mudcat.org: Why folk clubs are dying
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]


Why folk clubs are dying

Faye Roche 17 Dec 08 - 06:16 PM
The Borchester Echo 17 Dec 08 - 05:52 PM
Faye Roche 17 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie 17 Dec 08 - 05:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,PeterC 17 Dec 08 - 04:06 PM
The Sandman 17 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM
Faye Roche 17 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Ian Fyvie 17 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM
Stringsinger 17 Dec 08 - 03:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM
Dave Sutherland 17 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Dec 08 - 06:59 AM
Banjiman 17 Dec 08 - 06:37 AM
burntstump 17 Dec 08 - 06:29 AM
Marje 17 Dec 08 - 04:24 AM
VirginiaTam 16 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM
VirginiaTam 16 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM
BusyBee Paul 16 Dec 08 - 02:13 PM
Acorn4 16 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM
Acorn4 16 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM
Marje 16 Dec 08 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 16 Dec 08 - 12:12 PM
The Villan 16 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 16 Dec 08 - 11:59 AM
Musket 16 Dec 08 - 11:58 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Dec 08 - 11:52 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Dec 08 - 11:51 AM
Leadfingers 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
Leadfingers 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
Terry McDonald 16 Dec 08 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 16 Dec 08 - 10:56 AM
Musket 16 Dec 08 - 10:22 AM
TheSnail 16 Dec 08 - 09:55 AM
Folkiedave 16 Dec 08 - 09:04 AM
Vin2 16 Dec 08 - 09:01 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Dec 08 - 08:27 AM
The Villan 16 Dec 08 - 08:17 AM
Acorn4 16 Dec 08 - 08:04 AM
Banjiman 16 Dec 08 - 08:02 AM
folkwaller 16 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM
The Villan 16 Dec 08 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,arran 16 Dec 08 - 07:02 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Dec 08 - 06:43 AM
folkwaller 16 Dec 08 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 16 Dec 08 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,redmax 16 Dec 08 - 05:15 AM
evansakes 16 Dec 08 - 05:12 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Dec 08 - 04:42 AM
goatfell 16 Dec 08 - 04:29 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Faye Roche
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:16 PM

"From: greg stephens - PM
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:18 PM

I sense (as usual) that this thread is a bit of a troll wind-up situation. Faye Roche, the instigator and keeper-going, is a professional folk singer apparently, acording to herself. A litle more information please?"

No it isn't, and no I'm not, and have never claimed to be, though I do try to perform to a professional standard- sorry if that offends you. And this thread has kept itself going with very minimal input from me.

I'm not trolling anyone. I'm just passionate about upholding a music form that I love and which I'd like to share with as many as possible. If you can't see that it's your problem not mine.

There are several rather better-reasoned posts in this thread but it's time for bed- not being a professional folkie I have a job to go to in the morning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:52 PM

I'd rather hear her {Britney's) music (or anything else) done well than folk music (or anything else) done badly

Indeed. Hurrah to that.
Both Jon Boden and Richard Thompson anyway cover Britney.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Faye Roche
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM

"Faye, if you prefer to listen to cover bands playing crap"

Not what I said.

"well,your clearly concerned with form rather than content,why bother with the folk scene,why not earn a lot of money imitating Elvis."

It should have been clear from my last post that I am concerned with form AND content- that's why I respect this music so much. You obviously don't respect it- that's why you're happy to listen to crap singers.

"when you quote me please have the decency to give the full quote.which was .
[it is really up to organisers to sort this out,and to give some thought to their presentation of floor singers,however I would still prefer a night of badly performed folk songs to an evening of competent Britney Spears imitators[or whatever FAYE used to imitate]"

...and that was not the post that I quoted. I don't think that I had read that far.

And by the way, even when I used to sing covers I did NOT imitate anyone- I brought my own style to everything that I sang. It's possible to sing pop music well you know! And before you form the deckchairs in a circle to go off on another tangent, the reason I stopped singing pop is that I developed a LOVE for folk music as soon as I discovered it. That's why I play in scruffy pubs for nothing as opposed to singing in 4-star hotels for £200 each a night and a personal changing room.

And, much as I dislike everything I've heard from Britney, I'd rather hear her music (or anything else) done well than folk music (or anything else) done badly. Why is that so hard to understand? Is it a kind of inverted snobbery?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:44 PM

Faye, what a wonderful woman you are, you'd get on really well with my wife who has on many occasion said everything you said at the beginning of this post. There is far too much shite out there which ends up being tolerated because of the 'we must include everyone, and be nice to everyone' policy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM

I've been on long shifts since this started but I am off on Friday and will get chance to have a peruse:-)

First impressions - good to see that some other people would like some folk clubs to get their act together and put on stuff that people would be happy to pay for!

I'll leave it at that for now. Another 16 hours tomorrow...

Cheers

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 04:06 PM

Clubs dying?
If you define "folk club" strictly as the "booked guest every week" format then yes they are. When I first became interested in folk music in the late 60s there were four clubs meeting every week in my area, three booked a guest every week and one was a singers club with an open stage rather than singaround format. I never heard a pub session mentioned in the area at that time.

The same area now has three weekly and one monthly club with no more than occasional guests but there are a number of bar sessions and singarounds.

The end result seems far more introverted and less welcoming to strangers but judging by the posts here most people don't want to promote the music but prefer private little gatherings where nobody is bothered about their vocal shortcomings. Nothing wrong with that as long as you aren't promoting it as a public entertianment at the same time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM

Faye, if you prefer to listen to cover bands playing crap well,your clearly concerned with form rather than content,why bother with the folk scene,why not earn a lot of money imitating Elvis.
when you quote me please have the decency to give the full quote.which was .
[it is really up to organisers to sort this out,and to give some thought to their presentation of floor singers,however I would still prefer a night of badly performed folk songs to an evening of competent Britney Spears imitators[or whatever FAYE used to imitate],I am not overkeen on either,but one is marginally preferable to the other,its a bit like a choice beteen cold tapioca and cold semolina].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Faye Roche
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM

Phew- what a hornets' nest. I don't have time to do more than skim through all these posts but here goes with my responses:

"A folk club now is just that....a "club" for people...a place where a few local people get together with their friends to relax and share in a common interest. If they have a more informal attitude to the music than you do, that may bother you, but if you want to be part of that scene then you either have to put up with it, or else BECOME the change you wish to see. In other words, YOU learn to play some stuff really well, without screwing up any of it, and get up there onstage and do that. It should give you much satisfaction, and it should entertain other people as well. You will be personally building the future for the kind of folk club you want."

That's what I do- perform to the best of my ability.

"You have to understand that after a certain age when friends get together with other friends they may become a lot less demanding of performance perfection than they were in the days of youthful ambition."

Fine- if it's just friends getting together with friends. But a music venue that charges the public for admission?

"Try going to a major folk festival in the summer. You will see some absolutely amazingly good performances there, I guarantee it."

I went to three festivals this summer, all of them excellent, including the "club" stages. That's how I'd like folk clubs to be. Does anyone disagree?

"Folk clubs will change, as they have over the years already."

I'm frequently told by people who were around when it was all happening of the golden age of folk when the clubs were packed and you had to audition to get a floor spot. That was before my time, but wouldn't everyone like it to be like that now? I would.

"Elvis Presley forgot the words to: are you lonesome tonight,the Beatles were frequently out of tune,when they played in Hamburg, as were The Rolling Stones on occasions in their early days,the Dave Clark Five, had a drummer who[well the less said the better],many pop groups of the sixties could not be heard live,because of the screaming[and a good job too]."

Yes, we all make mistakes, and there have been instances of artists in all fields going a long way on a little talent. However, I'm sure that all the people described above rehearsed and did their best. Anyway, you can't use the odd poor performance by one artist to justify atrocious singing by someone else.

"Many of the pop covers bands are playing crap [just my opinion]. I would rather hear folk music performed not very well, than a professional competent pop covers band."

I wouldn't. I don't like listening to crap singers who can't be bothered to learn a song before they try to perform it.

"But some clubs are thriving."

Yes, they are. I've visited about 20 clubs since I got involved in folk music and I'd say that about 5 of them are doing well. They're the ones who have good floor singers, thereby being able to book good guests, who bring in audiences, who pay money wo book more guests and keep the club going. Higher standard floorsingers also attract other singers of the same calibre; I've usually found that most of the singers in any venue are about the same level.

"Can't see where sing arounds/sessions come into it so lets start off by missing those out. Different animal. Faye never mentioned them."

I've had many an enjoyable night at a singaround, and one of the most thriving clubs that I attended has nothing but singarounds- it doesn't book guests. The standard there is mostly excellent. I accept that singarounds are different though I always rehearse a song to the same level regardless of where I sing it. They're a great place to start out, but there's no excuse for joining in one if you can't be bothered to rehearse what you sing. Why not do so anyway- do people who don't bother really have so little respect for their audience, the music and themselves?

"Don't give up on the music though because of one bad experience - there are far too many good ones to go around to compensate. Get into the festival scene - IMHO far more rewarding."

You're right about festivals- see my other comment. And I'm certainly not giving up! The sad thing about the demise of the clubs, though, is that for newcomers, festivals and other venues like arts centres are virtually impossible to get into as performers.

"It's a pretty simple riposte. If your friends are so great, why aren't they stars?"

Because they're not musicians. They are paying members of an audience. That gives them the right to form an opinion about what they're paying for. If I go and see the Royal Shakespeare Company I'm entitled to say whether I think they're good or bad- I don't have to be an actor myself to do so.

"Faye is generalising from the particular,a big mistake."

Never trust people who generalise! I was referring to a particular club, but I've seen this kind of thing all too often at other ones.

"Faye... if you think you know better, put your time and energy and possibly your own money) where your mouth is and set up a folk club the way you think they should be."

Why the hell should I? My point is that if you pay to be entertained anywhere (oops, the e-word just slipped in), you should not have to put up with unrehearsed crap. If there is a virtue in the sort of club that encourages people to drift on stage and sing any old half-remembered song that takes their fancy on the spur of the moment, you'll have to explain it to me, 'cos I'm *****d if I can see it.

To the various people who posted on the topic of crib sheet; I don't use them but I've no objection to those who do, if it helps. When I saw Bellowhead live most of them were reading from scores and it made not a whit of difference to the audience's appreciation.

I must go now- I'll come back to this when I can. Thanks to all of you for your views.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Ian Fyvie
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM

We have a brilliant opportunity with the recession to rebuild folk clubs from the base.   People with reduced incomes might stay at home and consume more from the tele etc but there will be many more itching to get out - but spend on good value rather than overrated hypestars of the Music Industry.

So - in we come with Folk Clubs. Enjoy an evening of live music - FOLK - in a local pub - for the price of just your drinks. This could help save you local pub and pull more people into love music generally (There's a boom in Open Mic sessions locally by the way.)

The great thing is that it's a low risk adventure for people who had never thought of folk as entertainment before - and as long as it's a good atmosphere they should come back next time - with more recruits!

I'm not so bothered about the PayClub scene as I don't frequent it - but organisers here should obviously be promoting the benefits of seeing a "Folk Star" in an intimate club atmoshphere at a fraction of the price of a large impersonal concert hall.


Ian Fyvie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 03:02 PM

folk clubs tend to be insular. They are sinecures for insiders. There are "favorites" and often those emperors have new clothes.

People tend to be clustered. When the circle becomes too small and outsiders are subjected to overdue scrutiny and criticism, then the circle dies.

Hence, folk clubs die.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM

Well that's true dave - there have always been the serious clubs, like your own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM

Similarly, Burntstump, I could invite you to our club in Long Eaton. We run monthly and normally have a guest each month, however,due to the quantity and, dare I say,the quality of the floor singers it is unlikely that you'll get more than one song per visit.

www.tigerfolk.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:59 AM

No its not a lowering of musical standards - although some of the unique talents that we lost were simply irreplaceable - Capstick, brimstone, Gerry Lockran.

The point always was that they would invariably be asked to finish off the evening - because yer actual 'serious' folk musicians couldn't follow them. They were entertainers. they had the 'big finish' - the thing that makes an audience discount the fact they could have home listening to cds with their feet up, and drinking at supermarket prices.

People think that just cos you've got something 'interesting' (yawn) to say about the origins of the song, or even if they just perform it brilliantly - its enough.

It ain't. It never was. And these 'serious' musicians are all that's left and they have pretty much emptied every venue entrusted to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:37 AM

Burntstump........ is there really a lowering in quality of "guests"?

You could see this at The Woodlark F.C. near Nottingham on January 5th.

Can you honestly tell me this is no good and the performers aren't talented?

Woodlark Folk Club.......next guest


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: burntstump
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 06:29 AM

Interesting subject

Being an ex club organiser who came through the seventies when clubs and floor singers were not just good but the majority were very good, I now ask myself the question why don't I frequent the clubs that still run near to where I live in Nottingham in the UK.

I can only answer the question based on my own views of the problems faced by club organisers who had a duty to try and give a genuine and honest pounds worth of entertainment to the paying public, many of which sadly failed.

Sadly, over the years, those performers that were any good priced themselves out of the market and the budget of most folkies, this left the influx of the not so tallented, who thought they were good but in reality were no better than the average floor singer. I know the club organiser should vet any booked act prior to booking them, but the reality is that a demo tape can be somewhat misleading and tour schedules fabricated.

One club that I used to visit on a regular basis moved from a comfortable pub back room to a morbid upstairs attic, they stopped allowing the floor singers to get up and perform a set of songs and went to a singaround, everyone got to sing one song from where they sat and hopefully another later in the night.

Being a musician, I need one song to warm up and to get into my performance, so the singaround didn't help me to perform at my best,nor did the singaround encourage performers to practice and polish their act, they could sit at the back in some dark corner and perform from there, very often with a crib sheet because they hadn't really learned the song or the tune.Another point was the club was supposed to start at 20.30 but very often didn't start until 21.00. This meant a lot of sitting arround waiting for the evening to start encouraging people to turn up late. At my club we started at 20.15 regardless of the number in the audience.

A lot of the people I used to know from the folk scene are no longer with us, and yes we can all reminisce about the good old days, but on this occasion they genuinely were the good old days and I for one would not have missed it for the world!!

I still have my guitars, and who knows one day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Marje
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 04:24 AM

If you're still there, Virginia - sorry if I misinterpreted what you (and Richard) said.

I can, though, understand how Faye felt when she took friends to a folk club. When you hold something (like folk music) very dear, and it's an important part of your life, you don't expect everyone to share your enthusiasm, but you'd like them to have some understanding of why you care about it so much. You really want to be able to be proud of your local club and local musicians in front of newcomers, and it's disappointing to be let down. I can see why Faye felt the need to explain to her friends that this was not representative of the music she loved, and that it could be so much better.

I don't often take my husband to folk clubs with me any more, for those reasons. He, like Faye's friend, has been heard to mutter, "I can't believe I'm paying to sit through this!" So I know how she feels. A club policy of uncritical "inclusiveness" does mean that the regulars may hesitate to bring friends along, and casual visitors are unlikely to come back, which is undeniably one of the reasons why some clubs are struggling.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

Marje

I am not demanding the right to sing for myself, especially in floor singers surrounding paid guest. A position to which I would never aspire.   I just don't think the OP should whinge about the quality of performance by floor singers (club members) where she paid to see a specific guest singer. She self admitted that she had been attending clubs for two years. She should have known what she might be in for. The whole thread has evolved or devolved into rights of club members and rights of paying audience.   

Maybe the word "right" is too strong. Maybe I should not have used it. One's throat can get cut on the Mudcat for smaller slips.

I just feel it was quite harsh of the OP to air her disappointment (embarrassment in front of her friends) so vociferously. It felt as though she just needed to offload.   

Re the devolution of the thread.... it seems there is a large contingent that believes it is OK to disallow "substandard" members singing/playing. RB and I don't believe this is right.

I really need to leave this thread now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

So difficult to keep up with this thread. Work life no balance.

Maybe the problem is that I have not had the experiences of many on this thread. After 40odd years never going anywhere or doing anything that wasn't child, church or work related, I feel so grateful for every chance to sing and listen. I am able to glean the good and say ah well to the not so good. I am able to listen beyond the lost key, missed verses and find what is good. But to be truthful, I have not had that many bad experiences.

I am in no position to tell a singer that song would have been really good if only you had memorised it perfectly and had some voice lessons and had stage presence and maybe sung it in another club where I wasn't. In fact I doubt there is anyone on this thread that would actually do that.

If I were confident and competent enough and had those precious commodities time and energy, I might offer and invite practice sessions at my home between folk club sessions. Maybe in my retirement, if I live that long.

In the meantime, I will go and enjoy all I am able to and try not complain when something or someone did not meet expectation.

Life is too short to waste dwelling on disapointment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:13 PM

OP said: ".. a singer came on who stumbled to the end of the first verse of her chosen song, then forgot the rest and had to be helped through it by members of the audience. As she sat down, to cries of "Well done" and "We got there in the end", one of my friends whispered to me "People actually PAY to listen to this???" in astonishment."

You may not have all the facts - I know of one guy who, after years of sterling work running a folk club and being a regular floor singer, suffered severe ill-health. He now occasionally attends clubs, sings from sheets because he can't remember all the words and sometimes forgets the tunes BUT we would have no hesitation in joining in if need be to help him out and yes, we would shout Well Done! and We got there in the end!.

Folk is about Folk - and quite rightly so in my book.

Deirdre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM

Sorry about typo "know" "no" - in a rush!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

Are many young people not attracted because folk is not seen as "sexy", rather like politics isn't, so they won't vote.

Of course we all are, aren't we ?

Of course we all no folk music can be, but it is not probablyperceived as such.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Marje
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:45 PM

Woops, that was me above. I've just changed from OE to Mozilla because of the security worries and seem to have mislaid my cookies. All sorted now.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:12 PM

I'm astonished that some club members (e.g. RB and VT, above) seem to be demanding the right to sing or play, at whatever standard they please, at any club, without anyone's permission.

Folk club organiser make the decisions about many other issues - they decide what guests to book, how much to charge, how many people to admit, how to publicise the event, etc - why on earth should they not have the right to decide which singers should have floor spots?

If I thought that a club organiser who'd heard me sing previously decided that I wasn't good enough, or simply wasn't suitable, for a slot in a particular evening's entertainment, that's fine by me. I'd rather they didn't include me than let me be an embarrassment to the club, or deny slot a spot to someone better. The only thing that would annoy me would be if they overlooked me and then gave spots to other singers whom I thought were rubbish. As long as the spots they did include were of a high standard, I'd be happy to sit back and be entertained.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

>>in fact some clubs nowadays maintain that this is entirely the artist's responsibility<<

That is not acceptable.

If I book an artist, I consider it my job to promote it. Why put these artists on if you can't be arsed to promote it. Its a thankless task promoting, but its a job that has to be done.

If an artist has a website and mailing list situation, it does help as they can possibly generate extra income for themselves (if they are on a % of the door).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:59 AM

apart from the usual typos I meant to clarify this better:

"developing the skills and profile that only full commitment to the circuit can generate"

By skills, I don't mean musical ability, I mean sales and marketing skills, and some other survival skills which you don't find out about till you've been three months in the jungle!

Increasingly, artists are being expected to help to ensure that there will be a decent audience - in fact some clubs nowadays maintain that this is entirely the artist's responsibility. The skills required to do this, specially in the current climate, are not easy to come by - and only the totally committed are likely to give them their wholehearted attention (coming as they do on top of all the artistic things that artists have to do).

They include things like mailing list building and management, graphic design, finding and engaging with remote media outlets, developing web communication skills and so on.

To have even a chance of reaching out over the shoulders of your employers to potential punters (specially if those punters happen not to be fans of clubs) takes time and massive tenacity - something few musicians want to apply to anything other than music.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Musket
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:58 AM

Must admit, yes, the young turks do not always play clubs, but they do play festivals and these are showcases that do still get people curious about folk clubs.

What got them interested? Ok, family ties with certain aforementioned, but not all. The interviews on Mike Harding's Folk on 2 suggest a resurgence.

Mind you, the folk clubs themselves have altered over the years. It must be a differing picture around the world, let alone across one county here the UK.

if a club is either not benefiting from a resurgence or the resurgence is happening in the club down the road, organisers need to ask themselves a few questions.

I was a vote back in 1982 to close a huge, nationally known, (the guest list always got national BBC plugs) folk club. We thought their time had ended.

Then came the resurgence (part 1.) The Pogues and the Irish connection (FECK?)
Resurgence (part 2) the young turks.

Let us hope if resurgence (part 3) is gifted to the movement, it is embraced with open arms, rather than rebuffed.

Dunno what that may be, but looking at politics, I am sure the protest song movement could use some "what goes round comes round" airing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:52 AM

"a sandalled weirdbeard sticking his finger in his ear, crooning through every key known and then some, about the hardships of being a Norfolk reed cutter."
And it's generalised and offensive shite like this that will split us down the middle and continue to convince me that the average non-folk folkie couldn't find their collective arses with both hands.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:51 AM

Wasn't there a piss-take of Tommy Roe's "the Folk Singer" called "the Floor singer"?

Folkie Dave - I'm with you! There is at least one person for whom I will leave the room, and indeed if I know she is going to be present I will not go at all.

But I won't try to stop her playing (fat chance, she thinks she is great and has her own ceilidh band!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

And 200


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

The Clubs are dying in the same way that WE are all dying !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 10:57 AM

I've just recorded a CD entitled 'The Secret Diary of a Floor Singer' - perhaps I should start lobbying the BBC now for them to consider me as one of the nominees for this new award!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 10:56 AM

"why do we have the likes of Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Spiers & Bowden etc? Surely something must be right?"

These oft-mentioned 'Young Tiurks' did get a start in the clubs - when they were more numerous and healier than they are today, along with some other very talented youngsters. The J's do still do clubs, but not Kate and seldom I think Eliza. Certainly none of them could sustain a living worth having if they relied too much on club work.

There are usually some younger artists working the clubs - usually with a bit of media backing generated by one award or some other achievement, but you may notice that not many of them do so, exclusively, for long. Because there is not enough work available. A few do manage to heft up the ladder to the theatre circuit, a majority go back to the day job and merely do occasional gigs and trips - and festivals, of course.

There are almost no new 'older youngsters' entering the job - for reasons I could write a book about.

The end result is that there are very few new people becoming career club performers - developing the skills and profile that only full commitment to the circuit can generate. (There are quite a few new retired performers, but that's a different thing again, involving a different type of commitment and different implications for the industry).

So the average age of the full-time guests is keeping tabs with the calendar too.

You can plot the long term projections for yourselves.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Musket
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 10:22 AM

So, there you have it in a nutshell.

Folk clubs are dying because the average age keeps tabs with the calendar, as I said above.

HOWEVER, I did then pose the question that if that is so, why do we have the likes of Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Spiers & Bowden etc? Surely something must be right?

So the thread continues mentioning Long John Baldry, Bob Dylan, Barbara Dickson.... No wonder younger people feel they are intruding on other's nostalgia. The above were long past folk clubs as a career move when I started going as a teenager in the late '70s.

(Our local bits included Barbara Dickson used to play here. See him over there? He refused Paul Simon a gig in 1964 etc etc etc etc.)

I love folk clubs for the inclusive and spontaneous singers nights, for the platform they provide for emerging talent still awaiting that big contract in mainstream circles, for the many mates over the years; but please don't expect me to actually enjoy a sandalled weirdbeard sticking his finger in his ear, crooning through every key known and then some, about the hardships of being a Norfolk reed cutter.

Mind you, I will applause politely, make a mental note to have an empty glass ready the next time he gets up and tell all the others at the bar why I still have an infinite capacity for turning up.

I watch football, but don't expect the manager to throw me a shirt, (although this season....) but folk clubs aren't like that. I never saw them as a spectator sport. Far more inclusive than that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 09:55 AM

Folkiedave

The perfect floor singer would take regard of what has just gone before and thus would want a decent repertoire.

The BBC Radio 2 Perfect Floor Singer Award. Now there's an idea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 09:04 AM

I saw the result of the Demon Barbers project at Gate to Southwell Festival. All those young people on the stage, parents were gobsmacked.

Dave - who once booked a steelpan band for a folk festival. But then I am a purist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Vin2
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 09:01 AM

This debate, interesting tho it is, will go on for ever. Nowt wrong wi that tho.

I have some sympathy with your mates in a way Faye, with their first encounter of a folk club.

Remember someone once saying that the first time you go fishing, if you don't catch a wopper and instead catch nowt (especially if it's raining) you probably won't go agin.

I'm 57 and have bin to all kinds of gigs (even saw Hendrix in Manchester on the same bill as the Floyd and Nice) but usually when i've bin to folk club night where there's a booked guest on, the organiser will start off with a couple of 'residents' who they know to be quite good and leave poeple, like meself, for the singarounds which i think is probably fair. A lot of now famous acts on the scene started at 'singarounds'.

I really feel that a first 'bad' experience shouldn't stop em going agin tho; maybe try a few different clubs. They're not all the same.

At the end of the day, i think it's about taste and tolerance.

Went to the 'Frost & Fire' Waterson/Carthy gig in Bury last week and as experienced as they are they still fluffed a couple of things, got a bit out of sync with each other at times and used reminder sheets on music stands but the evening was still fantastic !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:27 AM

Paul: well done.

When we started the Demon Barbers project in Loughborough, I invited all of the schools in the LEA to a meeting. 9 schools turned up; all 9 got some sort of folk activity in their school, and several got more than one bite of the cherry in the first year of funding.

But I wasn't running a folk club; I was the programmer at a subsidised arts venue, and did this as part of my day job. It's much easier to do this stuff when you're gretting paid to.

In terms of getting schools interested, there are a few ways in - Extended Schools and after-school activity is one, and you may find there's funding for it in your area. Avoid times of year or year groups who may be in preparation for SATS, etc; Acorn4's suggestions here are good, unless you're in an area where year 6 does the 11-plus(as they do where I live). You just need to be aware of these things. Overall, I find that the schools who are interested will be VERY interested, and will offer you the cooperation and support you need. Focus on them.

By the way, part of my (relatively new) freelance portfolio is being the outreach coordinator for the Demon Barbers. So hopefully we'll continue to be able to bring them into schools in many places.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:17 AM

It was a secondary modern school and I was talking to a key player/decision maker of the school


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:04 AM

I think it may well be that it is not the fact that the school is not interested, but that everything is so high octane these days due to innumerable pressure - with a primary school, the time in May after SATs are finished could well be the best time to approach the scholl as the Year Six are in no-man's land a bit before they go on to secondary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:02 AM

Audience at last KFFC night:

0-10 yrs 2
11-20 yrs 2
21-30 2
31-40 3
41-50 7
51-60 4
60 + 4

Not the best attended night we've ever had (2nd worst actually!) but fairly representative from an age point of view........ I don't call that dying!

Under 16s free, we've also organised for touring artists to run workshops in the village school. They really liked Jeff Warner!

Paul


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: folkwaller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM

First, the Demon Barber RoadShow is the most fantastic outfit and I am certain that if the person who showed no interest from your phone call was given a complimentary ticket to see them they would have a change of mind. I am assuming it was only that one person who was not interested.
I am fully aware that time is precious but one phone call seems to me a little lacking in commitment. How about approaching the education authority or going to the school in person.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:03 AM

I phoned up our local school to see if they might be interested in having the Demon Barber road show at their school working with some of the pupils for a week with a show for the school and a show in the evening, If I got a grant.

Their comment was something like this "You will be lucky to get approval for one day"

So that was it. Why should I waste my time, when it was obvious they weren't interested.

Good point from Ruth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,arran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:02 AM

I total agree with Goatfell, because these people are prudes and the do think that they are better than people like me and goatfell.

but their heads are so far up their their own backside that they can't see or realize what they are I just wish that they would just leave people like me and goatfell, and as they say memeory is short is it.
they tend to forget that they must practise as well with songbooks/songsheets, but myself and goatfell and people are the same as us can't.

they still think that they are better than us.

and there are they are just the same as us but a frightend to show that there are leraners the same as me and goatfell


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:43 AM

"How many folk club organisers go out of their way to attract young performers eg making the local college/upper school aware of the existance of the folk club and taking folk music into these establishments. Not all youngsters can get to clubs held in the evenings, for many reasons"

And for most folk club organisers, who do this as a hobby rather than as a career (and who are probably managing day jobs as well), this would be a lovely idea if only they had the time and the resources to do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: folkwaller
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:14 AM

Some excellent points in this threadand and here are a couple of mine. How many folk club organisers go out of their way to attract young performers eg making the local college/upper school aware of the existance of the folk club and taking folk music into these establishments. Not all youngsters can get to clubs held in the evenings, for many reasons, especially in rural locations. As for forgetting words, some of the most famous international folk singers have stumbled when performing at our club in Bury St Edmunds, it is their experience that enables them to overcome their mind blank. Floor singers can only aquire this experience by performing and learning to cover their mistakes. Lets have some tollerance.

This Friday, 19th, in Bury St Edmunds I am starting an afternoon folk drop in session in a cafe. This will be available for players and listeners alike and is aimed at youngsters, the unemployed, mums with babies et al. I may even play myself, mistakes and all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:18 AM

Wise words Gerry - as ever. Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,redmax
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:15 AM

I speak only from limited experience, but when go to local clubs and singarounds I'm almost always the youngest person there, and I'm no youth at 38. I've found the standard of singing to be fairly poor overall, forgetting words seems to be the norm rather than the exception, but the spirit is usually positive and friendly. It's the singers who only seem to know 3 or 4 songs that put me off, they sing the same bloody songs week in week out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: evansakes
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 05:12 AM

I organise a (reasonably) successful club and having trawled through most of the above would just like to acknowledge some excellent contributions above from Howard Jones. As far as I'm concerned his analysis is spot on (especially in his posting of 15th Dec at 7-05pm)

The only thing I'd like to add is that it doesn't have to be seen in such black and white terms (ie singers night vs guest night). There can be many shades of grey between two different extremes. At TwickFolk we like to put on many different types of night and no-one who wants to perform is ever excluded from doing so.

At our place these various forms can include (and in the last few months HAVE included) all of these levels below

a. a very basic and totally informal 'singaround' where anything goes (and cribsheets aren't frowned on),

b. a 'singers night' without amplification...again informal but you have a 10 minute slot of your own to "perform"

c. a singers night WITH amplification....a small but not insignificant step-up for inexperienced performers who suddenly have to confront how to operate with a microphone. Entry level performers might struggle to get onstage on these nights.

d. a low-key guest night (by talented club resident or other locally based act) which may not be very well attended. Usually 3 or 4 floor spots in total (sometimes in cluding one or two beteen the guest sets) but only poing to performers of known abilities

e. a medium guest night featuring a nationally known up-and-comer with professionally made CDs/merchandise and where an average/good attendance is expected. Usually floor spots are pre-arranged and by invitation only.

f. a well-known, well-established, highly respected guest who get their music released on established labels, reviewed in the magazines and played on the radio. Floor spots DEFINITELY invitation only and of high standard.

g. a semi-legendary artist who's won a few awards and gets booked at the top festivals. Here floor spots are replaced by a booked support of good standard and who will be paid (doing one 25-30 minute set). Sometimes the support will come from people who headline in categories 'd' or 'e' above.

h. a bona fide legend who is known worldwide and who headlines the best festivals and wins all the top awards (including Grammy etc). Tickets cost £15 or more and the paid support is sometimes a well know professional too. Occasionally on these nights there won't even be any kind of support spot (especially if the artist wants to (and merits) performing for two hours plus.

They simply have to be realistic and self-aware enough to know on what type of evening they will get their chance. If they aren't aware of the level at which they're capable of performing they to be gently told (and perhaps occasionally bluntly so if they get above their station). Performing at everything above entry level is not a right...it's a privilege.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:42 AM

"People the object to this are prudes, and think that they are better than the rest of us."
No we're not - we just think you are better than that - and so is the music.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: goatfell
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:29 AM

I love it when these people come up to me and tell me that it wrong to have the words to a song in front of me, and then they go up and make a pigs arse of the song/tune, and i'm the one that did all right. and the ones that don't believe in using a song sheet, make an arse of the song by forgetting the words or the tune, and yet I'm the one in the wrong. I mean you have orchestras that have music stands and yet people don't mind that and they get paid for playing music, and opera singers as well sometimes have song sheets along with choirs, then why can't we.

People the object to this are prudes, and think that they are better than the rest of us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 28 May 12:39 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.