Mudcat Café message #2553642 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116964   Message #2553642
Posted By: Will Fly
31-Jan-09 - 09:49 AM
Thread Name: Why folk clubs are dying
Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
Bryan - I'm generally sympathetic and supportive to all performers who get up and do something at any club I attend. The strange thing is, it's not always the nervous amateur, perhaps just starting on the road, who gives off an aura of unpreparedness and laziness. I'm not talking about beginners here - or people who make an odd slip in their performance (as I did last night in a song) - but performers who have got into some kind of rut about what they do, or who seem to have lost the impetus to learn something properly.

Take, for example, the use of music and music stands (and I know this has been discussed thoroughly elsewhere). I'm aware that some people like to have the music there on standby because they have genuine difficulty in remembering words - particularly if they're getting to an age when memory becomes elusive. Fair enough - no problem with that in my book. However, there are some performers in clubs - not always amateurs - who have brought along something they obviously haven't prepared properly, and then read it as their performance. Well - I don't like this, for the simple reason that, if you're concentrating on getting the words and chords (say) right from the music, you're not concentrating on the main thing: the audience. There's just so much more communication between performer and audience if the music's not in the way - and, knowing the thing backwards means you can put your heart and soul into projecting the song/tune and interpreting it as you want to. I have never used music except where I've had to learn a new genre of music very quickly (band dep situation, for example) - I've always learned the repertoire that I do thoroughly so that I know it inside out. This, by the way, as I'm sure you know, takes hours and hours of repetitive practice - but (I hope) it pays dividends in the actual performance.

I'm not trying to be elitist here - just making a plea for performers to give of their best. Any performer worth their salt has to have some self-knowledge.