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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
glueman Folk- how do you relate to 'it'? (56* d) RE: Folk- how do you relate to 'it'? 17 Jul 11

First introduction to folk music was the background record to English country dancing at infant school. The lady who took it would have been born around 1920, so close to the original revival. I remember even then thinking this was nothing to do with me and suspect many of the children thought the same but we wanted to please our 'posh' teacher so got on with it as a bit of a chore.
Around 1974 I began going out with a girl who sang and sometimes went to her local folk club. Some of the music appealed but it was very much a beards and tankards set up - and before anyone asks, no, the ladies didn't have beards but facial hair was hugely over-represented even by 70s standards - and I felt the same lack of identification or ownership I had as a kid. It was around then that I began to buy recordings of folk music, all traditional, without any desire to partake in its alien culture.

In 1987 I next visited a folk club and it was largely singer-songwriter oriented. I wanted to eat my own limbs it was so excruciating with a kind of false cheerfulness and an acceptance of poor standards. All in all, my experience with folk clubs have not been good but perhaps I was unlucky. In recent years I've begun to attend concerts, festivals and pub singings and while some still elicit the need to run for the nearest exit and hit the fire bell as I leave, I am probably more tolerant of not very good stuff and don't expect a transcendent musical experience to be included. These days I identify more with the music of other cultures, folk of the Caucasus, Shape Note singing and any form that lacks the trappings of the revival basically. I still buy Eng. Trad but don't feel more proprietorial towards it than any other fine music.

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