Mudcat Café message #2601108 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2601108
Posted By: IanC
31-Mar-09 - 06:57 AM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss's article in TLT (UK)

I have a slightly different take on all this. To me "folk" isn't a movement and certainly doesn't require people to sign up to CND or drive 2CVs. Never did.

"Folk" - if you want to call it that - is just something I do. And my family for some generations. It doesn't necessarily involve performance (few of my family ever performed much in public, though quite a few knew and sang traditional songs) and the idea that it can in some way be "developed" by professional performers seems odd to me.

I love listening to music and am more than willing to pay to see professional performers (went to see Katherine Tickell a couple of weeks ago) but I think of them in the same way as any other full-time paid performers (like Pink Floyd - went to see them do "Dark Side of The Moon" 35 years ago). Good luck to them, very few are other than excellent, and I hope they do well and get paid more than they currently do.

Please don't patronise me, though, by suggesting that these people are in some way "developing" the tradition that I'm continuing when I go next door for a few pints and a sing with my mates and the rest of the people in The Rose & Crown. It's not professional music and may not always be that good, but it's participative and people get pleasure out of it - either by doing it or by listening to it.

We keep being told (the history is at least 200 years old) that our traditional culture is "dying out" or even dead. When I was a child, my parents sang around a piano in the village pub. Now there's no piano but a lot of guitars (sometimes too many, perhaps). Some of the songs we sang have changed (they didn't have The Kinks and The Beatles then) but many are the same

I suspect that quite a few people who regularly got to Folk Clubs don't even know that these things are happening. I didn't realise till I was over 20 that what was happening all around me could be described as "folk" and I'm still not sure that it's helpful to do that.

I'm quite sure that it's a shame that Tom Bliss is retiring fro "The Folk Scene". All I can say is that it wouldn't be possible to retire from the kind of scene I'm part of.