Mudcat Café message #2461806 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114984   Message #2461806
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
10-Oct-08 - 04:06 AM
Thread Name: BBC TV Guitar Series
Subject: RE: BBC TV Guitar Series
Oh dear! You certainly seem to have had your share of problems!

I do understand. Perhaps because in my way I have encountered all of them in a long (some would say too long!) career.

The only advice I can give you is this:-

You must develop a little more sang froid about the folk scene. It is full of people opining - this isn't folk music and that isn't folk music. And many of them are nice people, but God wasn't kind to them at their creation and he factored in a little component of their personality, which is really quite full of shit.

You must lose your cherry and become a bit of 'no never mind slag' when it comes to performing. The main thing about performance is that if it is good and confident - it has a fair chance of success. And that confidence and competence only comes with experience.

It doesn't cost a lot to go open mikes - most are free to get in - and you can by a bottle of abbey well and slip off to the toilets and fill it up - or even ask straight out for a pint of water over the bar and get refilled.

If you don't set your stall out - you won't find out if there are kindred spirits, and I'm telling you that there are. And the great beauty of the folk music scene in England is its diversity. Not amongst the professionals - but there amongst the actual folk themselves, it is a real global village.   I'm willing to be that there are people in your town that are interested in playing similar music to yourself, Piers.

the reason I know is that that i was into contemporary folk music as a kid. My family moved down to the Exmouth area - and down there the whole scene revolved around The Journeymen who had residence at the Jolly porter in Exeter. they had SO many disciples for traditional singing. I was fifteen to eighteeen and felt too intimidated and self conscious to get up and sing my songs.

So I never found out that sitting also in the sudience were Paul Downes and Phil Beer, Colin Wilson, Steve Knightley and it was only really when we were all much older and already professional musicians living in different parts of the country we had all been sitting there not knowing about the presence of each other.

Sheet music - tell me about it. I have one friend whom I press my latest cds and and sheet music on when I am feeling very drunken, expansive and generous. I sometimes go and visit my own property at his house. he has long since convinced himself that he bought them. Once he gave me back a dog eared book that he said he had just 'come across when he was sorting out' that i had given up asking him urgently for about three years previously.

At least nowadays with the internet you can get much music without paying anything. In those days you sometimes had to buy a whole book for just one song or set of lyrics you were interested in.