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

GUEST,LDT 15 Dec 08 - 10:03 AM
The Sandman 15 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,LDT 15 Dec 08 - 09:31 AM
Jack Campin 15 Dec 08 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Essex Girl 15 Dec 08 - 09:10 AM
TheSnail 15 Dec 08 - 08:40 AM
Janice in NJ 15 Dec 08 - 08:33 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Dec 08 - 08:23 AM
Joe G 15 Dec 08 - 08:18 AM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 08 - 08:16 AM
RamblinStu 15 Dec 08 - 08:15 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM
Dave Sutherland 15 Dec 08 - 08:03 AM
Dave Sutherland 15 Dec 08 - 07:58 AM
Acorn4 15 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM
TheSnail 15 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 15 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 08 - 07:30 AM
Leadfingers 15 Dec 08 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 15 Dec 08 - 07:25 AM
Betsy 15 Dec 08 - 07:16 AM
Jack Campin 15 Dec 08 - 07:15 AM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 08 - 06:01 AM
TheSnail 15 Dec 08 - 05:07 AM
theleveller 15 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM
TheSnail 15 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM
banjoman 15 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM
Waddon Pete 15 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 08 - 04:22 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Dec 08 - 03:13 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Dec 08 - 02:56 AM
Peter T. 15 Dec 08 - 02:49 AM
romany man 15 Dec 08 - 02:39 AM
Art Thieme 14 Dec 08 - 09:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Dec 08 - 09:19 PM
Nick 14 Dec 08 - 07:58 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 07:56 PM
Amos 14 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 14 Dec 08 - 07:43 PM
Leadfingers 14 Dec 08 - 07:26 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Ebor_fiddler 14 Dec 08 - 06:55 PM
The Sandman 14 Dec 08 - 06:49 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 08 - 06:46 PM
Ruth Archer 14 Dec 08 - 06:37 PM
Joybell 14 Dec 08 - 06:30 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 08 - 06:19 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Dec 08 - 06:03 PM
The Borchester Echo 14 Dec 08 - 05:57 PM
The Sandman 14 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 10:03 AM

hi LDT,just keep fingering your buttons and squeezing your box.
oo-er! *shocked face*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM

hi LDT,just keep fingering your buttons and squeezing your box.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 09:31 AM

No wonder its 'dying' As a young type person I don't even know exactly what a folk club is...or what its for... All I know is it gets a lot of debate on here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 09:17 AM

Edinburgh Folk Club seems to have a pretty successful formula - no floor spots at all, instead there is a support act (or sometimes two) who have practiced a bit.   (The support act is usually a dreadfully dull singer-songwriter with a sidekick, but they are dependably competent and probably appeal to the sort of person who likes that sort of thing. At least they don't go on too long). Leith Folk Club does the same thing. They don't need to have floor spots since there are plenty of other session/singaround/open-mike venues in the area.

Their audience is about as old as those other posters are describing, though. Younger people go to a more heterogeneous range of venues - the session or open-mike scenes for participants, and for listeners, "alternative" clubs like Out of the Blue, the Bongo Club, the Forest Cafe. I'm not sure we have a generic name for those yet. Typically they don't run two successive events are in the same format and genre, though organizers may set up a series of events, like the regular "Balkanarama" things (Balkan concert with food and Balkan disco).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 09:10 AM

The club that I am involved in running will accept any singer/musician of any age (we have had some excellent young musicians recently), and/or talent. We have a great variety of music, not all to my taste but that would apply at any club folk or otherwise. However we do draw the line when we have a paid guest and only invite a couple of our regular floor singers who can sing/play reasonably well and will not forget the words. I have heard a few moans on these occasions (why can't we have a spot? etc etc) but we feel that a paying audience and the guest deserves the best we can supply.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:40 AM

Folkiedave

I am happy to give people chances; but I would prefer them to sing in tune and know the words to the songs they are singing. Especially when they have written them themselves.

Is that really too much to ask?


Nope and in my experience, it's what you get. I think you may be going to the wrong clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:33 AM

We have plenty of folk clubs here in North America, but with just a few exceptions they follow a very different model than in the United Kingdom. What North American clubs generally do is have entirely separate evenings for featured guest artists. These are actual concerts, and depending upon the size of the audience, they can be in someone's house, a church, a school auditorium, or even a small concert hall. There may be an opening act, possibly a talented club member, but there are usually not any floor singers as in the UK. The clubs then have other evenings for members, and these can be singarounds, pub sings, jam sessions, house parties, or whatnot. This separation addresses the issue raised aboved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:23 AM

Dave - I agree that politeness and respect for the artists is very important. On this same visit there were two chaps stood chatting at the bar throughout the second set - now THAT was bloody annoying and wanted a telling off. But there's a certain kind of stultifying reverence that can be the opposite outcome, where even a few whispered words during tuning up are met by an OTT response from one or two of the "gatekeepers". Maybe it's something to do with so many folkies being school teachers (she said, tongue firmly in cheek...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Joe G
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:18 AM

Just to add my tuppenceworth (or slightly more than), the editor of our local folk magazine, Tykes News, asked a little while ago about the apparent decline of the folk club and I replied as follows:

This is an issue that concerns me as I am sure it does anyone who remembers the great days in the 70' & early 80's (and presumably before but I wasn't around then!) when clubs were full and the atmosphere was buzzing (at least it was in my native north east). We still have some great nights but all too often the enjoyment of a great performer or group is diluted by the fact that one has to sit through some dreadful (and I make no apologies for using the word) floor singers.
Don't get me wrong here, I believe the folk club is an essential place for young and/or inexperienced singers and musicians to get some exposure and build up confidence. I enjoy singarounds at festivals though I must confess I rarely attend these at clubs. I've heard some stars of the future make their first hesitant steps in clubs but I've also sat through renditions of tiresome songs by people who simply cannot sing and should have realised, or been told, by now. What I find inexcusable is that, having paid a reasonable sum to see a favourite artist, I have to listen to people who plainly have no talent at all for performance eating into the main artist's time on stage. I would dearly love to perform my own music in front of people but I am well aware that I have no aptitude for performing live, due to an appalling lack of sense of rhythm (just ask anyone who has danced with me!) and would not presume to foist myself upon an audience.
At a recent club night I attended, which heavily featured the aforesaid talentless floorsingers and a deeply drab venue, I suspect that there was there was nobody under the age of 40. Yet youth in abundance is evident at many relatively traditional festivals and at events such as the Demon Barber Sessions in Bradford. We need to get these people, and others, into the clubs. With the large number of other attractions on offer, particularly in the urban parts of our area, this is going to be an uphill task.
I believe, though I suspect there will be several who will disagree (!), that there needs to be a change in format of many clubs to have some form of quality control and limit on number of floor singers on guest nights. Maybe adopting the Topic's and other clubs' approach of having regular featured support acts is the answer. This would give you some confidence that, having dragged yourself away from the comfort of your CD collection, you are likely to have a good night out and not a rollercoaster ride from the sublime to the sometimes, frankly, ridiculous.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:16 AM

And sessions is sessions and singarounds are singarounds.

The OP went to a folk club to see a band and paid good money. She got as she described it:

First a selection of floor singers ambled on and after the usual false starts ("oops- a bit high; I'll try that again", etc.- haven't these people ever heard of pitch pipes?) 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

If that did not reperesent folk clubs I have been to then I would have contradicted her as Dick Miles has done and said generalising from the particular. I disagree with Dick, that descrition is far too common.

I am happy to give people chances; but I would prefer them to sing in tune and know the words to the songs they are singing. Especially when they have written them themselves.

Is that really too much to ask?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: RamblinStu
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:15 AM

Folk Clubs are in general run by well meaning well intentioned people who put a lot of time and effort into offering an invaluable service to Folk Music.

But

There are some clubs out there that are, to put it mildly, awful. These are the clubs, usually run by some blinkered old folkie who insists they know what "Real" folk music is, and often discourage other musical styles.
More importantly, these people have forgotten that they should be providing entertainment. An entertainment that should attract an audience, not a small collection of fellow performers, who sit in silence, listening to someone murder a song, again.. and again..and then praise them….

Folk clubs will die out if standards are poor and they fail to attract, and keep, a wider audience. It is no use clubs relying upon "names" to attract an audience. If that club can't provide the proper support for the "Name" then that audience is lost to the club.

Finally it is very easy for me to criticise, and I am the first to admit that I couldn't organise any function in a brewery, so I do have admiration for those who run folk clubs, but let's try to raise the standards and give folk music the status it truly deserves

Stuart Pendrill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

"You know you're getting old when you start to say
I wonder what's the matter with the kids today."

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:03 AM

sorry - the type of folk club.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:58 AM

Ariving late at this thread I am alarmed that some posters (and by the identity of them)who are citing that the basic folk club rules, those employed by successful folk clubs since the movement began, are to blame for this vaunted demise. "Please regulate your visits to the bar or toilet to in between songs/tunes. Please do not talk while someone is singing/playing." simply come under the folk club manners debate. Surely no point is so academic that it can't wait until the end of the song and in the case of loud bands, where no order exists, only encourage those who feel this way to "whisper" all the louder. I had to battle to hear Edward 11 the other week against some gobshite who was intent on bellowing to his mate and their partners throughout part of the gig.
As a member of the organisation of a traditionally based folk club, which will celebrate its eighteenth birthday in February I would have been deeply embarrassed had any of our residents or regular performers presented themselves in the manner that Faye describes as we have all been around the scene long enough to know what standards are acceptable.
In my experience it has been they type of folk club that cares niether for good order or high standards that goes to the wall the quickest; hopefully those clubs who are interested in their audience and treat them and the music with the respect that it deserves will be the ones to survive as we old organisers get ever older.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM

With reference to the chap who reads Les Barker poems.

Les actually normally reads his own from the books, and is ,of course, hilarious.

I think this is a question of timing rather than whether you read from a sheet or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

Folkiedave, folk clubs are folk clubs and concerts are concerts. Different things with different pleasures. Countless times I've heard someone in concert and thought "Very nice, but it would be so much nicer to hear them in a folk club." and then been proved right when we booked them.

the "here is a song I only wrote this morning so I may not sing it right" syndrome

and other mythical beasts like the "John Lennon impersonator", "the teenage diary singer" and "the song strangler" who apparently dominate all the folk clubs in the land except the ones I go to. OK, I'm sure they exist but perhaps they are the price you have to pay for hearing J who turns the interpretation of Child ballads into a labour of love and S who, in her sixties, sings like an angel and looks like a young girl as she does so. Then there's M who has only been singing in public for two or three years and, yes, he was a bit shaky when he first started and still has a limited repertoire but his voice has matured wonderfully. He had a cake at the club on his eightieth birthday. None of these have ever been near a concert stage.

And then there's the satisfaction of seeing the Folk Prom at the Albert Hall on the telly and thinking "We gave that bloke his first solo booking and I've seen that other chap perform a few feet in front of me with no PA in front of an audience of fifty."

Not to forget N who remembers the singers in his grandparents' Sussex pub when he was a child and now turns up with his eleven year old grandson who sings and plays banjo.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write this. It's helped me realise just how much I value folk clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

Just to clarify, the rise in amateurishness and the influx of younger people are two different things - the younger performers who've turned up recently range from 'good' up to 'give this man a recording contract'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:30 AM

this weekend i went to a real romany get together, with real romany singers and players, bum notes, out of tune singing

I'd much rather have been at the gathering "romany man" was at than any professional's concert. And it looks like a few million people agree with me

Jack let me ask you this, would this have been as much fun if they hadn't been romanies? Because I can find you plenty of places where singers and players can all do bum notes and out-of-tune singing. With ease. And what is more - they will be delighted if you do the same. IT makes them feel wanted.

And I have told you ten million times don't exaggerate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:26 AM

Betsy - Even worse than the music stands is the A4 sheet of paper held up between the singer and the audience , so that the singer is singing to the word sheet and not to the rest of the room !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:25 AM

they certainly aren't dying. They are well-attended and have been for very many years. Whether they can be called 'folk' clubs is a different matter.

When I first started going to Chorlton FC, there were five or six regulars singing to a room of about 12 or 15 people, mostly 50+. You'd get two songs in the first half and at least one - maybe two - in the second half; there were a couple of weeks when I got to do three plus two. Everyone worked hard on what they presented - it was pretty uncommon to see a crib sheet, and almost unknown for anyone to try to sing who basically couldn't - and about a quarter of what you heard was traditional.

These days anything from 15 to 20 acts get one song each all night (apart from whoever gets to finish the night - they get a couple). The place is regularly packed out, with a big contingent of the temporarily age-deprived. Crib sheets abound, the range of abilities is very wide indeed, and about one song in ten is traditional.

From comments by Will and theleveller, among others, I gather Chorlton's not the only club like this. It's certainly not dying - it's looking good for years to come. But if a stranger asked me where they could hear folk music around here, it wouldn't be the first place I'd mention.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Betsy
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:16 AM

Oh dear! I find myself agreeing with bits of everyone's postings.
Why not try reducing (personally I'd ban them) the use of music stands and crib sheets by performers.
Perhaps it would assist in removing a certain type of performer who seems to upset some of the subscribers.
How can anyone sing with emotion, passion, conviction or gusto when they're reading the words?
I am probably in a vast minority, but when I see music stands in a folk club it instils in me all sorts of negative thoughts about the performer.
Also, the people who stand up and recite (e.g.) Les Barker's poems (without mentioning that Les wrote them) and haven't got a clue where to place the humorous emphasis.
And the person who appears to know only 2 songs, and has been singing them badly every week for the last ten years.
And what about the people who have been playing the guitar / instrument for a relatively short time yet attempt songs and accompaniment which is FAR too complicated for them.
Most of us started at the "bottom" with 3-chord songs and worked our way up, why don't they learn to do the same.
Finally, I also being at the wrong end of the age scale, note with interest the warmth of subscribers in relation to the folk scene in the 60's & 70's which I share.
Please remember that (generally) two things were missing from a folk club in those days which now exist – microphones and music stands, both of which I believe have combined to form an unhealthy barrier between the performer and the audience.
Should we consider going back to purely acoustic nights for smaller clubs? although, naturally, I appreciate bigger clubs and concerts may still require them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 07:15 AM

Which has increased more in the last few years?

- CD sales?
- Viewings of amateur performances on YouTube?

YouTube is effectively the biggest singaround in history. Its users go for the participatory aspect in the same way that the participants in a village folk club do. And most of the people posting comments are nice in the way Leadfingers described (until you trigger a dispute about Balkan or Caucasian nationalism, anyway). Nor are YouTube users all over 50.

I'd much rather have been at the gathering "romany man" was at than any professional's concert. And it looks like a few million people agree with me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:01 AM

Hi Snail.

I am well aware of the Magpie's Nest and of Sam.

There are a couple of others that exist too.

My point is that when I was involved in running a folk club everyone else was about 23-26 years of age and so were all the organisers of all the other folk clubs and festivals I went to. (Except the National)

There are some wonderful professional or semi-professional musicians around nowadays. But the way to see them at their best and not have to sit through the "here is a song I only wrote this morning so I may not sing it right" syndrome is in the small concert venue and the concert hall and festival and not the club.

If you want to sing a song you wrote that morning in front of other people by all means do so - but not in front of paying customers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:07 AM

Sorry about that. Something went wrong with cut-and-paste.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

These discussions never seem to lead anywhere except to a retrenchment of well-established positions. The reason there is no answer is probably that folk clubs are as diverse and eclectic as the people who frequent them, and the music itself. As a general rule, thought, people get the folk clubs they want. I used to frequent two folk clubs regularly but now don't go as often as they seem to have turned more into 60s and 70s pop revival sessions and, although polite and welcoming, the people tend not to 'get' what we do (mostly self-penned songs based on the local area with a strong traditional theme that are a bit heavy for some people). Nevertheless, I don't feel angry about this – many of the people who attend regularly are my friends and if they enjoy it, that's fine, and when we do go, maybe 4 or 5 times a year, we get a warm welcome.

The point is, though, that they certainly aren't dying. They are well-attended and have been for very many years. Whether they can be called 'folk' clubs is a different matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

Folkiedave

I am looking for the young organisers

Yes. People like Sam Lee and Ed Hicks who gave us a fantastic show on Saturday night. They run the
The Magpie's Nest and embrace traditional music while adding something of their own.

I think Matt Quinn and Dogan Mehmet who we've got booked on 27th December will be making huge contributions in years to come.

And Faye... if you think you know how it should be done, 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 beFolkiedave

I am looking for the young organisers

Yes. People like Sam Lee and Ed Hicks who gave us a fantastic show on Saturday night. They run the
The Magpie's Nest and embrace traditional music while adding something of their own.

I think Matt Quinn and Dogan Mehmet who we've got booked on 27th December will be making huge contributions in years to come.

And 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.
.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: banjoman
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM

What most people dont understand is that Folk Music is probably the only gendre where the audience/supporters are allowed and often encouraged to actively take part rather than sit and listen. This will always mean that some who are not as good as others will accept the invitation. Imagine going to a Jazz club or the Ballet and seeing people from the audience get up and "perform" some might get away with it but very few.
Participation should always be encouraged in Folk Clubs, and if a particular artist doesn't want or need it then they should say so before thet start. My favourite Tom Paxton story is of seeing him at the Philharmonic Hall Liverpool many years ago when he made it clear that he would tell us when he wanted us to join in as people had paid good money to hear HIM. Otherwise he may as well go and sit in the pub across the road and let the organisers know by phone what the audience should sing next.

Folk Clubs are not dead nor will they die so long as there are people good or bad performers who support them

Keep singing
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM

"No one has stated the obvious, which is that folk music is dead."

No it isn't.........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 04:22 AM

The problem with switching the life support machine off is that there are some good folk clubs still in existence and they have been quoted on this page. But generally speaking I am with Jim and Diane on this one.

I am looking for the young organisers - we seemed to have trained the melodeon and fiddler players etc etc. We have a number of good singers emerging. But where are the young organisers?

Part of the problem (explained to me) was that there is a lot more bureacracy than there was, and frankly landlords are greedy when it comes to room hire.

I suspect there is a window of opportunity with the recession to get rooms for nowt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 03:13 AM

Switching off the life support machine on the term is well overdue. Crunch it in the secure trash and begin describing music by its origins, influences, arrangements and instrumentation.
Obviously, festivals are a good place for hearing music well-performed and there are even a handful of well-run clubs (someone cited the Ryburn 3-Step as a shining example).
It's the smug "I know what's good for my audience" MOR crap-peddling organisers with tone-deaf, floor-singing mates you need to wield the barge-pole against.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:56 AM

"A folk club now is just that....a "club" for people.."
And who knows - one of these days they may even become venues where one can go along and listen to folk music - that we should all live so long!!
Dave,
If we have to go to festivals to hear the music well performed - isn't it time we swiched off the life-support machine?
Have to say that Faye Roche's experience mirrors my own exactly.
What we appear to be getting here is a list of reasons why we should just lay back and accept the crap we are being dished out.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:49 AM

No one has stated the obvious, which is that folk music is dead. The taproot is long withered, and so it is of necessity either a museum culture, or people are playing new musics. So clubs are -- and were -- a weird hybrid already.

(I know, I know, folk music is whatever folk are playing, blah, blah, I never heard no horse playing music, blah, blah).

yours,

Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: romany man
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 02:39 AM

I vowed many years ago never to attend a folk club again, after almost a year of going to different clubs both near and far, in each and every one, the whole scene was based on, come in give us your money sit down and shut up, you are not here to enjoy yourself but to sit in silence and listen to some demigod of dubious standing, you go to the loo at your peril, if someone is singing or at best making the effort, you go to the bar if you dare, then at the end you go home, what a difference at the various festivals, where the pubs are packed and noisy, singers and players seem to be better, audience noise is great, people come and go, not a shh or tut tut to be heard, is it that folkies are killing the clubs if that is your view, or is it that folkies are so bloody vain in a club context that they are demanding silence and reverance, that wont work in the outside world, this weekend i went to a real romany get together, with real romany singers and players, bum notes, out of tune singing, real good time had by all, none of the rules and regulations of folk clubs, it ws cold wet, and a bloody good time !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 09:54 PM

'Tis sad if it is the reality now. I've nothing else to add.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 09:19 PM

why are folk clubs dying - probably cos they didn't book me. serves the bastards right


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Nick
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:58 PM

>>Is there ANY point me posting anything ??

There, there. People are probably still pondering it's inner depth. Sorry couldn't help it.

It's a nice thought but I have recently been through an exercise like that following similar advice on standards in Folk Club Manners thread etc and doubt I'll go through it again. In the context of a singaround- session perhaps it's inappropriate.

I thought I would try and 'help' by making some comment. It's driven two people away who now think that I'm a complete pillock. The other two it has made not a happorth of difference to (the hide on one of them is of the proportion of several rhinoceroses). So I won't be doing it again as it hasn't improved standards at all and just served to piss a few people off.

Still it'll save on Xmas cards this year so it can't be all bad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:56 PM

Leadfingers - your point, exactly?

Captain Swing - what you say seems (if the first two paragraphs have any meaning, which I rather doubt) incompatible with your name. I say burn the ricks.

If you are who I think you are, shall I play the drum some more?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:55 PM

Terry:

Why are you being so cranky?

Would you care to survey the number of well-reasoned, germane, articulate posts on this forum which go by completely unacknowledged and unaddressed because of the chimes of others with different tacks of their own invention they want to pursue? You'd run out of numbers, I bet.

Did you think it was about you, then? Silly man!!!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:43 PM

Folk clubs will die because they have no relevance other than as a preservation society of something that has no need to be preserved. Traditional music, by nature, must exist as a contemporary form and flow naturally with contemporary culture.

The folk club has little to do with traditional music and even less to do with contemporary culture. Music that is truly traditional will also be contemporary.

Try playing your new found music to a live audience at a pub gig. Your expertise as a performer will ensure that you communicate it well and you may be surprised at how well it is received.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:26 PM

Is there ANY point me posting anything ?? I thought I had made a sensible comment - 5th post 02.28 pm , and generated not a single response !! If I am posting crap bloody well tell me !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 07:25 PM

There seem to be separate planets here. I, of course, am on planet Antedeluvian, but my daughter is not. She went to a stage school where they always wanted her voice for the dramatic musical interventions. Her then band was not wholly comprised of people on the music course (she wasn't, nor was the drummer) - but the course director was heard to say at one sessional concert "At last we have produced a band".

So why do I say this? Well, since then she has had three electric bands, and she knows lots of electric musos. And so far she is a smidgeon over mid-20s.

Never mind whether she likes "folk" (or knows the difference - she does - but then both her parents were skanky hippy old folkies): the point is this.

Not wholly infrequently some of her electric muso friends (google "Redshift" for some, google "Endless Summer" for others, google "Death Cats" for yet more) blow into a folkie song/session - and the pretty universal view (unless she is lying to me) is "Wow! People actually play music together! This is great! Someone does something, another puts a bit in here or there. The massed harmonies!"

It is the musicians supporting the break from the consumer society in which the couch potatoes consume pap.

No, participative music is not dead yet. And Simon Cowell will kill it before we do.   

Yet the "standards" brigade tell us that we are killing the music. I think that planet is on an eccentric orbit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:55 PM

Same experience here. I was with a bunch of sixties folkies at a Waterson-Carthy gig here in York and we were glared at for joining in the chorus (and Norma was waving her arms to encourage us too!) !
Some clubs seem nowadays to be more like mini concerts than what we ran 30 years ago (but the past was always better then the present day - we have Roman and Ancient Greek documents attesting this).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:49 PM

yes,Dave,I did state that there was room for improvement in some cases,but there are also folk clubs,where the standard of floor singing is high.
I remember a few months ago on this forum,someone mentioned a folk club was it Ryburn?,and the singers from the floor,were all people who have done guest spots.
I got the impression from our crustaceous friend from Lewes, Bryan Creer,that the standard is high in his club too.
when I last guested at the Wilsons club the standard was high,as it was at Robin hoods bay,and Swinton[floorsingers included Gary and Vera Aspey]
Faye is generalising from the particular,a big mistake.
if every pro folk singer was to do a floor spot once a month the standard would soon go up,its a question of use it or lose it,if we want to keep the venues there for us to perform in,we have to get up and put something back in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:46 PM

At the risk of offending a lot of my close friends (I'm over 60 and a singer/musician) I much prefer to be at a mixed (song & tune) session than be in a folk club nowadays. Yes, they are mostly full of people my age, so I much prefer the sessions and festivals where there is a healthy mix of all ages.
Also at festivals like Whitby & Sidmouth there is an enormous range of activities to take part in, catering for all ages.

Bugger it! There goes my few meagre bookings for next year.


    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:37 PM

"Good grief, we've even been shushed at the Union Chapel when Spiers & Boden and Faustus were onstage. I'd have thought they were noisy enough to overlook a bit of verbal background explanation . . . "

Hee hee. I was charged recently with taking some new converts to a folk club-ish gig featuring Martin Carthy; one of those at our table was doing this sort of (very quiet) explanation of a particular piece and got sharp looks and shushing from the local worthies. It must have been very galling to the worthies to see Martin come and join us during the interval...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:30 PM

I'm in Aus. We don't have many choices here either, Jerry. However we moved to a remote area and it's to be expected. We did have coffee houses and folk clubs, both, in Melbourne. They're diminishing now too. We too financially support a club we only attend rarely.

We have the right to form ourselves into groups of special interest while we still have time. The music we love won't die. There are plenty of recordings, books, films. If future generations want to tap into it they'll be able.
Encouraging people by changing something is a weird idea to me. Let he/she who has ears...
Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:19 PM

Answering for myself it's a bit of both - he said sitting on the fence a little.

I believe the music is far more accessible to younger people (NB Faye tells us she is 30 so not young)at a festival than at a folk club. I certainly wasn't comparing festival sing-arounds with folk club sing arounds and I am not (as the poster wasn't) looking at sessions and "club nights".

I believe that with reasonable seats, good amplification and a decent audience then the chances are anyone with a passing interest in folk music stands a good chance of being hooked. Couple that with the friendly atmosphere at a festival, the occasional singaround/session in a beer tent and the rest of the whole festival experience - Pickering notwithstanding - and you have converts to folk music. The weather helps of course.

Send them to a folk club where people can't sing in key, need a cheat sheet for "The House of the Rising Sun" - and I have seen it - forget words and frankly are not very good - then you put people off folk music?

As Faye seemed to indicate. I know which side I am on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 06:03 PM

At least you folks in England have enough folk clubs to ask the question... I notice that very few responses are from folks over here from the Far Side.

I wonder why Barber Shop quartet music is no longer popular?

All semi-kidding aside, folk "clubs" are more of an English than an American term. Over here, we have a diminishing number of Coffee Houses, with an atmosphere left over from the 60's. I've loved that atmosphere all of my life, and still do, but the numbers they're a diminishing.

Last night, my wife and I went to a Paton family concert at an area coffee house (area meaning within fifty miles.) It was a wonderful night, with a good turnout. Sandy and Caroline Paton are justly beloved over here, and even though Sandy couldn't come, their two songs David and Robin were a good presence. We haven't been to the Coffee House in five years. The couple that sat with us were old, familiar faces who used to regularly attend the concert series I ran. I hadn't seen them in over ten years. The first couple we met hadn't been to the coffee house in fifteen years. I wonder how many other people who were there came because they love the Patons. And how many won't be back for another ten or fifteen years, if the coffee house survives that long. There is a folk music society that sponsors the concert series, and people do join in order to get a discount at the gate. It's the small band of loyal members who keep the coffee house going. But, if you only come once every five or ten years, a discount at the door isn't much of an enticement. I support the coffee house out of appreciation for the commitment of those who go regularly. If we don't support it with our regular attendance, I can at least help support it a little, financially.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:57 PM

Oh dear. I'm sure Dave is well able to speak for himself but (looking slightly desperately for a way in here), he said nothing about "better", Dick.

What he meant (or certainly what I mean) is that festivals are usually considerably more accessible for young people. I have my own store of horror stories, many of them peppering this sort of thread, of taking people met at festival ceilidhs to (often but not always) moribund "f*lk" venues to see artists they have glimpsed at said festivals. I'm tired of being embarrassed at cliquey atmospheres and hostile receptions for potential punters. I'm never in the slightest bit surprised when people I have tried to introduce to these "f*lk non-communities" turn round and tell me "well if that's yer fuckin' "f*lk club", fuckin' sod it.

Good grief, we've even been shushed at the Union Chapel when Spiers & Boden and Faustus were onstage. I'd have thought they were noisy enough to overlook a bit of verbal background explanation . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM

I take exception to Folkie Daves comment[well meaning as I am sure it is meant].
he seems to suggest that festivals are more likely to provide a higher standard than folk clubs.
I am not sure that festival singarounds are any higher in quality than singarounds in folk clubs[they are often the same people singing].
Folk clubs are about communities,Festival are about bums on seats[or lack of them in the case of Pickering]and how many people are still owed money by Pickering festival?


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: 5 June 1:18 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.