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,Rafflesbear 14 Dec 08 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Sarah, Barnsley 14 Dec 08 - 05:12 PM
Peter T. 14 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM
Joybell 14 Dec 08 - 04:50 PM
Joybell 14 Dec 08 - 04:18 PM
greg stephens 14 Dec 08 - 04:05 PM
filidh 14 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM
Will Fly 14 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 03:52 PM
olddude 14 Dec 08 - 03:48 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Dec 08 - 03:45 PM
Gervase 14 Dec 08 - 03:37 PM
Will Fly 14 Dec 08 - 03:36 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 08 - 03:32 PM
Folkiedave 14 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM
Linda Kelly 14 Dec 08 - 03:29 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 08 - 03:06 PM
Will Fly 14 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM
Ann N 14 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM
Dave (Bridge) 14 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM
SunrayFC 14 Dec 08 - 02:35 PM
The Sandman 14 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM
Leadfingers 14 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM
Dave (Bridge) 14 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM
Acorn4 14 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM
Little Hawk 14 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM
Faye Roche 14 Dec 08 - 01:57 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,Rafflesbear
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:17 PM

I find myself split down the middle here

the other day I went to a carol service and because the carols were not all those of my youth I was disappointed

on the other hand with folk music I have a particular interest in one up and coming young professional duo that is blowing the cobwebs off folk music and presenting it in an exciting fashion. They appeared recently at a South-East London folk club and attracted not only folkies visiting the club for the first time but by the end of the evening they had pulled in some very unlikely looking youngsters from the other bar

however they have made approaches to another very well established and 'respected' folk club not a million miles away and have been unable to get even an unpaid floor spot!

I appreciate that any folk club organiser has the right to run their folk club in exactly the way that they wish but I also have the right to reserve my admiration for those who keep their finger on the pulse and see that such a band will broaden the appeal not only of their club but of the whole genre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Sarah, Barnsley
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:12 PM

"but it's a fact that in thirty years or so most of them will not be around"

yeah I agree, but look at it this way, Barnsley Folk Club might 'only' have another 20-30 years to go. In the last two years in Barnsley two Acoustic nights have started and disappeared without trace, (and another two started and hopefully going strong).

At the rate pubs are clising in the UK, as long as I have somewhere to be a amateur musician in an encouraging, non-judgemental atmosphere and get a decent beer at the same time I won't care whether its a folk club or not. (I'm 35 by the way if that makes any difference)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM

I would say from a few years experience that the number one problem is that in places like that -- open mikes, etc. -- people are getting up to entertain themselves and not the audience. As soon as your attention shifts to what you think an audience wants to hear, then you are on the way away from carelessness, laziness, and narcissistic introversion.   

yours,

Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:50 PM

Soooo -- Here's what I reckon:
If you don't like my peaches don't ya shake my tree.
Grow your own.
Form your own clubs.
Run them as you want.
We did.
We do.
Anyone want to come to Joy's Folkoff Festival?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:18 PM

If you pay to hear a particular group/singer that's one thing. Between you and them. Attending an existing club is quite another. I'm with Folkiedave -- choose a different place to hear your favourite performers.
A club runs itself for itself. It has the right to do that any way it wishes, including asking for payment. Nobody is forced to attend.
I have also played all types of music. I set myself high standards but I don't impose my tastes or standards on others. I choose the places I attend carefully. If our way dies with us old folkies -- well that's sad for us -- but we have the right to be the way we are.

Thing is -- here I go getting all cranky -- We were once young. We remember it well. Young people were never old. You can't possibly understand old.
Cheers, cranky old Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:05 PM

I may be biassed, but I have started various sessions, clubs, events etc over the years, and have also been involved in the running of long-standing clubs which existed before me, and after me. If you go to something, and have a strong feeling it is not entirely to your taste, well there are two sensible options. One, stay, and change it. Two, go and start something new.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: filidh
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:04 PM

the real question is what is folk?

some are looking for something very professional and some want a social atmosphere. and of course some want very traditional music and some see bob dylan as folk.

these debates have gone on for years. i have found folk clubs are cliqueish and often have very set ideas about what is folk--often based on little real knowledge, but then i have also met some of the best musicinas i have ever known at folk clubs.

i wish they were friendlier to new commers and other ethnic groups. and i wish that there were less middle class bigotries and more real rootsy people , and i especially wish there were less selfrighteous amd narrow minded "organizers". those kind of people often set rules that are thinly veiled class and ethnic bigotry. .but lifes tough and i have found lots of good fun and good music at many folk clubs.

much better music than at :professional " gigs. i do both and i see a lot of very good looking and coolly dressed twenty ssomethings sharing gigs(i have often done gigs with several acts) who can barely play an instrument and have a the singing range of the scottish bagpipes.

folkies tend to be older i guess and the young have their own movement. in canada its heavily bluegrass and mountain music that circoles around regular bars and not folk clubs--well i go to those more often than folk clubs .

so what the complaint really is is that there are not enough "folk police" to keep up standards. whewh!! that would be a nightmare


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM

I know exactly what you mean, Faye. Trouble is, by posting that you'll probably get umpteen of the usual suspects pitching up to say it ain't so, or that their particular club would never do that, so all's rosy in the garden of folk.

I don't have a particular club - I merely repeat that, in travels around the country over the past 4 weeks or so where I've attended several clubs, singarounds and sessions, there's no sign that anything is dying. But that's just my personal experience. Other posters here will have their own experiences - which might be the same as Faye's or the same as someone else's.

The point is that the name of this thread is "Why folk clubs are dying". But you can't draw a general conclusion from singularity of experience. The only conclusion you can draw, so far, is that some clubs appear to be good and some appear to be crap...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM

Yes, but one sort of gathering feeds the other. The same people who populate our session and singarounds are also those who turn up in clubs - they aren't totally divorced and are part of the same overall scene.

The difference is that at all the sessions I go to - you don't have to pay - she did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:52 PM

listening to the rap music in the car at 180 DB

I do that too, travelling to & from singarounds!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: olddude
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:48 PM

Because people have become deaf ... listening to the rap music in the car at 180 DB

that is my theory. Folk is normally acoustic so no one can hear it anymore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:45 PM

I believe on one occasion recently Rod Stewart sang "Maggie May" from a cheat sheet.

When doing sound for some local heavy-ish bands round Medway I've seen some really amazing electric shit.

I've seen plenty of kids unable to tune a guitar.

I've seen plenty of bands too drunk (or otherwise enhanced) to stand, much less play.

Hells bells, I've seen Amy Winehouse totally incoherent on stage, and Babyshambles truly live up to their name.

Oh, does anyone remember Sly and the Family Stone?

I'v seen a four-guitarists (killer guitarists, all four of them) set at Cambridge when I still went there at which TWO of the guitarists could not find, much less ascend, the stage.

I've never heard anyone say "this is why electric music is dying".


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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Gervase
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:37 PM

I know exactly what you mean, Faye. Trouble is, by posting that you'll probably get umpteen of the usual suspects pitching up to say it ain't so, or that their particular club would never do that, so all's rosy in the garden of folk.
You're right, though - your average trad club is pretty well doomed, and deservedly so; it seems to have become a support group for the musically or emotionally challenged. There are some good ones about that I know of, but even those aren't really the sort of places you'd take a friend to. It would involve far too much explaining...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:36 PM

Can't see where sing arounds/sessions come into it so lets start off by missing those out. Different animal.

Yes, but one sort of gathering feeds the other. The same people who populate our session and singarounds are also those who turn up in clubs - they aren't totally divorced and are part of the same overall scene.

I've also been to concerts (not folk) - at a rare old price - where the main act was substandard. It might have put me off ever seeing that act again, but it hasn't put me off concerts per se.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:32 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM

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

As I understand it what she was complaining about was that she had PAID to go into a club which presented a lesser performance than she thought she was entitled to expect for the money she had paid. And from her description she is correct. I recognise the type anyway.

Can I suggest that instead of going to a folk club Faye - you check locally where some festival is presenting your favourite band(s) - and if you can't afford a ticket, volunteer as a steward.

You should find a load of people around your age.

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:29 PM

I'd say they were thriving too -and we don't pay the club members to perform Other than guest nights when we pay professionals-for most this is a hobby -if everyone was perfect they would probably be doing it as a profession -we get together through a shared interest have a mixed audience including students from the university and we try really hard not to patronise each other- If I watched a sunday league football game I wouldnt winge saying the standard wasnt that of Manchester United, i might just be pleased to see some real stars amongst the also rans and pleased that they were enjoying themselves- .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

In my experience nothing could be further from the truth - I regularly attend folk clubs & singarounds from Chorlton-cum-Hardy to Byker, via Preston, Blackpool & Fleetwood, and I'd say they were thriving.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM

I must be lucky, Faye. In the last few weeks I've been to a mixture of clubs, sessions and singarounds in Cheshire, Sussex and Surrey, where the standard of performance - on the whole - was excellent. The acoustic sessions, in particular, produced some excellent young singers and instrumentalists. I know what you mean, though - there are certainly one or two fairly deadly places around the place. However, whether all this means that the scene is dying or flourishing, appears to be in the eye of the beholder. I echo the wise words of Little Hawk:

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ann N
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM

Some people who can sing or play really well just get a bad attack of 'stage fright' when they stand up and it's a rare performer who has never forgotten a tune or song halfway through. Beginners have to start somewhere to build up confidence and with encouragement most (though admittedly not all) get better :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave (Bridge)
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:47 PM

What is the definition of 'dying'? Is this a numbers thing?
I am regular at at least two clubs which vary in numbers, weekly. Often the best nights are the quiet nights when we have a chance to chat about things folkie. Quiet night are also useful for letting the less talented have a go and hopefully improve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: SunrayFC
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:35 PM

but some clubs are thriving.

It is possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

I agree with some of your points.
but,[Before I took up folk music I sang with a pop covers band. Yes, you may laugh (justifiably so) at this kind of outfit, but I've never seen a band of this type stop halfway through "Dancing Queen" and ask the audience how the next verse goes.]
a few facts,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].
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.
however, I think there is room for improvement,and some floorsingers,could do with more rehearsal,before performing in public,there are also some very good floorsingers[some of them do gigs and support their local folk club by doing floor spots Gary and Vera Aspey spring to mind
http://www.dickmiles.com .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM

The main problem , apart from L H 's excellent point , is that despite the obnoxious types who post here , your average UK Folkie is NICE ! And being nice , they find it very difficult to say to someone who has just done a Crap floor spot that that is what they have just done ! We ALL have off days - Even well established Professionals forget their lines - but there does seem to be a requirement for clubs to have a member responsible for quality , who can tactfully ask if a singer IS happy with their performance ,and suggest possible improvements .
Of course that is totally against ALL the Inborn Qualities that the Average Englishman (OR Scot , Irishman or Welshman) are brought up to exhibit .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave (Bridge)
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:28 PM

Folk clubs will change, as they have over the years already. Gone are the days when all folk clubs were heaving every night. There are still a lot of young performers about but they have different ways of expressing themselves and don't want to be amongst the old fuddy duddies, I suspect. Having said that we can all still learn a lot from each other, if we want to. Imagine the wealth of knowledge about the material, the tradition, how to perform (or not in some cases)that abounds in the minds of some of these 'old' folk. I do believe that folk music will continue for ever, nut not necessarily as we know it 'Jim'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM

I think there's going to be quite a lot of overlap here with the "what kind of club is yours?" and "folk club manners" threads of recent - I've got a choice of five or six clubs within driving distance to go to tonight, so it's not dying -the age balance is a bit of a problem though - perhaps all those intense punk/ heavy metallists will eventually drift folkwards - look at what Robert Plant's doing now!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

Well....there's also an interesting subculture of hobbyists who get together over their common interest, which is building plastic model kits of planes, ships, armoured vehicles, figures, etc...and they are also mostly people in their 50s and over. The reason for it is similar. Plastic model kits were something that EVERY young boy (and a few girls) built in their spare time back in the 1950s and 60s and into the 70s. Those were the days long before Nintendo and computers, so kids liked building models. Some of the same people who were kids back then liked the models so much that they have continued building them ever since...so it became an adult pursuit as the decades went by. It's mostly middle-aged adults who build models now. Why? because they loved models in their youth, when the local hobby shop was in its heyday. They'll all be gone in another 20 years too. So what?

Okay...so us folkies got to love folk music when the local folk club and the folk scene was in its heyday. That was from about 1958 to 1972. The scene remains...just as any other scene does...because of the lingering affection of people remembering the days of their youth, and there are always a few new young people who also become attracted to various past trends, so it never dies out entirely....but it's not the mainstream anymore.

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.

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. They're no longer trying to conquer Mount Everest, you see. Mountain climbing is for the young.

(I might add, though, that some people go on being very competitive and perfectionist no matter how old they get...and from them you will get that standard of professionalism you are expecting.)

So take the good with the bad. There's gotta be stuff happening in the folk scene that you would like too. Try going to a major folk festival in the summer. You will see some absolutely amazingly good performances there, I guarantee it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Faye Roche
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:57 PM

OK I know that this is going to be a bit contentious, but here goes.

Most of the clubs that I've frequented, since I became interested in this music two years or so ago, have been populated by people aged from about 50 upwards. I'm not being ageist or morbid, but it's a fact that in thirty years or so most of them will not be around.

I'm 30 and my friends are all about my age, so we are, are we not, exactly the sort of new blood that the folk world needs if it's going to survive. So why aren't we going to folk clubs?

Here's a possible explanation:

I took a group of friends with me to a club not very far from where I live, but not in my home town (no names, no clues, no accusations of trolling please.) The guests were a band that I wanted to hear and my friends were keen to hear what I've been up to since I started singing this stuff.

The band were disappointing, but no more of that; it was not them that made my friends vow never to grace a folk club again. It was the rest of the evening.

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.

I was so angry that, like my friends, I almost vowed to give up folk music and do something else. Why is it that this sort of thing is tolerated in folk clubs when in any other music venue the performer would be taken off?

So, four people who may have been converted to this music have now decided to steer clear of it. And people come on this message board and debate about where the deckchairs whould be while the ship sinks lower and lower in the water.

Sorry about the rant- it's most unlike me, but I couldn't contain it. FFS- why can't club organisers impose some kind of quality control; ban crap singers from appearing again, or at least only invite known good singers on guest nights?

I'll close with a personal message to any singer who thinks that it's OK to stand up in public and hack his/her way through a song without learning and rehearsing it properly first: YOU'RE WASTING MY TIME AND MY MONEY! GET IT RIGHT OR STAY IN THE AUDIENCE!

Phew.

Before I took up folk music I sang with a pop covers band. Yes, you may laugh (justifiably so) at this kind of outfit, but I've never seen a band of this type stop halfway through "Dancing Queen" and ask the audience how the next verse goes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 6 June 6:45 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.