Mudcat Café message #3176600 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3176600
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
26-Jun-11 - 05:41 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
I think we're back the old question What is The Tradition? Or what does The Tradition mean to you? In this case, it seems to be synonymous with The Revival, which isn't, strictly speaking, The Tradition, rather that which first perceives, then claims to represent, The Tradition. It all gets a bit fundamentalist really, but that's what drew me into folk clubs when I was 14 or so and keeps me there now some 35 years on (and, as I keep saying, I'm still invariably the youngest in the room!).

Of course there are younger Folks who see things very differently and are doing amazing things as a consequence, but what I like by way of social joy, is the filthy pub scenario described above which, I admit, has limited popular appeal. I do other things too of course, but to me the Filthy Trad Folk Song Seance empowered by Pints of the local brew in a pub where the landlord will pull a tooth for the price of an anaethetising Talisker in my idea of hardcore folk heaven.

It all begins in the barley temple in the Holy Name of the Come-All-Ye where no one is calling the shots; where egos are checked in at the door and even a singaround would be too rigid a concept to abide by, let alone booked guests or the dreaded two-song floor spot and (God forbid) introductions and comedy. Here no one sits twiddling with the guitar tuners whilst another is singing, for here we raise Ghosts and Spectres; here we dissolve into the collective potency that is the heart of Traditional Folk Song; here we commune with the fundamentals in common awe at the vivid joy that will always drive sorrows away.

Purist? Moi? Not a bit of it!