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Jim Carroll uk folk clubs high standard (356* d) RE: uk folk clubs high standard 30 Apr 19

" there were high quality performances of music "
Again - nobody has ever suggested this - it really doesn't help to distort what is being argued
What I said is that there was an aimed level of performance that was acceptable to an audience and a standard expected of residents that wasn't fallen below - not particularly high - you were expected to have learned and become reasonably proficient in your songs and mastered the tune
Some clubs - certainly most I was associated with, offered help to inexperienced singers to develop - workshops and one-to-one help
Most folk clubs had some basis in folk song - whether it be the home-grown type or the American stuff picked up from Dylan before he came a pop star
All you need to do is listen to some of the masses of radio programmes CJB `has put up - Folk on Two springs to mind but there were many more - Top Records have never veered too far from folk song proper
The scene was based on a specific type of music - now it is not
Some clubs even made records - Birmingham - Nottingham - The Singers Club in London - recorded club nights or features from club residents
Your refusal to believe this is living proof of how far down the line the scene had degenerated
When that specific identification went, the attendances went down and the record labels, the many magazines, the specialist shops like Free Reed and Collets, the superrb radio output by Bert and Levy and MacColl and Charles Parker and Malcolm Taylor and Battachara - all flushed down the jaxxie   

In contrast the Irish music scene has now established itself and guaranteed an at least two generation future for traditional music by first carefully building a foundation based on the real thing
Youngsters are flocking to it in their thousands - they are free to take it wherever they choose, but they will always have that base to remind them what the music is about
There is always a danger of the music industry and an ignorant media nausing things up (as shown recently by the pathetic 'Ireland's Favourite Folk Song' competition and that awful anti-climactic second Sam Henry programme) but the base will remain as long as there is an interest
In Britain, it seems even some of the researchers have joined in the creation of a smoke-screen obscuring the uniqueness and importance of folk song
What a **** shame
Jim Carroll

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