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

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


listening to floor singers

harvey andrews 02 Aug 02 - 02:46 PM
Dave Swan 02 Aug 02 - 03:11 PM
treewind 02 Aug 02 - 03:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Aug 02 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Aug 02 - 03:19 PM
Jeri 02 Aug 02 - 03:24 PM
The Shambles 02 Aug 02 - 03:27 PM
harvey andrews 02 Aug 02 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Ballyholme 02 Aug 02 - 04:33 PM
Paddy Plastique 03 Aug 02 - 07:00 AM
alanabit 03 Aug 02 - 07:11 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Aug 02 - 07:14 AM
Clinton Hammond 03 Aug 02 - 10:00 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 03 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM
GUEST 03 Aug 02 - 01:56 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Aug 02 - 01:58 PM
Peter Kasin 03 Aug 02 - 02:31 PM
harvey andrews 04 Aug 02 - 07:22 AM
pavane 04 Aug 02 - 08:12 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Aug 02 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 04 Aug 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Les B(UK) 04 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM
harvey andrews 04 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Aug 02 - 02:36 PM
open mike 04 Aug 02 - 03:24 PM
Salty reel 04 Aug 02 - 03:51 PM
The Shambles 05 Aug 02 - 02:18 AM
Blackcatter 05 Aug 02 - 02:29 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 AM
pavane 05 Aug 02 - 08:00 AM
Folkie 05 Aug 02 - 08:33 AM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM
Hecate 05 Aug 02 - 09:46 AM
harvey andrews 05 Aug 02 - 02:33 PM
The Shambles 05 Aug 02 - 02:51 PM
harvey andrews 05 Aug 02 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Ballyholme 05 Aug 02 - 03:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Aug 02 - 03:59 PM
pavane 05 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM
harvey andrews 05 Aug 02 - 04:42 PM
The Shambles 05 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 02:46 PM

As in a lot of UK clubs some floor singers did their bit before her act. She did listen to the locals, unlike some 'super stars' who think they are 'super stars'

This appeared on the Isla thread and made me think.I must admit I rarely sit in an audience before I perform. Firstly I've driven a long distance sitting down, maybe up to two hundred miles, I've done a sound check and hopefully a thoughtful organiser will have a sandwich or two and a coffee for me after the drive. If there's a room for artists I'll use it to eat, change,tune, loosen fingers, warm up voice etc, but if there isn't I might go for a walk around the local vicinity, humming to myself to warm up, loosen up and get concentrated after the drive and the sound check.I'll generally stand at the back of the room for a while before I go on to feel out the atmosphere and the audience. Now, does this make me a sufferer from "super star" syndrome or a good professional?
It does show how easy it is in the folk field where we have such close proximity to people to create a wrong impression or to confirm someone's prejudice when you have no idea you're doing it. This complaint could not apply to an artist appearing at a theatre or any venue with a stage or changing rooms
What do other performers think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Dave Swan
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:11 PM

For me it's not a question of super star syndrome or good professional, it's what you can accomodate and still deliver the performance you've been hired to provide.

If, once you've recovered from the drive and warmed up, you can find the time to listen to a floor singer or two, there are some advantages. It allows you to get a feel of the room, as you said. In addition you may hear a song you'll want to learn, and you may make a friend of someone who preceeds you on the floor.

I've always been impressed with featured singers who take time to hear what the locals have to offer. I've been grateful to featured singers who have listened to me, and on the occasions when I was the featured performer, listening in has allowed me a conversational opener with some of those who've preceeded me.

As you say, it is easy to create the wrong impression without the slightest idead you're doing it. Listening to a floor singer or two is an easy way, I think, to create a good impression.

Best, Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: treewind
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:14 PM

In a theatre or other type of performance, there is no audience-based performance to listen to so that argument has no application.

Folk clubs *are* different. They are not concert venues: consider why they are called clubs and the invited performers are called guests.

I can think of many of the best professional folkies who always listen to the other performers. Pete Coe always stands at the back and listens. I have known many not only listen carefully to floor spots but comment favourably on them afterwards if they thought fit. John Kirkpatrick, Alastair Anderson, Martyn Wyndham-Read spring to mind immediately in my experience.

There are lost of benefits to doing this too.
You know if somebody else has already done a song that you were going to do (this happens!)
You find aout what sort of an audience is there, what the atmosphere is like, whether they like to sing choruses, all that sort of thing - I'm sure you'd agree thet reading your audience is a 'professional' thing to do.
Pete Coe claims to have learned some of his songs form floor singers at his gigs.

... and best of all for myself and Mary Humphreys, we wouldn't have got dragged into performing at Martyn Wyndham-Read's "Song Links" concert at Sidmouth next week if it hadn't been for Martyn hearing us do floor spots at two local folk clubs recently!

At gigs we usually try to arrive with plenty of time to relax, warm up etc before starting, have a beer and chat with the organisers etc. We might diaappear out of earshot to tune intruments before we go on, but that's a minor practical detail.

Still, do what you have to - we're all different and your approach may be the only thing that works for you.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:18 PM

What exactly is a floor singer?? It's a term I'm unfamiliar with...

As far as pre-gig routine, well, what ever works for ya mate!

When I'm going to see someone, I don't really expect to see them before the show... That's what break, and afterwards are for...

When I'm playing that kind of show, (as opposed to a pub gig) my training in the theatre kicks in, and I feel really weird if the audience sees me before the show... So I lay low... pace the stage if I can, or just chill in the green room...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:19 PM

The Foyle Folk Club doesn't usually have guest performers, but when we do often the locals play and sing in-between sets from the guest. I think the visitors enjoy hearing us!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:24 PM

Back when there were folk performers at the place we have our Fri night mixed sessions, some would sit in on tunes or sing songs before their gigs, and some wouldn't. I don't think those of us in the session had any problems with the ones who didn't join us. We just figured their heads weren't in it. Maybe they needed to unwind or just concentrate on their gig. It depends on the individual. Maybe they weren't group-oriented. It's awful hard to judge a person based on what you don't know about them!

I can also understand some performers having a very strong reaction to less that good players. If what makes people happy is getting another person to do something they don't want to do just to satisfy them - well, it's about control and not about fun anymore.

I wouldn't think you're suffering from "superstar syndrome," and whether what you DO do is the sign of a good professional - well, it may be the sign of a good professional Harvey Andrews.   


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:27 PM

Many paid artists do indeed listen to floor singers. It would be nice if everyone listened to floor singers, including and especially other floor singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 04:03 PM

Good replies one and all. I do think that "what works for you" is what it's all about. The point I was making is that obviously some people make judgements about an individual's approach to their work that can be prejudicial and unwarranted.Also I find the stress of driving to gigs now on our vastly overcrowded roads takes me a long time time to lose. I cannot, like the audience, relax with a drink,as I drive home after a gig on the empty night roads, so a quiet half hour or a good walk do the trick and get me in best shape for doing my job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 04:33 PM

I ran a folk club in Northern Ireland which was particularly well endowed with regular floor singers. Some guests made it their business to listen to the regulars, some didn't. My conclusion was that it was good politics for guests to listen. An obvious willingness to be part of the club was appreciated by the audience and usually gave the guest a flying start.

I do, however, understand Harvey's point that after a long journey some peace and quiet to get yourself together is necessary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:00 AM

Clinton, In a Folk Club setting, often most of the participation comes from the 'audience' or members - with guests as an occasional luxury. 'Floor singers' are singers from the audience who sing in a song circle type of way before, after or in-between the guests.
Dunno if it's English specific to this side of the Atlantic - but 'the floor' is also used in meetings - as in 'speaker from the floor'. There is therefore no connection between levels of booze consumption among your average folkie (as some might suspect).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:11 AM

I can't disagree with anything I've read here - either from Harvey or the other contributors. On occasion I have found that it is useful to know what has happened in the room before I've gone on. It can give me a bit of an edge to know what has already been sung and said and to know how the audience is moving.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:14 AM

Very interesting thread, Harvey. I thought that maybe there'd be an argument about what makes someone a "floor" singer. Guess it's a "foreign" term. Over here, I've also never heard the term "guest" singer. I've always heard people who sing before the main act "Opening" acts. I seem to agree with all the comments in this thread, so far. Not often that I do that. I can understand how you feel, and I like to have at least a few minutes alone before I go on... not so much to tune my guitar, but to relax and loosen up (and remember that in the long run, performing is not a life threatening situation.) I've seen this from both sides. I haven't had opening acts most of the time, and I haven't been an opening act often. It's just worked out that way. I've always listened to the opening act, but that may be because I ran a folk concert series for so long, and always liked to hear "new" people.

The first time I played at a large festival, I was kinda hoping that some of the performers I'd booked would want to hear me. If they did, they didn't. It wasn't until I'd been to a few folk festivals that I realized it wasn't a lack of interest... they werejust sitting around talking with old friends, or having a few drinks. In other situations, they might indeed have been curious to hear me. To the other ext4reme, the first time that I booked Gordon Bok, he came back to our apartment afterward and kept asking me to play one song after another until all hours of the morning. It was very encouraging to me, as I had barely performed and was a long way from cutting my first album.

A few weeks ago, my gospel quartet opened for the Dixie Hummingbirds. I had a lot of time to talk with them before the concert started and they were all very approachable and friendly. But, they disappeared before we did our set, and I was mildly disappointed because we did one of the songs that I wrote that I thought they might well be interested in doing. But, I'm with you, Harv. I didn't think for a moment that they were being "Stars." Maybe out seeing them to catch their breath, but surely not suffering from any feelings of superiority. If I ever open for you, feel free to go out for a walk and miss my set. I'll be singing to the floor.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 10:00 AM

Ta PP...

I kinda figured that's what it was, but I was after the exact details...

I've been in a few folk clubs, and ya... floor singers as you describe 'em, I've not seen before...

"Opening Acts" ya...

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for the definition, Plastique. As with clinton, I've never heard it before. Makes sense. We've always called the people coming up from the audience, Open Mics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:56 PM

For floor singers, read- unpaid warm up acts who are invited or who ask (depending on local rules) to perform. In Yorks it used to be how you became known,so that people would book you if they thought you good enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:58 PM

Folks what sings at Open mics aren't necessarily opening for anyone. That's more of a cattle call. Opening acts "open" for a "main" act. Ya gotta love Mudcat. Everything needs to be defined. Define love. :-)

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:31 PM

In the two folk clubs I've been to, floor singers were allowed two songs. At San Francisco's Castle Folk Club, there were several "house" floor singers who would open for the main act, and sometimes other singers were phoned up a few weeks before and asked to do a couple of songs to open.

I agree with all the advantages of listening, but if a particular performer feels that doing so would hinder their performance because of tiredness, or because they need to concentrate on their set beforehand, forcing oneself to listen would be a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul. So, the bottom line I'd say is: do what works for you to maximize your performance. So there's no misunderstanding, you might want to tell the venue/club leader that you need some time alone before the gig because of those reasons. If you have the time and energy after the gig, that might be a good time to go off for a pint and some songs with the locals for a post-gig party.

Chanteyranger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 07:22 AM

"If you have the time and energy after the gig, that might be a good time to go off for a pint and some songs with the locals for a post-gig party."

Now that's another question!! it's exactly the "let's party" way of life that did for a couple of fine pros I knew and counted as my friends. In Britain the distance between gigs and home for me is hardly ever more than 200 miles so it's guitar in the boot (trunk)and head off home for me. I definitely think this approach has cost me work as the most hardworking couple of pros in the business in the UK travel everywhere by train and stay over, thereby establishing a network of friends who book them (they're also bloody good too!!). Very sensible if you can handle all that sociability and eschew the drink.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: pavane
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 08:12 AM

Interesting to note that 'floor singer' is a UK only concept? I suppose we don't use the term 'open mic' as most clubs (in my experience, over the last 30 years) don't use any PA.

In my experience, the most common structure is for the 'resident' to open with a couple of songs. Selected floor singers, i.e. volunteers, get a couple of songs each if time permits. Then the main act ('guest') closes the first 'half'. The same structure repeats for the second 'half'.

On a singer's night, there is no guest, and this is the time when a floor singer not known at the club gets the best chance to perform.

But there are variations. One club I used to go to, the Bull at Blackmore, Essex, NEVER had 'guests'.

Similarly, when I was involved, many years ago, with folk clubs in Dubai and Sharjah, there were no professional guests, and we had to rely solely on amateur performers (many of whom were very good). We had almost everything from banjo-pickers to Flemish bagpipes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 10:07 AM

I'd like to say a word on behalf of the "main" act performers. Having run a concert series for a long time, and having performed for awhile myself, I understand the need that some performers have for privacy. I have long-time, dear friends who I've booked for concerts, or who have visited me who have never stayed in my home. And I've never felt offended by it. They've felt the need to be by themselves before and after a concert. They may well want to sit in the kitchen and talk for hours before the retire to their own privacy, and they may be warm, sociable people. But, performing is draining. Carrying a whole evening by yourself, with just a guitar is something that singers like Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley would have found too intimidating. When you're up there on stage for an evening, you are the focus of every eye and ear in the house. That can really suck the strength out of you, even with the most enthusiastic, receptive audience. You need time to prepare for that level of emersion, and many performers need to be alone before they perform. It's not so much to "tune up" as to calm your heart and relax. Thank God that instruments need to be tuned! It gives a "reason" to be alone for awhile.

Most of the time, performers have driven a long distance, often in heavy traffic, on unfamiliar roads and street and haven't had a minute to relax by the time they get to their "gig." You need time to detoxify from the drive, and for many performers that means being alone. It's much the same after the performance. You need time to unwind, and not be the focus of everyone's attention. That may be the time when the host and hostess and audience most want to sit around and jam, but sometimes the performer just isn't up to it. Not even the most sociable person.

So, cut a little slack for performers. As someone once said, they drive for a living and stop to sing every once in awhile. It takes a lot out of you.

Sometimes folks just need to be quiet and unnoticed...

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 11:06 AM

"If you have the time and energy after the gig, that might be a good time to go off for a pint and some songs with the locals for a post-gig party."

Point taken, Harvey. A well known Irish performere once told me that wether or not an artist got a return gig at a club depended not so much on his performance at the club but more on how well he performed at the organizer's house after the gig.

I know that some club organizers have tended to assume that booking a guest meant having the guest entertain their friends after hours. They tend to forget that while their club meets once a week, the performer is doing his job day in day out (if they're lucky),


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST,Les B(UK)
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM

Some very interesting points in this thread. While I sympathise with Harvey, I can see the other side of the situation.
Treewind makes some good points, especially emphasising 'Folk Clubs' which seem to a unknown quantity too our American friends.
In my experience most folk clubs I have visited are run by a resident group or panel of resident singers. When there are no guests booked these artists form the backbone of the evenings entertainment supplemented by 'floor singers'. ie:- anyone who wants to have a go. When a guest is booked they 'fill around' the paid Artist. At some clubs they allow floor singers on guest nights, at some not.
Concets & P.A's were mentioned in this thread, most folk clubs are not concerts & a lot of clubs don't have a P.A. but clubs are so varied, I can think of two clubs in the N.W. of England which typify such diversity.
One I consider more of a concert venue because they have no involvement with the audience (no floor singers, ever, & big names every week) & another very small club which books artists occasionally.
Whatever the type of club, if a Artist turns up, dissapears , and then arrives back just in time to do their spot, I feel this could ailienate an audience and doesn't give the artist a chance to evaluate the mood of the audience or see what type of music is played there ie:- trad or contemorary or a mixure. Therefore both the artist & audience have less time to create an empathy with each other.
The artists which Treewind refer to are good examples, to which must be added the Boss Man himself Martin Carthy, not only a supreme proffesional but a valuable member of the audience.
Cheers
Les Brown


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM

Jerry makes good points as does guest Ballyholme. I should point out that I did say I spend some time at the back of the room before going on once I've attended to all the other needs! One point I would make is that as soon as one gig is finished I feel the pro is then obligated to the next gig and audience, and must do whatever is right to be able to turn up on top form for them.Partying the night before and giving another concert is not good preparation, particularly when in ones late 50's!
I think this thread has been very useful in making the point that an artist can be judged on criteria he/she has no idea are being applied.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 02:36 PM

Me,personally, I like to get to know people who run the concert before I get up on stage. On the occasion when I have an opening act, I like to hear them, too. It's just what I enjoy... not right or wrong. But then, I don't do 300 gigs a year as some friends of mine have. Then, you have to put your own emotional and physical survival ahead of everything else, as Harvey points out. It's no wonder if it seems at times like the busiest performers go onto auto pilot sometimes. Or that they are heavy drinkers. How would you like it if you had a whole room full of people staring at you every night? Sometimes the people who are most critical of performers not wanting to jam after the concert are those who are too terrified to get up on stage to do a single song at an open mike.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: open mike
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 03:24 PM

i thought it was maybe someone who had fallen of their stool and sang from the floor! At some "open mike" events participants sign up for a time slot of a certain length others are more free form.. our folk society holds a circle where folks take turns going around the circle and choosing or requesting a tune or song for everyone to join in on.. other times it is a casual jam atmosphere.. terminology differs, eh?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Salty reel
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 03:51 PM

This thread is so good it could be turned into a book or as Harvey started it maybe a song. Being realistic, there's folk clubs, and then there's yer super folk clubs where they raise the roof from start to finish. At the latter the guests sit in the audience because they can't stand missing out on the wonderful time that everyone is having. At the former, well, ho hum, just another gig.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:18 AM

I think this thread has been very useful in making the point that an artist can be judged on criteria he/she has no idea are being applied.

I think it has been equally useful in making the surprising point that artists would be really unaware of this!

If one had been chating to members of the audience and when it came to their performance, these members made themselves scarce, it may lead the artist to question why. Especially as they would have exprssed their interest in the type of music being made, by taking the time and trouble to come.

In a folk club setting, the best ones remain the ones where there is no apparent real divide between artist and audience. This may be unrealistic, if it appears to been seen that the artist views it as just another night, like the night before and like the next one. So is this too much to ask of the professional artist? ....Possibly yes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Blackcatter
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:29 AM

If you're worried about having "super star" syndrome - you probably don't have it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 AM

A folk music star? Isn't that an oxymoron? :-)

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: pavane
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 08:00 AM

As an amateur (mostly), it has always been appreciated by me that the professional guest at the clubs has been approachable, not least for advice.

Those that I remember pestering (over a period of 30 years) include Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Tony Hall, Tony Rose, Maddy Prior, Dis Disley, John Foreman, Alistair Anderson, Dave & Toni Arthur, and probably many others too. And I do not remember anyone who has ever (appeared to) resent this. Polite and helpful, all of them.

(Harvey, I have only seen you once, in concert in Swansea, somewhere about 1972? But I can't remember much about the night.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Folkie
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 08:33 AM

What Harvey doesn't seem to realise is that there is a world of difference between a folk club booking and a concert booking. If he doesn't want to be an integral part of the club atmosphere, he should stick to concerts. As has been said earlier, Pete Coe, Martin Carthy, Brian Peters and many others always participate fully in any folk club where they are the invited guests and give the floorsingers every encouragement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM

These last two posts are way off beam.

Harvey is perfectly approachable, and I have never found him to be stand-offish, leastways not at any of the Scottish club gigs at which I have met him.

I do get the impression he doesn't suffer fools gladly, however. And why should he?

This thread is basically about effective time-management, which is, unfortunately, something of a rarity in the folk world.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Hecate
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:46 AM

I think there's a 'geographical' element too - some venues don't have green rooms, or even nice bars you can lurk in to collect yourself pre-gig, leaving guests with little choice other than to sit in. (The bar below our club room is always a fug of tobacco smoke for example.) As a gig organiser, I prefer it if guests sit in because I know where they are, and floor spots aren't always as long as you thought they were going to be. It does give the guest a chance to get a feel for the club - in the past that has proved to be an advantage. Generally though, if it works for the guest and doesn't make my life too difficult, I'm all in favour of them doing whatever suits them best.

I'd agree that Pete Coe is superb when it comes to audiences - jamming with people in the beer break, taking the time to encourage people - not everyone's style I realise, but very welcome.

As for the after gig party, I will confess a fondness for trying to drag unwitting peformers back to my house so that I can experiment on them with home made wine (cue evil laughter.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:33 PM

(Harvey, I have only seen you once, in concert in Swansea, somewhere about 1972? But I can't remember much about the night)
No, I can't remember much about 1972 either! I think it was 1973,when I did a concert in Swansea on 20th November with Steeleye Span. Ring a bell? As to;
"What Harvey doesn't seem to realise is that there is a world of difference between a folk club booking and a concert booking. If he doesn't want to be an integral part of the club atmosphere, he should stick to concerts" I have been playing folk clubs since 1964. I think they have changed in that time, there were much bigger audiences then, there were many more of them, the audience was young and not fanatical folkies, just a generation after a good night out. Nowadays the smaller audiences in many clubs are much more made up of singers themselves, each with a particular area of interest or a particular axe to grind.It is much more difficult to please everybody than it used to be!
You seem to have got the wrong end of my stick. I'm not here to defend myself , I'm just curious as to how people make judgements and what they base those judgements on. Personally I only want to be judged on my performance and my ability to deliver a memorable night to my audience, whoever they are, and that's the only judgement I'm willing to make about anyone who has the courage to get up there and do it, be they floor singers or pros.
I'm not very good at joining in or jamming, being not one of the great guitarist and a singer of only my own songs. If I did that I'd probably be accused of being big-headed! Seems you can't win with some people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:51 PM

I don't think that anyone (on this thread) is accusing anyone of anything but the original point has set us thinking.

I would prefer that everyone listened to everyone else. Guests could certainly set a good example to the few ego driven floor singers, who consider that they are so talented that they do not have anything to learn from listening to anybody. But the choice to get involved in anything other than just playing their set, is up to the artist and it is rather unfair to expect them to do anything more or to criticise them if they do not.

I would consider if bad form if that did not take part in the important business of the evening. I refer of course to the drawing of the raffle! *Smiles*

It must be admitted that listening to many floor singers can be a little tiresome, if not sometimes even a painful experience. Maybe the answer is to improve the quality of these performances, so that no one would want to miss any part of the evening. Not too sure how this can be done, any suggestions?

I would say that it is still a great buzz for even the most experienced of performers to see someone they themselves appreciate, watching them perform and even joining in. I suspect it would be the same for floor singers and support acts?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:31 PM

"Guests could certainly set a good example to the few ego driven floor singers, who consider that they are so talented that they do not have anything to learn from listening to anybody."
A good point. I can't count the number of times club regulars have performed and then headed downstairs for the bar when I go on.And I've seen it happen to other artists of different musical persuasions I have gone specifically to see. Or, as recently happened, actually ostentatiously pack their guitar beside me after my introduction and leave!
I once stood at the bar with a pint as a floor singer made disparaging remarks about me, even though he didn't recognise me, and had obviously never seen me perform.
I'm afraid we have to accept that there are always mean spirited people about, but the folk world I've worked in doesn't have too many of them thank God, and such incidents are indeed rare. And after a few thousand gigs it's hard to have to sit through songs you've heard a few hundred times before.
Have mercy!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:53 PM

It's a question of balance, I think. The performer has to appreciate that the folk club is probably a big thing in the life of the organizers - something they're proud of, hopefully - and a guest showing an interest in the activities of the club and its residents will be appreciated.

The club organizers also have to appreciate that while they're club is an enjoyable night out once a week, the professional performer is doing his stuff may 3 or 4 times a week. If you book the guest for 2 half hour spots, don't expect him/her/they to be "on" for the complete evening and the almost obligatory after gig party as well. It may not be quite like "a day at the office for them" but at least accept the fact that if they put in a good performance during their own set, that's all you can reasonably ask for. Anything else is a bonus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:59 PM

Many years ago, I did a concert in Boston, where they had a policy of letting people get up and sing before the "main act." The deal was, anyone who sang a couple of songs got in free, and they placed no limit on how many opening acts they had, or the number of songs they did. At first, I was pleased that I'd drawn a good-sized crowd, because I wasn't all that well known and had never sung in Boston. After each performer got up and did their songs they packed up their guitar and left. I don't remember how many performers got up, but it was at least eight or ten, and when they left, they took their friends with them. One performer got up and did a half hour's worth of songs... almost a full set. As the room emptied, I realized that I was getting a percentage of the gate with no guarantee and it looked like everyone who came just came to sing and din't have to pay to get in. A friend of mine who I hadn't seen in a long time broke away from another engagement to come and hear me, but even though the concert was supposed to start at 8, it was almost ten before they took a break before I started my first set. My friend, and one other friend both had to leave before I even sang. By then, I was so angry I did just one short set to about a dozen people, collected my ten dollars, or whatever the percentage was, and headed out the door myself. How ya like them potatoes, Harvey?

Needless to say, I learned my lesson.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: pavane
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM

Harvey, you are right. It WAS with Steeleye Span. In the Guildhall, I think!

Those were the days (for us oldtimers).

Got the missus out doing the singing now - she is singing in Porthcawl this evening. I'm hoping she can keep me in my old age. But she sings pop - no money to be made in folk!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: harvey andrews
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:42 PM

Oh Jerry!!! Older but wiser now eh! We all did that one early on
" no money to be made in folk!"
Well, something paid for this house and this computer and this car and these guitars and these books and..I could go on..But I do think only the very, very lucky and the exceptionally talented and loved can make a very good living out of anything to do with "folk". All artists have their "pomp" years..it's how they handle them and how they handle their money that sees them set for life or not. A career in folk is very difficult to sustain and hats off to those who have succeeded and ridden the waves of fashionable/not fashionable/ fashionable/ not fashionable that the career seems to be. Those who started back in the 60's have seen it all come and go and come and go again. Quality will always have its followers however and in the end it's quality that survives. No amount of advertising, cd's, magazine articles, radio play etc can convince anyone for long if the quality isn't there. We have one or two artists over here now who have degrees in folk music and marketing and they're having a bit of a pomp period doing all the above, but only those who can touch an audience and move them in some way will be around in ten years time.And if they are, they'll really be worth hearing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: listening to floor singers
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM

Folk may come and folk may go but the raffle must go on!

Without The Song (there's no show)


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

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


Mudcat time: 23 September 7:35 PM EDT

[ Home ]

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