Mudcat Café message #3091625 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135422   Message #3091625
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
09-Feb-11 - 05:50 AM
Thread Name: BBC Folk Awards Demo 7th Feb
Subject: RE: BBC Folk Awards Demo 7th Feb
"Whilst I agree they were not wholly appropriate to folk music, especially Donovon, I think we have to take note that without these "bigger names" it would have been very hard for the BBC to get funding to televise this event."

I agree with the theory, but in practice the event is so terminally uncool that such token gestures are irrelevant.

I have no problem with the idea of strategically booking a few acts that aren't folk in the purist sense - Laura Marling, for instance. Having an act like, say, Mumford & Sons (much as I hate their music) performing would make sense to me. It seems daft not to acknowledge the fact that there are a few acts that are massively successful in 2011 who happen to be playing banjos, mandolins etc. It doesn't hurt to capitalise on that.

I just think that they're getting their compromises wrong. Shirley Collins or Martin Carthy have a much bigger, much more credible influence than Donovan. I'd like to see a BBC Folk Awards where, say, Natasha Khan from Bat For Lashes presented Shirley Collins with a lifetime award. Or where Jack White from the White Stripes presented Martin Carthy with a lifetime achievement award.

My point is that there's a fundamental lack of understanding of how to place a niche music in a populist context. A folk awards should not compromise on its nominations and recipients. It should compromise in its presenters and featured performers. (In fact, I don't even regard the latter as a compromise.)

If I were a BBC producer, and someone suggested to me that Barbara Dickson should present the awards, I would have assumed they were joking. I would have said absolutely no bloody way. It's like they are going out of their way to present themselves as fogeyish and out of touch.