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The current state of folk music in UK

Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Nov 19 - 03:16 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Peter 17 Nov 19 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 19 - 12:21 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM
Howard Jones 17 Nov 19 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM
Vic Smith 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 17 Nov 19 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 17 Nov 19 - 07:30 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM
r.padgett 17 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM
r.padgett 17 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 05:30 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 05:24 AM
Iains 17 Nov 19 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 04:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 04:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 19 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 03:56 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 03:49 AM
The Sandman 17 Nov 19 - 03:27 AM
r.padgett 17 Nov 19 - 03:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 02:43 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Nemisis 16 Nov 19 - 07:02 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 03:12 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 19 - 03:07 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM
The Sandman 16 Nov 19 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 02:16 PM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM

'The 'Tam Linn' I now has 40 verses Al - please don't tell me 'American Pie' has more than 3 !!'

Yes but Tamm linn doesn't have a chorus that is repeated repeated about fifty times!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:16 PM

This thread reminds me of the old joke about ‘how many Folkies does it take to change a light bulb’.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM

>>>>>If the clubs pro=vied the lifeblood for our music they are essential and need discussing
If they are not, someone needs to come up with an alternative rather the alienated internet<<<<<<

We did and are doing. You just ignore it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM

It would indeed Jim :-)

To be honest I think some of Kitty's other songs might be more to your taste. I just chose on at random.

Anyway have a good night in front of the box - looks like we have viewing preferences in common judging by your comment elsewhere :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM

"Kitty MacFarlane and Don McLean have beautiful voices "
McClean never particularly appealed to be, but MacFarlane hasn't got too bad a voice (a bit breathy for my taste)
I find her song somewhat schmaltzy and going nowhere though
As I say À Chacun Son Goût
Life would be very boring if we all liked the same things
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM

One chap in particular sent everyone to the bar - not just me!

1500 posts and still going strong. Well done folks :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM

But Kitty MacFarlane and Don McLean have beautiful voices - as well as beautiful songs. The only people I have heard sing very long ballads in folk clubs are self indulgent middle aged or old men with dreadful voices who had no consideration for their audience - with the exception of a young lady who used to sing them at Hartlepool Folk Club and Jon Boden whose version of A Rose in June on his new CD is superb :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

Touche Jim :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

"Tam Linn
The 'Tam Linn' I now has 40 verses Al - please don't tell me 'American Pie' has more than 3 !!

"I used to head to the bar ;-)
À Chacun Son Goût Joe
I do the same whenever I hear froth like 'American Pie' or 'Namer of Clouds' ;-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:47 PM

I refuse to believe that there aren't pubs some parts of the country that aren't screaming out for mid-week custom and wouldn't be more than happy to let (or even give) a reasonably quiet corner or side room for a monthly session
In the Home Counties, South East and South Midlands unlikely. Most want to fit in as many covers as possible for the meal trade.

Personally I regret the decline in the classic folk club format (ie weekly guest + floor spots) but the scene has moved in other directions. There are still a huge number of opportunities to experience good folk music either as an audience member or as a participant.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM

I must admit that when someone was about to sing a 20 verse ballad I used to head to the bar ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:21 PM

Let's be specific - which 20 verse ballad, do you feel unable to perform in the present climate?
in what style do you propose singing it?

How long do you think it will take in its entirety and do you feel committed enough to the piece to know the words, and have you reheardsed it enough to have worked out how to engage your listeners interest?

i think you should ask yourself these questions whether its Tam Linn or American Pie.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM

"disregard the nature of the folk scene today."
I'm not "disregarding it" Howard, I'm saying it's a poor substitute for what we had
I refuse to believe that there aren't pubs some parts of the country that aren't screaming out for mid-week custom and wouldn't be more than happy to let (or even give) a reasonably quiet corner or side room for a monthly session
The Irish scene is thriving on such places at present
If push comes to shove, dry sessions in non-drinking venues wouldn't be too much of a big sacrifice for anybody but the most dedicated drinker
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM

"Would I sing a 20 verse ballad at a session? "
I dis say a pub session Howard - that seems to be were most of them take place
The surroundings always dictate the session - in my experience (even in Clare, "the home of traditional Irish music") session music tends to be treated as muzak to the drinkers
Maybe the place will quieten down for a solo or duet, but a multi session and the natural bar-room chat tend to to go into competition with each other and the chat gets louder nd louder the nearer it gets to closing time
Even in the old days of Sam Larner, the singing was confined to a back room where the singers can get attention
Home sessions are for the already committed - you're not going to draw in the much needed fresh blood there unless you can get the cat interested
Even at the height of the club scene, festivals were impersonal and focused on the "me singer, you listener" approach
We took Walter to one once and sat in the blazing sun with him for two hours while he waited to be called up for his turn
They are usually, tioo big, too crowded and too impersonal to get anything you can take away with you
Sorry, the intimacy of a well conducted club session cannot be equalled as far as I'm concerned
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:29 AM

Jim says, "There weer several thousand clubs where basically was the only place to listen to folk song - no sessions - and a scattering of annual festivals"

Now there are still at least several hundred clubs, but in addition there are lots of sessions and singarounds, and a festival most weekends throughout throughout the year (often a choice of several). There are also house concerts, which bring the music back into people's homes. The balance has changed, and to dwell only on folk clubs is to disregard the nature of the folk scene today.

Would I sing a 20 verse ballad at a session? It depends on the session, I can certainly think of some where that wouldn't be unwelcome. On the other hand I can think of some folk clubs where it would, as Jas complained about only too often.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM

Going back to some of the incredible young (and not so young!) talent we are lucky enough to have on the folk scene today I have just been listening to Kitty Macfarlane to decide whether to go to her upcoming Black Swan Folk club gig at the National Centre of Early Music here in York. I've decided it is definitely not one to miss! Absolutely beautiful voice and songs IMO

Just one example - lots more on You Tube

Kitty Macfarlane - Namer of Clouds


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM

Clubs were all we had to sing long ballads Dave
Taking these songs out of people's homes, which was largely were they were sung was artificial - I have said the clubs were a compromise
Would you be prepared to sing a twenty verse ballad in a pub session - I wouldn't !!
The clubs proved perfect venues for us urban dwellers and when they went the scene began to go up the Swanee
How would your develop a young singer who wanted to have a go now - knock on his/her door and offer your services ?
Can we cut out this "white-collar" shit
I was working on the docks when I went to my first folk club and I spent my working life climbing into people's lofts and crawling under their floorboards - many of my fellow-folkies did similar - bit difficult to keep your collar "wite" under those conditions
One of the finest singers of traditional songs I know spent his life painting industrial chimneys from a crane
When some managed to break our of the slog and go to Uni, we envied them for their good luck and when some became teachers we weer over the moon
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM

Dave wrote: -
Was it agricultural labourers back from toiling in the fields or was it white collar townies who felt the need to get back to their roots?
Spot-on, Dave! Teachers, social workers, librarians, local government officers and the like must have been the organisers at practically every club I went to. Often they were that post-war first one of their family (self-included) to be selected for by that iniquitous 11-plus exam for grammar school and many to subsequent further education. Nearly all were inclined to the left politically though they did look a bit incongruous in their heavy corduroy trousers. collarless shirts and beards (especially the women).


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM

Folk clubs were fine and still are but they are a false construct. Folk music existed well before clubs and will continue to exist long after the last 1960s style club has closed its doors. You really need to look at who started and ran folk clubs. Was it agricultural labourers back from toiling in the fields or was it white collar townies who felt the need to get back to their roots?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM

What else was there Jack
There weer several thousand clubs where basically was the only place to listen to folk song - no sessions - and a scattering of annual festivals
I've listed the clubs in one street in London - I could name a dozen in Manchester
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:38 AM

If the clubs pro=vied the lifeblood for our music they are essential and need discussing
If they are not, someone needs to come up with an alternative rather the alienated internet


Alternatives were never needed because the folk scene was never primarily about folk clubs at any time.

If you'd looked around while you were living in the UK you'd have seen that. And there's very little point in suggesting you come back to the UK and look for yourself, as some here have suggested, because you've shown yourself incapable of seeing what you don't want to see.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:30 AM

"please let's keep the focus on people's practical experience of how they are now from guest performers', audience, organisers' floor singers' viewpoints"

I'm thinking, without disrespect to Joe G that he may not have grasped that this is now more or less the Jim Carroll 'this is what I did, it was great, and now it is all rubbish' - punctuated with people responding to said Jim Carroll thread.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:22 AM

"I see the point regarding folk clubs, but they are diminishing and lots of knowledgeable singers are no longer getting to sing at them "
At last - agreement
Our folk music has always been a social activity - the tradition was just that and the clubs became a perfect compromise for many years
What happened at club nights often spilled ou into the other six days, workshops, rehearsals, lectures, classes, local research sorties into the libraries, searches for local singers..
We would spend at least three nighs a week visiting Traveller sites and many weekends were spent in Norfolk
All this added to our knowledge and enjoyment of the music and thre masses aof new material and information into the public domain
Malcolm Talor, gawd luv 'im, organised regular Library lectures on his own initiative and set up a cassette series despite the lead weight of his employers hanging around his neck
Folk music in England is getting to be, as someone once described Comhaltas in Ireland, a pursuit with a great future behind it.
I argue here as I do because I believe that situation to be reversible (just about)
It is not the argument and opposition that depresses me, I welcome that in a masochistic way) - it is the "my club's doing well so everything in the garden's lovely" complacency
Sorry if people regard that a "rant" - that's how I feel
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM

Tried to Ray but appear to have lost sign in details so asked Joe to set me up with a new account :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM

Joe G ~~ why not sign in??

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM

I see the point regarding folk clubs, but they are diminishing and lots of knowledgeable singers are no longer getting to sing at them ~ frequency and old age ~ younger singers are looking to be professionals from word go ~ yes there are some brilliant new stars like Cohen Braithwaite ~ Kilcoyne (google him) and some who we think are new but have been making a living some years now [Hanna James]

The Pitmen Poets use all manner of sources to sing Working class songs and highlight the views of many of a Socialist out look

Traditional songs and singers do exist and performers arrangements as well as very many unaccompanied singers certainly figure in sessions

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:30 AM

Absolutely happy to discuss clubs of course - but please let's keep the focus on people's practical experience of how they are now from guest performers', audience, organisers' floor singers' viewpoints


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:25 AM

If the clubs pro=vied the lifeblood for our music they are essential and need discussing
If they are not, someone needs to come up with an alternative rather the alienated internet
It is self-harm if people just side-step the issue
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:24 AM

I agree - I would rather discuss what is actually happening out there now as we were doing quite successfully yesterday


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:18 AM

The numbers of clubs are all over the place as venues close or clubs transfer. No figures are definitive, but the WIKI figures seem way too low. There are numerous lists of clubs on the internet. The one I just pasted venues into a spreadsheet came up with around 300.

http://www.englishfolkinfo.org.uk/regional.html?LMCL=pzRiPa&LMCL=ST_i91

This discussion seems to be revolving around a minority looking at life through a glass half empty and a majority looking at a glass half full.
It is time to move on.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM

The point to make about the loss of pubs (and other venues) is absolutely critical, Dave. The Topic has only been able to survive through the hard work of the Committee sourcing new venues as others have closed. There are very few options remaining now though


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM

I am happy to, Joe. Unfortunately Jim seems to forget and when he accuses me of something I did not do, as he will, I will once again correct him.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:54 AM

Ok can we draw a line under the argument about number of clubs left - the truth is no one knows. As I mentioned yesterday there are around 200 folk clubs, sessions , music nights in West Yorkshire and just beyond and that seems pretty healthy to me


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:50 AM

That is not the Wiki you first put up Dave

Yes it is, Jim. That is the exact link I have always referred to. If you think otherwise you are, once again, mixing me up with someone else. If you have evidence that it was a different one I will be more than happy to apologise. If you have not, please stop making these things up.

Since you seem to have some sort of fetish about the numbers let us put them in context. I have no idea where the figures came from and suspect it is some sort of official register but presuming that the Wiki article used the same source for both it does show an interesting trend. From the article, "By the mid-1960s there were probably over 300 in Britain" followed by "there are now over 160 folk clubs in the United Kingdom". That is almost a 50% reduction. Hardly surprising as we have lost about half our pubs in the same period!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:49 AM

Until now I have had no problems as a guest. I do have a member login but I think it may have been lost in time


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:47 AM

This is me though

I'm really disappointed that after yesterday's useful and constructive discussion about the folk scene (as most of us here consider it to be) Jim has now spent time picking holes in people's comments about the excellent songwriters we have today. He has demonstrated that he has no interest in, and almost total ignorance of, the wider folk scene and it's current state in the UK - a subject that is of interest to many here.

If all you wish to do is criticise and argue from your narrow and uninformed position Jim I for one would rather you left us to it. It would be a shame as I am sure we all appreciate the work you do and have done in helping to protect and pass on folk songs, and you have made some useful comments here at times, but you are simply disrupting an interesting and debate about what is happening today which you clearly have no direct knowledge of unlike most people who are contributing to this thread.

Apologies if this seems a little harsh but I can see no other way of expressing how frustrating your petty hole picking, twisting of words and negativity to musicians is


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 04:30 AM

Jim

That earlier post wasn't me as I sure you realise. Just some child trying to subvert the discussion!

I thought last night that Mudcat must have imploded as we had had a good positive discussion for a decent length of time

A shame someone comes along to disrupt that


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:59 AM

They werre written by somebody. And the somebodies who wrote them were very talented songwriters.

And that's more than you can say for the performers who performed them in such a way that they virtually disappeared. Or has that never occurred to you?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:56 AM

Jim Carroll, It would be best you drop your trousers before you post again, that way we can all hear what else comes out of your arse.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:49 AM

That is not the Wiki you first put up Dave
The one you diod was full of electric music and superstars
Of course the numbers are relevant - the clubs are our music's public communal face - what you get on the internet is individuals doing it for themselves and by and large it is pretty poor stuff, in my opinion
'See "Rock with the shepherd" for a prime example
The club scene seems to have imploded - a pale shadow of its former self
It's not too long ago that there were mor clubs in the London area than there now are nationally
You can even reduce that by another quarter - our clubs were weekly
We were talking about it last night - four weekly clubs catering for real folk music on Upper Steet, Islington alone - The Fox, The Empress of Russia, The Kings Head (and another we couldn't remember) - four nights of folk music well performed by residents in one week
THat is what the scen has lost
Electronic peformances on the net are an anathema to that

I don't say I don't care for fold clubs - I don't care for what they have become is what I meant
The clubs are the veins through which our music should be transmitted to the wider world - the better the muis is performed the healthier it will be
You have a disturbing habit of taking what I say out of context - real all of it
And perhaps we can lay off the sneaky, behind the hand stuff please !

You've (all of you) have given me a great deal to think about here - one of the outcomes has been for me to step up my passing on what we have to those I hope will use it - and it's working a charm - so far, mainly in Ireland
When I was involved fully in the scene, it was communal - not people reaching for the high ground but groups co-operating to help each other and clubs regurly communicating
That seems to have gone now
When MacColl set up the Critics group, smaller ones sprang up in places over Britain
When I set up one in Manchester Peggy sent me a list of over a dozen names of people and groups that could help (I still have it somewhere)
A week after I moved into my bed sit, Dick Snell came knocking on my front door asking if he could bring me up to speed with Group work
No doubt E and P put him up to it, but we bacame friends and jaysus - did it help my singing
We set up a smell archive for London Singers Workshop and appealed for material - it came flooding in from England, Scotland and Ireland
We now probably have the largest privately held archive of folk music in Britain - and nobody wants to use it there
That's an indication of how "healthy" the scene is as far as I'm concerned

When the Willie Clancy Summer School and the Irish Traditional Music Archive was set up, teaching became the thing here
The early pupils became teachers and their pupils in their turn are now doing the same - passing it on is spreading like an infection
Ieland has now guaranteed that traditional music will be a feature of community life for several generations
When you can say you are even considering moving in that direction, you can claim that you might have a future in the forseeable future (if it's not too late)
You can stick your superstars - what's happening in the real world and is there enough of it to make a difference is what counts
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:27 AM

Jim lives in county clare which is a stronghold for irish tradtional tunes,played to a very high standard in that respect he is very fortunate


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:21 AM

The industrial songs of Keith Marsden always seem to be present at many of the sessions I attend ~ or even mcee


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:43 AM

Dave put up the number of clubs as proof that the scene was thriving (186) not me - it transpires tat this has dropped to 136 since he first put this up

Good grief, Jim. How often do I need to correct you on this? I did no such thing. Read the article linked here loose

The numbers, which you have wrong again, are not relevant. The point is that it states that the number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s and that decline stabilised in the mid 90s. It also gives the reason for the decline as changing musical and social trends. A far more logical reason than the one you constantly spout.

You say that you do not attend or care about folk clubs and you now demonstrate, once again, that you cannot comprehend what is currently happening on the English Folk scene. Your proclamations are demonstrably so out of touch that they can safely be ignored. But as long as you continue twisting the same points, I shall keep pointing out your folly.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:09 PM

Re Michael Marra: His songs aren't particularly 'folk' in style, but when Barbara Dymock - who's one of the best Scots ballad singers around IMO - sings 'Muggie Shaw' it fits right in with her traditional repertoire.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:02 PM

"Things are looking bad, aren't they !!
Jim"

Not from the UK based lovers of Folk music.

I take it from your comment that being an optimist is what keeps you going


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 03:12 PM

"There are scores of great writers,"
"great" "great" is a subjective term - do they sound like folk si what I thought we were talking about
Some on your list have been writing for decades - I was asked about new songwriters
Are there really only scores - something else that has bombed then
Peggy Seeger published an occasional song book, New City Songster, that ran to twenty volumes and include several hundred new writers - I dare say some are still around
Frankie Armstrong, Phil Colclough Jack Warshaw Sandra Kerr, Brian Pearson, Dick Snell, Doniell Kennedy and Denis Turner were songwriters in The Critics Group - and Ewan and Peggy of course - some of those were among the greatest in Britain, Jack Warshaw in particular
John Pole was associated with the group and earlier on so wer Enoch Kent, Gordon McCulloch Tom Paley and Bobby Campbell
The Critics had regular songwriting evenings and produced some stunning stuff
The Grey Cock in Birmingham was producing its own school of songmakers
Writers like Graem Miles, Eric Bogle, Ed Pickford, Pete Smith and a load from Australia the US, Ireland and America all ..... and many more contributed to   
One of my own personal favourites up to the present is Glaswegian Adam McNoughton

The Critics took songwriting a stage further when they produced half a dozen annual 'Living Newspaper' theatrical events at the end of the year which were made up of newly written songs and sketches
They also wrote and performed a Radio Ballads for Schools based on Romeo and Juliet and set in London's East End
The criteria for all these songs as far as I was concerned was that they didn't stick out like a dose of clap in a seminary during an evening of folk songs

Only scores, you say..... hm
Bit of a come down and I'll bet at least half of them have sfa todo with folk song
Things are looking bad, aren't they !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 03:07 PM

Dick wrote: -
places where like minded pewople can get to know each other

I was at it a long time, of course, but I could point him to a number of happily married couples who delight in telling me that they met at our folk club.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM

I love the songs that the late Michael Marra wrote. You would never call him a folk singer but he was clearly able to capture the voice of the Scottish working man in his songs and he could be very funny. I booked him quite a number of times. When I interviewed him for an article, he talked about the wide variety of work that made up his performing career - concerts, theatre shows, television and radio, mainstream and folk festivals.
I asked him what sort of venue he liked best. Without hesitation, he said "Folk Clubs! You get the highest quality of listener there and even if it's not what they are used to you always have a totally attentive audience. They are so intimate and there are always people wanting to talk to you at the end. They don't want to just say 'Great' or 'Lovely evening'; they ask really sensible and searching questions. I love that!"

I don't think the subject of audience quality has come up in this long thread before.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:47 PM

vic has made an important point folk clubs can be clubs places where like minded pewople can get to know each other, an aspect that is often neglected but can be a way of building up a support that does not necessarily rely on big stars pulling in crowds


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for the last few posts. Very interesting and let's try to continue in this productive manner

I'll post more later as posting on the phone is a bit of a pain. I'll list some of those songwriters who I believe write in the folk tradition - I'm happy with that description if it keeps us out of arguments :-)


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