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GUEST,Santa ingredients for a good folk club ! (47) RE: ingredients for a good folk club ! 10 Oct 03


I think the key problem for any club is how to balance the provision of quality entertainment for those who just pay and listen (joining in or not) and supporting the development of those club members who want to perform. This must be a severe problem for isolated clubs: here on the Fylde we have a range that people can choose from. We have a singer/songwriter session in St. Annes; a more traditionally-biased concert club in Blackpool, a sing-around with occaissional guests in Fleetwood, a musician's session in Poulton, and not to mention a thriving club in Preston that I'm embarrassed to admit I've never been to. (I hope I haven't misrepresented any of them...) So people with different tastes can gravitate to the club/session that suits them best.

I don't think that there is a single best recipe for a folk club - but the prime ingredient is an enthusiastic committed organiser with lots of back-up. Given this most varieties of approach will work.

I'm doubtful about the house concert approach in the UK. Our lounge is some 22ft by 11ft, and probably 50% larger than the norm. We perhaps could squeeze in 20 people and a single acoustic performer - no Tanglefoot - but only by removing all the furniture. Bring your own chair.... think of the queue for the loo at the break.

Plus I'm not sure how the acoustics would work, or how an audience of 20 would meet a reasonable performer's fees. Maybe as a special event, a subsidised party? I could suggest to my wife that we book Maggie Boyle for my next birthday, but she'd probably want Dougie MacLean for hers......


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