Mudcat Café message #2601969 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2601969
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
01-Apr-09 - 04:49 AM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Well thanks for all these thoughts (specially Mitch2 for much to chew on) - I've been away saying goodbye to Devon and Cornwall.

Obviously I think it's an important debate, so perhaps I should just clarify a couple of things..

MATT2: You may have seen me only doing my own songs, but I also do a full evening of Trad Only, and when with Napper do mainly Trad - so that's not really the issue, plus I have a sheaf of letters here from fully trad Journeymen, who agree 100% with what I said.

DIANE: You'll note that I carefully don't blame organisers. Yes a few could do a bit more, but the ones who do everything and better are still having problems. Those problems lie in the marketplace (demographics, image, history etc), and the solutions lie elsewhere.

IANC: If you don't appreciate the symbiosis between trade musicians and 'your scene' please think again. I've made the case as eloquently as I can on many occasions here and elsewhere, as have others better qualified than me.

MATTMILTON: I think there are solutions, but they're not the usual suspects. See below.

ANAHATA: Nearly right - I'm not saying only KR SL and SoH can do the business, I'm saying the next generation of people who WILL do the business will be scary few if we don't find some new flower beds.

I hope I've made the case for reform. Let's concentrate on ideas rather than problems.

1) The folk world, specially those who feel like IanC, need to understand how the Pro/Am yin/yang thing actually works (and always has) and therefore what's in it for them.

2) We need to strengthen the small venue circuit. An Association should help, as would more recognition from FAE and the other Movers Shakers and Gatekeepers. (Newcastle could do more too - where are the 20-something story-songwriters for example - people love 'em)?

3) House concerts need to become commonplace. 15 bodies at 8 in a normal small semi can be viable to rescue a club or tour. Clubs who get good attendance on singers nights but no-one on guest nights should consider hiving off the concerts to a house, attracting the core who do want guests plus additional friends who don't like singarounds, while leaving the singaround to flourish in public (not least as a billboard). Struggling singarounds can do likewise, specially any with venue or licence problems. Also a network of stand-alone HCs, ideally building up till they can even hire a larger venue - but that's not crucial.

4) Massive extension of the Rural Touring scheme into towns and cities - using the existing Schemes. This is a staggeringly cheap way of funding Trad and other arts using a proven business model. The government is looking for ways to support Folk Music (they have an unspent fund) this would be my best recommendation.

5) Much more good RAFT music in the media (Roots, Accoustic, Folk and Trad). Leave this one with me.

6) I have more but i need to take my Duet to the garage.

Tom