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The role of folk clubs today

GUEST,Jane 28 Feb 04 - 11:22 AM
GUEST 28 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM
breezy 28 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM
treewind 28 Feb 04 - 02:29 PM
dog my cat 28 Feb 04 - 02:46 PM
harvey andrews 28 Feb 04 - 03:47 PM
wendyg 28 Feb 04 - 04:23 PM
treewind 28 Feb 04 - 04:24 PM
The Borchester Echo 28 Feb 04 - 04:46 PM
harvey andrews 28 Feb 04 - 05:27 PM
GUEST 28 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM
The Borchester Echo 28 Feb 04 - 06:12 PM
harvey andrews 28 Feb 04 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 28 Feb 04 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 28 Feb 04 - 08:17 PM
madwaff 28 Feb 04 - 10:09 PM
The Villan 29 Feb 04 - 10:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 29 Feb 04 - 11:26 AM
The Villan 29 Feb 04 - 11:39 AM
treewind 29 Feb 04 - 01:22 PM
treewind 29 Feb 04 - 01:47 PM
The Villan 29 Feb 04 - 02:31 PM
GUEST 29 Feb 04 - 04:10 PM
The Villan 29 Feb 04 - 04:29 PM
GUEST 29 Feb 04 - 05:07 PM
The Villan 29 Feb 04 - 05:09 PM
GUEST 29 Feb 04 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 29 Feb 04 - 05:52 PM
GUEST 29 Feb 04 - 05:57 PM
The Borchester Echo 29 Feb 04 - 06:07 PM
LesB 29 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Feb 04 - 07:05 PM
GUEST 29 Feb 04 - 07:14 PM
The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 02:13 AM
Sooz 01 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,The Cott 01 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM
GUEST 01 Mar 04 - 04:35 AM
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The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 05:18 AM
Pied Piper 01 Mar 04 - 06:12 AM
The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 06:25 AM
GUEST 01 Mar 04 - 06:33 AM
The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 07:33 AM
LesB 01 Mar 04 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 04 - 04:44 PM
The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 04:54 PM
treewind 01 Mar 04 - 05:10 PM
The Villan 01 Mar 04 - 05:13 PM
The Borchester Echo 01 Mar 04 - 05:29 PM
treewind 01 Mar 04 - 05:53 PM
The Borchester Echo 01 Mar 04 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Cittern 01 Mar 04 - 06:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM
The Villan 02 Mar 04 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,JAne 02 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM
breezy 02 Mar 04 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Concerned 02 Mar 04 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Sooz(at work) 02 Mar 04 - 08:14 AM
Dave of Mawkin 02 Mar 04 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,KB 02 Mar 04 - 09:27 AM
The Villan 02 Mar 04 - 10:27 AM
Dave of Mawkin 02 Mar 04 - 11:03 AM
The Villan 02 Mar 04 - 12:18 PM
Strollin' Johnny 02 Mar 04 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,KB 02 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM
treewind 02 Mar 04 - 01:19 PM
Myrtle 02 Mar 04 - 01:38 PM
The Villan 02 Mar 04 - 01:50 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Mar 04 - 02:31 PM
The Villan 02 Mar 04 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,SteveM 02 Mar 04 - 03:26 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Gato 02 Mar 04 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Gato 02 Mar 04 - 10:16 PM
The Villan 03 Mar 04 - 03:12 AM
treewind 03 Mar 04 - 11:48 AM
Strollin' Johnny 03 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,John at Studio 18 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,guest 19 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM
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GUEST,Sooz(at work) 19 Mar 04 - 07:58 AM
VIN 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM
The Villan 19 Mar 04 - 08:31 AM
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The Villan 19 Mar 04 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 04 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,guest 19 Mar 04 - 06:45 PM
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Penny Price 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 PM
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The Villan 21 Mar 04 - 05:23 AM
treewind 21 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM
wigan 21 Mar 04 - 09:42 AM
Penny Price 26 Mar 04 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Old man 27 Mar 04 - 01:18 AM
Sooz 27 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM
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Strollin' Johnny 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM
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Subject: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Jane
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 11:22 AM

Hi, I regularly go to two folk clubs in my area and have noticed that I'm usually one of the youngest people there (and I'm not that young, being nearly 40!). I was wondering why younger people don't go (at least not to the ones in my area). Also, what is the role of folk clubs today? Will there still be folk clubs in the future?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM

It's to do with the inner circle, most Folk Cubs have inner circles and how ever much they say "all welcome" other people from outside there immediate circle are not made to feel at home. I have witnessed it time and time again, last week I was in a pub where a session was happening, I heard someone start to play a beautiful piece on the violin and another person complained that it was "their turn", there are no rules written down that state you must go round in a circle. You ask "what is the role of folk clubs today" in my view it is to promote music to ALL which includes giving everyone a chance, unfortunately this does not happen. You ask "will there still be folk clubs in the future" I certainly hope so BUT people have to change there approach and allow entry for people to develop. There will be many people who don't agree with me, but they need to take a step back, be honest, and look at themselves.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: breezy
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM

Folk clubs provide an opportunity to hear songs without distractions and the performer to ply the art.



Its not a young persons scene, no need to pamper to them they must come on our terms thats the tradition.

The songs and recordings are there and as such are immortal.

Its a far more mature environment than most young people can hack

I agree we all need to start somewhere but some people start too early too soon and very unready.

I provde 3 clubs, each one different

1 for the top flight performer and good resident

2 for the good resident to be a performer with room for floor singers who are ready but I cant commit to cater for more than 2 of these an


3 singaround session night for all, alternating an experienced with a rookie


I have to get people in so I sing in the street to meet like minded individuals and draw attention to the venues and me

Did 5 hours today a spoke to 20 interested peolple a disrtibuted leaflets and fliers.
Now if they come I dont want to lose them to inadequate performers or a dull venue.
Come to my club and judge for your self.

Fridays at The Duke af Marlboro the Premiership

sundays at the British Legion the nationwide

1st Sat month singa round at the legion for all

Good luck


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 02:29 PM

Breezy, there used to be a club in Manchester which some of its participants nicknamed the "singing songs and talking bollocks club".
For some reason, I am suddenly reminded of it...

The people now in their 50's in folk clubs now are the identical people who were going to folk clubs 30 years ago, who were then in their 20's. We could all hack it then, we were mature enough (or were we?), it was a young person's scene. Maybe we identified with it too strongly - it was 'our scene' and we didn't notice we were getting older and insular and intolerant of younger newcomers.

As for anonymous guest before, it's no use writing off folk clubs and illustrating your view with a session as an example. Most clubs (of the more organised sort, not a bar room session) try hard to welcome newcomers - if they fail to do that the club shrinks to death.

It seem to me that successful clubs nowadays typically run monthly and are in large rooms that are generally community friendly - village halls, social clubs etc. The ones in grubby little pub back rooms are the ones that are struggling, and especially if they run every week. There are exceptions, of course.

I suspect there are more pub sessions of all sorts than there used to be, and at the other end of the spectrum there are folk concerts in Art Centres and similar venues. I've also noticed that some of the larger scale club organisers also run less formal sessions in parallel, which complement the more performance oriented club and give the less experienced an easier start at performing for the first time.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: dog my cat
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 02:46 PM

It is a sad fact of life that many folk clubs have very small attendances even for guest evenings. However, there are still many many many clubs in the UK. I don't see them as a dying breed yet but they will if they don't evolve.

Folk music is an evolving tradition, it always has been. The folk revival in the 60's moved swiftly into merging it with electric instruments (Fairport et al.) That did it no harm, it brought more people to the tradition who might not have gone there otherwise, me included.

Those of us who are holding the tenure of that tradition presently must accept those youngsters (and there are quite a few) who want to take the trad music and put a modern slant on it....mix it with rock, electronics garage etc. (Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty etc).

The arran sweater brigade will probably sudder at the prospect but if its to evolve and move in those swirling circles we must help provide the venues to let the youngsters do that in.



If they are popping their heads around the doors of folk clubs and not seeing an opening for them, then they will go elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: harvey andrews
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 03:47 PM

Following on from Treewinds point...The role of folk clubs today is very different to what it was.It's a generation thing. The young do what they do and then carry on doing it until old age. Their children do not do the same thing.Unless young musicians want to meet regularly and play for an audience that wants to listen in pub rooms etc then the folk clubs as they have been known will die with the retirement of their organisers.The process is already well under way and the all year round club scene is being replaced by the summer festival scene. The loss of the weekly bread and butter gig will make it very hard for most young folkies to earn a living as pro's, although some will be able to do so on the arts centre, village hall circuit. It's all happened before to jazz.
Where is the music hall circuit that supported literally thousands of "turns", the variety circuit that supported the next generation of pros, the working men's clubs that followed after variety? It's as natural a process as the changing of the seasons. Any popular entertainment starts, blossoms, and dies along with its generation. It can never be repeated the way it was.
I'm talking here about the folk clubs, not folk music, which of course will continue in various guises as it always has.
What is called a folk club by many today bears no relation to the folk clubs of the past. They appear to be gatherings of people having a session. In a way, they are the last links with a phenomenon that was at its peak nearly 40 years ago.
In 1970 for example I played in folk clubs that were generally heaving with people in the most unlikely places;
Bedford, Birmingham (Digbeth, Aldridge, West Bromwich,Centre,Solihull,
Bromsgrove, Erdington, Smethwick, Yardley,Acocks Green, all suburbs of the city, all thriving clubs) The Black Country, (Wolverhampton (3clubs),West Bromwich,Halesowen,Lower Gornal,Walsall (2 clubs).
Oxford, Coventry(2clubs)Leicester,Colne,Preston,Blackpool,Accrington,Burnley,Clitheroe,Bacup, Poynton,Middlesbrough, Hyde,Manchester, Aldermaston,Bristol(2 clubs),Farnborough,Exmouth,London(3 clubs), Liverpool, West Kirby, Bromsgrove,Lichfield,Bognor regis, Wooten Wawen,Brinklow, barnsley, Surbiton,Brewood, Portsmouth, Bewdley, Little Sutton, Kidderminster, Chasetown, Lymington, Addlestone,Ewell, Banbury, Wallasey,Altrincham, Ashington,Chichester,Leamington Spa.
College clubs at;West Midlands Education Coll, Saltley Coll,Shoreditch Coll,Wrexham Coll,Aston University,Surrey Uni, Kings College London,Westhill Coll.
All of these were folk clubs, and I wasn't everybody's cup of tea, as no performer is, so there were many more than those listed that I never played, particularly down South and in the far North.There's not one in the whole of Wales or Scotland. Yet I still managed 121 gigs in the year including a few concerts and festivals, and I wasn't the hardest working by any means..
In 1971 I added; Newbury,Stourport,Warrington,Chester, Derby,Brownhills,Uttoxeter,Newport,(shropshire)Perrenporth,Padstowe,Braunton,Wheaton Aston,Barry Island, Kingswinford,Wellington,Farnborough,Hull,Plymouth,Barnsley,
Huddersfield, Leeds,Halifax, Hazelslade,Burton,Chasetown, Godalming,Nuneaton,Bury St Edmunds,Haverhill, Oswestry,Cleethorpes,Cannock,Stourbridge,Leicester,Turville, Norwich, Chelmsford, Forest of Dean, Havant,Petersfield, Scunthorpe,Stockport,High Wycombe, Aberystwyth,Royston, Bishop Stortford,Plymouth,Wrexham....all folk clubs as were Notts Coll, Aberystwyth Uni, Aston Uni, Bishop Lonsdale's Coll,Lancaster Coll,Notts Uni,Canley Coll.
I did 141 club gigs that year, that's nearly 3 a week. How many of those places listed above can still boast a successful club?
There's no such structure for the young musicians today and the only way they will get it is to create it, but is the audience from their own generation there to support them as it was for us back then? I think that's the question and the problem so many good young musicians face today.Without the bread a butter they have to go for the more populist approach if they wish to make their living, and many folkies dislike anything that smacks of "commercialism" as we see on one thread where we're asked to vote for a best "non-commercial" cd. For the person that's made it, a non-commercial cd is a failure if they wish to be full time musicians.So the folk world today creates this dilemma, failure to earn a living but gained credibilty in a parochial scene, or success and brickbats from the same people.Maybe the hope is that the young audience won't see success as failure. However I did notice on TV when we saw Kate Rusby's audience that the majority appeared to be older than her, many considerably so.
In 1970 as I've shown, a good living could be had in thriving clubs without compromising yourself in any way.
(Then the audience paired off, got married had kids, stopped going to folk clubs, raised kids, retired and now....they're coming back out again, but not in the modern pub, more in the arts centre and the small theatre, as treewind said.)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: wendyg
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 04:23 PM

It's true. Lots of the clubs I remember from when I was performing full-time in the late 1970s are gone. Those that are still around often have much smaller audiences, and you *don't* see a lot of young people, although I expect that acts like Boden and Spiers and Eliza Carthy will draw those in, because they give folk music a younger, fresher feel.

And some of those clubs are much less open to untried singers than they were. My "home" club, Twickenham, often has only three floor spots on a guest night, and most of those go to people they already know from singers' nights or who have been recommended by someone they know.

wg


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 04:24 PM

Harvey, spot on about the music halls, variety circuit and WMC's - a similar thought vaguely occurred to me but you put it far better than I could, with those specific examples.

The idea of a new generation of folk venue already exists. In the Jim Moray interview in fRoots he says somebody young may well invent an entirely new kind folk club, but it won't be recognisable to the older folkie generation. The folk revival in the 60's had an air of subversion and rebellion about it and the the next one will do the same, distancing itself from the establishment.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 04:46 PM

I won't wade in with all the stuff I've said here before on this subject because Harvey and Anahata have just summed it all up so eloquently.

What I do fervently hope though is that clubs like the one Jim Moray plans and the others that will surely follow, presenting our traditional heritage in a way that's relevant to how lives are lived today, will still let me in.

However, I have to say in support of the Twickenham club that it is extremely well organised. Artists who get floor spots there always fully merit the space and are worth a listen - there's no putting on the bloke in the corner who cannot hold a tune or remember the words just because he's been coming for ever.

It's booking policy isn't always to my taste but I know that when I do go the music will be of the highest quality, the sound good and the surroundings pleasant. If a club wants to attract punters, this is surely the way to go.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: harvey andrews
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 05:27 PM

"he says somebody young may well invent an entirely new kind folk club, but it won't be recognisable to the older folkie generation"

So he's talking about it, but will he START it?
Mine was called "The Broadside" in Hurst St Brum, and we only booked songwriters, that was our speciality. There was a purely Trad club, an Irish Trad club,an English come-everybody club,...there was something for everyone in Brum, but we DID it.

"will still let me in"
Well, if you show the colour of your coin what does your age matter?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM

Nowadays a huge proportion of the populace are the offspring of parents from places other than the UK.
Their roots and folk music are not from the traditionally known UK scene.

There is a thriving World music scene which reflects this. It represents many races and it's vibrancy extols it's popularity.
It is an all encompassing "folk" music.
The clubs offering this sort of music have no problem filling their floors.It offers a wide ranging audience something to identify with.

IMHO this is the future of "folk" music.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 06:12 PM

Hi Harvey

Yes, I think Jim Moray will start a club, I imagine after he gets back from his Australian tour in April. It's going to be in central Birmingham, I think. Will they let me in? Well, it's nothing to do with money. Or age, though I can well understand the suspicion of younger artists' hesitancy and suspicion given the way they've been dissed and patronised by old farts in the revival-style club setup. It's more to do with a willingness to break with convention while retaining absolute respect for the tradition, neither of which is present in abundance among my contemporaries. I just hope the younger performers recognise me as a little more open-minded..

Guest,

You are right to an extent but it's something of a distortion to give the impression that the English traditional musical heritage has gone out of the window! Many musicians are incorporating aspects of world music into their arrangements, and many more are sharing venues with different genres. But the traditional repertoire is very much alive and thriving. Just look around!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: harvey andrews
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 07:12 PM

"huge proportion of the populace are the offspring of parents from places other than the UK."

A fair point, but don't exaggerate.."huge" is a BNP word.

"It's going to be in central Birmingham,"

That's where mine was!
Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel.....


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 08:10 PM

I didn't mean to give the impression that the traditional English musical heritage had gone out of the window, to the contrary, I think it will be one of many traditional musical heritages celebrated for many years to come.

I would hazard a guess,and it's only a guess, that the percentage of the populace currently actively involved in the traditional english folk scene,and by that I mean the number of people freqeunting traditional english folk clubs, is far less than the percentage of people who's roots do not hail from England.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 08:17 PM

Harvey.......huge is a BNP word? Only if you take it as a criticism. I think it is celebratory and something to be proud of.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: madwaff
Date: 28 Feb 04 - 10:09 PM

I think we may be doing OK up here - first meet of the month is guest/club night - if we have a guest, they feature majorly, with club support; if not, everyone who wants to has the opportunity to do a (usually) 3-tune floor spot. Second meet is committee night, after the meeting it's singaround, anybody welcome to try out anything they like (to critical(!) acclaim). Sing whatever style you like, blues, jazz, folk, rock - you get listened to, encouraged, criticised; but, above all, treated fairly. Some may not like what you do(who likes everything?), but that doesn't restrict your right to do it. If there's a clique, I've never noticed - if you're an honest performer, they give you due credit.
btw - it's Fyvie Folk Club - advert over!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 10:55 AM

This is a very interesting thread for me.
I am trying to get a Folk Club going in Market Rasen, if I can find somewhere that is folkie friendly - already been let down on that score.

From my point of view, its seems pretty pointless giving somebody the floor, who is not a competent singer. The songs they sing are not the important issue. You can't like all the songs or styles. But to me a bad voice is going to turn away new members.

I have already made a link with the local school to accomodate very good singers (youngsters) who will want to sing at the club. I would like to give at least one floor spot each evening for such a singer. I have been promised that if any of these youngsters come along, that they will have good voices and will therefore be worth listening to.

Anybody who has offered their services so far have a good track record. To me recomendation is critical. I would rather turn somebody down than be embarrassed or they be embarrassed. I dont'mean that in a nasty way at all.

What I want to do, is offer not so confident singers or players a chance to work alongside the competent singers and players. That way they get a chance to do something without being thrown to the wolves.
So I would be allotting a 30 min slot maybe more for artists to mix and play together. I am sure this will help to encourage the less confident. It also gives somebody who plays an instrument but does not sing a chance to play in a group as such. This gives them a chance to show what they are made of. You never know what can happen from such an idea. Maybe a new folk group or 2.

Hopefully by giving competent groups/singers floorspots, young singers floorspots and anybody else a chance to mix and match, each night will be a success, and encourage people to come and watch and come back on a regular basis.

I appreciate that not everybody will agree with my thoughts, and I welcome any constructive comments.

Remember, that I am a person who doesn't sing or play, but would love to keep folk music and verse (whatever that may be) alive.
I am prepared to work hard at making a success of it.

I am also very aware that the only way it can be a success is the people who are performing. They are the most important thing of all. Everybody I have made contact with have been very kind and helpful, except The Club which I was going to use.

Les


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 11:26 AM

Les

I was disappointed to learn from your thread on the proposed Market Rasen Club that it is not now happening. Your description above sounds just the right open-minded and inclusive policy so lacking across what passes for a 'folk club scene' today.

It was, of course, a shame to miss out on such a good venue. However, maybe it will work out better to start with a less ambitious venture - say a session in a friendly pub - where prospective residents could meet and sort out repertoire while mentoring relative beginners. You would then have time to build experience (and funds) before settling on another, even more ideal, permanent venue.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 11:39 AM

Thanks for that Countess Richard.

It helps a lot to think that I may be on the right track. :-)

Sooz has been so so helpful with very sound advice.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 01:22 PM

"Guest": "the percentage of the populace currently actively involved in the traditional english folk scene... is far less than the percentage of people who's roots do not hail from England."

While the existence of all this music from other cultures is all very exciting and not in any way to be discouraged, it is a very sad corollary that most English people do not even recognise their own folk culture when they hear it. On more that one occasion I have been in a session in a English pub where we were playing English music, (including an instrument uniquely invented by an Englishman...) and bystanders come up and ask us if (or tell us) we're playing Irish music. If you went into a session in Scotland or Ireland and asked anyone what the music was they might say it was folk or traditional but they'd never say it was something foreign.
(rant over...)

There's another thing about "world music" that has come to my attention recently. Much of what finds its way into the "world" category in a British record shop is the cultural equivalent in its own country of rock, pop, easy listening or even classical music.

The truth is that there is no such thing as world music - it's pretty well known that the term was invented by a group of record industry marketing chiefs as a convenient heading under which to sell commercial music to bigger market.

I'm with Ian Anderson of fRoots who pointedly includes English music as world music, while the American Grammy association's definition of world music apparently excludes anything sung in English.

So I'm sorry, but I don't agree that music from the rest of the world is the future of English folk music, any more than I should believe that Mongolian overtone chanting is the future of Flamenco or thet Hardanger fiddles are the future of Salsa.
(I just know that I'm now going to find exactly those combinations featured in some edition of a certain mag....)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 01:47 PM

Les - your two-tier idea of a folk club, with a beginners session at the beginning and the proper club starting later, has been done before, I heard with great success. Go for it!

This problem is solved in some other places by the scheme I mentioned before, when the same people run a very informal pub session in parallel with the club. I have actually seen singers start (very nervously) in the session and months later have enough confidence to be able to sing in the club. This is a Very Good Thing, of course.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 02:31 PM

Thanks Anahata.
Do you know I hadn't thought of the beginners first and the club starting later.
I thought originally that the beginners might like mixing it at the end. Then it got to maybe in the middle.

I am convinced if the more experienced artists assist the less experienced, that will give them confidence and will eventually get them to the point where they demand a spot.

I suppose its the same in all walks of life. The experienced taking time to nurture and train the inexperienced. The benefits are enormous. It might be a pain to begin with, but if you don't help them, they will never learn. This applies to bringing youngsters onto the scene.

Les


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 04:10 PM

The role of folk clubs today....is what was asked in the original post. Your assumption that it only meant english folk music is perhaps the reason they are dying on their feet.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 04:29 PM

Sorry Guest was that aimed at me or somebody else?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 05:07 PM

Sorry Villan I don't know what you assumed.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 05:09 PM

"Your assumption that it only meant english folk music is perhaps the reason they are dying on their feet. "

Hi Guest I wasn't really sure about the above comment! :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 05:34 PM

Ok...........I was trying, evidently very unclearly, to say that I think the future of folk clubs will remain, but the music played at such will change. To reflect hopefully the roots/traditions of the population as a whole.Folk clubs will not be thought of as an exclusively english bastion. Sure there will be clubs dedicated to just that,english folk music, and others dedicated with equal fervour to the folk music of their audiences.

Of course traditional english folk will remain,why wouldn't it? But it will just be one example of folk music. I would like to see folk music of many cultures celebrated.It is today, under the clumsy but recognisable heading of world music, and while I agree with the comment above that world music is often the pop of that particular country, I do not feel that that is criticism.Anything that gives exposure to other nations music, is a good thing , I think.And it is often peoples first introduction to suchlike, they can then decide if they like the sound and explore further.

The WOMAD festivals and all it's associated artists are a very successful concern.They would not think folk clubs are declining, because they would not assume the only folk clubs operating are english. The Royal Festival Hall sells out regularly when showcasing what could be termed folk music from other countries.Folk music is alive and well in many cultures.Why do you you think english folk music is becoming such a minority interest?

Organizations that oppose change and are in the decline, will either accept the world is changing, or become extinct.

I have just reread this, and it is still not much clearer.....but please don't take it personally. It is my opinion only.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 05:52 PM


To reflect hopefully the roots/traditions of the population as a whole.Folk clubs will not be thought of as an exclusively english bastion.


Exclusively English? Have I imagined all the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French, American and even Japanese music that I have heard in the folk clubs of England over the years? Perhaps our anonymous guest should get out more.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 05:57 PM

I would imagine the folk clubs that actually operate in those countries are doing very, very well.

The ones that operate in England are in the decline.Why do you think that could be?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 06:07 PM

What we call 'English traditional music' today was the popular music of another era. In the meantime, it's been classicised and, once again, 'reclaimed'. What is presented as 'world music' may indeed be the popular or classical music of the culture from whence it came. So just what is the problem? (Apart from the futility of labelling?) I listen to music if it's good. If it's not, I turn it off or walk out, whatever the genre.

I don't think English traditional music is 'becoming' a minority interest. It *is* a minority interest, rightly or wrongly, always has been. Is this the music's fault? I don't really think so.   The fault lies with those who either wish, inexplicably, to keep it hidden or those who, for equally obscure reasons, have contrived to convince an entire generation to disown and ridicule our cultural inheritence.

If this is so, in the words of Chris Wood, our children can, equally, be taught to value it and, eventually, given the courage to add to it.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: LesB
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM

Who says folk clubs are in decline? I,ve just got back from watching John Kirkpatrick performing to an audience of 100 at our club Bothy .
Maybe guest lives in London (ref the Festival hall). It's a much more cosmopolitan society down in 'the smoke'.
Although last week at a singers night we had songs in German, French & Yiddish. Mind you I didn't enjoy them much!

Les


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 07:05 PM

This discussion is bedevilled by differing assumptions about what the words used mean.

For example a club that only books singer-songwriters (who presumably in that context only sing their own songs) may be an excellent club. It may or may not be an acoustic music club. But it is not a folk club, any more than the All Wheel Drive Club is the Ramblers Association.

It is also bedevilled by territorial assumptions. What is folk music in America (or Japan, or Germany, or France) is not the folk music of England (and vice versa). It does not make either better or worse.

But it does heavily influence the answer to the question.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 07:14 PM

You are right,folk music is not defined as better/worse due to where it hails from.

But I think the interesting thing is, that it is traditional english folk clubs that are in the decline. At a time when there is an increasing interest in "world music" here in England.

If other cultures are enjoying a resurgence in the celebration of their folk music here, why do you think the english interest is waning. The subject of it's decline is not my opinion alone, it has been the subject of many a thread.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 02:13 AM

Guest, why don't you reveal yourself? You have some good points to make and it is so much nicer to talk to a face!

Would I be right in thinking that you might not be English, and that you are finding it hard to get a footing into the English Folk Club scene?

As a rank outsider, who after 38 years of being on the fringe of folk music, but still enjoying it, via the Radio - Radio lincolnshire and Derbyshire and CD's (compilations), I will attempt to put forward what I think an English Folk Club is.

To me an English Folk Club is all about tradition and atmosphere, with a very friendly attitude from the people that attand. It is almost like a family. To me the artists know their trade and it is part of their life. Its not just music, its about poetry and verse, people who are keeping old traditional crafts going. I suppose its about heritage.
I live in Market Rasen - Lincolnshire/England now, having also lived in Birmingham - Warwickshire/England, Graingemouth in Scotland, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, London - England, Bracknell - Bershire/England and Paignton Devon/England.
I guess the point I am trying to make, is that wherever I am, English Folk Music conjures up a picture for me, which I like.
That doesn't mean that it is English Folk Music. It is really British Folk Music in the main (English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh).
If you lived in Scotland, you woudn't call it an English Folk Club (only if you were English - :-)).
I beleive that anybody who has a tradition to uphold, whichever country they come from, must surely be classed as part of the Folk scene.
It doesn't mean that I am going to like all of it. If I went to a folk club in this country, and the artists were all foreign and didn't speak English, I would be interested in their Folklore, but am not sure I would enjoy it, because it probably isn't what I want to hear and I can't understand them. So i probably wouldn't go back again. That would be my choice.
Where I live (a small town of approx 3500 inhabitants) in rural Lincolnshire, their perception of what folk music is, is likely to be far different say to London. The number of people who would attend would be far smaller. They are more likely to enjoy what's on offer from artists who come from the Lincolnshire area.

I have no idea if what I have just said makes any sense or not, but it is what I think - rightly or wrongly.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Mike and I go to a lot of folk clubs and they are all different! I reckon thats the whole point because there is something for everyone both as a participant and as a listener.
We like to receive a warm welcome, some friendly abuse and to hear a wide variety of music. Thats the atmosphere we try to create at our club here in Gainsborough (and we do have some talented young members when their University studies allow them to join us).


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,The Cott
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM

This argument comes round and round, and one comment that always appears is:

"I don't know what you people are worrying about - I went to go and see John Kirkpatrick/Martin Carthy last month at Spuds Folk Club and the place was packed."

Yes, well the place probably was packed, that was because John K/Martin C were playing, and that is why you were there. What about the rest of the year? The place is depressingly empty.

-cjc


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:35 AM

Only read first few posts so apologise if I'm repeating what has already been said. I agree with first quest when they state that you have to get past the "inner circle" and over the barbed wire. Until the older (NOT ALL) members give a warmer welcome to people outside the inner circle, drop their defences, and stop demonstrating elitism the young and old will stay away. This I believe is a great shame they have their part to play in developing this tradition, it is not yours or theirs to keep, but for all to share and enjoy.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:58 AM

We operate an equal opportunities policy in Gainsborough. Anyone who comes prepared to perform gets a fair hearing and a warm welcome from the "inner circle" who are often prepared to miss their turn to leave more time for a newcomer or someone who has travelled a great distance. In return we expect them to give us a fair hearing and to fit in with our ethos. Latecomers who expect to take over are not welcome!
Working in this way, we have a full house for almost every meeting. The only time our numbers fall is when we have a guest artist.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 05:18 AM

>>
Anyone who comes prepared to perform gets a fair hearing and a warm welcome from the "inner circle" who are often prepared to miss their turn to leave more time for a newcomer or someone who has travelled a great distance.
<<

That is a very good policy Sooz, and I am sure appreciated very much by people who are given that chance.
It's not easy is it, but I suppose you have to be flexible and give as many people as possible, an oportunity. Otherwise artists will stop coming.

I hope I remember your words when the heat is on when I get going.

>>
In return we expect them to give us a fair hearing and to fit in with our ethos. Latecomers who expect to take over are not welcome!
<<

I support that wholeheartedly.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Pied Piper
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:12 AM

Guest has it in a nutshell.
One of the many reasons for the decline in attendance at folk clubs is the attitude of the "regulars" who consider that the club and the music belong to them, and don't want to share it with the below stairs types.
Just watch them squirm if someone sings something vaguely controversial.
Folk clubs are dieing a death that they have worked hard to achieve.
Good riddance.
The music will not die.
PP


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:25 AM

Pied Piper
Can you explain a bit more, what you mean by "below stairs types". I think I understand what you mean, but would like your explanation, and what is it that you mean by controversial? You sound as though you have had bad experiences, and I would like to know what they are.

I would then like to hear what peoples view points are on that.

Once again, this can help me greatly when I get my club up and running.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:33 AM

Villan not everyone who can see why folk clubs are dying a death have had bad experiences. They are just not blinkered into thinking they are perfect.They can see what is wrong, as has been pointed out by some above.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 07:33 AM

I get your point Guest. :-)

This all helps me to make sure I dont fall into that trap.

As I dont sing etc, I am hoping that I am able to see the wood from the trees.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: LesB
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 01:55 PM

Pied Piper seems to have a down on folk clubs. He doesn't have to go to one, just leave them alone for those who do.
I agree there are clubs struggling, due to a number of reasons, some of which are already mentioned.
As I see it there are several different types of club.
1) What I think of as a standard club such as my regular. Where we have a singers night one week followed by a guest night the next.
2) Then there is the concert type of clubs, such as seem to win the awards. (Maybe because Mike Harding & co only ask the big names he features on his show and their like & The concert clubs are the only ones that can afford them)?
3)Then there are singers clubs that have an occasional guest.
3) Acoustic venues/open mike nights (there's a contradiction in terms). I don't think of them as clubs myself.
4) Then there's sessions & singerounds.
I have no knowledge of 'World Music' venues, there seems to be concerts & festivals, but clubs? I don't know.
Les


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:44 PM

Sooz has summed it up nicely
"anyone who is prepared to perform" - the paying customers can f*ck off.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 04:54 PM

Guest
Can't see many listeners coming in with that sort of attitude.

I don't think Sooz said that at all.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 05:10 PM

Clearly one can't please everybody. One man's "welcoming and inclusive policy" is another man's "I didn't pay money to listen to these crap floorsingers". Nevertheless skilful organisers have the ability to apply the right discrimination and strike a balance that keeps enough people coming back for more. And others have an amazing ability to piss off both audience and floor singers by getting it all wrong. I've seen that happen too...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 05:13 PM

>>
And others have an amazing ability to piss off both audience and floor singers by getting it all wrong. I've seen that happen too...
<<

Bloody hell I hope that doesn't happen to me. :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 05:29 PM

I think she did, you know, or at least that's how the punters are going to see it when obliged to sit through a procession of untried, underrehearsed chancers and complacent regulars whose idea of 'preparation' is a swift thumb through a dogeared tune or songbook.

If a club is charging £6 or so for the privilege of sitting in their usually not too comfortable, dingy pub backroom you need to present them with something a bit more professional than this if you expect them ever to return.

Way back then, we'd sit all night on hard benches in the Cousins or the Troubadour drinking nothing but disgusting coffee and imagining we were all brilliant. We weren't, of course, but some are still doing exactly the same stuff, and just as badly.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 05:53 PM

A hint from a friend who does run a good club - and he and I are always talking about the subject - he has a couple of regulars who are really not brilliant musicians or singers but good club supporters in many ways. His verdict "they're never going to get any better but they're giving 100%". That's his criterion for everyone - if you look and sound like you are making some effort for the audience, many of whom aren't folkies and don't know a famous name from a totally obscure one, they will appreciate it, and conversely you don't have to be an expert to smell bullshit or arrogance, which incidentally excludes some well known performers from his booking policy. No names, no pack drill.

And returning gently to the topic of the role of folk clubs - I'll add something I said earlier about the trend I see of folk clubs moving to larger community venues. When done right, they do attract local people who aren't folkies, like the one I mentioned above and another which is run by the landlord of the local pub but the folk club isn't in the pub - it's in the village hall opposite where parents can and do bring their children sometimes and though there's a bar it's not a building primarily made for drinkers. My point is that the whole enterprise is a community event and that seems a good, outward-looking, direction for a club to be taking.

By the way, the places I'm talking about are thriving and nobody would call either of them a world music venue. Compared with folk clubs, world music is big money entertainment that is only affordable in bigger concert venues.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:36 PM

I'm all for the trend to use community venues in a bid to attract a whole cross section of people, those to whom our traditional heritage actually belongs. At a recent community centre performance by Chris Wood and storyteller Hugh Lupton I met people who had till then only a hazy and distorted notion of what 'folk music' is, but found they liked it.

Rather less fortuitively, the younger element was in the room next door belting out garage but they were in the same building at least ant maybe next time the twain might mingle?

I am also strongly in favour of a further trend of certain forward-looking artists to take gigs in nightclubs and cellar bars with a cross-genre booking policy. I have seen Spiers & Boden follow a Japanese techno band and go down a storm as well as selling armfuls of CDs to an interested, open-minded audience with no prior conception of what English traditional music was but liked what they had heard.

World music, however, is not a genre confined exclusively to concert halls and the Andy Kershaw programme. It's on every street corner where I live in Notting Hill and elsewhere. It's a real part of our lives and I hear it being adapted and incorporated into English music as multiculturalism becomes more and more a part of how we live today.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Cittern
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 06:37 PM

It isn't surprising given all his experience, but Harvey Andrews described the situation perfectly.

The only point I might argue with is the "but not in the modern pub" comment. As a sound man/driver/roadie I have toured across the UK with Julie Ellison playing folk clubs, arts centres, festivals and pubs.

Many folk club organisers look down their noses at anyone who plays pub gigs but be assured, there is a mighty amount of original acoustic music rooted firmly in the traditions of ragtime, blues and folk currently being played to appreciative and knowledgeable audiences in pubs across the UK.

They may often be smokey. They may often be noisy. They may attract a totally different audience to those who attend the folk clubs and arts centres, but the demand for good acoustic-based music in the pub environment is very high. And although they may be a different crowd, it is interesting to see how many make the effort the attend the arts centre gigs having discovered the artist in their local pub.

I guess I am saying that there shouldn't be barriers, and I guess I am also saying that the music will live on - in many different environments.

All the best
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM

I have not read this thread at all so sorry if I am repeating someone elses view. This was, however, completely on purpose. I saw the thread title and realised how I should answer it, having just come back from the folk club. A few pints of Hartleys XB. A night by an artist I admire but do not particularly follow and I feel I am an authority!

The role of the folk club is for people to enjoy themselves. Pure and simple hedonism if you like! I have had a great night. I will have another great night next week. What is wrong with people enjoying themselves with no idea about tradition or whatever?

Cheers

And carry on enjoying the discussion...

DtG


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 01:45 AM

If I do go with the local Cricket and Football Club facilities, they have 200 - 300 members. I don't think that includes the children.

In setting up the Folk Club, I am aware that there is a big potential to attract quite a few listeners. In the beginning, I am assuming that none of these people will come and watch. But if 1 person from that club, does come and watch and says it was crap, I may as well shut up shop, because the whole of the club will know about it and the rest of the town (3500 residents).

If it is good, then I am hoping over time that more people will come along. The more listeners I get, the better chance I have of offering some sort of recompense to the regular singers.

So I have to work a fine balance betweeen the artists and the listeners.

So far the artists who have said they will come and sing/play have a good track record, and from what I can see are genuinly interested in promoting the club and folk. That at least gives me a good chance of pulling this off.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,JAne
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Hi everyone, what great discussion! thanks


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: breezy
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 05:47 AM

to get us out and about and away from the tele, to eat and drink and escape,


and generally, not give a damn.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Concerned
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:01 AM

breezy, you've got it in one agree 100%.
It's a great shame that many more people dont think like you, we could then get over the hurdle of the "inner circle" mentioned earlier in the thread. People must stop acting in an elite fashion and folk environments will be a better place.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 08:14 AM

What a lot of comments since I last dropped in! More from me:-
1. We don't charge people to listen to crap floorsingers.
2. We only make a charge on guest nights.
3. We rarely hear crap floorsingers. The may be inexperienced or under-rehearsed but they are doing their best and may even get better.We all had to start somewhere.
4. Its all about sharing music and if they give me a fair hearing I owe them the same in return.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 08:50 AM

Speaking as a young person, I hate folk clubs, mainly because theyre boring.
You cant be yourself in a folk club, you have to conform and to me that means a lot, If i cant get silly drunk and dance around like a fool then I aint happy.
The friends I have taken to folk club have said ( and I qoute) 'They are repulsively depressing dingy dark rooms, with these strange bearded people that want their 5 minutes of fame'

however when he went to Chippenham, he said 'one of the best weekend of my life' I think that says it all to me.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 09:27 AM

It depends on your perspective though, doesn't it. On the one hand its fun to get silly-drunk & dance around. But then I don't want people dancing around silly-drunk whilst I'm performing.
I get a lot of pleasure from listening closely to the music and words that people are performing - and really appreciate the chance to do so in a quiet environment.
Dave of M - I think that folk clubs in their general format bore you (and they would have bored me when I was younger)- but I don't think its fair to say that they are boring as such. It depends what you want, and that does change as you age. You might like them later on...


AND - I WANT MY 5 MINUTES OF FAME!!! (do I need a beard then?)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 10:27 AM

>>
I get a lot of pleasure from listening closely to the music and words that people are performing - and really appreciate the chance to do so in a quiet environment.
<<

Coudn't have said it better meself.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 11:03 AM

Ok.
I see your point, and I supose I can get tired of jumping around like a fool. And at that point Id like to listen closely.

But I think when people wonder why young people are not going to folk clubs, its not because they are unwelcoming areas, as any young person who goes clubbing or out drinking,most places are unwelcoming, and young people dont usually give a crap.Its because its not the right environment for a young person to be in.
Sure at times, it can be nice to sit around and listen, but folk clubs want this all the time, and speaking as a young person, IMO its not something young people want to do all the time.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 12:18 PM

Dave
you don't have to do it all the time, just some of the time.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 12:31 PM

D of M - if you want to get pissed and loon around (which is fine, I've done it often), go to a drinking/dancing club. If you want to LISTEN to traditional and contemporary songs and tunes played live (or even have a go yourself) go to a folk club. It's unreasonable and unrealistic to go to one type of club and expect to behave as you would in the other, not to mention unfair on other participants.

All the other moaners - no wonder clubs are dying with you negative lot around. Jonahs, the lot of you.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM

So - Dave is right really - folk clubs as they stand are not going to be attractive to most young people. But then they are not attractive to most older people either. We are a minority.
The question is whether we should be worrying about it.
I am a member of the local canoe club - and we don't tend to attract a huge amount of rowers to our club. That is because we like what we like, and they like something different. They have their club, we have ours and everyone is happy. Young people will go to their own kind of venue, start one if they want to, not if they don't. The music is not going to die out, even if all us old fogies drop dead one by one & leave the folk club dwindled down to nothing.
So what is it we want from these young folkies? Are we wanting to pass on the old trad baton? Or are we getting bored with our own format and wishing someone young & vibrant would come in and liven us up? In which case I wonder if the real point is that we just need to inject some energy and passion into the clubs and make them somewhere WE want to be, instead of worrying about trying to appeal to the rest of the populace.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 01:19 PM

I think folk clubs are only boring to young people becasue they are full of old people.

When I was young folk clubs were full of young people and they weren't boring at all...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Myrtle
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 01:38 PM

Hi Dave,
You've hit the nail right into the lid, had a great night Mon, and Swinton is always enjoyable.
'Norma Waterson manquee' refs. Can they mean me??
See you next time I'm on Walton Mountain!
Myrtle


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 01:50 PM

Blimey Treewind, you have a point there.

If I think back 38 years, we were all young, including Martyn Wyndham Reid with his long gold curly locks of hair and Cyril Tawny who must have been in his mid thirties when I saw him.

Does anybody go to see Glen Miller anymore (course they don't, he's dead) or The Black and White Minstrals, which my father loved and still does at the ripe age of 88. I doubt very much if I will ever want to watch that sort of music.

So where does folk go from there. Get into the schools and encourage the youngsters to come and play at the folk clubs. Is that daft, as we say in Brum.

Last week I saw 2 young ladies perform "woudn't it be luverly" supported by Hillary Waterfall who plays with the Riverhead Ranters from Louth, at the De Aston Secondary School. Hilary tells me that the arrangement was a copy from the poozie's. I thought they were very brave to try it, but their voices were great, and I was smitten by the way they did it. I also heard a young lad sing a Billy Bragg number apart from other numbers. He is very talented. I am hoping that I can persuade them to come to the Market Rasen Folk Club as and when it gets started, and sing (haven't sorted that out yet). I strongly believe that encouraging young people to show what they are made of, even if they move on to other types of music.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 02:31 PM

If I remember when I was young (the late 60's, by definition a bad time for memory cells) I didn't folk.   That was mainly because the principal purpose of a young man's life is to f**k. Hormones 'n' stuff. Dance was then and may still now be the primary socionormal way to start physical contact (with a view to a f**k). Ergo I went to discos (indeed I ran a mobile one) and preferred bands that played danceable (quite a wide range in the university context) music. Those who did not go out with the same primary purpose and indeed were not socially prepared to be seen to be pursuing that social purpose went to folk clubs. Many women students did. It was part of the polarisation of the times.


Folk guitarists however found folk clubs successful hunting grounds (no names, no pack drill) but the rest of of us either did not believe or could not emulate.

The early 60s may have been different - I think then the dancefloor sent a different social message, and the hunter on those plains needed perseverance - whereas the folk club (and maybe then jazz club, remember beatniks?) probably showed a distribution skewed towards the less conventional and so increased the prospect of a truncation of the socio-normal waiting time - a positive cocking of a snook at society.

Bring that up to the present day - the reason the young don't find folk clubs interesting is the opportunities for sexual hunting are limited, whereas festivals even folk festivals may be quite the opposite.

Got to go - going to a folk club (well pub session) and fancy the landlady.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 02:37 PM

You little devil you :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,SteveM
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 03:26 PM

I think Daves hit it on the head, young people dont go because they want to dance around and be jolly,they may not listen as hard as us old people do, but they enjoy it.
I agree with the last sentiment as well, lets stop worrying about young people and make folk clubs places we want to be.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM

I'd like to refer Guest Jane (and the rest of you) to this thread on the Barnsley Youth Folk Festival. It's just one example of how young performers, driven out of the time-warped ghettoes you call 'folk clubs' really are doing it for themselves.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Gato
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 09:16 PM


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Gato
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 10:16 PM

I couldn't agree more with very first guest and pied piper. To cut a long story short, I used to sing in folk clubs in the early 80's, but got lured into 'country music'..could earn more money out of it. When I finally lost interest, but still fancied singing again. I thought about folk clubs again. Went to what was advertised as singers night in the Turks Head, in B'ham(UK). What a joke! A non musical pal came with me. I got in free cos I had the guitar, he had to pay. We were viewed with suspicion by the regulars,who got up to sing,complaining of sore throats, forgetting their words halfway,and the organiser stood at the back of the room booming out of tune bass harmonies to anyone who sang, paying no attention to their timing. There was no bar. You were only allowed out of the room to get a drink at the end of each sorry performance.We left after about 20 mins. My pal commented that he felt he had narrowly missed being sucked into some strange cult. I had to agree.
But I came home..and listened to Travis' exquisite version of Joni Mitchells 'River'..and realised that there is hope for folk music..even though 'herself' hasnt been folkie for years. An old song introduced to new people..Boy have I strayed of the thread!
Gato


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 03:12 AM

CR
Barnsley Youth Folk Festival

That is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 11:48 AM

Eeek! Gato - We've got a GIG at the Turk's head next month. I hope we have a better evening than you and your friend did.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM

Gato - "We left after about 20 minutes". How many pints did you have to leave the room for in 20 minutes? One? How many people did you listen to? One, two? Couldn't have been any more in 20 minutes. Sore throats? Not an unknown phenomenon in the UK. You didn't give it a chance pal - the next guy on might have blown you away.

If you don't like what you see in Folk Clubs the answer's simple - stop moaning about it, start one of your own and run it your own way. You never know, it may be the flagship of a new tradition. (And you may find that pleasing all of your customers isn't as simple as you think).

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,John at Studio
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM

Apologies for the cross posting (this has appeared elsewhere in Mudcat and other places) but it has relevance to the discussion on the folk clubs vs folk music outside of folk clubs - plus I was so excited by the potential of the events that I willingly volunteered to shout about them from the rooftops:

Folk Events at the Blah Bar, Barnsley
=====================================

I had the pleasure of being the sound man at the second of these events, which was headlined by my partner Julie Ellison.

We experience so many different venues across the UK - pubs, folk clubs, arts centres - but I can honestly say that this event is a breath of fresh air which promises a great deal for the folk/acoustic scene in South Yorkshire.

Much discussion has been had here and on other forums about the role of folk clubs in the current day. Whilst the established clubs (both the singers and concert variety) continue to have an important role to play, it is encouraging to see this music being showcased, in a concert setting, in the main space of a modern, town centre bar. The bar is glass walled, making the event highly visible to "Joe public" and several people commented that the whole event had a real "city feel" to it.

The diversity of audience members was especially encouraging, illustrated if nothing else by the presence of hairstyles which rarely make an appearance in folk clubs (unless John McCusker is playing that is!)

The event attracted interest from the local "idie-band" magazine who were extremely positive to the "virtuoso performance" (their words not mine) and the publishing of a review of the events in a magazine perhaps more usually associated with death metal and punk will further broaden the reach of the events.

Audience members included Dave Burland, the headline at the first event, who commented that the gigs could be seen as part of a worthwhile attempt to "reclaim" the town centre, and after the dispersing scenes of drunkenness shown in TV news programmes recently - amen to that

Barnsley is buzzing with folk activity at the moment, with a significant youth oriented event taking place this weekend.

I've never felt more positive about the future! To all the supporting performers and to Tony Heald, the man behind the initiative, a heartfelt thanks.


All the best
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM

I maintain that the role of a folk club is to provide an environment that will give support and encouragement to anybody wishing to play a part in keeping the Tradition alive through music and song.
             I,ve been to folk cubs where there were no more than 6 people, but had a good evening.I,ve been to folk clube that advertise "Singers/musicians welcome,friendly atmosphere" only to find the the resident group or inner circle making it very obvious to me that that outsiders were welcome as long as they sit outside of the circle and listen and not take part in the evenings activities.
             Some folk clubs are very good but I,ve known really good singers who have come to a local folk club and have not been invited to sing and after a while have not returned because the resident singers/musicians feel it,s their club for their own use.
             If club organisers fail to encourage and support people wishing to be a part of the Tradition and fail to allow them to practice and perform their songs/music then the future of so called folk clubs will remain in decline.
             Folk clubs should promote a Pro Social almosphere instead of the Anti-Social atmosphere I,ve encountered at many clubs. A vast majority of professional performers learnt and practised their art at folk clubs. The folk club should provide a place of learning and entertainment
                My final comment is aimed at those who blame the decline on bad floor singers/musicians.The first folk club I ever attended was made up of a number of people who wanted to learn to sing or play an instrument.None of us were particularly good,but with the support and cameradery that we instilled in the club,many of us became confident enough to perform outside of our "safe" environment.It was as a result of this support and encouragement that some of us became accomplished singers and musicians. I,m not that bothered in whether or not someone is a good or bad singer,we all have to learn somewhere and as long as the singer does justice to the song,then I,m happy to listen to them. Thanks for your time folks.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:52 AM

Hear Hear GUEST Guest. You've hit the nail on the head (several times). It's the Folk Nazis, not the enthusastic amateurs, who will kill Folk.
Well spoken mate.
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:58 AM

Well said guest - why not come along and reveal your identity at our club? (I typed reveal yourself the first time....)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: VIN
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM

I CONCUR


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:31 AM

Is a folk club there purely for the artists?

or

Is a folk club there purely for the listeners?

or

Is it there for both?

If it is there for the artists only, then it doesn't really matter who performs.

If it is their purely for the Listeners, then they are only interested in hearing good quality folk, with artists able to sing well and play their instruments well.

If it is for both, then its quite a headache. Where do you draw the line.

I have to say that the support for the Market Rasen Folk Club from the Artist side is just amazing. I just coudn't have dreamt of a better line up.
Having said that, I would like to think that anybody that comes along to listen, enjoy it enough to keep on coming back. I would really like that to happen.

If I allowed somebody to perform, who quite clearly was awful, what is that going to do to the Listeners?

With that in mind, does that make me a Folk Nazi? :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM

It's for everyone who's interested enough to attend IMHO. There's room for give and take, as there's also room for different styles. Occasionally you'll get a dog performer, but that's OK - I bet 200 years ago when the old boys were singing the old songs in their parlours or in thge local they had crap singers too, but the music survived OK.

Everyone who performs had to start somewhere - they were all crap at the beginning (I dare any performer to claim they've always been fantastic). Folk-club attendees are, in the main, amazingly tolerant and will forgive the odd bummer.

If you get a performer who's, shall we say, of limited ability, and the listeners take umbrage, it's more a comment on the listeners than on the performer.

Just my view.

See you toneet,
JB :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:25 PM

Yep got the green light :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 03:14 PM

Folk Nazis? A change from the Folk Communists who expect the audience to pay through the nose to listen to crap.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 06:45 PM

Thanks Sooz and strollin johnny,My name is Tony from South Wales. Why are amateur performers referred to as crap floor singers? It,s the floor singers which are the heart and soul of folk clubs and are responsible for keeping folk clubs and the tradition alive.
            Many of the clubs that I,ve been to only charge a fee on guest evenings.I would rather spend an evening in the company of a group of so called "floor singers" than some of the so called professional performers I,ve seen. I maintain my point that a folk club should be a place where we can learn from, support and encourage each other.Folk songs are songs about everyday folk sung by everyday folk.
    The worst thing that can happen to a folk song is for it not to be sung.Whether you feel that a singer is good or bad,they are keeping the tradition alive."APPLAUD THEM".


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 05:32 PM

GUEST, Guest - AAAAAAAAAAY-MEN to that!

GUEST (anon) - come to the Gainsborough Folk Club at the Eight Jolly Brewers (Lincs.-Notts. border). We don't charge for entrance (except when we have a paid Guest Performer), the performers are, at worst, competent and, at best, excellent. The beer is Real Ale (8 different ones). The people are fine and the welcome is warm. Join in and sing/play yourself, or just listen. Our only club rule is 'Show respect for those who have the balls to put their heads above the parapet to sing or play who and who provide a soft target for the amateur critics who haven't the balls to identify themselves'. 'Nuff said?

Johnny :0(


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Penny Price
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 PM

Like a lot of other people on this thread, I also used to go to folk clubs when I was young - there were lots of them about. And they were good fun even if you didn't like all the singers and their songs - or maybe even if they weren't all professionals! But the thing I remember most was all the chorus songs......usually folk audiences have good voices, they like folk songs (otherwise they wouldn't be there) and they want to join in! There's a wonderful feeling when eveyone's singing a chorus at the tops of their voices and really enjoying it.

Anyway, three kids and many years later......I was trying to find a folk club to go to. The local ones have all closed years ago. Found one a bit further afield and have been there a few times.....BUT whatever happened to the chorus songs? I have heard so many performers, rather full of themselves shall we say, performing songs that nobody seems to know and which certainly don't have any chorus. I found it all rather arrogant and felt that I was expected to sit and be "entertained" rather than feeling part of it. That, to me, is the main difference of folk music to other sorts.

As to floor singers, I agree with the previous message entirely. I get really nervous singing in front of an audience and it's not the easiest thing to do! Apparently it gets better the more you do it.....so that's why floor singers have got to be encouraged. And, it seems to me, they ain't being paid and they're filling in time while the ones that are can have a beer break or whatever.

Regards
Penny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM

Thanks Penny. The chorus songs are still there, and some performers specialise in them but some don't. I think maybe the songs have changed since the days you're thinking of, but there are still a lot of songs with good choruses being sung out there (in our region at least). We have a pretty good balance of chorus/non-chorus songs at our club and I personally try to drop in a chorus song every third-or-so song. I don't think performers of non-chorus songs would regard themselves as arrogant, it's just a fact of life that some people like performing chorus songs while others don't. I hope that us good folks in the Folk World are open-minded and fair enough to go along with any style, even once in a flood, at the risk of inflaming the FNs, the odd Beatles song! But I do agree, the 'feel' of a club is helped by a generous dose of punters singing their heads off :0)

Regarding your nerves, hold on to this thought - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! I've been peforming for forty-plus years, amateur and semi-pro, and I still get the flutters before I sing/play, even in a singaround at my local club. It's an adrenalin thing, and I reckon without it you can't perform at your best.

All the Best,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 04:48 AM

Keep at it Penny - the adrenalin is a necessary part of the performance. It flows even stronger when the audience joins in with the chorus, it is an amazing feeling. We have great harmony singers here in Gainsborough - you should hear us when Johnny sings "Pleasant and delightful".
Tony - you have obviously had some bad experiences with professionals! We are all off to see Jez Lowe tonight at the Turks Head in Lincoln and it will be excellent I'm sure. We only book a few guests for our club, but they are always artists we have seen elsewhere so we are sure they will fit in. The research is a swine but somebody has to do it!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 04:56 AM

Yeah Sooz, it's tough attending all these Festivals, listening to brilliant artistes and swigging gallons of Real Ale - you're a heroine (and Mr. Sooz is a hero too)!
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 05:23 AM

Get on with yer Sooz, you know ye just loooove it! :-)

Joking apart, there is a lot of work that goes on in the background to keep a succesful club running. And I would think a lot of money. And unselfish devotion to duty.

I am trying to do the Cinderella spoonism with my 8 year old, but I can't seem to get it right. I think she's a bit young the way I cock it up :-)

Anybody got the words?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM

Not just performers, there are clubs that like to sing choruses and others that just seem to want to sit back and be entertained.

I suspect the more popular songwriters around the clubs are the ones that write songs with choruses.

As for nerves, I've been more nervous at a small singaround in a pub than I have been sometimes in a concert with a stage, PA and paying audience. There's no logic to it!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: wigan
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 09:42 AM

good thread this. Don't expect too many young people to attend. they a diet of manufactured pop thrown at them To admit to liking folk is not considered cool. If they do turn up encourage them. Talk to them' if they want to perform make space for them. A good folk club will combine music and song. will allow for those who want to perform solo and those who want the audience to join in. It is up to the organisers to know the different people who attend and cater for them all. I personally do not like many of the unaccompanied songs despite going to folk clubs when I was 16 back in '66, but like the others that run our club I accept that others do. We also accept newer approaches to folk and trad and try to encourage everyone that wants to perform. AND new attendees are allways welcomed. Our "inner circle" of 5 do not try to dominate proceedings and we do not allow a situation in which others may want to. I help to run the club at the Globe at Guisborough and attend the folk club at the Rugby club.Both are run on the same approach and both are thriving


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Penny Price
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 08:29 PM

Hello,

Well thanks about the advice on nerves - it's helpful to hear that other people get them and not just me. I thought maybe I should start a new thread on this because I find it helps to have a couple of beers to help the nervousness - but then that has its own problems which I will explain in the new thread.

My two daughters are aged 21 and 17 and they hear their mother playing all sorts of old folk songs on banjo. BUT they don't want to go along to the folk club. I'm trying to work out why, when I was their age, the folk club was the in thing and great, but they view it now as a load of old farts and don't want to know.

To me, folk music is about people. Its about how they live and their experiences. For instance, we don't want to kill whales now - and if we sing a song about the people who did kill whales (Blow ye winds in the morning) we are hearing from the sailors who actually did it that they didn't like it one bit! So it has its relevance now, even though its of centuries ago. It wasn't a pleasant job. It shouldn't have been done. And they knew it.

And a lot of the modern songs are also protesting about things people don't like. But they have to say it now in the loudest possible way. It would seem you have to be plugged into amps as loud as possible to get your message across. But yet......Kurt Cobain (the idol of my daughters) actually sang unplugged "In the pines" by Leadbelly.....and groups like GreenDay, R.E.M and other groups that I can't remember the name of, are actually singing folk songs but they produce them in a rock and noisy format.

My daughters can sing these songs only accompanied by acoustic guitar. But would they be welcomed to sing them at a folk club?

It seems to be that folk clubs must, in a way, fill the role of a museum - to keep the old songs of experience ongoing so that people are aware of historical hardships and exploitation of the working class. But they must also look forward to what problems people are experiencing today...whatever that may be.

Young people today have their own protest songs. Folk singing must surely keep evolving to take in the present as well as the past. Can we encourage them to come along and sing to us about what they don't like now? It seems to me that, if we can't, then when you and I are no longer able to go along to a folk club..............well, there won't be anyone else interested.

Anyway, you guys up in Gainsborough sound cool - I should have gone there a few weeks ago for a banjo festival but couldn't get the transport. Sounds like you've got a good scene going.

Regards.
Penny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Old man
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 01:18 AM

I started going to folk clubs in the late 1960s it was very exciting and vibrant with a strong political awareness. I stoped going to folk clubs in the late 1980s when they [ all ? ] seemed to start booking pop singers in a vain attempt to attract more young people in, this failed but the damage was done. Ewan MacColl once said that the folk club movement lost it's way when it lost it's political content I think this suns it up for me. It was always more than just songs and singing, we talked and discussed other things as well as politics, the young people today don't seem to care.
sad old man


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM

Penny - you missed a good weekend at the American Old Time Festival keep a look-out for next year!
Your daughters would be welcome at our club. In some ways, "Folk" is about the presentation rather than the content. Some of the songs in our repertoire come from Buddy Holly and the Boomtown rats (and we love REM!)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Penny
I you can ever get to the new Market Rasen Folk Club, with your daughters, then I promise you that they and you would get floor spots.
Last night was the first time for me, runnning such a club.
I had a young lady who is 18 and her partner play at the club and they went down a storm. They have a big future in front of them. Their names are Lucy Wright (vocals + fiddle) and Paul Young (Guitar0. Thye did a floor spot of about 15-20 mins. The also finished off the evening with a jamming session with Liam Robinson (Button Accordeon)who is part of the Little Band and Oakley (fiddle) who is part of CARA. It was great.

I also managed to get Lucy and Paul a 15 minute live session on Radio Lincolnshire last wednesday. They went down a storm.

9 artists did floor spots last night, and they were all very good.
I am so impressed with the quality of folk singers in Lincolnshire.

I am also hoping to have more youth singers on the next evening which is Friday April 23rd 2003.

So I am saying this to all folkies who know of talented youngsters, that if they would like to have a floor spot at my club then PM me and I will fit them in on a night that suits them.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Penny - "My daughters can sing these songs only accompanied by acoustic guitar. But would they be welcomed to sing them at a folk club?". Yes they certainly would at Gainsborough, where we are very open, tolerant and accepting of different musical styles. I know the FN's will stick red-hot needles in the eyes of a small figurines made in my image (well, they'd actually have to be small, overweight figurines) for saying this but here goes - Traditional Folk Songs are the 'Pop' music of the past, of a time when there was no PRS, no big music publishers, no easy transport, no money for the hoi-polloi like us, and when there were no recordings or Radio or TV, so the songs HAD to be sung LIVE! There, do your worst, FN's!

We have to get young people INTERESTED, and old farts like me telling them Folk's great won't do the job - we have to get them INTO the clubs to HEAR the music. Many will fall by the wayside (it's not everyone's cup of tea after all), but some will stick and their tastes will develop. At our club we currently have a young couple (in their first year at Uni) who intitially 'stuck their heads through the door' for maybe half-an-hour, listened, whispered to one another and went. Less than a year later, and with huge encouragement from the old duffers, I can tell you they are the STARS of our local performing fraternity, looking to start their own club at the University they attend, and very probably on the brink of a highly successful Folk career.

It's got bugger-all to do with Ewan MacColl or politics or boring old farts and sad old hippies in rose-tinted spectacles who've never moved on from the bloody sixties - it's about BRINGING youngsters into the fold, HEARING what they can do, SHOWING them what we've got and ENCOURAGING them to know that they've got a talent that's worth working on. We have to get 'em through the door in the first place, and if that means listening to one more young and eager kid's rendition of a Coldplay/REM/Oasis/Any-Other-Damn-Indie-Band song, I for one can hack that. The results, as I've demonstrated, can be worth it - do the job right and they'll soon be regaling you with 'Banks of Sweet Primroses'.

And before the FN's start moaning on about dilution of the Tradition by allowing modern-day material, think on this - the Folk scene (that's us, folks) should be robust enough to handle it without wobbling. If it isn't it's not the kids' fault, it's ours.

And I'm 57, before anyone asks.

IMHO. :0)

Johnny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM

Strollin'
I endorse your comments completely, and I am 58, so there, I am older than you :-)

Market Rasen Folk Club is a club I want to be seen as embracing the young and old, and giving youth a chance. They are the future. In all walks of life, it needs experienced people to help and develop young poeple, and folk is no different.

Gainsborough Folk Club, I beleive has the same concept. I applaud how they nurtured Lucy and Paul into the scene. Last night was a glowing example of what Gainsborough has done to develop these two youngsters.

Another glowing example of young artists, was Liam Robinson.

What better example could they have had last night, than to work with the likes of more experienced folk singers such as CARA, Stitherum, Karen and Colin Thompson, John Blanks, Mick Pierce, Mike Wray and last but not least Diathi and Laurie. Thank you all for such a wonderful night.

It needs the older more experienced Folk Singers to embrace youngsters, support them and help them through. Without that Folk will die as we know it.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 AM

Strollin, you sound like Mike Harding IE willing to forsake the integrity of the music as long as you get a lot of people to listen to it. And by the way I'm 57 also, I play in at least three sessions every week and all are welcome no matter what they sing or play, be it folk. country, jazz or pop, folk clubs are a different thing. You don't go to the dairy for beer so you don't go to a folk club to hear pop songs.
eric


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Old man
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 06:06 AM

I think Strollin' Johnny is one of the faction that puts forward the opinion ' folk must progress or die ' quite frankly this is total bollocks, whilst new songs and tunes will ALWAYS be written and very welcome too, traditional music and song has done very well on it's own for a few hundred years thank you very much for your concern.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 07:45 AM

Eric
All may be welcome, but trying to get the youngsters into a folk club is very difficult.

My approach is to get the youngsters in to sing and hopefully they will get mates and maybe parents along as well. In such a case tradition flies out the door in my book. The traditional singers will hopefully help and support these youngsters.

Strollin' played at my club last night and was very good and was liked by everybody. He doesn't sing pop songs, he sing folk songs. He is a very talented artist with his feet firmly on the ground. As to getting a lot of people to listen, that is absolute rubbish. He regularly plays to audiences of 20 - 30 poeple at small folk clubs. He is also very supportive of young artists. So I personally think that your comments about him are definately way off the mark. I for one value his support and influence very much.

Old Man - You go on believing what you want, but personally I think you are living in the past, and possibly one of the reasons, why folk clubs are having such problems getting yougsters in.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:37 PM

Well, Eric and Old Man, when you and your elitist cronies peg out, who will continue to perform and promote the 'traditional music that's done very well for the past few hundred years thank you very much'? Your Sad Old Ghosts? Are you trying to tell me that youngsters are flocking to your clubs in their thousands because of their congenital love of traditional music and their admiration for your determination to keep those clubs 'pure'? In your bloody dreams pally.

If it were so simple no-one would be more delighted than me, but it ain't. As your FN-ism seems to have rendered you incapable of understanding a simple premise, I'll try it again in simple phrases and without using any joined-up writing:-

1. One day, you and I are going to die
2. When we die we won't be around to sing the songs and play the tunes any more.
3. That means someone else who hasn't died yet will have to sing and play them, otherwise they will be forgotten and the tradition will dia as well.
4. Young people probably won't die as soon as old people.
5. Therefore the young people will have to start singing and playing the songs and tunes.
6. But it's not easy to get young people into Folk Clubs because they think Folk Music's boring and the old people who like it are sad old bastards.
7. So we have to show them it's not like that.
8. How?
9. By allowing them to come to our clubs, letting them show us what they can do and showing them and their music a little respect.
10. At the same time we show them what nice people us sad old bastards are, and let them hear what we do and what effing good stuff it is.
11. Then, although some of them will still regard Folk Clubs as boring, and us as sad old bastards, some - maybe just a talented few - will respect what we do and want to become a part of it.
12. Then when we die, they will be around to sing the old songs and play the old tunes.
13. That's how traditional music has survived and evolved 'for the past few hundred years and done very well thank you very much'. Each generation has brought young people in and, if we had the means to look back over those years, we'd almost certainly find that those young people have put their stamp on the music.

There - simple enough for even a Folk-Nazi to understand. And what you also need to understand is that it's your miserable, intransigent and arrogant attitudes that are proving to the kids that they're right and driving them away. Without them Folk Music and the clubs WILL die, so if you've got a realistic, workable and fool-proof proposal for ensuring a continuing healthy influx of young people whilst sustaining your pure, musically 'ethnically-cleansed' clubs, lets hear it.

I'm waiting with great interest - I bet this will be real good!

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 PM

And yes, both Mike Harding and I understand that one way of ensuring the survival of the clubs is to get a lot of people listening. That way some, maybe only a minority but enough, will get interested and involved.

And pubs serve up a lot more than just beer - like the kind of Clubs you seek to promote, they too would be boring and half-empty if they only sold one type of drink.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 11:22 PM

Such a good thread...I last looked in 2 weeks ago and much good stuff has been written since. I still stand by Harvey Andrews' original statements, but there's been a sprinkling (flood?) of additional ideas also.

I too want to see the young'uns in the clubs and I applaud the efforts of the (mainly northern) clubs and places like Barnsley, who actually get off their butts and do something about it. Penny Price, do go to Market Rasen. I would too, if I was within 100 miles from it.

Never mind Beatles and Paul Simon, who are slowly coming into their own "old contemporary" category (as if we need categories!). Would I mind hearing REM, Green Day etc in a club? Of course not! Good acoustic music is good acoustic music, full stop. You should hear some of the Metallica (yes, Metallica!) ballads that my 18-year old daughter and her bloke play: sweet music, intelligent lyrics, worthy of an outing anywhere.

Though I confess to a really warm feeling when I heard her (through the door, she wouldn't do it in front of me) practicing "Bedlam Boys", Stan Rogers (Mary Ellen Carter & Lies) and Bogle (As if he knows). I know she's played them to her friends.

Can I get her to our clubs? Only 3-4 times on an "educational basis", cashing in all my credits with her, to hear certain special performers, to help broaden her experience.

But ...IF we can make the young'uns feel not just "accepted" in our clubs but free to be themselves...
AND that includes playing the music they relate to (why, some of us may relate to it also)...
AND it also includes providing a social environment for youngsters (chance to "score" comes into it too, light hearted or not, it did for many of us back then after all)...
AND it also includes allowing them a say in the running of the clubs eventually...
THEN perhaps, just perhaps, one day my daughter might hear her own offspring through the door practicing "Bedlam Boys" too.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:49 AM

El Greko

What a shame you are not near enough to Market Rasen and Gainsborough.

Unfortunately Penny is in a similar situation.

That is such a shame, becuase people like yourselves with children who are also playing, are exactly what I and I am sure gainsborough are looking for.

If my club gets off the ground OK, and if there is enough support, I promise a youth festival next year at Market Rasen. Hopefully a weekend one. This would also include like minded "Old Fogies" :-), who are willing to listen help and encourage youth.

Any Clubs around Market Rasen or elsewher, willing to help me in such a venture, would be very welcome.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 05:18 AM

I must confess that I agree with you Strollin' IE if younger people are enticed into folk clubs and a few of them go on to get more deeply involved then it is a job well done.
Folk music HAS done very nicely by itself for a few hundred years WITHOUT needing any campaigns to attract young people. Young people will always do what they want to do regardless, and who knows ? the next great revival might be just around the corner.
eric the old fart


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:02 AM

Was that nearly an agreement Eric?!:-)
We're all on the right lines you know - the more people who are doing something in their own way to keep the music alive the better. One thing we have to remember is that young people today have really opened Pandora's box- there is more going on than ever before and if we want some of them to chose folk music we have to share it with them. That necessitates a two way process! (Lets hear it for Metallica)
One more thought occurs - are we all prepared for the competition?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:37 AM

Ouch - good point, Sooz!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 08:45 AM

It sure is when you hear youngsters such as Lucy and Paul.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:20 PM

El Greko, (may I call you George?!) - Yo de man!! If I can just take a few more lines to relate a true story for the benefit of Eric and Old Man:-

Once upon a time a very young man, a guitarist and singer in a small-time Rock and Roll band, fell in love with the music of a few scruffy upstarts from Liverpool who called themselves by the daft name of the Beatles. In due course he also fell in love with the music of some even scruffier buggers from the London area who called themselves The Rolling Stones. The young man then read interviews given by his heroes, John lennon and Mick Jagger, in which they both raved about an Ameican 'Folk-Singer' called Dylan. "Bloody Hell", the young man thought, "He must be good if Lennon and Jagger rate him!", so seeking further enlightenment and hoping to hear people playing covers of songs by this Dylan guy, he started going to his local 'Folk Club', where he fell in love with the music of a number of other 'Folk-Singers', mostly from across the pond - names like Paxton, Taylor, Lightfoot and Mitchell. Soon, he began to play the songs he heard which had been written by these people, but there were others at his local 'Folk-Club' who sang and played something called 'Traditional' and as time progressed the young man began to realise that, good as these 'Contemporary' singers were, there was a wonderful legacy of songs from our own British Tradition, and he found himself enjoying and joining in with the 'Traditional' songs. Thirty-odd years later he's still singing and playing both contemporary and traditional material, and he thanks God for those older people at the Folk Club who, despite their allegiance to traditional music, allowed him in to play his Paxton and Lightfoot songs and learn his craft, and encouraged him to assimilate and learn to love the songs of his own country at the same time.

And friends, this story is true. I know. I was that soldier. (With apologies to Wink Martindale).

Thanks to Les and Sooz, and also to you Eric for accepting my reasoning - you may not be 100% converted but at least you understand where I'm coming from.   

Cheers guys, I'm outta here.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:43 PM

You should write a song about that John!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 03:01 PM

Had an e-mail from a woman in Market rasen, who I think sings ot plays.
She asked me if it was possible for the general public to come along together with their children.
She has an 8 and a 6 year old who are both learning to play instruments and are both interested in listening to the folk music.
Obviously I have welcomed her with open arms.

Those are the sort of people I want in the club, together of course with all other like minded artist.
I already have 3 younger listeners comin to the club.
If Lucy and Paul come to the 23 April session, then I am guaranteed together with my own 2 children, 4 children under 16 and two teenagers.
My 12 year old daughter went last Friday night for the first time, and enjoyed the music. So what does that say.
Whoopee


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 03:39 AM

Sooz, sadly it's been done before. It's an idea though, there have been lots of 'Road' songs, why not another 'Conversion' song? Mmmmmm.......................................!

Ah'll si'thee toneet.
JB


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 04:11 AM

Hi Strollin' I sure know where you are coming from and I have lots of optimism for the future of the music we all love, and lots of optimism that it is in safe hands with so many good young musicians
about today.
Last year there was a tea time session in a pub called the Fleece in Haworth, Yorkshire, we used to get lots of young people there playing- fiddles, flutes, whistles, you name it , ages from pr- teens to late teens, all playing traditional [ mainly ] music. So all is not lost.
eric


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:21 AM

Thanks for that Eric, I appreciate and respect your opinion. I get concerned though when I hear people coming out with the kind of "It's my garden and you can't play in it" kind of stuff that some people DO come out with.

I'm not so sure that the 'perpetual motion' that's sustained Folk Music in the past will work in the future world. Sooz hit the nail on the head when she touched on the huge number of distractions that just didn't exist "When ah were a lad", and certainly not in the 19th century and before. We need to compete with these distractions, and we need to show the kids that we can give them the kind of respect that we expect from them. You're abso-bloody-lutely right - there's a lot of young talent out there, and an even greater amount that's yet to be uncovered and shown that there's much more to music than Gareth Sodding Gates, Beyonce and Westlife.

So, here in the Cowboy Country that is Lincolnshire, we're not running a CAMPAIGN to reach young people, that sounds like a short-term kind of thing. But we ARE working with a long-established and on-going POLICY to encourage youngsters into the fold and help their tastes to mature and evolve.

But I'm pontificating again! Sorry.

Cheers M'Dears,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 02:46 PM

Thirty seven years ago, with borrowed guitar in hand, I went to the Nags Head in Battersea, South London, and asked for a floor spot. I still cringe when I remember how I massacred the two songs they allowed me to sing. The organisers were so supportive, and encouraging that I went away and spent the next six weeks really learning several new songs. Since that time I have run four successful clubs, and established myself, locally at least, as a good all round performer, writing much of my own material, with the emphasis on humour. I thank God that I did not run into one of those who bleat about crap floor singers on that first night. We should all remember that even Martin Carthy started as a floor singer. When a new performer walks through the door of my club, I remember, and greet him or her as the one thing needed to make my day. If the performer is truly bad, I follow the line that worked for me.

When I have too many singers the first person dropped is myself, followed by residents as necessary, and no new performer leaves without being heard. If you are one of those who won't put up with one or two novices, in an evening of good entertainers, keep your £2, and go elsewhere.

Incidentally, We do have four or five stunning performers in the 20 - 25 age group, and a couple of sixteen year old occasional performers.

In a few years now, I shall be the old fart sat in the back corner, while they run an evolution of what is now a folk club. I don't know what it will be like, but I hope to spend many evenings enjoying it, before joining all those celts playing harps on a cumulous.

Keep on folking
Don T


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Girl Friday
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 09:04 AM

Check out the thread for the Fox and Hounds Folk Club near Farningham Kent. It's pretty new, and has guests and open mic. sessions. The organisers tend to play American stuff, but there is always a good sprinkling of English. It is a long narrow pub, so p.a. is set up. Occasionally, though,we have a session format, depending on how many turn up. We(TDL) are running the evening next Monday, December 10th, so American stuff may not feature too heavily.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 09:19 AM

not much changes, does it?


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