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Folk music in England.

05 Jan 05 - 08:45 PM (#1372640)
Subject: Folk music in England.
From: Pat Cooksey

Just back from a great ten day's in Coventry, Shakespeare country
and wonderfull.
I use'd to live in Coventry at a time when there where 17 folk
clubs, all doing great, there is now not one, I played twice in
Irish clubs,both packed, and with musicians I remember from the old days.
We were in Stonleigh for the boxing day performance of the Coventry
Mummers, which for my German friends was brilliiant.
My friends in the English Midlands tell me that there is no folk scene as such anymore, the folk clubs which still exist attract, with
few excemtions, only a handfull of people.
I find it so sad that in a country of brilliant performers that the
reallity should be so.

05 Jan 05 - 10:22 PM (#1372691)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

Pat, it's an age thing.

05 Jan 05 - 11:35 PM (#1372720)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: cool hand Tom

I know how u feel Pat.I remember the late taste clubs jammin till 6 AM ect going in at 8pm leavin for breakfast.many a good session.Much has changed and as i smoke i feel like an outcast,or as billy conelly says a snoutcast HEHE.But alas much has changed,i wish i knew the exact reason as folk music has a huge following.I can remember many years ago turning up at clubs on my Triumph chopper banjo across my back drunk as a lord and ridin home in the morning drunk as a lord,im not at all proud of that but it seemed we all did it then,smokin gettin bladdered playin and i have fond memories,its probably a sign of the times but the Triumph and Banjo survive still.And i have my memories.

Regards Tom and his magical Merlin banjo and The T140v chop.

06 Jan 05 - 12:13 PM (#1372836)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pete Jennings

I don't think it's that bad, Pat, although it isn't what it used to be. Clubs I've played at recently - The Red Lion (Brum), Brewood FC, The Unicorn, and The Chase, in and around the West Midlands and Staffordshire, usually get decent turnouts.

The age time-bomb is the most worrying aspect of the players and audiences, though, as there's hardly anyone under 45-ish to be seen. Doesn't bode well for 2030 onwards.


06 Jan 05 - 12:48 PM (#1372866)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

All you need to do is move - to Sheffield, and get the best of everything.

06 Jan 05 - 12:50 PM (#1372868)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pete Jennings

If it's good enough for Martin Simpson, it's good enough for anyone!

06 Jan 05 - 12:56 PM (#1372872)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

It was good enough for Vance Arnold and the Avengers too! Joe should come back to his roots....

06 Jan 05 - 01:30 PM (#1372910)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,eliza c

It is an age thing. There are not so many clubs any more because young people as a rule don't want to go to folk clubs (or more importantly set them up), they want to do other things, like-if you can believe it-form clubs! There are plenty of open-mic nights and events organised by young people around dancy things (Ross McKinlay from Bedlam does DJ/live music nights in venues around Matlock), but, as folk clubs were set up by people older than them for their own friends and social circles, young people sometimes have trouble fitting in and have started to do their own thing.
When I started in folk clubs I felt like the only young person there a lot of the time, especially performing where you feel like you are putting on a show for your parents' proud friends-like plays you did when you were little around the dinner table-and rather than conform to what was already there, people have started up other stuff. It certainly isn't as heady and focused as it was in the 60s, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. The big youth boom at the moment is in ceilidh dance music anyway, which unfortunately is inappropriate in most pub back-rooms.
x e

06 Jan 05 - 01:53 PM (#1372949)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton

Us older people enjoyed folk music in the back rooms of pubs from the 50s onwards. Without getting into sociology, that was how it developed at that time.

The first folk revival before WW1 was different.

Traditional music, dance and song is strong enough and some clubs will survive , but other modes of transmission and evolution will either emerge or be needed if access to traditional music, song and dance is to continue.

06 Jan 05 - 01:56 PM (#1372952)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,joe



06 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM (#1372965)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Georgiansilver

Move to Lincolnshire....Gainsborough...Market Rasen....not too far to travel to Hull....and there are so many mudcatters in this area!
Best wishes, Mike.

06 Jan 05 - 02:59 PM (#1373053)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Compton

Well. it certainly is an age thing in a lot of Staffordshire. Witness the average age of English Folk Dance and Song Society members around here. Almost certainly averaging 60 years now. They are aminly dancers-Little interest from anyone is song. What Albion could do with is Media interest...but the YOOF movement is more about Binge drinking, Boy Racers and Just bloody awful people. Like other Grumpy Old Men like me, how many long fro a return to some sort of value and national identity. Perhaps a glimmer of Hope with Celebrations of St. Georges day becoming more noticeable.

06 Jan 05 - 03:12 PM (#1373069)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

I think Eliza talks great sense. the original folk revival was song based and led to a golden age of song and songwriting, but the next generation always has to do something different so now we have an age of dance, and that, as she points out needs different venues harder to find.

06 Jan 05 - 03:39 PM (#1373099)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: fat B****rd

Vance Arnold !!?? You'll be telling me next that Peter Stringfellow used to run the Mojo Club !!
Also guest Jim, someone will tell you not to encourage thread drift.

06 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM (#1373121)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Alaska Mike

I've lived in Alaska for many years now. Years ago there were some great places where a folk performer like myself could sing on a regular basis and receive fair compensation. But now, there are so many young people who prefer to sing karaoke and listen to DJ's that live performance has greatly died out up here.

I will be visiting England next August and can't wait to experience your folk clubs and festivals. Broadstairs Festival has asked me to perform there and I'm getting some folk club gigs lined up as well. The UK still has a much more active folk scene than we have ever had here in the backwoods of Alaska.

As with all things there are cycles of high interest and low in folk music.   It is up to us to bring vitality and enthusiasm to this genre if we want it to flourish. So instead of bemoaning how sad the state of affairs might be, we should each do what we can to find little ways to make it better. Just my 2 cents.

See you there in August.


06 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM (#1373130)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

The radical cutting edge of the folk scene is back on the dance floor. This month I expect to go to two concert style clubs and two ceilidhs. Between two well attended clubs I doubt if there will be more than 5 people under the age of 40. At the ceilidhs about 20 percent of the combined audience will be under 25.

06 Jan 05 - 04:39 PM (#1373144)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Linda Kelly

I thought there were still a lot of folk cubs in and around Coventry -Bedworth, Brinklow Warwick - the Malt Shovel in Spon End, Burnt Post etc and still plenty of festivals in that part of the country. Partly its perception and asking the right people -if you asked the average Joe in the street where there was folk music in Beverley or Hull-they wouldn't know but it doesnt mean to say there is not a fantastic music scene here.

06 Jan 05 - 04:53 PM (#1373156)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Georgiansilver

If there aint one where you are...start one please!

06 Jan 05 - 07:34 PM (#1373364)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: yrlancslad

As a Brit, domiciled in California, I spend a couple of months most years back in my home county of Lancashire, usually Leigh/Wigan area and have no trouble at all going to a good (well attended) folk club every night of the week. In fact I often have trouble picking one of several on a given night. Wigan(2) Leigh, Westoughton, Coppul Chorley, Lymm,(2) Rainhill, Magull, Southport,Swinton, I could go on.In fact the whole North seems to be bursting with Clubs---and talent, some of it young and even good-looking!

06 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM (#1373432)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Malcolm Douglas

When anybody starts talking about "radical cutting edges", I tend to assume that they are recent arrivals; there isn't much that hasn't already been done (though the gear is a lot cheaper nowadays, so more people can afford to experiment). Although I enjoy the work of the young(er) performers, I rarely hear much from them I'd characterise as truly original, or which doesn't show obvious influences from older performers. That's the way it should be; change and continuity. You move forward rather more slowly than you like to think, but you do move forward.

It's certainly true, though, that the song clubs are largely the preserve of older people, and, as Eliza pointed out, that's just a demographic thing. Younger folk tend to prefer hanging out with their own age group. That doesn't mean that the one thing is better (or even particularly different) than the other. It's just the way of it.

I prefer the less formal pub sessions, where age is less relevant than engagement, and everyone can respect each other without worrying too much about who is in charge. You will, sometimes, get a bunch of students sitting in a tight circle in the corner with their backs to everybody else, playing the fashionable tune of the moment; but if they stick around, they grow out of that separatist snobbery and become part of the bigger picture.

Sheffield has always been quite good for that sort of thing. One reason I still live here.

06 Jan 05 - 09:12 PM (#1373493)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: MuddleC

One of the things I judge a folk club by is the ale it serves, and if it has REAL cider ...wahey!

Case in point, Rose & Crown in Warwick,good front bar, nice snug, fair sized back room, guest ciders.... excellent guests and local talent... then 'they ' juppyfied it , .........Tarquin, have yoou seen Tabatha.. oo sorry, my mobiles gone off, have you booked a table??? they do such good cous-cous here..

Please note the use of real cider is for medical reasons, i.e. throat lubrication.
use of crap chilled beer is not recommended, not even for dog-ends

07 Jan 05 - 01:55 PM (#1373836)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton

I always feel optimistic about dances, they are always good fun, you don't have to sit in silence and all kinds of people will come to a dance but wont sit in the folk club. As a result the age profile is wider.

Perhaps a dance with a sing around and or tune session in another part of the same building?

07 Jan 05 - 02:45 PM (#1373889)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

radical cutting edges

Not a newbiem just a dig at the old farts who imagine they are so cool and still haven't learned to play their guitars after 30 years.

07 Jan 05 - 02:55 PM (#1373893)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: greg stephens

In the Good Old Days, it was concentrated in the clubs, and easy to find. But it's still around, you know, or at least it is in NStaffs/S Cheshire/N Shropshire where I currently hang out. It's just there are a lot of different kinds of things going on.There are clubs, and a variety of sessions, some of which rotate mysteriously round different pubs. Plus concerts, and various other venue type events. Plus ad hoc get-togethers . Plus buskers. Plus community arts events with folky input. Etc etc. You've got to nose around, but it's bubbling away. When I was a lad, I played out seven nights a week socially,when I wasnt gigging. Now I don't choose to, but I easily could if I wanted.

07 Jan 05 - 03:01 PM (#1373901)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton

You can whop my Weasle if edges aren't being cut somewhere!

07 Jan 05 - 03:49 PM (#1373933)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,eliza c

Thanks Greg, that was the other thing I was going to say. Sessions and concerts and the like are very popular and range wildly, age-wise. Just because clubs are not does not mean that folk music is not. The venues change, the music carries on.
x e

07 Jan 05 - 04:05 PM (#1373950)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: jonm

Certainly in the WMids there are fewer pubs which could support a folk club now they are practically restaurants.

It would also help if some of these clubs were more welcoming to newcomers. Gives a new dimension to cliquey.

07 Jan 05 - 04:58 PM (#1373997)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton

OK somebody will wop my weasle sooner or later

07 Jan 05 - 05:02 PM (#1374002)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: mandotim

I live in North Staffordshire, and could go out and play somewhere more or less every night. Try this link and click on 'North Staffs Folk Diary'. The age range question is interesting; in the main session I play in there are lots of young people, with some more (ahem) seasoned players and singers. Another interesting thought; the younger players seem to see tunes that were pop songs when I was their age as 'traditional'...
Tim from 'Bit on the Side'

07 Jan 05 - 05:33 PM (#1374035)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton

mmmmmmmmmmmm   trying playing Rave On as a jig (123 123 123)

07 Jan 05 - 06:48 PM (#1374117)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: asirovedout

I agree that concerts, musicians' sessions and the dance scene are alive and growing. But clubs are the place where the common folk (not the professionals) sing.

Even as an Old Fart (who never tried to learn guitar, luckily for everyone), I can still agree somewhat with anonymous GUEST's point about old farts.

Quite a few young performers must be grateful that old farts had the patience and empathy to listen to them while they gained performance experience.

But the many clubs where the regulars don't seem to have much to teach them (besides patience) can't expect to appeal to young listeners who grew up with professionally-performed music on call 24 hours a day, or young performers who are passionate about what they want to perform.

Most folk clubs have become comfort zones, and still doing a great job for their regulars - me included - but they don't have enough younger regulars to survive another generation. Then only the concert-style venues will be left. I don't want singing to become purely a spectator sport.

It will unless more clubs manage to dissociate themselves from this image.

Perhaps the very word 'club' - which reeks of exclusivity, antiquity and comfort - should be avoided.

A good example is the 4th Sunday 'singing session' at the Kelham Island Tavern. I reckon that the average age is usually around half that of other clubs I know, and is always well attended. Admittedly it has the advantage of a few regular semi-pro young singers, but older singers that have my respect also go there, and the youngsters can learn from them too.

The word 'session' implies that most people will take an active part, and in this case you get what it says on the tin.

It suggests to me that the established clubs who really want to get younger people through the door need to put a lot of effort into selling whatever they think they have to offer them.


09 Jan 05 - 05:56 PM (#1375371)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie)

Hi Everybody!

An interesting discussion so far: here's my 2p worth for whoever's still following it.

Are folk clubs today less numerous, less well-attended and less interesting than they once used to be?   The overwhelming majority opinion seems to be: yes.   But what's the reason? Opinions differ. The generation gap seems to be the prime suspect, but for me, the obvious answer is that there's a lot more competition around today.

Cast your mind back four or five decades. Few folk records were issued, and not many shops stocked them. Folk music got little attention from radio or TV.   Folk concerts were rare – and mostly staged in London, which was unhelpful for those living elsewhere. The folk dance scene (both Morris and social) was rarely visible, and pretty moribund if you did encounter it.   There were no folk music instrumental sessions outside of a few hard-to-find Irish pubs. Most significantly of all - folk festivals as we know them today had not yet been invented.

Because there were so few alternatives, those of us who cared about the music – performers, organisers, or listeners - became heavily committed to our local folk clubs.   (And in those days clubs did tend to be local, because few of us had our own transport.) The music in those clubs was not always of the highest quality. Surviving live recordings reveal many technical limitations, and a widespread naivety which seems almost laughable today. But the enthusiasm of both performers and audiences was intoxicating. (And it had to be, given how feeble most of the available beers were then.)

Today, a vast array of excellent folk music is available on CDs - which are considerably cheaper than the old-time vinyls when measured against the current average income. However much some of us may complain about the BBC's coverage, there is some very good folk (or folk-related) stuff on the air now (even if people without BBC4 have to wait six months before the best of it gets repeated on BBC2). The folk dance scene is flourishing mightily, and there are live instrumental sessions in many pubs. Arts centres all over the country put on concerts featuring some of our best folk performers. And between the spring and autumn equinoxes, we have dozens of excellent festivals to choose from. Given all that competition, it's not surprising that the clubs aren't what they used to be. Indeed, it's astonishing that so many of them survive at all.

I think we must accept the fact that the folk scene's centre of gravity has shifted decisively away from the clubs.   If some of them survive in their present form, that's good. It will keep one more option open.   If some of them undergo a Dr Who–like regeneration, that's even better. They will enrich the overall quality of the national scene. But if the clubs die off along with the generation that founded them, it will be a pity, but not a disaster. The music and the conviviality which they fostered will keep flowing through other channels.

Over the past five years, at festivals and at numerous other folk events, I've encountered a great many young singers, dancers and musicians who show astonishingly high levels of expertise and commitment. I am convinced that the future of folk music will be safe in their hands, for long after I and my contemporaries are gone, and the clubs we used to attend are forgotten.


09 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM (#1375429)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pat Cooksey

The reason I asked this question in the first place was bacause I
now live and perform in Europe.
My visit to Coventry at Christmas was for family and nostagia's
To Liz I have to say that the Malt Shovel and the Burnt Post were
for the last two years finished.
The only surviving oasis of live Irish, English, and any other kind
of folk music that exists in Coventry is in the Four Provinces Irish Bar, but Kieron, the boss, is a great guy and makes room in his club for everything.
Naturally I know Dick Dixon, the organiser of the Warwick festival,
Pete Willow, and Bedworth folk festival, I met them all lastweek.
Somewhere along the line was a generation gap in our music, why this
happened I don't know, some years ago, before I returned to Ireland
I encoutered for the first time in Nottingham, the people who are
refered to here as the folk police.
Every song that i sang on this night was ignored because it wasn't
tradidional, these songs included THE SICK NOTE, THE REASON I LEFT MULLINGAR,and many more, son after this experiece I returned to Ireland.

10 Jan 05 - 11:41 AM (#1375835)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

"It's an age thing" seems rather too defeatist to me. Pat's story leads me to think maybe it's more of a geographical thing. I know what you mean Pat about the folk police, but they will go the way of the dinosaurs (in a much shorter time period of course).

There are many places where all-inclusive folk music is being played and sung, and the tradition (I believe) will survive beyond my/our generation. Sure it will ebb and flow now and then, but it's still too powerful an alternative to TV to simply die away.

My answer to the "folk police" - give 'em a bit of Elvis.....

10 Jan 05 - 12:40 PM (#1375931)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

Round where I am (Hetfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire), there aren't many folk clubs because there are so many pub sessions. Everybody is busy singing and playing music in the sessions (about 1 for every 2 or 3 reasonable sized villages) that they don't have time to go to folk clubs.


10 Jan 05 - 03:44 PM (#1376099)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Big Al Whittle

Well perhaps its stating the bleeding obvious but the reason a lot of people were interested in folk music in those days was that acoustic music was getting in the charts. People were genuinely interested in the possibility of writing something or being in a room with people whose music reached out, rather than merely reaching back.

In short as an art form, it was alive. alive with possibilities. If you choose to write songs about the first world war, being betrayed by a sailor laddy, the fun of dancing jigs and hornpipes - interesting those by roads are - you will not be troubled by a mass audience. You have marked your territory out as surely as Basil Fawlty's gourmet night - no riff raff!

11 Jan 05 - 01:43 PM (#1376763)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Richard Bridge

Possibly in the 60s the concept of "working class culture" first achieved respectability (or at least wide acceptance), with the result that many (in London, and in Nottingham) were prepared to accept the defintion of folk music, and, for the first time, a mass audience was there for that retrospective.

Of course there was also a contemporary acoustic music scene, which indeed had its chart successes, but the clubs that emphasised the tradition of folk music (something of a tautology) were rammed, just as much as the singer songwriter clubs. And so were the clubs that were specifically "blues clubs".

It is therefore probably incorrect to blame those who still recognise folk music as such for the absence of those who do not, unless there is a reason why things differ (if they do) today.

11 Jan 05 - 04:37 PM (#1376943)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Big Al Whittle

Maybe so Richard. But while no one was to blame. Certain memories stick in my mind.

One is of a folk package tour fred jordan, the watersons, Bert Jansch, The Yetties. Anyway there was Fred in his wellies singing away, and these kids who had probably read about folk music in the NME heckling him , telling him to get off - they wanted to see Bert. 1965

Skip forward less than 10 years. The Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield - onstage Gerry Lockran, probably the best blues guitarist I ever saw.
At the back of the large, and largely empty room - the local tradiocracy - pissed as farts and totally ruining Gerry's performance with their loud insolent chatter. One excuse for humanity in the regulation fisherman's smock keeps braying loudly - he thinks he's a yank.

Both examples of intolerance, but while the dumb kid was just dumb - the other should have known better. He was killing off a movement already in its death throes.

I think the music was already in crisis by the early 70s. i'M REALLY SORRY. It was our job to hand it on, I'm not sure we can, in any meaningful sense. The artist of a living craft does not merely hand on a pattern book to his son, but rather a set of techniques that he can apply to his own life, or ignore; plus the joy of creation.

11 Jan 05 - 06:37 PM (#1377045)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

Hi there weelittledrummer!

Ah yes, I remember it well! Dire gigs with ignorant audiences were (and still are) common enough. Thankfully, though, they were (and remain) a relatively small minority of the total. There's even a measure of compensation when these dreadful nights gradually become the stuff of legend, as fellow sufferers try to out-do each other with their heavily dramatised reminiscences. But for all that, I don't think your two stories (or a few similar ones that I could relate) throw much light on the reasons for the decline of folk clubs.

After all, sectarian intolerance and belligerent stupidity can be found in many other areas of our communal life – religion, politics, and association football, for example – which flourish in spite of these distractions. If we are looking for a reason for the folk club movement's alleged loss of purpose and momentum, I think we must look elsewhere. I tried to suggest some possibilities in a previous post. Any comments?


11 Jan 05 - 06:41 PM (#1377047)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie)

Sorry folks, that last guest was me! - just forgot to sign on.

Should have my cookie back again very soon.


11 Jan 05 - 09:37 PM (#1377157)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Sidewinder

Whenever I think of Folk Clubs and "The Scene" nowadays I cannot help but be reminded of that episode of Phoenix Nights when the folk group starts singing "Send The Buggers Back" resplendant in cloth caps and waistcoats. Is it just me or are there any others out there who would like to witness a richer and more diverse musical and literary social gathering. Where Folk,Blues,Soul,Pop, Jazz,Traditional,Poetry etc. can coexist within the same evening in the same venue and not be tainted with the snobbery that seems to pervade the usual Folk Night which in my experience has been a non inclusive replay of the previous week or month. The same faces play the same songs in the same order and so it goes.



12 Jan 05 - 03:23 PM (#1377585)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: BB

Yes, Sidewinder, that's exactly what we'd like, but achieving it isn't that easy. I help to run a monthly session at which the intention is to welcome every kind of acoustic music as well as stories and poetry, and it's advertised as doing just that. But what is actually performed there tends to be 'folk' (whatever that is) and occasional stories and poems. We know there are people locally (we are in a village) who perform blues, classical, etc. but getting them to come along seems to be impossible. It isn't always the folk people who are tainted with exclusivity! And it has to be said that those who do come (not always the same faces) do not play the same songs in the same order - it's a great evening's entertainment, but we'd love it to be more varied.


12 Jan 05 - 03:45 PM (#1377610)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: McGrath of Harlow

Folk clubs sprang up, as the medium through which various types of live folk and para-folk music was passed around, for a whole variety of reasons. One of them being the legal niceties of the English licensing system. And of course that is in the process of drastically cahnging, and that no doubt will have all kinds of unexpected results, some of them good, some not so good.

The times change and the pattern of social life changes. As Mike said, one way and another the music will carry on. Whatever the position with clubs as such, it seems to me that there is more good music (our kind of music) being produced today, especially by young people, than ever there was in the heyday of folk clubs.

12 Jan 05 - 03:59 PM (#1377621)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: shepherdlass

Sidewinder, the problem with the Phoenix Nights folk band (which was nevertheless hilarious) is that it was pretty much the equivalent of the Fast Show's Jazz Club (though once again hilarious). It's a broad-brush caricature, which raises concerns - this must be how the general public views groups of musical enthusiasts - exclusive, backward and a bit ga-ga.

Otherwise, I'm with most of the writers on this thread - the folk scene isn't dead, it's just changed its clothes (and venues). Folk clubs themselves were the successors to EFDSS tea dances, and aren't we lucky for that? I first came into contact with the folk scene in the early 1980s, and it has to be said there seem to be far more young people involved now than there were then, though the preferred venues for traditionalists seem to have shifted to festivals and sessions.

And maybe what used to be called "contemporary" clubs have shape-shifted into "buskers' nights"?


12 Jan 05 - 04:20 PM (#1377641)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: TheBigPinkLad

I live in Victoria, Canada and the folk scene here is not great. But I got my first taste of the folk scene at The Oak Tree in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, England with a band called "The Candlelighters" who I believe, are still going now some 36 years on! I was only there because it was held in an upstairs room out of sight of the local bobbies. I was 17 and drinking under age. I was in a band that covered Pink Floyd stuff, and over the years I have enjoyed and played a spectrum of music from one side to the other. I have to say I love something with a beat and accappella sonngs of misery send me to the bar for a refill. What 'flavour' of folk music is prominent currently in England?

12 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM (#1377677)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Well said sidewinder. It is all about perception, rather than age. For years I have been one of the organisers of a Folk Club in Kent, which was losing attenders at a frightening rate, and had hardly any under 45 years old. Two years ago it became an Acoustic Music Club, and our adverts made it quite clear that this was INCLUSIVE. All types of music are welcomed, not just accepted. We still struggle for numbers, 'tho this is improving. But the most amazing thing is that about 50 percent of our regulars are aged 20 - 35, with a couple of 16 year olds who are struggling through voice change, and planning to perform when able. We do well enough to put on about 3 to 4 guests a year, so we're not worrying. The beauty of it is that the younger people are picking up lots of trad material from us, so the traditional side is not suffering. What's in a name? Judge for yourselves. We'll be handing over the club to young people very soon, and I am not the least worried about that. God willing I shal be there to see what they make of it, and I'm sure I'll love it.

Folk music dead? NO, JUST EVOLVING.

Don T.

12 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM (#1377786)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Sidewinder

Great to hear you all so positive on change because evidently most of you feel the same way I do and want to include rather than exclude. I myself perform regularly at venues where Acoustic Workshops are the "in" thing. I try to learn new songs from a wide range of influences including; Duke Ellingtons "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", Robert Johnsons "Crossroad Blues and Dust My Broom",Hank Williams "I'm so Lonesome I could Cry" Dylans "Blowing in The Wind and All Along The Watchtower" Claptons "Layla and Tears in Heaven" and I am learning a couple of Nirvana and Oasis tunes I like. So it goes without saying; I should be given the same level of respect for whichever song I choose to perform and not be subject to barracking and negativity just because my song is not over a hundred years old and bears no relation to a sea shanty.This scenario is mercifully rare but you can understand how it puts people off having a go and I would be the last person to put anyone off - let's face it we need em'.

13 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM (#1378156)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

"What 'flavour' of folk music is prominent currently in England?"

I don't detect any "flavour of the month" emphasis at all. Last night it was a typical mixture of stuff such as some Rob Johnson slide blues, through Fats Waller's "Black & Blue", Gordon Lightfoot's "Minstrel of the Dawn", John Denver's "Colorado Rocky Mountain High" etc to our guest singer/songwriter Anthony John Clarke. Tomorrow it's off across town to see Flossie Malavialle, and then on Saturday it's over to see Jez Lowe plus a variety of floor spots. All within a 5 mile radius. All thriving clubs very well attended and with great atmospheres. Wonderful stuff

Who said folk clubs were in decline!!!!!!!!!

13 Jan 05 - 01:57 PM (#1378260)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: *Laura*

It's true about the age thing - whenever I go to folk clubs I really am the youngest, usually, by about thirty years at least!
But when they're good - they're great :-)

13 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM (#1378366)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: synbyn

Point taken re age groups- at the Eight Bells in Tenterden we've seen several young performers come through & learn about session audiences. Thing is that they then disappear for several years, either because they are good enough to make the grade or because careers & families take over. My feeling is that they, like several other performers now surfacing, will be back when they feel the need to rediscover their roots.
Clubs like Nellies at the Ivy House in Tonbridge can survive on audiences of around 25-30, but only if guests are prepared to chance a hat-take. Organisers can't really be blamed if they choose not to subsidise on a regular basis. (A familiar story here- ideal room at previous venue, then Ceroc moved in at full volume in the next room. Only Doug Hudson could compete!)
Personally I prefer the club format, which gives a performer the chance to build a set/ contrast material etc- but if the audience doesn't come we have to adapt. Most attenders are players these days, certainly in West Kent. So back to the question- how can a folk club generate a reliable audience?

13 Jan 05 - 05:43 PM (#1378490)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Generating an audience is the philosopher's stone of folk music. If I knew the answer to that I'd be making a fortune as a promoter.

True most attenders perform, and only the occasional audient turns up, and I feel that that is all about advertising. We advertise in a folk publication, which produces almost exclusively performers. The local press, the dreaded KM, are not at all supportive of local clubs, and indeed counterproductive, as they constantly publish erroneous details, telling local people that we have a singers night when we have booked someone really expensive, and then sending them all along to see him the next week, when we have a sing........

When we complain, they say "Well it is a FREE listing". The message is clear. Unless we are prepared to pay fees we cannot afford, we are not going to get reliable service.

If anybody can tell me how I can get a message out to the general public, to let them know that things have changed, and there really is something for everyone, I would be eternally grateful.

Last autumn I performed at an outdoor concert supported by our Borough Council, and did a ten minute interview with the local press, who promised profile raising editorial comment. When the paper appeared, there was a half page on the concert containing, in one corner, a head and shoulders photo of myself, and a caption "Local club organiser Don Thompson performing". They didn't even give the name of the club. If this was a question of space, they could have left my name out, and replaced it with the club's name. I would have been happy with that. Local TV are not interested either, so how can we spread the news?

Don T.

13 Jan 05 - 07:18 PM (#1378595)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Mikeof Northumbria (Off Base)

Hi Everybody,

Sidewinder's last posting suggested another angle on the problem we're all struggling with. Bear with me for a while, and I'll try to explain.

There are lots of music clubs around the country besides the folk ones we all know and love. For example, there are a number of thriving classical guitar societies, who put on concerts by professional performers whenever they can afford it. And when they can't afford it, members who can play well enough have to contribute something to the evening when their turn comes around.

Now suppose that somebody turns up to an open evening at their local classical guitar society with a Strat and a Marshal stack, and says "When my turn comes around, I'd like to do a 20 minute improvisation on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. With the volume turned up to 11."   My guess is that quite a lot of the regular members would say "Hang about – this isn't what we signed up for! We'd prefer a Bach chaconne, a Roderigo fantasia, or a Dowland galliard"

The Fender-wielding Nirvana fan might then say: "But this is the music I love, and I can't find anywhere else to play it." Some club members might feel sympathetic – but a majority would probably say: "Hard luck – we were here first. Go and find a venue of your own." Does this situation sound familiar?

The fundamental problem is that there are a lot of young performers who are unable to find a suitable platform where they can strut their stuff. So, as a second best, they go to their local folk club and try to get a hearing there. At clubs where the audience is fairly broad-minded, they may be welcomed into the family. (This really does happen sometimes – I have witnessed it). But if most of the club's regular members have a fairly rigid definition of "folk", any such newcomers will probably get a frosty reception.

To solve this problem, we don't need to compel all the traditional folk clubs to open their doors – and their hearts - to fiery young guitar-slingers or angst-ridden young poets. What we do need are more open-mike venues, where budding non-folk performers can practice their stagecraft, and start building up a following. Then the folk clubs that don't want to change can be left to enjoy "their" music in peace - just like the George Formby Appreciation Society, the Vera Lynn Fan Club, the Friends of Django Reinhardt, Dixieland Jazz Lovers Anonymous, or any other group of enthusisasts.

And what of the folk clubs that are open to change? Well, they too be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to listen to, without being accused of bigotry, cronyism, or terminal naffness by non-folk musicians who are desperate to find an audience, and who see their local folk-club as the only available option.


13 Jan 05 - 07:49 PM (#1378623)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: McGrath of Harlow

So far as getting the word out we're in a transitional stage. Well, all stages are transitional stages, but what I mean is, if I want to find what's on, I rely on the Internet these days, together with word-of-mouth.

So do a lot of other people, but it's still got some way before it'll be the automatic way that everyone does it, and the way we all put out the information about things we are organising. But it won't be long, and it's going to change things in all kinds of ways.

13 Jan 05 - 08:00 PM (#1378627)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I agree with Don, "free" listings - can't live with them, can't live without them.

Time Out's favourite was putting prices in a database and ignoring any further pricing information sent in. Just the sort of arguement you need on the door with a **** who can't tell the difference between an advertisement and editorial.

14 Jan 05 - 03:46 PM (#1379186)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Further to that, Peter, I actually asked them not to include us in their listing, as we couldn't trust it. They got that wrong as well. You can't even get rid of them when you want to. Shades of Readers Digest.

The internet does seem to be the future in one way, and it is already useful to some extent, thanks to the efforts of those very good people who spend all their free time generating websites, and constantly updating them. However, from personal experience of searching for new venues at which I might perform, chasing pro bookings, even the very best sites are heavily larded with venues which have closed down or moved without informing the webmasters.
Surfers who spend time and call charges on defunct contact numbers, are unlikely to continue to do so. It is true also, that many clubs only give E-Mail for contact, and many take 2 - 3 days to respond. Not too helpful if I find that I'm going to be in their area tomorrow, and want to check that they are, in fact, running. My club is listed on several websites, but the locals around here, either haven't found them, or aren't looking. Apathy still rules........

Don T

14 Jan 05 - 08:50 PM (#1379267)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Dan Farnley.

Many of the messages on this thread contain at least a grain of
truth, none really answer the question that Pat posed at the start.
I knew Cooksey from the early days in Coventry, the Rocky Road folk
club, the Dyers Arms, etc, etc.
At this time English and Irish folk music existed in tandem, one had
on Sunday the Fureys, and on Monday in the Bulls Head, the
I saw at this time in Coventry, Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore, Nic Jones, the Matthews Brothers, Paul Brady, the Yetties, Tony Rose,
and the Priors.
I still go to folk clubs but I find where a guest artist is booked
I find myself usually dissapointed.

15 Jan 05 - 06:53 PM (#1379679)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Bill the Collie

15 Jan 05 - 07:53 PM (#1379702)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: McGrath of Harlow

True enough about the Internet's failings, Don, but in a way it's like cars must have been in 1905 or so. Or print around 1490 or so. Still a bit primitive and challenging, and touch and go, and not second nature. That won't last.

16 Jan 05 - 02:02 PM (#1379977)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

Not an internet failing Kevin. Its pretty normal for club organisers not to bother to tell any publicity medium about changes.

Don - thats the problem with the internet. Why would somebody bother to look for folk clubs unless they have already been to one. At age 17 I had never heard of folk clubs and had no idea that there was any scene to look for. It was a mention on the local paper that got a crowd of us from school to give it a try. That one write up has resulted in at least 3 of us still being active in the folk scene 35 years later other friends and family becoming interested.

16 Jan 05 - 06:41 PM (#1380116)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Peter from Essex,

I wonder, if you had got that first info from KM, and been sent to a Thursday club on Tuesday, would you ever have tried again.

Local press IS the best form of publicity, but only when they take the trouble to read the full diary lists I sent them quarterly in advance, for three years. They did not even have to enter them in their computer system, as I used E-Mail.

The accuracy of their listings is such that only one club night in four is correctly listed, and, after three years of trying, I have not been able to persuade them to give us any editorial coverage at all. I am not the only person to have suffered in this way, it is par for the course, where KM is concerned. If you ain't buying ad space, don't expect accuracy.

Don T.

17 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM (#1380592)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

"Most attenders are players these days, certainly in West Kent. So back to the question- how can a folk club generate a reliable audience?"

"Generating an audience is the philosopher's stone of folk music. If I knew the answer to that I'd be making a fortune as a promoter."

Reporting back on attendances at the 3 (Sheffield Area) Folk Clubs: (Rivelin - Wed - Anthony John Clarke; Rockingham Arms - Fri - Flossie Malavialle; Wortley Arms - Sat - Jez Lowe) All 3 venues were packed - total audience count around 250 generating an estimated £1500 at the doors. All 3 venues had floor singers, and guest performers each had a couple of 45 minute to 1 hour slots.

All 3 nights went down a storm. The only conclusions I can draw from the success of our clubs are:
1. Good quality guests.
2. A reasonable number of good quality floor spots.
3. Regular (and frequent) clubs.
4. Variety of folk music styles all welcomed (Folk? - Flossie sings stuff from Edith Piaf to The Eagles & The Beatles).
5. Good & dedicated organisers.
6. Decent venues (warm, clean, comfortable, acoustically sound, welcoming)
7. Good quality ale at reasonable prices.
8. Good quality supporting clubs (singers nights)where beginners (young & old) can be welcomed.

The audiences then build up, and stay with you. Performers (new and experienced) swell the audiences at other local clubs. There's also growing evidence of cross-boundary club attendees now.

17 Jan 05 - 02:00 PM (#1380740)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

I agree with all of that, Guest, and running through your list of criteria, we can fairly claim to fulfil most of the points. Three things that fall short are:-

1. We have a small clubroom, which will accommodate only thirty people.
2. Because of 1. we are able to generate funds only for occasional guests (about 3 - 4 yearly), though they tend to be high class guests, such as Mundy - Turner, Les Barker, Clive Gregson etc.
3. We are in Kent. I don't think it is generally understood how wide the gulf is between the Northern and Southern folk scenes. It is extremely difficult to start a club with any hope of success down here, and most don't survive their first year. It is also difficult to keep a long established club going, when, like ours, it has been forced to find new venues four times in six years, simply due to a change of pub manager. In the whole of the Medway towns there is only one successful folk club, though there are a number of pubs offering booked guests regularly, where there are NO floor spots at all. In Maidstone there is only my own struggling club, and a monthly one just outside of town. Given the population of these two areas one would expect that these venues would be packed. Not so!

Now I don't believe there are no folkies here, so where do they all go for their music?

Don T.

18 Jan 05 - 05:45 PM (#1381706)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: synbyn

Agree with you, Don. At Tonbridge we had a perfect venue for 50 people, in itself rare, until Ceroc entered next door- £5 an hour session, 3 sessions nightly, only cost of CDs- lots of money for the pub, and impossible for us to run acoustically next door. So we're in a smaller but available venue. Many venues here are prohibitively expensive for the organisers to risk on a regular basis. The late John Smedley built up Folk South East very effectively to show artistes of the stature mentioned by Guest. However, he chose his performers very carefully, as does Vic Smith in Lewes. The halfway house where newish performers learn how to handle audiences of around 100 hardly exists here these days, although Faversham seems to run very effectively in a smallish town. I suspect that acoustic musicians maybe stay in town for the evening, or, having commuted, subside into an armchair. Maybe Sue Hudson will tempt them out to the Ivy House on February 7th!

18 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM (#1381819)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Richard Bridge


Be very careful what you say.

19 Jan 05 - 12:10 PM (#1382375)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

My heart goes out to you Don - there's no doubt in my mind that much of the success of the Sheffield/Area folk clubs is down to a long established folk infrastructure that keeps all club types buoyant. It even includes a successful freelance "Beginners' guitar" teacher who encourages his charges to get themselves off to the local clubs to listen, learn, and eventually perform themselves. He runs classes on 2 nights a week and provides a ready supply of new recruits to local clubs.

I've been going to folk clubs here since 1972, but it was already well established before then – dating back to the folk revival of the 60's, and no doubt boosted by Irish folk musicians playing sessions in a number of different pubs. Establishing such a tradition obviously takes time, but there must be a point of "critical mass" at which things really take off, and folks realise there's much more to life than the TV and canned beers at home. Getting that message out into less enlightened areas isn't easy obviously, and I don't have any ready-made solution, but local radio and local newspapers do a reasonably good job for us here; the jungle telegraph also works it's magic, but again that's partly down to there being a well-established culture. The Stirrings Folk Magazine provides up-to-date venue listings and has a good circulation, so there's no shortage of good quality information.

As far as suitable venues go, I suppose we're blessed with a healthy distribution of pubs per square mile across the region. The income generated from folk and acoustic music sessions helps some pubs on otherwise quiet mid-week evenings too.

Good luck to you; I hope you manage to get your message across – it's certainly a worthwhile one.

20 Jan 05 - 07:19 PM (#1383747)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Richard Bridge

Intelligent comment tonight by Billy Bragg and Liza Carthy (and even nearly some by the very decorative presenter) on the Culture Show BBC2 (UKTV) tonight.

Marred only by foolish remarks about the "Morris problem". Time people thought about the importance (formerly) of Morris as part of mating ritual, and fertility symbology.

Apropos mating ritual, that, of course, is what social dance is, which is why I didn't folk at university in the 60s.

21 Jan 05 - 07:27 AM (#1384142)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: muppitz

Someone far up the page made the comment "If there isn't a folk club in your area, start one!"
Me and my Mum tried to do just that, we succeeded for almost a year until the loss of two venues in as many months left us with nowhere to hold it. Our audience numbers fluctuated, as we expected, but we still found that our biggest problem was the whole licensing issue, either pubs with ideal rooms didn't have to license to allow us to use them, or the licensees turned their noses up as soon as the words "Folk Club" left our lips. In short, lack of facility or small minds.

I am 22 and I have been going to festivals and been involved in the folk scene since I was in the womb, in fact I'm sure my Mum used to play me the McCalmans during pregnancy, and it really troubles me that where I live, near Nottingham, there is very little within my immediate vicinity. If I were a driver, there are 4 clubs, that I know of, within a fair distance, my nearest festival is in Mansfield, which I am on the committee for, but is only in it's 3rd year for any other festival I would need to leave the county to get to.

Nottinghamshire in particular seems to be deficient in folk (IMHO), if anyone want to re-educate me about that, please do!

What also concerns me is, something that others of you have raised, the decreasing numbers of young people to keep the tradition going.
It scares me to think that I may not be able to go to my favourite festivals or go and see my favourite musicians at gigs in 20 or 30 years time because they won't be there.

Flares and Platform shoes have had their second coming, surely Folk music deserves one too!

muppitz x

21 Jan 05 - 11:19 AM (#1384352)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim

Hang on in there Muppitz - it's worth the fight. Next time you're 40 miles up the M1 drop in to one of our clubs in Sheffield and boost our youthful image - current average age about 58. I detect some encouraging signs though.

24 Jan 05 - 12:52 PM (#1387126)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

Copied from the "Folk Music in the US" thread:

"I think we get a distorted picture of the size and influence of their group on the UK as a whole because they are such a strong presence here within the Mudcat Cafe. However, when you think about it, the fact that one or two hundred folkies scattered throughout the UK all seem to know each other so well might indicate that they're NOT a significant subculture in British society as a whole."

Well folks - over here in "lil' ol' England" - what do we think to that!?

24 Jan 05 - 07:00 PM (#1387616)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Subculture? What do our American cousins think we are, bacteria?

Don T.

24 Jan 05 - 07:21 PM (#1387645)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Richard Bridge

I hardly know any other UK catters face to face - maybe half a dosen or so.

I am amazed to hear so ill of Nottingham, however. I think at one stage it had 6 folk clubs. When I was last there and had a butchers, a year or so back, there seemed still to be four to half a dozen folk venues within 20 mile. I think that whacks the pants off North Kent.

03 Feb 05 - 09:59 AM (#1397849)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Glen

I'm only 16 and I attend about 3 folk sessions and clubs in my local area every week. I admit, I don't see many people my age around.Its a shame really. Also, I don't feel folk music is in decline; where are live there are many thriving clubs and sessions going on.

Also, I am currently making a website to help the promotion and recognition of folk music in the UK. If anybody would like to check it out and add the details of any sessions, clubs, or festivals you go to in your area I would be much appreciative.

03 Feb 05 - 11:56 AM (#1397985)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Fay

I live in Newcastle at the moment and you can't move for beautiful, talented, committed, enthusiastic young people.

Ah well, grass is always greener!

04 Feb 05 - 04:22 PM (#1399332)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: BB

Good one, Guest Glen. More power to your elbow. I do suggest, however, that only organisers of events should be invited to put details on there, rather than anyone who goes to those events. The organisers may not want their contact details - phone numbers, e-mail, etc. posted on the web. However, it might also be a good idea to get a contact name for each event.

We have a few young people who come to our monthly session, but not nearly enough. We don't have the advantage of a degree course in folk music at our local university - we don't even have a local university!


04 Feb 05 - 06:21 PM (#1399450)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,harvey andrews

When I stood in for Vin Garbutt at Faversham Folk Club I was able to yield the floor to a nine year old lad who performed one of my songs doesn't get much better than that!

05 Feb 05 - 04:54 AM (#1399819)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: shepherdlass

Fay - that's a good point. The super-talented younger generation of folkies may well be temporarily absent from folk clubs in the rest of the country while they do the folk degree at Newcastle! With any luck, whenever they go home for holidays or after the course, they'll be an inspiration to younger people in their own localities.

05 Feb 05 - 07:03 PM (#1400204)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Les Barker had the same sort of experience while appearing in a venue in Kent. He fluffed a line, and was prompted by a lad about ten years old, who then recited the rest of the poem from memory along with Les. Les finished the poem with a big smile on his face, and commented quietly "I've never done that as a duet before.

Definitely as good as it gets.......For all present!

Don T.

09 Aug 06 - 09:05 AM (#1805179)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

"Folk in Cellar
         Accoustic Night"
Thursdays At The Constitution Pub 42 St Pancras Way NW1.OQT Thursday every two weeks. 8 pm till late. There will singer song writers, Poets, Folk Music from round the Globe

Thursday 17th August 8pm till late   
Northern Celts,J-Owen and Many More
"Donations Excepted"
see ya all
Les, Emma, Marie,Shuggy,Willie,J-Owen

Contact: Or Les Mobile 0783 211 3578

09 Aug 06 - 07:27 PM (#1805700)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.

Well, our folk club in Deal nearly folded about 10 years ago but a few of us stalwarts kept it going. After a couple of changes of venue and fluctuating numbers, we now attract sufficient audience and floorsingers to pay for a guest one a month on average. As I run the website, I suppose I should advertise us, so please have a look at - I've put a photo gallery on the back page so you can see what some of us reprobates look like - and yes, the average age is well over 40 - photos never lie (well hardly ever!!)

Arnie (not on home computer so no cookie today)

10 Aug 06 - 06:46 AM (#1806047)
Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: fogie

There are in the Borderlands open mikes round here and a group of us run sessions at the local pubs that will have us. Open mikes are a problem if you have very different music side by side, its rather offputting to have to follow a rock band with a gentle song, and audiences take time to readjust.
Has anyone pondered on the fall-out of the famous singers and bands, which covered just about everything in the repertoir in the 70-80s They have left such a heritage of memories its difficult knowing how to put over a song in a fresh way when so many are fixed in my mind by the singers I was first exposed to, and as the repertoir is large but limited, maybe there has to be a fallow period before the songs can be seen in a new light(if ever) The youngsters maybe dont have my baggage.
Tunes seem to be more resilient and I am grateful to those who continue to write lovely new tunes in the folk idiom