could pass them on to her group
If that's changed and is no longer the case it would be a cryings shame

I was a little disturbed to receive an invitation to the launch of the Irish Art's Council's 'Liam O'Flynn Annual Awards' scheme in Dublin
I'm not against great musicians like Liam being remembered in this way, nor an I in principle against such awards being made, but it seems to me that, while there are so many youngsters coming onto the scene at grass level for the love of the music that is what should be concentrated on rather than glittering prizes - which basically for winners - you are, I know, fully aware of my distaste for CCE's 'competition ethos)
When Willy Clancy died nearly fifty years ago, the locals set up an annual week-long school
That school is still running and still turning out some of Ireland's best musicians, many of whom are also teaching
The fact that it is attended from students from all over the world is an added bonus

Once the scene is firmly established, there's no reason why all sorts of things should be done, but if money is tight it should be put wee it's needed
Trad music has always been grass-rots based - change that and you stand a good chance of making it short-term elitism
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM

I would rather imagine that, being the age that "most" of those successfully coming through such degree courses, those youngsters would want to play on stage at festivals and at concerts, not immediately rush out with a burning desire to set up their own festivals, clubs, etc at which they then could play. Accept that they have come to the music by a different route than most commenting here [Self included]. They, particularly those in England, have had to pay for it and work extremely hard to successfully complete their course. Some, a small proportion, will actually go on to make a living and a name as performance artists. Some, a greater proportion, will make a living by teaching music. But quite a large number will not pursue music as a way to make a living at all. No doubt they will still play out of the love of the music and their contribution will be welcomed and really appreciated wherever they appear and play.

Let those who want to start folk clubs, concerts, festivals get on with it. Signing up for a three year course to study Traditional Music does not include any absolute requirement that you have to provide work opportunities for others - hard enough finding those for oneself.

The opening post drew attention to an extract that was not quoted and not referenced to and stated that the students were not taught "how to run clubs and festivals" - I merely commented on the lack of detail given by the OP and the fact that to my certain knowledge the University Course mentioned DID teach their students the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. Those events planned and performed by those students as part of their course work are held in Newcastle, are normally sold out - their end of course concert in particular is absolutely splendid, so please do not say they are not taught these things because that is simply not true.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM

The youngsters in Ireland came to the music at grass roots level
In my opinion that is the only way it will survive
It really isn't about what brings the newcomers in bu how those already involved attract them in and what opportunities they are offered when they get her
If they come in for prizes and stardom they will rip the music out of its grass roots and it will become a spectator rather than a participatory activity
We really have been there and watched the music all but disappear in the past
Comhaltas has been in existence longer and had more establishment support that any other Irish music organisation - it even has an officer in The Irish Senate, yet, because of it's competition ethos, all it has ever been able to come up with is painting-by-numbers playing and Fleadhs
Up to the present uplift in fortunes it was bumping along the bottom - teaching kids formulaic playing that was essential to win competitions
Musician and scholar, Brendan Breathnach summed it up perfectly - "An organisation with a great future behind it"
Any scene has to cater equally for all levels but education and archiving are among the most important and it is these which will build the necessary foundations to guarantee survaival
Look into the Irish Traditional Music Archive website to see a magnificent example of what I mean

WONDER IF ANYTHING EVER BECAME OF THIS ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 08:44 AM

The daughter of good friends of ours was on the Newcastle course. She did very well. She then started a 2-year Masters degree and again was highly successful. She is an excellent musician, a fine singer and is a well organised person. Now, with a £25,000 student debt, very few gigs she is doing individual music tuition, bar-maiding, cleaning, rushing from one day's agency office job to another - anything to pay her rent and food which seems to take up all her time and energy with the constant worry of that debt hanging over her.
She supports local folk clubs and festivals when she can but is in no position to think about organising any musical event. She is now looking for employment in academia which she is well qualified for but severe cutbacks in university funding mean that these posts are now few and far between.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 09:39 AM

Vic Smith - "This is life, but not as we know it"! (with apologies to 'Star Trek').


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:35 AM

Particularly relevant in the Midlands where several festivals have stopped due to the organisers having reached the age where they want to be handing over but no one taking on the mantle.

Our local one has been a bit luckier but this is a case of a group of energetic and enthusiastic "fiftysomethings" taking it on.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM

"Performance and group playing is at the heart of this course, reflecting the essential folk practices of playing by ear, and playing music with others.

Performance modules are enhanced by various applied and academic modules that create individual pathways through the degree, and reflect the diverse and exciting combination of research interests within the wider music department.

National and International artists teach as regular and guest tutors and we have close ties with Sage Gateshead.

Many of our students have gone on to develop high profile careers as performers, scholars, teachers and culture industry professionals."


"You can also choose to enhance your employability and develop career skills through modules in Music Enterprise and Student Placement for Education in the Community."


https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/w344/#courseoverview



"Working in music – perspectives provided by musicians and people working in a variety of roles within the music business.
Entrepreneurship in a music context
Marketing and promotion
Finance and realising value
Team working and collaboration
Creative problem solving, idea generation, negotiation
Intellectual property and copyright, including royalty collection systems."

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/modules/mus2195


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM

Oh dear !!!
And another one bites the Duster
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 11:00 AM

The times they have changed

The uk revival in 2019 has many facets ~ folk clubs as such are getting rarer by the minute ~ some ppl will say it ok here ~ but there are more and more professional artists/folk singers many well qualified who see themselves as the elite and are looking for folk related work and have rarely if ever supported a folk club

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM

many well qualified who see themselves as the elite and are looking for folk related work and have rarely if ever supported a folk club

Some would say that this is a good thing. With one brother living in France and another in Italy, I am often in these countries and reasonably often go to events and festivals in them. I find that when traditional music events are presented in those countries, particularly in Italy, that many small towns present outdoor folk music concerts in the summer months, but they always seem to be advertised and promoted alongside other music events; they have the feeling of 'mainstream' about them. Even in areas where folk music is strong, like Puglia, there is nothing that is the equivilent of our "folk revival" or "folk clubs" so that the feeling of ghettoisation that I sometimes get in the way we present our music here does not exist.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 01:15 PM

guest 3 oct 1049,
well the degree course is not working properly in its entirety, if people are shown how to organise events but for various reasons do not. padgett talks about many performers who do not support events, it is very simple "use it or lose it" .
If there are too few venues and a surplus of performers, the only way around it is for an increase in venues, probably what is sensible is a 20 percent increase, it is up to pro and semi pro performers to organise events themselves, and perhaps once a month or fortnight.turn up and do a floor spot, this would hopefully help to bring up standards of performance and attendance. my argument may have flaws but can anone suggest a better idea


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 03:46 PM

yes fair points, Vic, but the good point about folk clubs[asa you well know] is that people are listening and have gone specifically for the music.
In Ireland where also the the tradition is more mainstream, I have recently been doing gigs in community centres [often in the middle of the day]and all the people love the trad nusic and songs, and on occasions sing local self composed songs, these are not songs [like some of the uk singe songwriters that are about personal relationships] but are songs about events that have happened locally]the difference between these gigs and pub gigs is that people are there specifically for the music


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM

Is there a subtext "why aren't these young folks starting festivals... so they can book ME?"


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:07 PM

Maybe the festival problem is that the public expect something a lot more professional that we would get in the last century. Just look at Towersey's offer for 2020.

In much of England "folk clubs" are associated with a demographic such that a Saga outing turning up would lower the average age in the venue. Where younger people start up events they tend to be different formats and certainly not called "folk clubs".

I generalise of course and am talking about southern England. No doubt there will be a response from somebody along the lines of "we have one teenager at our club therefore all clubs have teenagers".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:22 AM

Jack,not necessary,i am just about to fly off to a folk festival in the uk where i am booked, i have no shortage of paid work in ireland and the uk, wake up, Jack


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:25 AM

your unpleasant comment, does not alter the fact at in the lasst20 to 40years the amount of uk folk clubs has reduced considerably


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM

Some of you may be aware of Folk 21on fb ~

My view is that new potentially bookable folksingers should have their own folk clubs or run events no doubt showcasing their talents AND charging for it!

The problem is that sessions and similar tend not to ask even for a donation ~ yes some do and proceeds to say a folk festival or charity

Yes important to realise that few full time folk acts can make living wage

The down side is that as I think Bob Fox said it's like being a long distance lorry driver who starts work when he to the destination

Look at Flossie Mallavaille who must do many thousands of miles driving to gigs in UK and further ~ she is French but very popular and domiciled in UK

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:01 AM

It would appear from what those commenting here are saying that there is no 2019 "Folk Revival".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:18 AM

I agree entirely Ron, if I read you correctly
Professionalism and making a living from folk has, up to comparatively recently been an optional appendage to the folk scene - now it seems a permanent and dominant growth being used as a yardstick to measure its success - that, in my opinion, is a cancer that needs treating - if it is not too late
We've always had professionals, some have given back something as well as taking from it, but many never did and became professional or semi-professional entertainers who (sometimes) chose folk music a their ladder to success
The more they did, the more some clubs came to rely on them and, in my opinions, the more folk music became a spectator rather than a participatory activity - as far from folk song's roots as you can possibly get - and both the ordinary enthusiasts and the music itself were the main casualties

I spent a day yaesterday going through a rammed folder of old cuttings from the early days of the revival - crammed with ideas, arguments, long letters and articles from people I had never met or hardly knew.... and bubling with positive energy and sometimes indignation
Now the scene seems to be welcoming imminent armchair-bound retirement, with nobody but nobody to take over
What a sad and undignified way for a beautiful art form to die

The Irish musicians and singers I grew to musical maturity with are, as I am, getting old, but the best of them have made damned sure that the music they devoted their lives and love to stayed healthy
I can't see that having happened back home and in never can without a grass roots base to nourish it
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM

I think that is basically correct Observer, society has changed to such an extent that "folk/traditional" music is no longer relevant.
The music was always about telling stories, illustrating life's joys and sorrows and involving the populace in participation in folk music as something life enhancing.    We seem to no longer value these things, and have become completely demoralised by modern society and politics.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:49 AM

I don't believe that folk - for what itwas - will ever be irrelevant, even if it's not fashionable
It is what it has always been recognised as (in my circles) 'The Voice of the People' a way for 'ordinary (terrible word) to shout - "this is what I am, what I want and how I feel"
The best of the new song-makers have used it to do the same
That basic function - the need of a voice - will never disappear, though it might lay dormant
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 04:17 AM

"Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?"

I think it takes its direction from the collective activity of individual musicians, folk club organisers, live music promoters, writers, bloggers etc. Even in the 1960s or 70s, if you'd asked Martin Carthy or John Kirkpatrick that question, I think they'd have been hard pressed to give a definitive answer.

"Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?"

Performers will play wherever they can and wherever they can find an appreciative audience and a decent fee. Most folk performers play a mix of folk clubs and established live music venues (and the two are not mutually exclusive).
House concerts too of course.

"How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs"

Finding similar other places: cafes, galleries, bars within cinemas and galleries (Picturehouse Cinemas have thriving live music in their bars) and in summer playing outdoor gigs. The aforementioned house concerts: the house concert scene is under the radar but there are websites you can easily find.

"There has been criticism of MacColl, but at least he tried to help others, gave up his time, organised a club, who of the elder statesmen of the revival are doing that now? who of the younger professionals are doing that now?


Off the top of my head: Jon Boden and his partner Fay Hield run a folk club in Dungworth and the excellent Soundpost events; Paul Sartin (Belshazzars Feast, Bellowhead, Faustus) runs Otley Folk Club; Maddy Prior runs many events/workshops from her home. Look at Lewes Folk Club's Saturday series of workshops for a list of year-round workshops by their visiting professional guests.

Eliza Carthy organised the English Fiddle Symposium.

Archie Moore (or Moore Moss Rutter) taught an excellent all-day fiddle workshop here in London the other week.

The Askew Sisters, Paul Hutchinson and many other well known folk 'names' teach year-round weekly classes at Cecil Sharp House.

Here in London we have quite a lot of folk clubs. They are run by amateur musicians but often amateur musicians who nonetheless record albums and play gigs and festivals etc. Like much of the folk scene, the dividing line between amateur and professional is fuzzy.

All the above is off the top of my head and inevitably London-centric as that's where I've always lived. But if I researched I'm sure I could find more.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 05:12 AM

Well said Matt!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 05:57 AM

"Folk music" is not really about the performers, it's about the audience.
There was something about the last revival which struck a chord with the general public who responded in droves. Folk music today has lost touch with the people in the same way as politicians have. It has become about performance rather than reflecting life and appealing to the myriad emotions of humanity. Many of the values promoted by the singers and songs of the last revival have been rejected by modern society, we no longer have much idea of who we are or what makes sense in life.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 06:21 AM

Folk music and song has to be about the muisc and song Ake
- the music hasn't lost touch with the people the people who perform it may have though
The first person a performer has to please and satisfy his him/herself
Until you are able to do that you will convince nobody
All the (old) singers we asked told us they say pictures of their songs as they sang them
Walter Pardon described at length how he could look at an audience without seeing them
Once you try to please an audience you become a performer of songs rather than an interpreter of them - they become external projections rather than inner experiences
I'm pretty convinced that this applies to all art
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 07:12 AM

Vic Lewis; "with the constant worry of that debt hanging over her."

There's no need for her to worry about it - though I'm not defending student loans. On Student Loan Plan 2, you pay back 9% of what you earn above £2,143 per month. If you earn less than that in a month, then you don't pay anything back. So you can regard it as a tax on income rather than a debt. 80% of student loans are not repaid in full; anything remaining after 30 years is written off.

Not many songs about it yet.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 08:20 AM

Some interesting ideas. But what sort of monster is satisfied with every performance.

Sounds a bit like Ernie Wise's plays wot he has written.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM

"But what sort of monster is satisfied with every performance."
No monster with any sense Al
This sums up how I feel about performing pretty well
It comes from a months-long interview we did with Ewan back in the 70s when we asked him about the standard of singing he expected from a club
I quote it when I can and I've just lifted it from a script of a talk we gave at a Salford weekend held to commemorate his work run by Mancunian friends shortly after he died
Never fails to get me in the gut
Jim

“Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that’s the argument that has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it. Anybody who’s ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you’re not enjoying it when you’re making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it’s working, when all the things you want to happen are happening.
That can happen without training, sure it can, but it’s hit or miss. If you’re training it can happen more, that’s the difference. It can’t happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it’s something to fall back on, a technique, you know. It’s something that will at least make sure that you’re not absolutely diabolical
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he’s no longer worried about technique, he’s done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song.”


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Evert
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:30 PM

henryp: "There's no need for her to worry about it [...]"

That is all true for an undergraduate degree. But lots of masters students need to take a 'career developement loan', which is a commercial loan charged at commercial rates. (Unless they are lucky enough to get funding)


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:48 AM

Running folk music workshops is not the same as running a folk club ~ it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~ but you have to have gigs to make a living I think controversially I said elsewhere that a talk on running a folk club should be from someone with knowledge of the subject and not a guest artist or festival organiser

Yes there are some very successful folk clubs ~ be they weekly, monthly or summat else ~ firstly distinguish from a concert club ~ different animals

A club should have a membership and be run to a constitution ~ yes I know there are always other ways and one man bands who have many friends!

The point is that everyone relies on attracting an audience, but more to the point it is a social gathering: workshops etc can be useful to improve musicianship and other aspect of performance

Importantly entry fees are needed and personally I hate booking type purchase and the extra charge they make! ~ nor do I like extra hike of prices on the door ~ I'll stay at home!

I know many here know the pitfalls and the egos involved etc ~ folk clubs can be finely balanced on success and failure ~ clubs I find at sea sides tend to attract the older people too ~ its is without doubt an age thing ~ but the youngsters are fighting back and good luck to them

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM

Equity the actors union has many thousands of members, very few of whom are in regular employment, with the majority having to work in 'day jobs' to make ends meet. The unemployment exchanges are well supplied with unemployed university graduates, many of whom have degrees in subjects that aren't amenable to making a daily living. All in all, and especially since university status was awarded to almost every educational institute in the UK, we have the best qualified unemployed in Europe.
Why therefore should graduates from Newcastle and the like be any different? They are studying a niche subject, and the number of niches for them to fill is decreasing rapidly, of course there isn't enough work to go round, and there never will be !
Reasons are manifold, lack of venues, lack of audience, low entry prices, high artiste's fees, too many festivals, even the price of beer !
Answer ? I wish I knew, and so do many others.
I do know this, the world doesn't owe anybody a living, we all have to work to earn our daily bread, and the best way to get work, is to make yourself less dispensable than the competition.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:29 AM

" but the youngsters are fighting back and good luck to them"
Who are they "fighting", and why ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:34 AM

It might well be that one reason why young folk-uni graduates don't start more clubs and festivals is precisely because they've had an education in arts management. They have the skills to predict when a project is doomed to failure.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:01 AM

Fauilure of the clubs has to be about the music and not whether University graduates can get jobs or professional singers can get bookings - once these two become an issue the music is doomed to suffer
In any club I've ever been involved in an evening was 'successful' if the singers and the audience went home having enjoyed an evening of well sung folk songs - the number of bums on seats was a bonus
The revival was launched and ran on the uniqueness of folk song - that's what people formed clubs for and that's what people came to here
One that was gone, the clubs went into a tail spin
I have to say I'm somewhat gratified to see the scene being discussed as if there might be something amiss
Not too long ago I was shouted down for suggesting something might be amiss
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:28 AM

You don’t need a university education to be able to ‘see when a project is doomed to failure’. All it takes is a pair of feet planted firmly on the ground, and a modicum of common sense.

My experience of employing graduates is that those two things are often lacking.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Steve Murray
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM

It does seem to me that with the possible exception of The Unthanks, there are no 'big acts' among folks younger generation who have managed to successfully step consistently as headliners of the major festivals. This years bill toppers at Cambridge were in the main well over the other side of 50. During their time, Bellowhead were the obvious exception and Eliza Carthy's Wayward band showed promise but all in all it seems to me that no-one has been able to fill the void that is being created by the ageing of Folks greatest performers. Similarly, Irish music seems to be affected by the same issue.

Also, the meteoric rise of some solo performers who could loosely be described as a folk singers has contributed to the problem as they have shorn folk festivals of younger 'star attractions' simply because the performers know they can perform in Wembley stadium as opposed to the main stage at Cherry Hinton.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:20 AM

There are quite a few good younger acts around, I could mention Ellie Beaton, Iona Fyfe and Siobhan Miller from my end of the world for a start. Many festivals book the same peeps every year, and they all seem to draw from the same small pool.
Might help explain the previously mentioned lack of openings/work, for Newcastle graduates?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM

"it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~"
Sorry Ron - I couldn't disagree more
Running workshop should be a vital part of developing a club - a way to constantly bring in and develop new people, their talent, energy and enthusiasm
Booked guests are, or should be an opportunity for the residents to lie beck and let someone else do the work while, at the same time, take a peep at whhat's happening elsewhere within your club's scope of interest
Workshops I've participated in have included developing and understanding singing, instrumental and style talks, songmaking sessions, local collecting projects.... even the showing of films and playing radio programmes
The London Singers Workshop once listened to and debated MacColl's 10 'Song Carrier' programmes
While it is sometimes necessary to employ 'experts', the best of them were given to residents and committee members to do as a act of commitment
I can neve remember there being a shortage of volunteers
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:46 AM

Look at Lewes folk club and how that's run, workshops are a regular part of their programme. They are a great example of how to run a club.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM

"it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~
Sorry Ron [Ray] - I couldn't disagree more"

Artists have come to rely and enjoy being paid to put on a workshop

"Running workshop should be a vital part of developing a club - a way to constantly bring in and develop new people, their talent, energy and enthusiasm"

Totally agree ~but the number of clubs who are able and set up to do this are,I believe less frequent ~ audiences/talented floor singers are not that common and workshop people will be overjoyed to have a folk club set up everything for them ~ how many folk club organisers would do this in this day and age and why would or should they?" Dungworth and EFDSS do do this as part of an annual folk weekend btw


"Booked guests are, or should be an opportunity for the residents to lie beck and let someone else do the work while, at the same time, take a peep at what's happening elsewhere within your club's scope of interest"

Above agreed but that's aint what necessarily happens ~ booked guests ~ now what are they? and booked by whom and will the audience come ~ attitudes to booking guests and type of guest and retaining interest is currently a total riddle

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM

"Artists have come to rely and enjoy being paid to put on a workshop"
I'm sure they have, but I used to enjoy going to and running clubs that didn't have to worry about whether they could afford to continue
I can see no reason why people capable os say, playing instruments should be able to talk about doing so
I have long come to the conclusion that folk singing can't really be taught - the depressing habit of giving a roomful of people crib sheets to repeat like parrots I believe does more damage than good
The most efficient and all-inclusive method of improving singing is sympathetic group work - gat a group of people who can sing and know a little about the songs, stick a newbie in front of them, get him/her to sing and ask or comments and suggestions
That way, everyone in the room gains something
We don't need superstars - we never have
We need clubs full of competent singers and people given the opportunity to learn - activate them and you open the way to an improved scene
I was involved in workshops got going on twenty years - I can never remember having to pay anybody
Replacing the club scene with Festivals
Someone was griping some time ago about everything being centred in London
The beauty of the self-help group is that it's portable and it's self generating - and it can be operated "where-ever as little as three people are gathered' (two- if they establish a tust between each other)
Pat and I (both ex long-time workshop members) were invited to speak at a weekend dedicated to MacColl in Salford Uni not long after he died
We did our bit on The Critics Group and a handful of people asked if we could explain how the group worked
We found an empty room and set up a mini two hour workshop with results that staggered us and all we did was chair it and let them do the work
I'd walk over broken glass to be allowed to do that again
Audiences can become teachers, given the opportunity
Instrumentation is a different matter (if it's necessary) but we've all tried the three chord home-made accompaniment, I'm sure
Only dedication will make it better, no matter how many teachers you can afford

We helped run London Singers Workshop for getting on twenty years, during which time we accumulated a huge archive of recordings - songs, lectures, radio programmes, recorded workshops, articles, digitised books.... you name it....
I've spent years trying to get it housed and used in the UK, so far without a nibble
Anybody wishing to take a copy is more than welcome to do so if they will use it to pass on and improve the scene   
Waiting For Godot simply isn't going to work
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM

As the song says...

Things ain't what they used to be

Whether that is a good or bad thing is the point of contention.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 02:17 PM

not really - you were shouted down for saying the current scene in England was total rubbish.

I think we acknowledge that things aren't as we would have wished.

If there was time when it seemed perfect - maybe it was because we were young. I certainly remember nights when I thought I had witnessed greatness in a folk club.

I also remember my parents saying - well we had to sit through a whole load of shit before you get to the decent bit. I seem to remember my rejoinder - well you'd have sat through an entire evening if you stayed and watched telly.

I think maybe as you get older - you get a bit less shit tolerant.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:00 PM

Who was that addressed to, Al? I have certainly said no such thing.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM

"If there was time when it seemed perfect "
No Al - we wree up to arses in good club, good magazine more record labels that there are albums now
I remeber when I could go to folk clubs and hear folk songs

Many of the postings here are about how things have deteriorated
Take your head out of the sand bucket if you want our kids to get the same pleasure that we did out of making our own music rather than having to pay for it
I'm afraid we'e talking about a different kind of music Dave
We really have been here
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM

I don't mention any kind of music, Jim.


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