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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Santa Collapse of the Folk Clubs (803* d) RE: Collapse of the Folk Clubs 28 May 07

Re "not as popular as before"

Ask your children about the general attitude in the outside world to folk music. Read the papers. Watch TV. (I didn't think I'd ever be recommending someone did that!) In the 60s and early 70s, folk (in the wider sense) music was generally popular. If the tradition -biased suggest that this was largely based on the popularity of protest folk, hippiedom, and folk rock, rather than Real Folk Music: well maybe they are right. However, and for whatever reason, it was widely popular, well regarded, and folk music was regularly broadcast in TV.

Look at it nowadays. It is not popular, it is not commonly available via the prominent media, it is held up as a laughing stock. Not by some unimportant minority, but in the mainstream.

Yes, festivals are more popular than before, though it does seem to be much the same group of people travelling from one to another. Yes there are the likes of Folkworks. Yes, there are promising signs that some kind of bottom in popular esteem has been passed and things are getting better. Nonetheless I stand by my comment.

I would not claim that the paid guests at my current local club are any better or any worse than they were way back then. Merely that I (and others) choose to use a developed sense of what will be enjoyable to choose which evenings to attend. At Bristol in the late 60s I would turn up every week, as you clearly did at your club. And if that was a blues singer (place your own pet bete noire), well, chalk it down to experience. But learn not to waste your time in the future, or just live with wider tastes than I have developed.

In one sense I am lucky: this thread concerns the collapse of the folk club, whereas I can attend one almost every night of the week, sometimes with a choice. Blackpool, St Annes, Fleetwood, Poulton, Preston, Garstang and Southport if I'm prepared to drive a bit. (And with Tich Frier this Friday. maybe I will!)

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