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are folk clubs shite?

Spleen Cringe 09 Sep 08 - 04:30 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Sep 08 - 03:54 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM
Will Fly 09 Sep 08 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,woodsie 09 Sep 08 - 01:43 PM
Girl Friday 09 Sep 08 - 09:10 AM
Will Fly 09 Sep 08 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Cartwheels On A Tuesday 09 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM
treewind 20 Dec 03 - 02:38 PM
Maryrrf 20 Dec 03 - 09:33 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 03 - 09:17 AM
treewind 19 Dec 03 - 12:32 PM
Grab 19 Dec 03 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,111 18 Dec 03 - 04:21 PM
Dickmac 18 Dec 03 - 02:17 PM
PoppaGator 18 Dec 03 - 01:42 PM
George Papavgeris 18 Dec 03 - 01:14 PM
Grab 18 Dec 03 - 12:54 PM
mooman 18 Dec 03 - 12:00 PM
Janice in NJ 18 Dec 03 - 11:51 AM
Beverley Barton 18 Dec 03 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,The SM 18 Dec 03 - 09:57 AM
Janice in NJ 18 Dec 03 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,GUEST111 18 Dec 03 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Frank 18 Dec 03 - 03:31 AM
Callie 17 Dec 03 - 06:50 PM
The Stage Manager 17 Dec 03 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 17 Dec 03 - 03:47 PM
George Papavgeris 17 Dec 03 - 03:06 PM
George Papavgeris 17 Dec 03 - 03:03 PM
breezy 17 Dec 03 - 02:23 PM
treewind 17 Dec 03 - 01:56 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Dec 03 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,The Stage Manager 17 Dec 03 - 12:35 PM
Cluin 17 Dec 03 - 12:11 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Dec 03 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,The Stage Manger 17 Dec 03 - 11:16 AM
Charley Noble 17 Dec 03 - 09:27 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Dec 03 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Jon 17 Dec 03 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Jon 17 Dec 03 - 06:36 AM
The Borchester Echo 17 Dec 03 - 06:36 AM
Sandra in Sydney 17 Dec 03 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Jon 17 Dec 03 - 05:49 AM
George Papavgeris 17 Dec 03 - 04:52 AM
poetlady 17 Dec 03 - 01:08 AM
JennyO 16 Dec 03 - 11:13 PM
Charley Noble 16 Dec 03 - 10:49 PM
alison 16 Dec 03 - 06:00 PM
The Stage Manager 16 Dec 03 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 04:30 PM

You're right of course, Innie. I did try change once, though. Didn't much like the taste.

Estou a detectar uma série de duendes inconsistente, embora. Foi-se a partir de dezoito t setecentos no espaço de duas threads ...


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 03:54 PM

Maybe a lot has changed in the 5 years since s/he posted it?...

Changed, Spleen? Changed? I tell you, go using language like that in a folk forum and you'll likely get yourself a reputation.

Sept cents elfes dehors du bois, foul et sinistre ils étaient. Vers le bas à la maison du fermier ils sont allés, sa viande et boisson à la part


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM

Maybe a lot has changed in the 5 years since s/he posted it?...


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 03:09 PM

The question, then, is why "Guest Don't Shoot The Messenger" made this post. Being Troll'ish, perhaps...?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 01:43 PM

Orpington Friday Folk is a super club at the liberal Club and reasonably priced booze too!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 09:10 AM

Guest Don't Shoot the Messenger obviously hasn't been to Orpington Folk Club for years. It is now in a nice warm room, downstairs, actually the pub restaurant. The residents are the same, almost as in The White Hart, but they have a selective floor spot policy on guest nights. Yes, a lot of us may be the wrong side of 50, but I've also encountered lots of younger performers who are amazingly talented, and they will bring younger audiences in time. I am now involved in the running of three clubs, each different in character, none of them "shite", hopefully. you pays your money and takes your choice. Incidentally, I know of no club organisers who make a penny out of running these clubs... quite the reverse in fact.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 05:17 AM

Orpington sounds great. I do hope they include the Wild Rover in the repertoire - I haven't heard this one for years...


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Cartwheels On A Tuesday
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 04:47 AM

I am amazed at the negative comments about orpington folk club earlier in this thread. It must be the best folk club in the south east. They have a fine band of "residents" that treat us to 10 to 15 or so tunes/songs every week. The really good thing is they are usually the samr songs so we all now know them and can sing along and tap our feet. The beer is only £3.20 a pint and the glass is almost full and you only have to wait about 10 minutes to be served, which ain't bad heh!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: treewind
Date: 20 Dec 03 - 02:38 PM

As mentioned further up the thread, the folk scene in Scotland seems to be in a healthier state generally.

The club membership thing only applies to a few places, notably in London where the LA's (especially Camden, who started this) started charging exorbitatnt rates for a PEL so pubs didn't get one and folk clubs have to find a way round it. You can just turn up at most English folk clubs without any problem.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Dec 03 - 09:33 AM

I'm coming to this thread late but I wanted to mention my experience at the folk clubs in Scotland. I performed at nine folk clubs in various places - from Dumfries and Galloway to Fife - didn't get way up to the Highlands. I also attended and did guest spots in a few more.   Audience size varied and no, I didn't get paid a lot - but what a rewarding experience! All of the clubs were held in comfortable venues, the audiences were appreciative, and all in all it was a wonderful atmosphere. I was made most welcome everywhere, whether I was the performer or a guest. I think folk clubs in Scotland are great places to hear folk music - yes, in many cases they're struggling but some seem to be doing well. Many have been going for forty years or so, such as Irvine (as mentioned in the post above). I'm grateful to the people who run and support these clubs. In all cases I thought the other floor singers were very good and, in some cases, exceptionally good. Having been following the threads about the FC's in England, I wonder if the fact that somebody can't just show up (have to be a member, due to the PEL regulation, if I understand it right?) doesn't make things more "cliquish" there??? In Scotland you don't have to be a member, you just turn up. Anyway - my two cent's worth is that in Scotland, definitely the folk clubs aren't shite - they're great and enjoyable and are hanging in there doing their part to support folk music - long may they continue!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 03 - 09:17 AM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: treewind
Date: 19 Dec 03 - 12:32 PM

Breezy and George, thanks for your encouraging comments.
Running a club would get in the way of trying to organise gigs for ourselves too, but a monthly event might be possible to handle.

Graham - I know about the Whittlesford Red Lion and Bees in the Wall - we've been there but as our agenda at the time was investigating anything that called itself a folk club for the possibility of bookings we were a bit disappointed. I confess to knowing less that I should about the folk scene in Cambridge. There are some recently started sessions at Reach and Great Eversden on alternate Sudays which are a deliberate attempt to get away from the more or less all Irish tune-thrashes that go on in town and we support those enthusiastically and have met some great people there.

I am disappointed with the Mayflower and I think it could be revived. The one singers night a couple of months ago was packed. Some singers got two songs while others didn't perform at all, who really should have done (and vice versa, in some cases) and the evening started late as usual. THe Mayflower needs a venue though, as the future of the Portland Arms remains uncertain. The Friday night folk club is overrun with introspective contemporary failed-pop-singer types. I'm investigating Acoustic Routes and we should take a sample of some of those Irish sessions too. There are places where kids are getting into it, like the Saturday Duxford workshops which I used to be involved in, And the local Comhaltas Ceoltoiri branch is thriving but that's Irish again... traditional English is an ethnic minority here!

Sorry everyone, this is all getting a bit domestic and local...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Grab
Date: 19 Dec 03 - 09:04 AM

El Greko, maybe I should clarify. If the folk club is paying to listen to pro or semi-pro musicians (or at least people of some kind of quality), then count me in for sure! If there's some filler of less good musicians to make up numbers, then OK as well.

But if the folk club is just a pure open-mic, in other words a bunch of people paying for the privilege of being listened to (and in some cases using their "captive audience" as a wailing wall for their latest navel-gazing), that's not filling any need that you couldn't get from a pub session elsewhere. I see it as the difference between paying to listen and paying to perform.

BTW, in my case I know damn well that I'm not up to quality, and I wouldn't expect anyone to pay to listen to me! ;-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,111
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 04:21 PM

guest 666 doesnt seem to be a very sociable person (well thats the gist i am getting from here) It seems to me like he wants everything his way and when he doesnt get things his way he complains from behind his computer in the by the name of 666. I think that guest666 is a coward. Thats my two cents

Good Night

Sincerly:

Albert Collins


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Dickmac
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 02:17 PM

Well run folk clubs are not shite!!!

The range of comments suggest that there's a big variation in the standards of organisation and performer.
I'm a member of Irvine Folk Club (Ayrshire, Scotland) which has been going for alomost 40 years so we must be doing something right. I'm not a committe member but I am committed to seeing the club continue to flourish. Members pay an annual subscription of £10 and fortnightly concerts are held where members pay £4 and non members £5.
The usual format is three of four unpaid floorspots from local (or any from anywhere ) singers and paid artist or group.

We get regular and infrequent visitors, depending on who is performing.

The last four club nights have featured Breabach, a young and very talented group,Mary Smith from America, Raillion - another talented young trio with a Dutch girl who sings Scots songs and finally the legandry Whistlebinkies.

The club runs the annual Marymass Folk Festival, the 36th was in August with Eric Bogle topping the line up, and its believed to be the longest running festival in Scotland.

The club must be doing something right.

If you're in the area why don't you pay a visit.

In the new year,on 7th January, the club will be moving to a new venue at the Golf Hotel.Check out the Irvine Folk Club website
www.irvinefolkclub.
Have I just been lucky with my expriences.
Merry Christmas and A'the Best for 2004 to folkies worldwide.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 01:42 PM

Thanks to Janice, first for the "real folksinger" quote, and then for the link to the earlier thread.

As someone who loves to sing but has never had the *slightest* urge to write a song, I aspire to the venerable role of "songster," and I am glad to have a tradition -- or, actually, a multiplicity of different traditions -- from which to draw material.

What is a songster? My understanding comes from two of greatest practitioners ever, Mance Lipscomb (who told me in person) and John Hurt (who I know only from his recordings) -- an artist who can perform songs that people love, using only his own resources, i.e. his voice and whatever instrument(s) he can play with his own two hands.

(Make that "his or hers," "he or she," etc., if you need to.)

If Mance, in his day, could play and sing Gershwin or Cole Porter tunes in his two-finger blues-picking style and still be a "folk" (or "folk-blues") artist, you or I can play Beatles tunes or whatever without having to apologize. But, of course, those who stay true to one or another tradition are also finding their artistry and self-expression in the interpretation of pre-existing material. There are so many great songs out there already, and "folksingers" (or, at least certain types of folksingers) exist to keep the best ones alive by continually re-performing and reinterpreting them.

Now, as far as my *not* aspiring to the role of "singer-songwriter," that may be a whole new and separate discussion. I'd just like to pass along my observation that far too many performers who can provide me with great enjoyment with their renditions of material they have learned from others (whether familiar or obscure) take a sudden turn for the worse when they announce, "..and now for one of my/our originals..."


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 01:14 PM

Grab, you said: "Given a choice between paying money to get into a folk club with a variable quality of musicians, and going to a pub for free to listen to a variable quality of musicians, I'm afraid I'll choose the free one".
If that is all you ever do, you are missing out on a huge chunk of folk activity and listening oportunities: You'll never get to hear any of the performers who do not attend "sessions" for whatever reason. Martyn Wyndham-Read does not attend sessions. Neither does Robb Johnson. Or Marilyn Middleton.
It seems to me that, for the sake of saving a little money (what - 3 pounds UK? 4? 5?) you are cutting yourself off from some of the best music around. But hey - that's your choice, and you're entitled to it.
Me, I go to clubs. Because they too have a role to play in promoting folk music, even if many of them don't do so adequately. And because there is nowhere else I can go to have an evening's comparable fun and enjoyment for the money.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Grab
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 12:54 PM

Treewind/Anahata, Cambridge isn't doing too badly for folk. Tom Paxton and Show of Hands were both packed. Not strictly trad, but I think mostly people go to listen to music that they like, not just music that's a particular genre. (And both these two are as much a part of the "tradition" as you can get whilst still being alive, anyway! ;-) I don't see this as "watering down" the tradition, as Poetlady puts it - watering the tradition helps it grow and thrive. You don't allow some cross-pollenation and new growth, it's as dry as dust and just as dead.

I think the problem for the Mayflower is precisely that there is so MUCH music around in Cambridge. You're competing with a zillion pubs who put on bands, have open-mike sessions, or have players' sessions. Given a choice between paying money to get into a folk club with a variable quality of musicians, and going to a pub for free to listen to a variable quality of musicians, I'm afraid I'll choose the free one.

I don't have time to get out to folk clubs much, and mostly the ones I go to are more "social" sessions (ie. more like a collection of friends who play music meeting in a pub) rather than the "serious" variety. The Red Lion in Whittlesford has been recommended as a hang-out for more "serious" musicians, but we tend to go to the less serious session at the Bees in the Wall instead. I can't say how "young" they are though. There isn't usually a majority of younger people, but younger people join frequently enough to make up for the shufflers-off-this-mortal-coil. I guess I'd fit in there, since I'm 30 and I've been going to various small folk clubs in Cambridge for about 4 years now, which is fairly young by folky standards. :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: mooman
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 12:00 PM

Shite is in the Eye of the Beholder...

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 11:51 AM

Here's a link to the original piece by Steve Suffet and the responses that followed: A Real Folksinger. It later appeared on the Peoples Music and the Folknet discussion groups, and created interesting discussions in those places as well as here on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Beverley Barton
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 09:58 AM

that last post hits the nail well and truly on the head eh what?


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,The SM
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 09:57 AM

Janice,

That's brilliant advice. I guess not many 'folk clubs' ever booked
Woody Guthrie when he was starting out!


SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 09:50 AM

One friend of mine once wrote a piece to console another friend who had been rejected by a festival program committee. What he said to her was:

A real folksinger doesn't worry about bookings. A real folksinger creates her own venue. On street corners. In campgrounds. In parks. In schools. At parties. At family gatherings. Wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. A real folksinger plays in hospitals, and hospices, and old age homes. A real folksinger plays in prisons, and libraries, and bus stations, and at street fairs. And a real folksinger doesn't whine and bellyache and complain because such and such club or festival wouldn't have her.

It was good advice then, and it still is today. Forget about the so-called folk scene, with its multitude oh-so-petty gate keepers. Instead go out in the world and build a following, and the day will come when those would-be guardians of folkdom beg you to play their house.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,GUEST111
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 04:37 AM

You usually sing christmas carols around Christmas time (well thats what we do heer in AMERICA) and i am pretty sure you do in AUSTRALIA. guest666 get a life and stop complaining


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 03:31 AM

I've lost touch with the folk clubs of Britain & Ireland and havent been to Oz but I can tell you that the "wannabe musos to come and inflict themselves on the population" are alive and well and working as professionals in the Irish bar scene in the US


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Callie
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 06:50 PM

Hey 666 - why not think outside the circle and make some other opportunities for yourself? There are countless performance opportunities to be had in Sydney - you could spend every night of the week playing if you were serious about it.

Sydney could always use another folk venue - why not set up your own club and run it to the ideals that you hold? I guarantee that the miniute you do set up your own club you'll be flooded with requests to play and you'll have to make decisions about who to book and who to knock back.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 04:55 PM

Really?

You guys don't know what your missing! You'll never guess some of the things we apply it to over here!

SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 03:47 PM

Ahh, I love America

Home of bluegrass and no one here says the word shite.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 03:06 PM

Just I structure lost realised I in sentence the above.
Senior moment...


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

Yes, go for it Anahata! You have the energy and anger that CR was referring to above.
Now if we can only find some Southern radicalism...Robb Johnson? Attila the Stockbroker? Steve Hughes? Take your pick.
If I can help in any way you, gizzacall.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: breezy
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 02:23 PM

go for starting a folk club, with your talents youve got the basics, a bloody outstanding resident duo.

more performers should turn their hands to promoting,



Good luck

breezy


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: treewind
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 01:56 PM

... But DG's another Scot!

Anyway, back to the point... where are those Folkworks and Shooting Roots musicians and singers doing their stuff around here? What can be done to promote and encourage more of the same?

I'm seriously open to suggestions here.
The Mayflower Folk club was the place for traditional music in Cambridge. It's reduced to once-in-a-blue-moon events and there's nothing planned for the future right now. Mary and I have considered taking it over and reviving it (I already maintain the web site) but we aren't sure that we have enough time, nor whether it's the best thing to do. There are pub sessions and vaguely folk "acoustic" venues. There are tiny and crumbling clubs further away (St Neots, Stortfolk) and there are thriving larger clubs at Saxmundham and Sutton, but they are miles away and once a month, and we do go when we can. And there's Ely - we're off there tonight.

What about Cambridge though? Where are all those talented young folkies? Are they all diddley-diddling away in the Irish music session olympics? Where are the singers? (I know where the dancers are - The Round and Gog Magog Molly, many of them).

What or who should we support? Start a new folk club, revive an old one, or do something else?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 01:32 PM

Not correcting you, SM, just adding to what you said. I've seen the much healthier state of traditional music in Scotland and wholly agree that in England there is much more that needs to be done to redress the balance.

I'm aware of No ID, a band which contains a number of All-Ireland champions. They're great, but the Irish tradition, like the Scottish, still has a much higher profile than the English for reasons to do with culture as much as its history of competition.

I hope to come across you at next year's festivals where I hope you will see for yourself that the English tradition is indeed living and, most of all, great fun!


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manager
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 12:35 PM

Countess Richard

I'm delighted by your rapid response and fiesty defence of the English Tradition.   

As luck would have it I Saw Dick Gaughan in Cambridge last month. Perhaps a tad less 'radical' than he might be on home soil, but as fine a "troublemaker" as you could ever wish to encounter with some great stories. He was also supported a fabulous young and local Irish band, NoID, who by all accounts are mostly still at school, They were terrific, and I understand that they were being taught by an organisation similar to those you mention.

I am indeed aware of new acts at English festivals but I obviously need to get out more.

"Ventures like Folkworks and Shooting Roots are producing fantastic musicians, singers and dancers who certainly are connected with, and proud of their heritage. And yes, many of them don't see the folk clubs tucked away in dingy rooms above sleazy bars as relevant to them. I cannot blame them."

So is the folk club on its last legs, soon to die out as an irrelevance? Maybe thats what they deserve? It's a relief that the tradition is not reliant on these clubs for survival. I'm a great believer that the 'tradition' and the music is far more important than individual personalities. In a peculiar way maybe it has a life of its own. Long may it continue, with or without (shite)folk clubs!.

I'm very pleased to stand corrected, and delighted to be able to discuss this topic!

SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Cluin
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 12:11 PM

Dick Gaughan...

Woo Hoo!



Sorry for the interruption. Back to your regularly scheduled "shite" discussion.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 11:53 AM

"If you asked me what English folk clubs need, it would be some passion, anger, and a dollop of radicalism..."

Well, Dick Gaughan will be back on the road soon to dispense some of that...but you really shouldn't give the impression that *all* is dire south of the Tweed. Of course, although things are in a desperate state in the vast majority of folk clubs - and this what this thread is, presumably, intended to address - traditional music does thrive outside of them.

Go to an English ceilidh (no, it's not a lot like a barn dance!) and you'll be hit by 1000 volts there too. Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Mrs Casey Music, many festivals are now supercharged springboards for tremendous new bands who draw in younger people completely new to traditional music in addition to the "folky children" who have grown up with it.

Ventures like Folkworks and Shooting Roots are producing fantastic musicians, singers and dancers who certainly are connected with, and proud of their heritage. And yes, many of them don't see the folk clubs tucked away in dingy rooms above sleazy bars as relevant to them. I cannot blame them.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,The Stage Manger
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 11:16 AM

Despite the various locations this for me is developing into a very interesting thread and some important points are being raised. Until relatively recently I had not been into an English Folk club for many years. I had been put off by a lack of excitement, a sense of staleness, and dare I say it, a sense that songs had to be done in a certain way, otherwise they weren't "folk."

My interest in this genre of music was revived when I ended up living in the Highlands of Scotland, where Celtic and Gaelic Music were thriving. (Some might say sh*t kicking) It was like being hit by 1000 volts. It was vibrant, new, inventive exciting, but still firmly rooted in a tradition going back a thousand years, (and now scattered over the globe.)   I've no doubt that some south of the border would not consider it as folk music. To them I would say surely a tradition is a living and continually developing thing. It is about people and their sense of identity. It's got nothing to do with 'preserving' anything, the older ways of doing songs serve as a reference point for new generations and ideas. The most glorious thing about this apparent renaissance is that it is led by young musicians, who very obviously 'connect' to their heritage. I'm sure some here might be appalled that dancing, drinking, socialising, and very loud amplification are all part of the mix, as much as unaccompanied songs. (Why should folk music stop being folk music if it is amplified?)      

I'm off to Celtic Connections in January. If anyone's interest in "folk" music is on the wane, I recommend a trip to Glasgow. If you don't come back on a high then you're probably brain dead.

I attach a link on the subject of "traditional and Gaelic music" from a letter sent to the West Highland Free Press. It seems to me to address some of the issues raised here. (Yes they even discuss traditional music in the papers up there!) The music is now seen and valued differently as a result of revived interest.. The Scottish Arts Council is sponsoring Capercaillie's tour of the Highlands and Islands this coming Spring.   They certainly seem to have got something right and they're not sitting back on their laurels!.

http://www.whfp.com/1581/letters.html

I feel this is a good and very worthwhile discussion, and one I'm sure concerns quite a number of us that value the music. What lured me back to an English club? Someone I'd worked with some years back turned up as guest at a local club, and I came across this bunch people singing some bloody good songs. El Greco was one of them.   

If you asked me what English folk clubs need, it would be some passion, anger, and a dollop of radicalism. The things many of us had when we were younger and that the music provided an expression and an outlet for. I suspect many youngsters view folk music today much as I used to view the music hall songs my grand parents used to sing.    Wouldn't be seen dead…..

SM


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 09:27 AM

You know, "666" isn't even a prime number!

But it's really hard to be more than smart-assed when I don't even know if I've met this numerically challenged Guest. Normally I wouldn't even have checked out a "shite" thread but one of my Maine friends pointed out that it had something to do with people we've recently met in Sydney.

My positive suggestion for "666" is to quit whining and start a session of your own, with whatever priorities you want. It's not an easy job but others have done it, and a few managers have even managed to successfully replace themselves when they've burnt out doing it.

I should acknowledge that my wife and I failed miserably at trying to replace ourselves as co-managers of the Portland (East) Folk Club. Our replacement's first and last season shredded what remained of the Folk Club's cultural fabric. No, we didn't abandon the Club as volunteers or as financial supporters, and other volunteers were still carrying out their functions. The new manager made booking decisions that turned out to be financially disasterous and then when it came time to pay performers he would mysteriously disappear!

So, here's to you, "666," best of luck in digging yourself out of the hole you've created for yourself in the Sydney musical landscape.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 08:17 AM

Nope, I was talking to Sandra, and being unkind about the bloody Corrs as usual.

I don't disgree with you Jon (not always, anyway :-)


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

Countess R, I may be reading this wrongly but I assume your remarks were addressed at my comments rather than at Sandra's which came in between.

If that is the case, could you please explain how you go about things? At the most basic level I see 2 options:

1. That every club or session should be open to everything.
2. That there is plenty of room for both diversity and speciality within clubs and sessions.

I favour #2 and feel much would be lost if #1 was adopted universally. What I don't see how it #2 can be done unless people understand this diversity and speciality exists.

Jon


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 06:36 AM

Just maybe Sandra, we let the younger ones have thier own heads and try to get out and enjoy some things they set up.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 06:36 AM

There are many ways of skinning a cat, but that one amounts to cruelty...and attempted murder of the music.


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Subject: RE: are folk clubs shite?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 06:29 AM

Poetlady - a couple of months back a teenage Irish group was interviewed to publicise a festival. They call themselves The Forrs - their major influence is the Corrs & there are four of them - and they said that their friends thought that folk music was for Seniors, but when persuaded to come to folk events liked it after all.

So, how do we Seniors get younger folks to join us?

sandra


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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