Mudcat Café message #2518415 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116964   Message #2518415
Posted By: Phil Edwards
17-Dec-08 - 07:06 PM
Thread Name: Why folk clubs are dying
Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
I'd rather hear her music (or anything else) done well than folk music (or anything else) done badly

When I go to a folk club, I want to hear something new, something different, something surprising, something that doesn't sound just like everything else. Failing that, I want to hear folk music done well in unsurprising ways. But failing that, I want to hear folk music done not particularly well - even if it's a lousy performance, I might hear a new song or get a new angle on a familiar one. When I go to a folk club, I don't want to hear the same old pop music, however well it's done.

Back to the top:

As she sat down, to cries of "Well done" and "We got there in the end", one of my friends whispered to me "People actually PAY to listen to this???" in astonishment.

No, they don't. They pay to be a part of it, week in and week out, and they pay a bit more on guest nights.

I work hard on my own performances, try not to do anything everyone knows already and always try to make sure I know the words, start on the right note, etc. I put the effort in because I think it matters - and if I could wave a wand and make every floor singer perform to my exalted(!) standard, I would. I do think organisers can do a lot to encourage preparation and discourage p***-taking, but at the end of the day you've got to remember that a folk club isn't just an entertainment venue - it's a *club*, it's the sum of the regulars who turn out week in, week out. If some of those regulars have a burning desire to have a go, despite not really being up to it, the chances are they're going to have a go - and the chances are a lot of the other regulars will support them, because of who they are. And that's a feature, not a bug. (Keeping them away from the paying punters on a guest night might be a kindness all round, though.)

Apart from that, I don't agree with the premise - all the evidence available to me suggests that folk clubs aren't dying.