Mudcat Café message #2515827 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116964   Message #2515827
Posted By: VirginiaTam
15-Dec-08 - 11:12 AM
Thread Name: Why folk clubs are dying
Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
BEGIN RANT

God this thread has my hackles up.

Faye - I am a new folkie and grateful for every experience I get. I appreciate even those who "hack" their way through songs. A pit into which I have fallen more than once and expect to do again.

I'll close with a personal message to any singer who thinks that it's OK to stand up in public and hack his/her way through a song without learning and rehearsing it properly first: YOU'RE WASTING MY TIME AND MY MONEY! GET IT RIGHT OR STAY IN THE AUDIENCE!

Well that statement (bellowed as it was in part) is enough to put off any new folkie who maybe "hacking through songs" for various reasons including nerves, or having come perfectly prepared to sing to see their planned pieces done by someone else before their turn comes and so are forced to go with less practised ones.

You mentioned age. So what if ability to remember lyrics is fading? You in your precocious 30's surely knows better than us dinosaurs, right? You wait! The time is coming when someone will be saying the same unkind things about you.

Before I took up folk music I sang with a pop covers band........... but I've never seen a band of this type stop halfway through "Dancing Queen" and ask the audience how the next verse goes.

Well good for you. A semi-professional and we all now bow to your expertise. But singing in a cover band to a paying audience is a completely different animal to the informal setting that is the Folk Club. If you have, as you say, been visiting clubs for a while now then you should have known what it might be like prepared your friends accordingly. Seems to me this rant is about you being embarrassed in front of your friends.

I have been reading on the Mudcat only a short time and the theme of ridiculous expectations placed on folk hobbyists is a surefire killer of the club. Kill the club and you will kill the music.

Floor singers are dues paying members of the club and entitled to their slot. If you don't like it then stay the frig away. Set up your own club and good luck to you in running it exactly as you wish. If you are successful then more power to you. But don't be surprised if it dies the death due to tyrannical organisation.

Be careful you don't destroy the very thing you wish to nurture. Those expectaions may scare away the old and new folk.

Betsy - Why not try reducing (personally I'd ban them) the use of music stands and crib sheets by performers.
Perhaps it would assist in removing a certain type of performer who seems to upset some of the subscribers.


This is intolerance and exclusivity. Only perfect singers need apply! You must meet certain criteria to join this club. Might as well join a fundamental religion or extreme politcal party. Folk terrorists.

Yet the "standards" brigade tell us that we are killing the music.

Right on Richard Bridge.

END RANT!