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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster GEFF and Proud of it (258* d) RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it 11 Apr 08

"I really am driven to despair at the number of people who now seem to see folk music as entertainment to be consumed, and in respect of which they have consumers' rights."

The singaround and the session are both participatory events where standards are determined by what those taking part are capable of and want. There is no consumer - all involved are producers. Essentially they are private parties others can poke their heads round the door of but have no rights in any meaningful sense to make demands about.

The concert is an event where someone determines they are going to charge a fee for members of the public to listen to music. As consumers, those members of the public have every right to complain if they are served up a bag o'shite. Is it the case that 'folk' is exempt from the normal accepted standards one would hop for from any other musical genre? Why so?

The folk club appears to be a late twentienth century anachronism that wants to straddle the two: it wants to charge admission to the public as in scenario two but wants the standards and expectations of scenario one to apply. Some folk clubs are clearly better than this. However, when I am forced to think about folk club folkies, I am reminded of aging teds swaggering along the front at Southend on a wet bank holiday weekend. The two groups are probably about as relevant as each other.

And increasing number of young people who play and listen to traditional music don't bother with folk clubs or set up their own alternatives. After all, folk clubs are what grandad like. That's healthy - better that the musical baton is passed on than allowed to rot in the hands of those who were carrying it a generation or two ago and still believe that their way of doing things is the only acceptable way.

By all means enjoy the clubs, but please don't assume that they are all there is and don't get your knickers in a twist when some of us point out that there is more to traditional music than the remaining remnants of your 1960s and 1970s youth movement.

The raw, the young, the untutored, the passionate, the enthusiastic, the experimenters, the mistake makers, the ones that make you say 'what a bleedin' racket' and all the rest of them WILL get out there and some of them will become the Martin Carthys and Eliza Carthys of tommorrow. They probably won't be doing it round at grandad's place, though. Why would they want to?

Lastly I return to 'Mr Grumpy's view from the bridge, quoted above. Please read his whole post for context, but his words are far more elitist and excluding than anything those who argue that having professional traditional singers is a good thing say: he would exclude from this music the entire public who cannot or will not play an instrument or sing. Folk music - the scene that celebrates itself and assumes no-one else is good enough to have an opinion.

Good enough for folk? I don't know. Beyond criticism? So it would seem.

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