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BBC 4 folk program

s&r 03 Feb 06 - 06:39 AM
My guru always said 03 Feb 06 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,starfish 03 Feb 06 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 03 Feb 06 - 06:11 PM
Mrs.Duck 03 Feb 06 - 06:16 PM
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Richard Bridge 03 Feb 06 - 06:30 PM
NormanD 03 Feb 06 - 06:32 PM
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greg stephens 04 Feb 06 - 03:29 AM
Tradsinger 04 Feb 06 - 03:49 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Feb 06 - 04:20 AM
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GUEST,Roland Shanks 04 Feb 06 - 05:12 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Feb 06 - 05:20 AM
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NormanD 04 Feb 06 - 07:35 AM
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Grab 14 Feb 06 - 01:52 PM
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sian, west wales 15 Feb 06 - 04:40 AM
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Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 06 - 05:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 06 - 06:03 AM
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GUEST,IS 18 Feb 06 - 04:15 AM
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GUEST,Mad for trad (and a lot of new stuff as well 18 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM
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Carol 19 Feb 06 - 04:34 AM
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greg stephens 19 Feb 06 - 06:40 PM
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lady penelope 20 Feb 06 - 04:33 PM
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sinpelo 20 Feb 06 - 06:56 PM
Effsee 20 Feb 06 - 09:32 PM
greg stephens 21 Feb 06 - 02:46 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Feb 06 - 04:26 AM
greg stephens 21 Feb 06 - 05:43 AM
David C. Carter 21 Feb 06 - 06:03 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Feb 06 - 06:19 AM
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sil 21 Feb 06 - 04:43 PM
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fat B****rd 24 Feb 06 - 03:24 PM
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akenaton 25 Feb 06 - 04:11 PM
Jamie 25 Feb 06 - 04:34 PM
Skipjack K8 25 Feb 06 - 04:41 PM
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My guru always said 26 Feb 06 - 07:26 AM
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akenaton 03 Mar 06 - 08:06 PM
greg stephens 03 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM
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Compton 03 Mar 06 - 09:34 PM
nutty 04 Mar 06 - 02:56 AM
greg stephens 04 Mar 06 - 03:48 AM
Dave Hanson 04 Mar 06 - 03:56 AM
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greg stephens 04 Mar 06 - 05:41 AM
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akenaton 04 Mar 06 - 06:00 AM
Andy Jackson 04 Mar 06 - 06:11 AM
George Papavgeris 04 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM
John MacKenzie 04 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM
George Papavgeris 04 Mar 06 - 06:54 AM
shepherdlass 04 Mar 06 - 07:03 AM
greg stephens 04 Mar 06 - 07:09 AM
Andy Jackson 04 Mar 06 - 07:15 AM
shepherdlass 04 Mar 06 - 07:41 AM
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Harper Blow 04 Mar 06 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Declan 04 Mar 06 - 09:55 AM
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Subject: BBC 4 folk program
From: s&r
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:39 AM

Tonight


Stu


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: My guru always said
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 04:53 PM

Am watching right now, it's excellent!! Some friends were filmed at a club night & may be somewhere in this series, so I'll try not to miss.

Trouble is, I haven't figured out how to record Freeview onto either DVD or Video yet, must be the wiring tangle..... Any hints?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,starfish
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 05:36 PM

We enjoyed the folk britannia programme, but so far (1/2 hour in) the following programme "Folk at the BBC" is just a rehashed repeat.
Let's hope for an improvemnet next week.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:11 PM

You're maligning "Folk at the BBC". Alan Whicker at Newquay interviewing the beatniks and Wizz Jones was a classic. And wasnt Robin Hall cute?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:16 PM

Hilary, you need to tune your recorder into the freeview on a spare channel. Play with it when you are not desperate to record something special.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:18 PM

My picture kept breaking up. Did this happen to anyone else or is it my stuff playing up? New to digital!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:30 PM

Pile of arrogant ill-informed poo


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk programme
From: NormanD
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:32 PM

Two excellent hours. Folk Brittania was a great overview; it put the music in its rightful social context and gave good emphasis to previously under-recognised musical sources: Irish and travellers. The following weeks are boding well.

It'll all get criticised, of course: too much of this -- nothing on that -- not him again! -- etc. But the best I've seen for a long time.

The second hour was the usual mixed bag, but there were some amazingly good gems - Andy Irvine for one. The old Tonight piece on the Newquay beatniks of 1960 was wonderful. As Greg says above - Wizz Jones was classic. Where did he learn "Penny's Farm" from (rewritten to take the piss out of the Newquay Burgermeisters)??

Norman


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Roland Shanks
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 07:28 PM

"Pile of arrogant ill-informed poo"

Do you really think that it was ill informed? - its an honest question but I find it hard to see how anyone could come to that conclusion. I also can't understand how you can find the tone of the programme arrogant.

I thought it was hard to find fault with anything in the programme and I found it superb viewing.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 03:29 AM

Excellent to see Reg Hall being consulted. Now, if they let him control an hour or two of folk on TV we might see a bit of real folk, instead of innovatora" with guitars and stuff.Not that I dont play guitar myself, but there is a wonderful folk tradition in England which is largely ignored(especially by "folk" TV programmes, "folk" festivals, and "folk" clubs). Long live Reg Hall and folk enthusiasts.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tradsinger
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 03:49 AM

I found it very interesting to hear from those like Reg, Peter Kennedy, Karl Dallas, etc who have seen this folk thing evolve over the last 50+ years and who understand the various drivers behind it. I thought the programme was excellent in drawing together all the threads that are behind what we do today and why. The follow-up was good and I especially enjoyed the Coppers and Harry Cox - how brave of the BBC to actually play a whole song by a source singer! I enjoyed the beatnik bit too as context setting (changing world, challenging old values etc) but thought it went on a bit and could have done with another song. Hopefully a lot of people will have seen the prog and thought "I didn't realise that - that's interesting - how can I find out more?"

It will be interesting to see whether the programmes have any impact on the great British public and the media.

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 04:20 AM

So, are we at the start of the third folk revival? What should we do? Will it all be over by the time I finish this post?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:11 AM

It was all good except the White Heather Club, which was appalling, it illustrated the very worst of Scottish folk music, it's what Billy Connolly used to call ' biscuit tin music,' and who were that awful band
whose only instruments were 3 guitars ?

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Roland Shanks
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:12 AM

"So, are we at the start of the third folk revival?"

Yes

"What should we do?"

Nothing different from what you're doing now.

"Will it all be over by the time I finish this post?"

No, but if you weren't aware it was happening in the first place don't expect to be invited to the party.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:20 AM

Party, party? I am still at the last one that started for me in about 1963.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 06:08 AM

Is it true that if you remember the folk revival you probably weren't their?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Kasper
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:21 AM

Weren't their what, Les?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: NormanD
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:35 AM

eric the red wrote: "It was all good except the White Heather Club, which was appalling..."

Appalling is too good a word to use. It was like watching a car crash of a previous life. Truth is, though, it was mainstream entertainment that used trad. music - and that's the closest TV got to broadcasting folk music in 1960.

The "Tonight" prog. was great, though, with its regulars like Jimmie & Robin, and Cy Grant (?), and, occasionally, visiting American singers. I well remember seeing and hearing for the first time, blues players. One blues pianist, whose name I can't remember, did a song called "West Texas Woman". Not bad for early evening TV.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 10:16 AM

Yes, who were the guitar singers on the "White Heather Club"? Thought I recognised a couple, but I cant put names to them. That programme was rather like the "Black and White Minstrel Show". Terrible at the time, and now unbelievably, terribly terrible.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 12:35 PM

sorry I would have sworn I was there


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: NormanD
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 01:24 PM

BBC info on The White Heater Club: http://tinyurl.com/a2e76

"Burns Night: From 1960, a celebration of the poet's work, with ballads and reels. Featuring Andy Stewart, Jimmy Shand, The Joe Gordon Folk Four and The City of Glasgow Police Male Voice Choir."

The guitar singers must have been the Polis Mail Boys Choir.

norman


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Old Folky
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 02:32 PM

The White Heather Club certainly wasn't a true representation of a Folk Club, Far too may people were smiling and enjoying themselves, not enough death and disasters, come on BBC get your act together!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 02:35 PM

An excellent programme and very enlightening. I am looking forward to part 2, especially as it is about the period when I first became interested in folk music.

The material on Ewan McColl was very interesting. He was a fine singer and songwriter, but he made the same mistake as Cecil Sharp and his generation of imposing on the music what they thought it should be rather than accepting it for what it was.

I enjoyed the follow up programme with its wide diversity of items. I thought the monitor extract about guitars went on too long, though it did highlight the all too common patronising attitudes of the time.

However, I thought there was a huge gap. Plenty about songs and singers, but what about the Instrumental side? To me, there are two strands to traditional music, the songs and the tunes. Recording traditional tunes and styles of playing is every bit as important as recording the songs, yet it got barely a mention. A brief soundclip of Scan Tester and A couple of clips of an Irish Session certainly did not do that side of traditional music justice at all.

As a player rather than a singer, this was a glaring omission to me.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sian, west wales
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 03:17 PM

I missed it. I switched to BBC4 and got a black screen. What's that about??? I get the other Freeview channels.

So can someone tell me - was there any Welsh on it? The advertising blurbs all sound like it is really a look at folk in the English context with a nod in the direction of Scotland (and Ireland?)

Folk and protest music were very important in Welsh social history at this point (as previously).

siân


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 04:14 PM

eric the red wrote: "It was all good except the White Heather Club, which was appalling..."

The White Heather Club wasn't to my taste either, but it's not a good idea to dismiss the inclusion of this show on a BBC folk night dedicated to those years - the fact that it drew large audiences means it must have represented some kind of folk-ish music to a significant number of people in Britain at the time. Imagine mainstream terrestial TV of today broadcasting a regular show that focused on any kind of folk music, no matter how diluted. The fact that it was desperately, cringeworthily mainstream means it may have found its way into the homes that folk clubs didn't reach and perhaps encouraged some people to dip their toes into the revival when they wouldn't otherwise have got involved. And NormanD, to liken it to the deeply offensive Black and White Minstrels is surely a bit extreme. Yes, they were Scottish showbiz-lite performances that weren't exactly 'traditional' (and that word's a minefield it's probably best not to get into when you consider that most of the "folk" in Scotland of the time were more likely to attend showbizzy events than folk clubs), but they weren't non-Scots uncle-Tomming it up in an outright racist and demeaning way.

Sorry, I just worry when our concepts of good or bad taste affect how we view past cultural output. We should be glad there's at least some archive stuff still available. And some of those less controversial clips in the main Folk Britannia programme were fantastic!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: NormanD
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:23 PM

shepherdlass:"And NormanD, to liken it to the deeply offensive Black and White Minstrels is surely a bit extreme..."

Not guilty, I never said that. I said: "It was like watching a car crash of a previous life. Truth is, though, it was mainstream entertainment that used trad. music - and that's the closest TV got to broadcasting folk music in 1960."

The Black & White Minstrels analogy said "Terrible at the time, worse now". I agree with that completely. I couldn't watch it - I squirmed for 10 minutes, it was even beyond mockery. I presumed the programmers put it on as a piece of high-camp piss-taking. 46 years later, we're oh so much more sophisticated....

norman


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:32 PM

The White Heather Club never pretended to be anything other than what it was. It was not a "Folk Club", it was a TV "Entertainment". It did, however have an incredibly large following quoted as 10 million viewers (BLICKY)
Not bad for a "car crash".

Actually, my Grandad was a big fan of Andy Stewart, so I grew up listening to his records. Yes, he was a "professional kilted Scot", but he did more which got Scottish Traditional music heard than most Scots. He was a decent singer who alongside novelty stuff such as Donald Where's Your Troosers he did "straight" songs as well.

Of course, the British Folk world is based on ridiculing the people who have made what we do possible. We are not allowed to admit we grew up listening to the White Heather Club, The Spinners, Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor or The Dubliners, because they are "old". Strange for a Folk Movement which prides itself on revering tradition and the past.

All in all, the BBC did more to promote Folk in them days than it does now. A couple of documentaries on an obscure digital channel, which will never be shown on the mainstream non-digital channels. Not really something to applaud, is it? Better than nothing? Maybe, but not enough. They used to do better.

Quack!
Geoff the Duck.

p.s. Full Scedule.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:32 PM

Sain said "I missed it. I switched to BBC4 and got a black screen. What's that about??? I get the other Freeview channels."

Now there's a funy thing.

I bought a freeview box specially. Spent all of thurday and friday working out how to record to VCR, and checking that all was working fine. But come show time I had the same problem! All other channels working, but BBC3 and BBC4 were black!

So I went up to my daughter's room. She has freeview and it shares the same aerial as the TV downstairs. And it was working fine! Check downstairs: Ctill black whatever I do.

(This morning the darn thing had forgotten all the channels, so I swapped it for another model - and which seems ok so far).

Can anyone explain?

Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM

You had the '60s revival one, that said "Yeah, like when you really get down to it, what's it all about, man?"


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:24 PM

Coppersongs just starting, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it for the THIRD time. Husband's gone to bed, having recently readjusted how to record to both video and DVD and I haven't a clue (and the Cointreau's not helping, hic).

Oh ------ - hopefully they'll show it again when he's back in the land of the conscious.

Polly


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:30 PM

Geoff the Duck wrote

Of course, the British Folk world is based on ridiculing the people who have made what we do possible. We are not allowed to admit we grew up listening to the White Heather Club, The Spinners, Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor or The Dubliners, because they are "old". Strange for a Folk Movement which prides itself on revering tradition and the past.

Yes, anyone who gets popular or is seen on a mainstream entertainment seems to get accused of having "sold out". I have a fondness for Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor and still have a couple of LPs somewhere. Likewise the spinners. I saw the Spinners live on several occasions and always enjoyed their shows.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:47 PM

What a grand evenings entertainment. Split up in my case by several recordings at various times, interspersed with live viewing. Not to mention another set of recordings on the Isle of Wight!! The Beeb has a last pleased some of the people some of the time. Sorry you missed it Sian, but I hope you have caught up with one of the many re-runs. No mention that I could detect of Welsh tradition unfortunately. Three programmes to go yet though (I think) so lets hope.
Looking forward to next week but the following weekend is the Anchor Middle Bar Sidmouth Reunion so have to put lots of trust in remote technology....Hmmmmm
I have often wondered and sometimes even gone to print about the daft idea of repaeating programmes intensively very close together, a week at least apart and we might get to watch them without frantic hair-tearing planning meetings!! Ho Hum..

I suppose while I'm chatting I'd better mention Miskin at Easter or some will think I'm slipping. " MISKIN AT EASTER "

Tarra each

Andy


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 08:01 PM

Missed last night's programme but thoroughly enjoyed the start of Folk Britannia and look forwatd to the rest of the series on folk.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 03:25 AM

The Spinners - the most influencial English folk group?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 03:31 AM

I thought the second programme of old & new performances could have done more than just expand clips from the preceding one. I felt they were padding it out, the old black & white documentary on the rise of the guitar was amusing ina "Chumley Warner" way but wasn't specifically about folk music. I was disappointed that the clip of Ramblin' Jack in the old days was then followed by hwta must have been the worst ever rendition of San Francisco Bay Blues I've heard (apart from my own dreadful version). I love Jack's work, this didn't do him justice. Nice to hear Peggy Seeger, Bob Davenport etc as well as the archive clips, though many of the later seem to be chosen for their amusement value. At least the talking heads were people with experience, not just a bunch of soap stars and standups that usually appear in these programmes.

RtS


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Bill the Collie
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 03:33 AM

Two of the Spinners could sing. Or was it only one?
It was all so long ago.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:25 AM

I hated the white Heather Club at the time, but I thought it looked quite fun now, in a sort of surrealist way.

I wish they'd show the whole series. The footage of Irish pubs in the 1950's and Bobby Casey was great.

the trouble was, that every item and artist was worth a programme at least and some of them a series!

we should have our own tv channel.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Sooz
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:30 AM

When is the next episode on? There are so many re-runs its hard to know which one is new!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:31 AM

Perhaps I was a bit unfair about thw White Heather Club, at least they were showing some er ' folk music '.

Hughie Jones of the Spinners still is a fine singer.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 09:17 AM

I enjoyed it hugely, but wish quite so much airtime hadn't been spent showing the same archive clips of the early American blues/folk scene that crop up over and over and over again on these history-of-the-people's-music programmes. I know it was a strong influence in the UK, but it wasn't the only one. I'd rather have watched less of it (NOT none) and more about what was happening in Britain, which has not been given the same media exposure. Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger & Co, while groundbreakers, have been seen and seen and seen.

And Tootler's right: Why were there so few instrumentalists? I wish they'd devote some time to William Kimber (among others) but am not betting huge amounts on it.

Apart from that, there were a lot of treats. I loved hearing Harry Cox and seeing Shirley Collins again (doesn't she look great, and didn't she speak the truth); and the high point of the second hour – something of a curate's egg – was a very young Davey Graham playing Cry Me A River to an enraptured but very diverse audience. There are too many good artists from that era to ever do justice to them, so all the more reason to give recognition to some of the lesser-known names who don't appear in the usual archive clips which always get trotted out.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Julian
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 09:26 AM

I admit to entering the realms of "folk" via the Spinners.

I helped promote them at one concert and whilst chatting over a meal with them after the show Tony said that they always included two unaccompanied songs and those were invariably the ones the audience were humming on their way out.

So I applauded their evangelical method of getting more "public" into folk song and music.

I thoroughly enjoyed Folk Brittania (part one), the follow on on Friday and the repeat and Coppersongs on Saturday. Can't wait for next episodes.

It is nice to see "folk" being treated seriously, and although on a minority channel. At least there is the possiblity of it being shown on the mainstream channels at a later date has as happened with other BBC3 and BBC4 programmes.

Cheers

Julian


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: danensis
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 10:29 AM

To those having trouble with their digibox, if its a while since you tuned it in, they rearranged all the channels recently. It took me ages to work out what was happening, I just had to set the digibox to autotune and it found out where they'd hidden them,

John


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: AggieD
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 10:58 AM

Missed the programme on Friday night as I was at the Barbican watching 'Daughters of Albion' which I have to say was absolutely superb, although I think some 'traditionalists' may bemoan the fact that it wasn't all about what many of them would expect.
Did however catch the repeat last night & was not surprised by the BBC take on it, which was much the same as has been trotted out before. I will however watch the next 2 & look forward to seeing the couple of concerts that the Beeb recorded from the Barbican, provided one of there fancy young editors doesn't get hold of them & make a total mess of them by making them too trendy.
And don't anyone dare put the Spinners down. Like Julian I came into traditional folk music through hearing them. They were always great ambassadors for the genre as well as being very committed to EFDSS, without whom much of the archive stuff would not exist & just because they were out in the mainstream doesn't make them awful. In fact many folkies would just love to get there stuff out there in the same way.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:18 PM

Earlier in this thread there is a comment about Ewan McColl taking from the tradition and doing what he liked with it, like Cecil Sharp.(Wich is not illegal, by the way, it's free to all). Keen watchers of the programme will have noticed Peggy Seeger coming out with some very ancient McColl-think: I havent got a recording, so I cant quote her exist words, but qas I recall it she made much of the fact that(at that time, 50/60s) English traditional culture had dried up to such an extent that there was nobody left to pass on the true style to the youngsters.
   Now, you might think this is a statement that,even if true, the average folkie would avoid making publicly: you would expect her more to be praising and admiring such vestiges as could still be found. But you'd be wrong: this is the authentic bit of McColl's plan, preserved by Peggy Seeger lovingly down to the present day. What he was saying was simple: folk music is wonderful. But unfortunately, the poor old folk have forgotten how to do it properly. So I, Ewan McColl(plus a few youngsters who I have trained in the True Path) will Show the Poor Sods How to Do It. Which is why you got sounds and sights like McColl with that rather bizarre band doing his best at a Geordie accent for a bit of Hewing Ma Coal type "North East folksong". Sure the man was a genius, and the Radio Ballads were stunning, but some of his doings, sayings, and singings, were just laughable. And damagingly bullying to more sensitive souls.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Hawker
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:25 PM

Missed all of the programmes so far, but from what I have read here I will try to catch next week. It seems to me that there is a lot of unhappiness about what was shown, if it was representative and whether it was 'good' folk music. as a non watcher, sitting firmly on the fence, I say at least they are showing some folk music on the BBc now, let this be the beginning of something, dont complain, or if you do, do it in wrtiting to the BBC with suggestions of how they can better it, if they at least know they are reaching an audience - and that there is a need by some of us for this type of show, then it can only get better? Just my humble opinion, for what it's worth!
Cheeors, Lucy


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:29 PM

As previously said the first programme was ok but dwelled a little too long on American influences. It also fostered the BBC misconception that the folk revival in Britain can be traced back to Ewan McColl & Bert Lloyd in London with the creation of the Ballads & Blues club. They neglected to mention that at the same time there were other people in other regions doing exactly the same for example Blue Bell club in Hull and the famous Folksong and Ballad club in Newcastle upon tyne.

I found the follow up programme puzzling! With the vast archive at the BBC's disposal why did they feature exactly the same songs as they had shownin the previous programme, in some cases only minutes earlier? In addition the inclusion of a lengthy study of the emergence of the guitar as a popular musical instrument in post war Britain was plain daft! If that had been cut then we could have included Irish, Welsh and Scottish contributions and still had room for one or two more source singers. My verdict Ok but could try harder!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:57 PM

For Siân & Guest who had problems finding the station, as mentioned above, try a new autosearch of the channels.
To quote the BBC site:
Re-tuning/re-scanning your box/IDTV

The continued growth in the number of Freeview services available has meant that a change to some of the channel numbers was required to ensure a logical and user friendly channel list.

Many boxes/IDTVs will have updated automatically and if you can access BBC News 24 on channel 80 you need do nothing further; if however BBC News 24 is still on channel 40 then you will need to manually re-tune/re-scan your equipment to ensure it recognises the updated channel numbers.

Your instruction manual tells you how to do this, but if you have trouble you will need to call your manufacturer's helpline (see our link below). We've put together this basic information to help you:


Found Here

CHEERS

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:09 PM

First of all, Norman D - apologies for misquoting you. It's a long thread and I must have cut and pasted from the wrong place. Sorry.

Second - anyone want to take a bet that Davy Graham, Swarb et al will feature much more heavily in part 2 of the series? The first part seemed weighted towards folk song but they're surely going to have to deal more with instrumentalists before they get into folk-rock and so on. Hoping so, anyway.

Now I have to go and rewind the tape to try and find that shot of one R. Thompson behind a guitar shop counter.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 05:12 AM

Nice to see Anne Briggs being interviewed, and she seemed pretty cheerful and nothing like the haunted recluse I'd somehow been led to expect. And yes indeed, Shirley Collins was deadly accurate in her comments on MacColl


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 05:32 AM

Sian

I thought the programme was quite Anglo-centric. There was precious little serious coverage of the Scottish scene, Irish fared a little better, but as far as I recall, the Welsh were ignored. So really, the title with respect to the first programme is a bit misleading. I agree about the scant regard to the instrumental side of things and dance fared even worse, althought the snippet of step dancing was nice. The beginning was strange, I wondered if I might be watching a programme about the American revival. OK so the context was important, but the immediate relevance was a mite obscure and the time given to it was excessive given the ommissions.

All in all, a brave attempt, but the programme makers were attempting too much for just that one hour.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Compton
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 06:46 AM

I have only just got back on to the web so didn't get on to Mudcat at time of transmission. I enjoyed Folk Brittania although as a "part one" to a history of British Folk it was a bit thin...presumably because the BBC have thrown most of anything early out with the bathwater!
Steam came out of my ears regarding "Folk at the BBC" where again there was little archive material and just regurgitated material that looks as though it was done for Folk Brittania. Surely M Carthy could have sung something better than Geordie!. As for the ten minuted of tosh that was "Monitor"...I didn't for the life of me understand what it was in there for apart from padding.
Whoever the programme producer was ...and how much time the "archive producer" actually spent in the Bowels of the BBC..I assume no time at all!!...Probably 'cos Wogan is still there with Aunties Bloomers.
As for the amusing "White Heather Club" I endorse what early mudcatters thought regardings what exactly it set out to do. I didn't see anything warning me that it was nothing like Scottish Folk Music. Remember it was 46 years ago when we fed our TVs with coal!!. New Years have never been the same since Andy Stewart et al went up to the Great White Heather Club in the Sky...It was for many, 46 years ago, "entertaining" whatever people think of it now, There is much,much more bilge, and unwatchable rubbish on TV than ever there was then. Has anyone ever sat down to watch BBC3?
My Gran and Mun loved the White Heather Club ...and don't ever want to watch Mr Connolly F**ing and Blinding every thrty seconds...and come to thik on it, neither do I..

Ps I never realised what a funny haircut, Andy Stewart had!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 11:26 AM

I loved the first episode off Folk Britannia (although a bit too American at the start) but I thought much of Folk at the BBC was laughable: I though my video had mucked up with that Monitor crap - what a waste


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (off base)
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 11:35 AM

Having finally caught up with Folk Britannia part 1, I have one question. Where was Alex Campbell? Any history of the folk revival which omits his massive contribution is seriously incomplete.

If he doesn't show up in part 2, I may ask the Beeb for my license fee back.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Baz
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 11:39 AM

Hmmmm....it seems I'm the only one who enjoyed the Monitor piece! Fair enough, it wasn't actually "folk-centric", but as I'm FAR too young to have seen the series when it first came out, I thought it was an amusing look at the way TV was made back in the day!

AND oit had Davy Graham on it, so it can't have been all bad.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:06 PM

I thought the Monitor piece on gitars was very entertaining, and very illuminating on the social history, and general style, of the times. But seriously, we are talking here about the BBC, the major British cultural organisation, giving us a one hour selection of what it has in its archives reflecting the nations' vernacular musical culture. In that context, you have to ask, "is that the best they can do?"
    You have to wonder at the quality of thir archives, or the qualities of their archivists. Think what wonderful programmes could be made if someone(Reg Hall?) who knew and loved folk music were allowed to have a poke about and see what they've got. But let's face it, this is the organisation that sacked Charles Parker!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Compton
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 01:49 PM

The Luvvie that probably made "Folk at the BBC" was sent off to make the programme and came back and said "There isn't any in the archive!"...so why didn't they have a look in the Ralph Vaughan Williams Library at CSH?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 08:59 PM

Because the BBC have the archive footage, not the VWML. I'd question the abilities of the programme researchers, perhaps. The producers probably used generalists rather than people who knew about the subject.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 06:37 AM

Geoff the Duck, I wouldn't have thought the image of the Dubliners had dated the same way as those of the others you mentioned.

Greg: that was a perfect asessment of MacColl!

Hils, some of the set-top boxes don't let you record from Freeview. And Guest, that breaking up of the picture was probably because of a weak signal. Adjusting your aerial might help, but if the problem is only occasional, you could probably fix it by using a signal booster.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 06:40 AM

The White Heather Club was allied to another programme called The Kilt is my Delight _ I seem to remember. As a kid I loved Kenneth McKellar's jumper with the silver buttons - the voice always sent me scuttling out though.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 08:28 AM

With the passing of time McColl seems more and more stagey and artificial. However, he is probably as much a construct of his time as the Monitor programme. The same patronising/superior air that went with the Monitor commentary pointing out (irrelevantly)that the girl playing guitar in the park was the grand-daughter of Lord Napier and went to Cheltenham Ladies' College.

It was the style of the time to preach down to the lower classes/uneducated.

nick


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 08:51 AM

The Welsh can consider themselves let off very lightly. The comapnion programme to The White Heather Club was Land of Song.

Now this was scary stuff even the golden age of 425 lines.

the Studio set was a Welsh village - populated by a few young fellows in waistcoats and lots of pretty girls in those sticky out 50's skirts.

And they would sing.

The pretty girls first. Then the fat guy in the waistcoat, then more pretty girls, then Ivor (Zulu Warrior) Emmanuel. Sometimes Ivor had a track suit on and carried a rugby ball.

the songs were all pretty indistinguishable from one another. this was proved by the non singing villagers, who always one of two expressions. either misty eyed being simply transported by the lyrical magic of the song. Or they would chuckle in Welsh, and smile conspiratorially to each other at pawky humour of the fat people's songs.

There was some point in the show where they would all look miserable and some flat caps would be removed - presumably a religious song was being sung.

Bloody excruciating.
Still we got our own back when we nicked their water.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 09:12 AM

They also presented MacColl and Lloyd as the leaders of left-wing influence in music and arts at the time, leaving out many active communists, presumably because they did not fit the preconception. Before my time (my DoB 1948) but told to me by a man whose only top 10 hit was in 1957! It overstated the influence of skiffle, which was but a stepping stone for many - into folk, or jazz (same source, man who played with Donegan and Barber).

They totally ignored the basis of the 1954 Folk Music Council defnition of folk music (posted by me elsewhere in this forum) including the fact that folk music as well as being handed down by the oral tradition had to be modified by it, which wholly gainsays the MacColl/Seeger assumption that they and only they know what the tradition was for we can modify our own folk music in transmission, by definition (and how would an American have known about our tradition anyway?)

MacColl lacks all credibility (for me) about authenticity since he pretended to be Scottish.

The attempt at political labelling of C# House on the one hand and MacColl on the other distorts much of what I have been told about the period, and the references to the bowderisation at C# House largely ignored the fact that mostly unbowderised versions were retained, and the published censored versions were the only practical way to publish at the time. Mind you even the Penguin version of "Jackie Boy" still has meaning if you think!

Interesting, but spoiled in my view by an intent to be unnecessarily politically controversial.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:38 PM

A few posts up the thread, before MacColl's name had been mentioned so much, I chipped in without realising my cookie had gone, and finished up as an unidentified guest. Belatedly I checked I'd got the right spelling of MacColl, and to do so I googled Ewan and "Peggy Seeger" and pressed the "lucky" button.

The page to which I was taken was, I have to admit, quite interesting. And the article makes some valid points. At the same time, it reeks of the archness that afflicted certain members of the Critics Group and got up many noses.

HERE it is. (Health warning: Roger the Skiffler should take tranquilisers before clicking on this link.)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:23 AM

Seems to me to reinforce the view that people who know nothing and have no connection to a tradition ought not to pretend it is theirs.

If Londoners cannot sing American songs, then Americans can't sing English ones.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:33 AM

Nice to hear from Peggy Seeger.

I think there was a little more to it than than that. Let's face it no one gave a monkey's bum what a gang of learned intellectuals got up to in the back room of a pub.

The shit hit the fan around 1965 - much later than the period in question. Dylan was touring, Donovan was in the charts. Even small towns had teo or three folk clubs. For the only time in our history, something many people still think of as folk music was in everybody's imagination.

Then came the NME interview with Ewan when he said that Dylan and Donovan weren't folk music. the guy was only human, I suppose it must have been a piss off seeing these people twenty and thirty years younger than himself having mega success as songwriters on the pitch he had helped to create.

That's when it became okay for people to voice their intolerance. I will echo what Peggy said about him being a nice approachable man. they were both nice people. It was a pity their disciples weren't quite as nice, and took great pride in excluding huge trenches of the population from the folk revival.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 09:46 AM

Don't worry, Pete (Fionn), I'm pretty tolerant (musically!). I liked both McColl and "that Cockney feller" in the 50s/60s and both led me to the sources that influenced them. There never was going to be a meeting of minds between them! (Did you ever hear some of the things LD and Wally Whyton wrote about each other?!)

RtS
(not on tranx, honest!)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 10:49 AM

I haven't seen any of the TV programmes yet, and I actually had decided not to bother watching them because I want to keep my BP down to somewhere near normal. On the basis of what I have read I will give them a looksee on Friday.
As for Ewan Jimmy Miller McColl, he had both tunnel vision and egomania to contend with, he also had strange taste in wives. Between Joan Littlewood and Peggy Seeger it's perhaps no wonder the poor man's brain was addled. He tried to put both songs and singers into straight jackets, and that's not how tradition evolves.
I seem to remember that a young Martin Carthy was involved with McColl and Littlewood in his early days.
I see from the link that was put in that we can expect to be regaled with the disgusting Shane McGowan in this series. What the fuck is he doing being included in this? On that basis I shall not be surprised if we get Lionel Bart and Andrew Lloyd Weber next.
Yes, why no Alex Campbell??
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: My guru always said
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:19 AM

Looking forward to watching tomorrow! BTW thanks for advice re. Freeview - am almost there with recording from it. When it's tuned in to be able to record freeview, other channels get distorted pictures. I reckon it's a weak signal, but looks like the odd progam could be recorded with a bit of fiddling.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:30 PM

When all is said and done, usually more has been said then done, so to speak.

I went to Sharp's at C#House about a month ago as a visitor from out of town, and was made most welcome by a friendly gang of people from most places in the folk continuum. It started at 8 and with 2 spots from Stan Medlicott(?) who also bought everyone a pint, it finished when everyone did a song or a tune.

I would like to think that most clubs are a bit like that - they are about live music some old some new and so on. MacColl was an influence but so were lots of other people. No programme or collection of programmes can sum up the last 50 years of what ever it is we do.

I am just glad it goes on. Just off to slay the Wild Rover and another Morris tune


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:45 PM

cos like Gerry Lockran, Derek Brimstone, Jack Hudson, hamish Imlach and a few others - Alex stayed in the folk clubs.

if he had been good enough for the bbc to grant him any cultural significance he would have had to join the 'dull as fuck' brigade.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:53 PM

Surely the central value of this music is its egaliterianism? Some people are increadibly good and many of us are a bit crap but the music is a bit special and it often sounds great in the hands of the rest of us.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:13 PM

I am not sure what :

he also had strange taste in wives. Between Joan Littlewood and Peggy Seeger it's perhaps no wonder the poor man's brain was addled....is supposed to mean.

Ewan had three wives and the one not mentioned by name is Jean Newlove, Kirsty's mum. And she came between those two. And she is still alive as is Peggy. And I doubt if you have met her or Joan Littlewood. So you are basing your opinion on what you have heard, or read or someone has told you. Not always the best way of learning to comment on people's strangeness or otherwise-IMHO.

I have met Peggy on a number of occasions (starting as long ago as 1964) and she has always seemed lovely to me. Friends who know her much better than me think so too. Ewan could be abrasive and he was not always as right as he thought he was. But he too has a number of admirers whose opinion I respect.

But he wrote some wonderful songs, was an excellent singer, was really good company when I met him, incredibly professional when I booked him and Peggy, and has left a superb legacy.

Those who comment on the policy of the Ballad and Blues Club should make sure they read the Living Tradition article before they do so.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:24 PM

Well I hate to disappoint you Dave but I have met Peggy, and I went to the Singers Club in those bygone days, so I do know whereof I speak. Both Peggy and Joan are/were driven women albeit for different reasons, and I'm quite sure you found Peggy pleasant enough, but I can't share your point of view. As all views expressed by posters on here are by definition 'personal' I hope you'll understand if I don't change my mind.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:57 PM

The Ballad and Blues Club was not the only one with that policy. When I started geting around the folk clubs of the North East some forty years ago, while the rule was not exactly insited upon with a rod of iron, you were certainly "encouraged" to sing the folk songs of the British Isles. Then when The Barleycorn folk club opened in Newcastle in 1969 co-presenter John Revie, a MacColl associate from way back, did insist that songs should come "from your own cultural media". No bad thing if it got people exploring their own traditions and better still exploring the traditions of their native area(in my case the North East).
While agreeing with the Alex Campbell omission, did I miss it or was Dominic Beahan not mentioned either?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 04:27 PM

Actually it was my English that let me down.

If you talk of Ewan's wives then you talk of all three without exceptions. I meant you had not met Joan and Jean. If you have then you are entitled to speak of them as you wish - as you are indeed about Peggy. But if you havent you are relying on gossip. And I agree all opinions are indeed personal.

I meant to exclude Peggy on the assumption - correctly as it turns out - you would have come across her.

Best regards,

Dave


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 05:06 PM

Jean featured in a TV programme about the sad death of Kirsty and seemed like a nice lady. However as you say I don't know her but she seems normal when measured against his other two wives. Joan Littlewood was a great director and a driven woman, and she comes over on documentaries as someone on a mission, who was driven by her politics as much as her art.
Anyway as I said these are only my own personal opinions and I'm quite happy for you or anyone to disagree with my views, it won't change them.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Sean
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 05:30 PM

Yes, no mention of Dominic Behan but what about Nigel Denver? He was pre Alex Campbell and sang with Bob Davenport, Martin Carthy et al. It would appear that the researcher/compiler is some young person who has no personal knowledge of the folk singers of the late fifties and early sixties. very sad, but poor research results in poor programmes.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 09:25 AM

Wee little drummer

I think our own TV channel is just a little TOO much to hope for, but of course

                WE LIVE IN HOPE    :-D

loved your comment, brought a smile to MY face, anywayup.

Best regards,
from Jo-Jo
jojofolkagogo@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: stallion
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 09:41 AM

well tonight I am finally going to see folk brittania, I 'll let you know.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 01:27 PM

The blurb looks as if they are planning to omit the Watersons and the Young Tradition. And Louis Killen. And the Elliott Family. How odd is that? Or is it malice?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 03:33 PM

John/Giok, what on earth is your problem with Joan Littlewood? By "driven woman" do you mean she should have been at home minding the kids? And why would being "driven by her politics as much as her art" addle anyone's brain? That was exactly the kind of outlook that inspired the folk revival. If you've ever been married, maybe you could describe your wife/wives in a few words, just so I know what the benchmark is.

Sean (or anyone else): do you happen to know if Nigel Denver is still around? I met up with him again a few years ago in Birmingham, where he was then living, but have lost track since then.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: My guru always said
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 05:29 PM

Watching the second program of the evening & keep getting flashes of Deja Vu from the Folk Brittania program earlier. Hmmm....


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 05:37 PM

And there was deja vu from last week too.

If it was "Folk Britannia" even though the Watersons did appear there was wholly insufficient about the real English (and Scottish) folk revival: the real revivification of the folk sung in England today.

Far too much American. And folk abandoned for contemporary acoustic as soon as could be. I get the feeling the makers really hate English folk music.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 06:05 PM

There are people in this world that you just don't take to Peter!
G.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Alan Day
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 06:11 PM

Richard I agree with you.I really tried to support this programme,but it was not for me.Like the old Folk on two programme,even people who liked Folk Music turned it off.
It was nice to see a good old friend in the audience and amusing looking at the fashion, but for me BBC has got it wrong again.Nostalgia is not the answer ,fast moving popular Folk to attract new audiences is what is required in my opinion.If there are different themes running I will have a look next week and see.If this is what we are going to get,sorry goodbye.
Al


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Sean
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 06:17 PM

Peter,K (Fionn) Yes Nigel's still around and in Birmingham. Last year he was in Germany with Pat Cookesy and Jim McLean. He was a stalwart of the Scottish and English Folk scene in the sixties. There was no mention on tonight's show about the Scottish revival in the late fifties and early sixties but it was all concentrated on the commecial aspect of folk, re Joe Boyd. However something is better than nothing even though we had to endure Billy Bragg singing(?) a song about being half English. Someone should tell him that the red, white and blue is nothing to do with England. He is a sad case of trying to be international without realising that he is inheritantly imperialist. It was nice to see that Anne Briggs is still with us.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 06:34 PM

I have just turned off some spoof rubbish that followed at 11pm
Cant understnad how I stood it so long!

It is indicative how badly folk was served in the 60s and early seventies if those examples played tonight are the only ones.(or maybe we were so bad in reality?)

Peter Bellamy on the wall I spotted, but do we have Nick Jones, Tony Rose, Mike Harding? Nice to see Dick Gaughan but no songs yet from him!

Yes we have had a snatch of the Watersons from their B&W film, but what about the other lovely harmony groups (mainly acapella) and sense of spontaneous harmony which I particularly still love to hear.

well lets wait and see where they go?
Ray


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 06:40 PM

I have to add that I did enjoy the artists who were played and who enjoyed popularity and hopefully finacial success!

They were brilliant musicians

Perhaps the feelings of actually being there are difficult if not impossible to encapsulate, given that Donovan, Dylan, Bert Yansch were unlikley to turn up at your average local folk club every week

Ray


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 07:13 PM

Haven't seen it yet as I went out to see a Lonnie Donnegan tribute show at Newark Palace theatre. However it seems to have got some of you a bit glum.

glad I went out really. perhaps you're taking a bit too seriously. I mean TV is something else really. It's nowt to do with us simple honest folk.

you didn't really think they were where they are because of some inherent virtue. nah, gang of arseholes.

take my word, we're better off without them.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 07:13 PM

I watched the "Protest singers" film. Where were they? Even Tom Paxton got to sing only his love song.There were no protests. Where was Phil Ochs for heavens sake? He's on film. The problem with this series is they are limited as to what is on film. Much of it is London based and the hard working pros such as Alex Campbell, Cyril Tawney, The Campbells, etc, were never filmed. There was a whole world of folk clubs that they can't show. The sad thing is this series will be seen as the definitive history and all we have is celeb folk.However, contemporay acoustic is what the late 60's and 70's were about, that's what filled the folk clubs, as well as the folk comics. The rise in traditional music at the expense of song happened much later. In that they got it right for the time period they were covering.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 02:51 AM

Joe Boyd was only ever into folk music as a money making enterprise.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 06:13 AM

I was very taken with the chronology of the first program, which was about the times before before I became interested in trad folk, but last nights prog. seemed to miss out so much of what was going on apart from the blossoming electric scene, although I admit that it was this in particular that drew me to the folk scene initially, along with Anthems in Eden in which the medieval fusion was a revelation, There was such aprofusion of different types of music in those days, including ISB -Robin seemed very together in his interview, which is good news. Nice to see Gaughan, Irvine, Thompson, and Co. still right at the top of their abilities.
There was no mention of the dance bands catering for the dancing fraternity, nor of morris teams forming nor of John Kirkpatrick, and Sue Harris, The High Level ranters, the Boys of the Lough,    I,m not sure I want to hear much about the Pogues in the next prog, but I'll be watching from behind the sofa.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 06:35 AM

Missed it, will it be on again?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 06:45 AM

OK, to answer my own question:

11.10 tonight -Saturday 11 Feb. followed by Donovan, Burt Jansch and then Pentangle mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. folk or what?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sian, west wales
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 07:09 AM

Although I thought it was interesting seeing some of the English icons in performance (I wasn't living here then so they aren't so much part of my folk psyche) I still think it's a bloomin' great cheek for BBC to bill this as Folk BRITANNIA. The series seems to be specifically England-oriented and, even when it drifted north of the border into Scotland, it still only briefly examined activities which specifically related to English language English experience. There was absolutely nothing about Wales, probably because things were considerably different here.

You're right about the Protest bit. The singers were there, but anything that was too specifically political was not. Trad and protest song were absolutely central to '60s and '70s social unrest in Wales. In other places as well, for all I know; this series certainly wouldn't have enlightened me in that direction.

And it isn't a matter of a lack of existing film footage. That's a rubbish arguement. It's a lack of half decent production values and research - plus the decision from the outset that it wasn't actually going to be truly Britannic.

I also agree about that terrible 'comedy' thing that followed at 11.00. I managed about 5 minutes of it. Someone once told me to be careful in business meetings of sentences containing the word 'but'. They pointed out that, however the sentence starts out, everything BEFORE the word 'but' is bullshit. That 'comedy' was the same as the word 'but'. A BBC reminder to viewers that folk/trad should still be considered a joke.

sheesh

sian


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 02:10 PM

The programme seemed to suggest that the 1965 Al Stewart clip was shot at Les Cousins, but it looked more like Bunjies to me.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 02:22 PM

This is of course a very cheap way of using up archive material to make a cheap programme.I just wish it could have been presented with more variety of music.A programme of just contempory music does not appeal to those who mainly like traditional or visa versa.I agree with the previous posting that a injection of a few dance bands would have improved the format.
Al


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 07:04 PM

As it was history it did reflect the time! You can't re-write the past to put into it what you perceive as the folk scene now, and that includes dance bands which didn't exist in any serious folk club sense at that time. Back then it was folk SONG clubs with a few exceptions, mostly I think in the North East, Scotland, etc


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 07:29 PM

I find the series very interesting as far as it goes. Plenty of nostalgic interest. But obviously it is media biassed, and interested in record sales. So we get a programe which gives a lot of attention to say Steeleye Span, or Donovan, or jounalistic peeps at Nick Drake. But no looks at the continuos unbroken quiet stream of the music in theatre, in carnival, in film, in hundreds of bands playing for dances, for weddings, in pubs, in a string of festivals(not just folk, in fact especially not folk festivals): music, basically, embedded in society as it has always been. And music. surprisingly, not only of little interest to journalists, but of little interest to most "folkies" either. I think there is a more interesting series to make which would cover what Henry Ayrton, a great folk broadcaster, called "the parallel worlds of folk".


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 07:59 PM

100, thank you


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Feb 06 - 05:39 AM

rather you than me Greg.

perhaps all these things they show are quite interesting - although to be honest - you felt a little bit privileged being at Cousins at the time - you knew once the secret was out about this music - it would turn into music for rich folk like Ronnie Scotts across the road - which was thiry eight bob to go into as opposed to the 7/6d for the cousins all nighter.

I think maybe as you say all that's wrong with the programme is its stated aim the folk music of Britain - bit of a talll order anyway -its pretty diverse stuff.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Feb 06 - 10:37 AM

Can anyone explain how Peter Knight of Steeleye Span on ' All Around My Hat ' managed to make his fiddle sound exactly like a mandolin ?

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 06 - 10:56 AM

it would turn into music for rich folk like Ronnie Scotts across the road - which was thiry eight bob to go into as opposed to the 7/6d for the cousins all nighter.

Well, it never happened. It's still the poorest paid form of proffessional entertainment in Britain!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Hen Harrrier
Date: 12 Feb 06 - 11:05 AM

Thoroughly agree with the comments regarding Reg Hall, he's done sterling work over the years including very enlightening research into the Irish musical community in London. A very under-rated man in my opinion.

Give him is own TV programme for the sake of the tradition!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DaveS at work
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 02:48 AM

It was remiss not to at least mention the impact that younger solo performers like Nic Jones, Tony Rose, Sean Cannon, Martyn Wyndham Read, Dave Burland, Dick Gaughan and Peter Bellamy had on the scene in the late sixties and early seventies.
I don't accept that the rise of electric folk had any detrimental effect on MacColl's popularity as I saw him at least once a year between 1968 and 1973 and he never failed to pack a room.
And how did Donovan get away with talking such drivel. Can anyone remember him from a folk club or similar pre 1965? As I recall the folk scene at the time totally ignored him while those not quite on the scene but into Dylan etc showed him their arse. Donovan was a product of the pop scene of the time. Nothing else.
Otherwise I quite enjoyed it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 04:22 AM

Ah, now if you listened carefully, Donovan was of the folk scene because he spent a year or two bumming round europe being "bohemian" and this links him with the 'hobo tradition' as demonstrated by Woodie Guthrie......... Frankly it made no sense to me at the time, much like Donovan 'I'm working class, honest', himself.

On the whole I found it interesting. I was born in 1966 so I've no idea what went on at the time in question. I got into folk through Steeleye Span, because they had a popular hit single. My parents were into jazz and easy listening, so I had no idea the folk world even existed until my early teens.

I found the follow up programme a waste of time, why couldn't they just have included the few extra bits in the first programme? But I've got to say I've found the spoof funny, but that's 'cos I've met people like that in various worlds, not just the folk one.

The BBC has admitted, over the last few years, to how badly their archive has been handled. Huge tracts of film and VCR have been lost due to bad storage, programmes have been taped over (in the case of VCR) and much else has just been plain lost. For a long time there was an active policy of disposing of 'light entertaiment' footage as they had a lack of storage space. So a lot of stuff from the 50's & 60's just doesn't exist any more.

Unless the programme makers very actively went to private collections and libraries, I doubt they would have a huge resource to pick from - which, judging by the second programme in the evening, they couldn't be bothered to do.

Watching the programme did bring home to me how big the subject really is, though. 3 programmes just isn't going to do it justice.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 04:30 AM

I remember Donovan playing in folk clubs, particularly round St Albans, he was just in the right place at the right time, and I'm sure none of the rest of us would have resisited the temptation to make money. So maybe he wasn't cutting edge, and he wasn't writing songs about famine and the unions, he still wrote some good songs and doesn't deserve to be dismissed off hand. Listen again to songs like Gold Watch Blues, and Sunny Goodge Street. He is of more relevance to the UK folk scene than The Pogues or Shane McGowan.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 05:53 AM

The whole historical thrust of the programmes so far seems to be on a sort of evolutionary model, along the lines of those drawings of apes turning into caveman and then modern blonde Aryans striding purposefully towards the future.
In these programmes the apemen are the "common people", who you are allowed to glimpse briefly doing their simple thing in pubs etc. The musicians then strugglle to stand on their hind legs, in a sort of tottering fashion: Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten,McColl, Watersons etc. Then at last, in their full glory, standing upright and proud in the new dawn, we get to the pinnacle of civilisation and Relevance to the Modern Age, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. You can see that they are the summit of human achievement, because instead of the short hair of their forebears, they all sport long flowing locks, the men as well of the women. And the trousers: what poet could adequately describe the trousers?
    Trouble is,was Steeleye Span's "All around my hat" actually the peak of reconnecting Britain with its folk music? In my own experience(pretty extensive, I may say) of music making in English pubs, you do not see crowds of swaying drunks singing "All around my Hat". The folk material that everybody, but everybody, knows consists of two traditional songs collected from English singers: "The Black velvet Band" and "The Wild Rover"; and one song written by an Anglo/Scots revival singer, McColl's "Dirty Old Town". And these songs were not put into wide circulation by strangely moustached folk-rockers, but by the Dubliners, a group of much wilder looking Irishmen. Who, I am fairly confident, were well popular before Steeleye and Fairport, not to mention after.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 05:56 AM

As an addition to the previous post, I may say that I have photographs of myself available, taken in the 1970's, with extremely long hair, ridiculous beard, and blue and yellow striped trousers.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 08:54 AM

Spot on there, Greg. Add in a few learned at primary school (Early One Morning, The Keeper, etc) to make a "top ten" that most people would know.

And bloody good songs they are too, all part of my repertoire - I pity the anal-retentive folk priesthood who look down their noses at these songs which link us back to our "apemen" ancestors who just "did their simple thing in pubs etc".


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 09:24 AM

I have 5 Dubliners LPs; how's that for a confession?
Giok ☺


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 10:57 AM

The The Joe Gordon Folk Four were Joe Gordon (guitar, vocals), George Hill (electric guitar), Dick Campbell (bass), Callum Sinclair.

Although it certainly looked like an R Thompson clone in the music shop, I think RT would have only been about 11 at the time of the filming.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 12:59 PM

Donovan deserves to be in the series as his songs are amongst the most popular sung in folk clubs - or didn't you notice?

he was pretty cool at the time - recording bert Jansch songs, taking a song with just solo guitar accompaniment into the top twenty (universal soldier), using the pick of Ronnie Scotts lads on Sunny Goodge Street.

not my favourite songwriter, but a creator of more memorable songs than many slobbered over as being 'in the tradition'.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 02:19 PM

No, not in any of the folk clubs that I have visited over the last forty years; and there have been a few.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: stevi
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 02:40 PM

hi all i really enjoyed the programme nice to see the beeb catering for the folk scene! i was quite taken by richard thompson singing adieu adieu is this one of his songs or traditional? programms like this do let people like me see a wider group of artists. A few years ago i got switched on to christy moore via a radio 2 concert' up untill then i never even herd of him.

steve


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 02:42 PM

I seem to remember that "Gold Watch Blues" was written not by Donovan but by the incomparable (or at least, inimitable) Mick Softley.

I wonder what happened to him? (Mick Softley, I mean.)

Maggie


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 02:49 PM

I thought it was a joint effort Maggie, but could be wrong.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 03:44 PM

The song sang by Richard Thompson (Adieu Adieu) is traditional. Nicely sung too.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: lady penelope
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 04:58 PM

Sorry It was I who was posting about being born in 1966. The site lied about resetting me cookies.....

As with anything viewed from a distance, it's all too easy to make the wrong assumptions about what you're looking at. Especially if you're not familiar with the subject in the first place, which I reckon the makers of this programme are not.

I'm not saying that Steeleye Span's version of All around my hat was the very best folk could offer at the time (that's always going to be a subjective debate...) but it did get me into folk. My other half (Parker) knows bog all about folk - pretty much that most of it doesn't annoy him - but he found it facsinating to find out even the relatively small amount of information that was presented. That can't be bad.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 06:31 PM

well i'd be bloody fascinated to know the folk clubs where Donovan's music isn't sung. he is such a natural choice for beginner guitarists and floorsingers. I heard Cutting Out and his version of Keep on Trucking only this last week at Ilkeston folk club - songs off his first album.

Really when you think of it, he is a seminal figure. the sort of celtic mysticism you find in his work points the way that artists like Van the Man and shane MacGowan would take - in much the same way the ISB prefigures the interest in world music.

like I say not my favourite, but a very natural and very important talent. turn YOUR nose up at the peoples' choice, if you like - but don't tell me I haven't heard what I have heard- and if you've ever been within a mile of a folk club, you've heard it too. all too often, one feels occasionally.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 06:44 PM

Wot?!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 06 - 07:58 PM

Been playing clubs for a lifetime, never heard a Donovan song except from a wannabee floor singer, and then not more than twice.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,redmax
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 05:29 AM

"I don't accept that the rise of electric folk had any detrimental effect on MacColl's popularity"

I did find that to be a strange assertion the programme made- it seemed to suggest that MacColl cut an increasingly forlorn figure as he became marginalised. An amusing theory, but is there any hard evidence to back it? It's probably true that the Critics Group seemed a little starchy compared to the new folk-rockers, but that's hardly enough to justify such a flimsy point

"I'm not saying that Steeleye Span's version of All around my hat was the very best folk could offer at the time...but it did get me into folk"

Hear, hear! When I heard this song and Gaudete on the radio it really stirred something inside me, and I'm eternally grateful that Steeleye reached out to the masses, even though some felt they compromised too much in doing so

But what about the programme makers' point that by the end of the 70s folk had become a parody of itself? In order to prove this shaky premise we got footage of the Strawbs playing "Part of the union" and Lindisfarne playing "Fog on the Tyne". Both bands were only on the margins of folk, but we could just as easily have been shown the other hits from the same albums, "Lay down" and "Meet me on the corner". Instead we got each band's more jocular offering, presumably to demonstrate that the scene had turned into one bog joke. Which is bollocks, in my opinion


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,redmax
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 05:31 AM

Or one "big" joke, indeed. Any thoughts on this? Did folk become a parody?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 06:13 AM

The Strawbs originally known as the Strawberry Hill Boys, I assume named after the area between Twickenham and Teddington, were when I first heard and saw them playing Bluegrass numbers, and featured a lot of fast banjo stuff.
Have a look at the 1971 review of a gig at the Hop Poles in Enfield here , then note the disappearance of the banjo in succeeding gigs.
The thing that always made me chuckle was the adoption by the unions of the Part of the Union song, when if you listen to the words it is actually a put down of the unions.
I don't know much about Lindisfarne, but never heard them do anything "folky".
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 07:06 AM

Although I have very much enjoyed "Folk Brittania" so far I am dismayed so little has been said about the Folk Clubs and sessions that have been running for 50 years or more, representing the true beating heart of British folk music. As many of you know there are organisers and performers who, for most of their lives, have dedicated (if that`s too strong a word) so much time and energy to the continuance of our musical heritage and these people deserve more credit than is given on such a programme. Many of the artists featured are extra-ordinarily talented, innovative and a joy to listen to but have moved to a plateau that is far removed from British folk music that is still found in all corners of our islands.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 08:33 AM

Best post in the thread John

Les in Chorlton


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Compton
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 01:18 PM

It occurs that the fleeting shot of "The Spinners" (minus Hughie Jones??) was alittle ironic as "Folk at the BBC" in the late 60's /early 70s WAS the Spinners....but I guess the Luvie that made Folk Brittania wasn't born then!!
Do I remember a strange little Welsh "Folk" Programme with some welsh cult figures called Ryan and Ronnie called "Hob Y Deri Dando".If they had only asked us old Mudcatters what to put in...we'd have told them!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 01:51 PM

Hear. Hear, to "Best post in the Thread, John"

I have heard many, many singers and songs which TRULY ought to be No.1 hit records, and I dont mean that they are the "chewing gum" songs, but beatiful love songs, from such wonderful talent too

May I dare mention Alan Neville (Romford, Waltham Abbey etc) he wrote a song called "I know you are not coming, but I'm waiting anyway" and a real tear-jerker it is too. would make a mint on the "commercial circuit" -
But, hey, who wants THAT !!!

Jo Jo
(jojofolkagogo@yahoo.com)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Grab
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 01:52 PM

I just don't get Steeleye Span. Sorry. I got a couple of their CDs (which I'll grant may not be the best sample from which to make a judgement), and realised I'd heard better from halfway-competent pub bands.

Given that I was born in 1974, obviously I wasn't around to hear them at the time. ;-) So I guess there must have been a first person to play folk tunes on an electric guitar, and at the time I guess it was innovative. Looking back on it though, is their stuff really any good?

There are plenty of occasions of people doing things for the first time, and blazing a trail. Guthrie and Dylan for their writing; Dylan for electric guitar accompaniment; Renbourn in reviving old music; Jansch and Graham in mixing blues and jazz into folk - all of those are still recognisably top-quality music today, even though they were new at the time. In the same vein for later music from when I was growing up, Kraftwerk and Queen are still recognisably top-quality music, in spite of being revolutionary at the time. But look back on Steeleye Span, and is it still top-quality, or was it just a novelty of the time, like a folk-rock equivalent of all those permed one-hit-wonders in the 80s?

I know everyone will have their own opinion, but I know where mine is.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 02:35 PM

Steeleye Span was less than the sum of it's parts, some great people there who carried others who might have been better doing other things.
They did though have impact, and that's what made them so attractive to the punters.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 03:12 PM

Steeleye were amazing in 1970. The first four or 5 albums were like nothing else. The problem all folk musicians have is to innovate whilst staying within some kind of tradition. Perhaps they just do too much. Silly Sisters was better than much late Steeleye.

The value of live music is that you can still go to small humble clubs and hear the best and the worst music that their is. What will it be this week?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 03:30 PM

It was of course absolutely right to experiment and innovate, it was a thrilling time for music. Whether experiments actually lead anywhere, though, you can't really tell at the time. Forty years on, I find it interesting(and often amusing) to see which of our efforts carried on and led to other things, and which didn't.
    If you drive down Porlock Hill(Exmoor) there are some little escape roads. If your brakes fail, and you are going a bit fast, you can turn off into one of these sideroads, and end up stuck fast, but safe, in a massive pile of sand. While the rest of the traffic carries on down the hill, somewhat more cautiously, reaches the bottom and thence to other destinations. The history of the English folk revival is somewhat similar. Of course, the question of which are the escape routes, and which is the main drag, might cause the odd argument!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 04:24 PM

Going up Camborne Hill Coming Down Sans voie d'etrasse.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 10:43 PM

A rummage elsewhere here reveals another falsehood from the programme: it was quite definite that "She moves through the fair" was contemporary and learned by folk singers from a recording by the legendary Irish tenor Count John McCormack. A different story appears elsewhere on the mudcat and the consensus seems to be that the song was trad adapted Colm.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sian, west wales
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:40 AM

Compton, you are right about Hob y Deri Dando although I wasn't in Britain at the time. It was produced by a friend of mine, Meredydd Evans and provided, I think, the first television appearance for our own Mudcatter, BanjoRay. There were other programmes of the same ilk on Welsh TV and I know there are still bits in the archives so Folk Britannia doesn't have any excuse except bad, superficial research, and/or a decision to throw something together to a specific political (small 'p') agenda, and/or throwing the folk community a bone so they don't have to do any more for another couple of decades.

For information, I asked for a statement from the BBC Head of Music and got the following from a press assistant:

"In celebrating the traditional music of the British Isles, from the end of the Second World War to the present day, Folk Britannia had an extensive subject area to cover in only three hours.

"The main theme of the series was that of revival and the programme-makers subsequently focused on the way folk has continually re-invented itself over the years to remain socially and culturally relevant. This narrative thread inevitably led them to focus on certain stories and individuals.

"Programme one focused on Ewan MacColl, a pivotal figure in the English folk revival whose influence stretched beyond the country's borders. Programme two focused on the most experimental artists of the 60s - Pentangle, the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention - whilst the war between Thatcher and the miners provided a very tangible example of the role of protest songs in folk. Finally, in programme three, the glimpse at the contemporary folk scene focused on the most high-profile figures of the current folk revival (and Danny Kilbride commented very recently in The Observer that there's not currently "a scene as such in any town or region" of Wales) and those who represented the most disparate elements of the folk community.

"There were, unfortunately, many stories left untold by Folk Britannia. Folk music plays an important role in the cultural and social make-up of the British Isles, we only wish we had had more hours to devote to the subject."

For the record, I know for a fact that Danny KilBride was interviewed for an hour by The Observer, which then proceded to take one sound bite and misquote it! Danny's point was that there was no Welsh language folk club scene which was a complete parallel with England but there was an English language one. Possibly the same in Scotland; the programme makers only ventured there long enough to shore up their overall Anglo-centric stance.

siân


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:59 AM

The Strawbs song ' Part Of The Union ' was not only a put down, it was avery badly ripped off from Woody Guthries song 'Union Maid' in fact it was shite.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:46 AM

I don't remember Ewan and Peggy being folorn either. they always seemed quite 'up', in the few chats I had with them after their generally well attended and well received gigs. they were proud of what they were doing and believed in it.

the music/record business always seemed to mystify them, but I guess it does us all.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 06:03 AM

and what really pisses you off about Donovan is that a working class audience would actually be familiar with his material, whereas folk music is of course a pursuit reserved for the middle classes.

that wellknown crap wannabe floorsinger Joan baez recorded Colours. paul weller started his career performing Donovan material. I heard Colours last week at Monyash folk club.

I hold no brief for the man, but this denial of the importance of every artist who doesn't fit into the drab conformity 'the tradition' has done so much harm to the English folk music scene and so often robbed it of its humanity and popularity.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Ross
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 07:24 AM

I thought the spoof was really excellent afterwards - the actress who played the part was worthy of an Oscar

My favourite lines - Did you sing with your Father? - well no, he said the sound of my voice made him physically sick and

The image of her crying all over her neighbours (she'd only met the day before) at the alternative wake when the 3rd wife had refused her permission to go to the funeral

It rang a lot of bells for me


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 08:29 AM

The thing is that there are a lot of 'good' performers around in folk clubs, there are also a lot of 'excellent' performers around. In order to stand out from the crowd you either need 'charisma' or a gimmick. Now charisma doesn't come over very well on a CD [see Noel Murphy] but gimmicks can if they're aural, and the same is true of visual gimmicks on TV. It's amazing how far a sexy outfit can get a slightly better than average violinist [see Vanessa Mae].
Many 'folkie' performers have in the past 'dressed up' for the TV cameras, I was looking at some of the photo's in the Strawbs link I posted, and the outfits some of them wore were hilarious, but as they no doubt might say, "Hey it got me noticed" and that's really the name of the game.
We have loads of talented people here on the Cat but not enough of them are getting the bookings or the recognition they deserve.
So I suggest that not being in the right place at the right time, coupled with seeing people you know you are better than getting not very well deserved recognition, is one of the justified causes of the carping attitude that comes from some of us.
How many of us can look at or listen to some new 'discovery' and say I know somebody who can sing/play/dance/whatever better than him/her. Different strokes for different folks added to the fact the 'Life sucks'make this an unfair world, and we just need to get over it.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:27 PM

Folk music is the tradition. Anything else may be excellent, but it is not folk music. Check the definition.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:43 PM

True enough Richard but it was, is, and if it is to survive it will continue to be a living tradition. And living things evolve according to the environment they inhabit (Darwin C 18somethin)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:43 PM

I'm a bit late to this, so excuse me it this posting wanders a bit.

I think the two programmes so far have been good: they haven't named everyone or everything that mattered but how could they? They've taken a few important threads and followed them.

I was taken by the suggestion that the early collections were made with the intention of creating an English concert music as the Germans were too influential: in which case perhaps the basic inspiration came from the likes of Sibelius and Smetana, composers who raided their own folk legacies for national music. The music hall of the period could have been mentioned, too.

There did seem to be too much attention given to the blues origins of US folk, given the time allocated to Bert Lloyd, mention of his Appalachian collecting would have provided needed balance.

The knives were definitely out for Ewen McCall. Although he was given a good hearing, I think there was a little more to be said in favour of his approach. Isn't it right that the songs still existed but without their context? Yes, it was good to hear a "source singer", but surely he wasn't singing the songs in the same way at his age as would have been the case in his youth. Much of what McCall was said to be teaching was only good stage practice (as you might expect from his background). There are those today who claim that traditional songs have to be sung in particular ways: whether their way is better than McCall's I leave to others to decide, but their singlemindedness is equally inspiring/wrongheaded.

I was initially put-off by the programme following appearing to be just a repeat, but have come to feel that it is valuable to see the clips used in the main programme set in full context. Perhaps this should have been made clearer at the start.

I am an unrepentant supporter of both the "soft" face of folk as represented by the Spinners (although personally I would yell for the Blackpool Taverners), and the folk rock of Steeleye Span/Fairport Convention. Both approaches may inhabit the fringes of folkdom, but to me do show a respect for the basic material, and a popular approach to bring it to a wider audience than would ever be gained by purists. It is the people brought by popular acts, in numbers that are whittled down by time and competing interests, that became the audience folk has today.

Performers and fads come and go, the music survives.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:50 PM

I guess their are some folk stalinists about but the majority of folk activity as the level of small active cells of anarchists. They run clubs, singarounds, sessions, dances, morris and other ritual stuff and I suppose that is both the strength and the weakness of it all.

We could all name our favourite folk stalinist and MacColl fitteed the bill more than a bit.

Who was yours?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:32 PM

can I just say that Tom Lewis is after a copy of the programmes - I haven' t worked out how to tape from freeview-can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 01:56 AM

It's EWAN MACCOLL ffs, not Ewen MacCall.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Barnacle
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 04:29 PM

I was just over the moon that anything folky could be seen from the sofa of my front room, albeit I thought I had gone to sleep and woken to a repeat at one point - that was confusing.

However, my main thoughts were something like ... Haven't they all aged - surely more than me!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: nutty
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:16 PM

Both programmes seem to have been biased towards what was happening in the South of England and London in particular.
If that had been the case folk music would have died a long time ago.

I started attending folk clubs in 1966 when people would queue for the doors to open and floor singers were rewarded with free entry and free drinks.

Being in the North, my main influences were the High Level Ranters,d Ray, Cilla and Archie Fisher, and the Corries who for my money did as much as McColl in developing and maintaining the tradition.

I'm not sure how much relevance tonights programme is going to have for me. I've never been a great Pogues fan.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 01:13 PM

The Pogues are to folk what Pope Pius was to contraception.
G


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: stallion
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 01:24 PM

Am I the only one to have fallen asleep in a ewan mccoll and peggy seeger gig, told my girl friend to wake me up the snoring was putting them off!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 01:27 PM

You'll be burnt at the stake!
G.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 02:11 PM

A friend of mine at work was amazed at some of the guitar playing on the programmes and is now the proud owner of a selection of Davy Graham and Leadbelly music. A small benefit ?, I like to think so.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 04:38 PM

Tonight's gets worse


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: nutty
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:08 PM

I have to eat my words .... I really enjoyed tonight.
It managed an unbiased look at the many different threads of folk music.
It pulled them together in a coherent way and acknowledged the common
source.

I just have to remember that folk has moved on through two generations since I first became involved, but having said that I'm glad I was there 40 years ago. I've had 40 years of amazing companionship and pleasure and I wouldn't change a thing.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:34 PM

Pretty good once we got through the Shane barrier.

It was rather a maoist concept of folk music, with the picture of necessary change. It rather neglected the constant thread that keeps bringing the experiments back to the core. Perhaps we need a similar programme covering the same ground with the theme of consistency? Well, we'd enjoy it, anyway. I felt somehow the stress on the same faces in 1960 as in 1990 rather missed the point that many had gone and others had passed through and more had come - those who were fresh in 1960 were now the establishment. A natural progress of life not a stasis.

I couldn't help laughing at Jim Moray's naive attitude. They hadn't liked his piece so they were absolutely horrid..... what a wimp. Yet this was so reminiscent of the 1960s attitudes to Dylan or Al Stewart or later (ok, got to admit it) the Pogues. But the music goes on. It absorbs and widens, perhaps, but stays true to itself at the core. Which is its strength, I firmly believe, and although firmly hidden at times it was there in these programmes.

Ahhh....what a nice moral to end on. More or less what Eliza said anyway.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:40 PM

Tonight's episode had too many rock musicians for my liking. Some of them seemed to have, possibly, got some of their inspiration from folk music (I had to take their word for it - it was hard to tell otherwise). This was a bit like featuring the singing of Shirley Collins on a programme about classical music because she claimed to be very fond of Beethoven!

Also, I would like to know when, exactly, did Billy Bragg get 'elected' as a folk singer and why does he now appear to be the official media spokesman for British Folk?

I think the Beeb is still terrified of Folk Music and still balks at playing any - even on a programme which purports to be about Folk Music!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:52 PM

Billy Bragg was chosen by the family of Woody Guthrie to set some of his lyrics to music, and since that he has been an expert on folk music!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:55 PM

Also, I would like to know when, exactly, did Billy Bragg get 'elected' as a folk singer and why does he now appear to be the official media spokesman for British Folk?

That's a good question.

But the main thing that I got out of this programme - of people talking about music - was the music did it far better on it own. TV can just show the bloody music being performed and seems a complete waste of the medium to give yet more time for people that are paid to write about it - often those who have their own magazines to write it it in.

And come to think of it - when the music is talking about folk - is probably the best definition of what folk music is.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: lady penelope
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 06:01 PM

I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that new performers had to be 'voted' in as folk artists....... I kinda thought writing and performing in a folk genre did it for you........ silly me.....


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 07:00 PM

yes, I suppose worrying whether someone's been 'voted in' doesn't quite fit most definitions of folk music. Anyway, Billy Bragg's involvement in traditional music alongside his own songwriting grows all the time.

Mind you, I was thoroughly depressed by the negativity of the last 15 minutes where a lot of singer-songwriters were given an inordinate amount of space to whinge about how they were being excluded from folk's mainstream. Well, Bob Dylan (or Billy Bragg, or even the lovely Shane M, if you like) was excluded for a while ... but his songs were good enough to stand on their own merit and to enter into the tradition. Can't imagine many of the navel-gazing songs I heard in this section of the programme following the same trajectory.

This is not the comment of a Luddite - there's great stuff out there, with genuine blending of traditional tunes and dance grooves and brilliant songwriting too, the Beeb just favoured the stuff that IS excluded over the stuff that isn't (where were Capercaillie, the Afro Celts, and the late lamented Martyn Bennett?). As for the romanticized Nick Drake/Vashti Bunyan/Beth Orton bits AGAIN ... oh, puhleeese!

And did they REALLY use June Tabor's spoken input without including her singing, or did I just miss that bit?

Oh well, at least there's some folk on telly!

PS Nutty - quite agree. Even the clips from the miners' strike showed the admittedly fantastic Roy Bailey and Leon Rosselson coming 'oop north' to help out. They didn't show Alex Glasgow coming home from Australia to play fundraisers, or Mike Elliott, or Jock Purdon, or ..... Still, I suppose there were a few notable bits (Eliza, Kate Rusby, Gaughan, Kathryn Tickell, Moving Hearts and Lou Killen ) that redressed the SE bias a bit.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 08:17 PM

What a load of pish!!

Fawning and scraping over the "young bloods".
Huge egos and very little talent, even the Waterson Carthy cabal have lost the plot. I'm beginning to think that the folk "entertainers" have a definite shelf life, some of the stuff actually made me cringe.

They dont hold a candle to Ewan Maccoll and his group, either in the manner of performance or in songwriting ability.

Maccoll wrote of the political issues that we can only argue about.
About the work songs, songs of the quest for real freedom...not the "freedom" we're offered by the politicians.
His love songs are still some of the best ever written...not just sexual love but also love for his family and his fellow man.

This programme tried to knock Maccoll, but his songs answered the pygmies who would besmirch him.
I've always believed folk music comes from the heart, fires the emotions, renews the spirit....The heart ,emotion and spirit have long gone from the music, times have changed, its now a business.

Don't listen to those who say the music is evolving, the folk music we loved is dead and in its place we have the mindless rubbish shown in the last part of this series....Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Red
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 08:51 PM

Who was the narrator?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 03:27 AM

I wouldn't have minded finding out more about what they dubbed "acid folk" or "twisted", particularly that young guitarist playing (shock, horror) traditional songs (was the name "Robertson"?), and the idea of musicians returning to the tradition (with an unspoken subtext of "no matter how hard they try to get away") was interesting.

What is this "Homefires" festivaland how typical of it were the clips? (I ask partly because they presented Cambridge as a folk festival, whereas it has been a world music and blues festival for decades)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 04:03 AM

I still believe that such phrases as 'bringing the Tradition up to date' and 'an evolving Tradition' etc., etc. is almost always shorthand for replacing Folk Music with Rock Music - and I will continue to object to this - mainly because I don't like Rock Music and think that there is far too much of it in our culture.
In last night's programme the only person who showed any understanding of what Folk Music is all about was Eliza Carthy. Her comment about Folk songs being created by thousands of singers, over many years, and not being about individual egos was spot on. But then I think that Ms Carthy is one of the few contemporary performers who can claim to be taking the Tradition forwards.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,IS
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 04:15 AM

"I wouldn't have minded finding out more about what they dubbed "acid folk" or "twisted", particularly that young guitarist playing (shock, horror) traditional songs (was the name "Robertson"?),"


Alasdair Roberts, from Glasgow. He sings traditional ballads as well as self-written songs. I don't think he would consider himself part of any kind of 'acid' or 'twisted' folk scene, however.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 04:29 AM

Thank you IS.

I have in the interim found some details of Homefires and that was not the festival that looked nice. The second year looked much less "folk" than the first, from the lineup. There was another shown at about the same time, with similar-ish material, that was clearly not an indoor thing. Any suggestions? There seemed to be a lot of young people there.

I too, while admiring Billy Bragg's revolutionary writing, doubt that he has much to do with "folk".

So what is this "acid" or "twisted" scene? I'm pretty sure the program said Roberts was associated with it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: stallion
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 05:27 AM

I read the debate and I am finding it tiresome, seems to me like "folk music" is a broad church. OK I get really brassed off when I go to a venue and see a queue of ten guitars lined against a wall and ten expectant singer/songwriters getting up unleashing their ten minute gems about wondering why their wife left them, that is not to denigrate the plethora of excellent writers and performers on the scene, and, in a civilised world these people should be heard, that is folk music in one sense, it's the music in the community like rap etc.. In another sense it is about people gathering and singing to make them feel happy, it is more about participation, I am of that school, it gives me an immense amount of pleasure to hear a dozen or so voices ringing out from the four corners of the pub or club, the singer songwriter culture is exclusive where the sing around is inclusive and in between all that are ranged the rest!
Peter


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 06:40 AM

I think you should distinguish the folk movement and folk music. The folk movement is I think inclusive which is why I get so cross with clubs that refuse to let people they don't think are good enough play, or stop people joining in.

Folk music however is (to summarise) of unknown authorship, and handed down and modified by oral passage. This doesn't mean it is "better" than other types of music. It's just what it is. Other stuff in the style, or using similar instruments, is not folk muisc until it falls within the definition.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 06:59 AM

No objection to singer-songwriters per se. Reckon my CD collection would reduce by at least a third without them! I just don't like it when the less able of them blame their obscurity on a policy of exclusion. You may get examples where this happens, but if they're any good they'll get picked up by other scenes.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 07:41 AM

Such a pity that all the good sense talked by younger performers like Kathryn Tickell, Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden and John Spires was undone by Jim Moray's "it's all right as long as Martin Carthy says so" bollocks(are they now going to malign Carthy as they did MacColl?)
Also since the programme focused so heavily on the youngsters making their way on the folk scene why no mention of "Folkworks" or the Degree Course at Newcastle University?
Nice to see Burl geting a spot though.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Mad for trad (and a lot of new stuff as well
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM

For the most part these programs should be called Folk Englandia or possibly Folk Londonia. So little of this has been a true reflecion of Britain. And Ian Anderson being enthuesastic about anything or anyone that came from the UK ??? Some mistake surely, was he misquoted, or badly edited ?. Whatever, a court case for defamation of character will surely follow.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Compton
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 01:26 PM

My footnote...If "Between the wars" of Billy Bragg's isn't every bit as good as "the times, they are a-changing"...but then I don't want to get into the old sore about what is and what ain't Folk Music.
The collective "Folk Brittania" was all things to all men. The BBC (or independant) Producer was Pants!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 01:31 PM

Compton you're right, he has written some great songs, but he doesn't have the background to front this programme,as he is associated with pop music in most peoples' mind.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: stallion
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 03:14 PM

Ricardo, it's been my experience that clubs that are snuffy about who plays only applies to them that they pays. The club singers are the heart and soul of their circle "leading the line" so to speak, the paid guests are there to broaden the colour of event and to mix it up a bit, lest it should ever get boring, also, to bring in fresher songs (not neccessarily new). Me, i just like singing with lots of people I am not a good listener, I have the attention span of a gnat and a memory to suit!
Peter


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 06:36 PM

Also since the programme focused so heavily on the youngsters making their way on the folk scene why no mention of "Folkworks" or the Degree Course at Newcastle University?

Agreed. And not only youngsters.I go to Folkworks classes and participants are of all ages - which gives the lie the Beeb's contention about a generation split. Also why no Alistair Anderson? Yet another glaring omission.

I think Kathryn Tickell hit the nail on the head when she talked about learning her music from people who played the music they knew. That should have been the theme that underpinned the series, the music being passed on from one generation to the next. The political thing was very much overplayed.

But then, Kathryn Tickell and Alistair Anderson - have remained close to their roots so are not part of the London Scene and so don't count!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 08:10 PM

Has Anderson done so?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Hen Harrier
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 10:35 PM

We've just got to keep on lobbying the beeb to put on more progs so that our favourites get a look-in.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Carol
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:34 AM

Can anyone answer Mr Red question, who was the narrator, it sounded like Bob Geldof to me, but then I am getting old and having problems with my hearing. I thought the programs were interesting, the last one expecially so, 'cos apparently there are things happening within folk music that to be honest just don't interest me, I'm with the Stallion (I should be so lucky), no the music I love is people gathering and singing to make themselves feel happy, b-- marvellous and we could do with Mr Stallion coming to the Denaby Sing in September!!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,anguth@btinternet.com
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:46 AM

Name of the presenter please, he was tlking to Shane McGowan tha same night, busy man?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:15 AM

Richard Bridge wrote

Has Anderson done so?

Yes, very much so. If you met him, I think you would realise that.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:40 AM

Sorry, I was thinking of Ian Anderson


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:14 PM

If you log on to the BBC TV homepage you can check out the Folk Brittania homepage, it has sound clips and videos !!.
But it still doesn't say who the narrator is !.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:17 PM

Re the omission of Alistair Anderson. I think it's something about accounts that deal with a "national" scene - they tend to avoid potential anomalies. Alistair is clearly one such - part of the 60s revival but utterly respectful of source musicians and also willing to mix it up with jazzers and classical players, and to work (like Kathryn Tickell and - another omission - Pauline Cato) in educating future players. Can't fit him neatly into a trend, then.

The NE is one source of these scenes that just don't fit... Birmingham and Liverpool also had very little coverage, and the SW didn't feature much either (shots of festivals excepted). These are among the places where, although the London-based revivalists certainly had considerable influence, they didn't hold complete sway because there was already something happening there. I'm sure this goes for lots of other places too. Just like Jazz Britannia, three episodes weren't really enough to deal with it all, were they? Still glad it was made, though - just look at the debate it's encouraged.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 05:55 PM

I agree with Geoff the Duck! Nowt wrong with the White Heather Club, my dear old mum used to think it wor great! I remember watching it as a bored 7 year old and thinking "What a load of old bollocks!" ...and yet, strangely commpelling? maybe it subconciously helped to lay the foundations for my career in folk music, whatever I'd still like to see it again as a piece of history (I missed the programme)I remember as a naieve teenager thinking that the best exponents of Scottish, Irish and English folkmusic were the Corries, the Dubliners and the Spinners... ...then I started going to Folk clubs! you live and learn in life and I dare say some people would still agree with the choice I've just mentioned, nothing wrong with that so don't be so bleeding po - faced and snobbish about what is good and what isn't, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', so they say, 'one mans meat is another mans poison' it might sound shite to me or you but if someone enjoys it who are you to complain!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:40 PM

A evry interesting and thought provoking series, with lots of nice nostalgic clips for those of us who were around at the time. I disagreed profoundly with the general theme of the programmes: metropolitan based, treating the music is if it was an example of evolution from primitive to modern sophistication, dwelling excessively on the writers of new material instead of appreciating the folk-process of communal adaptation, etc etc.
   But it was tremedous fun, and annoyingly idiosyncratic, and good TV. Kathryn Tickell and Eliza Carthy talked the most sense for me, emphasising the role of the folk in folk music, obviously not a dubject of huge interest to the people resposible for the programme. As I have said before, it would be nice to see the BBC to give some hours of time to an alternative view: my own view is that folk music is an ever-rolling stream, and absolutely not an asscent from the primordial slime to the stars of the festival circuit. But, having said that, it was altogether thoroughly worth watching, and fair play to them for making it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 06:56 PM

Greg, you're just an old romantic.It hasn't been like that for getting on for a century. As soon as song became recordable that old world vanished. Outside the tiny world of the traditional folkies no one, certainly not the working class, bothers with it anymore. They never did really. I grew up listening to family gatherings singing old music hall songs and popular ballads, as valid a tradition as any. One of the only places you find communal adaptation these days is on the football terraces, but I don't suppose you think they're quite folk.
Shepherdlass makes a good point about the rest of the country enjoying a folk scene at the time of the revival that was hardly mentioned. I was a part of that and it was hugely exciting, particularly all the new songs that surfaced, recording how our lives were. There were sad ones, political ones, funny ones and all the varieties, it was a building in construction to be lived in, not a period piece preserved by the National Trust.
I think the young people rightly featured in the third programme are buiding something new. Good luck to them and their songs. No doubt the future will stumble on them one day and add them to the National Trust too(songs section).


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 03:27 AM

Oh, I don't think I'm really that romantic, wordy. I was not implying that we sgould be looking at making programmes about the actually milkmaids and ploughboys singing their simple rustic ditties. Of course that world is dead. What I was implying is that it would be interesting to look at some of the parallel worlds of folk, not just those strands that lead to Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections or Guardian journalists. To look, for example, at the dance bands that play the birthdays, weddings, and funerals. Which, round where I live, are mucically and aociologically at least as interesting as the bands inthat operate at spcialist dances and festivals. Again, a good thing would be to take a look at the folk-orientated professional music groups that play more at municpal festivals, or mixed music festivals like Glastonbury, Or consider carnivals and other street events: I have worked, I would guess, in this area in every town and city in the northwest of England(not to mention villages), and also through the rest of the country. That world did not feature on the programme. The history of folk music in theatre since 1960 would also be extremely interesting, not just on stage but more imprtantly in the world of progressive and radical theatre, and site specific celebratory companies. I just think that some of these alternative worlds of folk are just as interesting, just as exciting, and the differences, as well as the overlaps, with "folk-scene" folk are part of what is driving the revival.
In one sentence, the folk revival is bigger, more varied and more thriving than those programmes would have you believe.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,redmax
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 05:38 AM

"I get really brassed off when I go to a venue and see a queue of ten guitars lined against a wall and ten expectant singer/songwriters getting up unleashing their ten minute gems about wondering why their wife left them"

Heh heh! My sentiments exactly

I haven't watched the third installment yet. I figured I could tape it then be able to fast-forward the Pogues. Sounds like Jim Moray's worth winding past too


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 05:59 AM

Point taken Greg. I think you are talking about music and I'm talking about song. There's a continental drift happening I think and the gap between the two is widening.
As to Redmax, I don't get brassed off if the songs are well crafted and the lyrics incorporate the reasons why the wife has left because of the way we live today. If it's flim flam "poor me" it ain't folk, but if it's social comment, using divorce as a vehicle for expression and an evocation of our historical time, then, to me at least, it is.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 05:59 AM

Sorry, above by me.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 06:36 AM

Well I went to a Folk Club in the home counties about a month ago, and it was nearly ½ and hour into the evening before I heard a song I knew.
Then again that could be something to do with the fact that I hardly ever go to Folk Clubs, as we don't have any up here in the Highlands of Scotland. There are a few sessions but they do tend to be unrelentingly diddly diddly.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 08:34 AM

I realised this particlar change(singer sogwriter) in the folk scene most forcibly when I went to a club in Manchester in the late 80's or early 90's; and realised that every single song that had been sung was a modern song by an identifiable author. And I thought that this was a pretty serious change in the concept of folk, when a whole evening in a folk club didnt contain a single song which would have been called a folk song, only a generation before.
   And the additional thought arose, which ties in with a couple of my recent posts, that there were then parallel worlds of folk chugging along: nothing to with the world of folk clubs, but where traditional song and tunes were thriving mightily. A most peculiat rurn round. when an organisation set up to celbrate one kind of music had completely eliminated that music over a period of 30 years, while still using the same concept name.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 09:00 AM

"singer sogwriter" - that just about says it all, Greg. Too soggy by far, most of them.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 11:25 AM

Right on Greg


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 11:54 AM

I'm very happy to have parallel folk worlds. It's just that when they collide the sparks seem to fly. For me there's good and bad in all forms and being a bit of a songwriter myself I get very pissed off with the "Snigger/snogwriter" or, as above, "sogwriter" tag being endlessly wheeled out. it's just as lazy and annoying as when trad folk elicist "arran sweaters and sandals". We know these are not reflections of the actuality.
Lets' declare a moritorium!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,GUEST (Lyn)
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 11:54 AM

In response to GUEST(Sean) 9th Feb.
The researchers always ignore Nigel Denver I think because he is not 'establishment', in fact he got banned from the BBC back in the 60's after making the Scottish Replican Songs record. It is a shame because Nigel is a font much knowledge when it comes to traditional folk music. He is similarly ignored by researchers for books and articles.
In response to PeterK(Fionn)- Nigel is still very much alive and still living in Birmingham (he's not difficult to find - try the telephone directory.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 12:06 PM

Nigel could usually be found in the Station pub Kings Heath particularly on Sunday lunchtimes where he used to run a session. Haven't been up that way for a while but maybe he still does.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 12:08 PM

Last saturday morning a small child retuned my freeview box for me as I am too incompetent to do it myself, and so I watched part two later that day. Gregg's point raised umpteen posts ago where he quotes the great Henry Ayrtons view of folk as 'parallel universes'makes the most sense to me. It was great to see a bit of Northumbrian piping in there, which was quickly followed by a bit of Nick Drake, neither music had bugger all to do with the other except that the BBC has classified them both as folk. A HUGE subject methinks.
Ps: I too think Donovan is under-rated, and although he is a bit of a johnny-come-lately' I would rather people sang Billy Bragg songs instead of some American bloke called Dylan.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 12:09 PM

200 by the way.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: lady penelope
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 04:33 PM

"As to Redmax, I don't get brassed off if the songs are well crafted and the lyrics incorporate the reasons why the wife has left because of the way we live today. If it's flim flam "poor me" it ain't folk, but if it's social comment, using divorce as a vehicle for expression and an evocation of our historical time, then, to me at least, it is."

Just wondering Wordy, why does a folk song have to have "social comment"? Most traditional songs I know have as much social comment as anything in the 'top 40' and can be as self absorbed as anything by Morrisey.........


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 06:51 PM

To me personally, it's songs that tell stories in some sort of historical context. Modern country lyrics and pop lyrics in general are just endless recycled cliches and I think it's that sort of writing the gets the snigger snogwriter response. It's lazy mass production. However there are songs out there that have the certain something in terms of lyrical observation that raises them above the mundane and fixes them in their time so that they will be of interest to the future. In many ways these songs are like the archeology of the future, there is something solid about them that means they are preserved and preservable artifacts rather than the throwaway perishables.When re-discovered they may well be called folk songs.
Maybe it's Morrisey, maybe it's not. Time will tell. But it could equally be one of those songs from one of those ten guitars. I agree it's like panning for gold, but the hope of finding that one nugget is worth a bit more than the cheap sneering dismissal the modern singer/songwriter too often gets in the folk world.
I agree it's become a thing far too many people think they can do, and very very few ever produce anything of value, but I suppose I'm glad so many try to express themselves in song. Not everyone who paints is a Monet, not everyone who writes songs is a Cole Porter or a Richard Thompson, but why don't we encourage their attempts with an indulgent smile rather than with an easy put down. They do no harm to the human race.
Everyone starts somewhere!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sinpelo
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 06:56 PM

"Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Richard Bridge - PM
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 06:30 PM

Pile of arrogant ill-informed poo "

I'm impressed! My poo is just smelly.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Effsee
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 09:32 PM

In three hour long programmes this project was only ever going to scratch the surface......as it turned out the scratches were barely visible!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 02:46 AM

wordy:
Nobody much ever minded when a singer songwriter dropped into to a folk club and sang a song. It was ,of course, the ideal environment. And some of the songs, as you point out, will be the folksongs of the future. The objections tended to arise when the club was taken over by singer song-writers( sometimes a 100% takeover as I described in a recent post).
    A pigeon-fanciers society can accommodate(and enjoy, and learn from) the occasional visitor with a budgerigar or vulture. But when the poor old pigeon-fanciers who satrted the club become a tiny minority and get called bird-nazis, it becomes a bit sad.
    But of course the folk world must innovate and write songs. The old definition of folk distinguished it from other music by the fact that the music must be changed and taken into public ownership by communal action. If it wasn't recreaTED, IT WAsn't folk. Preservation is anti-folk.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 04:26 AM

The thing I find with a lot of singer songwriters is their introspection and more often than not the unsingability [new word?] of their songs, you almost feel as if you are intruding by listening.
Then there are glorious exceptions of course like our own El Greko, George writes songs that will be around for a long time as they are about the human condition, which is what to me most traditional folk songs are about. He also writes sing-a-long songs and encourages us to join in.
On the whole though, "folk music" seems to be going through one of it's periodic renaissances for which we should all be grateful. Who knows one day we may even get a folk club up in my neck of the woods.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 05:43 AM

Glok has hit the nail squarely on the head, saying we should all be grateful for the publicity. It is a "given"(as they all say nowadays) that whenever you read in the papers about something you know about, you spot that they get all the facts wrong. So, given that, there is no point in getting too wound up if a journalistic account of the folk revival may generate some feelings along the "Listen to your man talking bollix" line.
   At the very least the programmes are generating interest, and this is currently reflected in the music press. So whether your taste runs to Harry Cox, the Waterson-Rusby family, Vashti Bunyan, Jim Moray or "twisted folk"(what the hell is that?)....let's count our lucky stars it got on the TV. Mind you, it wasn't on proper TV, it ws BBC4, so there's a way to go yet.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: David C. Carter
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 06:03 AM

Giok:You just reminded me of Bert Jansch,down at the Scots Hoose in London.He'd sit down,right ankle went on to left knee,then he would proceed to sing into the sound-hole of his guitar.We loved it!

David


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 06:19 AM

Anybody remember Ron Geesin singing into his piano, undressing it and playing the strings, and doing other silly things?
Talking about crossed legs, Mac McGann who used to be with the Levee Breakers, and is on Ralph McTell's 1st LP used to cross his legs at the knee, and then keep time tapping the floor with the foot of the top leg. I've tried it and it isn't easy.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,sil
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:13 PM

Hi, any Donovan Fans out there?

Anybody watched DONOVAN IN CONCERT
Sunday 12 February 12.10am-1am (Saturday night)?

Sil


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:30 PM

yes.. sorry, it was embarasing shite !
made me and the mrs squirm..
she broke out in uncontrollable hysterical laughter..
i had to try to justify to her why i was such a big donovan fan
when i was in my early-mid teens..
actually about the time that concert was recorded..

i'd enthusiasticaly collected something like 20 of his LPs in the days preceding punk rock..


nowadays, i'll still stand by the mid 60's mickie most produced acid pop/rock material..

of course, some of the early 60's ballads..

and his "open roads' folk rock LP is patchy but ok..

but in retrospect..

watching the performance seen on BBC 4 from the "cosmic wheels" period 'come back' ..

well .. thank fuck for punk rock !


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punfolkrocker
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:34 PM

ps.. the mrs is an infant school teacher and trained to withstand
childrens singalong sessions..

but donovan in concert from 1972 completely fucked her head up!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:43 PM

mind you around that time donovan did confound all expectations
and pop up singing duet with alice cooper on 'billion $ babies' LP..

now that was cool..


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sinpelo
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 02:56 PM

Seems to me there's folk music and folk music history. Folk clubs were where people took turns to entertain each other. That is the essence which, to my mind, defines whatever genre of music performed as 'folk'. Yes. They booked guest artists as well but that essential element remains.

Pure traditional folk music (ie; when author and origin is lost in the mists of time) worked as folk songs when they were first composed because the issues and themes applied to most of the people likely to hear them. This isn't entirely the case any more. The folk tradition was born of musicians who were singer / songwriters at the time.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sil
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 04:27 PM

proper fan then, are ya?

When's the last time you've seen Don in concert then?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sil
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 04:43 PM

Linda Kelly,
any further on attempt getting a copy of programmes for Tom Lewis?
Please, let me know.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 05:26 PM

Folk music and folk music history surely don't HAVE to be mutually exclusive. Some of the clips especially of the "source singers" in episode 1 of Folk Britannia were breathtaking (wish there'd been more, but possibly that's as far as the Beeb archives stretch) - and made it well worth ploughing through some more controversial editorial sections.

In this thread, greg stephens made a great point about ceilidh bands and the like who perform for parties, municipal "dos" and the like. They're entertaining people too and probably conform more to a folk context than anything else now available.

Therefore, please can I ask anyone - ANYONE - performer or punter or both! - from NE England who has recollections of the nascent ceilidh band circuit before 1975 (or the more traditional dance bands like the Cheviot Ranters that had been going on around the area for much longer) to PM me? I'd like to write their experiences into my own little folk music history project. Which - try as I might to avoid it - will be every bit as editorialized as anyone else's. That's how it goes, I guess.

Also, "Guest, wordy" - please would you PM me and let me know if I can ask you about your experiences round the NE folk scene?   

Sorry for drifting off topic here, but, hell, you've got to take every opportunity you can get!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 06:25 PM

hi sill..

never saw donovan in concert..

definitely wanted to when i was about 14 or 15,
but closest i got was seeing him on tv
and trying to track down the italian 'joker' lable live boootleg
[but the japanese live LP was always way too expensive for my pocket money]

i remember taping a live special off the TV onto cheap cassette recorder
[mic held in front of tv speaker job]

but im pretty sure it was a more conventional concert
than the errrmmm.. [drug addled ???] nursery school singalong presentation
on BBC4 the other night.

i dont think i ever saw that show before..

i dont mind admitting its cos of donovan that i asked my mum and dad
for a guitar for my 15th birthday.

and i was still listening to his best LPs [but in secret]
when i was 17 and in my first college punk band..

i think i gave up on buying any more of his records
after the "7-Tease" LP..

Donovan was definitely an important inspiration for me to discover
other genres of folkmusic that influenced his songs & recordings.


interesting to see latest editions of his CDs are remastered
with masses of extra rare tracks..

but 30 years on now, i'd have think carefully about the prospects of listening..
to the 'previously unreleased' stuff..

i just wonder how helpfull that astonishingly twee 1972 concert
would now be in attracting a new generation of teenagers to folk..??

BTW, the BBC4 Pentangle gig afterwards was superb !


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Effsee
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 08:37 PM

Shepherdlass, you'd be better seeking oot Johnnie Handle, he kens aal aboot what's happened in the NE since the Daawn o' Time, canny lad.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 06:18 AM

Already done so, Effsee! He's magic and has been really helpful, but I want to get as broad a picture as possible, and that includes the views of those who were less heavily involved in the revival too.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 02:39 PM

Going to be difficult, but I have PM'd a few suggestions.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Chris Amos
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 02:12 AM

I don't know if it has anything to do with the Britfolk series but I have been noticing more young people in clubs recently, I went to Orpington last week and there were half a dozen of them, sang songs they had written themselves, and sang unaccompanied, very good and most refreshing.

Folk needs new blood otherwise when we all get carted off to the care homes there will be no one left, what the next generation make of folk is up to them, it is not up to us to tell them that they are doing it wrong.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 04:19 AM

So we still don't know who the narrator was?? Herself keeps asking me, I need to reassure her I'm still omnipotent (OMNIPOTENT, 'Spaw!).
Can 'Catter & BBC staffer Ralphie help??

RtS


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,J C
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 04:26 AM

Johnny Handle??? Didn't he used to be Ewan MacColl - Oh no - it was John Pandritch - wonder why he changed his name - or is it relevent to anything?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sil
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 07:07 AM

Hi, punkfolkrocker,

been to Abbey Gael Folk festival, or heard of it? Was great.

You pretty good with guitar then?

You taped folked night or know anyone who has? MUST have a copy, anyone?

Sil


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 07:30 AM

UK 6th form colleges capitalize on a thriving demand for
'performance arts' and 'music tech' courses..

this accounts for large numbers of teenage wannabes
looking for any public venues to parade their singing/songwriting talents
as they hone their craft in preparation for examinations
and the next series of auditions for TV's "Pop idol"..

also weekend newspaper colour supplements
and other superficial market-led aspirational lifestyle magazines
have for whatever reasons recently determined that folk music
is 'in'..

hopefully as a by-product,
folk club culture will benefit for the future...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 08:21 AM

OK, perhaps the series was too short, to Anglo-centric, it missed obvious major contributors to the folk movement like xxxxxxx (insert your preference here) etc etc.

I am nevertheless grateful for this pittance. After all, it's more than we had last year in terms of a review of history of British folk. And in my case, despite the shortcomings of the third installment (I agree with many of the points made above), it managed after a fashion to fill the gap left from my 20 years absence from the scene (1979-1999). Well, perhaps not so much "fill the gap" as "tie some loose ends". In particular, the links between folk and punk had been a mystery to me.

In this context, Billy Bragg's statement early on was very poignant for me. I mean the bit about "punk destroying the past because they wanted to start from a zero base, but folk being so resilient that it started to pop up through the rubble" (my words).

Yes, I noted Jim's comment about Martin, but I took it to be a little tongue-in-cheek, and not aimed so much at Martin himself, but rather at those who are "more royal than the king" in such matters.

Jim's comment about the new rejuvenated scene happening under the radar of many of the old folkies also rings true, and it worries me. First, as a club organiser: You see, even the most "liberal" and "openminded" of our clubs which are keen to "open their doors to the newcomers", they tend to do so with an attitude of magnanimity - when it is they (the clubs themselves) that should be seeking recognition from the newcomers. I will be thinking hard about this in the coming weeks.

Jim's comment also worried me on a personal level - those who know my cirumstances will understand. I may need to refocus. It's hard to be a new kid on the block when you're not a kid, after all. Or, to parody the old song:

"Nobody loves a folkie when he's fifty..."

But thanks for the vote of confidence, Giok!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkkrocker
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 08:44 AM

hi again sil..

i'd be curious enough to risk a few quid on a donovan gig ticket
if he ever plays theatre in town where i live..

by the time i was 16 i realised i could'nt be patient enough
to learn to fingerpick as good as him,
so went electric and mastered power chords and riffs instead..
never looked back since..

but in the early - mid 70's the likes of donovan and lindisfarnes
media and pop-chart high profile success
introdued me and many of my generation to folk music
and a lifetimes appreciation of its multivarious genres and personalities..

so even though i despise glossy lifestyle media magazine culture,
fair play if the current trend for filling a few column inches
with hack journalistic 'intro to folk' articles
has a similar influence on todays emerging teenage music enthusiasts..

ps.. i reckon there must be more than a few home recorded DVDs of that
BBC4 donovan gig floating around within reach of mudcatters by now..


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: David C. Carter
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 09:14 AM

The Levee Breakers were mentioned earlier.Does anyone know if they made an album?I have a single of "Babe,I'm Leaving You".


David


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 05:53 PM

Johnny Pandrich - Panhandle - Handle. It was a nickname. I knew his brother Brian who was a lovely man and a great fiddler


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 06:48 PM

They probably had to taylor the script/history to suit the film that was still left in the archives. If that was the case, then it was bound not to give an objective picture of what was really happening.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:51 PM

Just a reminder (like you need it)final instalment tonight 9pm


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 03:24 PM

Billy Bragg introducing "various artists" tonight and Eliza Carthy and other ladies next week.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 06:01 PM

Just finished watching the show and have been checking out EM and Woody Guthrie. Looking forward to next week but still basically a jazzbluesrock'n'rollingblueeyedsoulboy.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 02:42 PM

The Billy Bragg (sings Woody Guthrie badly) folk show.

BTW Did you know that Woody's daughter asked Billy Bragg to work on Woody's unfinished songs? *Smiles*

I thought that Macoll's songs were the best thing - and the little of what we saw of Robb Johnson was good.

'Outlaws and Dreamers' was the most self indulgent rubbish and demonstrates what happens when you start to believe your own hype.

I nodded off during Martin Carthy.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:11 PM

What annoyed me most about the last "show" was the way it was produced..like a rock concert.
Folk doesn't sit well in this type of setting and the performers looked nervous and uncomfortable.
Some of the performances proved why folk music has lost it's way and lost the hearts of the wider public.

The older singers like Carthy and Gaughan have lost the "spirit"
Men of their time, now Dinosaurs.

One bright shining light...wee Karine Polwart....Her voice and delivery would have made Ewan proud .   Singing the "Moving on song" in the traditional manner ...lovely ..Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Jamie
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:34 PM

From: akenaton - PM
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:11 PM

What annoyed me most about the last "show" was the way it was produced..like a rock concert.
Folk doesn't sit well in this type of setting and the performers looked nervous and uncomfortable.
Some of the performances proved why folk music has lost it's way and lost the hearts of the wider public.

The older singers like Carthy and Gaughan have lost the "spirit"
Men of their time, now Dinosaurs.

Not sure what a 'Folk' concert on the Barbican stage should look like ...? The Barbican is THE most awful venue for performers of any type.

Agree with what you say re. Carthy - methinks he is still lauded mainly due to his survival and his offspring's success. As for Dick Gaughan - I wholeheartedly disagree. If he has lost his 'spirit' then god help the rest! His playing and voice get better each time I hear him.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:41 PM

I really enjoyed the most of it, especially dear old Chris Wood with his double fiddles on 'Movalong'. I don't think I could have done any better than any of them, so I wouldn't criticise 'em, even if I wanted to.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:47 PM

Gaughan is stuck in another time...Industrial socialism has failed.
The "working man" is no more and never will be again.

I was a Communist before Gaughan..when we still believed that work had a virtue in itself.

Most people now see that a life of slavery from cradle to grave, be it under State or private control is nothing to sing about.

There is another way.....Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Jamie
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:49 PM

"'Outlaws and Dreamers' was the most self indulgent rubbish and demonstrates what happens when you start to believe your own hype.

I nodded off during Martin Carthy."

So did I .....

Re. Gaughan's 'Outlaws and Dreamers' - someone wrote this comment ("self indulgent rubbish") word for word on the Google forum !!? For the record, the words of this song, other than a brief reference to '35 years' are NOT about Gaughan himself, but a tribute to all those he admires as 'links in the chain'. In this age of feeble pop lyrics it may be difficult to believe, but some song lyrics are not always a figment of the writer's imagination. Sometimes the writer does reflect reality and I do know that Dick Gaughan HAS spent many years of his life fighting for human rights rather than simply singing about it. Allow him just one song in his repertoire that actually reflects this fact. Other than in this song, Gaughan is tremendously modest about what he does with his time when he is not on-stage.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 05:41 PM

"Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John 'Giok' MacKenzie - PM
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:52 PM

Billy Bragg was chosen by the family of Woody Guthrie to set some of his lyrics to music, and since that he has been an expert on folk music!
Giok"


Do try to keep up Roger, the post after this was from you.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: sil
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:12 PM

Noticed how Donovan's guitar was unbelievably green...


Still MUST have a copy of DONOVAN IN CONCERT
Sunday 12 February 12.10am-1am (Saturday night)?, PLEASE,

anybody???

Got very good reason for request,

Sil


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 12:31 AM

Just for once Donovan sang the correct words for ' Universal Soldier '

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 06:09 AM

BTW Did you know that Woody's daughter asked Billy Bragg to work on Woody's unfinished songs? *Smiles*

I sure the point being made here was gathered by everybody except my pet scotch stalker - But I will explain to him and anyone who did not gather it.

It was that we were told this information at least twice - and that it was felt that we needed to be given any explanation at all - as to why it was the Billy Bragg folk music show. And why he was on stage more than anyone else and sang more songs to a largely folk audience that may have wondered why.

And probably still do..................


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 06:34 AM

Thank you Master, so kind of you to even respond to one of my posts, I'm highly honoured.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 07:10 AM

Did I mishear or did the Folk-hating Beeb's 'Mr Folk Music' (Billy Bragg) suggest that Dick Gaughan is from Sunderland? Well, I suppose it is "ap Norf, where they're all poh-litty-kul, innit?"
Apart from a few stand-out performances, I thought that this was a rather muddled and dull, dull, dull concert - chuck in everything that you can think of which might be vaguely poh-litty-kul and keep your fingers crossed that it might work - it didn't.

"I was a miner between the wars ..." No you weren't, Mr Bragg - sod off!!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: My guru always said
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 07:26 AM

Behave Giok!!! Mind you, you're so right about El Greko....

Just loved the Movalong version with Chris Wood & Karine Polwart, Fantastic!

Can't record from Freeview either, so I'm on the list for copies if anyone has managed to record, Please?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 07:48 AM

On these type of BBC shows - there is usually at least one token youth act - to show that the tradition is being carried on - is in safe hands etc.

This one did not have the work of any infant writers to carry on.

Unless Mr Bragg considers himself as being all the young fresh blood required?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:12 AM

I liked Billy's "Pre-folk" songs and found him fine on Friday night. I'm on the outside looking in as it were but judging by the almost total lack of Folk or any other left of centre music on TV that beggars can't be choosers and if Bragg's the lad to get coverage then more power to him.
Yours ducking behind the VDU fB.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:49 AM

Is folk music left of centre politically then fB?
I disagree with that statement, many folk singers and performers are left leaning in their politics, but that does not add up to the same thing as the music its self being lefty.
True many folk songs are by and about the working man, but all working men do not vote Labour. It's a con, and a bit like the Labour Party leaving Labour in their title when they changed their name to New Labour, and quietly dropped all pretence of socialism.
You can come out now!
Giok ☺


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 10:47 AM

I stand corrected Giok. I was referring to musics left of the mainstream popularity centre.
I wouldn't attempt to pass an opinion on the political leanings (left, right or midle) of performers of a genre that I'm only commercially acquainted with.
Tony Blair was at my place of work on May 1st 1997 and there and in all respects "Things Have Only Got Worse".
Yours venturing out for a cuppa fB.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 03:11 PM

Just a reminder "Daughters of Albion" tonight 9pm BBC4


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 03:15 PM

Thanks a lot Purple Foxx, I'll have a watch.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: s&r
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 05:36 PM

Bit pretentious IMO

Stu


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Santa
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 05:43 PM

Daughters of Albion was a sad disappointment. Precious little tradition and what folk there was, was stretched out and over-arranged, sung by voices that couldn't hit the notes. (OK, I don't include Eliza in that, her voice gets better all the time.) The best song was June Tabor's Lili Marlene, after she'd murdered a Lal Waterson song (and I love June Tabor's singing, but not tonight!). They ended with a mass version of "Who knows where the time goes" which just showed us what (or who) we were missing.

I know where the time went - down the drain. At least I've got a few more names to avoid.

Just think who could have been on - Maggie Boyle, the Witches, Nancy Kerr, Janet Russell, the Threlfalls, Judy Dunning, Kathryn Roberts, Kate Rusby, plus a few more whose names slip my memory for the moment....


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 05:59 PM

Bit of a pity, given the "Albion" theme, that the only real head of steam was developed when a bit of Ory-style tailgate trombone kicked in, and mum-and-daughter gave it some. Some great singing all around, but a bit worthy I thought. I know lots of daughters of Albion, and some of the time they have fun and laugh and sing uptempo songs, but that side of things didn't get much of a lookin.Doesn't always work when folkies try to reinvent classical music. Tabor hamming up Lili Marlene was excellent, and the "May Bradley goes to New Orleans" always works a treat.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Admiral
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 06:13 PM

A huge disapointment, no great singing, not a lot to do the British tradtion, a grave danger of disapearing up their own backsides, no voices when we know that they can sing. Not much of the Tradition, do women women really believe that just cuddling up together is good enough?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 06:51 PM

I'm just away to slit my wrists!!
What did this shambles have in common with folk music.
The "Waterson/Carthy show" was only saved by Kathryn Roberts, who althought ten months pregnant, managed to sing a couple of folk song in an unpretentious manner.
I truly feel that the music we loved is all but gone and folk is becoming all about the performers.

For folk music to thrive it must remain inclusive, the audiance should feel part of the performance.

Most of what we witnessed to night was exclusive cringe making rubbish.
I doubt there will be any new converts to the music after this ego-fest....Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 07:09 PM

And so, after countless thousands of years of common people singing their primitive songs, scraping away at their humble fiddles and blowing their honking bagpipes at village dances, folk music has come to its pinnacle at the end of the "Folk Britannia" series. From its native woodnotes wild period folk music has evolved, at last, into something that you can put on at a proper music venue like the Barbican Centre. I think all of those who have played a part in the world of folk music, however humble their contribution, can now feel a warm glow of pride that the great British Broadcasting Corporation has recognised just where we've got to.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM

.. and some people still wonder why,
30 years ago,
my generation needed to resort to
expressing our contempt
of bourgeois 'middle-brow' social orthodoxies..


..by inventing punk rock !!!


BBC4 folk programming is too polite and upper middle class
and timidly licking the arse of weekend newspaper lifestyle magazine culture..

c'mon, give us a proper full 3 part series dedicated to 80's punk folk bands & music..

.. phew.. and i've not even drunk any cider tonight..!!???


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 08:06 PM

Very well said Greg..if a touch ascerbic!!......Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM

I actually thought the programme was quite adequate. But the fact is, though, as the culmination of the series it should have been completely brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Effsee
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 09:13 PM

What an opportunity lost! If this is the best they can do to present British(Folk Brittanica!) folk music to the wider public then all is lost. Over arranged boring sh**e mostly, and a hour and a half of what an old pal of mine used to call "dreepy" songs, and do Waterson:Carthy have to hog every thing? Vashti Bl**dy Bunyan, she was a nonentity in the 60s and still is! Ye Gods and little fishes, as someone who knows and loves the rich diversity of the music of Albion this was a poor show. The only saving grace in the whole shebang is that Kate Bl**dy Rusby wasn't involved!!

I actually posted this on another Forum, but I'm glad to see some of my sentiments echoed here.
What a bloody travesty!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Compton
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 09:34 PM

Well!..is that it then?...I suppose this short season of nonsense has at least brought a bit of "something other than classical or pap to our screens"...and for that we thank the BBC.
But I never saw much to "light my fire"..like someone a little earlier said.."I felt like slashiong my wrists tonight "!
Didn't the sisters want to sing a "happy song" that might have cheered me up a little.
Eliza doesn't do a lot wrong in my book and she was a small shining light...and a major hope for the future too.
But I found more rubbish that good with all this.
Perhaps in a couple of years, the beeb will have another go!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: nutty
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 02:56 AM

With so many really talented female singers on the scene at present, what a shame that those chosen to represent the 'best' in women's folk music put up such a woefully pathetic show.

Where were the guts, fire and drive that we know exists and that Peggy Seeger and others promotes?

Where were the wonderfully strong voices of the likes of Hilary Spencer?

Where were the amazing harmonies as produced by Jane and Amanda Threlfall and other all female groups?

When the group sang together the sound produced was not pleasant to listen to. What works with the natural family blend of voices for the Watersons, did not work with the those on stage in this performance.

That's my opinion anyway. If I had payed to sit through that I would be asking for a refund.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 03:48 AM

It is rather depressing that the BBC puts huge resources into broadcasting a folk concert as the end of its folk series and it gets a unanimous thumbs down from a folkie forum. You'd think aat least they'd manage to please us, even if they fail to engage the wider public. It's all too reminiscent of the Millennium Dome business: the big organisations have become incable of proper celebration. It goes without saying we have the musicians to do the job(or theatre people and other entertainers and suchlike in the case of the dome). It seems to be down to some failure of will at the top, to give the jobs to the right people. I know, as we surely all do, that Liza Carthy and June Tabor can stun audiences with the power their performances. So what went wrong with the programme?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 03:56 AM

I watched this programme and thought..........bloody 'ell I could have watched a third or fourth repeat of ' A Touch Of Frost ' and enjoyed it more.

Not a great deal to do with folk music at all, it would have been better given over to Norma, Eliza and June, the rest of them were bloody awful,
and being pregnat is no excuse for singing in that high twee ickle girly voice, if you have heard the great Ann Briggs sing ' Blackwaterside ' you will know what I mean. And who was that who murdered Reynardine, saying she didn't like it's theme so she made it into a love song for fecks sake.

A wasted 1 1/2 hours, is there no one at the BBC with the skill and imagination to make a GOOD folk music programme.

Unbelievably I find myself agreeing with punkfolkrocker, punk did more for folk music than this garbage.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 04:21 AM

Like others, I was deeply disappointed. Ake and the Admiral and punkfolkrocker made most of my points (except I thought Kathryn saved nothing, ake, she was full of duff notes and out of her range most of the time). Eliza herself is always good, and June Tabor is my favourite female voice, yet even the latter did not shine on the night. Why indeed was it such a "flat" event, with so much promise available?

The selection of participants is one reason - but the selection of material was equally to blame, I thought. At least on the parts that were televised, 90% of the songs were slow, dirge-like, there was no fire to the performances, there was too much "breathiness" in the voices and too much introspection. By song No 4 I was tempted to switch off, but persevered only to hear more agonisingly inappropriate material, like the false "girls out on the town" camaraderie of that Bing Crosby number (what were they thinking!). Was that the best of what the Daughters of Albion had to offer over 60 years of singing and songwriting? Countess Richard would find me in agreement for once with her "snigger/snogger" comments. The only one with real fire on the night IMHO was Sheila Chandra (if I have the name right).

I wonder what the producer was thinking when he put this together. Vashti's appearance was inexplicable to me (on the strength of one album years ago and a new one just out, with 30 years of self-imposed absence, what precisely were her credentials?). Ditto for Lou - I am all for experimentation, but I heard little of it on the night, I heard plenty of navelgazing though).

Could any one of us do better? for once I'd say, hell, yes! My "dream team" would have Eliza anchoring, an appearance by Norma, June of course, but then I'd bring up Maddy for one on her own and one as "silly sisters" with June, I'd have either the Threllfalls or the Witches of Elswick, Maggie Boyle, Jane Russel do her "farewell" song and Kate Rusby for a northeastern flavour (or even better - Anni Fentiman!). And that would leave still on the bench Bill Jones (whetever you think of her, she has some cracking arrangements and wrote one or two great songs).

As it was, the programme would have gained few, if any, converts to the delights of folk music of any sort. Shame; an opportunity lost, the navelgazing stereotype reinforced, important performers put into impossible and embarassing situations and in my book the first time ever that Eliza was involved in something that I could not applaud - I am sorry for her too, as she was probably tied hand and foot by the production team (I heard some very interesting stories about last week's concert) and I hope this becomes a lesson for us all to learn from.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: LesB
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 04:28 AM

I have to echo most of the points already made, except Kathryn Williams. I'd heard of her but never heard her, & I won't bother trying. She couldn't sing! Awful, & I hate squeeky feeble little voices anyway.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 04:34 AM

Appalling!
The only one who came across as a real star was Eliza - I'd rather have seen her band in concert, and feck the rest of them.
And what was that band all about? Why did they need THREE guitarists all strumming the same chords. Presumably lots of nice tasty session fees 'for the boys'.
I've watched the whole series and, quite honestly, I wish I hadn't bothered. Apart from a very few little gems, it was all a heap of claptrap. I've been involved in the folkscene since the mid 60s, and made my living from it for nearly 30 years, and it bore no resemblance to what really happened back then, or what is happening now. Donovan talking complete rubbish, and Billy Bragg re-branding himself as a born-again folky - presumably with an eye to the twilight years of his career.
Sorry, I can't be bothered to go any more. I want my money back!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 04:36 AM

I've heard Kathryn before and linked her voice. I suspect being so heavily pregnant would make singing very very difficult (I have enough trouble with my beer belly)!

Does anyone have any inside info? Was there some problem with the monitors perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 04:54 AM

Les and El Greko...I take your point about Kathryn's lack of vocal range, but I have a couple of her CD's and her voice is very good.
In fact her version of "Ned on the hill" is my all time favourite.

Surely her pregancy must have had much to do with her vocal problems.
I had a vision of her going for a high note and wiping out the first two rows of the audiance.

At least she went for traditional and meaningful material, not the pretentious stuff we saw from some of the others.

Cant agree about Eliza though, seems to be "part of the problem not part of a solution"


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:11 AM

Hang on, I'm trying to think of something good to say about the programme....


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:18 AM

Well??


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:31 AM

I hate to be cynical, as you may know it's not at all like me to do that!! However the BBC has always only ever paid lip service to authenticity with it's eye on the ratings charts as the main driving force.
I daresay most of us could put on a better selection of artists, and chosen more stirring and representative pieces to broadcast.
At the end of the day the people who make these programmes have only ever heard of a few folk artists, and thay keep going back to these people every time.
They of course don't want to turn down the cash so the lesser known albeit oftimes better performers don't get a look in.
It is now and always has been, 'If your face fits', and do you really think you'd have had a chance of seeing Eliza on this programme if her father had been Joe Bloggs from Nowheretown.
Do yourselves a favour and listen to /radio/aod/scotland_aod.shtml?scotland/travelfolk"> Travelling Folk on radio Scotland where you will get a better mix of talents, and not the same old same old that these programmes polished the egos of.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:41 AM

Glok: while none of us can be sure what might or might not happen in a parallel universe,I would predict that Liza Carthy would quite quickly float to the top of any musical scene, whoever her parents were. Show a recording of that "Daughters of Albion" concert to a non-folkie, and I would guess they would sleep through most of it except when the young lady in question started singing: at which point they would wake up and say "Who's she?". Try it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:50 AM

I hate to do this - I want to enthuse, I really, really do! But last night's programme was a disaster - a complete shambles! Where were the folk songs, for a start? Lots of drippy women singing pathetic mush - lots of them sounded like they were down a well singing to their own bottoms! And some of the performances were awful - the sorts of performances that could give the worst club floor singers a good name.
The biggest waste of talent was Eliza Carthy. While Billy 'Mr Folk Music' Bragg hogged last week's show, British Folk Music's brightest hope hardly got a look in. What we did get to hear of Ms Carthy just went to show that women folk singers don't have to be fey, wispy things singing fey, wispy songs whilst hiding behind their own hair.
To be fair, Eliza's Mum doesn't fit the stereotype either but she did seem desperate to avoid singing anything resembling a folk song ...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:00 AM

Folk performers are now all fighting over the "middle ground"


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:11 AM

Hmmmm..nah still thinking!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM

Giok, no excuse for the producers knowing little about folk. They have budgets, they can get come consultancy from Eliza, from Martin, from others...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM

I sometimes wonder George if these 'others' ever get asked. There is you must admit a certain sameness about nearly all folk, or so called folk programmes on the box.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:54 AM

Yes Giok, I wonder too. But whatever the cause, the programme was "skata"...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:03 AM

I did wonder whether they had adequate sound monitoring. Even the normally note-perfect Eliza went sharp for a bar or so - and that's just not usual. Might also be more explanation for Kathryn Williams's vocal problems than her pregnancy (I was still blowing alto sax at eight-and-a-half months gone, and have friends who've played all manner of brass in the same condition - breath control's possible if you just shorten your phrases) ... unless she's having twins or something!. Dunno ... I was really looking forward to this programme and it was just ... underwhelming.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:09 AM

El Greko: your suggestion that "they" might consult eg Eliza or Martin Carthy seems to me very rational, but very naive. In real life, media people tend to talk to media people. Musicians talk to musicians. Arts funders talk to arts administrators. People tend to stick to their own worlds. So those programmes fit with the interests of certain journalists and TV producers, and not particularly with musicians'(or punters') preconceptions.
    A remarkable examp[le of this can be studied: I just have.There was a discussion on the Folk Roots Forum a year ago, initiated by someone who said they didnt like English folk music, much as they liked other kinds. Eliza Carthy came into the ensuing argument with a list of recordings of artists she would recommend to play to people to people who didnt like English folk, to make them change their mind. Now, isn't that just the sort of list you think the BBC might be working through, when constructing a "Folk Britannia" series of programmes? You'ld think some such thought would come up, like" While, young Eliza is the main star of the scene. Might to interesting to look at the people she likes".
    Now, I havent seen all the programmes, but I believe that this Carthy list is conspicuous by its absence in the listings for "Folk Britannia". Odd, isn't it? Now, it's quite understandable that the Joe Bloggs of this world don't get the ear of the big cheeses at the BBC, but you would think EC would, wouldn't you?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:15 AM

Ahh at last, I got it now .. The good thing about last nights programme.. herself only set the video for an hour, PHEW!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:41 AM

One thing, though. June Tabor's new, even sparer, version of Fine Horsemen might have been more art-song than what you expect from folk, but it WAS spellbinding.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:48 AM

Shepherdlass: I am sure we all agree that there were some great individual performances on the programme(though we might not all agree which those were!). But there does seem to be a general consensus that it wasn't a great programme to present as the final summing-up event to close a series called "Folk Britannia". Where do you stand on that, I would be interested to know?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM

Greg - I quite agree. As I said previously, the show as a whole (and the one that preceded it) was underwhelming.

It didn't really satisfy either the Folk or the Britannia (well, the Albion bit saw to that) parts of the billing, and was often a bit of a worthy attempt to mix eclectic artists whose styles really don't blend. And Eliza was also the only clear example of a female lead instrumentalist in among all the singers (why does the Beeb always overlook the instrumental tradition?). I think your assessment that this is probably the result of media types talking to other media types and then distorting the show to suit their own prejudices.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: shepherdlass
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:17 AM

Sorry that last sentence should have included the words "your assessment is spot on"


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Harper Blow
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 09:09 AM

I missed it. I switched to BBC4 and got a black screen. What's that about??? I get the other Freeview channels.

After last night's fiasco I can only say you were the lucky one. With a few exceptions, this series has been disappointing and a missed opporunity to produce a really dynamic programme from the wealth of talent that exists around the country. Last night had more of a feel of a get up a do a turn PTA event, than a showcase for British Folk. :-(


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Declan
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 09:55 AM

The reason why Kathryn Williams didn't sound like Kathryn Roberts is that she is a different person.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 10:39 AM

Well spotted Dec.

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 10:44 AM

I was so disappointed to find that my eighteen year old had had his shifts changed at the last minute and therefore wasn't able to set up has gadgets to tape it for me. However it looks like I got the better end of the deal; I was out to see Pete Morton and he was briliant!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 11:03 AM

Yes, but he's a songwriter, therefore persona non grata with the "in" crowd, who seem to have shown themselves up as second and third raters.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 11:28 AM

Yes, Pete Morton is a songwriter.   It's one of the things he does. He's also long been a performer of traditional material, particularly border ballads and a lot of his own work is 'in the tradition' or a development thereof. Being a bloke, he wouldn't qualify as a Daughter of Albion anyway.

Who is this 'in crowd'? Sounds to me that 'Guest' is talking about those for whom 'madlizzie' had invented the term 'traditionalist', meaning apparently that they don't confine their listening to what the latest MOR snigger-snogger brought out last week.

To return to topic, the BBC-4 transmission of the second FB concert served as a rather disappointing conclusion to a series which, at times, had moments which MAY have persuaded just a few outsiders that 'our' music was worthy of their further consideration. That was not one of them.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 11:43 AM

I thought the programme was dreadful. A bunch of Whingey songs that had little to do with folk music, however broad your definition. June Tabor was particularly poor - the low point for me and her pompous introductions did nothing to endear her to me. Otherwise the songs were over arranged with a band that owed more to easy listening - but then maybe the BBC see folk as a sub-genre of "Easy Listening"

My wife's comment part way through was to the effect that she wanted to hear some folk songs and I agree with her. I think that a programme billed as folk should have at least 50% traditional material. While the music should not be set in aspic, it ignores its roots at its peril.

No instrumental sets! - The instrumental tradition is at least as important as the vocal. Many of the young bands started out as ceilidh bands. They already had Eliza Carthy, to which an obvious addition is Kathryn Tickell, who is a fine fiddler as well as Northumbrian Piper. In fact I am sure her band would have done a site better job of accompanying the singers than the overblown "band" they used.

I echo my wife's comment at the end; "Disappointing"


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 11:57 AM

"they can get come consultancy from Eliza, from Martin, from others..."

The concert was actually put together by Harriet Simm (amongst others) - Harriet is Topic records PR person and is responsible for all of the coverage of Martin, Norma and Eliza Carthy, June Tabor, John Tams and everyone else that you might read. I'm sure she can't be accused of knowing nothing about folk music. You can't blame the BBC, or ignorance of the subject, for this one I'm afraid...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 12:04 PM

No, I don't mean traditionalists, and I do hate this almost racial stereotyping phrase used for songwriters. There are good and bad, but this constant reaching for the sneering put down and the easy cliche is depressing, but predictable. The in crowd I meant are the ones with their hands on the levers of power in the folk world. They set the agenda that is then followed by the media, and in this case they appear to have fallen flat on their faces even for Mudcatters.
I am not in the least suprised that the programme was boring, but it must have been absolutely dreadful to elicit the responses I've read. There is dynamic music available, both in the tradition and from songwriters, we have to ask ourselves why it was not presented to the nation. The folk world this series portrayed was moribund and totally unable to inspire anyone who dipped in to it. A great chance lost i'm afraid, but exactly what I expected.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 01:03 PM

Re GUEST's comment about Harriet Sim putting together the concert, and that you therfore couldn't accuse the beeb of not knowing about folk. I personally have no problem with the concert as such. It was a performance by a team put together for a touring show, with a particular concept "Daughters of Albion". Perfectly worthy idea, some weel experienced performers doing a bit of folk, bit of this and that. Happened to be compered by the currently most famous folkie(and 100% justified to be so, IMHO).
   Fine, you either like it or you don't. But the problems start, as a read of this virtually unanimous set of responses indicates, because this was presented as the culmination of the BBC's once in a decade profiling of British folk. This was the grand finale of "Folk Britannia". As decided by the BBC. And it stands or falls as that, not as a stand alone concert. On its own, it was a concert I would have been interested to go to. I wouldn't have given it ten out of ten, but I wouldn't have walked out either. But as the definitive statement of "Britfolk, where it's at now": well, read the previous thirty posts or whatever by the people who saw it. We all wanted it to be good: the BBC, at last, was giving some time to "our" music. Unfortunately, the response has been totally consistent. It didn't even start to deliver the goods. It didn't even look as anybody had given the subject a moment's thought.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 01:22 PM

By the way, for anyone wondering what we are all talking about here: the programme is being repated tonight at 5 past midnight, BBC4. I have to say, I don't think I'll be repeating the experience. Mind you, just to let you know, as far as I recall it starts off with Norma Waterson singing "North Country Maid" followed by Eliza Carthy singing "The Willow Tree". So I might just re-enjoy the first ten minutes.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM

So Harriet Simms is from Topic, do you think then she will push people not already recorded by Topic, or wanted by them?
That in a nutshell is what I mean when I say 'the chosen few' the ones they always approach when they are stumped for a programme idea.
Then one of them remembers the existence of folk music, albeit something they saw on telly, and guess who's on telly most often folk wise?
Sorry to be cynical but this was not a fair representation of folk as seen in the clubs, or even in the festivals {most of them!}
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 06:53 PM

Repeat starts in 5 minutes.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:11 PM

Well I'm going to record and eventually watch the repeat tonight, before I make my comments. But it is revealing that there could be a connection between the artists featured and the allegiances of a main organiser. Hmmm, is there a song there?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 07:15 PM

The concert as broadcast had a fatal mistake. Whether this was in the editing, or the initial set list I dont know. But it started off with the two best numbers. After that, you just get progressively irritated.
   By the by, ten out of ten to the trombonist. The spirit of Ory lives on. Good lass.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,A.G.A.
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 08:48 PM

I didn't see Friday's showing but I just watched tonight's repeat. I think I must have watched a completely different programme to all you whingers. But perhaps it was because I took it at face value and wasn't expecting a concert of traditional songs or a cosy evening in a folk club. So: I saw Eliza Carthy sing with fire and energy. I saw June Tabor passionately involved with her two songs - Lili Marlene gave me goose pimples. I was transfixed by Lou Rhodes - I have just been straight to Amazon and ordered her album, even though it doesn't seem to have that P.J. Harvey song she did on it. I was intrigued to hear what Sheila Chandra could do with a British traditional song and would like to hear more (I thought she'd retired from live performance some years ago because of nerves). I saw the smiles of enjoyment on Norma Waterson's face and on the faces of the musicians. I loved the large band arrangements being away from predictable folk band diddly-diddly or thudding folk rock, especially what they did behind Norma singing Tom Waits' 'Strange Weather'. I thought Kathryn Williams and Vashti Bunyan were a bit weak, but they had what - 3 songs in 90 mins?

Somebody above wrote that the concert was put together by Harriet Simms but I understood that Kate St. John (the sax, oboe player in the band) had a lot to do with it - it was staged once before at a venue in Ireland last year I believe. I thought she did a fantastic, imaginative job, especially if the arrangements were hers.

So I'm wrong and you're all right? It seems to me you all decided you weren't going to like any of these Folk Britannia programmes before you watched them. Some of the things I've read above, comments on Billy Bragg for example, are completely out of order.

I don't think you lot will ever be satisfied, you just sit on your fat elderly arses and moan about anything other people do. Take a good look at what you've written and thank god the general public don't see this forum or they'd never come near folk music and so-called folk fans in a million years.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: nutty
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 02:37 AM

You have your opinion A.G.A. and we have ours. I agree that as a concert it did have some merit, but if you believe that that performance is indicitive of the best of today's folk scene, then I suspect that your experiences are severely limited.

Folk Britannia was a showcase and it deserved much better.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 02:43 AM

That's what's wonderful about taste, GUEST, A.G.A. - it varies from person to person. So don't generalise ("...you all decided you weren't going to like any of these Folk Britannia programmes ...I don't think you lot will ever be satisfied, you just sit on your fat elderly arses and moan about anything other people do"). You liked what you saw? Good. Others didn't. Furthermore, some of those "others" had higher expectations given the calibre of some of the participants and especially given the objective of these programmes. Don't lash out at people for having a different opinion to yours; if you do, it colours and qualifies your own opinion.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 03:26 AM

I watched the whole thing again in fact. A lot of hidden treats the secodnd time around. I found the concert better as a repeat, but even less suitable for its function in the "Folk Britannia" series.
    The anonymous pro-voice(so fa unique) a couple of posts berates anybody with reservations about it as having a fat arse and being elderly. Are to be believe that young people tend to go for thaat sort of thing, and will flock to the folk banner when they see it? I somehow doubt it. I suppose I am getting a touch on the elderly side, though my arse is fairly skinny. I must say I dont go complaining about everything, in fact I saw the best performance I've ever seen on the English folk scene only last summer. And the occasional audience shots at the Barbican showed the sort of demographic you get used to at folk events: not exactly fresh from the kindergarten. And actaully it is observable there is a greater youth market opening at the moment fro folk music of the old definition, as well as for the acoustic singer-songwriter type. So I think any attempt to describe any adverse reaction to "Daughter of Albion" in youth terms is pretty much doomed to failure.
    Some other criticism has been voiced because a lot of Topic artists were in the concert, and it was apparently organised(a lt least in part)by someone to do with Topic. I've no knowlege of this, but if it's true, so what? Why shoudn't a record company promote its artists? That's what they are for. And in any case, as Topic is pretty much synonymous with folk in Britain, it would be a bit difficult to set up a high-flying event that wasn't stuffed with Topic types. We can quibble about the use of the "Daughters of Albion" concept to finish the "Folk Britannia" series. But surely Tabor, Carthy and Waterson choose themselves inthis context? That is quality, fame and importance, not record label.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM

Quite right, Greg and Grecko. I enjoyed most of the programme because it doesn't matter to me wether it's acceptable to anybody else or not.
Obviously the Beeb don't realise that the use of the word "Folk" implies just that,i.e. a particular style of music with certain boundaries. But to repeat, each to their own and quite right.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Eye Lander
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 05:11 AM

I think it's all a matter of personal taste and everyone is entitled to their opinion.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 05:26 AM

Dear GUEST A.G.A,

What a lovely pink, fluffy world you must live in! A world in which everything is wonderful and fabulous and which must never be sullied by a word of criticism or dissent. Well, on Friday night I saw the music I love mis-represented by our national television station and it annoyed the hell out of me and I'm not ashamed to say so.
In the real world there seems to be an awful lot of silliness and pandering to the lowest common denominator around and if it's not challenged it will get worse and worse and all of the wortwhile things, which make life worth living, will disappear forever - but what do you care? Let's not make a fuss ...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 06:28 AM

Eye Lander: you're dead right it's a matter of personal taste, and we arae all entitled to our own. But I think you are trying to imply that "therefore it's not worth discussing". Well, in this case it certainly is. What we have had in the last segment of this thread is a cross-section of folkies(selected not by musical preference, but by access to an obscure TV channel): and that to me makes it not a bad cross-section, and not likely to be wildly biassed in any particular musical direction.
And the near unanimous reaction to the programme is that (a) it had plenty of good musicians in it but(b) it was not a fitting flagship programme to round off the BBC's unprecedented decision to organise a whole series round Britfolk. Sure, these are personal opinions. But it is the collective feeling of the people with most reason to love the music and support it. So how come the programmers are so woefully out of touch with the fans? That is the question being discussed hear: we are not just saying "do you prefer Marmite to Bovril, or carthy to Rusby?" or whatever,


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 07:02 AM

Guest DB is correct in my opinion.
I'm also disturbed by the direction that "folk" music is moving in.
Always away from the roots of the music and towards a glitzy money driven "psuedo folk".
Who ever thought we would ever have to endure National Award cerimonies in folk music?
There's another thread started about inclusivness in folk music, and thats whats being lost. people have stopped listening to the music in large numbers because they can no longer relate to what is being written and the way in which it is being presented.

I have a friend who is one of the best writers of Scots song in the country . A truly wonderful communicator, whos work is full of all the things which define folk music, satire, pathos,comedy, emotion,and righteous fury.

A person who should be a "National treasure" finds it hard to have his music circulated because the record company has pronounced that it won't sell well enough to make it viable.

This cornerstone of our music is being deprived of a platform, while the BBC promote an image which is certain to turn off 99% of the people who view it.
Much of the blame admittedly lies with the "folk community" who often like to keep our wonderful secrets to ourselves.
But if we want folk music to become popular again, we must start to play to our strenths not our weaknesses....Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:05 AM

Is there not enough talent in our 4 nations to sustain a single programme related to each one, followed perhaps by a concert featuring songs and performers drawn from all 4 traditions?
That in my opinion would fit the Folk Brittania label better than what would appear to have been an Anglocentric programme.
No I'm not waving my Scottish Nationalism flag here just think all corners of the union deserve to be equally represented. It would have improved both the balance and the content if properly done.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:23 AM

I think thats a very good idea Jock.
Dont know if you caught the recent Highland sessions on BBC4, which were a great success, exploring the links ...and differences in Scots and Irish traditional music.

The programme also promoted a good debate in "Footstompin'"
on national attitudes to traditional music...Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:27 AM

Hi GUEST A.G.A. I am well over 50 and take a size 40" waist in jeans;I have praised parts and expressed disappointment in parts of "Folk Britannia" I have also got Tim Van Eyken (one of the brightest of the new wave of young folk singer/musicians - I'm sure you are aware)booked at my club tonight. Sorry I don't fit entirely into your generalisation.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,Pootle
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:59 AM

I thought the the Daughter's of Albion concert was a real disappointment and a wasted opportunity to introduce non-folkies to the music that we love. If it had been my first introduction to British folk music I wouldn't have bothered to look any further into the tradition. I think Eliza Carthy was it's only saving grace and even her performance wasn't as passionate as it usually is. It should have been so much better.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 09:23 AM

Ake, your posting is full of contradictions. You want the music to be popular again, but you're against those devices which attempt to make it popular ie award shows etc. The world we live in is a world of celebrity and high profile. The music needs to address this. If you want to watch what's popular watch the talent shows where working class people from Wigan come on and sing in ludicrous American accents for ecstatic audiences. These progs are watched by millions, This is the music of the people today.
The dirgy, pompous,stuff served up by so many in clubs and concerts will never be popular at that level.
Your friend is no doubt excellent, but is what he does the stuff to get that screaming, cheering talent show audience up on its feet? Our music will never be popular or mass media, but I'm sure the people in the folk world will always turn on any performer who leaves them and eventually gets through to a few hundred thousand.
It's been like that since the 60's and it's never changed.
Entertainment is what is needed, but it's still a dirty word in folk circles. "Daughters of Albion" was to entertainment what watching paint dry is to rock and roll!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: hawkerlad
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 10:04 AM

"Daughters of Albion," must rank as the worst programme supposedly based on folk music ever seen. The producers of this debacle have really earned the name, "perfidious," in connection with Albion. They have stabbed the whole genre in the back.

Eliza Carthy is the only one who can come out of this with a modicum of credit - all the rest should go away, and ask themselves if they are willing to sacrifice any last shred of integrity for the chance to appear on TV. Bogus folk!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Bagpuss
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 10:08 AM

I don't think we should blame the performers so much as the person who put the bill together. I don't think they were quite sure what they wanted out of it. Individually I am a fan of quite a few of the performers, but the context was all wrong. I love Kathryn Williams, but she should mainly do her own songs, which is her main strength, and they don't really fit in the folk genre. I know I dont keep her CD in my folk section. And June Tabor, I think you need a whole concert of just her in order to really "get" her.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 10:46 AM

Guest ...Maybe I havn't made myself clear, but I have never been a supporter of the "dirgy pompous stuff", although the old ballads and some of the new songs have their place in folk music.

The time when Folk was really popular involved people being exposed to the lighter side and the chorus songs,before moving on to appreciate the old ballads, the anti-war songs and others with "social content". In short people had to slowly grow into the music ...and I know many who have done just that.

I am certainly not in faour of "dumbing down" our music to make it popular ,as you seem to be suggesting.

We must keep the spirit in the music or we something "hardly worth the singing at all"    Ake


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 12:51 PM

"The world we live in is a world of celebrity and high profile. The music needs to address this. If you want to watch what's popular watch the talent shows where working class people from Wigan come on and sing in ludicrous American accents for ecstatic audiences. These progs are watched by millions, This is the music of the people today."

So, 'Guest' what you're actually saying is "eat shit, 200 million flies can't be wrong"(?)

I think I'd rather eat my own leg than subscribe to your pathetic, defeatist philosophy. I want quality in my life not grubby, lowest common denominator populism. There is more to life and art than tawdry, populist rubbish; this is an article of faith with me!
What has always attracted me to the old songs is their quality - and a really talented performer, like Eliza Carthy, for example, is able to bring that quality out - if that artist is given a stage to perform on.
Anyway, who benefits from low standards in popular culture?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,M.L.
Date: 05 Mar 06 - 08:28 PM

I see the prat who edits Folk Roots thinks the Whores Of Albion programme was wonderful!! http://froots.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1178 See what the idiot has to say, twice in that Topic, once at the top and even more stupidly about 8th message down the list. What does he know about folk music, we all know he's only interested in African rubbish. How can he be allowed to say things like that and get away with it? I'm really disgusted, he should be kicked out of his job and a real folkie should get it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 04:21 AM

According to the BBC radio 2 message board, the Folk Roots editor theorised that the Daughters Of Albion was not meant to attract people into folk music but to get folk fans to broaden their horizons, this is Ian Anderson talking about the ' kings new clothes ' again, ie. if we don't like it we are the stupid ones, this was exactly his attitude about so called ' world music, [ which incidently, meant anything except British folk music ]

eric


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 04:49 AM

Guest DB I agree with you. You've missed my point which was that what you and I consider quality will never be popular with the general public and that it's daft to think it ever will.
Ake I agree that we need to bring the lighter side back before the general public. Daughters of Albion was a wake!
As to the editor of Folk Roots, he's a failed musician who couldn't survive in the 70's folk world and he's vented his spleen on all those who have been successful performers doing what he couldn't do, particularly the songwriters of that era.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:22 AM

The words 'professional musician' spring to mind on this one.
We seem to agree that most of the performances were anything but!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Essex Girl
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 09:00 AM

Apart from Norma and Eliza, the programme was lousy. Where wer the excellent singers on the folk scene? The Mudcat chorus could have put on a far better show!!!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 09:14 AM

GUEST said "As to the editor of Folk Roots, he's a failed musician who couldn't survive in the 70's folk world and he's vented his spleen on all those who have been successful performers doing what he couldn't do."

I'm not quite sure how you square that with
a) He's the one currently praising the concert and the singers and you're all slagging them off, or
b) I spent Saturday night happily dancing to the band he still plays in at a really good ceilidh in Bracknell.

But don't let facts get in the way of opinions, that wouldn't be the Mudcat way ;-)


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 09:25 AM

It was a poor advert for any non-folkies who had maybe tuned in for the first time to see what all the fuss was about. Dull.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 09:37 AM

Dear 'GUEST',

I'm glad that you agree with me - I still think you're being defeatist, though. Popular culture doesn't have to be cheap and tawdry. I've been to countries where it's not - Bulgaria, for example.
In that country I've walked along a street and heard wonderful music coming from an open doorway - it turned out to be a wedding with a live band. I've also been to restaurants where the radio has been on and playing fine traditional music. Even the music put on for tourists often turns out to be some of the finest that the country has to offer.

In Macedonia I've seen little kids sat on a garage roof beating out amazingly complex rhythms on old tin cans.

On the streets of Warsaw and ljubljana I've heard excellent street musicians and even traditional singers.

On the Athens Metro I once heard a marvellous accordian player (Albanian, I think) accompanied by a small boy playing a tambourine-like drum.

In Turkey restaurants in tourist resorts often play western pop music over the sound system. On slack days, when there are not many other customers, I've often asked if they can play me some Turkish music. The restauranteur always seems delighted to oblige, I become a friend for life, and I get to hear some wonderful music.

One of my ambitions is to go to one of those open-air operas in Italy - where everyone takes a picnic and bottles of good wine and 'culture' is obviously not a dirty word.

Popular culture doesn't have to be crap - other nationalities know this - why don't we? If we want something better we've got to fight for it!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 10:13 AM

Agreed again. Our problem is we follow American Kulture. I too have found more civilisation and art abroad than in this country. Somehow we've always had this anti-intellectual bias in England. It seems to filter down from the top. When will the royals ever produce someone other than cannon fodder for the army or fodder feeders for horses? Go round our great houses and see the absolute paucity of any artistic taste. And even our FRoots mag prefers the music of elsewhere. Depressin' init?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 02:56 PM

The song Marlene Dietrich sang before Liily Marlene was almost unintelligible. I could make out about one in ten words. The whole show was absolutely dull and dreary. Did Liza carthy surround herself with dimwits so she shone that bit brighter?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: MuddleC
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:33 PM

Well, as an definitive 'Daughters of Albion'last-of-the-series programme, a potential folk fest allbeit with a very small limited number of 'faces', ..I had thought that the good old beeb could have produced something I would be proud to show to non-folkies or even have paid to attend.... but no.

If I could liken it to a meal , then it was advertised as an 'a la carte' feast, promising mouth watering tastes but producing a three hour old McDonalds carpet burger with damp lettuce and droopy bread , perhaps some seasame seeds as 'garnish', there wasn't enough tomato ketchup available to make it half palatable..

I'm off for a pizza


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: Dick The Box
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 04:10 AM

I too watched the aforementioned concert and like most others found it deeply disappointing (but hands up those who were surprised that it was a disappointment - not many I suspect!). I have indulged in folk music both as audience and performer for 30 years now because I find it enjoyable, fun and exciting. OK there is some serious, difficult, sad stuff but mostly it is enjoyable, fun and exciting. Seems to me that there wasn't a lot of joy, fun or excitement in that concert.

I also find that I get ****ed off with the need to be continually moving forward and changing things, just for the sake of change (this is true in all walks of life from politics down but that is a whole new rant!). What is so non-pc about experienced artists, with good material & arrangements and a proven track record being showcased. There was an emphasis in the concert on relatively modern material (which was mostly weak and poorly delivered) and even the older material had to be jazzed up with the big band treatment to make it appear new and fresh. I know you can pick holes and say "Ah but this item in the show was...." but generally, as advert for the kind of folk that gives me the tingle factor and makes me come back for more, it was crap.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 07:00 AM

if you look at my wifes large CD collection,
its mostly women singer songwriters of various genres and nationalities..
she particularly enjoys the fashionable contemporary commercial chart stuff
that gets promoted in 'Marie Clare' / weekend newspaper magazines,etc;
as well as classic folk & country singers from the last 40 odd years..
she's definitely very receptive to new female voices and styles..

but she totaly lost interest in the albion daughters concert
and spent most of it obliviously reading a dense historical novel..




..independent of anything written here or anywhere else..

her opinion of the show was that it was "so dreary" !

i wouldn't argue with her,
i thought this production was striving too hard
for 'shallow' safe middle brow sophistication & critical appreciation
at the cost of any true vibrancy of emotion
or genuine stylistic musical progression..


but then again, i'd have preferred any of Pj Harvey's
distorted guitar amp driven old touring bands
or an abrasive psaltry / hurdy gurdy style early music
and electric guitars rock line-up
to have provided the backing music
than that bunch of insipid soft music college hacks..


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST,sil
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 11:55 AM

There MUST be a copy around here, where I can get my hands on, C'mon, anybody?

Don't want it for free.
Please, very important...


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 12:47 PM

No. John Pandrich. He was an amateur archaeologist in his youth, so his mates called him Johnny Panhandle, which of course became Johnny Handle.


Johnny Handle??? Didn't he used to be Ewan MacColl - Oh no - it was John Pandritch - wonder why he changed his name - or is it relevent to anything?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 02:29 PM

Hahha. I too will come out and declare I have concealed a Peter Paul & Mary LP crudely disguised as a Lonnie Donegan. What is all this bashing of the early lot like WH Club and like - they were doing what they had and started a lot of people off on a lifelong journey. I went to a pub in Plymouth in the mid 60's with Cyril Tawney and he never complained about Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor. You just enjoyed the music - what's new?
Gerald in Argyll


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: fat B****rd
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:16 PM

Some adverse comments re the Daughters of Albion here.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 folk program
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 04:23 PM

?????


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