Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


efdss dances at Sharp House

The Sandman 15 Dec 06 - 04:56 PM
Alan Day 15 Dec 06 - 05:42 PM
The Sandman 15 Dec 06 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,GUEST 16 Dec 06 - 10:12 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Dec 06 - 02:47 PM
DMcG 16 Dec 06 - 02:57 PM
Alan Day 17 Dec 06 - 04:22 AM
Manitas_at_home 17 Dec 06 - 05:08 AM
Alan Day 17 Dec 06 - 07:10 AM
dermod in salisbury 17 Dec 06 - 10:37 AM
Alan Day 17 Dec 06 - 04:21 PM
Ruth Archer 17 Dec 06 - 05:46 PM
Blowzabella 18 Dec 06 - 03:26 AM
GUEST, ... 18 Dec 06 - 05:30 AM
DMcG 18 Dec 06 - 05:36 AM
BB 18 Dec 06 - 06:24 AM
The Sandman 18 Dec 06 - 08:42 AM
Scrump 18 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 18 Dec 06 - 02:27 PM
dermod in salisbury 18 Dec 06 - 02:35 PM
The Sandman 18 Dec 06 - 04:53 PM
Alan Day 18 Dec 06 - 05:53 PM
Liz the Squeak 18 Dec 06 - 05:57 PM
GUEST, Topsie 18 Dec 06 - 06:03 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 06 - 02:40 PM
The Sandman 19 Dec 06 - 03:32 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 Dec 06 - 05:12 PM
GUEST, Topsie 19 Dec 06 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 19 Dec 06 - 11:45 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 06 - 03:41 AM
Liz the Squeak 20 Dec 06 - 05:10 AM
Scrump 20 Dec 06 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 20 Dec 06 - 09:00 AM
Alan Day 20 Dec 06 - 09:08 AM
Scrump 20 Dec 06 - 09:24 AM
Mo the caller 20 Dec 06 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 20 Dec 06 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 06 - 03:05 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 06 - 07:09 PM
Alan Day 21 Dec 06 - 04:21 AM
johnadams 21 Dec 06 - 05:14 AM
BB 21 Dec 06 - 05:59 AM
johnadams 21 Dec 06 - 06:48 AM
Scrump 21 Dec 06 - 06:52 AM
manitas_at_work 21 Dec 06 - 07:41 AM
The Sandman 21 Dec 06 - 09:02 AM
The Sandman 21 Dec 06 - 09:20 AM
johnadams 21 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM
manitas_at_work 21 Dec 06 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Theres a big issue with the homeless 21 Dec 06 - 11:20 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 04:56 PM

Is it the job of efdss to promote weekly dances at cecil sharp house.
I believe it is part of their job, Since their remit is to promote english dance and song, it doesnt seem illogical. any views.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 05:42 PM

I agree Captain in fact our band GIGCB are at Cecil Sharp House Tomorrow Sat 16th for a Euro Ceildh.(French ,Breton and English Dances)
There are some wonderful events organised for Cecil Sharp House and a lot are poorly attended.The Big Hall takes a lot of filling and to create an atmosphere you need about 250-300 people it has been a long time since I saw that sort of crowd there.It costs money however to advertise and Cecil Sharp House has not got it and it is left for each individual event organiser to advertise their own event.The recent interest in Ballroom Dancing may be the lifeline to this old building.Ballroom Dancing may not be everybodys cup of tea on this site, but a recent event there indicated that this may be taking off
in a big way.Any interest in any type of dancing leads to interest in all dancing and the other fringe events that occur in the building.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Dec 06 - 11:09 PM

your last point is a particuarly good one.
a similiar point was made about the occasional booking of trad jazz bands in folk clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 10:12 AM

And I'm there on Sunday for "Carols and Customs".

<<
On 17th December 2006 we have a day packed full of delights with our regular line up of customs and choirs and plenty of singing for the audience. The evening will include Handsworh Sword team who will be giving their version of the 'Derby Tup' as well as dancing, Headington Quarry who will be dancing Cotswold Morris as well as performing their Mummers Play, East Saxon Sword with their spectacular rapper and the London Gallery Quire will be singing West Gallery Carols. Denis and Jenny Smith will give their usual haunting rendering of the Symondsbury Morris tune and Denis is also to act as our overall MC for the evening.
>>>>>


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 02:47 PM

As an EFDSS member I always feel a bit alienated by the London-centricity of its programmed activities. While it's been explained to me how this has historically evolved, I don't think the situation is particularly helpful in the here and now, especially in terms of attracting new members.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Dec 06 - 02:57 PM

And I'm there on Sunday for "Carols and Customs".

So am I, Guest, Guest. Now how will we recognise each other?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 04:22 AM

Cecil Sharp House may be an old building in need of a bit of modernisation,but the dance floors have got to be amongst the best.
The large hall and the small hall floors beneath are absolutely immaculate.
Enjoyable night last night, but once again not a massive turn out.
The Hall's position I agree does it no favours, parking is a nightmare.The bar is understocked and catering is erratic if non existant.Surely in this area it could sell a catering licence or even a bar licence,this would cost the Society nothing and they may even make some money on it and improve that part of the facilities.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 05:08 AM

I'll be there tonight as well. I'll be wearing brown shoes.

I was under the impression that the catering and bar were already contracted out albeit to an individual but I'm not sure any commercial organisation could take the catering on and provide a service at the odd hours required.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 07:10 AM

If that is the case there is a very erratic service as far as catering is concerned.A caterer has to take on a franchise offering a service "swings and roundabouts" it is no good going to a venue expecting to buy a meal and somedays they are serving and other days not.Most people going to C Sharp House live a long distance away and would expect at least a bit more than a packet of crisps to eat.
Brown Boots I ask you, fancy going to Cecil Sharp House in Brown Boots.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 10:37 AM

As a youngster I sat on a wall and watched a limousine bring Princess Margaret to open the brand new Cecil Sharp House. My uncle used to borrow my toy pistol when he acted as a caller for barn dances there. Later,the BBC used it as a rehearsal hall for radio programmes. Its library is considered a great resource. But since moving out of the area (40 years ago), I also began to realise that it is in a ridiculously bad position. One poorly serviced bus route (the awful No 74) passes by outside. The nearest tube station is a ten minute walk away and the direction is far from obvious. How did it come to be built there at all? There may be a good reason. Maybe a legacy. (Also, Vaughan Williams lived nearby). But by now this issue should have been properly addressed. The centre of English folk music and dance archives should be sited at least somewhere central to good transport connections. Prxximity to London Zoo and the Regent's Canal does not exactly fit the bill, picturesque (and pricey) as the neighbourhood may be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 04:21 PM

Cetainly it is on a VERY VALUABLE site.You raise a very big discussion point as to whether it should be sold off,a new C Sharp House be built with the proceeds and enough to provide a new centre for Folk Tradition with possibly enough money for it to be professionally run and not on a shoestring budget.
I would prefer to listen to the arguments for and against on this one before I make my decision.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Dec 06 - 05:46 PM

And a bit of government acknowledgement and support (funding) wouldn't go amiss...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Blowzabella
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 03:26 AM

Haven't ever been to Cecil Sharp House, cos I rarely visit London, being a northerner but the prospect of a ten minutes walk from a Tube doesn't seem excessive to me. It's a 25 minute walk to my nearest pub - doesn't stop me going there!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST, ...
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 05:30 AM

I used to go to dances there regularly, but more recently I found the atmosphere around Camden tube station intimidating, and the thought of having to go there on my way home puts me off going at all unless I have a lift arranged in advance. The alternative is taxis but that gets expensive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 05:36 AM

I found the atmosphere around Camden tube station intimidating

For example, last night there was a fight brewing in the entrance of the tube station itself as we left C# house. One person was desperately trying to calm things down, another clearly determined for something to break out. And no route to the tube station without walking right next to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: BB
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 06:24 AM

The possible sale of CSH was discussed at length and with much acrimony some twenty years ago, and resulted in the formation of The Friends of Cecil Sharp House. I think most people who were members of the Society then would be reluctant to visit the argument again, however much it might seem to be needed.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 08:42 AM

I always thought geographically the midlands was a better situation.AND TWENTY YEARS AGO I voted for that, but we were defeated.,and I accepted the will of the majority.
However the friends and e.f.d.s.s MEMBERS, should consider seriously, whether its positioning and the problems of camden tube station is a millstone around their neck.
ideally it needs to be close to a railway station, and easlily accessible by road, and in a low crime area .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM

I agree that C#H is not in a good position regarding public transport links. I often used to walk up there but I don't know what it would be like these days, especially if you are carrying valuable instruments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 02:27 PM

Nice to hear from my old mate Alan Day. Hello, Al. I was also in GIGCB about 10 years ago. The second date I took my now-wife on was one of our gigs. She later confessed that she had considered binning me afterwards because my mates were so weird.

Sorry that things haven't improved at Cecil Sharp House. I played there several times with GIGCB and other bands. It's a great room but I never liked the place much, apart from the Library. The bar always seemed like a very bad student union bar in the 70s and there was always a lot of pettiness about concerning publicising other people's gigs. I'm reliably informed that the organiser of one of the regular 'themed' dance nights used to go round tearing down flyers for other venues holding similar themed nights until the organiser of the 'rival' event pulled him up on it and asked him to step outside. He apparently went running off like a puppy. (Allegedly).

This sort of occurrence, and the fact that there are apparently still people around who are prepared to behave like that, probably has at least as much to do with falling attendances as the location or the state of the building. I invited some friends to some gigs I played there and although they had a nice enough time, they weren't too keen on the place, the atmosphere or some of the people.

I live in Liverpool now and I'm still active in Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. My daughter is learning Irish dancing and we recently had a very successful ceili at the St Michael's Irish Centre, where every Monday we have around 40 kids learning whistle, flute, accordion, fiddle, banjo and concertina. The Irish Minstrels branch in Glasgow has around 150 students and they usually walk off with most of the silverware at the All-Britain Fleadh. Why is English folk dancing apparently falling in popularity or is it the venue? And would the EFDSS be better off reinventing itself as a competitive, youth-oriented body like Comhaltas, promoting the music through local branches full of kids and young people?

If people young people get into the music, the dancing is often not far behind - and vice versa. This was part of the problem with the UK Cajun circuit. Dancers thought it was all about them and musicians started to get pissed off with them. At one point, the Cajun band I was in were apparently boycotted by something called the 'Cajun Dancers Association'. Can't say I noticed at the time. Oh well.

Shirley Collins, in her book about her travels in America with Alan Lomax, talks about Cecil Sharp House being a very forbidding and unwelcoming place in the 50s but emphasises that this is not her recent experience - and she should know. My own experience of the place when I lived in London was rather mixed. I often got the feeling that the EFDSS had succeeded in hanging on to the place but didn't really have any idea what to do with it.

As far as relocating is concerned, I think a lot of the problems with the area would affect the value of the site and how much EFDSS could expect to get for it. It might not be worth quite as much as you think. You could move to a more salubrious area but there's no guarantee that it would continue to be so in 20 years' time. My own feeling is that EFDSS should continue to hang on to the place if possible and maybe get someone from outside to sort out the bar and the catering. Maybe allowing drinks and food in the main room should be considered, along with some club-style seating like Vicar Street in Dublin and the option of table service (for a premium). This might have the effect of creating a more sociable atmosphere as well as attracting people who might not have come before.

It would also, not to put too fine a point on it, raise the tone of the place and remove some to the air of cheapness, shabbiness and 'making do' that characterised a lot of events there in my day. If I wanted to continue living in the 1970s I'd have moved to the West Midlands.

Fact is, you'll never fill the place if people don't want to go to dances there and they won't want to as long as it's such a shabby experience, if Alan's account of what it's still like is to be believed. I have no reason to doubt him. I think people will want to go there if they are familiar with folk music and dance and have positive experiences of it. That's where local activity and activity in schools comes in.

Looking at the folk scene, the number of young performers indicates to me that the folk community has largely succeeded in replenishing the supply of performers in a way that I would not have thought likely 20 years ago. However, it has not yet succeeded in replenishing the audience to anything like the same extent.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Nice to hear from you, Alan. Say hello to the guys for me.

I understand the CDs are still available. If anyone is interested, the first one is the best. That's the one I'm on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 02:35 PM

Discreet by nature, I didn't like to mention in my earlier comment that the tube station in question was Camden Town. True, ten minutes walk is no great shakes, admittedly. But once you walk clear of the concentration of drinking establishments, you hit a totally different environment in Regent's Park Road. It is very residential and feels remote. It is illogical place to put a dance floor. I have often wondered who turns up at its music workshops. There can't be that many budding melodeonists in Primrose Hill. The publishing aspects of efdss are mainly mail-order so could run just as successfully from a warehouse. But the site must be worth millions. A review of the situation, at very least, must make sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 04:53 PM

hi alan, what does gigcb stand for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 05:53 PM

Hallo Chris nice to hear from you.That night you took your Girl
friend was the only night I couldn't make it !!
The George Inn Giant Ceilidh Band normally consists of anything between 8-15 players (all weird) and was formed from musicians who attended the once a Month Session (1st Monday).(The pub forms part of the London Tour of pubs and is one of the oldest in London).
I like your suggestions Chris.
The Main Hall has a very High ceiling and a large dance floor and unless there is at least 250 dancers there is no atmosphere.The best idea is to actually put tables a chairs onto the floor reduce the dance floor size lower the lighting and for a smaller number of people it is less intimidating to get up and dance.
I have played at the hall to large audiences and it is great,go downstairs and that is packed as well,sadly it was about ten years ago.I am only speaking from experience as I have seen it recently,perhaps at other times it is more crowded,I hope someone will confirm that.
As a band we are going to stick it out, we have events at C# House for the whole of next year.Constant events at constant times attract crowds and we intend to give it a go.We get more at the dance at each event so it is worth a try.We do not make any money and barely cover expenses ,but it is great fun,it is a hobby not a business and the odd night now and then is worth all the effort.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 05:57 PM

I'm not very happy going to C# House at this time of year, for that very reason. Camden Town Tube is not a nice place to be. The police periodically sweep through it removing the beggars, ticket touts and dealers who hang around there, but it's not a permanent solution and they return again after a few weeks. It's also a pig of a place to get a cab from should you miss your last train.

There are lots of things that could be improved about the place, there are many things it needs, but no matter how much they could get for the building, where else could they get such a large building and such beautifully sprung floors for dancing. I've yet to see a modern hall with a decent floor.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 06:03 PM

George Inn Giant Ceilidh Band


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 02:40 PM

Dermod of Salisbury,
Go and wash your mouth out - the last time anybody made such a suggestin the Society ade the front page of The Times because of the ballot rigging.
Liz,
What shall we do with all those beggars - re-open Van Dieman's Land maybe!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 03:32 PM

did you mean; made, jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 05:12 PM

The first time I went to C# House, I got out of the tube station to be greeted by the sight of a large and none too clean woman squatting to pee in the gutter with her skirts hoisted up over her back and shouting obscenities to the general assembly... being a naive little thing from the sticks, it was quite a shock. I've not seen anything at Camden since to make me change my mind.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 05:57 PM

I seem to remember that Camden was OK about ten years ago - a lively atmosphere, and maybe a few beggars but nothing scary. If it can change for the worse in just a few years, it could change back as quickly maybe.
(I'm not sure how long ago Liz was a naive little thing, but I rather thought it might have been longer than ten years.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 11:45 PM

Pity about Camden Tube Station, used to pass through there frequently on the way to C#H and hated it (often running like mad, partly to get last trains home out to the sticks in wild Bedfordshire and partly to avoid intimidating atmosphere!).

C#H floors are fantastic for dancing, never found anywhere else like it!

Also found the catering very spasmodic, not the way to run a business or service to the community!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 03:41 AM

Cap''n - did mean made - I also meant suggestion - keyboard trouble.
Camden Town.
Despite efforts by the great and the good, Camden Town has always been rough and has always resisted efforts (unlike neighbouring Islington) to gentrify it (I was one of the hoi pol-loi who lived there once). Who knows; if the powers that be persist, maybe it will one day become a place fit for a prime minister to live in!. Or maybe they could adopt the current solution that has recently been adopted here in Ireland and start executing undesirables!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 05:10 AM

If we started executing undesirables, there'd be no-one left to run the country!

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 05:28 AM

It would make sense to flog the C#H site as others have suggested, and use the proceeds to open a new venue near a main rail link in the midlands or northern home counties, to make it easy for people (including musicians with equipment to carry) to reach via public transport. It can't be impossible to reproduce the dance floors elsewhere (that seems to be the main objection to moving).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:00 AM

We seem to have got off the point slightly. I suppose the place could be sold, but while it's still there how can it best be made use of by the greatest possible number of people and how can people be persuaded that it might be somewhere that they might want to go and have a dance? I think you're right, Alan, about sticking with it as far as the GIGCB dances are concerned. You never know, if word of mouth gets round they might start to pick up again. Just try not to let 'Willow Express' go on more than about 12 minutes. I remember losing the will to live about half-way through last time we played it.

By the way, the London Irish Centre is also in Camden Town and they don't seem to have any problem filling that. Maybe English folkies are more delicate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:08 AM

As you know Chris the other Chris (Shaw) wrote "Willow Express" and he seems to go off into a trance when he is playing it.It is only when the ambulances turn up to take the dancers away and the sirens are louder than our playing he comes out of it !!
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Scrump
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:24 AM

It can't be beyond man's ingenuity to rip up a few dance floors and re-lay them elsewhere, can it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Mo the caller
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:58 AM

Chris (scouser) I'm starting a new thread re Liverpool, as I can't PM you.
No, NO, NO! to your competitive suggestion. That's not what folk dancing is about. Yes to excellence, but not by setting someone up to judge someone else's style.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 12:45 PM

Mo, I take your point about folk dancing not being competitive but competition doesn't seem to have killed Irish Set Dancing. And part of the point I was making was that dance and music go together. If you promote the music it can't do dancing anything but good. Plus, on the music side, kids love competitions. Even if they don't win they get a buzz out of being there.

Perhaps part of the reason Irish music and dance seems so much healthier is because it belongs to an emigrant community that is determined to hang on to its identity in a foreign environment. Maybe that's the answer - move Cecil Sharp House to Dublin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 03:05 PM

Competition may not have killed Irish dance, but for those who follow the Comhaltas path it has put it in a straightjacket and re-invented it so it bears little resemblence to traditional dancing.
When I lived in the UK I witnessed hundreds of youngsters forced into competitions by doting parents who then ran a mile from the music as soon as they were old enough to say 'no'. Ireland is at present enjoying renaissance in Irish music, but it is taking place without, and often in spite of Comhaltas and it's competitions.
I agree totally, NO, NO, NO.
The battle for and against selling C# House was fought and lost years ago (I mean both sides lost). It was bitter and underhand and at one stage the police were called in to investigate a break-in when ballot sheets were tampered with.
For me, the situation is now as it was then, only worse.
The House a horrendously expensive white elephant, totally inadequate for the purpose of serving folk music and dance. It is unwelcoming and unfriendly - is there anybody who would claim they would be happy to introduce it as the headquarters of taditional music in the UK? It cannot even house a book/record shop The jewel in the Society's crown - the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, is full to capacity and is now turning away valuable collections because it has no space to house them. The majority of the people who use the building have nothing whatever to do with traditional music. It seems to me that it is kept open solely for the benefit of a rapidly diminishing handful of London based dancers and a handful of privileged researchers who can afford the time and the fare to travel to London to use the library (I say that as somebody who lived in London for thirty years).
I believe now, as I believed back then, that the building should be sold, the Society should find an administrative centre and the Library should be re-housed elsewhere (there have been a number of offers in the past where it could move to, retain its individual nature and have the space to expand as it desperately needs to). Outside premises could be hired to hold singing and dancing events and the Society could concentrate on making its activities truely national rather than a Capital based body.
It didn't happen at the time of the split and I suppose it won't happen now, so it will continue to go down the tubes. Now, I'm off to a wedding - were's me albatros!
Jim Carroll
P S Enjoyed your 'undesirable' comment Liz - think that's what must have happened to the Government over here - the Charlie Haughey scam just hit the papers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 07:09 PM

Interesting thread. Jim catalogues the main criticisms that people put forward about the Society's ownership of the House.

As a trustee of C#H I'd make the following comments.

Jim described the House as being "totally inadequate for the purpose of serving folk music and dance. It is unwelcoming and unfriendly - is there anybody who would claim they would be happy to introduce it as the headquarters of taditional music in the UK?"

I don't disagree - I find the House very austere after some of the other arts centres I've visited but it has to be said that those other places had considerable support via funding and/or membership. Is there a folk centre out there run by 4000 committed members, with a couple of halls, a cafe/bar (quality immaterial) and an important heritage library, that is better than C#H? I'm genuinely interested to hear of one. There's a lot that could be done with C#H if the support were there.


Jim also said " The House a horrendously expensive white elephant" which implies that the House costs money rather than generating it. Not so. The House generates income for the Society which it uses to fund the core activities of education, publishing and maintaining the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

He goes on to say " The majority of the people who use the building have nothing whatever to do with traditional music." It would be nice of the people who ran traditional folk music events were really rich and paid their bills on time and came back week after week with rebookings but it ain't so. The people who have the money aren't the folkies and the management have to pay OUR bills so what are they to do? Turn away paying customers and sit with empty premises waiting for folkies to arrive with fists full of green stuff? At least we have the satisfaction of better funded orchestras and dance groups paying money which cascades down to subsidise some folk activity rather than going to some other destination like a corporate organisation's share holders. Whatever we get from those non-folk people we reinvest in folk music.

Another comment - "It cannot even house a book/record shop" .   If Collets can't survive in Oxford St, London if Decoy Records can't survive in Deansgate, Manchester, do you really think a folk record/book shop can survive in Regents Park Rd? I don't think so. That's why I started the online folkshop for the Society. It's only a modest affair but it's growing slowly and I have a new version in preparation. It IS 2000+ and many of the specialist shops are giving way to the internet. I don't think we're far out of line here.

Further comment: "It seems to me that it is kept open solely for the benefit of a rapidly diminishing handful of London based dancers and a handful of privileged researchers who can afford the time and the fare to travel to London to use the library "
I agree that the House should be for the benefit of all and not just for the "North London Barn Dance Club" but every resource is of most physical benefit to those who live nearest. If the HQ were in Birmingham or Bristol then the same geographical restriction would apply (except the parking might (might) be easier. It wouldn't be so in Manchester that's for sure! There's sod-all parking!). But the House is used as a National Centre as well. The Cyril Tawney Memorial Day will be happening in the Spring, there have been CD launches, conferences, etc. OK, it's not as often as any of the trustees would like but it's not really the parochial picture that some people try and paint.

And in answer to the comment "the Society could concentrate on making its activities truely national rather than a Capital based body.", that's exactly what the Society is doing with its publishing and education outreach projects. Just because it;s not waved under people's noses doesn't mean it's not happening. There are local AND national projects.

Personally, I would not shed a single tear if the House were to be sold, and I hold no affection for it as a venue or a listed historic building ( I know quite a few people who are older than the House and a lot better looking). However, selling the House is not presently an option for a variety of reasons, including the wishes of the membership (at least those who vote at AGMs or serve on the Council). While it provides an income and allows us to slowly develop the library and services then it has a useful function. It may be that hundreds of people join the Society, propose to sell the House, turn up to an AGM and vote for it to be so, and that will be that. Feel free. That's the way these things happen.

My own vision would be to turn the large hall into a really big library but that's not going to happen given the general lack of support from the people who should care but don't. In the meantime I'm working to get as much of the library converted to an on line resource as I can with the budget I've got as I know that libraries are now so much more than bricks and mortar.

I don't know why Captain Birdseye started this thread - he seems to have a peculiar fascination with a Society he doesn't support - but at least it's given me some good indications of what people think and given me a chance to put a point of view forward.

Jim. This is not a personal attack. I shared many of the above opinions until I volunteerd for council and started to learn of the reality of the Society and its members. As an organisation it's highly flawed, but nevertheless has done and continues to do some amazing work, albeit quietly and in the face of some open hostility.

Johnny Adams
EFDSS Vice Chair - Director of Web Services
Expressing a personal; view rather than that of the efdss nc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Alan Day
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 04:21 AM

I would like to thank you for your input Johnny and the very balanced way you presented it.Also for all the work you do for the society.
I would feel saddened if the place was sold off,ten years ago was just about the turning point for the building the wonderful crowds started to diminish,the packed dances started to become half full.Only exceptional nights drew in the crowds.The building then was adequate we as folkies excepted the place as we found it.The bar area was just right for a sing around or session the decor was of no importance.Do they sell beer ? Yes then that is OK. Things have moved on however,very fast in ten years,people expect to have nice surroundings a welcoming atmosphere.A nicely presented bar ,a small restaurant,open all day where you can sit and discuss anything in good surroundings.Nice toilets in clean and modern condition.
Even if I lived around the corner I certainly would not go there now for a cup of tea/beer and a chat.The cost of providing these services is not astronomic, just a small makeover would improve things there.
The building provides a massive service to Dance particularly across the board from Folk Dance to Ballroom Dance to Ballet etc.
The booking for Cecil Sharp House used to be the highlight of my Folk activities,something I could look forward with excitement.It will never be the same unless the events are supported.We are doing our bit please do yours.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: johnadams
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 05:14 AM

Thanks for those comments Alan. I've passed them on to National Council.

If I lived in London I would have taken on the House as a project instead of the web. By now it would have piped folk music and would smell of coffee and would be the place that somebody from the north meeting somebody from the south would quite naturally nominate as a meeting place. One of the problems is that the people who do use the House have a bit of an affection for it and this makes them blind to its deficiencies. Those of us who meet in places like Manchester's Cornerhouse are used to better things.

Having said that, I note that my email this morning contains several confirmations for online sales, mostly from teachers, and I know that the staff will pull those items off the shelf and they'll be in tonights post.

Also, yesterday's emails contained confirmation that the new English tune book compiled by Barry Callaghan with the help of the Tradtunes discussion list is proofed and now on its way to the printers for release in the Spring.

There are two more English tunebooks being reissued next year and the new book of Travellers Songs is starting to sell.

So despite the tatty building there's still activity in the engine room and it does benefit the nation (and beyond) rather than just North London.


Johnny Adams


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: BB
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 05:59 AM

Talking of the Travellers' Songs book, when I saw it advertised in EDS, I thought, "That'll be a nice Christmas present for someone!", looked it up on the EFDSS site, but found it wasn't possible to order it through there, so rang CSH. I was dismayed to find that it wouldn't be available until 19th December - too late to be sure of getting it in time for Christmas.

Piss ups and breweries came to mind! What a lost opportunity! And I've been a member for more years than I care to think about, so it's not that I don't support the Society, year in and year out.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: johnadams
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 06:48 AM

Sorry if it didn't fit in with your plans but the Society never claimed that the book would be ready for Christmas and it was not aimed at a Christmas market. It was to be ready when it was ready and it was ready on the 19th of December and as usual advertised in the quarterly magazine prior to its release. We're an all year round publisher and don't take too much notice of commercial imperatives like Christmas. There are several other of our books which make good Christmas presents.

I understand your frustration and value your long term support, but I think this particular comment is perhaps a tad unfair.

J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: Scrump
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 06:52 AM

It's all very well asking for people to support events at C#H, but the point others have been making is that its location makes it difficult to get to easily by bus or tube, and that it is not a pleasant area to walk back from late at night while carrying valuable instruments, etc.

Hence the requests to stop dithering, sell this valuable site, and open a better facility elsewhere. The only objection seems to be that people think the dance floors could not be recreated elsewhere, to which my response is "poppycock" (or words to that effect).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 07:41 AM

I've been going to the House for years as well as other sessions in the area and have never had any trouble. I don't know what you consider late at night but events at CSH don't finish late by big city standards and I've left other events in the area far later than CSH closes, loaded down with valuable instruments, and not had any problems. Any alternative location could not be in a nice leafy residential area as there would be complaints about the noise, the suburbs of any city would be harder to get to and from and a location closer to a city centre would be more expensive, have parking problems and be more likely to be unsalubrious.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 09:02 AM

john adams, I started this thread,because I thought it needed to be discussed., YOU said it was an interesting thread.I do not have a pecuiliar fascination for the society, I am concerned because I care about folk song and to a lesser extent folk dance,You could at least be gracious enough to acknowledge,and thank me for the thread,. I find your humour PUERILE[pecuiliar fascination, and Previous childish jokes about my name]and uncalled for.Dick Miles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 09:20 AM

oh yes, I was a member of efdss for many years, I now donate my money to comhaltas ,because I live in IRELAND,. I am not a member at this present moment,I might be convinced to rejoin if more was done for English Song.I FEEL comhaltas acheive more [ AND ITS NOT JUST DUE TO FUNDING]and that efdss would do well to study why they are more successful,I also think their examination system works quite well 8/10 and the competion system 7/10.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: johnadams
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM

Abject apologies Captain!

How ungracious of me to fail to acknowledge your deep and meaningful contribution to this thread.

.... and to fail to understand why someone who can't get to C#H on a regular basis and who cares about dance "to a lesser extent" can also have a deep motivation to worry about the dancing opportunities in North London.


........ and to use the 'handle' that appears on all of your posts is the height of bad manners!

(Wanders off shamefacedly..............)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 11:14 AM

Johnny, I think perhaps that Dick owes you an apology and not the other way round. I can see nothing in your post that pokes fun at him or his opinions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: efdss dances at Sharp House
From: GUEST,Theres a big issue with the homeless
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 11:20 AM

What makes me ashamed is the attitude of folkies to the homeless of Camden.

'a large and none too clean woman squatting to pee in the gutter'

Would a small clean person have been more acceptable? Obvously Camden should be cleaned up to make it a place fit fot folkies to sing of ummm beggars say?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 24 June 4:56 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.