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Why folk clubs are dying

GUEST,Mr Oldbugger 19 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM
Musket 19 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM
The Sandman 19 Dec 08 - 07:54 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Dec 08 - 08:15 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Dec 08 - 08:18 AM
VirginiaTam 19 Dec 08 - 08:29 AM
Will Fly 19 Dec 08 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Dec 08 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Ian Fyvie 19 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM
Will Fly 19 Dec 08 - 09:08 AM
Spleen Cringe 19 Dec 08 - 09:44 AM
Nick 19 Dec 08 - 10:27 AM
evansakes 19 Dec 08 - 10:40 AM
Acorn4 19 Dec 08 - 11:07 AM
Ian Fyvie 19 Dec 08 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 19 Dec 08 - 01:17 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM
The Sandman 19 Dec 08 - 02:15 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Dec 08 - 02:32 PM
BB 19 Dec 08 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 19 Dec 08 - 03:05 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Dec 08 - 04:23 PM
Stringsinger 19 Dec 08 - 04:27 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Dec 08 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Ancient Briton 19 Dec 08 - 07:40 PM
The Sandman 19 Dec 08 - 08:56 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Dec 08 - 09:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,TB 20 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM
evansakes 20 Dec 08 - 05:36 AM
Sooz 20 Dec 08 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM
TheSnail 20 Dec 08 - 06:35 AM
Acorn4 20 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM
Ian Fyvie 20 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Indrani Ananda 20 Dec 08 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Avatara 20 Dec 08 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Dec 08 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Dec 08 - 01:09 PM
Stringsinger 20 Dec 08 - 01:34 PM
The Borchester Echo 20 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM
Spleen Cringe 20 Dec 08 - 04:57 PM
Acorn4 20 Dec 08 - 05:53 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM
romany man 21 Dec 08 - 03:32 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Dec 08 - 04:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM

meant to say "[if the advertised 'Entertainer' merits it]"

Any 'pay for' Event organisers must surely meet some reasonable standards of responsibility and obligation
for provision of quality audience/consumer service,
to justify the cost and travel effort entailed in attending..

and perhaps more importantly.. re-attenting their venues
advertised 'entertainment events..


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Musket
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM

Hoist by your own petard eh?

If folk clubs are about tradition, then consider the following;

They have been called folk clubs for a long long time now, since before I was born apparently.

So they are TRADITIONALLY clubs where people sing, and overt the last 30 years, I have heard everything from reed cutting to Black Sabbath in clubs, played acoustically, electric, blah blah blah.

Whether anybody likes the idea or not, both sides of this debate fall into the category folk club.

It isn't what you set out to be, it is what you are perceived as that matters....


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:54 AM

the point is that folk clubs are not dying.
because they are clubs where people socialise and play music.
despite the following adversities,lack of available rooms,drink drive laws,lack of public transport,the allowing of people regardless of standard a platform where they can sing.
I am all for, the improvements of standards,but the route to follow is the Snails,provision of workshops,so that people have the opportunity to improve.
I can only speak from my own experience,but at all the clubs at which I have been recently booked,the floorsingers were all good.
it is the organisers right to put on whoever he/she pleases,no one has a god given right to sing,a good organiser will have the sense to intersperse a weaker singer,with a better singer,that is the way most of the clubs ran when I first started going in 1965,and is MrPunch would say,that the way to do it.
if however an organiser decides to allow everyone to sing regardless of standard,that is his /her right,he/she is financing the club,nobody is forced to attend,if they dont like it they can toddle off somewhere else and start their own club.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:15 AM

"which is now commonly (and therefore reasonably) lumped under the term folk."
It may be accepted by you Tom, but certainly not commonly so - go and look at the number of books with 'folk' in the title and try to square that particular circle. We've been here before, but your definition/non-definition exists only in your head and in those of your fellow singer-songwriters - it certainly is not 'common' and has no substance, therefore, no validity outside of your small puddle.
It is very much part of the damage done and continuing to be done - not the least of which is the financial drain caused by lumping together public domain and copyrightable material.
I can't find the quote but at the risk of being accused of misquoting you, I'm pretty sure it was you who said you had tried persuading the leeches-that-be to separate the two, but they had refused for fear of letting some pennies slip through the net (rather like locking up innocents at Guantanamo for fear of letting a guilty terrorist escape) - so the leechs continue to leech.
Maybe it's time for a civil disobedience campaign were we get to tell the parasitic bodies such as IMRO and PRS to sling their hook and go and live off somebody else's back.
It may be a means of earning a living to you Tom, but to most of us it's a calling (and a life-long one at that).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:18 AM

Paid performers should be properly paid. That does not make the audience "punters". I don't know of any professional performer of folk and similar music who went into it for the money - always AFAIK for the love of the music.   I think that treating it as "entertainment" for "punters" does great disrespect to the music.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:29 AM

it's a calling   Too right Jim and RB said just this a few posts above.

Wonder about ressurecting the Guild System to protect traditional and perpetuate new music. Any patrons out there? Michael Eavis? Maybe not.

Well it was a bad idea. Likely get subsidised by the BNP, then the music produced would be little more than thinly disguised parody of the patron.   How traditional is that?

Is there any hope? Yes so long as we have free exchange of ideas and opinions from people who feel passionately about what they believe in and are prepared to act in defense of it.

Best wishes to all who have posted on this thread and others. Go extend your "puddles" and make rings in others.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:35 AM

No - we don't go into it for the money - but we should see to it that every performance we do is as professional as we can make it, paid or not. That's the point - and it's certainly not being disrespectful to either the music or the audience to have that attitude. All my paid work is in bands and I do solo spots at clubs, etc., for the hell of it - but I put everything I can into my floorspots, just a much as if I were being paid. There's no difference in my attitude.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:40 AM

Richard:

"I think that treating it as "entertainment" for "punters" does great disrespect to the music"

Well I don't. Not in the least, so we'll have to agree to differ on that. I personally believe that treating music as "entertainment" (WHEN it's appropriate to do so) merely reduces the risk of being self-indulgent, and therefore disrespectful to the music. That's all. Maybe you have to have been there to understand.

Jim:

"It may be accepted by you Tom, but certainly not commonly so - go and look at the number of books with 'folk' in the title and try to square that particular circle. We've been here before, but your definition/non-definition exists only in your head and in those of your fellow singer-songwriters - it certainly is not 'common' and has no substance, therefore, no validity outside of your small puddle."

The books were, I presume, written a while ago. The Grammy nominations, the iTunes list of folk artists, the guest list at most folk festivals, the CDs listed under folk in HMV, and many other markers all suggest that NOW it is only a relatively small group of die-hards (I could have put 'puddle' but I'm a nice person ;-) who have it the other way about.

I have no idea what your quote about leeches and Guantanamo Bay may refer to, but I doubt I used either word. If I did I'm reasonably confident that I didn't mean anything like what I think you're saying above. (Sorry, it doesn't makes sense to me from either perspective).

You are completely wrong when you suggest that earning a living at something means that it cannot also be a calling (and a life-long one at that). Staggeringly wrong. But I know you'll never even try to understand, so I won't even try to explain. As with Richard, we shall have to agree to differ.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Ian Fyvie
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM

I was attracted this thread because I disagreed with the premise.

A variety of folk club models operate successfully in our area - and there are lots of folk gatherings over weekly and monthly cycles.

The difficulty I had with some postings is the assumption that a Folk Club is an event you pay an entrance fee - and see a guest. I call these PayClubs to differentiate from the Singers' Clubs (which may also charge - but your going to share music rather than as the Punter* consuming the Star and perhaps some twee self-overrating Residents).

Singaround clubs are also valid Folk Clubs - and these are probably the nearest form of Folk to the original Folk gatherings -people getting together to share songs and each others' company - from before people started using the term Folk.

It is the Singaround Club and the Singers' Club which are best placed to weather the Recession.   That's because by their very nature they're open to people to participate rather than Punt - and at low cost/no cost; bar a drink or two. They give the chance to people who might have sung folky songs to themselves or after a few drinks at Parties - to get a bit more serious about the songs they like - and share them. They are a great forum for people who've grown out of Pop to try something more serious / meaningful.

Indeed my route into folk was as a bored cover band musician with a few songs thet were not appropriate for pop/rock - wrong timing 3/4, 6/8; wrong lyrics for my band; ie not about 'Love Lost in LA'. The local Singers' folk club was extremely welcoming - with other former pop/blues musicians who'd grown up!

But we need to make people aware we exist. Ther will be millions hitting the dole queue in the next few months and will be at a loss to afford commercial entertainment with their with their incomes slashed.   Here's the chance for the folk world to become popular again as it was in the sixties/seventies.

*Punter - sorry to offend some, but I use the word a lot to describe the expectation of people who run the West that the role of the majority of us is to work hard and spend it on what the advertisers tells us is good.

My experience in Folk has shown time and time again that the Stars peddled by the Music Industry (and it's Folk music wing) are not the best singers/songwriters/performers - on God's Earth.   You can see really excellent people in your own area at folk gettogether if you bother to look - free!

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 09:08 AM

Ian - good post. Is your singers night the one in Kemptown in Brighton? If so, I shall try and get along!

Will


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 09:44 AM

Ian Fyvie - good post, but this model automatically excludes those who have to punt because they can't sing or play. I am living proof of the existance of the latter.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Nick
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:27 AM

Coming at this from a slightly different angle - why aren't FOLK CLUBS in their traditional, proper meaning opening up and flourishing in ever increasing numbers?

Every time I dip in to one of these threads I think of all the places that I have been to which had the word 'Folk' in the title and realise that pretty much none of them are Folk clubs by definition. I'll pop a list a bit further down and some of you may also have been to some and may view things differently.

So it strikes me that if there is such a huge demand for the pure, unadulterated, 100% folk club - why on earth is noone starting them? Or are they underground? Are they a secret that not even Mudcat is allowed to know about? Or perhaps it's just me moving in the wrong circles.

In a world which is increasingly segmented and narrow why aren't they opening and people create tiny specialised little niches and create commercial (or non commercial) things off the back of it - logic would suggest that this huge demand would rapidly fill this vacuum. I don't think it is happening.

Here's a list of some places I've been which come to mind quickly:

Flaxton
York Folk Club
Wigan Folk Club (Tues and Thurs)
Railway at Lymm when it was there
Swinton Folk Club
Malton Folk Club
Various venues at Sidmouth Folk Festival
Arran Folk Club
White Hart at Mickleby
Beverley Folk Club (when it was at Nellies)
Plough at Whitby
Guisborough Folk Club
Burneston Folk Club
Kirkby Fleetham Folk Club
Dunstable (can't remember name)
Stokesley Folk Club
Lots of organised sessions, and ad hoc things

Probably a few others. The ONLY one I would reckon was a proper folk club doing only folk was the Railway at Lymm - and that only on one of the nights. The White Hart at Mickleby is close but there is a lot of copyrighted material sang there rather than the solely traditional - I saw Toms Bliss and Napper there some while back and you got disqualified further up the thread, Tom, for being part of a puddle rather than the real waterway :) !!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: evansakes
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:40 AM

A couple of questions that I'm darned if I can begin to find answers for.

Why does the exchange of money in return for the provision of good music and song appear to be so undesirable (even evil) to some people in the folk fraternity?

Why do the people who like to attend free singarounds and singers nights appear to resent so much those who
a. like to promote well-run concerts
b. like to attend well-run concerts
c. like to perform at well-run concerts


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:07 AM

Streets of Blunder:-

This parody was written by a friend of mine called STEVE CUSACK. It seems to echo one or two of the postings on this thread.

1.Have you always thought
That you've not been blessed with talent?
Is it forever someone else, who always takes the stage?
Well, I've got good news for you,
There are places you can go,
Regardless of ability, intelligence or age.

CHORUS:_

So you think you're the only one who's tone deaf
No sense of rhythm or of rhyme
Let me bring you out tonight
And take you into any folk club
I can show you plenty
That will make you change your mind!

2. Have you been to the *******Arms,
Where we meet sometimes on Mondays,
All of us are hopeless,
And we do it for a laugh.
Singing awful ancient songs,
That were naff when they were written
Or rubbish like this parody,
That I though of in the bath

CHORUS

3. It does not matter if you're good or bad,
You need have no fear or shame,
The audience won't notice,
'cause the music's all the same.
And even if you practice hard,
To sing and play quite well,
Like the rest of us you'll end up sounding
Like bloody Ralph McTell

CHORUS

4. So, don't waste your life just wishing,
Feeling lonely and blue,
If they will listen to you,
They will listen to me.
So, step right up and do your best,
Your confidence will grow,
For if they notice that you're crap,
They will never let you know

CHORUS

Well, I guess what I am saying
Is that we can all do something,
All you need's the idea
And a little bit of nerve.
Remember that folk club audiences
Have very low expectations
You will always get the 'clap'
You so richly deserve.

CHORUS

So if you want to be a star,
Get a whistle or a jokebook
Or conjure up a poem, instrumental or a song
Take it to the folk club,
If you think it's worth a listen.
They're far too nice to tell you
That they all think you are wrong.

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 11:39 AM

Re - Twickfolk's recent posting

Certainly run as many Folk Concerts as you can sustain - it all brings folk to the attention of a wider audience.

My whinge on this is those who tell us that only they who put on folk Concerts for; and take money from Punters are running proper 'Folk Clubs'.

As to my experiences of Punterfolk clubs etc; been there, as they say; dunnit - got bored with hearing more jokes than songs from many of the so called guest Folk "Singers".   Also got bored with monotonous clawhammer on expensive guitars in the hands of unemarkable bottom-rung middle class Residents!

But most nausiating of all was the "Johnny Famous" telling you that he has just written the next song - which invariably was the biggest load C**P you'd ever heard - but were you have the Host and Residents dutifuly singing along as if it had been written by a world class songwriter.

The joke is that one of these Old Hands is still being called one of the best folk songwriters around by our folk establishment - yet unlike the true top quiality folk writers (John Connelly, Dave Gouder, Leon Rosselson for example), I found this artist's songs totally unmemorable - despite seeing him three times!

Indeed an early observation when I first started getting about a bit around clubs was that the big names worshopped by the Club organisers were nearly always rubbish songwriters. I catch BBC Folk on Two sometimes and I see things havn't really changed - there have been some pretty dire tracks played recently "written" by Big Names of today - just like main stream pop music.

The brillaint songs to be heard in the folk scene, in my experience are by people who are not professional - don't want to be professional and not jostling to be the PunterClub Resident/Favourite floor singer who gets heard by the Star of the night waiting in the wings to come on.

These are the folk singer-songwriters who write because they've something to say - not because they've got to fill the next album or get more PRS income rolling in.   And you'll find these excellent writers more often at a friendly sharing folk club than one based on commercialism - in my view.

That's my view on Punter vs Singer clubs but good an anyone who can get their preferred model folk to more people.

And.... WILL FLY - Yes Tuesdays at the Round Georges with an extra unadvertised session in the same venue on Boxing Day evening. Look forward to seeing you!


Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM

I do hope, Ian, that you don't think I have been saying that only they who put on folk Concerts for, and take money from, Punters are running proper 'Folk Clubs.'

If you do, please go back and read all my posts MUCH more carefully.

I have merely been referring (using plenty of caveats in a vain attempt to avoid being misunderstood) to those aspects of those clubs which DO do those things.

Actually, I don't remember anyone esle saying anything of the sort on this thread either.

It is a massive tragedy that when some people see the word 'folk club' they think only of the model with which they are most familiar and then offer only that template to the argument in question - even when the point being raised concerns a very different kind of club, and that this has been pointed out firmly in. words. of. one. sill. a. bell.

I repeat. There are lots of kinds of club. All valid. All important. We need all those kinds, and freedom to move between them as we wish, for folk music to flourish.

But as has been pointed out many many times by many many people, this discussion was not initially about singing clubs or sessions, and merely talking about the issues that do affect Concert Clubs or Guest Clubs does not say we think they are more important than Singer Clubs. Singers Clubs are vital too and I agree most a lot of what you've said about those - but I don't think they're dying, so I've not been addressing them.

I agree with you about singer-songwriters who write because they have something to say too (but don't call them 'folk singer-songwriters' unless you want Jim to ask you to step outside!), but please don't assume that those of us who do have albums to fill are any less inspired, committed, driven, even.

I'm so driven I gave up my day job to do it!

And your phrase "a friendly sharing folk club than one based on commercialism" needs answering. These things are not mutually exclusive, you know.

Most friendly sharing clubs run on a sound financial footing, and do the many things necessary to maintain that footing. That's all commercialism means. Don't take the word to mean anything bad. It's not.

And just a final thought on this 'entertainment' lark.

Are people thinking that when I talk about being an entertainer I'm talking about dumbing down to some crass comedy level? If so, please reserve your judgement of me until you have seen me playing. That is not what the word implies. I may crack a few jokes and tell some funny/interesting stories, but to hold an audience spellbound with an ancient traditional song, to make 700 people cry with a topic story about child murder, to deal with issues like adoption, gay relationships, abortion - to stimulate thought without making everyone want to leave in despair means you have to put your soul on the line. Some of you have seen me do it, and I know scores of other performer (some who post here) who do the same. This is still entertainment. That is what it is called.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:17 PM

I wrote this last night but my server crashed - I think it is still relevant so here goes -

I'm perfectly happy to be one of Toms 'punters'. It is a financial transaction - you pay money to go to a concert and you hopefully (and in Tom's case, always) get a good performance in return - fair swap.

Though I also agree that for some artists music is a kind of calling - it must be for them to haul themselves round the country earning relatively little - it is still a service to those of us whose lives would be much poorer without their efforts - and for that I am glad to pay provided that I get what I have paid for and not an endless stream of incompetent floor 'singers' who simply seem to have their egos to feed and eat into the time allocated for the guest. Before I get jumped on, many floor singers are superb and complement the night's entertainment (for that is what it should be however serious the subject matter) but there are also many who have proved that they will never be able to perform well as they never improve from week to week. They do the whole folk scene a diservice and if they want to sing they should keep to those free events where no one has paid for entry and can thus feel short changed.

Sorry if that is a bit harsh but I know one club at least that I would never go to again because of the appalling standard of the floor singers and their dominance of the evening. And if I think that way as a folk fan of 30 years what would a young person think who chanced on such a club?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM

I think it is encouraging (whatever else causes rows) to see so many agreed that the amateur and paid singers or players of folk music and song are driven by the will to try to interpret and convey the music as well as possible. I think most are. At the other end of the scale I don't think anyone wants to screw it up.

I don't think it would be good to have a general competitive aspect. I know of an excellent player and singer who used years ago to frequent the "soup" and who used then rather to resent a slighly older figure he often saw in the soup - for the latter never seemed impressed. The younger would go and learn say "Bluesleeves" and play a ripping version, but the older would not seem impressed. It later turned out that there was a reason, but my point is that it being a competition to impress is not the right reason either.

I wish that I could manage to stop giving the impression (as, it seems, I do) of in some way denigrating Tom's ability. That is not my intention. I still don't think that "entertainment" is the best descriptor. I find that that word implies an undesirable venality about the provision of music.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM

Thank you for that Richard. The point is, though, that I don't feel you are denigrating my ability - if you did I would say nothing for that is the risk I take in presenting myself as a performer. Rather, you seem at times to denigrate my motives and my integrity, with is far more difficult to ignore (though I probably should do so)!

I'm sorry if you find words like commerce and entertainment to be loaded in some way. I don't. Commercialism is word I find loaded, but I've never championed that. Folk music exists somewhere between the stage and the church. The church part could never be called entertainment, but the stage bit can - and the stage part is the part that will kill a folk clubs if not done properly. The church bit will survive - though it wouldn't get as many new hymns!

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:15 PM

what everyone seems to be overlooking here,is that the people in the folk club,that FAYE alludes to were having a good time ,they were enjoying themselves[apart fromFaye and her friends],they were not in a church,they were enjoying themselves.
folk clubs [imo]should not be like a miserable church of england congregation,attending out of some sense of duty.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:32 PM

No, the OP didn't say that. She makes no reference to whether the other people there were having a good time or not. For all we know, they all (apart from the dire floorsingers) thought it was extremely naff waste of a night out but they haven't all come here to start threads about it. Now this is the role of a good organiser (such as referred to earlier) who spends the interval out there talking to the punters and asking what they like, what they'd like to see done differently, and so on. Then acting accordingly.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: BB
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:37 PM

"I am all for, the improvements of standards,but the route to follow is the Snails,provision of workshops,so that people have the opportunity to improve."

Dick,I couldn't agree more, which is the very reason why on occasions we put on workshops - however, you can get a horse to water but you can't make it drink! There are times when I despair, because the very people I would like to see at the workshops, BECAUSE THEY NEED THEM, are often the same ones who don't come. The workshops that we put on, led by artists who will be 'in concert' later the same day, are not expensive, particularly when compared with the cost of the Lewes workshops, and we quite frequently have people coming from miles away to attend them, but so often the local performers who need to learn the skills to improve their performances don't come. They have the 'opportunity to improve' but frequently don't take it!

But we'll keep trying...

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:05 PM

The sad fact is that Folk Clubs are no longer relevant to the mass audiences of young or youngish people.We, who read and write on Mudcat, are a very small minority of the general population and, although our comments may have some bearing on the success or failure of our local club, we are not a significant force in popular culture.
The nearest there is to popular culture Clubs are the 'acoustic' clubs where the performers are invariably young singer/songwriters of a fairly high musical standard. The last one I heard sang a song by The Kings of Leon and the kids related to that.
We must accept that we have had our day and be thankful if we can find two or three others of a like mind to sing and play together and not slag each other off for forgetting words or other seemingly unforgivable misdaminors.
We are, and always were, an amature organisation and must accept we will die and take our place in the history of music.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:23 PM

Tom:
"The books were, I presume, written a while ago."
Over the last few years we have added to our collection A History of European Folk Music (1997), the completed set of The Greig Duncan Folk Song collection (8 vols. - 1981-2002) and Folk song tradition, Revival and Re-creation (2004).
Shortly we will be receiving the latest copy of The Folk Music Journal from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (1899 - ongoing)
If anybody asked me for my definition of Folk music I would refer them to the 1954 one; if they wanted it in more detail I would give them the one from the Funk and Wagnall Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend; and if they wanted a fuller explanation I would hand them a copy of A L Lloyd's Folk Song in England. If I wished to put it into a social format I would give them David Buchan's The Ballad and The Folk. These are the circles you have to square to call yourself 'folk'.
I still don't know how you are going to resolve the copyright/public domain dilemma - or doesn't it concern you?
Q   "Why folk clubs are dying"
A   "if we can find two or three others of a like mind to sing and play together and not slag each other off for forgetting words or other seemingly unforgivable misdaminors."
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:27 PM

the trouble with clubs is that they tend to be used to beat others over the head.

Or as Groucho used to say, "I wouldn't join any club that had me as a member."

Frank


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:58 PM

The nearest there is to popular culture Clubs are the 'acoustic' clubs where the performers are invariably young singer/songwriters of a fairly high musical standard.

Chorlton FC, last night. Last club night before Christmas and it was buzzing. 13 acts on before the break and another 8 after; a couple of people reappeared in various combinations, but there were at least 20 individual performers, several of them younger than me. One song each; by my reckoning, between a third and a half of those 21 numbers were traditional, and most of those were from these islands. Most of the rest were covers (e.g. John Prine, Wynonie Harris); some singer/songwriter stuff (mostly very good), but not much of it. Two acts had music stands and one a discreet crib sheet.

So: not all clubs are dying; some are doing very nicely, thankyou.

And: not all the clubs that are doing well are succumbing to GEFF, or using the non-horse definition. (In the past I've thought Chorlton was doing both of these, but last night made me feel a lot better about the place.)


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM

First: There's really no point in debating this with you Jim because it's obvious that your mind is closed. But my explanation would be that the definition in those books is an academic one which still has currency 'within the creed' so will continue to be used by that sector (for a while yet anyway). It also lies fully within the new popular definition, so there is no problem for those who know what they are talking about.

But I - and most artists, promoters, journalists etc who don't want only to converse with the converted - have to reach OUTSIDE the creed. And to be understood there we must use common parlance. The people we are talking to accept a wider genre to be described under that term - as do, I think a majority of people on this forum (Max, could we have a survey feature do you think?). To avoid confusion most of us have replaced the academic word 'folk' with the word 'traditional.' (Lord, how many times will I have to type these words)? We didn't do it - bigger boys came from America and made us.

I notice you never respond to my evidence for force majeure. From now on, when you bring this dispute into a discussion to which it is irrelevant I shall merely type the word 'Grammy' (or maybe 'Young Folk Awards' if the divil is in me) and leave it at that.

Second: I'm not sure that it's up to me to resolve the 'copyright/public domain dilemma' (I'm not actually sure which of the many dilemmas in that territory you're referring to)*. I'm flattered that you think I can have any influence, though. I have in fact raised various anomalies with PRS, and occasionally write to them urging change for fairness sake and further clarification, but there's not a lot one individual can do. Shouldn't you be leaning on EFDSS or someone with a bit more muscle?

*I do know you have the wrong end of the stick about some of it, and won't be handed the business end, but there's not a lot I can do about that either.

Three: I'm also confused as to why you weighed in so heavily abut the need for standards in the presentation of traditional music, yet attack me for seeking to find and promote best practice - but then a great deal of what you say confuses me.

Goodnight from Leeds.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Ancient Briton
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:40 PM

In 1971 I began to ask myself the kind of questions that this debate has developed around, and formed my own view. I haven't attended a folk club since April 1972.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:56 PM

Diane Easby,the audience were supporting the singer,who was struggling,that suggests interaction,a spirit of camaraderie and friendliness,which to me indicates people enjoying themselves.
when people are not enjoying themselves,they often sit pofacedly,not making contact with others.,not interacting with other people.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 09:55 PM

The alleged "singer/songwriter" sang a song by "The Kings of Leon". We must infer that he was then more singer than songwriter. Was it then a "cover", a "version" or an "arrangment"?

99/change hands.

There is a difference between saying that we should all strive, in every day, in every way, to become better and better, and saying that those who don't should be prevented from participating.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:16 AM

I fully believe that I would be prevented from participating in a concert that people have paid £5 each to watch. Yet I am striving to be better. Those people that are preventing me from performing are absolute bastards aren't they? I have the right to sing whenever and wherever I want! I am glad you support that view Richard. You are a lawyer aren't you? Will you represent me when I am up before the magistrate on civil disturbance charges?:-P

DeG


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM

Richard, can I just clarify something?

You say no-one should be debarred from performing.

I'm curious to know how far you think that should go, because you've not said.

Does it only apply if the word folk is used in the title of the event?

I think you're saying that at a free/cheap-entry folk singaround or folk singers club everyone should be free to have a go, and therefore JIm and others are wrong to seek to apply any kind of quality threshold in this type of gathering. (If so you seem to be in a majority here anyway).

I think you're also saying that at any gathering labelled as a folk club, even when there is a booked guest and a door charge, everyone should have a turn that wants one, regardless of ability - because it's a folk club (is that right?). So policies such as booked supports, MC-led quality control or no-cribs rules are morally wrong. Is that right?

Are you also saying that folk concerts should not exist, because there's no participation in the mix? If so, would that apply to Arts Centres, or only to events that had the word folk in the title, namely festivals and clubs? How about places that are included in the folk listings, but avoid the word folk in their titles and use words like 'acoustic' or 'roots' or 'live' instead? Should there be unfettered participation offered in all of these?

I'm not having a go, I've just seen nothing from you apart from a very genuine championing of freedom of expression, and I'd like to know how far you would take it.

Thanks

Tom


Would you actually seek to enforce that at Concert Clubs (i.e. do away with


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM

Sorry - missed that bit at the bottom, ignore.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: evansakes
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:36 AM

Tom asked

"How about places that are included in the folk listings, but avoid the word folk in their titles and use words like 'acoustic' or 'roots' or 'live' instead?"

In many ways it saddens me to say this, Tom, but after reading many of the postings in this thread (and other similar ones) I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the only way forward for small venues who like to put on quality professional acts, charge accordingly and assert quality control of the 'opening acts' is to completely drop both the words 'folk' and 'club' from the name.

At our place we've already long since stopped actively using the word "club" anyway. It might be still there in the website but that'll most likely change soon. The main catalyst for this was so many people phoning and emailing asking if the events were exclusively restricted to members only. We decided the best way to avoid any confusion (and potential lost audience) was to ditch it. Round the same time we also ditched the raffle which had become a farce and laughing stock anyway. So Twickenham Folk Club became TwickFolk...

Now, after reading all this squabbling and pontificating over ownership of the F word I think the only way to move forward while maintaining a degree of self-respect is to disassociate ourselves completely from any connection with the formal 'folk' scene. As we've seen the word itself carries a huge ammount of emotive and negative baggage in the minds of many people who have had bad experiences attending folk clubs and wouldn't dream of asking their friends to go with them.

Is this an over-reaction? Is there another way? As an articulate and reasonable man, Tom, I'd value your honest opinion on this...

Thanks, Gerry


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Sooz
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:47 AM

Last night we had Hannah James and Sam Sweeney as our guests. They were absolutely superb and supported by two carefully chosen floor spots so that they could have a fair whack of the time. We could perhaps have squeezed half a dozen more people in (sadly a few of our regulars are struggling with really serious illness) but it would have been tight.
We did have a raffle, well supported with ticket buyers and prize donors and it was a good laugh - not a laughing stock. The takings help us to pay the artists what they ask for every time we have a guest. As we are a club and charge a low entry fee to members, those who can well afford it buy more tickets. It works for us.
I do worry that artists do not always ask for a sensible fee and we have been known to add a top up at the end of the evening!
We are a folk club and you get what it says on the tin, with a warm and friendly atmosphere to go with it.
I wouldn't want it any other way.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM

Interesting posts from two very different clubs who in my opinion both get it bang on, but with quite different solutions.

Sue's club in Gainsborough, maybe because of where it is, and its history (never underestimate the history of a club in projecting its future), works very well indeed with the standard FC format. I'm not bullshitting here, it's honestly one of the very best in the land. But that hasn't happened by accident. They've done some very clever things like providing cushions for everyone (that is SUCH an important problem solved), but mostly the success is down to Sue and Mike (and the other's) personalities and fighting spirit. Sue said (was it here or in one of the other threads, Sue) that they did have a problem getting people to turn out on guest nights, and solved it by having half and half nights so the regulars could sample the standard of guest that Sue was presenting. They soon came to trust that judgement (a factor seemingly missing at many clubs) and now they come for everyone even if they've not done a half and half, and even though Sue does ration the supports. (That correct Sue)? With great singers nights too (and very generous fees found though sound commercial practice which are, yes frequently topped up - thanks darling mwah) Result all round.

Likewise Gerry's club has a fantastic model - that model being flexibility. Again, I think location is a factor. Twickenham is basically London, with all the competition that implies. The normal FC model is less unlikely to be so successful there, so, as Gerry has explained they run almost every different kind of night at Twickenham, matching the method to the level of the guest. But with a good sprinkle of bigger names, a nice large room, with stage and backdrop etc (and comfy chairs I think!) - I'd put TwickFolk further towards the concert end of the spectrum than Gainsborough, and as such yes, Gerry I'd tend to take it that way myself if you feel the clubby element is not working so well in Town (can't remember all the spotters when i came, but one woman was stunning IIRC)!

That said, TwickFolk is a brilliant name and you've been building a good brand there. I can't think of anything better right now, so no I wouldn't change it unless i could think of something equally snappy, that still told everyone what you do.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:35 AM

While I am grateful for the kind words that have been said about the workshops we have been running at the Lewes Arms (and will be running at the Elephant and Castle) I must make it clear that these are not aimed at the poor performers who (allegedly) are driving audiences away from the folk clubs. There are far too few of them to make it a viable market and it would be a waste of a professional performers time.

I would not want our potential customers to think that our workshops are full of people who can't sing in tune, tune their instruments or learn their words. The standard of the participants generally varies from competent to brilliant. Even the best want to get better.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM

There's also the point that floor spots don't only have a duty to keep the audience engaged, but also have a function as a warm-up for the guest slot. Most guests appreciate a good warm-up rather than having to dig things out of a trough.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM

Tom - we're stuck with a thread which includes the words 'Folk Clubs' and 'dying'.

Despite welcome qualifications on what is meant by 'folk club' here, i'ts good to remind contributors who may have dropped in after only a brief look at what's gone before (It's a Long Thread now!) that there are various sorts of club.   As you infer, Singers' Clubs are not vulnerable in the same way as concert clubs during this time of slashed incomes and surging unemployment. Much of what's being said has, indeed, less weight in the Singers' Club context. Nevertheless many contibutors are taking the Thread title to mean all Folk Clubs and much of what is being said does relate to all Folk.

Because of the terminology problem above I've always tried to use different terms for the Concert Club and the Singers' Club. The problem is that the thread title here does not.

On your own style - if you have support and a full gig list for a comedy + folk type performance, if that's what you do - fine. But it's not my cup of tea - I prefer songs at a folk club rather than a comedy show with songs combined. I've seen too much of that.

And..... I'll add here I am easily bored by amazing musicianship for the sake of it (ie. it's used as the virtue of the performer rather than as the tool to convey folk songs). I see an here an advantage of a Singers' Club/Song Club - you don't generally get the flash musicians ego tripping with their microsecond fingers. The top quality musicians who come along are also mature artists who are with us to entain with folksong rather than Wow us with technical skill.   

I must add here the last guests we booked; for they match my expectation of folk club performers perfectly.

They went from one song to the next very professionally with a brief but nevertheless interesting introduction. They put a lot of skill and energy into their performance and they obviously enjoyed every song they sang. They were almost totally vocal: no tiresome tuning as a background to a comedy routine; and they had intellgent, original arrangements of both traditional and newer "Folk genre" songs. Perhaps more artists like our recent guests and less folk comedians might help stop Concert/guest clubs dying!

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Indrani Ananda
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 11:51 AM

Hi,Folkies, I am from another planet - the name is Originality; where I write my own songs. The rest of my repertoire is traditional.
            
             How does one define what is "good", "dire", "mediocre", or just played out hackneyed rubbish? It's a subjective thing. I've lost count of the number of times I've
played in clubs and been told to "liven it up a bit" after singing a song like The Dowie Dens
of Yarrow; yet if I bash and bellow in a raucous way it is seen to "go down well!" Go down well is what they like.
   
             The fistfulls of bluesey notes cascading from the Gibsons of overhyped guests at
most clubs are enough to put even the most competent floor singer off after they see how
the audience is primed into that kind of mood. If I go to a club I want to do my own thing
along with like-minded people with a genuine interest in real folk music - not be expected
to entertain punters conditioned by Radio 2. There's too much entertainment and not enough culture in most clubs - hence those tone-lowering piss artists so favoured by the
organisers.

             All clubs have organisers, but too many organisers have cronies. Indeed, many
are the times I've been to folk clubs, well rehearsed and waiting to go on, only to be
confronted by the "can't fit you in" syndrome which occurs when the cliquey friends of the
organisers turn up and are put straight on at the expense of floor singers who were there
early. That's not a warm welcome, is it.

             I seem to have perpetrated an overlap of two threads here - folk club manners and dying clubs - could one be causing the other by any chance?

             Indrani.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Avatara
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 12:27 PM

Scroll back to somewhere around th 14th, and you will read a paragraph in which
Gervase has slagged off train spotters as "a socially inept kind of hobby," or such like.
Well, maybe the proverbial nail has been hit on the head here. It seems that some kinds of
activities are held in contempt by society - e.g. Ufology, Sci-fi conventions, Morris dancing,
yes, and even going to Church! Sadly, I have found that Folk music is too.

                   Maybe this is why clubs founder. We can't compete with all the "slick-Dick"
electronica that passes for music in every nook and cranny we pass. Tell someone you sing
folk music - and watch their dead-pan expression!

                   Sorry, but I write this from experience.

                                                                            AVATARA


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 12:41 PM

Have you seen me play Ian? Or maybe visited my website? If so you may only know about some of what I do - which varies a lot according to circumstance.

There is usually some humour - but I'm certainly not a comedian (except when specifically asked to try to be). I don't think my shows have any more humour than most other touring types, there's usually as many tears and thought-provokers as guffaws. And a fair bit of background (which is universally popular), not to hide tuning (though they do provide time to get the metal to relax when necessary) but because they're a key part of the stories. I also do gigs that are mainly trad (specially when I'm with Tom - that can be 90% trad including 50% tunes). If you've visited my site don't confuse the Village Hall show (Tales of Time and Tide) with what I do in clubs - that's a specific show designed for a different market. I go to sessions and singarounds too by the way.

Does your moniker mean you're involved with the Fyvie club? If so - come to Stonehaven on June 19 and you'll see what I mean.

If we're categosising clubs I'd have four:

1) Concert club (no participation, selected supports, maybe a committee but few members)

2) Guest club A (Guest artists with selected supports - usually singers nights on other occasions).

3) Guest club B (Guest artists with floors spots - frequent singers nights which are club's primary activity)

4) Singers club (No guests).

There are more, but most would fall into those four. I separate them because there are key differences in terms of prognosis. There seems to be a trend for the 3s to become 4s, and that may have know-on effects for 1 2 and 4, but the reasons are complex.

Tom

Richard, are you there?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 01:09 PM

PS Sorry about the advert(s), but there's nothing worse than people potentially getting the wrong idea of what you do from someone else's post!


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 01:34 PM

The fact that folk music in UK clubs is not part of the popular culture doesn't concern me
because I think that the future of folk music is in communities that support it, not in it's efficacy in general show business. The popular culture suffers from a kind of one-size-fits-all and a traditional orientation in folk singing is a pleasant departure.

Listening to traditional singers require developing a kind of ear for it. It requires slowing down the attention span to appreciate the value of a narrative story-song with merits such
as specific images, references to past times, and a chanting style that conveys this hypnotically through a serviceable and sometimes plain melody. Vocal ornaments also
adorn this style in the manner of the Irish Sean Nos (old style).

There are some instances in which this approach can be very stage-worthy by performers
who have a sense of theater (not in the sense of Las Vegas) but have a commanding
presence that can convey this type of performance. I think that when a smaller group of
people hear this type of performance, they rally to it and encourage it.

I don't think folk clubs in this sense will really die. They may become smaller groups
but still a focal point for this type of performance.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM

A somewhat more sustainable sort of venue with some connection to reality is that run on village halls lines, whether or not in an actual building constructed for this purpose. From Dingles in Central London in the early 70s to Ryburn 3-Step in West Yorkshire today (there are others but I'm not intending to make lists but merely point to examples), "the community" has been drawn into dance, song and tunes as relatively normal activities.

Those artists who embark on village hall tours in rural areas encounter the real deal: actual ordinary people going out to the one place of entertainment in their vicinity. If these artists are lucky there's not a "f*lkie" in sight but an audience open-minded, curious and interested in where they can see and hear more of often multimedia productions that the average stick-in-the-mud "f*lk club organiser" balks at and won't book.

This, in conjunction with the ceilidh circuit, is popular culture and of infinitely greater relevance than gangs of old blokes huddled in some pub back room, probably with "Private Keep Out" on the door. I've really no idea if such places exist or if Stringsinger made it up or if he hasn't a clue what actually happens in England, but for chrissake, what's the bleedin' point of that scenario?


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:57 PM

"slick-Dick" electronica

Not entirely sure what a slick Dick is (or even if it's safe to try to find out), but hey! Sign me up... I'll try anything, me.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Acorn4
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:53 PM

I think a lot of the problem is caused by people of (holding my hand up here!)my generation, who, when their careers are winding down, decide to relive their youth or even live a youth that never actually existed. Instead of wrapping ourselves around a tree on a powerful motorbike, we take the safer route of becoming "born again folkies" - although some of us can be actually quite good, it leads to a glut of "menopausal men with expensive guitars".

Young intense singer/songwriters tend to get discouraged relatively quickly if they are not up to scratch and only the good determined ones can survive the slings and arrows. A glut of bland mediocre performances of Neil Young songs, or self penned numbers which are derivative and cliche ridden, can have a more stultifying effect than a bad singer, who at least gives a performance with character.

Too many of this kind of performance of this kind can be a bit of a turn -off for the uncommitted neutral.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM

I have today concluded that the music is not dying.

See my very recent post here


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: romany man
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 03:32 AM

at the end of the day and cutting all the pompous sanctimonious crap on this thread, face it, the general public is not harming folk, most love it, as the festivals etc show, ie broadstairs, witby and others. folkies are killing it . face it.


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Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:17 AM

Tom
"First: There's really no point in debating this with you Jim because it's obvious that your mind is closed". "But I - and most artists, promoters, journalists etc who don't want only to converse with the converted"
Bit of arrogance here Tom - neither of us have given ground on our original stance - doesn't this indicate that if one mind is closed, both are?
"academic...."
Funny word, 'academic', often used as an insult. For me, as a non-academic, it has always implied somebody who is prepared to lift the corner to see what's underneath - not sufficient in itself, but certainly has made an enormous contribution to my understanding of the music - (Bert Lloyd, Cecil Sharp, Francis Child, Vic Gammon, Bob Thomson, Hugh Shields, Hamish Henderson.....). Most of the 'academics' I know have risen through the ranks and have just as much, if not more experience as I have as singers and club organisers.
However, the suggestion that it is 'academic to continue to use the term 'folk' in the way that is is used by the researchers, writers and collectors is pretty nonsensical (if a bit of an improvement on your earlier suggestion of 'a thing of the past).
"It also lies fully within the new popular definition, so there is no problem for those who know what they are talking about".
So you know what you're talking about - but the rest of us (academics included) don't? - hmmm!)
Perhaps you might be able to tell us who gave us this new "popular definition" - is it still the countless millions you originally cited or is it the "'Grammy' - or maybe 'Young Folk Awards'"
"(Lord, how many times will I have to type these words)?"
Probably about as many times as I have to repeat; THERE IS NO POPULAR DEFINITION OUTSIDE THE GREENHOUSE ENVIRONMENT OF THE FOLK WORLD, at least not a commonly agreed one.
Throughout the time I have been involved with the music I have made a point of discussing it with workmates, family members, drinking companions, whoever.... whenever the opportunity has arisen. For me, your appeal for a survey has always been an essential part of what I do. The over-riding impression I am left with is one of total confusion, general ignorance and above all indifference. Where opinions have been offered they have ranged from the Sharp songs taught in schools, the Clancys, Dubliners, Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor and The Spinners of the folk boom and Dylan (before he moved to the fresh fields and pastures new of the Pop world). It seems to me that all of these have far more of a foothold in 'folk' than your arbitrary application of the term to the the singer-songwriters who owe nothing whatever to real folk.
If you are basing your claim on folk on "common parlance", I'm afraid you are building your house on sand.
" most of us have replaced the academic word 'folk' with the word 'traditional.'"
Is not 'traditional' an 'academically conceived term?
"Second: I'm not sure that it's up to me to resolve the "copyright/public domain dilemma"
Didn't suggest it was up to you - Just think that you need to be aware of the financial burden you are imposing on the folk scene by your presenting your self written (and copyrighted - so it can never belong to 'the folk') material to folk clubs, thereby, as I said, opening the door to the PRS jackals. Maybe there is not much that an individual can do, apart from accepting responsibility. Putting the onus on us is rather like demanding that we wipe up your mess.
Didn't understand your last point about standards and best practice, though, but then again, a good deal of what YOU say confuses ME.
I understand your own standards to be double ones - "Jim and others are wrong to seek to apply any kind of quality threshold in this type of gathering."
I have always believed that standards should apply equally to both guest and residents evenings; otherwise, you have a series of concerts and not a club and you are guilty of passing on shoddy goods to your regulars - always been the principle of the clubs I've been involved with I'm proud to say.
"Goodnight from Leeds."
And good morning from Miltown Malbay
Jim Carroll   




Tom


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