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Where have the audiences gone?

Jack Blandiver 23 Aug 08 - 04:27 AM
Stringsinger 22 Aug 08 - 11:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Aug 08 - 09:26 AM
Alan Day 22 Aug 08 - 08:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Ian Fyvie 21 Aug 08 - 05:55 PM
Alan Day 19 Aug 08 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 19 Aug 08 - 01:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Aug 08 - 01:27 PM
The Sandman 19 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM
TalkingBird 18 Aug 08 - 11:19 PM
Tootler 18 Aug 08 - 05:17 PM
Alan Day 18 Aug 08 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,ian fyvie 18 Aug 08 - 02:44 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 08 - 03:43 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Aug 08 - 05:12 PM
oggie 15 Aug 08 - 04:46 PM
Nick 15 Aug 08 - 01:02 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Aug 08 - 08:41 AM
Jayto 15 Aug 08 - 08:39 AM
mattkeen 15 Aug 08 - 08:20 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 08 - 08:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Aug 08 - 03:22 AM
oggie 15 Aug 08 - 02:36 AM
Nick 14 Aug 08 - 07:05 PM
oggie 14 Aug 08 - 02:26 PM
Banjiman 14 Aug 08 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,confused 14 Aug 08 - 10:33 AM
Will Fly 14 Aug 08 - 08:11 AM
Banjiman 14 Aug 08 - 08:09 AM
Nick 14 Aug 08 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 14 Aug 08 - 07:57 AM
mattkeen 14 Aug 08 - 05:00 AM
Will Fly 14 Aug 08 - 04:34 AM
Nick 14 Aug 08 - 04:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM
Banjiman 14 Aug 08 - 03:28 AM
Nick 13 Aug 08 - 08:34 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 08 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 08 - 02:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Aug 08 - 07:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Aug 08 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,guest 12 Aug 08 - 09:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Aug 08 - 04:09 AM
Richard Bridge 12 Aug 08 - 02:34 AM
M.Ted 12 Aug 08 - 02:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Aug 08 - 07:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Aug 08 - 06:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Aug 08 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Ian Fyvie 11 Aug 08 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 04:27 AM

Is not the problem one of demographics? I first started regularly attending folk clubs back in the autumn of 1976 at the age of fifteen, and, of course, I was the youngest in the room. Thirty-two years on - and I'm still the youngest in the room!

The baby-boomer so-called folk revival did nothing to engender, encourage or even inspire a second wave of any significance. It remained until their own offspring came of age that any new blood came through by way of a second generation, albeit with very different agendas & priorities to that of their parents. As the years go by, my old folkie friends get older, frailer and, sadly, fewer, but the crack remains, somehow, undimmed irrespective of the audience.

Take heart; for there is a new generation of folkies; second-lifers in retirement spending the kids inheritance on camper vans and discovering that they too have a voice. In such company I still find myself the youngest, often by several decades, but a veritable veteran in folkish terms. I get the impression these still game folkies would rather sing than listen though, and more power to them.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 11:03 AM

Those who think the audiences for folk music are dead and gone have never been to the
Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. There are all kinds of folk music
to fit your definitions.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 09:26 AM

Sounds alright. the thing is, groups like The Spinners and The Corries used to do quite straight folkmusic, but they presnted it in a way that was accessible.

Although I thought they were rather drippy when I was a sea green incorruptible teenager - when I had a shot at folkmusic myself, I was staggered by the enormity of their achievement.

To my mind - there are people who never got smarter than I was as a teenager. To find a formula that is a winner with the public - and then go on developing it. It takes some doing. If anyone ever manages it again it will take all that.

There are too many people sulking in the corner with a great definition of folk music that ticks all their boxes, but meanwhile the music is dying. Okay there are a few middle class kids, but there is no general push to make sure the population knows folksongs like our generation did. I bet every kid in our school knew songs like High Germany, and The Cornish Nightingale. You wouldn't find that the case nowadays.

Where is our national folk music on the National Curriulum? You can bet your ass, if its there at all - its in the hands of someone who has no clear idea of what the nation is within a hairsbreadth of losing - someone without the missionary zeal to abandon stylistic quirks for the great substance which is all but lost.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Alan Day
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 08:05 AM

I agree with you on your comments on Folk Music. My suggestion was to provide an evening of popular Folk Music to encourage new members just as we were encouraged years ago. I stress this was only for a suggested one night in three month intervals.Or even once a year if you consider this an insult to serious folkies.
Al


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM

well I'm with Jim Carrol on one point. I do tend to think you should set your stall out and call it folk music, which is scheduled to happen in a folk club.

where we differ is that I tend to think my fingers have done enough work over the years to call what they produce folkmusic. It feels like folkmusic to me. I'm a folkie - if ever there was one.

i don't think buggering about with cerebration and semantics is going to yield much. And if someone is going to be a declared, card carrying, non folkie - well luring them in with topless barmaids and free pie and chips and then subjecting them to The ballad of tam Linn - well frankly, I think its a bit of a long shot.....


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,Ian Fyvie
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 05:55 PM

Since joining this debate I've been taking note of which sorts of numbers/proportions make for a good singaround session.

I'm pretty sure 12 is a magic number for performers (assuming a 2+a bit hour session). This lets everyone do two songs if they're at the club fairly early - and gives earliest singers a third song. Technically the number of listeners can be none to infinity - but a typical 12 singer session here in the last two weeks seems to be 4/5 listeners.

So if your session pulls many more than a dozen perhaps friction may develop and a natural split occur. On the basis that one group will find a new venue, then new people should be pulled in if advertised properly, therefore more people participating in folk and getting around to other sessions in due course.

The danger is folk people not in the slightest bit interested in spreading the folk word outward but simply trying to grab a big slice of the old setup - and that's when a folk scene starts spirally down the big musical plughole as neither is sustainable. Discuss!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 05:57 PM

Can you clarify your posting WLD or are you just taking the pi**.
Al


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 01:48 PM

I rarely perform these days, but my son and his band do. I have attended several of their performances at local venues over the last eight years or so. The crowds vary wildly, depending on the night or day of the week, the quality of other performers on the bill and the advance promotion (or lack thereof). They usually draw from 25 to 100 people even in smaller venues, unless there was no promotion done. I also see a number of familiar faces in the audiences, indicating some sort of mobile fan base. They usually perform where alcohol is served - a mixed blessing, at least in terms of crowd behavior. Some of the less well-attended gigs have been in non-alcoholic settings.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 01:27 PM

'Have any Folk Clubs offered special evenings to cater for non folkies ?'

Brilliant! we could call it.....Quiz Night, or darts Night....

Then stepping out from behind a curtain we could have ....Martin Carthy.

I don't think anyone much would notice.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM

I play to more people when I busk,
not all passersby, but many sitting and eating lunch,
and I don't have to lug all that sound gear around.

Not really complaining, just some observations.

Cheers, S. in Seattle.[original poster]
what the hell has Martin Carthy got to do with this?.
I really get fed up with people bringing in irrelevancies to threads,to have ago at somebody who has done more for traditional music than they will ever do.


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Subject: RE: Where have all the audiences gone?
From: TalkingBird
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 11:19 PM

Despite the tremendous volume and variety of music available on the internet now, not to mention the thousands of CD's to choose from, I'd still rather hear live music than recorded music. Even an amateur, when playing and singing acoustically right there in the room, has a certain kind of appeal that recordings by the best professionals lack.

But these days most live performances of folk music use a sound system, so they don't have that kind of appeal. They look live music shows, but they sound like recorded music. And they don't offer the choice that I have at home to switch to some other recorded music if I want.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 05:17 PM

One of the problems with the arguments we have about folk clubs and their quality or otherwise is that we are often arguing at cross purposes.

It seems to me that there are two main types of evening/venue.

1) The guest night/concert venue when a performer or band are paid to entertain an audience. In such circumstances, it is reasonable to expect a professional standard of performance from those who have been engaged to entertain.

2) The singers night/singaround when the primary purpose is participation by those present. Sometimes you get people coming along on singers nights to listen, but they are incidental to the main purpose of the evening and if you do come to listen on such evenings it is not unreasonable to expect you to take pot luck as the singers are not there to entertain an audience but to share songs with other singers.

Many of the criticisms voiced here of the quality of singing in folk clubs seem to me to be confusing the two purposes. If you are criticising a club for poor singing on a singers night, then maybe you are being unfair as the singers nights are, among other things, an opportunity to try things including new songs that may not have been completely learnt yet, for newcomers to dip their toes in the water and for those who have no professional aspirations but simply enjoy singing. On the other hand, if your criticism was of a guest on a guest night then that is a different matter.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 03:30 PM

Have any Folk Clubs offered special evenings to cater for non folkies ? Some of the most favorite artists have been The Dubliners,The Spinners as two examples.A special evening of popular Folk , Music Hall,popular songs that everyone can sing along to.This will attract a whole new audience it can be put on by the Folk Club regulars.Surely one evening every three months would not be too unwelcome for purist folk goers.Instead of the little private room ,take it all down to the bar
Al


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,ian fyvie
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 02:44 PM

Best wishes to Will Fly for his new session in West Sussex. Local Folk Mag is the Sussex Folk Diary - and (for newcomers and people bored stupid by overrated guests ) it's good if you prefer singing and sharing songs from equals to check out non guest nights at the guest clubs - or look up the singarounds / "come-all-ye"s. And listeners! - yes, some sessions can be a bit self endulgant (like the average Open Mic without-the-mic sadly) but most are good sessions with nice atmospheres reminiscent of the good old days of Folk. Simply filter out the insular ones - and spread the word about the good ones!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 03:43 AM

"You are welcome to your opinion Jim, but I just have to say, that it is my opinion, that you are a complete prat"
Mattkeen
I have been listening to Martin Carthy for a long time; I have always admired his dedication and tenacity and am of the opinion that if others had put in a fraction of the time and energy to folk music that he has, it would be light years further advanced than it is today.
I've met him on several occasions; he and Norma were two of the artists who generously dedicated their services to the Walter Pardon memorial concert we helped organise in London, the proceeds of which went to the folk section of the National Sound Archive.
Whatever my opinion of him as a singer (and I haven't given it here), he has always struck me as being an extremely pleasant and self-effacing performer - certainly not the type of person to throw a hissy-fit at the slightest hint of criticism of his singing.
But there again - he doesn't have to - there are an army of people out there ready to do so on his behalf.
IMO, placing any artist on a pedestal and above criticism shows a deep contempt for them and their confidence in their work.
There have been many people I have admired on the folk scene. I have always been ready to tackle what I believe to be misinformation or inaccuarcy about them and their work, but the idea that anybody who doesn't admire them as much as I do is a 'complete prat' is more than a little immature - don't you think?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 05:12 PM

yes but several were in their late nineties.......they reached 100 after they got home.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: oggie
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 04:46 PM

Seen Carthy three times in clubs in recent years and none of the audiences reached 100.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Nick
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 01:02 PM

I do think a lot of this is far more fundamental than being a "folk" problem.

When I was teens-30 there were stacks of pubs around that played music and it was accepted and normal. There were limited specialities. Life was broadcast and millions of people watched The Morecombe and Wise Show and people accepted what little entertainment was on hand because there were fewer choices.

People travelled less. I've been down to Sidmouth recently to play and will be at Whitby next week now and then when it fits in with work and will think little of a 100mile evening roundtrip. This would have been almost unthinkable in the 60s.

People didn't spend their life watching hours of TV.

We didn't live in a cocooned world where people moved to a narrowcasted world where individuals stayed at home in their little 'safe' worlds and browsed the internet for the nooks and crannies of their interests.

It's a wonderful world that we now have so many choices. It does mean however that audiences everywhere are smaller for most things.

It does however mean that audiences who come to things are usually more positive to what they are at and - as long as they come in sustainable enough numbers - all these things will survive. In a digital age and increasingly video age the mass of historical material in the future of the legacy of our present will be enormous.

It's just different than it was.

In the late 1970's/early 1980's I worked for a large global advertising agency and went to a presentation by a 'future' predictor (a la Faith Popcorn and the like) and they were stratingly accurate in many things. The main predictions being that media would fragment to narrowcasting rather than broadcasting and the effects this would have on culture and choice; the increasing coccooning of people to be more home/community/security based; the increasing isolation of folk from each other. I'd be interested as to what they are predicting now as - if the trends of our present were so obvious to a few in the past - presumably our futures are also.

(Excuse the pretensious bollocks :)!! )


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 08:41 AM

Martin Carthy's a great guitarist, he presents his material skilfully & expressively, and he's done more for folk music than I could if I lived to be 100. I don't think he's a very good singer, though.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Jayto
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 08:39 AM

I think a good answer to this question is the song lists in 50 songs everyone should know lol.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: mattkeen
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 08:20 AM

Quote Jim Carroll

"Perhaps we should leave it to the pro's like Martin"
(Always assuming that he is your idea of a good singer.)



You are welcome to your opinion Jim, but I just have to say, that it is my opinion, that you are a complete prat


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 08:01 AM

"Perhaps we should leave it to the pro's like Martin"
(Always assuming that he is your idea of a good singer.)
5) Or perhaps treat the audiences and the material with enough respect to put in the work beforehand.
It lies within the abilities of most people to sing well.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 03:22 AM

I bet you could still get two hundred (more even) to see Martin Carthy most places.

Really that's largely irrelevant.

If we are to pinpoint the reason the audiences have pissed off. The common theme seems to be this - singers (that's us) seem to be making unfair demands on the audience.

1)We lure them to folkclubs where too often they don't hear any traditional songs - just whining self indulgent singer songwriters

2)We play instrumental medleys too long and not well enough

3)We sing long traditional ballads that we don't know well enough to sing in public

4) We have no shame and should stick to playing our banjos in the shower

There are a lot of people saying these things. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps there are too many of us doing it. Perhaps we should leave it to the pro's like Martin, and do something else - car maintenance, ham radio, DIY, study for a degree in forensic psychology or renaissance art.....


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: oggie
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 02:36 AM

Back in the same era we got over 200 to see Martin Carthy at Hull Uni Folk Club (The Round). Within ten years there wasn't a folk club there at all.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Nick
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 07:05 PM

I was talking to a friend of mine who ran Leicester University's folk club in the 1970's and the first time John Martyn and Danny Thompson came and played there were about 400 people there and the folk club made pots of cash!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: oggie
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 02:26 PM

"Talking to my Mum, her memory is of "hundreds" at the old Lincoln Folk Club at The Turk's Head back in the 60s and 70s (I'm too young to be able to validate this)......we usually get between 35 and 65 at the club we run in North Yorkshire.......

Thanks

Paul"

My memory of the Turks Head is that the room would hold about 100 and it was often full in it's heyday. Guests were about every other week. It was not the only club in Lincoln either as the Swiss Cottage (later at the Aquarius club) also met weekly in this era.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 10:35 AM

Oooops 2nd Friday of each month.

Sorry!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,confused
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 10:33 AM

Banji - Is it "every 2nd Friday" or (as in another thread) "the 2nd Friday of each month"???????


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 08:11 AM

I recently did an outdoor gig at my local village club for St. George's day - money collected for charity. For a change, I put together a few backing tracks to traditional tunes and "folkie"-style ballads - rather than the usual blues/rock mix. I was amazed to see the lager'n footie crowd whooping it up to the "Rochdale Coconut Dance" and the "Swallowtail Reel" - mind you, the lager consumed might have had something to do with it! Anyway, 'twas heartening to see that the old ones still have a little oomph with the non-folk public.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 08:09 AM

Nick (I assume the guest is you before you get zapped!),

The different night get together sounds good. PM me and let's see if we can pull something together..... perhaps one of the Friday nights in The Roebuck at Bagby (every 2nd Friday.... started last month) .... it would be good to help kickstart this new session/ singaround. Tunes, songs, cornets.....anything goes. Pretty much half way as well.

Unaccompanied singing done well (which as you say is hard to do) can silence the noisiest of rooms, unaccompanied singing done averagely or worse tends to empty them.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Nick
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 08:01 AM

Sorry that was me not logged in.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 07:57 AM

Paul

Who's Bill or which Bill? Joolz and Glyn visited quite a while ago. I'll probably come up to Burneston sometime but I'm not sure what is served by having a huge do at one place and chopping the attendance at the other. Perhaps we could arrange a get together on a different evening rather than alternately decimate them both?

Gross generalisation I'm sure but the young do seem to find tunes more accessible than the singing and the less accompanied the less accessible - in fact that goes for people generally. I do still think that unaccompanied singing is both hard to do well and hard to listen to in bulk as it is an acquired taste (perhaps blues is similar - I tend to think that Eric Clapton is more accessible to people than Robert Johnson though he couldn't exist without the latter). I'm playing at a beer festival next week where there are a teenage band playing (Jiggawatt) and a bunch of acoustic singers in the afternoon but very few who will be singing very traditional stuff. Sad as it may be it is probably what people want and I tend to side with the people who look at this as a positive as it may at some point lead people back to the more rootsy material.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: mattkeen
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 05:00 AM

Has any body mentioned Magpies Nest yet?

Sam Lee and others
Its very succesful with young people - so please feel free to ignore it.

I feel that the previos poster who mentioned the numbers of new youg bands and musicians, and that they will bring in their own crowds in time is probably right.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:34 AM

GUEST,Ian Fyvie

"Those who live in an area where thing are failing should start a session of their own based on what a folk gettogether should be like."

Just what's going to happen, in a month's time, in my West Sussex village. Rags, reels and airs sort of thing. Sit round and join in if you know the tune. Play or sing. Drink the landlord's beers - London Pride, Harveys, Speckled hen and guest beer (currently Timothy Taylor's "Landlord"). If it works, we'll do it again.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Nick
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:22 AM

As he lived with his boyfriend some people might think...


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM

'Age range varies from teens to a chap who used to come and sin who was in his nineties.'

Can't think of a better recommendation for folkmusic!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 03:28 AM

.....and ditto (except I don't think we've had a trumpet yet!) 30 miles north but still in N. Yorks at Burneston also on Wednesday nights.

Nick, we were talking to Bill on Friday night about maybe arranging some exchange visits between the 2 clubs.... any thoughts?

Things are pretty healthy in North Yorks I reckon.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Nick
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 08:34 PM

I've been to the weekly gathering myself and friends run on a Wednesday up here in North Yorkshire and this is what we had this evening - I just replied to an email from someone who is going to come soon so rather than rewrite I'll post it - he asked if we were still going:

"Very much going every week. Just got back a few minutes ago in fact.

It's a mixed singaround / session and it operates on a very simple basis - we go round the room and if people want to do something they can and if they don't they don't. The mix of people and content changes weekly and there could be anything going on from unaccompanied (and uninterrupted) solo song to everyone playing along and singing to solo things on instruments, occasional Les Barker monologues, pretty much anything.

The only thing we expect is that people respect others and don't join in if it's inappropriate and do if it is welcomed. We had a recent week where a young folk rock band came and visited and joined in as well as playing some of their own stuff - my wife sang a version of Willow Tree (the arrangement shamelessly pinched from Eliza Carthy) and we had the backing of 3 fiddles, concertina, melodeon, trumpet (!), three guitars, electric bass, harmonica and a lot of singing! We try and treat everyone equally whoever they are and even when we once had about 30+ performers there (including people who play (semi- or)professionally) everyone waited their turn or played. Some are good, some less so but standard is reasonable I think and we make quite a volume of sound when we all join in together!

Numbers vary - this week there were between 35 and 40 people there of whom about 18 or 19 played or sung (most weeks there are 30 something people there, rarely less). The rest listen or just come to the pub for a drink and chat - it can get noisyish sometimes, it's not a club or a concert.

Everyone got at least a couple of tunes or songs and there was a range of stuff from chorus to solo to Jake Thackray to sets of fiddle tunes (in an average evening there are probably 40+ songs or tunes). We start about 8:30 and finish about 12:00 ish. Pretty much never know who will come but most people come back! Tonight there was a chap who comes from lkley when he can, a mudcatter I have known a little for a few years on his way to Whitby who I saw in Sidmouth the other week, people from York, Pocklington/Barmby Moor as well as localish people. Age range varies from teens to a chap who used to come and sin who was in his nineties.

There are two very short clips at Short clip 1 and Short Clip 2 which may give an idea - the room is not the best room in the world but we have a good time whether 15 or 50 people come and the not knowing is part of the fun. I hope that helps and you'd be very welcome - if you have any other questions let me know"

From our end audiences (and players) are growing, but we are limited by the physical size of the room and the relative remoteness of the pub from towns and cities


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 02:29 PM

Apols for the misplaced line in the posting a minute or so ago!


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 02:25 PM

Been to another folk club since my last posting (bus trip this to the other side of the city).

And yes!, only 3 of the 14 people there were listeners. It was a superb session.

This raises the question of what's an ideal number of singers in any folk gathering not based on consuming who the Music Industry (Folk Dept) is telling us who to see (coz we couldn't possibly be as good as them and should hang up our instuments or voices and all become punters...)

This particular session, unlike the other two I go to in the city, has seen numbers drop over the year. BUT in the old days (last autumn/winter) it was attracting up to 30 supporters - again nearly all singers; and a small number were getting annoyed at only one song for the evening despite arriving fairly early.

If I was starting a new club I would go for about a dozen singers as a basis for it now.

So it looks like it has settled to a balance of about a dozen performers to create a lovely atmosphere were everyone is happy.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:29 AM

"musicians go to folk clubs because they want to play music"

Funny that - I agree...


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 04:22 AM

'musicians go to folk clubs because they want to play music,not because they want to listen to someone'

well I go to listen. I generally shove my guitar in the boot of the car, but if Im midway through working through my obsession with a song - I'm generally quite relieved not to have to go through the loose change in my pockets for an audience. Balance that with the need to play and keep your self 'performance sharp'.

that's how I feel anyway.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 09:08 PM

musicians go to folk clubs because they want to play music,not because they want to listen to someone ,who is famous because people like sandra in sydney say so!.if i am paying some ridiculous admission price i want to be entertained not bored to death by mediocrity. so if she wants to be a bigot ,and only allow people who she considers "famous" to play ,then it isnt any wonder theres no audience.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 04:09 AM

"I must confess that most of what I know about Australia comes from   documentaries about Shapelle Corby and Kevin Bloody Wilson songs. I have seen the movie version of "A Town Called Alice", all the Road Warrior films, and I fell asleep halfway through "The Shout", though I woke up at the end."

Ah - Goddam Sydney and Melbourne - time for my "those bloody southerners think they own ALL Australia" rant...


"I suppose the bar is a bit higher "down under"."

Probably, here the drunks lean up against it - no chairs or stools.... :-P

:-)


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 02:34 AM

Y'see, in Queensland "XXXX" is how they spell "beer".

Whereas in Perth, it's "Swan".


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 02:13 AM

Sorry about the Foster's remark--all meant in good fun.

I must confess that most of what I know about Australia comes from   documentaries about Shapelle Corby and Kevin Bloody Wilson songs. I have seen the movie version of "A Town Called Alice", all the Road Warrior films, and I fell asleep halfway through "The Shout", though I woke up at the end.

I've also seen platypuses at the zoo on several occasions--and I had an INXS vinyl album once, though it melted in the back of my car. In the US, this qualifies me as an expert on Australia, though I suppose the bar is a bit higher "down under".


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 07:08 PM

possibly that where the audiences have gone - in the interstices between the 7th row, the cycle of fourths and and the 6251 interchange.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 06:40 PM

A "&th row" is a folkie veriosn of a "7th row" - close, but not quite right...

:-P


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 02:13 PM

well naturally we bicker and bore away without your stimulating input.

Nice to have the bonny Ian of Fyvie oh - back amongst us - sorting out all our minor objections and minor squabbles. Its probably cos we're all defective in some way.


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Subject: RE: Where have the audiences gone?
From: GUEST,Ian Fyvie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:54 PM

Whilst some have been bickering or boring since my last posting, I've been along to a folk club 1o minutes ramble from wheree I live and had another very good night of music and folk banter.

Those who live in an area where thing are failing should start a session of their own based on what a folk gettogether should be like.

In my view this would be (in the English context - and US eqivalent) a good pub that sells Real Ale. Ensure the evening is lighthearted. frienldy and welcoming to everyone.

AND try to avoid the Bottom Rung Middle Classes taking control as they will surely turn it into a status worshipping, oneupmanship session where the object is to themselves playing as near as possible to the guest - and pushing out anyone who doesn't fit - thus driving the audiences away.

Does this ring a bell with anyone whose seen a folk club die?

Cheers for you earlier comments by the way Ron.


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