Mudcat Café message #3265233 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #141742   Message #3265233
Posted By: GUEST,Ralphie
29-Nov-11 - 01:44 AM
Thread Name: Occupy Folk Music! (USA)
Subject: RE: Occupy Folk Music! (USA)
Thanks for that Suffet.
Here in the UK. We have very few (musical) house parties. Most people don't live anywhere big enough to hold one! I think I've been to 1 in 30 years. We also don't have a coffee bar culture as it was in the 50's. I think I'd get very odd looks if I got my concertina out in Starbucks!! Anyway they would need an entertainment license from the local authorities.
As for pubs as well as the expense of said licence, And the cost of hiring the room, a lot of landlords in this economic climate and converting them into quasi retaurants, Much higher return. Can't really blame them, they've got to make a profit somehow.
in the 70's you could go to a club every night of the week in London..Sometimes a choice of several. And yes the clientel is aging rapidly, but unlike the US it seems, the interest taken by the kids is pretty healthy. They just do it their own way..But just look at the booking lists at festivals over here. You can't move for youngsters. Organisations like Shooting Roots caters for all sorts of activities Singing/Playing/Morris etc. They even have their own ceilidhs etc. And if you went to a Bellowhead gig and were over 35, you'd feel distinctly old!
as for getting gigs. The traditional way was to sclep around clubs doing a floor spot, and hoping to get noticed. Pretty easy in London in the 70's for reasons stated above. Nowadays, It's not financially viable, petrol being the cost it is. Some of the more tech savvy peple put up you tube vids, but there is still a lot of word of mouth that goes on.
In spite of the difficulties, I have no fears that the UK scene will continue to grow, but just in a different way, but isn't that traditional anyway?
Sorry it seems different over in the US.
An example. My nearest "Folk" club ios nearly 40 miles away. Only accesible by car in reality. so that's an 80 mile round trip. add the expense of the admission charge for two, and a couple of drinks you' have little change out of 30 at a guess. You could probably get 3 of the artists CDs for that.
When I lived in Kent, a few years ago, we had (and it's still going) a cracking little club just a 5 minute walk away. A typical English club, you knew everyone, and they all knew you. But, It was a very tight knit community, with lots of other "Folkie" activities. The annual Hop festival celebrating the harvesting of the Kentish hops. A mediaeval fayre, Yearly weekend trips to Ypres to play music with our Belgium musician friends.
Living back in London, there isn't that sense of community. People are too busy just getting by. I blame the Government and reality TV!