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Why folk clubs are dying

Banjiman 22 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM
Will Fly 22 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM
Banjiman 22 Jan 09 - 06:27 AM
Sleepy Rosie 22 Jan 09 - 06:33 AM
Will Fly 22 Jan 09 - 06:37 AM
Vin2 22 Jan 09 - 06:51 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jan 09 - 06:53 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Golightly 22 Jan 09 - 08:23 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Jan 09 - 08:40 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Jan 09 - 08:59 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Jan 09 - 10:13 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Jan 09 - 10:29 AM
Sleepy Rosie 22 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jan 09 - 12:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jan 09 - 12:45 PM
TheSnail 22 Jan 09 - 01:10 PM
Sleepy Rosie 22 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Jan 09 - 02:25 PM
Sleepy Rosie 22 Jan 09 - 02:41 PM
Folkiedave 22 Jan 09 - 03:01 PM
The Sandman 22 Jan 09 - 03:14 PM
The Sandman 22 Jan 09 - 03:17 PM
Nick 22 Jan 09 - 04:52 PM
Folkiedave 22 Jan 09 - 06:21 PM
Nick 22 Jan 09 - 06:25 PM
Folkiedave 22 Jan 09 - 07:15 PM
TheSnail 22 Jan 09 - 07:43 PM
Joe G 22 Jan 09 - 07:48 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 09 - 02:31 AM
Will Fly 23 Jan 09 - 03:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 09 - 05:39 AM
TheSnail 23 Jan 09 - 05:47 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 09 - 06:56 AM
greg stephens 23 Jan 09 - 06:58 AM
matt milton 23 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 09 - 10:47 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 23 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM
mattkeen 23 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 23 Jan 09 - 11:33 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Jan 09 - 12:33 PM
Banjiman 23 Jan 09 - 12:37 PM
greg stephens 23 Jan 09 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,PeterC 23 Jan 09 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 23 Jan 09 - 03:10 PM
wyrdolafr 24 Jan 09 - 02:38 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 09 - 03:08 AM
Folkiedave 24 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM
Folkiedave 24 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM
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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM

Thanks Surreysinger, I love the ambience of these Texas Gladden recordings. Great songs, great stories.

Still want to get my banjo out and add a little clawhammer backing..... probably get discommunicated for that though! And it probably misses the point as well.

The Devil & The farmer's wife is absolutely great.... but it is far more "musical" than the recordings that precede it(in my humble). Must be the guitar on it.

BTW, I was suggesting Barnet was the great divide, not that I had lived there. I can confirm "The North" signs go all the way up the A9 (past Inverness). Once drove from London to Orkney (except the last bit, obviously), thoroughy recommend it!

Not sure what any of this has to do with dead folk clubs though..... sorry!

Thanks again for the link.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM

Sleepy Rosie:

But then I do have soft Southerners ears

Ah... more copy for my ballad - now entitled: "The Southern Virginal Ears of Sleepy Rosie". It's coming along nicely. Now - must shave the backs of me hands.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:27 AM

p.s. just got to Barbara Allen on the Texas Gladden recordings. Pretty sublime version and singing...... not heard this version before. Great.

Better do some work now!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:33 AM

Shouldn't they really be "Lilly white and fair Oh!" or some such thing, to be genuinely worthy any kind of mention in a proper ballad?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:37 AM

I'm happy to take your word for it. I'd always assumed that they would be "Lily white and fair Oh", somehow. Please don't disabuse me of this as I'm already up to verse 23. :-)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Vin2
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:51 AM

Anyroadup, back to the thread....another long established folk club is on the cards for closing in April - the Open Door Folk Club in Failsworth. I think poor Pualine & John have finally and sadly realised they can't carry on with the low numbers they've been getting over the recent past. I was at the Stanley Ackrington gig t'other Sunday and apart from the organisers and guest there were only 6 or 7 present and 3 of us had to leave before the second half to catch a train home.

I do hold my hand up and hang my head in shame a bit as one who through non attendance in the past has kinda failed this club but Sunday eve starting at nine just isn't suitable for me as getting home is difficult.

Not sure of the answer, mebbe Sunday lunch/afternoon sessions? Some interesting posts on this thread tho. Despite the decline in clubs, i feel the music/genre whatever is thriving and will survive one way or another even if it's just half a dozen in someone's living room.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:53 AM

Hatfield and The North
When is that legislation on noise limitation due - pleeese?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM

another long established folk club is on the cards for closing in April - the Open Door Folk Club in Failsworth

That's really sad. Mind you, even though I'm a Manc there's no way I could get to Failsworth for 9.00 on a Sunday (four miles into town & four miles out again, and no drinking at the end of it) - so I guess I'm part of the problem. Er... sorry.

Drink driving laws and the decline of folk clubs, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Golightly
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 08:23 AM

Well, drinking and driving just don't mix, law or no law. As a non-drinker I'm often baffled as to why I can enjoy a night at a gig without boozing but others are really deterred if they can't have a drink.

Beer and folk music are inextricably linked in some people's minds; maybe that's another problem.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 08:40 AM

Correct, Golightly, drinking and driving don't mix.

"As a non-drinker I'm often baffled as to why I can enjoy a night at a gig without boozing but others are really deterred if they can't have a drink.

Beer and folk music are inextricably linked in some people's minds; maybe that's another problem"

When the medics told me three years ago that I had to stop drinking alcohol, the one thing that didn't cross my mind was any kind of thought that my enjoyment of folk-music was at an end. It hasn't made the slightest difference to me in that respect - in fact in some ways it's made life easier, I no longer have the mental battle over whether to have a pint or not when I'm driving. :-)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 08:59 AM

As a non-drinker I'm often baffled as to why I can enjoy a night at a gig without boozing but others are really deterred if they can't have a drink.

Habit. Expectations. Habitual expectations. (Also nerves for performers.)

Beer and folk music are inextricably linked in some people's minds; maybe that's another problem.

That was partly my point; we have a booze-and-folk culture, extending to the celebration of drink and drunkenness in song. Perhaps there is, or was, a slice of the folk club audience for whom giving up the clubs was easier than giving up the beer.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 10:13 AM

"That was partly my point; we have a booze-and-folk culture, extending to the celebration of drink and drunkenness in song. Perhaps there is, or was, a slice of the folk club audience for whom giving up the clubs was easier than giving up the beer."

Agreed Pip. I feel sorry for them. If the choice for me had been to give up either booze or the music, music would have won hands-down and booze would have been binned. As it was, my choice was booze or a painful death - absolutely no contest!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 10:29 AM

Perhaps there is, or was, a slice of the folk club audience for whom giving up the clubs was easier than giving up the beer.

On doctors orders I can only drink two pints a night, twice a week, maximum, and those four pints I'll drink whilst at a folk club - a singaround, session, or whatever. The pub is the natural habitat for a music that I never could take entirely sober anyway, nor yet too far removed from the context in which I first encountered it, or where it seems to be at its happiest - I love old pubs as much as I love the old songs. I dare say the smoking thing is a bit of a pain too - I gave up smoking myself back in 2000 and as a consequence stopped going to folk clubs for a full five years (thus missing out on the Boden Years at The Colpitts in Durham). I can't say I missed it too much, if at all, but back then Rapunzel was working shifts & we were living in a merry world of earlies, lates, nights and days off entirely out of synch with the rest of humanity. Rapunzel returning to a regular working life coincided with me finding my citera which gave me reason enough to want to start singing in folk clubs again.

Almost four years on and we're still in the habit - always seeking out new places to simply sing (rather than perform, which is less important to us), and finding plenty to keep us happy with respect of informal singarounds and suchlike, but aware that as traddies we are very much in the minority. Maybe that's why certain comments here irk me so much, regarding what I think of as a preciously indigenous idiom as oppose to the invariably American stylings of your average singer-songwriter, whose voices are just as effected as any traditional singer* you're ever likely to hear, if not more so. There are idioms, and there are conventions, but I regard it of supreme importance to sing in your own voice in celebration of the idiosyncratic human essence that is the heart and soul of traditional song - personal taste notwithstanding of course, which is something else altogether, though it is here we find the zealous negativity that will, I fear, be a contributing factor to the death of the thing entirely.

*I regard anyone who sings a traditional song as a traditional singer; source, revival, neo-revival, wyrd, experimental or otherwise. Maybe I've lost the ability to discriminate, or no longer see any good reason in doing so. If you love the music, then that's what you are; it's the love that qualifies you to sing in an idiom which is very much about the individual voice, irrespective of the hullabaloo which only serves to exclude.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM

"it comes back to your point about the "sound" of the thing, it needs to be accessible/ pleasant to the untrained ear. If it is, it will speak to the masses."

This I think is a crucial point.

The 'folk' who origonally sang these songs were indeed 'aurally untrained' in the sense that they did not undergo any formal training in order to *cultivate an appreciation* of their own art. They were born and bred in the middle of it.

I PM'd another poster (Ruth Archer) here today (who has been most helpful towards me regards educating my ear btw.), and I thought of Opera when writing a response to her query about 'how I was getting on' listening to some of the folk material she'd sent me.

I'm no Opera buff by one hell of a way. But one of my absolute favourite pieces of music in the world is Bartoks Bluebeards Castle (The story in this piece - monstrous, fragile, saturated with shadows... Just like the folktale.). Yet despite my love of this work, I know that Opera as a genre remains somewhat alien to me - but purely as a consequence of my own lack of effort to educate my own 'untrained ear'.

I suppose, if traditional song *now* requires an "educated ear", to appreciate it, it does indeed describe a separation from the (generally uneducated/non-formally educated, both now as then) 'folk' from whom at one time, it would have been most naturally understood and appreciated.

The bottom line though, I gotta agree with IB there, Love is the answer. But not merely of the singer (whatever thier style.)

There is a dance between the 'Bard' and their listener. And a fascinated, loving ear, for a good story well told, is intrinsic to human nature. Be it told by Yeats, Bartok, Oscar Wilde, The Brothers Grimm, Cocteau, The Beatles, Jim Moray, or indeed Sedaynes Henry here.

Is the medium more important than the message? I suspect that human intercourse over thousands of years, may say not. That is not to say that particular ways of expressing any art should be dismissed as soon as there's a new generation of artists who wish to revolutionise the way things have been. But perhaps a kind of dialectical process could be allowed for?

Song is so ephemeral, and it's mode of transmission even moreseo. There are no objects on which to forge any secure certainty... But maybe that ephemeral butterfly-like nature of a song, which has passed through thousands of voices, doesn't want to be captured or married to any given miode of representation.

And strumpet that our butterfly may be, it will flutter to wherever honey tongues and voices and ears may Love it best.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 12:22 PM

Boden Years at The Colpitts

Glad you said that. I was beginning to think I'd imagined the whole thing, now that the Lewes Arms is claiming to have invented him singlehanded.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 12:45 PM

Difficult one that. Sing in your own voice is okay for most of us, but what about people with plummy voices - or people who want to sing other kinds of folksongs. lots of people like singing irish songs for example.

As i said, I love the Watersons, but they have a style of presenting a song which isn't really a 'natural' voice. Some people try and take on the character of the narrator, rather like an actor does with a role.

i always thought Ewan MacColl was very studied - none the worse for that.

what the hell! just give it your best shot.

Sometimes some people can change your mind about a song.

I wrote a song about my Aunty Nelly, who came from St Helens and was really impressed with the American airmen in the war who were stationed down the road at Burton Wood. When I wrote it I saw it a chance to use bottleneck guitar in the style of driving Rev Gary Davis's Whistling Blues - to emulate the boogie woogie piano music of the time.

On a Folkus weekend - a guy from St helens said - why are you using an American accent -its about someone from St Helens. You can speak in a Lancashire accent - why not do that . So I did, and it seems to improve the song - to my ears. Although its a strange hybrid - a boogie woogie song in a St Helens accent.

i suppose if you're famous - you're stuck with having to do with what the audience expect. No doubt people would get pissed off with martin carthy if he did songs in a Jim Reeves style.

One of the few compensations of being poor and unsuccessful is that you can do what you like.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 01:10 PM

Thankd for the plug Diane.

Could I just point out that we are now the Lewes Saturday Folk Club at the Elephant and Castle, Lewes.

John Morgan this Saturday.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM

I just realised that the greek term "Pneuma", has been hovering around me somewhere unexpressed.

But 'Breath' 'Life' 'Spirit'!

Ahh, how pertinant to giving the loving breath of life to a Song, could anything be?

And newbie as I may be. The 'museum' of dessicated (though precious) artifacts, works no better for me than if it were to be applied to Greek Theatre - which fucking rocks..


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:25 PM

"The 'folk' who originally sang these songs were indeed 'aurally untrained' in the sense that they did not undergo any formal training in order to *cultivate an appreciation* of their own art. They were born and bred in the middle of it."
Oooooh (sucking of teeth sound!) Complicated one this Rosie - there are accounts of singers being taught by older singers - Joe Heaney and Johnny McDonagh were both 'taught' by their uncle, Colm Keane.
Depends also on how far back you want to go - and how far afield. Bert Lloyd talked about young singers undergoing an 'apprenticeship' and sitting the equivalent of an 'exam' after a given period in some Eastern European countries.
I think we all tend to forget that we caught our own tradition/s when they were, in most cases, being remembered rather than participated in, so we don't really know what they were like in full flower.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 02:41 PM

"Oooooh (sucking of teeth sound!) Complicated one this Rosie - there are accounts of singers being taught by older singers - Joe Heaney and Johnny McDonagh were both 'taught' by their uncle, Colm Keane."

Fair do's Jim C. As you might possibly have gathered by now, I'm no expert. I am however greatly enjoying the exchange of thoughts here, all of which will hopefully engender rather more (albeit primarily autodidactic) educated informed engagement in future.

As for storytelling, I'd be remiss in not mentioning my own mendicant Irish 'rougue' Grandfather, whose broken yet utterly seductive Fey-winged Pneuma - if not the precise memory of the tales themselves - remains beating in my own hearts breath to this very day.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 03:01 PM

No doubt people would get pissed off with martin carthy if he did songs in a Jim Reeves style.

Well style maybe but he has recorded Hong Kong Blues, Heartbreak Hotel and the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.

He also sang "Where Do Flies Go in the Winter Time" and "Hard Cheese of Old England". I think he has a wider repertoire than sometimes people give him credit for.

As for the Watersons Mike was kicked out of singing and music lessons at school. They didn't like him harmonising.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 03:14 PM

Snail,John Morgan? do you mean Don Morgan .


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 03:17 PM

ah, don morgan appears on st valetines night with diane morgan.
alas no morgan morgan


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Nick
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 04:52 PM

Martin Carthy plays in a wide range of styles as most people who like music do - an example - it's just music. Who knows, perhaps he just chooses to use his voice as he chooses. Sometimes people generalise. They could pick up the clip in this post and make a host of assumptions - which might be right or wrong.

To me it is an example of diversity.

The Bob Copper story with Taj Mahal and the Watersons is in the same sort of league.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:21 PM

Not here they aren't.

Thanks to the Derby Ram for this one.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Nick
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 06:25 PM

Ah but that's not a folk song.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:15 PM

Stop trying to drift the thread...........:-)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:43 PM

Captain Birdseye

Snail,John Morgan? do you mean Don Morgan

No. I mean John Morgan from Kent. Traditional songs with melodeon and guitar.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Joe G
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 07:48 PM

Well I am delighted to say that one folk club that is very far from dead is The Topic in Bradford. Tonight we had a packed house hear a very fine set by Pete Morton with some sterling support from the floor (especially Amy Atkinson & Midnight Special who are surely one of the bands to watch at the moment).

I'm just hoping we have as many for Katriona & Jamie at Raggalds tomorrow!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 02:31 AM

"alas no morgan morgan"
Not to mention 'Organ Morgan' whose wife was a martyr to music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 03:16 AM

"'Twas organ, organ, organ...".


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 05:39 AM

Under milk Wood - okay not a folksong. But I'd want it in any club I was a member of.

stuff like that makes the entity stronger.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 05:47 AM

Under Milk Wood would be a bit long for a floor spot but I've heard The Outing and A Child's Christmas in Wales.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 06:56 AM

Bring back Dylan (Thomas, that is) I say
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 06:58 AM

If you look at a current thread entitled "Sea Shanty performers wanted! (London, Feb 2009)", you will hear about a club I mentioned earlier in this thread: a new club opening, run by (shock horror) young people. There is hope for the clubs yet!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: matt milton
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM

I don't think folk clubs are dying. I'm a Londoner. In London we have: Magpie's Nest, The Goose Is Out, The Local (crouch end), The Basket Club (Brixton), Folk at the Moon (Herne Hill), Easycome Acoustic (Nunhead), Lantern Society (Farringdon), perennial activities at Cecil Sharp House, singers and guests nights in Islington, Tooting, Blackheath, Orpington...

thriving, if you ask me!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 10:47 AM

well somebody thinks they are dying, or they wouldn't have started the thread.

Sometimes you go to some clubs and you wonder, why couldn't it have died last week - before i got here?

i was in a duo with a guy once and we were going round doing floorspots - hustling for gigs (as one does!).

One night we came to this club and there was just this old bloke sitting there with his loose leaf folder full of song lyrics.

We walked in and he said , oh great some people! sometimes I have to sing to myself....and he proceded to sing three lugubrious ditties from his collection. Luckily his mate turned up and he sung three more(not quite so bad - but pretty bloody awful).

A couple more people turned up and then it was our turn. you could feel seething resentment in the room, we'd brought a guitar and electric guitar and we were playing stuff we could do in our sleep. we weren't forgetting the words or anything folky.

Anyway at the end of the night, this guy who was my playing partner said YOU WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT TO ME AGAIN!

scuse me....?

IF WE EVER FIND OURSELVES IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT,   WE GO.....! WE SAY TO THE GUY - YOU'VE GOT IT WRONG! YOU ONLY THINK YOU RUN A FOLK CLUB. THERE IS NO FOLK CLUB HERE.

Perhaps he was right. The duo didn't last much longer. Still perhaps he was right. although I still see the folk club advertised.

never mind The Imaginary Village, what about the phenomenon of The Imaginary Folk Club!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM

Bring back Dylan (Thomas, that is) I say

Steady there, Jim - I might be tempted to post my crwth-based (but otherwise emasculated) setting of The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower on YouTube...


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM

Matt - could you do me a big favour and break those London clubs down for me, please?

Concert club (booked supports)
Guest club (floors singers on guest nights and also singers nights)
Singers club (no guests)
Session (tunes)

And could you hazard a guess at the average age and attendance figures for each?

That would be just brilliant - thanks!

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM

Also matt:

Those club you list are predominantly newer style clubs and set up by younger people like Sam Lee and are a breath of fresh air and terrific as far as I am concerned.

They are an antidote to the dying clubs that some think don't exist!!!!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:33 AM

Oh yes, and I forgot to ask, and how many are

Open Mic (free entry, mics not necessarily present)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 12:33 PM

IF WE EVER FIND OURSELVES IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT,   WE GO.....! WE SAY TO THE GUY - YOU'VE GOT IT WRONG! YOU ONLY THINK YOU RUN A FOLK CLUB. THERE IS NO FOLK CLUB HERE.

Quite right too - but again, I've got to say I've never seen anything like that. The worst I can remember is one night in December - I think it might actually have been the week between Christmas and New Year - when there were about six of us at my local club at 9.30 (for a 9.00 start), and three of them were non-musicians. We'd all got drinks in, so we just sat around chatting for a bit. Then a bunch of people turned up around 10.00, and we were off. It was a good night in the end.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 12:37 PM

"never mind The Imaginary Village, what about the phenomenon of The Imaginary Folk Club! "

If it sounds half as good as (some of) The Imagined Village, I look forward to it!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 12:42 PM

That does look quite a long list for London, but on the other hand there are 10,000,000 people there aren't there? I fnacy in the rest of the country they do better than one folk club per million people.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 02:15 PM

Matt's list includes a number of clubs that don't promote themselves as "folk" clubs. Maybe that is the key to their success.

When I count up the clubs in areas where I know the history I don't see a significant decline in numbers of venues. I do see a decline in audience numbers per venue and a move from booking guests to singarounds.

I interpret that trend as a switch from clubs intended to promote folk music to a wider public to clubs intended to provide their members with a place to sing. Both approaches are equally valid but the "problem" is that people go to one format expecting the other and are dissapointed.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 03:10 PM

Muddle over names ('brand confusion') is certainly an issue, and one that could be becoming critical. I'm interested to know how many of them offer a quiet environment, how many charge on the door, how many provide paid gigs, and how many are specifically interested in songs with a bit of History - as well as the demographic and door figures. There are some hotspots in the UK, but also huge swathes with very little. I'm always glad to hear of vibrant or new places, but am concerned to get an accurate picture of what's really happening across the country. It's not all good news, and things could go either way over the next 20 years depending on what we decide to do now.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 02:38 AM

matt milton wrote: "
I don't think folk clubs are dying. I'm a Londoner. In London we have: Magpie's Nest, The Goose Is Out, The Local (crouch end), The Basket Club (Brixton), Folk at the Moon (Herne Hill), Easycome Acoustic (Nunhead), Lantern Society (Farringdon), perennial activities at Cecil Sharp House, singers and guests nights in Islington, Tooting, Blackheath, Orpington...

thriving, if you ask me!"

That's a bit Londoncentric isn't it? Things are good in London so therefore must be ok? Because London is all that matters?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 03:08 AM

". I do see a decline in audience numbers per venue and a move from booking guests to singarounds.
I interpret that trend as a switch from clubs intended to promote folk music to a wider public to clubs intended to provide their members with a place to sing"
Doesn't have to be a bad thing as long as the members are prepared to remove the digit and improve the general standard and as long as the organiser are prepared to encourage and help this to happen.
The regular singers always used to be the stars of the show before (apparently) the organisers decided that it was easier to use guests as a crutch.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM

I think I would like to claim..........


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM

My first 600.


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