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are folk clubs shite?

GUEST,666 15 Dec 03 - 07:00 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 03 - 07:45 AM
JennyO 15 Dec 03 - 07:46 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Dec 03 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 15 Dec 03 - 07:58 AM
Sweetfia 15 Dec 03 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,mink 15 Dec 03 - 08:06 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 03 - 08:16 AM
JennyO 15 Dec 03 - 08:16 AM
treewind 15 Dec 03 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,COMMENTATOR 15 Dec 03 - 08:25 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Dec 03 - 08:33 AM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Dec 03 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Don't Shoot the Messenger 15 Dec 03 - 08:51 AM
Sandra in Sydney 15 Dec 03 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Jon 15 Dec 03 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Santa 15 Dec 03 - 09:27 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 03 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,John Hills 15 Dec 03 - 09:41 AM
George Papavgeris 15 Dec 03 - 10:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Dec 03 - 11:17 AM
Moses 15 Dec 03 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 15 Dec 03 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 15 Dec 03 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,666 15 Dec 03 - 03:02 PM
Zany Mouse 15 Dec 03 - 03:15 PM
alison 15 Dec 03 - 11:38 PM
Peace 16 Dec 03 - 12:00 AM
breezy 16 Dec 03 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,John Warner 16 Dec 03 - 04:25 AM
Brakn 16 Dec 03 - 05:37 AM
Linda Kelly 16 Dec 03 - 05:52 AM
George Papavgeris 16 Dec 03 - 06:01 AM
freda underhill 16 Dec 03 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Dec 03 - 06:26 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Dec 03 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Santa 16 Dec 03 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Rob 16 Dec 03 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Don't shoot the messenger 16 Dec 03 - 08:52 AM
Leadfingers 16 Dec 03 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 16 Dec 03 - 10:00 AM
red max 16 Dec 03 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,666 16 Dec 03 - 12:43 PM
The Stage Manager 16 Dec 03 - 01:35 PM
alison 16 Dec 03 - 06:00 PM
Charley Noble 16 Dec 03 - 10:49 PM
JennyO 16 Dec 03 - 11:13 PM
poetlady 17 Dec 03 - 01:08 AM
George Papavgeris 17 Dec 03 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Jon 17 Dec 03 - 05:49 AM
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Subject: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,666
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 07:00 AM

somebody started a thread about how to run a folk club successfully.i dont have the answers to that question,but i can relate some of my experiences with people that run clubs in my town. first we have bob,a self appointed expert on everthing, who has decided that only "working" musicians should be paid, and as far as he is concerned only people he knows in his pissant bush music club are "working " musicians.you see bob has never worked as a musician ,he supposedly works as a photogragher during the day .At night he sometimes takes pictures at   bush dances of bands ,which he did on an occasion when i happened to be playing.he then edited me out of the picture because he doesnt consider me a legitimate "folkie".Hitlers propaganda machine has got nothing on him. Then we have sandra , who runs another club , where you are charged ten dollars admission,"to pay the artists"She is so important, that she has decided that it is totally up to her discretion who plays , and who doesnt.she, like bob,has decided that only people she knows are"working musicians" and the other people who might want to perform, are only there to support her ego trip.then we have allison,who runs another club where she waxes lyrical , about her midweek irish session, where she gets paid but nobody else does. you see like bob and sandra she believes that the other musicians should only be there to buy drinks ,and make up the numbers so she will be paid. sound familiar? i could go on about several others , but i think youy get the picture. folk clubs are not there to do anything for you.they are there to inflate the egos of the people that run them.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 07:45 AM

Don't knock shite. If it wasn't for shite, you'd be constipated.

Folk clubs are like any other field of human endeavour, they range from the better than excellent to the worse than, well, shite.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: JennyO
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 07:46 AM

So some of us turned you down, did we? Looks like we made the right decision. These are my friends you are talking about and I know you are wrong. Are you man enough to come out from behind your GUEST handle and say who you are? I doubt it.

Why don't you go and sober up and get a life?

And that's all the troll feeding I'll be doing tonight!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 07:54 AM

Nevertheless, an analysis of how and why many folk clubs are not best serving either the musicians or the punters can only be of value...


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 07:58 AM

Perhaps Folk Clubs are in a Heirachical Meritocratic Society and in any such society someone has to be shite !!!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Sweetfia
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:00 AM

Er, NO, they are not shite


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,mink
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:06 AM

As GUEST says - there are all sorts, good and bad.

However 666 raises an interesting one about those sessions where one person gets paid & the rest turn up and play.

There is a local who runs a bunch of these. Said organiser is a bit variable in quality themself & is generally ratted and incompetent by the end of the night. Said organiser is paid, but the participants get nothing other than the chance to perform a couple of songs/tunes. The sessions are open to all and can include anything from the sublime to the rediculous. The customers in the bars are largely uninterested in folk & probably just want to get on with their drinking & chatting.

If said org did not get paid, then presumably they would not do the organising, and then maybe we'd have nowhere to go and perform. But on the other hand, perhaps if said org had not cornered the market then other things might spring up. I am not sure whether:
a) Said org is making money from our talents & is exploiting us
b) We are fools for going along with it & it serves us right
c) We are talentless ego-trippers making fools of ourselves in front of unwilling audiences.
or
d) Its nice to have somewhere to go and perform, so everything is perfectly fine.

What do you reckon 'catters?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:16 AM

(666 is wrong about the number of the beast, as well. "6 taken to the third degree" BEFORE decimal notation was invented probably meant 6x6x6 = 236)

It is your decision whether or not to play on the terms offered. You are always free to set up your own club.

Also, many years ago, Theodore Sturgeon caused un upset at an SF convention by proclaiming that "90% of SF is crud". But then, he said, 90% of EVERYTHING is crud.

You just have to find the other 10%


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: JennyO
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:16 AM

GUEST 666 is having a go at three friends of mine, all regular mudcatters, who run clubs, and who I know work tirelessly to contribute to the folk community.

I'm surprised he hasn't mentioned me too. As far as making money is concerned, I for one do not make any money out of my folk club. In fact sometimes I am out of pocket, and I try to give as many people as possible a chance to perform.

This is obviously a disgruntled would-be performer with an axe to grind. Let him come out in the open instead of hiding behind the GUEST tag, and I might take him seriously.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:18 AM

In case the innocent haven't noticed, this thread appears to be all about folk clubs in Australia.

There's plenty wrong with folk clubs in England, but in most cases quite different things from what was described in the message at the top of this thread. As for other countries - I'm not even sure if clubs are equivalent in the USA, where similar gigs seem to occur in "house concerts" (rare to nonexistent in the UK) and coffee houses (rare, though a club I know has recently moved to a US-style coffee house near here).

Anyway, in England, especially in the south, the trend has been for folk clubs to have falling attendances, and the average age of the audience (though not the performing guests) is going up - a dying generation.

Two opinions seen recently on that:
(1) a long discussion in news:uk.music.folk started with the suggestion that folk clubs should move out of small dirty rooms at the back of seedy pubs to locations more friendly to civilised human beings (village halls, community centres etc.)
(2) The editor's column in the current "Living Tradition" magazine suggests abolishing folk clubs altogether. Folk singing is for bars and public places (as opposed to closed pub function rooms), and folk dancing is for the streets.

Er... discuss!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,COMMENTATOR
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:25 AM

What about identifying the clubs/sessions etc., in order that we knew which ones and which organisers to avoid?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:33 AM

Why not be positive about identifying and implementing better ways to present traditional music rather than slagging off and infighting?

Anahata has well and truly reopened the can of worms (his turn!). If you care about the music more than your personal pride, discuss rationally then go out and do.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:34 AM

The definite answer is .... probably...


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Don't Shoot the Messenger
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:51 AM

Orpington Folk Club is the only one I can comment on, having been coerced into visiting it by a well meaning folkie.

It was housed in a cold upstairs room, in a not very thriving pub, or rather it was sort of thriving in a "we don't like strangers here" sort of way.

The five or six acts that performed were excruciatingly poor, and definitely fall into the celebrating their own egos category. I visited it a second time, because I could not believe it was so bad, and hoped my first visit was on an unusually weak night. It was equally poor then too.The average age was 50 plus, nothing wrong with that, but where do the future of folk clubs lie?

Sorry to not be more positive, I am sure there are well run clubs out there.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 08:52 AM

Who have I offended?

The same bloke who said a lot of stuff about Bob some time back? Must be a musician who plays in a band BMC booked sometime, otherwise how could Bob have taken photos of him? I say him as most bush musos are male. I'll have to ask Bob (& Alison) - & what's this about buying drinks - Bush Dances do not sell alcohol, nor does the Dog & as Alison's club meets in a Scout Hall, I doubt they do either.

And what is a working musician? I can only think of 2 acts who have appeared at the Dog who make their entire living from music (us not them & Jez Lowe if you are wondering!) The rest have 9to5 jobs outside the music world.

By the way if guest is saying I get paid, I don't - it's only the 2 advertised artists who get paid. I certainly have said we charge entrance cos we pay our artists, & it is up to the MC on the night who gets a floor spot.

Now I'm wondering which performer we rejected which night! Was it the night Charley Noble & Naemanson were booked floor spots?

sandra


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:01 AM

Oh well as I've been on 2 other discussions including umf, I may as well come in on this...

Firstly, I do think folk clubs are important, particularly the singers nights and the oppertunities they give especially to others starting out. Whether they should exist in pubs or other venues is debatable. My own preference is pubs but I see no reason why other venues should not be tried. Overall my feeling on this is that rather than try to decide on a global situation, each club should be taken on it's own situation and merits - I think for example a London club could have different problems to say a small club in North Wales - the type of club I am used to.

I have noticed (or perhaps being paraniod think I have noticed) cliques forming in folkclubs (but perhaps they just happen in life anyway) and have certainly from the organisers side been aware of suggestions of favouritism as well as being part of a resident group, accused sometimes of hogging too much of an evening (though believe me, some nights it can be hard to work out how much you need to fill)... One approach to at least minimise some of those sort of feelings was the one adopted at Conwy - in that case, they used to run a rota of MCs.

As for the payment bit and sessions, I have been on both sides of this - sometimes getting money and/or beer when perhaps someone else hasn't and sometimes being on of the ones who misses out. I've no problem either way with this. My view is I am there for the music and if I'm lucky enough to get a drink or other reward out of it so be it and the same goes for anyone else.

Jon


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:27 AM

The club I go to has a policy of booking roughly three touring guest nights to one local established talent night to one singers night. Guests recently have included Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick and Martin Wyndham Read (now that was a good run!). The greater the guest, the larger the attendance. The first spot is picked by the organiser from among the club's reliable "residents" i.e. attendees who do sing or play to a reasonable (but not professional) standards. Singer's night is partly pre-arranged club members and partly whoever turns up. Attendance is generally lowest on Singer's nights, but they are seen as important to individual club members who want to sing/play. And no, they won't generally perform to professional standards, but I don't think that's the point.

It's that difficult concept of a "club", existing primarily for its members, alongside being a place that presents quality entertainment to a paying audience. Maybe I'm not seeing it clearly, but being a place for outside (i.e. non-regular club attendee) wannabe musos to come and inflict themselves on the population seems to be placed third in our organiser's priorities.

Fortunately, there are a number of local clubs, so there is room for a diversity of talents and approaches to suit different individuals needs.

So my answer is no, folk clubs aren't shite. If they didn't exist, where else would I go to hear folk music? If their audiences are aging, that's because the baby boomers who came in with the 60s folk wave are aging. If there is to be a crisis, it will be because the clubs run out of potential organisers willing to put up with the hassle.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:36 AM

666 - I loved your thread, excellent stuff. I take it that you are in Oz? Fuck 'em all I say. Here in England, in my experience, things are much better. Start your own thing, do it now.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,John Hills
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:41 AM

I sympathise with the correspondents who have experienced
unpleasant evenings in certain clubs but I have visited many clubs in Sussex, Kent, N.London and Essex, been welcomed and enjoyed the entertainment. I accept the point about audience age groups and attendance but perhaps we are seeing part of a process which will, in due course, turn full circle.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 10:51 AM

GUEST,John Hills said:"perhaps we are seeing part of a process which will, in due course, turn full circle".

While I, too, would like to believe that, the truth is that there is no evidence that this is the case - rather the opposite, we are on a downward spiral that only a new "revival" will pull us out of.

Such a "revival" can only be led by youngsters, not by us. And it may well blend in some new music elements, as part of the attraction for the younger generation. How about listening to the latest Metallica ballad for example? And before you cringe at the connotations of the band name, do spend 3 minutes listening to "Nothing else matters" - when my 18 year old daughter played it to me I was bowled over. Now, I would gladly accept some of that as the price for doubling audiences and halving average age at the clubs.

But will such a revival happen anyway? In whose interest is it? What will drive it? Perhaps the record labels, in search of new audiences; or perhaps - I'd like to think so - the young'uns themselves, as they seek self-expression in the passive, non-participatory world of pap thrown at them by the media.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 11:17 AM

Nah - Clubs are OK. It is some of the people who treat you like shite that are a problem;-) And there are artists, organisers and audience in that category!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Moses
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 12:09 PM

Have I just been lucky in my choice of clubs?

My "local", a "traditionally based" singers club which also books guests on a regular basis, tries to encourage performers of all standards (we all have to start somewhere). We are blessed with several talented singer-songwriters and well known performers, so the evenings are often wide-ranging in abilities. Entrance fees are modest on open nights so as to try to encourage new talent. The club is run by committee and everyone has a say in how it is run. Some nights are magic but even the "poorer" ones have a value - even if it is just to "start someone off" in front of a friendly audience. Rremembering the first time I sang there myself - I don't think I would have done it if I hadn't been among such good friends.

A "concert" club I regularly visit is run differently. Supported by "regulars" who do the warm-up spots, it books well known artistes and charges significantly more for the privilage of seeing the "Big Names".

Yet another club, just started, is offering a "spotlight" to anyone who turns up regularly and performs.

As for being paid - no one except the "booked" guests gets paid. We perform because we want to. Perhaps this is different in other Countries, but in the UK this seems to be the norm.

It is the people who run the clubs who make them what they are, and as has been said many times, "there's nowt as queer as folks"!

You pays your money and takes your choice.

If you don't like what you find, try another club - or start one yourself. So no, they are not shite but they are certainly all different!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 12:13 PM

Clubs are ok but you better not be critical of any of Jennyo's friends or you'll be yelled at for being a.........GUEST..how dare you .


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 02:07 PM

One problem is that the term "folk club" covers everything from concerts with major guests, pre booked support acts and no floor spots through to singarounds with half a dozen people who have no interest in entertaining an audience.

Some are superb, for some to be shite would be an improvement. The trouble is that you don't know which is which before hand. It is an unfortunate fact of life that customers are more likely to tell people about disappointments than about the good things.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,666
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 03:02 PM

come out from behind my guest tag?Why?so you can have me executed?banned from folk clubs,for having an opinion?
Welcome to the folk goosesteppers ball! "you have insulted my friends" Of course they are your friends.You are all part of the same ego tripping clique.The truth is that anyone who doesnt grovel to people like you, cant really be a performer of any substance can they?.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 03:15 PM

666. Aptly named I think. For goodness sake - grow up. If you don't like folk clubs, and/or this forum, then the answer is simple - JUST STAY AWAY!

Zany Mouse


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: alison
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 11:38 PM

so you sobered up after your bottle of wine did you?

I make no money from the folk club, I run it because I like to see people enjoying themselves playing music, and my club is a bit different because we have all levels of performers from complete beginners, (gives them somewhere they can try out in a supportive atmosphere), to professional musicians.

yes I get paid (along with a few others) to run a midweek Irish session... I've never made any secret of getting paid, thats how most of the Irish sessions run... they have a core of musos who turn up to keep the thing going,

"she believes that the other musicians should only be there to buy drinks ,and make up the numbers so she will be paid. sound familiar? "

wrong, I'll get paid whether they turn up or not, being a muso is my job therefore I get paid.

the other musos don't have to turn up, but they do because they enjoy the chance to play music midweek on a night when they otherwise wouldn't be doing anything, and I for one am grateful for their support. they (and I) all turn up on tuesday at Hornsby for another Irish session where no one gets paid.

no one forces them to come along, if they didn't turn up the session would happen anyway


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 12:00 AM

I played a variety of clubs when I worked in music. Some clubs were better than others. Gerde's (in New York) was a dream Mike Porko ran it, and he was good to the people who played there. Mike Regenstrief ran the Golem in Montreal and he was a performer's dream as a club manager. We were always treated fairly. Sam Hood at The Gaslight (in New York) was great to work for, as was Chuck Baker at The Yellow Door in Montreal. I have also worked for a few assholes in my life (and I've been one myself more often than I'd care to admit). No, all clubs are not run by vampires. Therefore, find the good ones and only work there. Frig the others.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: breezy
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 04:21 AM

bad gigs make it harder for good gigs to be successful and get us negative image, and in England this image is a curse.

If folk pay to go in then it should be a better standard than the walk-in free-bees.

They expect their money's worth, and as an organiser you want to attract them back.

If a landlord is paying then it must be worth his while.

As a muso you must be able to carry a whole evening single handed, 3 hours or more, and be entertaining.

Its your gig, you have to balance up the needs of all and if some would-be performers are a risk to the event then they will probably not feature.Easy to judge by the numbers that walk away. I've seen festival performers clear a singaround!!


Spoon away.
No insulting each other unless its mutual catty banter.

All performers have egos, but not all musicians.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,John Warner
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 04:25 AM

I'm John Warner and I admit to the fact. The problem we face with large audience folk gatherings is that the inexperienced or inept performer can ruin an evening for an audience. I have enjoyed the occasionally massive and always good chorus singing at the Loaded Dog on many occasions, regardless of who runs it. I've seen all sorts of oddments get up and sing long, monotonous and badly accompanied songs at The Dog, North by Northwest, rarely at Almost Accoustic because Margaret Walters spends herself to exhaustion to ensure the best, but occasionally one slips through. JennyO at North by Northwest is especially open and tolerant of some occasionally barbarous performers.

The Glengarry Castle singing session used to be a good place for all and sundry to sing and be heard free of charge. Such sessions are hard to find, but we're working on it. No folk club I know of is shite, they are rather places where dedicated people struggle under adversity to cover the rent, provide the tea and coffee, organize the focal performer and juggle the floorspot requirements to meet the needs of twenty or so egos.
Folk Music, as a fairly minority preference, needs all the support it can get. Its true leadership do not deserve the abuse recently heaped upon them, but the support and approval of those of us who have shared in their work.

John Warner


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Brakn
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 05:37 AM

GUEST,666 Why don't you start your own club?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 05:52 AM

the clbs I attend are excellently run. We have singers and musician nights where everyone who comes pays £1 which goes towards publicity, Xmas party etc. If a professional musician turned up on these nights he would not be paid. Booked artists are paid and have an evening to themselves and the ticket prices will range dependant on their fee. So Bob Dylan, if your listening, if you come on a singers/muician night you won't be paid-but we would be glad to have you!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 06:01 AM

Come on folks, let's not honour 666's sour grapes with any more merit than it deserves. Anyone starting a thread with a generalisation ("are folk clubs shite?") is not worth talking about.
Whoops - was that a generalisation?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: freda underhill
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 06:21 AM

it's weird to hear people who run folk clubs called an "elite". but I guess any group that you feel outside of could be seen as an "elite".

personally, I like those folk clubs - i prefer teddy bears to teddy boys, any time.

there are different streams of music in the folk scene - festivals and sessions are a place where those streams can cross over.

666 - why not get your feet wet and come to the session at the Birchgrove in Balmain, 1st & 3rd tuesdays of each month. most of us can't count, so we won't know who you are!

fred


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 06:26 AM

Well I came in as I felt some sense was being talked by some posters, not to honour 666. Outside MC, I "know" Sandra and Jenny as regular and nice contributers to the Annexe and Alison from wider "meetings" including visiting her room on Paltalk. I've been ignoring 666.

I think the last comment addressed to 666 ("GUEST,666 Why don't you start your own club?") does make sense though. There can be times where for whatever reason you are unhappy with what you find in your local folk world and to provide something extra and different is not a bad option. It certainly beats griping or trying to change others, others who may quite reasonably enjoying what they do - I don't believe there is a single right way for a folk club or a session though I do have my preferences...

Jon


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 06:40 AM

Linda, speaking as someone who was once under instructions not to let that American Bob in any more without paying, I'm glad to hear your entry policy is more welcoming.

Needless to say, I never charged BD, nor Paul Simon to whom the same injunction was later directed.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 07:48 AM

John, I don't really feel that an evening is "ruined" by one bad performer doing a short floor spot. Just shrug your shoulders and get a nice warm feeling at how charitable you are being to the poor fool.

I can think of times when I've had an evening made memorable by just one particular song.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 08:06 AM

666 has every right to pose his question - albeit the heading may well have been better considered.

Folk/music clubs/sessions could well be a starting point for *unknown* musicians/performers to begin a career, and, add to our musical heritage - after all, someone has to try to stop the; Karaeoke,
and big screen football rot.

Having said that, it is very difficult to overcome the inertia of the "it's aye been" mentality of both organisers and regulars at *certain* clubs.

O.K, book the well known acts - but also book the "unknown" acts,
and pay them at least their travel expenses and lodgings, you never know - their brand of music, verse whatever may tempt more and different people into the circle.

By the way, i'm speaking from experience - trying to get a bite of the circuit cherry!

Oh yes, regarding floor spots, everyone has to start (and sometimes finish) somewhere. don't be too rough with them - have the decency to discuss ways of improving (if at all possible) their skills, however, if that fails recommend they attend a nearby karaeoke venue!

Finally, there is no such thing as "Trolling" it's an excuse sad, intolerant, helpless people use.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Don't shoot the messenger
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 08:52 AM

Very interesting points above, by many posters, guests and otherwise.

Someone, sorry not to remember who, pointed out that if these clubs charge the public admission, they should ensure the entertainment is of a suitable standard to satisfy the paying punter. Which was exactly my problem with my couple of visits to Orpington Folk Club...had I been in someones sitting room, and one of the performers had picked up the accoustic and started to sing, I would have been appreciative of their talent and their capacity to share it. However if the same person took the floor infront of a fee paying audience, then they are as open to criticism as any performer. Is there another genre of music where the musicians are paid to practise infront of an audience in the local pub, and expect to be applauded for doing so. I know we all have to start somewhere, but I have never had my Sunday Lunchtime drink interrupted by someone murdering a violin.

I have found that by paying that bit extra to see quality acts at respected venues, I am rarely dissappointed. I know beforehand the calibre of the artist, and on the occasions that I have not heard of them, I am ressured by the fact that for a particular venue to give them a spot, means they have proved their worth somewhere.

It is a shame that this may mean some excellent unknowns will fall by the wayside, because others like myself will not take the chance on seeing unknowns? No answer to that one really except, the good usually come to the fore.

From the publican's point of view, the space they occupied in Orpington was not suitable for "regular drinkers"....ie upstairs, cold and lacking ventilation. So at least he gets some payment for the otherwise d actsunused floorspace.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 09:17 AM

As a Serious Paid Muso , ex Folk Club Organiser and regular Floor singer at any local club I can get to I think I am entitled to my Twopennorth.

Firstly , as a Club Organiser (never been paid for doing it) you are
dependant on whoever turns up to fill the time that the guest artist
is NOT doing. This can often mean putting on floor singers who are
not particularly good,But without them would the club survive as a
financially viable entity?

I have never come across any club which offered any inducement to singers (other than,in the old days,reduced admission) so they are all volunteers offering their services.

As a Gigging Muso I do a lot of Non Folk Club work,but do the occasional Club Booking and am often Well Impressed at the standard of Floor singers though some clubs are better than others in this respect.

Also,some clubs are better run than others some more welcoming than others,and some dont deserve the audience support that they DO get.

Just bear in mind that one of the VERY few places a budding muso can
get any kind of exposure these days is in folk clubs - Unless the said muso is in a position to PAY to PLAY,which is the state of affairs in most NON folk venues.

In UK we are fortunate in that there are a lot of places for a folkie to go, and I have no experiance of the scene in Australia,but agree
with the suggestion to 666 that if he/she thinks its so easy,then go
and start your own club and see what it really like,trying to keep all those disparate egos happy.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 10:00 AM

I go to folk clubs or any other sort of 'roots' event music primarily because I like the music. Folk music, music for the people by the people, it's meant to have commitment and rough edges!    Secondly I like the informal atmosphere, essentially people are doing it because they like to do it, and because they care about the songs or the tradition. Nobody is going to grow obscenely rich on the folk club circuit, and for me that is a very, very good thing. The moment 'Folk Idol' starts I'm off.

As a part of this I accept and celebrate the fact that a number of performers are going to be amateur or just starting out. That is part of the appeal. Also I get all this for a sum of money that is a fraction of that I would pay at a gig in the local theatre or arena, backed by the financial muscle of a record label that professes to be interested in music.   

I think 'folk clubs' should have a focus more on the songs and the music than 'performers'. A 'good' performer, in my book , is one that has a commitment to his/her music.   If someone cares about their music, then they're likely to turn in a performance that is as good as they can make it. I don't think we can ask more than that of anyone.

Perhaps a shite folk club is one where the performers think they are more important than the music or songs they are performing? It certainly turns me off a club.

SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: red max
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 11:06 AM

"Folk Idol", what a thought!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,666
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 12:43 PM

sobered up? to me there is nothing more hypocritical than a bunch of sanctimonious people sitting around trying to sing christmas carols,when the reality is if you were to fall down dead on the spot,the same people would pick up your corpse and put it out on the street, so they could lock up on time.after years of attending folk clubs, i feel i have the same level of relationship with people ,as you have with someone you sit next to on a train.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 01:35 PM

If that's the case then 666 you're going to the wrong clubs.

I know what you mean though. A certain sound/recording engineer of my aquaintance was in the habit of refering to some more dogmatic, 'folk persons' as the "Folk Nazis". The sort of people you are talking about kept me out of folk clubs for years. Fortunately they're not all like that.



SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: alison
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 06:00 PM

so why come along?...... from what you have written we are obviously one of the few places where you have been able to play. You were welcomed back after several years absence. I enjoy your music, you are obviously talented, but there has to be tolerance too for the others who are there.

last friday was the Christmas party.... there were 10 mins of Christmas carols... you were given opertunities to play, you knocked them back..... like other halls we have a rental agreement with the owners... ours says "no music after midnight out of respect for the neighbours"..... thats one of the rules... if we don't stick to them... then no meetings.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 10:49 PM

Whine, whine, whine,
But doesn't rhyme with 666,
So here's a quick fix,
Change your digit to 669!

Having recently inhabitated a floor spot at the Loaded Dog, I found that folk club a wonderful space to perform in. The acoustics were good, the audience was willing to join on refrain and chorus, the arrangements for strangers such as Naemanson and I were well coordinated, and we both enjoyed the other floor spots and the featured performers and we we were happy that they got the lion's share of the gate. Club managers such as Sandra work awfully hard to keep a folk club functioning, and generally the only compensation is the satisfaction of another wonderful special event, and maybe a thank-you.

Thanks again, Sandra, and Bob, and JennyO, and Margaret, and Allison!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: JennyO
Date: 16 Dec 03 - 11:13 PM

Thankyou yourself, Charlie. It was lovely having you Brett and Judy too. What a pity the timing of your visit didn't allow your coming to my folk club. I think it was on the night just after you left.

I was wondering when you'd find this thread. Some people just seem to have a way of making their own misery wherever they go. If this malcontent can't get along with us, I don't like his chances anywhere else! Fortunately we don't get too many like him.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: poetlady
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 01:08 AM

I agree with El Greko that it would be nice if more young people were involved in traditional music, but why do there new to be new musical elements? I guess I think the music's good and can stand on it's own. I think the main reason most young people don't like it is because most of them only listen to what they hear on the radio or what their friends listen to. Then, when they hear something different, they don't get past the initial dislike they experience because it's not what they're used to.

The idea of watering the music down (which is what I think you'd have to do to make it acceptable to the majority of young people) scares me. Two of the reasons I came to like folk music were the tradition behind it and the fact that it is different. While that may keep some young people from liking it, it may, in fact, be the very reason it appeals to others.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 04:52 AM

We will probably get multiple threads, poetlady, with some preferring the unadulterated origonal versions, and some going for new developments. A bit like the 70's revival, which brought forth new styles of song among the protest singers, styles like folk-rock (Steeleye Span and Fairport) etc.
Even traditional music has a variety of styles itself, so I just expect that variety to grow further. And in the end, I welcome it too (most days of the week); I see it as part of the music developing. Even the best food needs some salt occasionally.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 05:49 AM

I suspect you are right El Greko.

I think perhaps one area we need people to understand better is exactly what an event they are going to is about.

In my case, at the moment if I can just get to one event per week, I opt for a pure trad Irish instrumental session. I could understand someone perhaps getting upset if they came there thinking songs were enjoyed or that say a Morris tune would go down well. On the other hand, I don't accept the view that the session should bend to accomodate everything as in doing so, it would lose what makes it special to some people.

If someone wanted to start and open to all types club and even allow Metallica, so be it - and great. The more variety the merrier as far as I'm concerned. If I lived in Norwich rather than out in the sticks near Cromer, I'd probably be looking for a different event to attend each night of the week and looking for variety rather than just limiting myself to what is my main area of enjoyment within folk.


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