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Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?

Nick 23 Aug 06 - 07:19 AM
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Subject: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:19 AM

I'm still a little stunned by the following. I've seen a few crass and thoughtless acts in singarounds and sessions but I think this one stands out as being in a league of its own.

I was in the Endeavour pub in Whitby lateish on last night and thought I'd just go in for a song or a play before going off home. The pub was fairly busy and there were perhaps 6 or 7 people there playing tunes and things with three musicians in the middle being the 'centre of attention', one playing a squeezebox, one a piano accordion about the size of a small fridge and a guitarist.

So a guy starts singing 'Shoals of Herring' unaccompanied ...

After a brief period of time the squeezebox player tells him he's playing it in the wrong key and that he should be doing it in C (presumably as he didn't have the competence to play it in the original key) and starts playing in 'his' key. The singer - perhaps looking a hint surprised - adapts to the new key and continues singing. On balance he had few options as it's tricky to pitch an unaccompanied song in a different key and time against a squeezebox.

At which point the squeezebox's two other playing companions join in and change the time of the tune. This pretty effectively throws the singer again - firstly as the timing is different and secondly because the accordion being played heartily would probably drown Concorde taking off.

Now for the real clincher...

The squeezebox player has spotted the real flaw with the rendition of Shoals of Herring - THE WRONG MAN IS SINGING IT. Of course, how foolish of the original guy to start singing it - it should be Mr Squuezebox singing it. So he now sings away in his own fashion.

As I commented out to the guy sitting next to me it gave me a whole new perspective on the concept of accompaniment. How silly to think that accompanists are there to add to the singer when you can improve things by obliterating the misguided idiot by key, timing and noise. I will of course be adopting this new policy forthwith and may even change my instrument to something noisier so that I can best implement this new strategy. What's even better is you only have to learn tunes in one key - think of the saving in time!

I watched for a few more minutes as the trio blasted away with a few more tunes while the other musicians there had a look which I can best describe as 'deer caught in the headlights' - looking into space, not playing etc

Perhaps it's just me but I thought the guy singing the song was doing just fine until he got f***ed by the rest of them.

I have the following little scene playing through my head...

[Enter stage left white haired squeezebox player]
WIFE: Your pot roast is in the oven, dear. How did you get on at the folk festival?
MR SQUEEZE: There weren't many players there getting involved surprisingly so we had to play all the time practically.
WIFE: How tiring for you - all the time?
MR SQUEEZE: Well there was one time when a misguided chap started to sing Shoals of Herring but he was doing it all wrong.
WIFE: And did you set him right?
MR SQUEEZE: Oh yes [smug smile from ear to ear] - I don't think he'll get that wrong again while I'm there to put him back on the straight and narrow.
WIFE: Swoon. My hero...


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:33 AM

Jaysus! The poor singer. I've always found it quite hard to swallow when ANY musician deigns to tell ANY other musician at a session how to play or sing. It's presumptuous and pompous. If one feels that something absolutely has to be said one should pick a different time or place. I believe, had I been put in a similar situation, I would simply have stopped singing altogether and quietly gone up to the bar AND I would have resisted any attempts or urgings to offer my "services" again.
Hey everyone, they are sessions! not performances....sometimes you take the great moments with the not so great ones. If something not quite up to par takes place, it makes the up to par things seem all that much better.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:34 AM

Sadly you get sphinctroids like that in every kind of music, and with folk being participatory it shows up a lot more than in some other genres.

Solution: next time take a Breton biniou, a bombarde and entertain them with a 24 hour medley from 1930s musicals.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM

I would say LOL, but the accordionist sounds a right a**hole, as I believe our American friends would say (correct me if I'm wrong, guys). I'm fairly gobsmacked at the arrogant behaviour of this person, as described above.

Presumably the accordionist thought "Shoals of Herring" was "his" song, and objected to this interloper. Of course that's no excuse.

I've occasionally been "beaten to the punch" in a singaround when I've had a song lined up. I'd just shrug my shoulders and do something else - there are plenty of soungs to choose from - and I'd probably mention it jokingly to the "usurper" afterwards ("Yer b*gg*r, yer nicked me song") :)

I will only join in and accompany another singer (or musician) if I can play it in the same key as them (as a guitarist I can use a capo anyway, so it's rarely a problem) - I wouldn't dream of asking them to change key to suit me (of course I'll only do so if I'm able to play it properly in the first place, and if the person is happy for others to join in). When I sing a song I sing it in the right key for my own voice, which is often different from the 'official' written key. If I didn't do this, I'd not be able to reach all the low or high notes. I wouldn't want to change it for anyone else and I wouldn't expect anyone to ask me to.

Likewise if I want to join in vocally I will if necessary sing in harmony to suit my voice (and I hope, the song) - again I wouldn't dream of asking the lead vocalist to change to suit me.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:47 AM

Presumably the accordionist thought "Shoals of Herring" was "his" song

More like his head was just stuck up his own arse.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:51 AM

Joining in with an unaccompanied singer is something I do quite a lot - BUT I find HIS key , and play quietly , unless I get a nod to 'up' the volume from the singer ! Usurping a song or a tune ( I Play It LIKE THIS) is at the very least BLOODY RUDE !!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM

It's far from uncommon to be told, when leading a tune, that you're in 'the wrong key' because those 'in charge' have decided that the session is being conducted in something else (almost invariably D). But I haven't actually encountered anyone who'd play across someone else in a different key (apart from those who confine themselves to one entirely of their own invented temperament). If you are accompanying vocals, obviously you play in the key the singer has chosen (provided that it's recognisable). If it's not, or if your instrument lacks some of the notes you need, then you don't play and next time perhaps bring something that's fully chromatic.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:09 AM

"But I haven't actually encountered anyone who'd play across someone else in a different key"

Well I just have. He exists and I'd spot him again. If you are anywhere near Whitby I'll point him out... In fact I might take my camera when I go tomorrow and see if I can get a picture.

Who knows he might even see this post.

I have come across a number who hijack other people's songs to some extent or another. People sing choruses the way that they know or the way that is 'right' and often drown out someone who plays it differently (eg I sing Caledonia by Dougie Maclean and do the chorus slightly differently pausing between line 3 and 4 rather than following straight on and invariably get drowned out by people doing it the 'right' way); I know someone who plays guitar and accompanies people and invariably changes the tempo of the song to HIS version rather than following the singer; there are buckets of people playing horrible inappropriate pentatonic solos over all sorts of unlikely songs to improve them.

I also accept that a session or singaround is not a performance (but it sort of is to the person doing it I would think in most cases) and one must make allowances that people will leap in.

It was the overwhelming scale of the thing that got me in this particular instance. I suppose the only thing they didn't do was actually play a different song over him so it could have been worse I guess.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:10 AM

I'm pretty much in favour of joining in (unless an unaccompanied singer has specifcally requested no instruments), but it is very much up to the joiner to make sure he or she can do the necessary, and keep with the original carrier of the song/tune. Having some arseholes is the price of participative music, but there again some "singers" who account it a right to bore/embarrass the arse of us almost inaudibly in varying keys and tempi do need to be told firmly to get over themselves.

Perhaps these good squeezers genuinely thought the singer had in error started in a key that was going to make matters hard for HIM (the singer) and were trying to help. Perhaps they weren't.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:16 AM

Perhaps they weren't.

There was little hint of help and the whole body language of the group of three was 'yup - we know this one and know how to do it right. Good request you are now irrelevant and we'll now show you how clever we are.'

Bunch of rissoles.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:28 AM

varying keys and tempi

O tempora O mores!

(Cicero)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: treewind
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:31 AM

My reaction if the squeezebox player ever came in again would be to walk out. All the rest of you. And make sure he knows why. Or maybe offer him the option of leaving first, but it doesn't look as if civilized behaviour is in his repertoire (in any key...).

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:35 AM

OK How is this, a certain flute player, who with his new dread locks looks vaguely like Sideshow Bob, from the Simpsons (Crusty the Clown's sociopathic straight clown), who about this time last year - three hours before a big, well paying gig, informed me when I called him ( he did not even call me to tell me this...) informs me he is blowing off the gig, as is the other member of the band, leaving me to have to cancil a gig, the first time in some 30 years of playing, mind you) Well... as folks know, after a playing for awhile in airconditioning, Uilleann Pipes often go sharp, so instead of saying anything to me, accross the table, Sideshow Bob turns to the box player next to him, and says, "Is he out of tune with you also?" This fellow has never once acknowleged that it was wrong to have ruined my reputation with a venue that had my band come back year after year, and now has something to say about my playing and does not have the curtisey ( or the family jewels enough) to say it to my face, across the table from his dread locks and he... not to mention that whenever I sing a ballad, he gets up from the table and walks away... some people don't have a thread of common decency or manners...
ah well, what can you do, clowns... they're all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:39 AM

"How silly to think that accompanists are there to add to the singer when you can improve things by obliterating the misguided idiot by key, timing and noise."

ROFLMAO!

Love your little 'play'!



"It's far from uncommon to be told, when leading a tune, that you're in 'the wrong key'"

Yeah, I know, I have been told that. I have even been told I am in the wrong room...


"I will of course be adopting this new policy forthwith and may even change my instrument to something noisier so that I can best implement this new strategy."

Since you can already play at least one instrument (and thus know most of the music theory you need!), and wish to learn another, thus qualifying you as a 'recycled muso', may I recommend the Piano Accordion and this thread.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:58 AM

There is a singer in Oxford who will tell you to shut up if you try to accompany the song.

Trying to accompany an accompanied song is risky and potentially rude. Apart from the problem of finding the key (which could be unplayable without retuning) there might be variations in the tune, the verse structure or tempo - many old source singers did this. I know several songs where the structure is not uniform.

There are also times when someone starts a tune and nobody joins in, not because they can't but because the general feeling is that the tune and player deserves to be listened to.

As for the incident mentioned, the singer was treated apallingly. Session etiquette can be a hard thing to define, but these "musicians" don't have a clue.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Sooz
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:08 AM

An unaccompanied song is just that - unaccompanied. There are people who sing unaccompanied simply because they can't play anything but a genuine unaccompanied singer puts over the rhythm and the melody of the song in their own special way and no accompaniment is needed. I don't sing unaccompanied very often, but if I was and someone started to play I would stop singing. (Thinks - perhaps this is why I tend not to go to sessions!)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:15 AM

I tend to leave unaccompanied singers to sing unaccompanied.

I have enough friends who do it and have explained that it is by choice rather than that they can't play an instrument (which in many cases they are perfectly able to do very well).

The exception is when (and this may be pompous and patronising but isn't meant to be) I judge that the unaccompanied singers ability to stay in tune is limited without a couple of audio stabilisers. But even then the aim is still to stay in the background not to take over the song.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM

I often sing unaccompanied, and I have no problems with instrumentalists joining in, as long as they dont try to take over and just listen for the first verse to see how I am performing it, so that we don't clsh over timing etc.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:32 AM

IME most musicians and singers know instinctively when to join in and when to listen (e.g. for a slow air on a flute, or an unaccompanied "serious" song). But I have had people at singarounds attempt to accompany me when I've been doing a song that I think would have been better left to me, especially as on the particular occasion I'm thinking of, the guy couldn't play the right chords anyway. However, it's just a singaround and not a concert at the Albert Hall, so I don't let it bother me. Usually people will invite you to join in by saying something like "It's in A, if anyone feels like playing along", to make it clear.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:37 AM

I finally gave up going to the Philadelphia Folk Song Society because of the few guitar hogs who would take over every song circle and not give anyone else even the chance to start a song.

One of them once said "You've got to push in if you want to sing". If "pushing in" was what I wanted to do I'd have joined a Rugby club instead.

Ill mannered louts.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM

'Joining in' with unaccompanied singers does NOT mean laying a steady Four Four beat to a Ballad , or indeed MOST traditional songs ! An unaccompanied rendition of a contemporary song is a slightly different thing .


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:51 AM

The singarounds I go to are just as the name implies - each person takes it in turn, going around the room, to sing a song or play a tune, or tell a story, recite a monologue or a poem, as the mood takes them. Sometimes an individual will invite others to accompany them or join in. The idea of "jumping in" just doesn't figure at all - anyone who tried that would get harsh words from the rest.

Sometimes there are so many people that you're lucky to get to do more than a couple of songs; other times you may be kept busy all night - that's how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:05 AM

Boy, does this hit home. As an a cappella singer, I know first hand what the poor singer went through.

I can play several instruments... but poorly, so I do not inflict my playing on others. My true instrument is my voice, and I am quite capable of doing justice to a fine old aire, ballad or shanty. But I find that here in the USA, as you saw over on your side of the puddle, folks with an instrument tend to domineer sessions and what are called "sing-arounds"( but tend not to be so in practice).

And many of these individuals are just not capable of actually accompanying the singer, but rather play in whatever key they can regardless of what key is actually being sung. So, while they may be able to play an instrument, I don't regard them as accomplished musicians. Especially because they are ignoring the "music of the performance", for want of a better term.

And what often happens is that good singers get tired of having to "fight the crowd" just to get equal time and just stop attempting a song or even attending. And that's a loss to everyone.

I guess the only way to ensure good etiquette at these gatherings is to have a set of ground rules and then enforce them. Relying on the curtesy of others doesn't seem to be very effective... which is a real shame.

Sorry for venting, but like I said... this really hit a nerve.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Den
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:13 AM

Good points made. I like the "turn" system. That is you do your turn whatever that might be. If you want to do it unaccompanied that sholud be your call, not someone elses. If you wish to be accompanied its just a matter of asking. I'm sure there will be any number of accompanists to comply with your wish. There are ignorant assholes everywhere in this life folk music does not have the monopoly. Manners cost nothing.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:24 AM

I have been known to say "STOP THAT!" on the rare occasion but only in my own home. I have also been known to join in uninvited but will shut up if a sign is given. When stress and wine go into overdrive, I can be a nuisance - so Kendall and Jacqui tell me. Send me to the kitchen for ketchup and I calm down.

Some just don't have a clue. Some arrogantly think they alone know the way any given song should be performed. Song Circles at my house are all inclusive - all ranges of expertise and skill. And look what happens - Bente who "can't sing" opens up and delights the entire group with her sweet voice and a song we haven't heard in years. Several "Non-singers" are regulars now. One even meets weekly with friends to learn new songs. Isn't that we are trying accomplish?

There have been times when someone's "song" has been performed by someone else. So what? Go learn a new song. Everyone is probably sick of hearing it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:27 AM

The best way to handle that kind of rudeness is for all hands to go to the bar, or leave the pub.
The most satisfying way would be to pour a beer over the asshole's head.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:31 AM

I've had to sit through some frankly dire performances by people who aren't that accomplished at singing or playing, but that's part of what singaraounds are about. Those people are getting pleasure from it (even if the listeners may be inwardly cringing at times), and to see the enjoyment on their faces makes it worthwhile. You never know, some of these people may be beginners who will one day blossom into good performers (some probably never will, but that's another story!)

In the 60s and 70s they used to advertise singarounds as a Come All Ye - I never see that term used any more. Does anyone still use it? It sums up the attitude of the best singarounds - anyone can have a go.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:34 AM

kendall, while I like the sentiment.... the thought of wasting a good beer, oh laddie.... think about it.... lol

maybe we should come up with an award... kinda like the Darwin Award that's given to folks from the shallow end of the gene pool who manage to remove themselves before they add offspring....

but we'd need a catchy title... any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:40 AM

At Old Songs a few years back, Roy Bookbinder was performing in an informal group. One "fan" kept singing and playing along LOUDLY. Bookbinder changed tempo so slightly as not to affect his performance but threw off his "accompaniest" completely. Wonderful to see.

He was not as successful with the clod in his face with a video camera. The photographer was told not to, was accused of stealing his techniques, was outright insulted but kept smilingly filming away.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:47 AM

Nick said,"I suppose the only thing they didn't do was actually play a different song over him so it could have been worse I guess."

No, it couldn't have been worse. Changing the key and tempo... is just as bad as or worse than changing the song.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John J
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:06 AM

I was singing unaccompanied in the Tap & Spile on Saturday afternoon. Apart from there being a VERY high ambient noise level, a box player behind me tried to accompany me. This threw me, I just can't sing accompanied. Apart from anything else I find if I want to tweak the pitch / alter the tempo during the song...well I just can't. I'm sure these people mean well but they're really just a damned nuisance.

Some years ago I was singing unaccompanied at the Railway Folk Club in Lymm, a man with a bodhran started playing along. I had to ask him to stop and in consequence he saw his a*se (big time). It didn't help that he'd had more than enough beer. This guy gave me such a bollocking for not singing 'properly' that a now rarely go to what was a really good club. Sadly the club has changed it's title now and includes more 'pop' stuff than folk song & music.

On a brighter note, the Railway now has a most excellent sing a couple of times a month (Songs in the Snug, second and fourth Wednesday evenings))where a dozen or so singers gather to sing traditional (mainly unaccompanied) folk songs from the British Isles & further afield. Interestingly the change in direction of the Thursday former folk club night has spawned an excellent music session on the same night in a downstairs room of the pub. We often get good audiences!

I'm wandering.

John


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:29 AM

I wasn't even playing when I fell out (permanently so far) with an old friend at a session. Another guy was doing a very sensitive, slow solo on the fiddle. My friend (drop taken) joined in, "improvising" loudly with respect to none of tempo, rhytm nor melodic structure. I asked him to stop, he threw a huge wobbly that ended up with him threatening to hit me. That was over a year ago, I haven't seen him since.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:33 AM

Unaccompanied singing is regarded as a bit of a freak show in one small group of musicians that I regularly sing with. I actually prefer some accompaniment, which is one of the reasons I'm learning to play guitar, but this particular group plays mostly old country and western songs, while I am inclined towards folk and ballads. They rarely know the songs I know. I used to try singing a non c&w number with them now and then, but gave up after one time they actually started playing a c&w standard before I'd finished singing. These musicians are my friends!

They will ask me to solo (with accompaniment) various country songs, so they like my voice well enough. But they are diehard c&w -ers; no other genre exists for them.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:46 AM

John J wrote: "I was singing unaccompanied in the Tap & Spile on Saturday afternoon. Apart from there being a VERY high ambient noise level, a box player behind me tried to accompany me. This threw me, I just can't sing accompanied. Apart from anything else I find if I want to tweak the pitch / alter the tempo during the song...well I just can't. I'm sure these people mean well but they're really just a damned nuisance."

As a band member as well as a soloist I always try to fit in with the leader on any particular song or tune. If I know it well I will know when the leader is likely to slow down (e.g. at the end of a song) and do likewise. One thing that's good about solo work is that it's up to me to vary the tempo as I feel like, to fit in with the mood of the song (it also helps if I forget the words of a verse, as I can play a little bit more while I rack my brains). At singarounds I will just do the same (i.e. vary the tempo as suits me), and if someone has taken it upon themselves to join me without invitation, it's up to them to keep to my tempo. If they don't it's their problem, not mine. But like I said, it's just a singaround and not to be taken too seriously.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:50 AM

This seems to be mainly a U.K. problem, judging by the posts.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scoville
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:54 AM

What a jerk!

The general rule in the circles in which I've played is that whoever picks the song picks the key, tempo, and how long it lasts. We rarely sing so that's less of an issue, but if the person who called the song wants to sing, you do it his/her way or you shut up. You can do it your way when your turn comes.

I only had this happen once, and it wasn't nearly that bad. It was a particularly slow night at the local Irish session so the guy who was sort of leading the jam called me up to play, mic'ed, on my Appalachian dulcimer (which is, of course, not Irish, but the tune he asked me to play was a crowd favorite learned from another session regular, who had left his concertina at home that night but told me I was welcome to play "his" tune. I even play it in "his" key and tempo.) Session "leader" is an excellent bodhran player and played quietly behind me for a bit until one of the flute players decided this would be a good time to teach the guy next to him a completely different tune--on stage, mind you, about three feet away from my left elbow. Bodhran suddenly got a lot louder and "leader" gave the guy a look that would have curdled milk, which got the point across.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Betsy
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:59 AM

Nick ,
The singer should have simply said " Why don't the three of you - shut the F*ck-up you ignorant bastards."
It would work if I or Ossonflags said it - Honest it would.!

Cheers,
Betsy.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM

Hmm, Betsy's suggestion is all very well, but I wouldn't want to be playing an accordion tune with my backside as I walked home afterwards ;-)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:17 PM

Well, it might be a novelty act, and make your fortune!


A


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM

A bum note indeed!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:41 PM

I would have waited until the rude SOBs had finished, thanked them for their accompaniment, then handed each of them a dollar bill (pound note in the UK) while advising them that it was their payment for not accompanying me while I sang the goddammed thing again my way.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,maire-aine
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:45 PM

I can't claim to be a great singer, but I think I do OK. I try to pick songs that have meaningful lyrics and sing them clearly. I also play guitar, and supply my own accompaniment.

But if I put down my own guitar to sing un-accompanied, nobody else should join in unless I ASK them to. And I only do that with a few people who are top-notch guitarists.

I have no problem with giving a withering look, or holding up my hand. If that doesn't work, I'll escalate to "stop it" if need be.

Sometimes it's hard to get a song started in a session, because others aren't always paying attention to the other side of the circle. If I feel support from the rest of the group, I'll continue.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:05 PM

I didn't mean GOOD beer, I meant Bud lite.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Geoffrey Curtain
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM

Whit d' ye say when a daft drunken highland Scot comes aroond tae the singaroond wi' his bluidy bagepipes and insists on playin' along wi' every damn song, and that's nae all! The stupid git plays the damn thing off-key.

When his turn tae play comes up he raises bluidy hell if anyone plays along wi' him! He says, "Dinna be playin' over ma song! I cannae tolerate that!"

This particular damn Scot has a personal hygeine problem whit ye would have tae experience tae ken whit it's like. Tae puit nae too fine a point on it, he stinks.

He also makes it a habit tae say, "That song of yours wis absolute rubbish! I hope you dinna play it again tae soon."

If there are any women at the singaroond, married or not, he flirts wi' them ootrageously. He thinks he is a combination of Sean Connery and William Wallace. He says, "I could fancy you...and I'm dead sexy! Want tae take a little stroll wi' me? Ye know ye do..."

When ye play a sad song he sneeringly pantomimes a crooning violin. When ye play a funny song, he yawns and says, "God! When does this one end?" Whey ye play a trad song, he says, "Ye stupid bastard! It's not 'hey, nonny, nonny' in that song. Ye've got it all wrong. Here! Let me show ye how it's done on the bagpipes."

When his turn comes he plays a song that's 25 minutes long. When you're playin' your own songs he keeps frowning and checking his watch. At the conclusion of the evening he says, "Well, that was what I call a piss poor singaroond. I may see ye next week, I may not. If nothin' else at all guid comes up, expect tae see me. Otherwise, not bluidy likely."

And then he does show up on the following week!

Whit d' ye call this kind of behaviour?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Janie
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM

Boorish!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:48 PM

Bud lite!!!! ...oh, I thought you meant beer.... snicker. Probably one of the better uses for the stuff.

And as for the boorish Scot... may I suggest that it be passed through the kidney's first. Yeah, bad bad me....


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:50 PM

The vast majority of the songs I sing, I accompany on the guitar. But I have a small repertoire of songs that I sing unaccompanied. It happens all too often at songfests and hoots that when I launch into one of these, someone starts to accompany me, having failed to pick up the obvious clue that I am a perfectly competent guitarist and if I wanted the song to be accompanied, I would accompany it myself, thank you very much.. This has happened often enough that now I have no qualms about stopping and letting the eager accompanist know—politely, but firmly—that I prefer to sing this song without accompaniment, thanks. If Bob Nelson (Deckman) is there and I start an unaccompanied song or ballad and someone even looks like they're going to start, he simply reaches over and puts a hand on their guitar strings, silencing them. Bob is cool.

I recall on one occasion, at an informal gathering during one of the Northwest Folklife Festivals, I was in the middle of a sea chantey when a small group, including a fairly well-known singer from a nearby municipality walked in. He jumped in with his quarterdeck bellow, in a different key and tempo, and simply took over. Basically, I like the guy. He's a good singer and pretty knowledgeable about the songs he sings, but he made it quite plain that he thought I was doing the chantey all wrong. Maybe so, but that still doesn't excuse outright rudeness. He's one of these people who doesn't wear a watch, because he figures that nothing of importance is going to happen until he gets there.

I will never try to accompany anyone singing unaccompanied unless they ask. And if others are playing and I feel impelled to play along, I always keep an eye on the lead singer to be sure it's okay with him or her.   Sometimes, someone has worked out an accompaniment that, in combination with the song, is a sort of stand-alone set piece. In that case, I stay out of it and just enjoy what they're doing.

Common courtesy.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:53 PM

It happens a lot in the States. Mostly though it is intended to be helpful. A lot of guitar players don't understand that many folk songs don't have a strict tempo and the tempo is changed for emphasis and to follow the story.

Often it's friends just trying to be nice, so I just put up with it and afterwards politely ask them not to do it again.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM

Could I just publicly state that I wasn't in the Endeavour on Tuesday night. It was the Tap & Spile on Saturday night, I think.........


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Peace
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:21 PM

"The most satisfying way would be to pour a beer over the asshole's head."

I agree, but have to note that Kendall's remark is the best mixed metaphor I have seen in ages.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:29 PM

It's not just a UK thing, sh it happens. That's about the rudest I've ever heard though. To walk away & get a beer Kendall & leave them to ru(i)n the session? You know you'd have to say your 2 cents worth first. More to you Betsy, they'd deserve much worst & gotten it too. I was at my local (50 miles away, ha,ha) session & there was a konga player sitting in & he played just every tune AND song. Now I play only the bodhran & usually play it lightly if there's another one in the session or simply sit it out while they're playing (too many drums ruin the stew) & some times I accompy myself with it while singing. So I started singing, unaccompanied & this konga player starts in & he's not doing a very good job at it either, if he were I might've let it pass. I give him a look but he goes on. After 2 verses I just put my hands on his drum heads & silenced him until after I finished & told him straight out that if I wanted accompanyment I'd have played my drum that was resting on my lap. Never saw him again & was thanked by others for dealing with what's normally a delicate situation. I do ask others to back me up if I want them & they're not already doing it & I don't really mind much if they do back me up & I don't want them to. In general though I find that most have the sensability to know when is the right song & time, when they're left to make the choice on their own. I think it also depends on the singer to take on the responsablity for the song to go be done as they'd like to sing it & to not be railroaded by others. If I sing a song where the song has no call for an instrument & were the voice's timing, phrasing is as important as the story I think it's up to the singer to put that over, either by saying something in the beginning, by using some kind of body language, or just be the way the singer put the song's style over. Really the song should speak for it's self. Most musicians will jell weither or not it's meant for accompanyment.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:53 PM

The best way to handle that kind of rudeness is for all hands to go to the bar, or leave the pub.

Seen that happen once but in a folk club. One floor singer (who was a little pissed) who decided to wind the PA up to full. It was a nice summer evening and someone suggested we should take our drinks outside which we did until he finished his set.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 03:22 PM

One of the coffeehouses where I sang regularly during the early Sixties was a place called Pamir House. The fellow who started it intended it to be a Indian restaurant (Pamir houses were wayside inns on the Silk Road where it passed through the Pamir Mountains), but about two weeks after it opened, a group of Indian exchange students at the University of Washington tried the place and declared the food to be a) less than authentic, and b) the word "swill" figured prominently in their comments. Not to be deterred, the owner deep-sixed the ersatz Indian cuisine, put in a line of snacks and pastries, got an espresso machine, hired several singers, and turned it into a coffeehouse. At that, it was pretty successful.

It was fun singing there because there were usually three or four singers going on any weekend evening. We didn't do sets as such, we just perched on stools up front and swapped songs, complete with banter, as if we were at a party or hoot. The audiences loved the informality and the off-the-cuff quality of it.

Anyway, an occasional audience member seemed to get the idea that it was sort of a free-for-all, apparently not realizing that we hadn't just dropped in, we were regular singers and were getting paid. One guy started coming around regularly with a pair of bongos. [I can't think of a quicker way to commit suicide than to show up at a place like Pamir House with a set of bongos.]   He was tolerated for about three songs, but when he tried to assist me on "Greensleeves" (with my carefully arranged lute-style classic guitar accompaniment), the owner of the place put a word in his ear and confiscated the bongos until he was ready to leave.

It has always amazed me that people who try to play the bongos always have such an iffy sense of rhythm. We don't run into all that many bodhrans around here, but I image a similar problem might occur with them.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 03:35 PM

Explains a lot, Don. My Whale Tambourine goes missing every time I play it. Once it was even harpooned. HARUMPH!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 03:48 PM

There is an 'interesting' mandolin player locally to where we live and play who turns up at some singarounds sometimes. I have walked out on him and a friend has stopped mid song and asked him to desist. Keeps bouncing back though undaunted. Now he suffers from the delusion that bad off key and off tempo mandolin playing is a bonus to any track.

But it still doesn't approach yesterdays thing.

(Omigod - perhaps it's me attracting them! A bit like Jasper Carrott's thing of always having the nutter on the bus sit next to him)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM

Hey Barry, you can play along anytime when I sing.


Another problem with coffe houses is this...

Espresso Machine (Tune: Spinning Wheel ) - (Bert Hansell)


Last Wednesday night at the famous Steel City
It came to my turn to sing a short ditty
In the midst of a song of a maid and her lover
The Espresso machine goes
Shhhh, shuff, shuff, shuff, shweeee shoooooooow shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

My turn came again, thought I'd try something loud
A song of our flag that would make us all proud
When I got to the part where the flag started wavi-Shew
Shew shew shew shew shew
Shhhh, shuff, shuff, shuff, shweeee shoooooooow shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Now came my last chance it was almost nine thirty
A song that was funny, perhaps a bit dirty
and right at the part where they all roar with laughter
that blasted machine goes
Shew shew shew shew shew
Shhhh, shuff, shuff, shuff, shweeee shoooooooow shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


Copyright Bert Hansell, 2004


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: growler
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 04:37 PM

I was in Whitby six weeks ago. Having enjoyed a splendid meal in the Old Bee Hive, went into the bar to be confronted by an Australian Folk sing asking where he could sing. I am know to be on the loud side, ( hence the Mudcat name ) and my 12 string doesn,t help and our Australian friend sang in a similar volume, after several pints of fine ale, we descided that this was the very place for a 'folk thash.
After about four songs, ( including Shouls of Herring }, the Landlady
asked us to stop as she couldn't here the phone ring.
I'm not sure wether it was rude or practicle


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,maire-aine
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 04:49 PM

When I learned to play the bodhran, the first thing I was told was "
Don't play on a slow air" and "Don't play on a vocal", although I could play on the chorus if it was a "rouser". I have no problem asking an over-eager bodhraner to quiet down.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 04:49 PM

The boorish Scot? I don't believe that story, no one is that stupid!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:03 PM

From my own experience and I think I mentioned this at the beginning of may 06, The session at the endeavour is one to be avoided mainly because the background noise is not in the background.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:07 PM

Ah, how this takes me back... I've asked people in the audience to stop singing along (out of key) and I've asked others to desist from playing along. If I wanted to hear the penny whistle whilst I was singing, I'd grow another mouth and play it myself.

As for others taking over the song... the best way that I've ever seen that dealt with was to make 'handing over' gestures to the carpetbagger and sit down.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Greg B
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:17 PM

"Whit d' ye say when a daft drunken highland Scot comes aroond tae the
singaroond..."

Is anyone else picturing 'Fat Bastard' as both the teller and
the subject?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,I'll neaverrr tell!
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:26 PM

Och! Now ye're ontae me, ye swine! Ye'll be sorrrry. I plan tae show up at yer next singalong wi' ma bagpipes and a steamin' great bowl o' haggis, which I will eat and I will belch and fahrt noisily whilst others are tryin' tae sing!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:29 PM

Ah, again. Body language, it doesn't even have to be tasteful body language, sometimes even a gental slap will do......On the back.......On a smallguy.......If you're big guy.

If the jester trying to join in is seated & you're standing (if not stand) while singing walk over & from behind gently (smile now as you sing now) put your hands on their shoulders rub gently, if they don't stop, rub harder if they continue in a friendly gester type of way put one hand over their mouth (do not smother!) & the other hand over their instrument (do not break!). I have no advice if they're standing except maybe to get beside them lift up your foot higher than knee high then stomp your foot into the side of there knee........& keep on singing as if nothing happened.

Thanks Bert, anytime?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:41 PM

Worst one I saw was a duo who came to our club. They set up a PA (something we never usualy see) played a few Shadows numbers and then started to dismantle the PA and leave while other singers were still on! Not seen them since I'm glad to say:-)

Best I saw at dealing with an off-key loud accompanist. At a session we ran in a public bar a very enthusiastic but drunken bloke insisted on joining in with a very soft and tender version of an Irish ballad.

"Can you do lot's of stuff from Ireland?" asked the agreived performer.

"Yesh" slurred the drunken man.

"Well, f**k of and do it then..."

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:47 PM

There is an unpleasant smell of solipsism emerging.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,bluebird
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:54 PM

I was at a song circle in upstate new york and this spooky guy started singing his own song. It was a campfire during a dark night, and a wide ring of maybe 5o others waiting their turn, but it was a moonless night, so no one could see him.He sang a song. Then he asked. Could I sing another. Everyone was too polite to say no. He sang another and another of his self written songs, political in nature and perhaps to not everyone's taste. He was singing his own songs for a half hour before I left.

This guy is famous in his own mind, but in mine, he is the rudest person I've ever had the misfortune to have at a round robin.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon W.
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 06:03 PM

I don't know if this counts, but I'll relate the story anyway. I am a member of a instrument builder's association. We decided that our meeting last month would be a picnic in a park to celebrate the fact that our little club had not yet self-destructed. About seven of us showed up and sat around eating, telling lies, and looking through old issues of "Guitarmaker" magazine. About the time we finished dinner and were about to pull out our instruments for a little jam session, a couple of Native American youth, one with a little drum and the other with a large rattle, sat down about 30 yards away from us. The one fellow began to beat the drum (which had surprising volume), and the other to shake the rattle and loudly chant in (presumably) his native language. While at first slightly interesting, within a few minutes this got so monotonous, and then went on so long, that all hope of our little jam session disipated rapidly. Why, in a park of 100 acres size, did they have to park themselves right there, right then?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 06:04 PM

I had to look it up Richard! And I can assure you that solipsistism is not on the aganda at all. Now, can I tell you of an experience I had with someone saying it was...

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:37 PM

Solipsism - but what can he know?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Ref
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:00 PM

Seems like a fundamental problem is ground rules. I'd never intrude on a paid performer or "open-miker" unless harmonies or accompaniment was requested. Song circles need to be clear as to whether they are going to be sequential individual performances with each one getting to invite (or not) others to join or a rolling group sing with people sequentially choosing songs. In the latter case, the person choosing the song should generally get to set the tempo and tune. My own hate is getting my choice (I do sort of play guitar) and having others sing roughshod over my version.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:06 PM

Back in the early Sixties there was a trio called "The Talismen" singing around Seattle. The trio was composed of Jon Pfaff, who is still very much around, Carl Blanes (pronounce BLA-ness), and I can't recall the name of the third member. All three were good singers and well-trained musicians (I don't know about the other two, but Jon was going to the University of Washington School of Music at the time), and often their arrangements of folk songs were pretty elaborate, but very tasteful.

One night when they had a coffeehouse gig, some guy who appeared to be a bit sloshed was making loud comments while they were trying to sing. He wasn't heckling, he was just overly enthusiastic. He thought they were great. Then he insisted on coming up and singing with them. Jon told me that they picked one of their madrigal-style arrangements, with the three voices coming in at different times and singing contrapuntal lines. The guy was totally lost. He finally shut up, sat down, and just listened.

Nicely done.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Greg B
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:12 PM

"Och! Now ye're ontae me, ye swine! Ye'll be sorrrry. I plan tae show up at yer next singalong wi' ma bagpipes and a steamin' great bowl o' haggis, which I will eat and I will belch and fahrt noisily whilst others are tryin' tae sing!"

Now that'n reads more like Billy Connolly...


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:16 PM

My singing has been known to confound the most competent of musicians....


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:58 PM

Oh stop that, Mother!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM

I remember a group of (Irish) folkies in Hull who used to do a little session, they were very cliquey and didn't like 'outsiders'. I heard that if anyone new tried to join in, they would employ little tricks to put them off like speeding up ridiculously fast or unexpectedly changing the time signature...this put me off folk sessions for a long while.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Skivee
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:22 AM

I was at a private party for performers after a local festival. A wonderful woman and her family like to open their house up after the show to hear us play with each other. In exchange, she feeds us very well and many stay over. There were about 20 local/ national musicians in attendence on one memorable night.
An ex-mudcatter, well known for his boorish behavior here, had somehow gotten wind of the party and invited himself over. He was drunk (as usual).
My brother (not a pro singer, but a nice enough guy) starts singing an old Irish ballad. "Banks of Red Roses" or the the like.
This boorish peasant pulls out a penny whistle and starts toodling along. Different key...not getting many notes on anyway...loud random notes.
My Bro eventually gave up.
So I asked the boor," Do you even know the tune that he was singing"?
He replied,"No".
He left the party soon after.
BTW. This fellow is quite proud of the contribution he imagines he makes to the local scene.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:29 AM

Come on now folks, it's usually only ONE SONG. I remember the time, On Mudcat Radio no less, when I was singing 'The Barley Mow' and a dear friend joined in with a version she'd learned somewhere else (from Seamus Kennedy I think), which had a BOOM, BOOM, BOOM in it.

Ok! it didn't fit with MY version but it certainly wasn't worth upsetting her about it. And like a true professional I carried on and didn't say a word. And I also learned that some people sing it differently.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:33 AM

The pennywhistle is a tough instrument to play accurately. I bet it's damn tough when you're drunk.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:42 AM

...I bet it's damn tough when you're drunk...

I have visions of a drunken bum trying to plug all the holes at once trying to suck up his beer through it.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Briagha
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:59 AM

About ten years ago, I was booked to sing (and play) in a northern California pub. I was well known in the area, though I'd never played at that venue before. There was a session that was scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00, and then I was supposed to play at 9. Though I'd never been to that particular session before, I knew most of the people there, and had been invited by a few friends to join them, so I arrived at 7:00, tuned my guitar, and headed for a seat. Before I could get within ten feet of the group, the session leader (who knew of me and knew that I was scheduled to play after them) looked up and said "Sorry- don't join us unless you know all the tunes." Even though I knew the tunes, I was so put off by that remark that I just put away my guitar and slunk over to the bar to wait for my set to begin, and it was years before I'd even consider joining in a session.

On the brighter side, I was visiting a friend in Galway a year or so ago, and we went to his local pub where a session was under way. I was content just to listen, but after a while my friend told the group "Here's a lady from America who's a friend of mine and a singer, so I hope she'll give us a song." I was caught by surprise, but did manage to offer an unaccompanied song. Everyone listened, no one joined in (though I'd not have minded if they did), and once I'd finished I was greeted with enthusiasm and welcomed into the group.

Neither boorishness nor kindness is confined to one side or the other of the Atlantic.

And one more word about people who insist on joining in when you're performing-- I would like to throttle the person who invented those appalling shaky chicka-chicka egg things!

briagha


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 04:24 AM

Could it be my Marshall stack that keeps getting me thrown out of sessions rather than my playing then?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 06:37 AM

Most regular folk sessions are run by competent people who ensure good order is given to performers. Whitby's pubs were (in my opinion) a shambles of being too busy and too noisy over the weekend evenings. Breakaway sessions in the same room even! Maybe I just went in the wrong pubs?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 06:43 AM

Never assume it's ok to join a group. To avoid unpleasantness, ASK.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 07:26 AM

I go to one every week in Eltham - all people want to do is drink and talk. Nobody is actually interested in music.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Alan Day
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 07:37 AM

Our band was booked for a Folk Club spot in Southampton from memory it may have been The Anchor.An old friend worked for the local BBC and said that she would have a word with a few people in the organisation and try and get a recording team down there to record us,which she did and the Folk club was notified of their intention.When we arrived it was packed and a steady stream of their local performers did their bit on stage and the organiser with every one had a job to get them off stage.The first half performance was cancelled owing to the regulars insisting that if they did not get on stage they would not go there again.The second half was identical to the first and with the same demands on the organiser.With thirty minutes to go a local singer started his act accompanying himself on an amplified guitar.With eight minutes to go the organiser pulled out the plug of the amplifier to get him off stage.We did one number and an encore.
My word those Southampton people know how to make you feel welcome.
Al


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: foggers
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 07:48 AM

"And one more word about people who insist on joining in when you're performing-- I would like to throttle the person who invented those appalling shaky chicka-chicka egg things!" Could not agree more Briagha - they are the eggs of Satan!

My friend and Mudcatter Mandotim has described an interesting technique for dealing with egg-shakers with no sense of timing during a set ( rather than a session or sing-a-round). He has an egg with nothing inside,which is offered to the offender to use as a superior instrument for the professional percussionist, which requires specific skills. Of course, when they shake it there is no sound. When he takes it back to demonstrate that it does work, he has a functioning egg up his sleeve, so sound is produced as normal.

As for the issue of rudeness at sessions, I reckon it come down to establishing some sense of custom and practice for a regular session, and for folks to be prepared to deal with behaviour which breaches that. I like the sanctions described so far- from hard stares, a polite but firm word, to mass exodus and/or drenching in non-beer.....


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Midchuck
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 08:50 AM

Never assume it's ok to join a group. To avoid unpleasantness, ASK.

Kendall is right, in spite of being from Maine. Maybe it's his British wife. Better yet, listen for a while, then ask.

Keep in mind, at festivals, sometimes what looks like a jam is a group practicing for a set they're to do - especially when it's a pickup group formed for that performance. They really don't want any help at that point.

Agree on shaky eggs. Also spoons. Also bones, unless the player really knows his stuff and it's the right kind of music. Actually, that applies to most percussion instruments.

Of course, washboard players who attempt to join a jam that isn't jug band stuff, or zydeco, may be killed without notice, let, or hindrance.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 09:17 AM

Hi Woodsie, is that you being a guest?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 10:14 AM

Sorry, misread this 1st time as:

쳌esometimes even a genital slap
will do......쳌f


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 10:37 AM

A "genital" slap? What if it's someone like Avril Betts? She would probably want more! LOL


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: woodsie
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM

Not me Rich (but I think I might know whom!) If it is the TB they're on about, then, I'm probably the wort culprit. I am interested in a lot of the stuff being played/sung but get a bit restless when one of the regulars breaks into a mediocre version of fields of athenry/green fields of france. I never talk through a newcomers set, no matter how dire!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:18 PM

Barry's drummer was playing a dumbek. The guy could play, but didn't have any off switch or mute button. As I recall, we came closer to having a fist-fight than I've ever witnessed. Ah, it was a grand night!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM

I think it's important to pay attention to the unwritten rules, if only so one knows what one can get away with when breaking them. The breaking part can add a lot of fun, so long as it's respectful and good-natured. My opinion, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: woodsie
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:04 PM

Or even "Worst"


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 03:31 PM

I sort of like the idea of being a wort culprit. In fact, the Wort Culprits is a darned fine name for a band. I believe you're onto something, Woodsie!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 04:08 PM

There is one little thing that tends to get up my nose:

More often than not, when I learn a song, I work at it some. If it's a ballad, I might go through several versions of it, and although I often sing it straight as I got it from my source (book, record, whatever), every once in a while I will put together a composite of a couple of versions. A folklorist or "ethnic purist" may raise an eyebrow, but I think it can make for a better telling of the story. In short, I study the song and make some decisions about it, and how I'm going to do it.

There are some ballads that can be stretched out for half an hour, like, say "Lord Randal," where the "testament" part ("What will you leave to your. . . .") can get repetitive and downright boring. I include a verse or two of that part so the idea is there, but not the whole bloody litany, which would bore both me and my audience to tears and doesn't really add to the story.

So I sing the song. Then some dork, usually with a copy of Rise Up Singing or The Folk Singer's Wordbook, will say, "Hey, you left out four verses!" and then proceed to sing the verses that I carefully and thoughtfully omitted.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM

Yep, I agree with that sentiment, at least in part. I think that the participants have an obligation to listen to the version the singer is doing. The singer has the right to interpret a song as they "hear" it. For me, this means I may enunciate, or add dynamics as I want to interpret. Drives me nuts when someone insists on singing along the way they know the song, instead of listening and then going with me. When it is their turn, please, by all means, sing it like you want. But please give me the courtesy of interpreting it as I hear it. You don't have to like my version, but don't try to change it on me while I am performing it. I just saw this done to a singer recently. She was doing her interpretation of a song, and doing it her way. Another fairly well known singer insisted on chiming in and doing it her way. I wanted to scream at her to sit down and let the singer sing.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 05:14 PM

As someone who frequently tortures respected old songs into newer clothes, I'll agree with that - but with what for example a trad singer recently called my "rock and roll guitar" on Maui I usually manage not to get sung over. One exception would be a well known banjo player whose driving tenor can walk on anything and often does.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 05:21 PM

It has long seemed to me that many singers have hard-wired versions of songs they sing--they CAN'T adapt to a different reading without shock treatment. Just one of those things.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: growler
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 05:23 PM

I bet Nick regrets the Day he started a thread on Mudcat


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Mifd
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 05:52 PM

...so it's happened to us all, I've stopped more than once in the middle of a song to say "I sing this unaccompanied", but what's wrong with other folk quietly requesting the rude one to desist? If it's a mannerless man it's best if a woman hushes him and if a woman (not so common - ie. the habit not the woman)- that way there's not so likely to be umbrage taken!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 08:01 PM

"I bet Nick regrets the Day he started a thread on Mudcat"

Not the first and won't be the last I'm sure. Anyway it's better than being ignored.

I recounted the story to the people at our local singaround last night to much the same reaction as I have had here but with one unforseen side effect. For the first verse of the song I did half the participants chimed in and suggested I sing it in C and then ...

This one may live with me for a while yet.

Anyway back up to Whitby tomorrow and I have my camera with me this time (smirk)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: ossonflags
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 03:29 AM

Sorry to say Nick things like this are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

I find the old mehod of "shusshing" about as offensive.Nowt wrong with a few of the audiance having a word discreetly with the offenders, after all it is their session

Bettsy's method is one I thoroughly approve of and have actually used on one or two occasions !!!

Not altogether foolproof though. I did stop singing in a session once, as the noise levals of two of the "audiance" had reached the point were the putty was falling out the window frames. I asked the two participants politely if it was ok for me to carry on singing, or were they discussing something of national import.

I was promptly rounded on and was told I was being very rude for interupting a private conversation!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Menno
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 05:21 AM

"Oh - one more thing. One of the more important aspects of public folk singing is audience participation, and this happens to be a good song for group singing. So if any of you feel like joining in with me on this song, I'd appreciate it if you would leave - right now." - Tom Lehrer, introduction to "The Irish Ballad".

Generally, I don't mind if people join in when I sing with guitar, but if I'm singing with my hand placed over the strings, that should be a hint to most people that no chords are wanted on this song thankyouverymuch.

My favorite party piece is "The Sick Note", which I *always* do a cappella. Many years ago, I was a-walking one morning in May, when I came on a pub called Johnny Fox's, (containing perhaps 5% Genuine Irish, the rest being tourists, but that's another story) where volunteers were asked to sing. Apparently, the guitarist there wot not of the term "A cappella", and started playing along with me. In several of his own keys of course. Now I was a guest there and didn't want to p*** off the locals, so I just soldiered on, said "thank you" and left the stage.

I reserve the right, on every tenth occurrence or so, to break out the Leatherman and cut the pillock's guitar strings.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:15 AM

Did anybody else have to look up 'solipsism' in a dictionary?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:39 AM

There are those who don't know anything.
There are those who don't even suspect anything.

How do you like these people who come waltzing into a session, plant themselves just right so they are next, do their thing, and leave?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: ossonflags
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:42 AM

No.

How's the castanets hanging Teddo?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,banjoman9
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:46 AM

Hi - I could tell a few tales about the Elsinor in Whitby, but the worst was when I (A disabled singer/musician) went into a session there and headed for a chair which seemed vacant. I was immediatley told that I couldn;t sit there because it was "resrved in case a musician turned up" This despite my obvious disability. I left
On another occasion back in the sixties, I went to a Tom Paxton concert in Liverpool. When he started his set, the audience joined in the first song. Tom stopped and asked them not to join in (except on chorus) unless he asked them. Otherwise, he said he might as well go sit in the bar of the pub opposite and just telephone the doorman with the next song for the audience to sing.
After that, we enjoyed a great evening with Tom Paxton.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 06:50 AM

Menno's quote of what Tom Lehrer said reminded me of what Paul Stookey (I think it was Paul) said many years ago in a Peter Paul and Mary concert, when introducing a song where he thought the audience was going to want to join in. I'll try and remember the words.

....and a little voice inside your head is going to say "sing -- sing -- SING!" - and you know, you're REALLY gonna wanna sing! ........PLEASE DON'T!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 07:00 AM

I think there may be a difference between a booked sit-down concert and a session or song-session. Nonetheless there is still a tendency to say "get over yourself". If the performer doesn't want an audience he doesn't need to sell tickets, he can always go back to his (previous) day job and play with himself in his bedroom where no doubt no-one will interfere.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:00 AM

"What we have here is a failure to communicate" (Strother Martin)

Personally, I like to have people join in, but I'd prefer they do so on the chorus only. There are so many versions of songs besides mine (the right one) that if someone insists on singing a different version from the one I'm offering, I'd prefer they don't muck it up.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:11 AM

Hiya Mick,
                         Long time no fondle. My castanets are full and fruity as usual.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 09:40 AM

Yo

Last night in the FILO Whitby, whilst singing a song that had been requested of me two musicians held a conversation all through the song. After I had finished , in a somewhat strained tone I thanked them very much and said next time one was singing I would return the compliment and talk all the way through their song for accompaniment. (I didn't by the way) I was informed by one of them that they were discussing how good I was! To which I replied did they have to do it all through the song.

Being a generally jovial and fairly tolerant person I was fairly taken aback at my reaction and even apologised later to some of the persons present about my outburst.

I must retain my calm in future after all it is their right to have a conversation whenever they like about whatever they like I suppose.

CC


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: fi_in_nz
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 10:03 AM

I saw something similar in Whitby on Sunday when an a capella duo asked the audience not to join in the chorus because they did it differently and the audience joined in (and part buggered up the song for them) anyway. I sing the Blue Cockade which is different from the White Cockade (mostly in terms of word order) and I nearly always remember to ask the audience not to sing the White Cockade, but whether I remember or not there is always someone who joins in (invariably singing the white cockade). Seems a folk audience just can't resist. Changing the key on a singer though is just plain boorish and I'm surprised the singer didn't object; to be honest it sounds as though these musicians were extracting the michael. F


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,HP
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 10:30 AM

MMmm. I am a singer principally, and a poor concertina player. If I am singing in a concert or a singers club then I appreciate, but don't necessarily expect, some respect. After all, it's my job to sing the song in such a way as to cause my audience to want to listen. But in a session I tend to assume that the idea is to do 'joining in' stuff. Most musicians let me jam in, bum notes and all, with tunes I can only half play (albeit I'm drowned out by eight melodians anyway!) so it's only fair for me to pick songs I'm not precious about and to sing them in a key that enables people to join in. The experience may not be my preferred one, and the musicians will propably not hear my favourite songs, but we all get at least some enjoyment for the sake of a bit of compromise.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 10:56 AM

"How do you like these people who come waltzing into a session, plant themselves just right so they are next, do their thing, and leave?"

oh, Kendall! YES! That ranks JUST behind those who believe they are obligated to do every 3rd song in is group of 10-12 singers!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: terrier
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM

It's not just the singers that suffer from other peoples rudeness at sessions, how many times have I heard a less experienced player start a tune (that they've probably practiced at home a thousand times and can play perfectly well at their own speed), only to have it taken over by "better" players and speeded up until the original player is totaly lost and gives up!
Meybee these "better" players (I won't call them musicians) should remember that they also were at one time "beginners" and use their skills to encourage players with less experience.

T.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 01:55 PM

Again at a Philadelphia FFS session, there was a group of old ladies who had obviosly only come for the refreshments and a good gossip.

Their noise was drowning out the song circle in the next room. When it came to my turn I put down the guitar, stood up and sang a very loud version on The Barley Mow which drowned out their inane chatter completely.   They quietened down after that.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 02:14 PM

I once played an instrumental version of "Silver Bell" on the autoharp...kinda pleased with myself for getting it 'pretty well', when a couple of guitar players in the group took it on themselves to demonstrate that it is supposed to modulate after a couple times thru...and naturally into keys my autoharp couldn't follow.
   I'm not sure I looked properly impressed and grateful for their help.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 02:57 PM

The reason people sing unaccompanied is because that is the way they like to sing. No one should a EVER join in unless invited by the person singing. That is good mannered. Wait for your own turn to play your instruments!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 05:07 PM

If I can act as devil's advocate here, I was in the Black Horse in Whitby this afternoon and one of the participants sang "Shoals of Herring".

I have to say I was reminded immediately of this thread.

No way of knowing if it was the same person, but he did sing it an a most unusual key, (and a most unusual style) and then had to keep referring to a sheet of paper for the words.

After hearing this, I can, to a degree, empathise with the musicians referred to in Nick's first post.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 05:19 PM

We had a fellow once start singing "Red River Valley"...from a songsheet....and then he would segue directly into "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean"...from a second songsheet...then back to "Red River Valley" again...and so on!

He was singing acapella, and had mixed up the songsheets, but he apparently did not realize that he was singing 2 different songs altogether.

Impossible? Well, no, not if you know Harry. He's very, very old, and his mind tends to wander.

That was probably the most bizarre thing that ever happened at out songcircle, and it just about brought things to a screeching halt that night, I can tell you. ;-)

He wasn't being rude, though.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 07:20 PM

Unlikely that it was the same guy as the person I originally referred to it knew the words perfectly without any prompting (and sang it very well without any help from anyone).

What's a strange key for Shoals of Herring? I sing it in G# personally. Does that mean I'm at risk (with justification - from the tone of your message, Murray) of being drowned out by some twat who thinks he knows 'best'?

I was in the Black Horse myself but left before any singing started.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 07:52 PM

If the expectation in that session is that familiar songs are fair game for accompanists, then G# is antisocial. Take it up to A or down to G. It's got such a limited range this can't possibly matter for any singer.

If you have a really individual take on the song which requires it to be unaccompanied by anyone else, that's different. But shutting out participants from what would ordinarily be a participatory art form needs compelling artistic reasons.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM

G# is no problem at all. Just put a capo on the first fret and play as if in G. And why should any key necessarily be a problem for vocals? It depends on the song and who is singing the melody, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:14 PM

The pub I sing and play in regularly doesn't have the problem. If people want to sing unaccompanied they can and do. And if people want to play in whatever key they like they can. I have a fiddle playing friend who often plays along with things I do and I will check keys before starting if I want him to join in; if I particularly want to sing in Bb he makes the choice of either simplifying what he plays and joining in or goes to the bar or whatever but with no bother either way.

It's because I'm used to playing in a place where people have a measure of respect and consideration and tolerance for each other (and it is a broad church from jigs and airs from the players to unaccompanied singing to a singer/songwriter who performs his own stuff - often in G#! - to two young lads who play Oasis and modern stuff to sea shanties) that the actions I came across in Whitby were alien, bizarre and came across as so crass.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:23 PM

G# is no problem at all. Just put a capo on the first fret and play as if in G.

We've been through this (and some other stuff in this thread) in another recent thread.

G# is a problem in many (most in the UK?) sessions. Sure it's fine for the guitar players. Other fretted instrument players might just have a capo with them. The fiddler for example might struggle and the poor G/D melodeon player for example is sunk.

There are sociable session keys. G and D are the best for the type of mix I usually encounter.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:32 PM

Try putting the capo on the first fret of a flute, getting a clarsach into eight sharps/four flats, or finding a diatonic moothie player who routinely has a G# out and ready.

It helps to understand how the various instruments in the room work. Sometimes you might be in a session entirely composed of guitarists or chromatic button accordion players, more often you won't be.

The kind of rudeness that ticks me off is the opposite - playing a simple traditional dance tune ina roomful of guitarists and finding that not a one of them even attempts an obvious three-chord accompaniment. Most of those tunes were never intended to be played as unaccompanied solos. How hard can it be for somebody to accompany The Mason's Apron or Greenwoodside if they can play stuff as harmonically complicated as Willie Nelson songs? It doesn't matter if you fluff a few bars, TRY.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:35 PM

G# is a problem for some instruments, such as my Anglo concertina, but one doesn't have to play along with every song.

I generally try to figure out how strong the singer is and what other instruments are chiming in before trying to do accompaniment. Sometimes the accompaniment can be helpful to a singer who does find it difficult to stay in key, assuming the instrument is playing in the key that the singer started in.

It's probably not rude but naive to expect a circle to pick up on a new chorus without repeating it part by part or passing out a songsheet. And even more important to do this with a song where the chorus is different from what people may be familiar with.

I do get impatient with people who always sing from songsheets, week after week, and sometimes with little clue what the melody is. A little homework prior to the song session, circle, can pay off. I like to see people eventually master a song they introduce.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:55 PM

"play with himself in his bedroom "


ooooooooooooo.......


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 09:05 PM

"We had a fellow once start singing "Red River Valley"..."

Now that reminds me of a night where there was a nice wooden lectern with a tiny light on it - one well lubricated performer mistook the light for a microphone, and kept leaning forward to sing into it...

That was a good night, wasn't it Rich-joy? :-0


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 10:40 AM

If it's the 'right' type of song I often ask people to join in if they know it, but to be honest I mean join in the singing. I prefer people not to accompany me with instruments when I'm singing as then I'm bound by their timing and loose the chance to put my own pennyworth in!
I would also argue with then that a song is somehow improved by being accompanied.
As to keys I sing most of my songs in number 8 and some in number 45!!
Nick isn't part of the problem that some muscians come along to sessions only to play and play and not to give anyone else a chance of singing - that's why I much prefer sinarounds, sorry singarounds to sessions where you have to 'jump in'.
P.S. Got to Whitby for the day on Thursday, twisted Chris's arm 'cos it was ny birthday.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Willie-O
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM

What an outstanding bitchfest!

Really, almost enough said. If someone started a thread about what a great session they went to t'other night, it would be lucky to get three more posts.

Of course, you're all right, in your ways. Right, right, you're bloody well right. And you've got a bloody right to say it.

cheers
W-O

Not to say that I don't agree with Rich's original post.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 02:34 PM

Well I enjoyed Padgett's session in the Tap and Spile on Thrsday afternoon, my only 'beef' would be the cigarette smoke.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 03:53 PM

Are we talking about singarounds? or singalongs? or jam sessions? or mini-performances? or what?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 03:56 PM

yes.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 04:24 PM

I've had several attempts at posting to this thread, without the posts actually landing. Just hope multiple posts don't arrive later.

The Endeavour was much better on the first Friday night! We had a really enjoyable session with Raggytash, Wombat, Ossonflags and Northerner, including my singing Hard Times in a different key on every verse. And Northerner lent me a shaky egg.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: r.padgett
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 05:03 PM

Carol

You already know my feelings on smoking, can do nothing about it without prior agreement!

Certain people have said that they will stop smoking in singarounds when the law forces them to do so

I have had it in the ear from both for and against smoking

Nothing further until then I am afraid

Ray


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 05:10 PM

Hi Ray
I did say that I enjoyed the session, what I didn't say was that smoking wouldn't stop me coming into the room, the funny thing was that half way through the afternoon most of the smokers seemed to disappear!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 07:05 PM

Bill, about the only thing that bugs me about Irish music is that habit of modulating the key.
There was a guy named Charlie Moore who took KEVIN BARRY and rebuilt it into an American civil war song. Now, everyone who sings his song copies his style of raising the pitch after each verse. It adds nothing to the song, and when I do Kevin Barry I absolutely refuse to do that. One guy said thats not how that song goes! Did he lead with his chin, or what?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 06:16 AM

The 'problem' with smoke will not be an issue soon. Ray knows my views and as an organiser it's hard when friends who are smokers need to be accomodated as well as those who don't smoke.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 09:58 AM

Another take on "how to deal with..."

I have a good mate who has been a repeat offender committing "session sins". (Well, not at sessions mostly. Hippie jams really, but developing more and more of a Celtic flavour over the years). He sings too loud, takes over the lead if you sing a song he knows, and plays aimless and annoying lead guitar on tunes or songs he doesn't know the chords too. And when he learns a song, he usually changes the melody to suit himself--dumbing it down generally--and then because he's an alpha male, others in our circle end up thinking that's how it goes, and I they all start doing it WRONG (as in, not the way I learned it). Also, he's a bodhran player (shudder) and a singer-songwriter (double shudder). I stopped going to most of his jam-parties years ago cause it all wore me out. The points of conflict have been a source of considerable friction with us over the years.

However, he's a great friend and over the years has become fairly decent on the bodhran, and writes good songs. So, what to do?

I started a band, and invited him to join! The quid pro quo is that I'm the leader, and the objective is to get paying gigs, which has worked fairly well. This allows me to put up my arms and yell "Stop!!!!" when sins occur, and ask him to please just sing on the chorus, or the tag line, not noodle on guitar, rein in the bodhran somewhat ("hold down the rhythm" is any drummer's job, not "show how many licks they can give a goatskin in three seconds") etc etc. This has given me great satisfaction in a Svengalian way and it happens in fairly good humour because we all understand that's the deal. In a social situation at his house, or a pub session, I don't pull rank the same way...but I can see the changes. Definitely past Musicianship 101 now.

He gets to sing his own songs his way and contributes greatly to the character of the band. Once or twice the rest of us practiced without him and though the sound was cleaner we found we missed that particular energy he brings. And in performance it is there too and is a big part of our sound, especially his "ARRRRRRRRing" pirate song.

Doesn't work for every situation, but maybe since the UK has passed so many laws regarding sessions, they could institute "session boot camp" for repeat offenders...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: lamarca
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 07:27 PM

I've encountered two forms of session/songswap rudeness around here. The first is in a singing session that isn't specifically a round robin, guitar players who constantly "noodle" - no-one knows if they're about to start a song, and it makes it difficult as hell for an unaccompanied singer to find his/her own pitch and melody and launch into a song.

The second happened at a local monthly shanty sing. A group of singers who were obviously good friends sat at a couple adjoining tables. Whenever someone from "their" group led a song, they were attentive and joined in. Whenever someone else led a song, they would go back to loud conversation among themselves...

I'm an unaccompanied singer mainly because I'm "instrumentally challenged" - the only instrument I've ever been able to master is my voice! However, I'm fortunate to have a partner who'll work out wonderful accompaniments to my songs on his guitar. If he's not around and I want to do a song that I think would sound good with accompaniment, I'll ask if anyone can fake their way through it in something approximating A... But if I'm singing something with George where we've worked out a specific harmony or chord, and folks around us play or sing a different chord, it really throws me.

We've been guilty of this, too. Louis Killen did a house concert here a couple years ago, and started singing a song that we had learned from Coope, Boyes and Simpson. We tried to sing our harmonies, but they didn't work. At the break, Louis said to me "Listen to how the singer is doing the song FIRST - then join in if you can do it his way..." Sound advice, whether you're talking about accompaniment or harmony or even joining in on a chorus - listen first!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 07:50 PM

Yep, Mary. I agree with Killen. As you know, I often phrase differently when I sing, and I try to let folks know to listen to where I am going and then jump in on the chorus. As a singer, I also prefer that folks join on the chorus only, for the most part.

BTW, one could never tell that you are an unaccompanied singer when you and George perform. It is a wonderful thing to hear the two of you.

Hope all is well.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 07:55 PM

Y'know, not all singaroundss/sessions are performances. Politeness is a matter of obeying the generally accepted rules of each gathering. And if it's normal for others to join in, it's rude to insist on going it solo.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM

Perhaps it would be wise to differentiate between the two. A singaround is a place for each to perform in turn. When a singer TAKES THEIR TURN and sings, they are interpreting a song as they hear it. Personally I don't mind folks joining in on the choruses. I don't even mind them joining me on the verse, IF they have taken a moment to figure out HOW I am doing the song. To do otherwise is rude, IMO.

A session is inclusive by its nature, and usually it is instrumental. The rules depend on the setting.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:24 PM

It's not just guitar players who "noodle", there are banjo and flute players who do it also. It's like they are in an altered state and they don't even know they are being selfish and rude.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:57 PM

Set out the 'rules' or expectations ahead of time. Things like, "Smoking will be Ok outside at breaks" and "Please do one song and let the next person have a turn" or "Please do not sing along unless invited to do so by the person singing". That's fair enuf, and it would get rid of lotsa problems before they start. Either that or give offenders a copy of "Everything I need to Know I learned in Kindergarten".


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM

Politeness is a matter of obeying the generally accepted rules of each gathering...

You're right GUEST.

I used to go to one group where "please feel free to play along" was the rule. That's not the way I prefer things but that was the rule so it was fine. Just once in the evening I would try to sing something that nobody else knows. It wasn't breaking the rules but it sometimes worked.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM

In yesterday's lunchtime sing at Towersey festival (in the barn of the Three Horseshoes pub)a guy who sang "Black Velvet Band" looked very disgruntled because the other singers overwhelmed his chorus and didn't follow his timing. But it was a singaround run by the Admiral, not a session, and he'd jumped in when it wasn't his turn....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 12:46 PM

Wouldn't it be an idea for the person who's running the singaround to 'set out' the way they are running it and then no-one has any excuse to be 'jumping in'. All regular singaround members know the score, even if they don't always agree with the way a person/people runs them.
Especially galling for the people who've been waiting to be asked to sing, and who probably got there early - grrrr


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: r.padgett
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 03:02 PM

Running singarounds is difficult

Discuss

Ray

sorry just joking!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 04:20 PM

Carol

Agreed. I do say how I'm running singarounds (at Chippenham and Sidmouth) and where the singing is going to go. So did Lady Aelfleda in the Tap and Spile at Whitby, but that didn't stop Tom B from complaining that she wasn't going fairly round!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Genie
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 05:09 PM

Little Hawk said: "This seems to be mainly a U.K. problem, judging by the posts."

Well, here on the west coast of the US, I participate in several different "jam sessions" and "song circles" ("singaround" doesn't seem to be a term used in these parts). In jam sessions, it's expected that people will play and/or sing along -- even taking turns with instrumental breaks, if they like.   In those, it's not uncommon for the fiddle players, e.g., to request a more fiddle-friendly key than, say, A-flat.   But they generally do that before you start playing.
"Song circles" are generally called that because you sit in a circle (as opposed to having someone on stage. In one mode, people take turns either performing a song, leading one, or requesting one. Leading songs is common, and people tend to assume it's OK to do instrumental backup, in addition to singing along, unless asked not to.   But it's usually also understood that you don't drown out the singer or throw them off with your rhythm, etc.   So it's normally not thought of as rude to jump in with your guitar (or vocal harmony), but you're expected to be sensitive to nonverbal cues, etc.   Occasionally, though, I do find that too many instruments mess up a song I'm doing or that the whole group seems bent on singing my song faster or slower than I want -- or not allowing me to pause between musical lines as I see fit.   But, yeah, it's not Carnegie Hall, and some of the snags do come from some people knowing less about music (e.g., not understanding the concept of a "rest" in music notation).   



But Bee mentioned having people start a whole new country song while she was still singing her folk song in a "country" singaround.
In "song circles," we sometimes go into "chaos mode," meaning no more formally taking turns in a circle. And some people do tend to start more than their share of songs, but it's still understood that you don't jump into your new song before someone else finishes theirs.

I've had that happen to me, but due no doubt mostly to the ambient noise and free flow of beer in a chantey/folk song sing.   It was at an afterparty at NW Folklife Festival a few years back.   Several times, I managed to get a few bars of a song out in the wink of an eye between the end of the last song and someone else's diving in.   My voice is soft, but not inaudible. Every single time I managed to start a song, I'll be damned if one of the big-voiced chantey singers didn't start bellowing out a different song right on top of mine.

I just gave up on that informal gathering (after singing along with quite a few), because of the atmosphere.   It was a lost cause.   But I've actually had similar things happen once or twice in much smaller, quieter settings.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:40 PM

One of the rudest things (musically speaking) that happened to me was when I was singing a song (accompanying myself on guitar) at a pace I like for that particular song: a young woman opposite had obviously only ever known the disco version and started pounding fiendishly with her foot on a wooden floor to try to make me go about twice as fast. I know what I should have done, but in those days was fairly new to the session scene, so didn't do much other than give her the "daggers" stare, which made no difference!
As for people who "jump in": it wouldn't work at one of the sessions I go to. It is done in strict rotation round the room for those there at the start: anyone who arrives late, gets their name added to the bottom of the list by the session chairperson, so doesn't matter where they are sitting, they will still be last! Anyone trying to go out of turn will be deprived of the right to take a turn for the rest of the evening.
As for G# (or even A flat), I'm reminded of a former moothie player (sadly no longer with us) who played in many keys, but would shake his head and say, "Och, they're in one of they shitey keys again".


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:41 PM

A few years ago at "The Gathering" a few of us found an empty hall and started a circle. After we had been around a couple of times, another event ended and quite a few folks came in and joined us.

We moved our chairs apart to welcome them into the circle. Then some ill mannered oaf just took over the circle and started asking people to sing out of turn and completely ignoring the original members of the circle. Eventually we just left.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:44 PM

Some years ago at Rochester Sweeps I was at an advertised and well-run singaround, when a group of musicians entered the room and tried to join in/take over
When it came to my turn I announced to song as "The Wild Geese", words by Mal Waite, tune Planxty Irwin.
I suggested that if the musicians might like to join in, the key would be J# minor!
The musicians immediately packed up and left.
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Genie
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 10:32 PM

Well, I think Joe Offer has been known to sing in the key of "R."   Just to thow folks off, I guess. ;-D


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:06 AM

'As for people who "jump in": it wouldn't work at one of the sessions I go to. It is done in strict rotation round the room for those there at the start: anyone who arrives late, gets their name added to the bottom of the list by the session chairperson, so doesn't matter where they are sitting, they will still be last! Anyone trying to go out of turn will be deprived of the right to take a turn for the rest of the evening.'
Oh to find out where Tattie Bogle lives - this is the only equitable way to run a singaround - good on you


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: melodeon king
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:01 AM

The key is Ab not G#. I don't see why it is a problem for anythimg other than a melodeon. The clever dick who said "try putting a capo on a flute" need head examined. You can quite easily play any key on a flute. It's us poor melodeon men that suffer every time! All songs/tunes should be in G by law.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:17 AM

"Oh to find out where Tattie Bogle lives - this is the only equitable way to run a singaround - good on you"


I happen to know the general area in which TB lives but I'd better let her tell you if that's what she wants to do.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST, London Danny
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 07:08 AM

Session rudeness...
Our traditionally excellent MC has over recent months acquired a mobile phone/organiser type gizmo and while it doesn't ring or flash lights, detracts his attention from the singers for much of the evening. I'm not sure if he realises the effect of this, but he may as well be reading a book!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 07:48 AM

Completing crosswords whilst waiting for your turn ~ you know who you are!


Reading the newspaper whilst waiting for a song ~ ditto

Early singarounds had big lads to ensure fairplay ( Booker for example) and odd quip, 'We'll all come and talk at your bed side whilst your performing'

Ray


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 09:29 AM

I once had a girlfriend who I brought along to a session. She'd been to sessions before quite happily. This time she got into a strop for some reason, went to the railway station next door, bought a paperback book, came back, sat back down in the session and started reading it. And she made me take her shopping the next day.

The word I'm looking for is 'ex'....


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 10:11 AM

The key is Ab not G#.

Technically speaking this is not true. Either is correct, but your observation is the most generally used.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Brazilian
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 10:27 AM

We were round the pubs in Whitby during the evening and heard disappointingly little quality playing. The Elsinore seemed to be about the best but the Tap and Spile.....some of our group were laughing at the "These Tables are Reserved for Musicians" notices, wondering where they would sit if they ever turned up......


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 11:27 AM

Technically to the really pure in heart Ab is not G#, but in the equal temperament scale they are.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 11:33 AM

Well done, Richard.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 11:38 AM

A flat or G #? my little joke! Easier to read the former if you read music!
I live near Edinburgh: the session I mentioned is not too far away!
TB


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 12:40 PM

The rule should always be don't provide accompaniment to an unaccompanied singer unless it's asked for. And then agree a key with the singer beforehand and let the singer set the pace. I accompany myself on bouzouki or melodeon, so why would someone assume that they should use an instrument if I'm singing unaccompanied?

Many so-called accompanists are not up to the job anyway. If they can only thrash out three chords, or play the tune that the singer is singing then they should shut up, and it would help if others in the session gently pointed that out to them. Most people are quite amenable if approached in the right way. I tend to only join in with friends I've played with before, or with stuff I know well enough. If Maggie or I don't mind a bit of extra accompaniment we'll say something like 'this one's in D'.

The original 'rudeness' took that started this thread took place in the Endeavour in Whitby. This is not an organised session, but of the type we usually call a 'dive-in' session, in which there is no organiser and the next performer 'dives-in' when the last song/tune is finished. It's often a noisy pub with lots of instruments and people wanting to thrash out quite noisy stuff. We spent a night in there (Monday?) and ended up sort of running it, going round the room and trying to give everyone a chance, which is the only way really if there are unaccompanied singers wanting to do a nice quiet song.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 01:21 PM

Thanks TB but it's a long way to come for a night out, I met a gentleman at the Durham Folk Party who lives near Edinburgh and manages to go out singing every night of the week - lucky devil!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 03:01 PM

Worst manners -
We were sitting behind a veteran Folkie 'star'from NE England in a London Club where a young woman singer from the Aran Islands was a guest.
Out of consideration she gave a very brief descripting of her Irish language songs, during which out Geordie friend talked loudly and deliberately. When asked to shut up he replied 'I came here to listen to f******* songs, not talk; I thought we'd got rid of this s*** thirty years ago.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Genie
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 03:21 PM

Les, I find that different groups have different rules (officially acknowledged or otherwise). One song circle I attend is dominated by singers, many of whom sing or lead songs a cappella. In that group, people seem to understand that you need to be very sensitive to the nonverbal cues in deciding whether to play along or not. (If the song leader is using an instrument, some of the others often do play along.) But, with or without instruments, the goal -- though not always accomplished well -- is to follow whoever is leading the song. And if someone chooses to do a solo, a cappella or not, people honor that.

In other groups, it's the norm for songs to be accompanied by the instrumentalists and for the group to sing along, unless someone specifies otherwise.   Usually people don't ask, "Do you want us to play (sing) along?" if it's a song others know. It's not the norm in that group.

I think it's a courtesy for newcomers to get the feel of a group and its norms (or ask about them) before diving in, based on assumptions.   E.g., one jam session I attend sometimes is primarily bluegrass, fiddle tunes, and classic country/folk (e.g., Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie). Some of the regular jammers can break into a jazz version of "Humoresque" toward the end of a session with impunity, but as an occasional drop-in, I'm hesitant to venture far from the "genre" boundaries.   

Trying to "take over" someone else's song is rude in ANY setting.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Genie
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 03:28 PM

Oh, and this may not be the worst kind of rudeness, but I do consider it kind of rude to get up and leave a song circle the minute you've had your last turn 'at bat'.

Sure, sometimes you have a legitimate reason for leaving, and if you're the last one to get a turn in a large group, I can see holding out till you've had a chance to do your song.

But a lot of people do this routinely, at open mics, song circles, singarounds, jams, etc.   And this rudeness is at its worst when X, who's the informal leader du jour, has already had a couple of turns, while latecomers have either had none or maybe one, and X does his 3rd song and not only leaves but says, "Hey, it's late. Why don't we call it a night?" right before it's one of the latecomers' turn.

That sort of thing happens way too often, in my experience.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 03:52 PM

Jim, from a pro that is unforgivable. Martin Carthy always (as far as I know) listens to the floorspots and support bands at his gigs and tries to find a nice word for them. I cherish the "Good song, is it yours?" we earned. If he can have manners, lesser mortals certainly can.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:25 PM

By the way, I wasn't trying to excuse the behaviour of the rude people whose rudeness started this thread, but I was trying to explain that this pub during Folk Week has sessions that tend to be instrumental and rowdy. It's not an organised session. It's just who happens to be in the pub. And if nobody imposes some sort of order the weak go to the wall. Members of the public, who probably outnumber singers and players, seem to prefer this louder and faster music, and Maggie and I have to limit our output somewhat to accomodate them. But while we were there on a later night, as I said, we attempted to moderate it (with the grateful help of Gary from Sheffield who we'd just met). We know that this was appreciated by the landlords, Barrie and Mike.

I'd love to think that I could do any sort of thing but sometimes for unaccompanied song you just have to go somewhere else where you'll be more appreciated, like the front room of the Tap 'n' Spile, where you could do anything and people will listen.

And Genie, I once found myself in a bluegrass session. This was a regular session in a pub we were just using in the afternoon. When the bluegrass players came in we joined in their stuff, they accomodated us, even to the extent of giving me the nod to take solo breaks (on melodeon - that well-known bluegrass instrument!). Everybody seemed happy because no one was treading on anyone's toes.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:49 PM

Brazilian

I heard that Sheree (the landlady) at the Tap and Spile was disappointed by the poor quality of the "music" coming from the reserved seats on at least one evening. The family room singaround was consistently good but space very limited and likewise the non-smoking snug.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 05:49 PM

I must say that the 'reserved for muicians' at the tap and spile is very offputting for us humble singers - I saw then earlier this year when the festival was not on. It was not even true because the seats were taken up by performers and their non-performing partners as well while us poor people waiting to get a chance to sing could not even get in:-( But it is their style so I know better than to go there in the future.

It is not really rocket science to run a singaround. I did last night at the Manchester mudgather. Allow all the singers 10 minutes each. OK - We didn't finish till 11:45 last night but it could equaly have finished at 10:30 - In which case I would have started again. Just lay down the ground rules at the offset and maintain them. Easy.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 05:55 PM

"Just lay down the ground rules at the offset and maintain them. ".

Absolutely but you have to have an agreed policy for people arriving after the outset. Again there are a number of things that could be done and all of them work to a greater or lesser extent.

As long as everybody understands how your sing/session is run problems should be minimal.

dave


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 05:59 PM

Dave - running a singaround as you suggest means that only 12 singers will get to sing in 2 hours, or 18 in 3 hours. Most of the singarounds I'm involved in have a lot more than 12 singers! And the singers generally outnumber the audience.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:03 PM

I was replying to Dave the gnome, not Breton Cap (but agree with both DtG and BC that announcing how you're running the session is important. It didn't save Jude from being unjustly accused of running her T&S session unfairly though.)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 02:39 AM

Yes Kitty,

Generally speaking I think that, allowing for variations in length of songs,introductions,parish notices and so on, something like a dozen songs an hour would be about right.And I prefer to see "one singer = one song" and duos and trios = two songs (unless they are really wonderfull but then you are approaching what could be seen as an extended "showcase" type spot.

Of course the whole idea is a bit of a minefield if you haven't sorted out your policy before you start.

However in the Middle Bar we work to 14/15 songs per hour - cos we fine 'em for long intros.

BTW Kitty see you at The Wail!!!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Sooz
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 03:00 AM

Twelve songs an hour is about right and I don't worry about long introductions. What makes me cringe are the singers who have to spend five minutes deciding what to sing even when it was clear when their turn was approaching! (Not exactly rude but rather inconsiderate!)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Brazilian
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:04 AM

Having read this thread and seen some of this happening at Whitby last week, I can't help thinking that whereas you tend to think of folk enthusiasts as intelligent and educated people, that definition itself does not necessarily imply that they posess social skills and the general ability to interact in what may be termed an "adult" manner with their fellow man. This thread seems to reinforce that line of thought. I wonder how it all worked in the pre-folk revival days of traditional singers and musicians? "Walter Pardon? - Right, you've got 5 minutes" "Scan Tester? Did you play an A#major then instead of a F#dim3??!!?, what do you think you're doing??" Somehow I think not.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:17 AM

but agree with both DtG and BC that announcing how you're running the session is important.

I suppose for one off sessions (eg. a festival) or if starting up a new event, yes but for regular sessions, I'd hate to see the "rules" gone through each time a new person turned up. IMO, it's up to them to ask and or feel their way.

I would guess "compered" singaround could be different to a session on this.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:30 AM

Ours is always a compered singaround so the compere can keep control. We had 15 singers on Monday - ran from 9 till 11:45 with a 10 minute break around 10:30. Most people did 2. 3 or 4 did 1. The last guy did 3 but his 3rd was after I had officialy closed the club.

We had about 8 or 9 singers in by 9pm. The rest had arrived by 9:30. If any more had come in after that I would have to seriously consider explaining to them that they were too late to get on.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:35 AM

Oh - The other alternative we always take first if we get oversubscribed is to drop the residents. After that we ask some of the more reasonable regulars if they would mind ducking out. Last choice is to tell people they were too late - Sorry, should have explained that.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 05:15 AM

"One guy said that's not how that song goes!" (I corrected your punctuation)... : )

Oh Kendall - How often have I heard that in singarounds....? worst of all, was the chap who said it to me about a song I'd written to an old tune! He heard the first line, recognised the tune and promptly sang loudly (and badly) the original version all the way through. I do believe I interrupted him and asked him to do me the courtesy of actually listening to what I was singing before joining in.

As for reading the words - as discussed elsewhere on this forum - some people can remember things. I can't. I can remember the tune or the words, not both. The book is there as a standby and I'm not the only one who uses a 'comfort book'... as someone above said - if Martin Carthy can do it, so can us lesser mortals!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,old git
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 06:35 AM

LTS
even worse is to get that when you've written the words AND tune yourself or have been given them by the writer


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:27 PM

"if we get oversubscribed is to drop the residents."

Yes that is also a responsible thing to do if you are having a singers night or whatever at your weekly (or however regular) club.

I am quite willing to do that if the situation arises at the club where | am a resident.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 07:02 PM

So, you've all been quite well behaved so far.

Nobody's ever said - that's what I think of you all and your rotten music, and then showed their bum....

no one has said, bloody hell mate - you were shit!

no one's said, are you under medication for being tone bloody deaf?

no ones ever broken down in desperation screaming, is there an end to this piece of music - its like the Japanese water torture!

10 out of ten for politeness folkies! In fact a bonus one for being really nice!
None out of ten for honesty.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 04:12 AM

Not showed my bum (intentionally) but have flashed other parts..... the song called for it and it was done tastefully and artistically...

Oh... and I took my dress off during a song once.... but it was one I was singing so I guess that doesn't count.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: melodeon king
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 05:56 AM

Reading this thread, I think I'll take up darts.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: woodsie
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 06:09 AM

How can you have folk club (TB) without a stage and then provide poxy walker's cheese & onion square crisps and expect me to eat them whilst attempting to read the words to "ride on" by bleedin' candlight. And I didn't get to sit next to Bill Gardner or win the raffle!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 07:17 AM

That's the trouble with us WLD - We are too nice. That's why we often get such crap;-) We need a Simon Cowell character at our singarounds. Any volunteers?

Cheers

DtG

PS - I have been honest with one or two people who I knew wouldn't mind. Others would not thank me!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM

Woodsie, there are only two bleeding verses and even DK can remember them, what to you expect us to do, encode the words onto an acid molecule?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 07:57 AM

Oh please not Simon Cowell! I was thinking more along the lines of Bones of the Starship Enterprise with his phaser on STUN.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 08:46 AM

rather than setting phasers to stun would it not be more apt to set faces to stunned?

(Not mine but extra points for saying where I pinched it from.)

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,John of Elsie`s band
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 09:27 AM

I recall one night in Elsie`s when one of our regular performers sang one of his songs in his usual entertaining ,un-accompanied fashion. A musician struck up an un-invited accompaniment. The singer continued and finished his piece without a hitch and then addressed the errant musician saying " You won`t be doing that again , will you??".


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 11:04 AM

From: melodeon king
Reading this thread, I think I'll take up darts.

Yes, could be a good way to deal with those unwanted accompanists.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 11:12 AM

I thought Darts were quite a good band. Some good harmonies anyway...


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 01:35 AM

Sooz says, ...What makes me cringe are the singers who have to spend five minutes deciding what to sing even when it was clear when their turn was approaching!...

The answer to that is to give them five minutes and cut them off when their time is up.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:36 AM

Hmm.. not so easy if they are the club chairman or his girlfriend!

BTW Bert did those Bramley seeds grow?

I haven't had the chance to plant them yet, been moving around too much. As soon as I get settled in one place I'll give them a try they should still be viable for a few years yet.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:32 AM

The Gong Show. That's what we need. Somebody who comes on and sounds a dinner gong when the performer's allotted time is up. Or somebody with a long pole with a hook on the end to haul the performer off.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,GrahamP
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:49 AM

Sooz says, '...What makes me cringe are the singers who have to spend five minutes deciding what to sing even when it was clear when their turn was approaching!...'

I quite agree - it may not be "the worst singaround/session rudeness ever" but it certainly pisses me off. What is perhaps surprising is that the culprits are often seasoned participants in what John J charmingly calls the 'Circle of Death'!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 05:35 AM

I guess the moothie player Tattie Bogle mentioned was Iain Grant?

In which case I probably know Tattie Bogle.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 08:44 AM

Well, I have not had time to read ALL of this thread, but if it has not been said, the most important factor is :



      UNACCOMPANIED MEANS   UNACCOMPANIED.


I sing unaccompanied, and if someone starts to play, I sit down.
End of story.

the ONLY time a musician should "help out" is if s/he is ACTUALLY ASKED TO DO SO

Jo-Jo


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM

Regarding the people who waste time deciding what to sing/play when it's their turn, I've only been guilty of that myself sometimes when I get asked to accompany others, so when it's my turn, I haven't had a chance to think what to do next myself. This especially tends to happen when there aren't many people there so I've already 'used up' the songs I'd planned to do that evening. But I probably only spend a few seconds deciding, and usually plump for one of my old stand-by songs.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Strummer
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:26 AM

"I sing unaccompanied, and if someone starts to play, I sit down.
End of story." (Jo-Jo)

What a splendid idea! - I wish that (some) 'singers' would follow your example! I'd just have to start strumming along, and ........


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:29 AM

...we'd pour your beer into your guitar. As you said, a splendid idea.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:33 AM

If anyone poured beer into my guitar, I'd be most annoyed at such an antisocial act, given today's extortionate beer prices.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Partridge
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:28 PM

I used to go to a folk club where the organiser talked over the singers that were beginners. I stopped going. I wonder how many people she turned off. She certainly put me off, even now I find it really difficult to sing alone.

Pat x


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,folkraver
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:33 PM

why is it that nearly every festival i go to there is a singaround mafia everyone seems to know everyone else which for nervous singers can be very offputting.Or even worse the singaround is so formal that it becomes stilted.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:56 PM

Mafia? In my experience lots of singaround singers know each other and are old friends. How does that make them a Mafia?

Everyone of those people sang for the first time in front of other people, and we (mostly) remember that. And, in my experience, they are very welcoming of new talent. All the singaround organisers I know are very fair about giving each person a chance to sing, but in a large singaround it can take 2 hours or more to get round. Perhaps you are not waiting long enough.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Carol
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 03:48 AM

Well said there Les - I go to lots of singarounds, well I don't go to concerts and very rarely to guests at folk clubs and I think people in singarounds are very supportive of 'new' singers, nervous singers and quiet voices, plus it's the only place where the 'I wrote this last night brigade' can try out their songs!! As you can guess sometimes I think we are too supportive, yes I'll listen the the later type but will only applaud if the song was OK or better and boy have I heard some dire self-written songs over the years! Happy people don't seem to want to write them!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 04:26 AM

folkraver

I understand what you mean about the folk maffia if you are nervous or shy - it took me a long time to summon up the courage to sing amongst all these people that seemed to know each other( I know now you cant shut me up) but if you want to sing the singarounds I go to are full of the most supportive people I have met both for singers and personally in other areas of my life and whats more if you keep going to the same spots its wonderful to see how nervous people improve as they over come their shyness.

Old Git once said to me the folk world is like a big family and he was right - you cant get on with everyone and all have different temperament,styles and ways of doing things but in the main they will support you.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 04:30 AM

"I sing unaccompanied, and if someone starts to play, I sit down.
End of story." (Jo-Jo)


The flip side of this - with some people the band would be striking up before the first chorus.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 06:43 AM

The best session I ever played in was at Beverley Festival many years ago. Many of the musicians were well-known names, many were guests at the festival, and the standard of playing was high but not too competitive - no one had anything to prove. People were playing unusual tunes as well as the old favourites, and others were picking up on them and playing interesting counter-melodies, rythms etc. The mood was laid back and mellow.

By the end of the afternoon the session was beginning to dwindle but still had "legs". Then a large fat bearded piano-accordion player walked in, announced in a loud voice that the session needed livening up a bit, and began blasting out tunes we'd already played, badly. Within minutes everyone else had packed up and left.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 04:42 AM

Ah Guest.... I know that well...

Once spent a fantastic afternoon with a group of people in a youth hostile. We'd tried to get into a pub session but the room was too small so we retired to the hostile for an afternoon of singing, joking, drinking, tea making and noodling. There was no real structure, people jumped in with a song they felt was appropriate to the conversation or if a previous song suggested it; everyone got a turn if they wanted, no-one chattered through singers; new songs were sung, old songs were stolen from others, old jokes were revived and new jokes made... It was going really well until the other lot who had been able to get into the session returned from the pub. Suddenly someone was organising us into strict order, telling us when we could sing and then talking through the singers. A 4hour session fell apart in about 15 minutes.

AND EVERY PERSON IN THAT ROOM WAS A MUDCATTER!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 05:17 AM

Go on Liz - name names. Let us all know just who these scoundrel dirty dogs are.

i don't know.. they come on here - telling us the right words to the Wild Rover - pretending they know which way Ewan MacColl had his knob hanging - why Rambling Jack Elliot rubs porridge into his guitar, and all the time they go round sabotaging folk music, and acting like clever dicks.

we need less of that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 05:24 AM

I'll take the Fifth... some of those people still lurk!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 01:34 PM

There are no right words to the Wild Rover, unless you count Das Wild Dachshund (Doug Hudson).


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 07:45 PM

Hi Jack, yes, you do know me, and yes, it was Iain Grant. See also washboard thread: I think I'll print off your instructions and buy a few more thimbles!
(apologies to the rest as this is off thread!)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 01:46 AM

"A 4hour session fell apart in about 15 minutes."

Why did no one ask them to bugger off?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 04:23 AM

Because that would have been even ruder....

Besides, it was time for the raffle...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 03:56 PM

"youth hostile" - LOL Squeaks.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Old Git
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 01:58 PM

GUEST ...I wonder if that was the same accordion player who appeared at the beginning of this thread?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 04:31 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone just enjoyed the music, friendship and sharing of music and skills and songs.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: woodsie
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 05:58 AM

My mate Ray once farted during a singaround. I think it was a very disrespectful act, especially in the presence of Dave Kenningham, who was singing "Catch The Wind" at the time.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: JamesHenry
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 06:23 AM

Is Ray an old fart or a young fart?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:14 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone just enjoyed the music, friendship and sharing of music and skills and songs.

As an idea, yes, it may sound good but the only way I could see that being is if all events were anything and everything goes. I feel quite strongly that would cut down greatly on the vast choice that is available in oppertiunies to enjoy ones favourite areas of music.

My own favourites are at least mostly instrumental sessions and the joy is playing with others. Nights of that nature would be ruined if the had to accomodate lots of unaccompanied singing, etc.

What I think would be nicer is for everyone to accept there are different types of events (each of which varies), try to understand them and seek out (or start) ones best suited to themselves and get rid of aruguments which boil down to "well this is how I like it so this is how everything should be".

While I can see no excuse for what was reported in the first post, I think more reports of "session rudeness" stem from idividuals coming into established events and not really accepting or understanding what they are about than anything else.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:19 AM

Hi Nick I see your threads are nearly as popular as your singaround at Flaxton.
Thanks for making us all feel so welcome againg this year.
I was suprised at the level of tollerance afforded to the small tribe of kids we had with us.
We all thouroughly enjoyed ourselves and were very grateful to be allowed in for a play.
Cheers Tim


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM

Jon - You have made a VERY good point - Reinforcing the earlier comment about The Ground Rules being laid down for what ever session you are attending ! I cant imagine some one getting away with ,say , a nick drake song in the middle of a room full of Irish instrumentalists , or someone taking a set of Scottish pipes into the Middle Bar at Sidmouth !


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: pdcawley
Date: 10 Sep 06 - 09:30 AM

Re: Taking a while to think of your song.

I confess I did that at least once at the Wail. But I plead 'being wrapped up in the performance of the person before me'.

As for singaround format, I'm generally in favour of 'it goes round the room, one singer one song'. If you're desperate to get a song in early, then sit in front of the twig and piss off afterwards. Everyone will know you for a boor, but you obviously don't care, and you'd probably have spent the time waiting for your turn talking over everyone else so we're well rid of you.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 05:21 PM

WTF?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Katie
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 07:36 AM

I just can't believe how petty, childish and pedantic people get. Jeez - we're all (presumably) adults. Is it so difficult, even accepting that every other person is probably a schoolteacher? Don't answer that.......


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:05 AM

A long, long time ago, I started adding a few short (4 or 5 verse), fairly unusual songs to my repertoire. If I'm asked to sing and I'm not sure of a venue or the crowd it contains, I sing one of those to test the waters. The guitarists are usually still looking for the capo by the time I finish - and they know better than to try to accompany me if I'm asked to sing another!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:53 AM

I'd like to make it clear that my WTF? was in response to a (presumably) commercial post that has been moderated out, not in response to the post now immediately before mine.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John J
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:55 AM

At the end of the day it shouldn't be beyond the realms of our individual tolerance to have the good manners to keep quiet when a singer is performing.

I was at the Endeavour session mentioned at the start of this thread and I found the ambient noise level to be dreadful. What was much worse was the realisation that most (but not all) of the noise was coming from festival goers who really should know better.

I left the pub at 10pm having had quite enough.

John


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:08 PM

Getting appropriate venues for festivals can be a big problem as Folkies invade often only once a year!

yes I know all the advantages to places in terms of income generated and the multiplier effect but not all residents welcome folkies with open arms

We need to be on our best behaviour all the time and do not need to get in each others way ~ tolerance and fair play needs to be seen to be done as far as possible and singaround hosts be seen to be even handed ( probably said that ages ago) too many ego maybe!
Ray


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John J
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:01 PM

I totally agree Ray.

Tolerance and consideration.

John


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,zulu
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:53 PM

Never been to a sing around or folk night that i can say i enjoyed everyone,but,greatful that these events take place.Without them many good,bad and indifferent performers would never get a chance.Of course there are some ego's going on.Of course the male singer guitarist will take ages to tune up before every song and tell naff jokes and stories.Of course there are the Trad folkies who look down on anyone not in or part of the scene.That is what makes them the events they are,coz you don't know what your gonna get.Long live these gatherings of unpredictable music and people.Without the mix we dont have something to measure our own ego's. LOL


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 11:09 AM

"Of course the male singer guitarist will take ages to tune up before every song and tell naff jokes and stories."
At least I can tune my guitar eventualy!
Is a pain when these clever bloody singers are of key all the way through innit?
Hi Carol sorry us singer songwriters come along and spoil singarounds I thought you loved me Sob!
Hope to hear you again soon.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Aoliandorian
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 07:16 PM

I see the problems in 90% of the session I attend as threefold.
First, as there are so many aids available these days, there is absolutely no excuse for not having instruments in tune.

Second, people who loudly take over a tune that someone else has started, usually speeding it up as they consider it is being played too slowly, may not have considered that the original player might be a beginner, perhaps playing in public for the first time, and may not be capable of playing faster. Instead of helping someone to get better, this might put them off for life.

Third, I might have spent weeks learning to play a piece where I have taken care to arrange the chord structure and phrasing in a particular way to enhance the tune or song in MY style only to have some clueless idiot who has never learned to LISTEN, promptly decide that they know better than I how it should be played or sung.
Yes, I am giving a performance, that is why I am there. Yes, there is a certain amount of ego involved as I try to do my best. However, I don't go on and on beyond my allocated time and, if I get to play again, I will make sure that I then play something everybody can join in with.
There is so much faffing about, nonchalant forgetting of words, playing out of tune and general lack of pride in performance of our traditional tunes and songs, it is no wonder any media treat us as a joke.
Don't get me wrong, I think there are a lot of wonderful performers out there in sessionland but the few bring the rest of us down.
I wonder how many contributors to this thread have now been infuriated by these comments and how many will do anything about it's content.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: eddie1
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 03:58 AM

Can think of one occasion when "folk" had been imposed on a group of non-folkies in a pub during a festival. It developed into a singaround at one end of the pub with a lot of background talking/shouting. One guy, facing me and away from the bulk of the people in the pub began a well-known song in a very quiet voice, totally drowned out by the background. I joined in with my voice which has been described as "like a mellifluous coalman". The result was that evryone, folkies and non-folkies alike joined in and it finished to the loudest applause of the evening. Did I do right?
Almost as soon as starting, I realised that I should have left the singer to his moment of fame. Everyone needs to start somewhere and the "success" I achieved was unimportant.
I have never done this again.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 05 Oct 06 - 10:25 AM

So Tattie Bogle is near to Edinburgh?
Gie's a clue aboot whaur therr are Sessions; in exile fur noo, no faur frae Embra.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Oct 06 - 06:09 PM

There are loads of 'em! Quite a lot listed in the "Gig Guide", which you can pick up in most Edinburgh pubs/ theatres, etc. The Royal Oak in Infirmary Street has something on every night, as does Sandy Bell's in Forrest Row, then there's the Tass, the Waverley, the Antiquary, the Ensign Ewart for fairly Central Edinburgh, and the Harbour bar, Chain Pier and the Shore bar -all nearer the Forth - have less frequent sessions, and ? Musselburgh and Portobello.
Others further out may be only weekly or monthly, e.g.Penicuik, Haddington, Loanhead (do a search for their own folk club websites for details).
I usually go to the Grey Horse in Balerno (1st Tuesday of every month), Dean Tavern, Newtongrange (every Thursday - guest night first Thurs of month, otherwise a singaround), and Linlithgow, Black Bitch pub, 3rd Sunday of the month in the afternoon (from 2pm.)
Good hunting!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 05:40 AM

At the opposite extreme I did come across an example of extreme tolerance last week.

Small singaround with perhaps 15 people in the front bar in a hotel. Someone singing a song when I heard a noise outside that suggested that perhaps a morris team had arrived. After a little bit of discussion with the landlady and chap who runs the singaround, in comes a chap pushing another guy in a wheelchair who was suffering from some form of mental disability BUT WAS ARMED WITH A FULL SIZE TAMBOURINE - a dangerous weapon at the best of times.

Guy sitting next to the visitor continues singing his acoustic song and thanks the visitor and his friend at the end, which struck me as either incredibly pc or unimaginably tolerant as the highlight of the piece had been the guy in the wheelchair smashing himself over the head with the tambourine in a random fashion which I have to say I would have found difficult.

Unfortunately they didn't stay for the rest of the evening.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,catlin
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 07:07 AM

I just recently found out that I am/was one of those people, "It's done this way, you bozo!" I always knew I was opinionated about what I wanted the music to sound like, but never knew how bad I was until I was in an argument with a dear friend. Boy, did that smart! I have since resolved to keep my big yapper shut and to learn the fine art of letting everyone sing or play a piece his/her own way until the circle comes around to me. Then, I'll do what I want the way I want it done.

What bugs me the most is that, yeah, I knew something was wrong. I just wish all these dear friends would have told me sooner. Or, told me again or something....I guess if I had stopped to actually listen it would have helped. Oh, well...we all grow up in different ways at the weirdest times.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 06:41 PM

Nick,

Was that Thirsk last Thursday?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 10 Oct 06 - 07:10 PM

It sure was - did I remember it about right?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 07:28 AM

Yes you did. He was right behind me and I was aware of the noise.

The guy in the corner by the door was singing when he came in and I was next. I was aware of the noise, had a quick look round saw what it was about and carried on. He was not actually too obtrusive and, as you said did not stay long.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,I am the traditional voice of england
Date: 19 Nov 06 - 08:09 AM

Somebody started singing a pop song and playing a guitar the other night at our exclusive elite beard club. I thought that it was very rude. It wasn't even in G!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tyke
Date: 19 Nov 06 - 10:05 PM

Jimmy! Come on mate put them straight I know that you are reading this thread and having a chuckle. It was you! You were the singer in question and it was you who told me about the thread two weeks ago down at the Abby Folk Night in Leeds was it not? Until then had no idea that I was the one playing Guitar in The Endeavour, or indeed that the session I was playing in was the one, which so offended Nick!

As far as I was concerned I was sitting down and managing to play along "with one of the finest Piano Accordionists in England" I Quote The Tanerhill Weavers and what they said about him back in 1982 in Italy a the Week before he toured Italy with Iona. I was also playing along with one of the best MC I have ever heard. The only reason that I have heard his work as an MC was that I was doing some research in the Radio Leeds Sound Archives, for Folk on the Night Network; I came across a real of Leeds Own Folk a program recorded around 1963 in the Grove Folk. The programme featured Lou Killen and the legendary MC was Jim Potter. Jim Potter is also a very fine performer and folk song collector in his own right.

Jimmy, and you can quote me Jimmy, has a wonderful voice and was one of my regular singers who I would always find a spot for when I had the honour of being the MC at the Grove Folk Club a few years. Jimmy earn as far as I was concerned the right to finishing one of the singers nights at the Grove and proving my judgement to be correct did a fine job. Jimmy, who still I believe sings down at the Grove in Leeds and at the Abbey in Newly Lane in Leeds on a Tuesday Night, has got better over the years. I say believe because for the last few years, although I am still for now based in Leeds, been a regular in the Endeavour in Whitby most weekends. The Endeavour has a Folk Night on a Saturday all through the year. I go to as often as possible! It has a tradition of every one joining in to support were necessary other singers and musicians over the Noise at the bar. It is a PUB people go in there to have a drink and a chat and a good time. It is defiantly not a sit down don't smoke don't speak or enjoy yourself Folk Club. Not that there is anything wrong with that but as an introduction to Folk it is not great. The FILO Folk night, once a month, or the Micklefield Folk Club and The Robin Hoods Bay Folk Club cater for those who like myself sometimes wish to sing in a nice quiet room on a Friday or Saturday night. The Endeavour Session, unlike a lot of purely Musicians Sessions, gives way to both songs and tunes whilst allowing others to join in and support or try to support others. Request from the Singers or Musician to perform a solo of course are respected. This was not the case with our Jimmy. But who really wants to sit there for two or three hours to sing or play one song? Whilst super stars flit from one singer around to another singing there Whitby song of the year. You must have heard the Melodeon session hoppers playing Follow The Plough! Hopping from pub to pub so that as one has left after his performance yet another arrives to play Follow The Plough with varying degrees of competency that could not be blamed on the 16 morons with there Boron's.

But if you like I'll apologise for four old friends getting together and spontaneously supporting each other and having a good time in Whitby Folk Week and upsetting the Folk Police. However you may have noticed Nick that I have omitted the name of the Piano Accordionist. The reason is that you know his name he has featured in at least one of your contributions to the Mudcat Forum before. I hope that your vilification of a Booked Guest at Whitby Folk Week has nothing to do with other matters. The reason that I will not be signing a record contract with anyone, including Mr Tubular Bells, Sir Richard Branson, or Dave Bulmer without letting my solicitor read it and approves it! Have nothing to do with the fact that Dave Bummer is great piano accordion player.

For those who remember Jim Potter I am pleased to say that I have been invited by Brian Senior to do a spot at The Holbeck Moor Mummers Christmas Bash down at the Grove in Leeds on the 22nd of December 2006 and Jim Potter will be there.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 12:54 PM

Tyke, I wasn't offended in the least.

Neither did I have any issue with a bunch of friends playing together; neither did I have any issue with the quality of music that was being played; neither did I have a problem that it was late in the evening, that it was noisy etc etc; neither do I doubt that I was in the company of greatness as you have established your street cred in your post way past anything that could be asked for.

And I'm sure that Jimmy - you know him I don't - was happy as a lark about the whole thing (weirdly the comment he made to me after I spoke to him after he sang, which I'm sure he will remember, suggested he was less appreciative than you think - but time changes things and our memories may be different)

It still doesn't much affect my view that changing the time, key etc when someone is singing an unaccompanied song is a little thoughtless whoever you are and whatever the circumstances.

There was a chap sitting two or three along from 'Jimmy' who played a guitar who managed to sing a play a song without the same level of interruption.

It was late in the evening and you were having fun and it was a song you knew so why not?

I'll say hello next time I see you in Whitby or around

Get Jimmy to post his thoughts if he is viewing this with amusement


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: cujimmy
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 03:50 PM

Hello Nick, I did come accross this thread a few weeks ago and wasn't sure how to answer as I thought the issue had been taken well out of proportion. My Folk Festival phylosophy is "sing songs, drink beer and be friendly",- and I do know Jim Potter and Tyke quite well from The Grove Folk Club and so it wasn't the first time either of them have accompanied me in such a manner while singing a song. So when they joined in along with the accordian player (whom I do't know) although it mixed me up and drowned me out a bit, I didn't take it too seriously. Indeed over the next hour or so they invited me to join in with songs that they started.

    I have been in sessions where someone had acted inapropriately or been ignorant and I would certainly tell someone off in such circumstances.

    On the evening in question myself and my buddy Andrew had been singinging in the Endeavour since about 7pm and we had had a great time. Various folkies had drifted in, sang a song and then left again. Then later on the pub became very noisey with people comming in for a late drink as The Endeavour stayed open longer than some of the other pubs. So the people who had come in for a late bevvy were very loud and it was difficult to sing above the noise. So when Jim, Tyke and Accordianist came in it was kind of nice to see them - but I knew then in my heart, and I thought to my self - "it's a session Jim, but not as we know it". So I was a bit miffed that our singing was being drowned out by the noisey regular costomers.

    So I had another pint or two, went back to the B&B, had a guid sleep, breakfast, then started all over again the following afternoon.

    I enjoyed Whitby like every other year, and would have forgotten about that night in the Endeavour if I hadn't come accross this thread - I hope this clears things up a bit Nick.

Regards - jimmy


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tyke
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 04:52 PM

No problems Nick and thank you yes it is always nice to see friends especially in Whitby Folk Week. In fact the way you have described the seating arrangements I have doubts that we are talking about the same session. That Jimmy is great bloke I wish I could sing half as well as the man himself and that's when he P****D and forgets the words. I'm not sure he was that pleased having to stay sober to finish that night at the Grove.

His voice certainly cuts through the noisy in a room with its sweetness. Last week when I took someone along to the Abbey I was both pleased and disappointed that Jimmy was on his feet singing, (well it's hard to tell with Jimmy if you can't see the chair), The disappointment was because we had not been able to sit down and settle to hear the start of his song. I blame the woman with large breasts and a Low cut neckline with that the Landlord took his time serving! Took his time! I thought he was trying to sell her double gazing and not pint. The pleasure was listening to the room quieten as his dulcet tones filled the room. Not a bad sound for my friend a new bee to Folk to hear as an introduction to Folk in fact the whole night was lively and positive. I apologise to Jimmy if I have given the impression that he is over fond of the Drink that fact is that I have never noticed him fall off a bar stool yet. Then again as I said it is hard to tell :-)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: cujimmy
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 05:22 PM

Hold on Tyke, I'm never as think as you drunk i am you know, except for yon night a few years ago when I couldn't sing for laughing, what on earth was I laughing at again - cant remember. Anyway thanks for the compliment. I am still a regular at The Grove Folk Club which is more popular now than ever I have known it, there were a lot of younger people there last week, some of whom were given extended floor spots, Jim Potter who was there too.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: dozy rozy
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 05:49 PM

EVERYBODY SHUT UP AND LISTEN WHILST I SING OR I'LL THROW MY TEDDY OUT OF THE PRAM.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,JAKintheUSA
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 06:13 PM

I just stumbled upon this thread myself and was immediately reminded of an incident that occurred earlier this year. Every February, a friend hosts an acoustic open-house, opening his home to any and all musicians who end up song-swapping and jamming in every corner of the house. Over the years, rooms seem to adopt one characteristic or another...bluegrass in one, Cajun/Zydeco in the kitchen, Celtic up the stairs, etc. One room always tends to '60s and '70s folk/folk-rock/rock with the participants trading off songs equitably and appreciatively. However last year, some Paul Stuckey wannabee planted himself in the middle of the room with a music stand and a stack of Weavers/Kingston Trio, etc. songs which he plowed through one after another without letting anyone else get a note in edgewise. What is ususally the most popular room at the event devolved into a one-man jam consisting soley of Mr. Folkie, oblivious to the fact that he'd chased everyone else away. Not that there's anything wrong with that genre, but, sheesh, give someone else a chance.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 07:14 PM

Maybe not the rudest ever, but some new folk with some great singing and guitar playing between them. We listen in rapt admiration, but they talk all through my songs! Do I throw my Teddy out of the pram, or tell them to shut the hell up and risk them not coming back?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tyke
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 07:34 PM

It was a Teddy making that Buzzing Noise on the Campsite Dozy Rozy! Soldier Boy told me it was your Rabbit the little liar. Just goes to show you can't believe every thing you hear. All I can say is don't turn it on in a session or we will never live it down. How ever you can switch your Mobile Phone to Vibrate in a session as long as you answer it outside the Pub.

On second thoughts if you turn it on and stick your err …. Teddy in you ear whilst singing that should make the whole pub go quite.

But isn't Jimmy great he can even write with Scotch accent!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 07:37 PM

Have only just re-visited this thread and looking for the point I would like to make is a bit like climbing Everest, so I'll assume it hasn't been covered.
We have several singing week-ends and festivals here in the West of Ireland and over the last few years a number of UK visitors have taken to singing along with the solo singer (not just choruses, but the verses). I noticed it beginning to happen when we lived in England, but I hoped it was a passing fad.
When he was performing round the English clubs Walter Pardon was forced to abandon at least two of his songs because this thoughtlessness always put him off.
Is this common in the UK and do you just ship the few who persist in this arrogant display of bad manners over here to get them out of the way?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tyke
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 08:03 PM

Now that a thought Jim is there an uninhabited little Island off the west coast we could re name U Sing Around to attract them. I think Bernie Parry has lost count of how many times he has been told he was singing Man of The Earth wrongly and he wrote it.

In Whitby we have not one but two pubs set aside for people who don't like music and just want to talk. I'm not certain how well this scheme is working but most of the time even during Folk Week you can get a seat and have a quiet think as long as it's not about music.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 08:35 PM

"do you just ship the few who persist in this arrogant display of bad manners over here to get them out of the way? "

They had to stop shipping them to Australia mate!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: dozy rozy
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:47 AM

Dear Tyke,
The noises you heard were indeed the buzzing of a rabbit.Thankfully it wasn't mine, but belonged to soldierboy himself.He calls it Jessica.
The only other noise of any noticeable volume was the constant sound of a fat-laden frying pan, coming I believe from your end of the campsite.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 10:10 AM

I'm almost compulsive about singing along with people -- but I do try to watch and see if it's okay - and in new venues either don't indulge myself or try to keep it very quiet. (it really is hard sometimes to not join in.)

But one of the nicest feelings is to be *mouthing* the words - and have the performer look at you, smile and nod encouragement to join in. Even better is when they come up to you after a performance and gently chide you for not joining in.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: BB
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 02:40 PM

'Choruses' are for joining in with - that's why they're called 'choruses'. Verses are not, although there do seem to be a very few songs which have become communally held - 'Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy', 'Spencer the Rover' come immediately to mind, and maybe the odd first verse of some songs. But, by and large, I would consider it rude to join in with verses, and it seems to me to be a sure way of 'standardising' songs, rather than letting them evolve differently with the different people singing them. That would be sad.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 02:53 PM

I was at a club once when somebody joined in with a different version - and came along at the end of the evening and proudly claimed her version to be better than the singer's
There's nowt as queer as fowk.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 05:33 PM

Jim - I suspect that some of the 'joining in' that is considered to be rude in Ireland is an expression of great camaradarie in parts of England. The first time I visited the west of Ireland I made the mistake of singing along with the chorus of a song with which I was familiar with great pleasure because that is how it is done where I live. Imagine my embarrassment at finding I was the only person in the room doing so. I stopped after verse 2!

But don't condemn people for not knowing the rules instantly. Many of the singers from your neck of the woods visit England and if they don't enjoy the wonderful power of a room of sympathetic people singing with them, then they have been kind and considerate enough not to show (it in my presence), so how could I have been expected to know that they had different rules at home?. OK - NOW I know. I wait to see if other people sing the chorus before joining in, and I know not to sing along with the verses, even if I have heard the same song 10 times in a weekend. It is good discipline - it encourages respect for both the singer and the song and I'm often glad that I have listened closely, rather than joining in automatically. But when I'm singing myself in such company I very much miss having people express their enjoyment of a song by adding their voice to mine.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,GrahamP
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 10:35 AM

Maybe not the worst ever, but it happened to me this week - you know who you are! In a nutshell, people jumping in with a song in a singaround situation, when it's clearly not their 'turn'.

Once again (see above), I find it astounding (maybe I shouldn't) that some of the worst perpetrators of session/singaround rudeness are often seasoned participants in what 'catter John J charmingly calls the 'Circle of Death', and the most likely to be offended if they themselves were to be similarly treated.

Personally I couldn't give a tinker's cus, as I prefer the spontaneity of the 'session'-type format anyway, but this was not such a case. I did catch the eye of a couple of the others present and just smiled, with a shake of the head!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 12:08 PM

Again not the worst example, but:

I normally go to (what I call) sessions (where everyone joins in together if they can or want to) - or singarounds/playarounds (where everyone takes it in turn to play and/or sing on their own). These are what I'm used to.

But a week or so back I went to what seemed to be a combination of the two: it was a round-the-room singaround/playaround, but there were a few people there (guitarists mainly) who seemed to join in with everything everybody else was doing, even when someone was singing unaccompanied. This seemed to be the normal case, and nobody seemed to mind. I found it a bit odd though, and found it difficult not to wish they would shut up when I was playing. I refrained from saying anything though, because this was apparently how they do things there, and who was I to argue? Didn't like it though.

Is this normal in the experience of others? It was a first for me. Does anyone think it's better than the two scenarios I described above?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 12:11 PM

"(guitarists mainly)" - Now there's a big surprise.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: BB
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 02:43 PM

The idea of joining in with singers, in particular, and especially if they choose to sing unaccompanied, is definitely not my cup of tea, and unless stated as the norm, or invited, is just plain rude, IMO. However, someone locally has started a few song and music sessions recently which are intended to be, as he puts it, "free-for-alls", and this, according to him, has got some people playing who have never done so in public before. I haven't been in a position to attend any of these sessions yet, and I'm not sure that I want to, but maybe he's right, and that sort of freedom has its place in encouraging some people to start performing. At what sort of standard is another question!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 10:46 AM

I wasn't even playing when I fell out (permanently so far) with an old friend at a session. Another guy was doing a very sensitive, slow solo on the fiddle. My friend (drop taken) joined in, "improvising" loudly with respect to none of tempo, rhytm nor melodic structure. I asked him to stop, he threw a huge wobbly that ended up with him threatening to hit me. That was over a year ago, I haven't seen him since

It sounds as if it's no great loss. Who needs a "friend" like that?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 11:07 AM

Coming in on an instrument when someone starts a song unaccompanied (unless it's a wide-open singalong session, not a circle) is the act of a dickhead.

(I've done it myself, but I was young when I did it.)

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 11:44 AM

The problem I had with the gathering I mentioned above is that it seemed to be neither a proper session (all join in) nor a sing/playaround (take it in turns and do your thing separately), but a cross between the two - a sing/playaround where some (but not all)people join in with others. I wasn't sure of the etiquette so I didn't say anything to them, as it seemed to be accepted by all the regulars. I just found it a bit off-putting myself, when playing/singing at my turn. I guess I could have reciprocated but I didn't want to, as it didn't seem right to me.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 07:22 PM

Sitting next to a "well-respected singer" who forgot her words; I (gently I thought) supplied the missing words only to be told to "shut up - you're putting me off", followed by "one singer, one Song". I'll not be helping her in future, let her stew in her own juice!


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