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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones UK 60s Folk Club Boom? (1167* d) RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom? 21 Feb 19

Jim, we have clearly had very different experiences. My experience was of clubs outside the cities, in towns and villages mainly around London but also further afield. Also, it touched only the very tail end of the 60s and really covered the 70s and 80s, so we were separated by both time and geography, although not by much. Most of these clubs had started up in the 60s and I doubt they had changed very much by the time I started going to them.

As well as the clubs around Essex where I grew up. I then went to university in Reading and attended clubs there. Later, I travelled a lot for work, and took the opportunity to visit other clubs all around the country. I even gigged at a few. Eventually I moved to Cheshire and went to clubs there and in Manchester. I have experienced quite a lot of clubs all around the country and I feel these were typical of clubs at that time.

All these clubs were broadly similar in their approach and most operated the floor-singers with guest structure. The range of music was similar to that which DgT quoted from Wikipedia, including American roots music, blues, contemporary folk, and world music, although traditional British folk music dominated the clubs I went to. None of the clubs in my experience provided the kind of intellectual approach that you describe - we were there for entertainment and never discussed the music in a club setting.

If your experience was typical of how clubs were in the early 60s, it suggests to me that most had evolved into something different by the end of that decade. The folk clubs continued to thrive through the 70s and 80s. I suspect the reason they then went into decline was that their core audience became preoccupied by family and professional commitments - that was certainly my own reason for stopping.

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