Mudcat Café message #2602122 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2602122
Posted By: Will Fly
01-Apr-09 - 08:50 AM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
I repeat; like Tom, I'm not criticising the club scene- I still love it- or the valiant work of those who keep it going. But if it doesn't attract a young new audience it will inevitably die out, thereby removing the platform for new performers trying to launch their careers.

My take on it, from local experience, is that you'll find the "young new audience" in sessions and open mics and not in clubs. We had - at a rough estimate - 7 people under 30, out of a total of around 15 musicians at our recent local Sunday session. The others were old geezers like me strutting our stuff to the youngsters and learning new things from their take on the music. Very productive and very enjoyable. You won't find this sort of ratio of -30s to +30s in most conventional folk clubs.I'm happy to say that, at the session I've been running for the last 6 months or so, the majority of attendees are under 30 - and I've made every effort to get them to come along and join in. They're a huge asset - they bring a breath of fresh air to the proceedings and they learn something from the older and more experienced performers.

The age of people who get up at the pub open mics I've attended has also been mainly under 30 or up to mid-30s at most. And, yes, I know the stuff that's played is not your session repertoire - but that's where many of the up-and-coming entertainers and audiences of the future seem to be, down here at any rate. If I should, by chance or design, get up and do something at these open mics, I'm very conscious of the age difference. Luckily, I get treated with respect, and it's sometimes a bit of an eye-opener to the young things that such an ancient herbert can still get feet tapping.

These people may never attend a folk club in their lives, and may never want to. If they don't, it means that the music has moved elsewhere for the moment.