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Why folk clubs are dying

Howard Jones 19 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM
Will Fly 19 Jan 09 - 04:29 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Jan 09 - 04:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jan 09 - 04:18 AM
Ian Fyvie 18 Jan 09 - 09:14 PM
Ian Fyvie 18 Jan 09 - 08:56 PM
TheSnail 18 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM
Jack Blandiver 18 Jan 09 - 06:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 09 - 05:31 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 04:55 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 04:41 PM
Aeola 18 Jan 09 - 04:24 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Jan 09 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 09 - 02:53 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Jan 09 - 02:43 PM
Will Fly 18 Jan 09 - 01:45 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 01:07 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Jan 09 - 12:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 09 - 12:43 PM
wyrdolafr 18 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 12:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jan 09 - 12:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 09 - 11:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 09 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jan 09 - 06:46 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 09 - 06:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM
Gervase 17 Jan 09 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Maggie in Marske 17 Jan 09 - 10:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 09 - 10:22 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Jan 09 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Cliff 17 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM
Jack Campin 15 Jan 09 - 06:02 PM
Spleen Cringe 15 Jan 09 - 05:15 PM
Aeola 15 Jan 09 - 12:53 PM
Banjiman 15 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,Cliff 15 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM
Banjiman 15 Jan 09 - 07:58 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM
Banjiman 15 Jan 09 - 05:18 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 15 Jan 09 - 04:58 AM
Banjiman 15 Jan 09 - 04:54 AM
Mavis Enderby 15 Jan 09 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Cliff 15 Jan 09 - 04:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Jan 09 - 04:36 AM
Banjiman 15 Jan 09 - 04:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM

WLD: the middle class didn't steal folk music from the working class. The "proles" (to use your phrase) long ago abandoned their traditional music and became mostly passive consumers of commercial entertainment - along with most of the rest of society. If you want the authentic voice of the working class you'll have to look elsewhere. For a while it was punk, now perhaps its rap or hip-hop, but it's certainly not folk in any form.

No one pretends that traditional folk music is the voice of the working class today. Some find it significant that it once was, but others are simply interested in it as an art form for its own sake. Folk songs address the human condition - love and loss, loyalty and betrayal, trying to find an identity in a changing world - matters which affect all classes.

Some Mudcatters apparently know your real identity but I don't so I can only go on what I read here. I find it surprising that you chose to take your songs into the folk clubs, filled with the middle classes you seem to despise, rather than find some other medium which would speak direct to the working class.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:29 AM

But think - did Brennan on the moor, and stuff like that come from teachers and social workers, and retired executives and librarians.

Well Al - I might be one of these - but you don't know a thing about me, so what does it matter? And if I was, why stereotype me with attitudes I might not actually have?

Anyway - try this for size: What A Waste - Happy Birthday!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:25 AM

Happy Birthday Al.
JB


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:18 AM

Jim - I would never deny anyone's right to lift the corner, find a new style of music attractive - worthy of a lifetime's devotion, like you have done yourself.

Its just that i feel the folk music of today must be out there somewhere - out there on the housing estates, in the workplaces, in the hearts of the people.

this old stuff is your desmesne - fair enough. it makes you happy.

But think - did Brennan on the moor, and stuff like that come from teachers and social workers, and retired executives and librarians. Did Just as the Tide was Flowing come from an ardent lover who could have published his verse in a little magazine. No these songs came from the unlettered - who had no other way to express themselves than to SING.

And you know life is like that for a lot of people nowadays. Send your demo in - and if you're not one of the boys, or one of their offspring - in the bin it goes, unlistened to. the sounds of silence.

where are the songs about how we live? life in some shitty comprehensive, doing some mind numbing insult to your intelligence job, the insincerity of all commercial relationships - the have a nice day ethos..... I can think of maybe Jarvis cocker's Common People that has that texture - but that was ten years ago, and the world changes every time you turn on the tv.

yes you lot have won. i suppose the middle class always do. Check out the festival line ups and yup! surprise surprise - the traddies have cornered the market.

But its my 60th birthday today. Go on give me a present. tell me about a song that has something to do with the eras, i have lived through.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:14 PM

Re - Fingerpicking comment last posting - Created the new thread as mentioned!

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:56 PM

Dropped into mudact for the first time this year. Lots to catch up on. Must say this has been a brilliant thread over the months and some good new debates have emenrged in the last 20 days.

Immediate point: A new singer has been coming along to Cellarfolk since moving to our area for University. He's the youngest by some years on a normal night but his style is very similar to that of Tony, a collegue I co-host another singaround with.

Mentioned this to Tony at tonight's singaround. This led on to a discussion about what new generations might like about folk, musical stylewise, and what might be turnoffs. We concluded that the main style of the last 30 years (prissy clawhammer stuff ) might actually seem dated - therefore unattractive. New generations are more likely to want the more rhythmic - but nevertheless intricate - playing.

True, I'm really unimpressed with the clawhammer stuff - it seems to represent all that I thought was bad about the folk scene I remember from the days I did the trendy formal clubs. But its worth considering that the stuff I simply dislike could be the actual turnoff for young entrants to the folk scene - simply because it's a dated style. A new thread?

Ian Fyvie    PS - I'm working class WITH BA.(Hons) from a leading University.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM

the working-class have this proclivity to lap up such common-minded shite by the rancid gutterful

I think I might do that up in cross stitch.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:00 PM

Alarming stuff.

The worrying thing it just why the working-class have this proclivity to lap up such common-minded shite by the rancid gutterful? I knew that much early in my (working class) childhood when I began to find meaning in things that my peers looked upon with complete and utter bafflement. When I was twelve I was creating abstract electronic experimental landscapes using tape loops and synthesisers at an arts centre in Whitley Bay, and whilst prog was tolerated and to a certain extent indulged, it was when I began to pick up records of free improvisation and field-recorded ethnomusicology that one by one old friends fell away as I broadened my cultural horizons to such an extent that might be regarded as enriching my very soul, yeah, even unto biting into the Trad. Jugular of Ceremonial Song & Balladry at folk clubs, there to transfuse my watered down proletarian blood with what I still regard as the pure drop. This is not a Folk Epiphany - Folk is simply part of the glorious equation; neither is it a case of embourgeoisement, rather an idiosyncratic seeking after that which in whose presence, as Camus once said (and famously quoted by Scott Walker on the cover of Scott 4), my heart first opened.

Three chords and the truth? Bollocks. The medium will always be the message - thus might I do something like This or even This in faith that the only truth that matters is that which you accord to yourself.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:31 PM

Put a martin carthy album on the cd player. Wait til your Mum comes round, or the girl who does your hair, or your best mate who you used to work with.

Turn on the cd.

Wait how long before good manners gives way to impatience and they say - turn this shit off!


I'm intigued by the message behind this! Does it mean that if it is folk music it is shit? Or does it mean that your Mum or the girl who does your hair or your best mate who you used to work with think that Martin Carthy is shit? Is being able to play any CD that aforementioned army of proles think it is OK a measure of good music? In which case does this mean that Britney Spears, Sloop Dog and the Archies are 'better' than Martin Carthy, Miles Davies and the Manchester Halle?

Maybe popularity and 'listenability' is a measure of good - I don't know but I am willing to accept that it is. I for one am more than happy to walk out of a room when there is something on that I do not like. Either my own living room or a folk club! What I will not do though is brand things I do not like as 'shit' and try to justify my views by pretending that 'my music' holds some sort of wonderful poilitical message.

I am happy for other people to do so though. Jus don't expect me to take them seriously:-D

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:55 PM

I was kinda stunned to find no Tubeys of Stand Up, Nigel Barton


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:41 PM

Agreed Aeolea. It's one of the things that really bugs me - and ironically moreso from working-classes than middle-classes. The assumption that because I come from a low-income blue-collar (and indeed classically defined working-class) background (as I do), that somehow my cultural interests must therefore be defined and delimited by my socio-economic conditions... This IMHO is utter bollox and buying into thee olde class game, which keeps us all in our safely defined little box. Fuck the poxy British class system up it's tight arsehole, and all that it *still* stands for.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Aeola
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:24 PM

Why do people generalize, ' middle class', 'working class' etc., and assume that they all either like this or that? We are all individuals and happily what one likes another dislikes and so on ,, this results in a diverse universe of genres where there is something for everyone. As for being excluded, surely there will always be someone who isn't liked by somebody but at the end of the day we all get along, sort of!!( religion and politics are different!!)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:44 PM

At one point I decided to lift the corner to see what was underneath

This to me is key. There's a Radiohead track I'm particularly fond of called Fifteen Steps. The thing is, when you've heard Fifteen Steps by Radiohead, you've heard Fifteen Steps by Radiohead; it's been recorded, it's there, it's those notes & beats and no others.

Contemporary songs in the tradition are different, but perhaps not all that different. When you've heard three different versions of the Moving On song, you've heard three different versions of a song by Ewan MacColl; different people can make it their own in different ways, but it's those words and that melody and no others.

When you've heard three different versions of Lord Bateman, you've opened a door on a huge range of variants, and just as huge a range of possible interpretations. It's endless. Traditional songs are asking to be sung, and they're asking to be reinterpreted and rearranged. Speaking as a singer (floor-level), that fascinates me.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM

"Shimrod - if you've never felt excluded maybe its cos you have nothing to say that they would want to exclude."

-I felt excluded at school and college because I came from a working class family.

- I felt excluded during my brief stint in the Labour Party (c.1980) because I couldn't do the 'prolier-than-thou' thing with a straight face - or master the jargon.

- I have been excluded twice from workplaces (ie. made redundant).

- But I have never felt excluded from folk clubs. Possibly because I sing English trad. songs (presumably well enough to exclude the possibility people throwing stuff at me). In fact I have been invited to become a resident singer in three different clubs over the years. I have met a lot of my very best friends through folk clubs - people who, I know, are always there for me if I ever need them - and that is, surely, the complete opposite of exclusion.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 02:53 PM

"and they say - turn this shit off!"
As they would possibly say about classical music, jazz, blues....... or any other music that didn't appeal to them - what's your point Al?
You're pretty keen on insisting that because folk music says nothing to you, then it can't possibly be relevant to anybody else.
I find myself pretty much in agreement with Will Fly - up to a point.
I came into folk music because it pushed the right buttons with me - as a listener, and eventually a singer, it gave me a huge amount of pleasure and it still does - above any other form of music.
At one point I decided to lift the corner to see what was underneath, and guess what - that gave me pleasure too - and still does. My concern for the clubs is based on the fact that I would like to pass on that pleasure to others as the people who introduced me to folk music did for me.
Unlike Al, I am not going to try and legislate that anybody should be interested in the same things I am, and I expect the same courtesy from others.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 02:43 PM

WMD I thnk you perhaps ought to wait until Martin Carthy is around and then say to him "Of course all you middle class ponces live off teh backs of teh workers and never dun them no good nohow" and then duck. You may be bigger than him in terms of height of weight, but I'd really, really, like to be a fly on the wall.

And I thnk I'd quite like to be there when you're giving it the "Romanies, don't give me that crap about traditions, you're really just a bunch of pikies innit?" to Romanyman.

And I thnk it's quite extraordinary that you assume that the current working lass, MacJobsclass, adn underclass have no connection to thier roots. Around here, the one song I can count on the travelling boys to ask for is "The Innocent Hare".


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:45 PM

This discussion - like many before it - has mutated from the issue of whether folk cubs are dying or not (the OP's initial proposition) to the wider question of whether "folk" has any relevance or not. And - yet again - it is almost (but not quite) entirely focussed on song rather than the more inclusive song & melody aspect of folk.

I attend a monthly acoustic session at a pub a few miles away. This, in turn, has spawned a monthly session - which I run - in my local pub. In both cases, the music us held in the bar, not in a private room. We have guitars, mandolins, fiddles, whistles, free reeds, saxes - a variable mixture from month to month. The non-playing drinkers in both venues nearly always come up to us at the end of the sessions, saying how much they've enjoyed it, and ask when are we playing again. We play a mixture of music with a big emphasis on traditional tunes - which gets feet tapping and sometimes stamping.

We're not trying to put a message across, or to reach out to a "class", or to do anything other than just play great music and enjoy ourselves. No political, moral or social agenda. No breaking down of doors or slamming of doors. The problem with all these discussions of "folk music" is that they constantly emphasise the stereotype of the guitar-slinging folkie. There's more to the music than that. I saw John Kirkpatrick and Chris Parkinson (the Sultans of Squeeze) at a club recently. What did I get? Bloody good music, great tunes and songs, superb performances and stacks of belly laughs. I guarantee I could have taken my Mum, windowcleaner, hairdresser, mates from down the pub - virtually anyone - to this event, and they would have loved it.

The argument is grey, not black and white - and there are too many shades and sides to traditional music to make overall pronouncements. We should just get on and do it - as best and as passionately as we can - and bugger the carpers.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:07 PM

OK WLD, I get your point.

My Mum would probably say, 'What's this?' and be interested when I told her (I learned a lot from my Mum who left school at fourteen, lived her life working low-paid jobs and teaching herself everything she ever came to know anything about). My Dad, would pull a horrible face and say 'It's not the bloody Beatles is it?' and I probably would have to turn it off for him! I do my own hair. But the girl who used to do my hair might prefer it to some of the Drum n Bass, or Old Skool Rap I listen to... And the same is true of both my Mum and Dad, who while both working class, absolutely despise that stuff (though 'the mate I used to work with' would like it plenty, and indeed utterly hate the trad).

A class issue, a cutural issue, a generational issue?
I can't know. But I think I'd have liked to learned something about English Traditional Arts before now.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:52 PM

le sigh.

Hands up, I am guilty too. I am from US a lower mid working class boring background with little exposure to American folk much less English tradtional.

I was really introduced to Trad English music by my daughter when she was 15(some 13 years ago) and I (as she did) fell head over heels in love.   I only discovered the political folk music of my native land recently as a result of trawling through Mudcat. Yes I sang Guthrie's This Land is Your Land in elementary school but we were not taught what it meant.

Don't think it is fair to deny anyone's feeling for any type of music. If the song and the story moves you, they move you. If one can perform them so that they move someone else... where's the harm?

I can't believe I have been sucked into the vortex of this thread again.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:43 PM

Rosie

try this

Put a martin carthy album on the cd player. Wait til your Mum comes round, or the girl who does your hair, or your best mate who you used to work with.

Turn on the cd.

Wait how long before good manners gives way to impatience and they say - turn this shit off!

Not that martin is shit. On the contrary. he's a musician of genius. However he performs in a style which confronts - and frankly to many seems perverse.

He doesn't communicate with working class people because he doesn't want to all that much. anyway - its not top of his agenda. Preserving a vision of english folk music is. you pays your money - you takes your choice.

he's made his - his constituencey are happy. i never found my constituency - but at least I tried.

that makes me ridiculous to Shimrod. i'd rather be ridiculous and know i tried to kick down some of the doors leading to rooms full of smug bastards.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM

Weelittledrummer, not everyone. Some of us will be saying: "it's the first time I've felt music's really spoken to me. At last, someone truly understands me and why I killed those people".


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:28 PM

You're clearly a smart and astute man WLD. But I also find something somewhat patronising in the assumption that trad song and suchlike can't speak for 'me' or 'my class'. There seems the teeniest presumption amongst some postings (not necessarily yours specifically I add) I've seen on the 'Cat, that a working class person somehow isn't capable of appreciating or enjoying something which is somehow supposed to belong to the wealthy and highly educated? I'm still perplexed as to how come I've managed to completely miss English trad-arts all my life until now (another thread). Wish there was a higher profile out there for it, for other possible curious working-class parties like myself. I know I'm wading into a long laboriously wrung out debate, about which I know virtually nothing. And yet, I am working class, and I don't see why trad music and song can't (or isn't supposed to) appeal to other people like me.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM

Shimrod - if you've never felt excluded maybe its cos you have nothing to say that they would want to exclude.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:03 PM

What do you mean, "your class"?!

I'll have you know that my Dad was a sheet-metalworker. He made sacrifices so that me and my brothers could get further education after we left our shite secondary modern school. I ended up working in a lab., in Industry. Perhaps that makes me 'middle class' - but I've never felt like it - I just got some modest breaks at a time of maximum social mobility (mid to late 60s) that's all. I eventually got 'thrown on the scrapheap' at 57 - bit I survive OK.

it's a strange thing, 'class' in Britain, isn't it? When I was growing up, in a city in Eastern England, it was made very plain to me that I was from the 'wrong-side-of-the-tracks' (quote from one of my teachers: "I get fed up with you kids from secondary modern schools getting a few 'O' levels and getting big ideas about going to university"). Then when I moved to a Northern city I found myself being 'accused' of being 'middle class' - usually by the school teachers who packed my local Labour Party branch!
Nowadays some of those teachers are on the City Council - where they're still claiming to be 'prolier-than-thou' whilst doing dodgy deals with property developers behind the scenes.

To me Folk Music is not primarily about class (shocking as that admission might be to some people). It's about an interesting medium with a rich heritage which I find to be a lot more exciting and entertaining than much of the 'post-music noise' that passes for popular music today.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:41 AM

Anyway - you'll all be dumbfounded when my latest work 'Witchfinder General - the musical' gets an Emmy and a Radio 2 Folk record of the Century Award.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:06 AM

Don't need a manifesto.

the clarity of the situation is there for all to see it.

I started writng folksongs because I realised I came from a class that would not be published any other way. I could take my song to a folk club and publish in an evening to more people than could follow the abstruse shite poetry published in The Listener and Encounter.

Similarly all the folksongs come from the great underclass.

You have tried to change it into chamber music soothing to the middle classes. It was ever thus. Your class have always one more territorial ambition, and you have got your mitts on folkmusic - but by its very nature - it will break free.

The motherlode lies with the proles. Not the old travellers in caravans and rural traditions that no one remembers.

All the proles - who wouldn't get a look in at the Radio 2 awards for musically moribund - its blowing in the wind, man!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:46 AM

WLD! Have you heard the news!

Apparently all the 'great and the good' of English Trad. singing (Martin, Norma et.al.) were at a big folk festival last week when ... it's very sketchy ... lights were seen in the sky ... and well ... they all seem to have disappeared. Reports of "alien abduction" are, of course, absurd ... but what other explanation is there?
If that weren't bad enough several of the traddies on here ('Insane Beard', Richard Bridge etc.)have simultaneously decided to take up alternative interests (apparently 'Beard' has decided to become a Buddhidst monk in Bhutan) and even one of our newest recruits, 'Sleepy Rosie' has seen the error of her ways and is taking up crocheting. And then the Government is widening and deepening its attack on civil liberties by banning anything that doesn't make 'acceptable' levels of profit. All police stations are to be provided with special bins where you will be required to hand in all copies of Topic's 'Voice of the People', and other trad. CDs, along with books like 'Folk Song in England', Child's 'English and Scottish Popular Ballads' etc.

But every cloud has a silver lining, WLD! Now the way is clear for you to start your great Folk revolution! At last you can nurture a folk music which appeals to the " ... generality of the English population - which ALWAYS has a folk music relecting the people on the street."

Go to it, WLD! No more pesky traddies to stifle your noble ambitions! I look forward to you publishing your manifesto on here in the next few weeks!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:25 AM

"I know that i can't sing unaccompanied"
Probably explains why you don't like folk music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM

I know that i can't sing unaccompanied - a few other people ought to realise that it is very difficult and jack it in.

i don't feel the need to sing standing up in a hammock either.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Gervase
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 11:20 AM

Jim's right - if you can crack singing unaccompanied, you'll have got the measure of it. Not for nothing do those hideous talent shows on the telly make the contestants sing unaccompanied - it's the best measure of voice quality there is. If you can train your voice to hold a note and to work comfortably in a range (even a limited range - just pick your material carefully) then you've won 90 per cent of the battle.
Would that every would-be singer bothered to work on his or her voice, so go for it, Maggie.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM

Al,
We listen to and promote the music we like, not what happens to be 'in'.
If it fails, it fails - tough, no reason to put on music that doesn't interest you - we're folk music enthusiasts, not ******* juke-boxes. The 'people on the street' listen to Amy Winehouse and Beyonce and all the other mind-numbers - shall we save our pennies to get them down to the clubs???
Dylan pissed off to follow the big money - and never pretended otherwise.
Maggie,
The clubs have shrunk to a minuscule size, the audiences have dwindled and the organisers are prepared to tolerate - nay, promote crap performances of a music that is no longer recognisable as folk music - sorry, if it were our cat I'd send for the vet.
Why not try singing unaccompanied, helps to concentrate the mind, and the pitch no end.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Maggie in Marske
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 10:46 AM

Now then, who says Folk Clubs are dying? They are getting smaller than they were back then (in the 60's & 70's)but IMHO, they are still there, all you need to do is to seek them out. Now then, as to the standard presented - well, we all start somewhere. I agree that a good organiser will pick the best to do support sets on a guest night and if he/she doesn't then they should, but then sooner or later all the regulars should be encouraged to aspire to the best performance they can give, at all times.   Personally I was told at school that I was tone deaf (some might say I am) but what I learned in later life is that I have a somewhat limited range, and couldn't carry the tunes in the high "virgin voice" keys used in the High School!   Having found my range, I do feel I can put over a song if its played in the right key for me. Maybe that is something that more should experiment with. God gave us capo's for a reason!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 10:22 AM

the answer was blowing in the wind.

the only reason your folk club was there in the first place was those despised dylan crooners. well done! you got rid of them,and all that generation who thought they might have something to say about their own lives. the truth and three chords.

I'm sorry you've found youself in an empty room biting into the jugular. Just at what point did you feel the jugular biting might pan out as an evening's entertainment.

derek Brimstone told me one time about a prominent traddy who was getting monster reviews from Karl Dallas and because melody maker in 69 had a readership of 4million plus a week the place would be packed for them - but the clubs that had been doing well up then for about five years, the week after, were empty. people felt they had been conned.

the traddy thing is a very specific taste. It provides some moments of exquisite music. But it has damn all to do with the generality of the English population - which ALWAYS has a folk music relecting the people on the street. the language and the culture of our nation is too vibrant for it to be otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:59 AM

Where do you find that?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM

Hi Paul,

Someone wants a guitar strap but they stipulated I had to disinfect my hands after making a banjo strap:-)

Cliff (who loves the sound of a well-played banjo)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 06:02 PM

"Unplugged Undead" just has to be a name for an event, venue or band.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:15 PM

Happy birthday Paul!

May your banjo long continue to duel...

Spleen


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Aeola
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 12:53 PM

18 years ago I found folk music and have been enjoying it ever since, but then of course I was one of the over 50's, but strange thing is I look at other members and some of them will be like me in 18 years time. Like I have said ' some things never change!!'


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM

Thanks Cliff,

Glad you enjoyed Burneston, it is a great singaround club. Sorry only one of us could get there but babysitting gets expensive if we both go to everything. Still, it meant you avoided the banjo!

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM

Glad you are pleased Paul.
Bit of a rush job 'cos of timing :-)
Best wishes to Wendy for tonights gig!

If everybody was as welcoming as Burneston Folk Club was to me last night, there would be no fear of clubs dying!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:58 AM

"Happy Birthday Paul. I did actually think of popping over to the Topic tonight, till I remembered I'm up your way in Darlington myself! Flash if you spot my van on the A1 :-) Tom"

Cheers Tom hope your gig up here goes well. Do you mind if I wave rather than flash when we pass you on the A1?..... I'd rather not get arrested!

Banjos have turned up..... new strap is great!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM

That made me laugh out loud! Can you be "30 something" AND "a youngster"?

You are new round here!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:18 AM

Rosie,

As with most people, anyone younger than me is youngster!!!

Trad unaccompanied (or accompanied) singing (yes we do some of it, amongst self penned but trad sounding stuff) goes down pretty well at "non-folk" venues in our experience..... but it has to be done very well, there isn't the "politeness" that you get in the folk world. If you're crap, you soon find out.

Go for it. I think you'll get a good reaction.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM

"We're starting to get a few more youngsters in at KFFC (2 teenagers, 3 x 20 somthings and a smattering of 30 somethings)"

That made me laugh out loud! Can you be "30 something" AND "a youngster"? Just joining this board has taken a good decade off me.

Silliness apart. I'm sure there is an audience for traditional song amongst my peers and younger. Perhaps it's a case of there not being sufficient exposure outside of folk clubs? I've said it before, but I stumbled on trad. by accident. How many others are simply unaware like I was?

Now I've learned a little, I'll be taking traditional unaccompanied songs for Open Mic tents, to any (non-folk) Hippy Fest I go to this Summer. It'll be interesting to see what the experience will be like.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:58 AM

Happy Birthday Paul. I did actually think of popping over to the Topic tonight, till I remembered I'm up your way in Darlington myself! Flash if you spot my van on the A1 :-) Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:54 AM

Thanks guys,

Touch and go about using my present (a superb new banjo strap made by GUEST,Cliff) as my banjos have been away having pick ups fitted and haven't re-appeared yet so I might be on a borrowed one.

Meanwhile, let's do something (CPR maybe?).....apparently the folk clubs are dying!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:53 AM

Paul,

I think you're maybe taking the goth thing a bit far if you're going to a folk club for the undead!

Happy birthday

Pete


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Cliff
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:38 AM

Paul,

Happy Birthday!

Hope you use your present at tonights gig!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:36 AM

And a very fine little banjo it is too - have a lovely 44th!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 04:24 AM

Thanks Jim!

Going to the wife's gig at the (undead) Topic Folk Club in Bradford tonight to celebrate...... might even be allowed to provide a little banjo backing for a few songs as it's a special occasion!

Paul


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