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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Richard Spencer Do purists really exist? (822* d) RE: Do purists really exist? 03 Aug 11

Sorry, havent been here for a while, so this is a rather late defence of the Nottingham Traditional Music Club, which was mentioned on this thread 18th July. Unfortunately the club has long gone now. It did, quite unashamedly, have a very clear "purist" policy, but you should remember that in Nottingham in those days there was a folk club most nights of the week, sometimes more than one, and the range of music played was very diverse. There were some where unaccompanied traditional singing was not tolerated (why don't those clubs get the same stick?), many mixed, and then there was the NTMC.

Nobody was forced to attend you understand, but they did. The place was packed, the house full signs would often go up just after the 8pm start. And these were almost always singers' nights. You may have a vision of serious purists sitting around and picking on each others songs - but it was not like that at all. The first half of the evening contained quieter songs, some ballads, some folk club classics. The second half was wall to wall chorus singing acheiving decibel levels I have never heard exceeded outside the Yorkshire Carol sessions. There were good singers, indifferent singers and a few poor ones, but there was never a judgemental attitude. I dont remember the policy ever being enforced, it just happened.

I had left Nottingham before Nic Jones played there, so I can't comment on that night, other than to say that Nic always had a wry sense of humour, and I doubt there was any malice in his final song, and I doubt any offence was taken. The club was not that deadly serious, it was, to my recollection, good fun.

Now I don't say don't criticise the NTMC, it is no sacred cow, and never pretended to be.It was also very much of its time, and I have never found the like since. But it was a place where many of us learned to love the music, and was the start of my 35 year obsession with folk song. Knock it if you must, but don't knock it too hard please.

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