Mudcat Café message #2552786 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116964   Message #2552786
Posted By: Phil Edwards
30-Jan-09 - 07:56 AM
Thread Name: Why folk clubs are dying
Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
About a year ago, I found my way from a 'singing horse, all abilities' club to a 'mostly but not exclusively traditional, mostly but not exclusively been doing this for years' club, and rapidly developed a passion for traditional music and the places where it's played. Since then I've been going out more widely, and taking traditional songs into a few other places where the singing horses roam free. Born-again traddie, that's me.

So to some extent I agree with Jim. I only discovered traditional music properly when I went beyond the club I'd been going to for the previous five years, and when I think how much amazing music I could have been hearing and singing in that time I can't help thinking that clubs like that are getting something seriously wrong.

On the other hand, clubs like that are thriving - so it's just not the case that a "sing what you like and don't worry about learning it beforehand" policy drives people away. The club I'm thinking of is packing them in.

So maybe there isn't really a problem: people are flocking to hear variations on a theme of "my girlfriend stood me up" and creative interpretations of Beatles songs; some of those people also like traditional music, and they can find their way to places where it's appreciated. As I did. And they can get some chops singing whatever they feel like singing, so if they do start doing traditional stuff seriously they won't be total beginners. As I did.

Still, back on the first hand - five years does seem like an awful long time to be going to a folk club and not hearing much folk.