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Losing your voice in a smoky pub?

Hand-Pulled Boy 31 Mar 05 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Folkiefrank 31 Mar 05 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,emily s 31 Mar 05 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Mar 05 - 11:06 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 31 Mar 05 - 11:33 PM
Padre 31 Mar 05 - 11:39 PM
Liz the Squeak 01 Apr 05 - 01:33 AM
Sttaw Legend 01 Apr 05 - 01:49 AM
Sttaw Legend 01 Apr 05 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 01 Apr 05 - 02:44 AM
Mark Cohen 01 Apr 05 - 03:12 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 03:27 AM
Bernard 01 Apr 05 - 03:40 AM
mooman 01 Apr 05 - 03:50 AM
Mick Tems 01 Apr 05 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Steve 01 Apr 05 - 05:50 AM
mooman 01 Apr 05 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Toby 01 Apr 05 - 06:33 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Beth 01 Apr 05 - 06:51 AM
Paco Rabanne 01 Apr 05 - 06:56 AM
Ron Davies 01 Apr 05 - 06:58 AM
Sttaw Legend 01 Apr 05 - 07:06 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 07:08 AM
Sttaw Legend 01 Apr 05 - 07:08 AM
black walnut 01 Apr 05 - 07:37 AM
rhyzla 01 Apr 05 - 07:44 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM
Bat Goddess 01 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 05 - 08:19 AM
Ron Davies 01 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM
MoorleyMan 01 Apr 05 - 08:51 AM
MoorleyMan 01 Apr 05 - 09:10 AM
pavane 01 Apr 05 - 09:27 AM
MoorleyMan 01 Apr 05 - 09:31 AM
Sooz 01 Apr 05 - 09:40 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM
PoppaGator 01 Apr 05 - 12:50 PM
John Routledge 01 Apr 05 - 12:57 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 05 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 01 Apr 05 - 01:31 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 01 Apr 05 - 02:10 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 01 Apr 05 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,The Curator 01 Apr 05 - 02:19 PM
Bernard 01 Apr 05 - 02:26 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 05 - 02:28 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 01 Apr 05 - 03:14 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Apr 05 - 03:21 PM
beetle cat 01 Apr 05 - 03:51 PM
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Subject: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:05 PM

Especially when suffering the after-effects of a 'cold', ie., snot and mucas on the back of your throat. Singing in a clean environment can be a struggle but if you have to sing in smoky pub atmosphere it's not too long before you voice croaks and dissappears altogether. Not too good if you're doing a paid booking. Any suggestions as to a medication to overcome it (I've tried guinness)?


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,Folkiefrank
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:27 PM

If you're suffering from the after effects of a cold, should you be singing at all? Wait until the symptoms have gone...it'll be better for your voice in the long run. You might find singing in a smoke free environment regularly that your voice moves up an octave....most disconcerting!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,emily s
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:55 PM

Smoky pubs! I hate them. I swear I inhaled a smoke ring one night. Why is it the smokers and the drunks always want to sit right up front? I can't wait until the world is smoke-free. If Dublin can do it, why can't the rest of us.

In smoky venues, even when I'm perfectly healthy, I get all congested and am constantly clearing my throat. Not a good sound coming through a mic.

I sympathize but can offer no really good advice. I like to think that a anti-hystamine (sp?) helps...

Emily


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 11:06 PM

SIMPLE- Simple-t0n:



Never again, accept a smoking-pub.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle



Others may then smoke, choke, and croak....but your slate will be clear.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 11:33 PM

If this government actually got off it's arse and did a blanket ban on smoking sooner rather than later then everyone would benefit. Even smokers would benefit as they would actually enjoy the taste of their beer once their taste buds recovered. So the suggestion of boycotting smoking pubs at this time is like cutting off your nose to spite your face! Unfortunately playing live music means playing in pubs otherwise you just don't play. Some folk clubs don't allow it but many do so you can see the limitations if you're trying to take your music to a wider audience.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Padre
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 11:39 PM

In Pontardawe I lost my voice after singing in a smoky pub for three hours (admittedly when singing with Johhny Collins, that's not too difficult) what saved my voice to sing the next day at the festival was one pint of Guiness and a large shot of Stillbrook (pure corn whiskey)administered by Johhny Collins and Jonathan Eberhart respectively.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:33 AM

Keep sipping lots of water and try to angle yourself away from any draughts that are blowing smoke towards you.

And be careful how soon you sing again. It can take weeks for the voice to recover if you push it too hard. Try and make sure you have a day 'resting' after a gig in a smoky place and as above... try not to accept gigs in places you know are going to be smoke filled.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:49 AM

Try these hPb from hWb


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:53 AM

You could also try sucking a fishermans friend if he does not object - Fishermans Friend


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:44 AM

Yep I'm afraid smoking and singing do no longer go together

Barnsley FC is now non smoking on folk club nights

Pete Swift at No Smoke Folk, Chapeltown, Sheffield has the cleanest smoke free club!! Roy Castle inspired

Voice loss may however be brought on by not drinking water

Alcohol tightens the vocal chords and water from a bottle or glass (free) should be taken whilst singing

Come on when is legislation coming to ban smoking in pubs in UK altogether!!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:12 AM

I agree with Padgett that not drinking enough water can harm your voice. I don't know about alcohol "tightening the vocal cords" but it does lead to dehydration. (As Archie Bunker said, "You don't buy beer, you rent it" -- and you pay interest, too.) I had to leave a band because the gigs were in very smoky pubs, and I have asthma. Zinc lozenges can be helpful for an irritated throat...but make sure you take them on a full stomach, otherwise you may get an uncomfortable "sick" feeling in your stomach a while later. The best advice is as recommended above: avoid smoke. There is no magic cure.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:27 AM

Ahhhh, in the "good ol' days" there was nothing like sitting in the front row with three or four good friends and lighting up a fresh rank stogie and smoking it down to nubs. We'd start early in the evening when the owners did not know if we were the only cash in the house for the night. Only one singer talked to us directly .... it made us pull out another one.... just like the other one....and blow more directly towards her area of the stage.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Bernard
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:40 AM

Both of the clubs I'm involved with are non-smoking. One of the reasons why Rosie Hardman stopped gigging was the smoke - she became allergic to it.

As far as your voice is concerned, you'll have to pace yourself carefully. I've learned how to 'back off' without noticeably losing volume, and it helps to keep the throat clear. Doing folk trains helped, as you can't battle against the noisy train an expect to have a voice left!!

I would suggest that nothing you pour down your throat during a gig is really going to help - all it may do is to make you think you are okay, so you work a bit harder, drink some more, then suddenly the voice goes... not good.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: mooman
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:50 AM

As Lady Patricia McMoo has exactly the same problem as HPB we only do smoke-free gigs now.

Less gigs and less money but infinitely more enjoyable!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Mick Tems
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 04:15 AM

We banned smoking at Llantrisant Folk Club many years ago, in response to requests from the vast majority of our members. I see the Government's jumped on the bandwagon now - in future smoking will be banned in pub-restaurants. The Windsor Hotel in Pontyclun (our base) already bans smoking its restaurant-bar. In fact, the songroom-cum-bar at Miskin At Easter, which is just down the road, was surprisingly smoke-free this year.

It's my ambition to travel to Burmuda. Artists who have been there tell of a folk club which met in the open air - and STILL banned smoking!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:50 AM

What a load of prima donna kebabs! Pubs are for socialising, drinking and enjoying a fag!!!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: mooman
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:23 AM

Perhaps for those who smoke.

For those who don't and have to perform for several hours in a smoke-laden atmosphere it can be a nightmare. I did it several times a week for several years and HAD to give up to keep my health.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,Toby
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:33 AM

Whinge, whinge, whinge! No wonder nobody goes to folk clubs! Stay at home and sing in the bathroom if you're all so precious!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:40 AM

Try not to get to angry Toby


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,Beth
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:51 AM

I suck lemon drops and sometimes have to resort to Alkaseltzer-Plus cold medicine. Its not too drying. Be careful of that it will make it impossible to sing.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:56 AM

Dereck/Derrick/Derek,
                     You misspelt "mucus" you silly boy!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:58 AM

Toby--

If pubs are for smoking in, why hasn't the huge groundswell of popular opinion reversed the smoking ban in Eire?


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:06 AM

That reminds me


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:08 AM

In my days we had a spittoon to collect mucus! Never stopped me singing.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:08 AM

Or maybe this


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: black walnut
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:37 AM

In Ontario (Canada) we've banned smoking in pubs, restaurants, workplaces, malls, airports, and all indoor public places. It's fantastic. You can sing just about anywhere now.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: rhyzla
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:44 AM

If I have the after effects of a cold, I use vocalzone, and it does help.

Anyone else tried it ?

vocalzones


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM

Leave the luvvies alone Toby.....they will want drinks in crystal glasses next and flowers on the table (on second thoughts it might bring on their hay fever)


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:00 AM

I got hooked on VocalZones from advice by Tom Lewis. Nice to see they have a website I can order from instead of having to burden my English friends and friends travelling to England to remember to get them for me.

I also use a spray called Herbal Mist which I like better than Singer's Saving Grace. (And I HATE Fisherman's Friend!) There's also a spray designed for operatic singers that imitates the natural mucus in your mouth and throat. Now that I'm gainfully (and regularly) employed again, I'm planning on ordering some and trying it out.

Maine passed a law outlawing smoking in public places including bars and restaurants, but New Hampshire will probably never consider it. The Press Room tries to keep us singers and non-smokers happy with large (and loud) smoke eaters, but they only work up to a point.

The absolute worst experience of my singing life was when I was in the middle of "Five Foot Flirt" in the back of the pub and somebody accidently let off some pepper spray at the bar. It was like all the moisture being sucked out of my throat mid-syllable. Arghhh!!! Talk about a croak! I couldn't even croak, fer-pete's-sake. And it took until the next morning to recoer my voice.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:19 AM

Strepsils.

Taste disgusting with beer though, so you may have to drink water.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM

Still waiting, Toby or GUEST, for your revealed truth on the massive conspiracy which has prevented the rescinding of the ban in Eire. Please enlighten us.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 08:51 AM

Well said, Handpulled Boy and Padgett.
High time indeed.
Having been at both ends of the debate so to speak - these things are clear:
1.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:10 AM

Well said, Handpulled Boy and Padgett.
High time indeed.
The water idea is sound. But even that's now becoming harder to achieve when more and more pub landlords are actually charging (often ridiculous amounts) for water (and that's even when you buy a beer or other alcoholic drink at the same time) - it's an insidious and unwelcome development that penalises singers and drivers most unfairly.

Having been at both ends of the smoking debate so to speak, and having suffered from the effects, both as a smoker and non-smoker over the years, I'm not ignorant of the arguments.

What's more, each person's metabolism is different, and so is the day-to-day effect of passive smoking on one's immune system which can vary enormously. There are times when I can stand to be in close proximity to a smoker for a short while, but also times when it makes me physically sick within minutes. Depends on my resistance on that day. Different types of smoke (pipe, cigar, waccy-baccy, heavy-tar) affect in different ways and to different degrees. Airflow and environment also have their impact on how one reacts to smoke.

But these things are clear and let's face it, non-contestable:
1. Any decent minded folk club attendee who is also a smoker will - and generally will have no problem about doing so - have the good sense and good courtesy to light up outside the room or area where the club is being held, and have respect for the health of (a) the performers and (b) their audience, via the air that all have NO CHOICE but to breathe.
2. The very fact that an increasing number of clubs and venues and performers are becoming n/s in the performing area (as opposed to imposing a complete ban) is encouraging and must surely be taken as indicative of a trend of opinion from folks who have put up with it for far too long.
3. And let's not forget that many have now died or become seriously ill as a result of passive smoking, that cannot be denied.

We all know that a complete ban on smoking in public places and public houses is impractical and unrealistic to expect just now, but let's at least be working towards that asap (by means of 1 and 2 above, say, as a reasonable compromise), otherwise soon there won't be many of us left to carry on the tradition!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:27 AM

Mrs Pavane takes a warm drink of honey and lemon juice (in water) in a vacuum flask.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:31 AM

Toby -

Surely the point is that they are Folk Clubs not Smoke Clubs.

And why then are they called Folk Clubs?
So as like minded Folk can enjoy and participate in the Music making.
The vast majority of Folk are there for the Music which has brought them together as a club - and not in order to smoke.

Right?


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:40 AM

right


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 09:53 AM

I agree entirely that there should be no smoking in Folk Clubs. But in my local Pub when I go out for a pint and there is a performer on I enjoy a smoke as well!


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM

Must say that here in Ireland where the smoking ban is in full force in pubs, clubs and all public places I miss the smokey atmosphere of my favourite jazz and blues club. However, the experience is far nicer, especially now I've given up the smokes! As a performer I must say that the smoke does mess your voice up and can cause great strain on your throat

Mike


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:50 PM

Nobody has yet mentioned Slippery Elm lozenges in this thread; readily available in health-food stores in the US under the brand name Thayer's, and billed as "the opera singer's friend."

Works for me.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: John Routledge
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:57 PM

Another vote for Vocalzones. Seem to reduce damage to throat.

£1.99 from Boots etc.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:05 PM

Overall, however, I do not approve of the ever-increasing tendency to ban things. Whatever happened to the great English tradition of tolerance?

I tend to avoid (but do not absolutely avoid) clubs that ban smoking, partly on the above principle, partly because my late wife (killed by the medical profession, with some help from tobacco) could not have an evening there, and I still resent the discrimination against her.

I haven't smoked since about 1992 or 3.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 01:31 PM

I am very sorry to hear of your loss Richard. Tolerance is a valued asset in our democratic society.

Law is made by governments who rule to give a weighed argument where we are generally disinclined to go with reasoned arguments concerned with the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Tolerating one smoker is likely to be intolerant towards a dozen others who do wish to suffer from secondary smoke inhalation.

Who is the one being intolerant?


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:10 PM

If the government weren't so greedy to get their share of revenue from smoking they'd realise that the 'tax' on the NHS would be lessoned thus reducing waiting lists and being an obvious vote catcher. The trouble is that one 4 year term in office wouldn't be long enough to see the immediate effects. Cinical or what?!!!! It's good to see the reaction of the smokers who have contributed to this thread. It just confirms what people are up against. Actually all I was after was some sort of medical relief against the effects of the smoke on vocals. I realise that singing in a smoke free environment isn't going to happen for many tears in this country and it's just something I'm going to have to put up with. Another option would be to get another band member to do the singing, preferable a bucksome blond with a great ar.................................. Then I could pay full attention to my guitar playing. Any offers?


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:11 PM

PS I meant female of course, just in case you were wondering.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: GUEST,The Curator
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:19 PM

Please smokers don't support any business that gives you grief, screw them, I live in the North of Ireland and used to holiday in the Republic twice a year, Now I don't go near it. Tourist board figures show a big dip in the number of vistors coming to Ireland, keep up the good work everyone. HIT THE POCKET.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Bernard
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:26 PM

Yes, indeed.

I would take it a step further... in most folk clubs, talking (or walking around the room) during someone's performance is frowned upon.

Why?

Because it is a mark of respect for the performer.

Does that mean someone who wishes to walk around and talk, and is prevented from doing so, is being discriminated against? I think not. It is simply an accepted part of club etiquette, and these days smoking is starting to fall into that category, too.

If someone wishes to talk, they do so outside the club room, as they do not distract the performer or the audience by doing so. Smoking (as it affects others, not just the smoker) should logically be treated similarly.

I'm sorry if smokers find this offensive, but I am a life-long non-smoker, and find people's insistence that I should put up with their smoke equally offensive.


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 02:28 PM

2 years ago I lost my voice on the first day of Whitby folk week, because the Plough was so smoky. Vocalzones sort of helped, but they really don't go with beer.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:14 PM

Look forward to seeing you there this year Kitty. What do you look like? (I suppose you know where this is going?)


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:21 PM

No singing in the Plough this year, apparently (see thread on Sam Smith's)? The Mudcat Members' Photos include one of me taken at the Endeavour - I think John and Rosie will make sure they are licensed for singing and music.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Losing your voice in a smoky pub?
From: beetle cat
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:51 PM

I once lost my voice in a smokey pub, singing with some Irishmen. It was gone for three days. It didnt help that I was bought a guinness for every song. I must have gone through a great deal of songs that night. I had a rowing race the next day. But it was so worth it.


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