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How good is your folk club?

Sooz 21 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM
Herga Kitty 21 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM
BB 21 Mar 05 - 02:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Mar 05 - 02:29 PM
Dave Wynn 21 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM
the fence 21 Mar 05 - 03:15 PM
Santa 21 Mar 05 - 04:09 PM
Sorcha 21 Mar 05 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 21 Mar 05 - 04:45 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 05 - 05:38 PM
breezy 21 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Mar 05 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,The Beast of Farlington 22 Mar 05 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,muppitz at work 22 Mar 05 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 22 Mar 05 - 07:30 AM
GUEST, Hamish 22 Mar 05 - 10:08 AM
Lowden Jameswright 22 Mar 05 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,bothyman 22 Mar 05 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 23 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM
Georgiansilver 23 Mar 05 - 10:42 AM
Strollin' Johnny 23 Mar 05 - 11:54 AM
the fence 23 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM
Strollin' Johnny 23 Mar 05 - 12:25 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Mar 05 - 01:33 PM
rhyzla 23 Mar 05 - 03:18 PM
Strollin' Johnny 24 Mar 05 - 05:46 AM
breezy 24 Mar 05 - 06:14 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 07:43 AM
Strollin' Johnny 24 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM
Snuffy 24 Mar 05 - 08:59 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Mar 05 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 24 Mar 05 - 09:04 AM
Abby Sale 24 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM
Abby Sale 24 Mar 05 - 09:29 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 09:30 AM
Strollin' Johnny 24 Mar 05 - 09:38 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Sooz (at work) 24 Mar 05 - 10:10 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 10:48 AM
John Routledge 24 Mar 05 - 11:06 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 11:31 AM
Sooz 24 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,PhilP_UK 24 Mar 05 - 11:42 AM
PoohBear 24 Mar 05 - 11:44 AM
Strollin' Johnny 24 Mar 05 - 11:57 AM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM
Lowden Jameswright 24 Mar 05 - 12:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
Santa 24 Mar 05 - 02:35 PM
The Unicorn Man 24 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Mar 05 - 03:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Mar 05 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Guest Bruce Baillie 25 Mar 05 - 03:53 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 05 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Jamell 28 Mar 05 - 04:51 AM
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Subject: How good is your folk club?
From: Sooz
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM

In an article about 40 years of the Southport Folk Club in the latest Living Tradition magazine, Clive Pownceby ends with a suggestion that a club is only as good as its last singers night. "Now there's a new thread for Mudcat" is his challenge. Be a shame to miss the opportunity!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM

Well, it depends on the club, but that probably goes for Herga!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: BB
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 02:27 PM

I rather assume that what Clive is saying is that a good folk club doesn't *need* guests: they're just the icing on the cake.

If that's what he's saying, I agree with him, and have been saying so for years.

Our monthly club usually has around thirty people or so in attendance, over 80% of whom are performers. We have a 'visiting performer' every couple of months or less, who gives us just half-a-dozen items or so during the evening, which is at least three times as much as anyone else gets a chance to do.

And I do believe that guest artists are important: in bringing in different ideas, greater heights for local performers to attain, different instruments, arrangements - all sorts of things - which keep the local performers fresh and on their toes.

But in order to have continually good singers' nights (or performers' nights), the encouragement to perform, the welcome, the atmosphere has to be in place and ongoing, otherwise the club can disappear up its own backside as attendance numbers dwindle.

Sorry - bit of a hobby horse of mine - and they're getting very close too!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 02:29 PM

Certainly goes for mine, but probably not in the way you might think.

We have guest nights only three or four times a year, so singers nights abound. Numbers range from twenty or so down to a "committee meeting" of seven plus two audients (who never miss one).

It makes no difference, as those attending enjoy them immensely. The takings average out to allow us to pay our guests, provide food on special occasions, and even offer free admission to our Christmas guest night, something we don't normally advertise widely for obvious reasons.

Those in the know usually come, and it's one of the high spots of the year. The raffle tends to pay for the next round of advertising.

I'd say that the "only as good as the last singers night" tag works pretty well for us.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM

The BBC have an annual best folk club award. The clubs are voted for by a selection of performers (I believe, so please take this as hearsay). The winners are therefore concert type clubs and while I have no axe to grind here, concert clubs are not my personal idea of a folk club.

My idea of a folk club is where like minded people, both performers and audience, go to share a common interest. In my idea of a folk club, audience can become performers by encouragement and effort. I would slightly change Clive's quote by saying a folk club is as good as all it's singers nights (and some of it's concert nights too). The Bothy club in Southport is a fine example of such a club.

In a purely concert club no overt encouragement is offered to help audience become performers except by showing just how good some performers are and thus encourage by example.

Didn't mean this to sound so damn clinical...sorry.

Spot


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: the fence
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 03:15 PM

If I like the club I go to then thats good enough for me!!!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Santa
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 04:09 PM

The club I go to (under its current incarnation as the Clarence) is predominantly a concert club: as I'm neither a singer nor performer this suits me fine. However, over the years I have seen a number of performers start here, or at least appear here in very neophyte form, and proceed to develop. My wife and daughter both began singing at the club, and are developing nicely (I'd better add......)

We are perhaps spoilt on the Fylde, with a number of clubs of differing styles to choose from. We don't have a concert club, or nothing. We can even afford two clubs on the same night, just a few miles apart.

But I think the Clarence is a wonderful club. I don't care how much fun the seven of you might have sitting round in a circle year after year - good luck to you but I prefer seeing Martin Carthy. Artisan, Tanglefoot, Jez Lowe, Jane and Amanda and Roger.... each to their own.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 04:44 PM

It sucks because I don't have one!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 04:45 PM

Santa, you are clearly one of the scum of the earth who actually expect a folk club organiser to provide some entertainment in return for the price of a couple of pints of beer. It is a great honour to part with a fiver to hear a succession of people who can barely sing or play and who definitely can't be arsed to learn their material.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 05:38 PM

Well, Santa and Guest, back when Don's club was one of the clubs that merged to firm his club, we had a splendid night with Martin Carthy. Format floor singers followed by guest in each half.

His comment was "You have good floor singers".

It was one of the nights Jacqui and I did one of our rare self-penned numbers. He also said "Was that yours? Good song".

Some trolls on here are really stupid.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: breezy
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM

a good folk club puts on a good show every week.

We put on 2 nights a week with guests at both venues.

Floor singers welcome at one as long as they arrive in time, , residents and known performers at t'other.

Chorus singing is the best in Herts, atmosphere is always friendly and guests are relaxed.

folk4all


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 06:31 AM

I second that, Breezy.

I came to a floor singer night and received a very warm welcome, as well as hearing a very good guest. I am listed for one of the other nights later in the year, and am really looking forward to it.

In short, a remarkably good format, and a remarkably good club.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 06:56 AM

I don't subscribe to the 'you are only as good as your last....' philosophy; that makes everything all good or all bad and life's not like that.

Our folk club, at The Highwayman, Sheriff Hutton near York (formerly at The Blacksmith's Arms, Farlington, York - see numerous threads about Sam Smiths brewery and live music) varies in attendance from between 10 - 25 but we have not missed a week in two and a half years from when we started. At its best it is sublime, at its worst it is only enjoyable. Some would probaly not regard it as a purist folk club but the folk content is probably around 60% of tunes. The rest are death metal.

(Only kidding abiut the death metal - more like Jazz, blues, pop)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,muppitz at work
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 07:07 AM

I agree to a point.
My local folk club has an abundance of talent and have really good singers nights, but if they have a guest on I don't like, I don't go.
I have, and will continue to go to clubs who I know don't have the quality of floor singers if they have a guest on that I want to see, but I probably wouldn't go to their singers nights.
Having said all this, I think the audience also has a part to play. Even with the high praise I have for my local club, the one sticking point is that there are a few people who, even though there is somewhere else for them to go and do it, will stand at the back and constantly chatter, singers or guest nights. At times it gets intrusive and it can spoil the night.
The first time Bob Fox came to us, it certainly spoilt his.

muppitz x


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 07:30 AM

Which is your club muppitz? (pm me if you don't want to go public!)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST, Hamish
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 10:08 AM

Definitely. I've seen clubs pull in new faces for a particular guest and fail to capitalise by having either an unwelcoming attitude or crap floorspots. And by "capitalise" I don't mean this in a hard-nosed financial way: it's to everyone's benefit if audience numbers are suitably high.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 12:12 PM

Depends on the club and it's MO. My favourite local club (monthly)has good quality floor singers and a very healthy attendance, with never any problems with audience participation/attention. It would take some beating on any evaluation scale.

Another local club (weekly) operates as mainly performers/singers only. It's well attended, but won't attract audience simply because the level of quality varies dramatically - but the club works fine as it is.

Another operates as a weekly club with guests and a single support floor spot. Again, very well attended (loads o'money)- but not my idea of a folk club because it operates more as a concert/night-club type venue.
Despite its apparent success, the rattle from the back (by the bar) and the front stage-left (by the organisers & entourage) helps to counter any jealousies other club organisers might otherwise feel.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,bothyman
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 01:39 PM

Well it was a bit of a flip question so I'm flattered that a thread DID indeed start after that piece of mine in LT. Me? (Clive Pownceby) - I'm saying nothing!!!!!!!!! I guess there's room for us all but what I do value and welcome is discussion, and differences of opinion. It's when we all stop making comments and value judgements, that apathy rules and stagnation follows. Keep on posting!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM

If Louth Folk Club is to be measured against last nights singers night it will come out as "Excellent". Oops, Ofstedspeak just slipped out!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 10:42 AM

Well said "Teach"!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 11:54 AM

Elucidate please Sooz
S:0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: the fence
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for that Sooz, it was a good nite!!!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 12:25 PM

I'd have liked to be there but I was too tired - spent Monday night bopping to Erasure at 'Ull City Hall. Wooooooo-Hooo!!
S:0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 01:33 PM

It's worth pointing out (what real folkies already know) that Martin Carthy was once a floor singer.

HE remembers that, which is why he is always willing to accept a fee much lower than his true worth, to appear in a small club which could not otherwise afford him. Also, unlike many more recent "stars", he has always sat through the floor spots (with evident enjoyment), rather than disappearing to the bar till his turn to play.

On at least three occasions, I have heard him approach a weak performer, and offer a few words of encouragement, and I was present when he spent ten minutes during the break showing a player how to play a particular piece.

That's why he is one of the best loved, and most respected artists in the country.

I wish there were many more like him, and fewer who sneer at performers, who are doing their (generally improving) best.

BTW not everyone has an eidetic memory. Some people try very hard, but still can't remember all the words. You wouldn't sneer at an orchestra for having the sheet music on stands in front of them, so why belittle a singer who uses song sheets? It isn't usually a case of "can't be a***d".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: rhyzla
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 03:18 PM

I must admit that I've always been a bit miffed at the snobbery over the use of music stands in any form of music.

Is the music any less emotional or powerful if the words/chords/notes are in view of the performer?

Is a performance just a test of memory?

Finally, my motto is : having the music in front of you is never having to say sorry!!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 05:46 AM

Wise words Don and Rhyzla. I've heard stunning performances by artists reading off the sheet, and I've heard shite performances by artists who knew the words by heart.

I don't care if a performer reads, so long as their performance carries the mood of the piece.

S:0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: breezy
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 06:14 AM

If you know your peice then you are free to bring expression and emotion to your performance and the only barrier then is ones ability to communicate and a lack of technique.

I would have been less impressed if Pete Seeger et al had sung from a crib sheet.

Folk performers are more akin to opera and theatre, you dont expect them to be reading their lines.

All too often those who dont know the words are impatient to perform their song and as a consequence it comes under prepared, it wont have matured.

So there.

Looking forward to you visit to St Albans Johnny


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 07:43 AM

Bullshit Breezy - sorry.
Watch Flossie perform (with music stand & song sheets) and come back to us with your change of heart sentiment.
(You'll learn a thing or two about communication in the experience too - it'll do y' good - trust me...)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM

Sorry Breezy, have to disagree there. I've been playing in Rock bands for 40-plus years - and there are songs I've sung since day one that would make me a rich man if I had a quid for every time I've sung them, but I simply cannot remember the words. Nothing to do with laziness, lack of commitment, or lack of preparation (is a few thousand performances enough?), it's a case of lack of memory. No-one would suggest the the leader of the RPO was a bad performer, yet he (or is he a she?) reads every performance.

Should a fine singer or player be denied the opportunity to perform simply because his memory's not great? Don't think so - were the Three Tenors' concerts any less brilliant because they had the score in front of them? Did the audience berate them for reading the words? No fear - they listened to the music and ignored the music stands. Folk's no different (or rather it wouldn't be if self-appointed Folk-Moderators didn't keep inventing petty rules on the basis of their own personal prejudices) :-)

Yes, I'm with you in that it's better to know the words and it's certainly easier to give a performance if you do but, as I said earlier (and I stand by it), I've seen many a fine performance from readers (one-who-shall-not-be-named-but-who-is-a-rapidly-burgeoning-and-mind-blowingly-good-star-in-the-making springs to mind, who has his notes on little cards in a holder taped to the top side of his guitar so you'd barely realise he was reading, and he deftly whips the card out and into his back pocket at the end of each song, leaving the next one visible, but only to him!) and I've seen some crap from people who've managed to memorise the words but who'll never be musicians as long as they've got a hole in their arse.

IMHO!

There, I feel better now so I'll step down off me soapbox. What's the beer like at the Spotlight? (LOL!). I promise to only do songs I can remember! (LOLA!) That's if I'm still booked! (ROFLMAO!) :-)
S:0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 08:59 AM

I've not seen many actors in the Royal Shakespeare Company reading their lines during a performance, but I'm sure they'd be glad to know many of you would think it an acceptable practice.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:04 AM

I've been blessed with a memory which allows me to perform upwards of 100 songs word perfect (with appropriate rehearsal, and not all on the same night), but I still manage to forget how a song starts fromm time to time (usually the ones I composed, which is doubly embarrassing), so I tend to feel some empathy for those less fortunate than myself.

I booked a very well known professional duo about three years ago, and was surprised, but not in any way put off, by the fact that they performed their whole act using song sheets on two music stands. Of the audience of 30 or so (nearly a full house), only two commented on it afterward. The rest seemed not to have noticed.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:04 AM

Personally I feel that I can either communicate with an audience or with a songsheet and I have chosen the former. This may lead to occasional lurches in the lyrics but so be it. Mike and I spend a lot of time becoming familiar with a song (sometimes months) before we give it its first outing. Also, its first outing may well be its last!
Everyone makes their own choice.
What really ticks me off is those people who have to perform a song the day after they first hear it (I don't understand how they can) and those who still make mistakes with the crib sheet in front of them. (Oh, and those who haven't bothered to learn the tune either!)I'll stop there.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:11 AM

I object (generally speaking) to using song sheets since it's less likely the singer has internalized the song, its meaning and its "setting." If the performance is aimed at beautiful presentation, guitar work & emotional contact with the audience then words don't matter much anyway - might as well sing "doo-wah." On the other hand, if it's a ballad then the story and meaning count far more than getting the words "right." It really doesn't matter, eg, what color Alice's dress is unless it must rhyme (if it must rhyme with 'you' then singer will remember the color without a sheet.)

That said, there are many exceptions. And yes, even Pete Seeger has been known to use a crib sheet at a major concert. At least once. Seems he just came on a song and he had to share it. At our local club people often bring sheets and we even provide a music stand to help. But this club, though an "acoustic folk club," is a very informal round-robin and tolerates a very wide range of occasional material. Usually those reading are sharing a one-presentation-only song. Often they are showing their own material for reactions and comment. Often they're practicing for a gig. Often they have wide memorized repertoires as well. I'm considered unusual in never using song sheets but I don't write my own stuff and mosttly sing ballads which are easier to memorize than songs.

We also sponsor two monthly concerts and monthly house concerts (typically a one-hour featured performmer followed by a round-robin jam.) These are different. Now a "performer" is standing in front of an "audience," is paid (something) and is expected to come prepared. I've never seen a crib sheet in these cases and it would be considered tacky unless an acceptable explanation were given.

So - it depends.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:29 AM

Getting back to the nature of the club, as above we have a weekly informal round-robin, one or two monthly concerts and monthly house concerts. In addition, we cooperate with many other local regular meetings weekly or monthly that are usually open-mike format (performers sign up in advance, do a 15-minute set.)

There's a huge choice of venues (most, sadly, non-alcohol) and a consistant emphesis on acoustic "folk" music. There are also many other open mike offerings of poetry, rock, bluegrass, "old-timey" tunes, etc.

I love the diversity and especially the round-robin formats. I prefer these as they are "sharing" the material rather than "performing" it. Cross-talk when there are fewer in attendence is encouraged and relaxed. It seems a person does three songs a night regardless of the format or whether there are four or 25 performers.

My complaint is that the great majority is singer/songwriter stuff. There's a bunch of blues, bluegrass, old-timey, "60's songs" and pre-WW II stuff BUT so very, very, very little actual traditional folk song and ballad. I like the actual traditional folk song and ballad.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:30 AM

"I object (generally speaking) to using song sheets since it's less likely the singer has internalized the song, its meaning and its "setting." "

I watched a guest performer last night at a local folk club. He was a very competent guitar player who had obviously rehearsed his songs endlessly. No crib sheets or music stands. Different guitars set to different tunings to ensure everything went swimmingly, smoothly and seamlessly. No problems there. Not a single word or chord dropped all evening. Very well rehearsed stage craft interludes etc etc
As for the "internalisation, meaning and setting" or expression, feeling, guts, balls & other dynamics, I'm sad to report the following:

                     Distinctly "Lack-Lustre"

Now I realise that song sheets would not have enhanced this guy's performance (a rocket up his arse might have done the trick), but I would certainly have appreciated a trade with some really "grab you by the throat" performers I know who do use props.

As I said - get yourselves off to see Flossie.....


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 09:38 AM

But Sooz, you and Mr. Sooz only have to do half the job each. Us solo artists do it all! (LOL). And we don't have all the spare time to spend learning words that those in your profession do ! (LOLA!).

I'll switch the lights off as I leave.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:02 AM

"Personally I feel that I can either communicate with an audience or with a songsheet and I have chosen the former. This may lead to occasional lurches in the lyrics but so be it. Mike and I spend a lot of time becoming familiar with a song (sometimes months) before we give it its first outing."

1st point - After over 20 years in teaching I find it amusing anyone might consider the human brain not being able to cope with communicating with an audience and a songsheet/cribsheet/prep-sheet at the same time. Lurches are a challenge, and learning how to handle them can be a rewarding experience and valuable skill when learned.

2nd point - "Months" of working on a song is a habit you may find difficult to break. A slow-release chill patch on your upper arm might help here. Take a long-term break from monotony.

3rd point - I specialise in "off-the-cuff" & "hot off the press" songs (performed for the 1st time in public, without ANY practice at home) and it's an exhilarating experience. It's called risk-taking. It's what puts us at the head of the animal kingdom. Use your brain more and worry less about perfection and you might be surprised how much faster you progress.

Good luck with it.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Sooz (at work)
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:10 AM

It is not my brain that can't cope - it's my eyes. The paper gets in the way of communication.

Perhaps you are right about risk-taking. However, if I worried about perfection, we would never get as far as the stage.

BTW I've been teaching ten years longer than you!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:48 AM

Sooz - I was aware you were a teacher, which is why I was surprised at your comments.

Obviously you can't afford to put as much time and effort into your teaching prep as you put into your stage craft or you'd end up in a psychiatric ward. Surely you've experienced the buzz of delivering shit-hot lessons off the cuff?

Now I know the bozos at "f-in Ofsted" think it's a crime for teachers to fly by the seat of their pants, but over preppin' n' plannin' does have a nasty habit of dullin' the axe (Agree/Disagree?).

As for the paper, your brain and your eyes, there's a simple solution that all good IT teachers know - GOTO the toolbar, click on Fonts and select from the pull-down menu a more suitable font size.

Enjoy your Easter break - and the next bastard standing propped up a Bar you hear saying:
"Teachers - best part-time job there is" - kick him in the goolies!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: John Routledge
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:06 AM

1. When "words" are used to give a no preparation at all performance I cringe.

2. No problem at all with "words" as an aide-memoire.

The further away from 1. towards 2. that a performer gets the better :0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:31 AM

It's those words that get over prepared and over worked that bug me. The first time I see a "polished" pro-performer at a folk club I'm usually in awe. The 2nd time I see him and hear the same polished songs and the same polished patter I'm surprised. The 3rd time - I'm bored. Then I realise how bored they must get listening to themselves in endless rehearsals trying to update the patter and I feel sympathetic. By the 4th time round on the local folk bandwagon I'm elsewhere, searching for words that have a fresh sound to them.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Sooz
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM

I've put thirty years effort and time into preparing the lessons I teach now! Off the cuff they may be, brilliant they sometimes are, but unprepared - never. I don't use a crib sheet in school either!

As to the kick him in the gooloies comment - it will be SJ who says it and he's bigger than me (but I know he doesn't mean it!)

By the way SJ, performing as a duo is more than half and half - the two brains need to be in communication as well which can be tricky. But then, thats another thing thats had thirty years plus preparation.....


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,PhilP_UK
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:42 AM

There are two local folk clubs that I attend, principally as an audience, and sometimes as a performer (Guitar/sing).

One club actively encourages anybody who wants to use crib sheet to do so, it even provides a music stand - with a light !!!!.

The other club discourages, but allows if must be, any music crib sheets, but provides nothing to hold them, so very few people use them.

I perform, from memory, at the club that doesn't encourage sheets, but infrequently, due to time taken to practice really well to remember (short term) the words.

I perform at the other club a lot more frequently (Grammar ?), and can use a far wider range of material, which I do.

My playing policy is not to repeat any song, so both clubs hear different songs, but when I count them up, they are a lot of songs.
I would not be able to do most of the words, from memory, and therefore I would not perform at all.

I enjoy both clubs, which is the main point of visiting the clubs, but the music stand club has a far wider performance range of performers, because everybody of all standards is actively encouraged.

The audience at both seem to enjoy both, without any worry about the ethics of reading from crib sheets.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: PoohBear
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:44 AM

Am I correct in seeing at least 2 different kinds of folk clubs? Those that seem to be mainly for the members to share in 'round robin' style and those that have 'performances'? Just wondering which are more prevalent, and which you think is more 'useful' - of course definition of 'useful' could be anything from 'just to sit and pick and drink with friends' to 'feedback for future use' to 'showcase the best to those who may not be familiar with this type of music'.
PB


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 11:57 AM

Aaaaaaaaaaaagh! Right in my goolies Sooz! You'll have to carry my guitar-case for me now, I'm too doubled up with pain!

Lowden - while I disagree with Sooz about cribsheets (and we're mates so we can disagree in a happy way!) I have to stand up for her regarding teaching (and I'm one of those who was a youth worker for years and is no fan of teachers generally) and say that I know from personal experience how successful she is as a teacher, yet she's one of the few teachers I know who NEVER whinges about 'overwork', 'underpayment', 'little bastards', 'can't wait to retire', 'give me the redundancy pay', 'feckin' Ofsted' etc. She's the first to acknowledge that she's in a demanding but highly rewarding profession. Knock her comments on crib-sheets by all means - I'm with you on that (and she knows me and my views very well indeed) - but please, please lay off her as regards the day-job, she's a star in the education firmament!

S:0)


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM

Being prepared is very important obviously – my point was that there's nothing wrong with having props there to help you deliver a good performance. The more years experience you have behind you (and I don't mean the same set of experiences multiplied by the number of years) then the more competent you should be, and (hopefully) less dependent on those props.

I can't believe that Sooz approaches teaching in the same way she approaches preparation of songs for "the stage". I'm sure that she has those lesson plans and materials there with her as her "props".
All teachers know that children and students have a nasty habit of wrecking those carefully prepared planning sheets and time schedules though - if you can't adapt quickly to the changing needs and circumstances you've lost them. Stay flexible (but focussed) is the key.

Being over-prepared is a different matter. Delivering the same material in the same way over many years usually removes the "edge" and will probably result in stagnation. Similarly, spending months preparing a song before it's performed publicly may have the same effect.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 12:23 PM

"please lay off her as regards the day-job, she's a star in the education firmament!"

Show me where I've criticised her on the day job, and I'll apologise SJ!


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

I've read all this with interest.

We all love folk clubs but its amazing how soon we start bitching about them....I'm not quite sure of the answers to all these questions. Just occasionally you DO think, hey I've wandered into a support group for people who would like to be performers but can't face up to the responsibilities involved.

Other times its like going to a church where all the responses are in Serbo Croat - you know, weird versions of well known songs.

I do know this, I enjoy watching a really good original performer - more than performing myself, and its always a delight when I discover one - and the folk club is more likely to provide one than a night in front of two hundred tv channels of shite.

We, on the folk scene, should have one ot two of our own tv channels, as we obviously can pick better talent than the people whose job it is to do so.

all the best

Big Al Whittle


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Santa
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 02:35 PM

Just 2 different kinds of folk club? That's not going into trad vs singer/songwriter, or songs vs tunes....

They are all useful, all good (for something, someone), else they die. Sometimes they die anyway. I don't see any hierarchy other than personal preferences. What doesn't suit, I don't go to. I think it fair to gently tease those musos who just sit around in circles playing diddly-diddly all evening, but they seem to survive perfectly well without my contribution, and good luck to them.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: The Unicorn Man
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM

Santa. I am a singer songwriter. I run acoustic gatherings and love it so much I have 12 hour singarounds. Just recently however I have got into the diddly diddly as well. I have driven 210 miles after work to go to an easy/slow tunes session, played for an hour and driven home 210 miles. The point is I love both types and so do other people.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 03:02 AM

Big Al,

That's the best idea I've heard in a very long time. One or two channels devoted to folk music of all kinds would be like having a year round festival at the push of a button.

I can see a few difficulties tho'. You would need a vast number of dedicated folk to front the individual programmes, to avoid the old problem of getting into a rut defined by their personal preferences.

You would also need to establish, from the outset, that there was to be no war among the participants about what is, or isn't, folk.

That said, the very idea is exciting, and I would certainly volunteer to get involved after I retire next February.

Now, does anyone have an idea how one might achieve this? I understand that the US have public access TV, which might offer possibilities that side of the pond, but the UK broadcasting scene seems to be a completely closed shop.

Comments from people actually involved in broadcasting would be very useful at this point. Over to you folks.......

Don T.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 02:14 PM

Yes wouldn't it be great, if we could get a sort of stand off in trad/contemporary wars that have bedevilled this artform. An hour of Martin carthy followed by an hour of Tom Paxton - twould be fantatstic.

The other bloody hassle would be keeping the music industry know-alls away. They would see what a brilliant idea it was and try and put all the deadbeats on, who've "made an acoustic album" - like its something you do as a break from being a proper musician.

its the problem with everything in our society, money can get you everywhere. Look at all those major label reviews in the folk press.


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Guest Bruce Baillie
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 03:53 PM

...are we discussing folk clubs or how good certain people are at teaching? there seems to be some confusion...


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 08:45 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: How good is your folk club?
From: GUEST,Jamell
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 04:51 AM

The Grove in Leeds has been going from strength to streangth over the last year or so. Singers nights are especially good with singers ranging from proffesionals to people trying for the first time and all are encouraged and feel appreciated.


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