mudcat.org: the UK folk revival in 2010
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


the UK folk revival in 2010

Bonzo3legs 28 Dec 09 - 01:17 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 09 - 01:32 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM
MikeL2 28 Dec 09 - 02:53 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Dec 09 - 03:17 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 09 - 03:19 PM
MikeL2 28 Dec 09 - 03:41 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 09 - 03:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Dec 09 - 03:59 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 09 - 04:01 PM
The Sandman 28 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 09 - 04:12 PM
GUEST, Poxicat 28 Dec 09 - 04:18 PM
treewind 28 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM
Richard Mellish 28 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 09 - 05:52 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Dec 09 - 06:01 PM
romanyman 29 Dec 09 - 04:06 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 09 - 05:26 AM
The Sandman 29 Dec 09 - 05:33 AM
MikeL2 29 Dec 09 - 06:39 AM
theleveller 29 Dec 09 - 06:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Dec 09 - 07:03 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 09 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,matt milton 29 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Dec 09 - 07:29 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Dec 09 - 07:50 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Dec 09 - 07:57 AM
GUEST 29 Dec 09 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,matt milton 29 Dec 09 - 08:12 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 09 - 08:51 AM
TheSnail 29 Dec 09 - 08:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Dec 09 - 09:36 AM
autoharpbob 29 Dec 09 - 09:39 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 09 - 09:43 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Dec 09 - 09:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Dec 09 - 09:57 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Dec 09 - 09:58 AM
Suegorgeous 29 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,matt milton 29 Dec 09 - 10:15 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Dec 09 - 10:28 AM
TheSnail 29 Dec 09 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 29 Dec 09 - 10:51 AM
TheSnail 29 Dec 09 - 10:57 AM
The Borchester Echo 29 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 01:17 PM

having the balls to get up and perform in the first place

That should not be overlooked. My first floor spot was at Borehamwood Folk Club in about 1965, I was very nervous playing for a young lady known as the "singing matchstick" as she was so thin, and the guest artist for the night - I think it may have been Bert Jansch, came up to me and said "pretty good for a rock guitarist" - it obviously showed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM

Folk and acoustic: I know what folk is in terms of song and music - acoustic defines as 'pertaining to sound' - which surely all music, whatever variety, does. However, am happy to accept F & A as a warning not to bother as it takes away any chance of choosing what I listen to (not keen on C&W, Wagner, hip-hop, garage, punk......)
If you think that turning a club over to non or bad singers is going to attract audiences (other than those who prefer non and bad singers) - we move in different circles. Practice before you go public, not in public. What do you do if, as one singer improves having practiced at your club, another bad singer comes along - ad infinitum? There are many ways to learn how to perform, but NEVER in front of an audience.
Landfill as far as I used it, refers to not giving the audience what you have promised but running a 'song' club rather than a 'folk' club; standards is a different question altogether.
As an ex-teacher you will be aware how self conciously frightened young people are of making a fool of themselves in front of strangers, especially a large number of them - it only takes one song to fall apart and you won't see them for dust - seen it happen.
Why are people so insistent that encouraging aspiring singers with help and advice rather than throwing them in at the deep end and watching them flounder, is abandoning them?
If I had been a casual individual interested in finding out what folk song was and had visited a club where you were "playing wrong chords, forgetting words and sounding really awful", I certainly wouldn't have come back. Did you expect the other singers at the club to pick up the pieces after you had made a fool of yourself and was the extra work you put them through worth it now you have "had your first professional booking"?   
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 01:32 PM

PS - only joking Marge.
Can't get The Archers here in Ireland now as overseas BBC radio is taken over by the ******* cricket!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 02:00 PM

Watch yuour language Jim. How dare you insult my beloved cricket.
You are a ******* jerk.
Only kidding :-)

I love cricket and Folk and any other sort of music.

Concert venues need to put on people who can perform.

However folk club singarounds are a different situation. Very often they are like a family gathering and can be one of the greatest ways of feeling at home and wanted. I don't think an audience is so important in such situations. Its more about enjoying the company of your fellow members.

If a folk club puts on a guest, I do think that one of the worst things they can do, is put on support people who are obviously not good enough. I think folk clubs have a responsibilty to the people paying to get in, to put the very best support acts they can, even if the less capable get upset. That is assuming they want the paying audience to come again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 02:53 PM

Hi villan

Well said. I'm with you. .....and with cricket too.

I taught myself guitar and I have played and sung in public as a pro/semi-pro for four decades now.

I remember first starting out. Where could I go to try out the songs I had been learning?

I was advised to try the local Folk club. I practised and practised till my throat and fingers were sore.

Came the big day and I stood up and sang. Of course I was nervous. Made a right balls of it.

But I was praised by the organisers and I think most of the audience.
Bolstered by this I accepted an invitation to return and did so after more practice - with different songs.

That went down better and so my musical "career" was started.

I haven't always played folk music - I did rock,pop,blues jazz and some session work.

But never forgot where I started and was often delighted to go back and play and sing ( for no fee !!!) to demonstrate my thanks.

Also I have organised and run folk clubs ( not just traditional music though) and have always welcomed with open arms people who are prepared to be serious about wanting to perform. I have - along with others - helped other musicians by giving slots and help and advice.

That's my idea of a folk club.

If that is landfill then so be it....

cheers

Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM

Villain - your poor taste in sports aside!!
The first contact that I and I suspect, most others here, ever had with folk song was by visiting a club - I would not have dreamed of spending my hard-earned wages in going to a concert of music I was unfamiliar with. As it happened, the club I started with - the Liverpool Spinners, as lightweight as the music was, was profesionally run by people who were friendly and welcoming, but who took seriously the job of entertaining me and didn't compromise on standards. I continued going to their club until I found a different, more satisfying and long-lasting type of folk music to fulfil my needs.
I find it as difficult to equate proficient with unfriendly and unwelcoming as I do having to equate work with lack of enjoyment.
As far as locking away your poorer singers when the guests arrive - I have to confess I find this totally insulting to any club audience.
An audience that has dragged themselves through the pissing rain to a residents night has, as far as I'm concerned, earned far more of my respect than one who goes along just to see Martin Carthy. Your committment should be to give of your best at all times, not just to impress a guest (or his/her followers) with your most seasoned residents.
I've argued this before but any club should be in a position to put on a good night, even if it cannot afford guests, or the one you booked cancels at the last minute, or whatever. A guest night should be one where you present a new face, not necessarily a better one.
As far as the 'family' bit; there is nothing more offputting for a newbie than to walk into a room and realise that everybody knows everybody else - except you, no matter how 'friendly' and 'welcoming' they are!
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:17 PM

Concert venues need to put on people who can perform.

However folk club singarounds are a different situation.


I think some distinctions need to be made. I go to a folk club (with a stage) & a singaround in a pub backroom. At the folk club you pay on the door, there's a raffle halfway through and 30-40 people usually turn up, of whom about 20 do a song - mostly originals or cover versions, some blues, some C&W and a smidgen of trad. The singaround has no entry charge and no raffle; 10-20 people turn up, almost all of whom do a song or two.

I go to the folk club to meet people, have a laugh and relax, and to get a bit of practice singing to an audience. It's precisely the kind of "come one, come all" environment autoharpbob described: get up and have a go, and you'll get a round of applause. All good fun, but the singaround is where I go to hear (and sing!) traditional songs. The standard of performance at the singaround is much higher - we're among friends, but the friends we're among are people who love folk songs and want to hear them done well. (And "well" doesn't necessarily mean "to a high technical standard" - passion and love of the material count for much more than remembering every word and nailing every note.)

It comes down to the difference between

a) Paying a tenner, sitting in rows and hearing it done properly
b) Paying a pound or two and getting up and having a bash in front of a sympathetic audience
c) Paying nothing and singing your heart out in the refrain of a song you'd never heard before that evening

They're all fun to do - the question is which of them is going to keep traditional music alive (or on life-support). To me there's no question that c) is a better model than b).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:19 PM

MikeL
From the sound of it you came to the music with a degree of experience and "practised and practised till my throat and fingers were sore" before you arrived - isn't that what we are asking people to do rather than wait until you get up in front of an audience?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:41 PM

hi jim

Yes of course you are right....but the point I was trying to make was that I was almost a complete beginner at that time....tho a serious one certainly.

And as a beginner I was welcomed to the fold. Had I not been I could just have given up before I started.

I agree that you owe it to your audience to do the best you can....and there is no substitute for that.

Gary Player was once interviewed by a reporter who asked Gary if his reputation for being able to hole-out from bunkers was luck. His relpy was...."sure and do you know the more I practise the luckier I get".

Music is like that ....practice makes perfect.

Cheers

MikeL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:56 PM

Well Jim
I would make you welcome at

Faldingworth Live

I like what you do. However we are fully booked.

Jim Carroll Myspace

I have a feeling there is a lot of "At cross purposes" in this thread.

Whilst I put on a lot of people that suit my club, I also put local support acts on who do themselves justice and are more than capable of doing more than 30 minutes as a support act.

We are very rural, and if the music isn't good enough we wouldn't have an audience big enough to pay for the acts. It serves as a "Community" concept and we get a very good turn out each time.

Our organisation does it for the love and and not for the money, but we take a great pride in what we put on. We do our utmost to look after every person who performs here, whether they are the main act or support.

Our audience pays for that.

However, what we do is one thing and what a folk club does is another and IMHO, there is room for everybody and if we all try to do the best we can, then everybody wins.

Les Worrall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 03:59 PM

I hope & pay that our Jim Carroll is a very different Jim Carroll to the one on that Myspace link.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:01 PM

OOps have I got it wrong?

Will the real Jim Carroll put his link on here then please.

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:04 PM

very funny.a different Jim Carroll surely?
however, Les, you should consider, this performer,but you had better be quick he is considering retiring.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2TywvoqKFQ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:12 PM

Why is Dick Miles being allowed to call himself Jim Carroll, when he already has a Dick Miles signature. I thought that wasn't allowed

I sure fell for that one. LOL

I have changed my mind now :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:18 PM

Yes, but where is this revival? I might like it if I could find it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: treewind
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:20 PM

I think that may not be the same Jim Carroll...
A.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM

Blimey Anahata, it is so confusing. Don't change you name before you come to Faldingworth LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM

I agree with Pip's 28 Dec 09 - 03:17 PM posting above, except for the terminology. Most of the "folk clubs" that I have attended over several decades, and all of those that I have attended at all regularly, have been closer to what Pip describes as a "singaround".

If I hear "mostly originals or cover versions, some blues, some C&W and a smidgen of trad" I won't go there a second time.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 05:52 PM

Not the same Jim Carroll - there was a rock journalist here in Ireland who died recently - that wasn't me either! Try the Living Tradition' web-site - that's me in the hat!
We really have been over much of this hundreds of times before.
MikeL
Hello to you too.
A question, and please treat it as rhetorical; I spent enough times in jazz clubs to know the answer.
If I walked into one of your jazz clubs with a clarinet and said "I heard this wonderful number called "The World is Wating For The Sunrise, last week; it really knocked me out, so I went and bought this. I haven't got it quite right yet but a couple of spots in front of your audience should soon put that right - what do you think?" what do you think the response would be?
Is our music so inferior that it doesn't need a basic standard before it is presented before an audience?
MacColl once said that he felt that many of teh clubs were falling into the hands of people who neither liked nor usdersood folk music. I didn't believe him - how wrong can you get!
"Near enough for folk song," - to quote the late Alex Campbell, is for me, a sign of deep contempt for the music we profess to love.
Sorry,
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 06:01 PM

Most of the "folk clubs" that I have attended over several decades, and all of those that I have attended at all regularly, have been closer to what Pip describes as a "singaround".

Lucky you! Chorlton FC is quite an extreme example, but most of the clubs I've been to around Manchester were closer to that end of the spectrum than the Beech singaround. I've seen a 50/25/25 ratio in a few places - 50% cover versions with acoustic guitar, 25% original songs with acoustic guitar and 25% everything else (including trad). What varies more is where the 50% comes from - Harvey Andrews, Jez Lowe and Gordon Bok in some clubs; Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega and Radiohead in others.

I like meeting some friends, having a drink, sitting back and knowing I'm going to hear "something completely different". But I love traditional songs*.

*Except Fanny Blair.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: romanyman
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 04:06 AM

so getting back to the point, where is the so called revival of grass roots folk, sadly all there is here is those that regularly perform to all those that are already into folk be it trad or modern, i see the people that do perform well in public, saying and being told how good they are, i see explanations of how some in the start were not very good , but hey im great now, what about putting folk where it belongs in the community, yes even in pubs , wherever it matters not, but folk for folkies is not creating a revival if thats what you want to call it, why not those of you that can play or sing turning up one day at a pub or something and just jamming for an hour or so , nothing organised just do it, who knows it could turn into a flash folk event, lets say new years day, all over the country             yeh right as if


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 04:41 AM

We visited a "folk" club held in a Phoenix Arizona coffe house whilst on holiday in 1998, and of the folk clubs we have been to over the years, this was one of them! The place oozed with enthusiasm at every performer - it was names picked out of a bucket until it was empty and then they started again. There was none of the heads bowed down, loser - loner singing goats scenario so often seen in London folk clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 05:26 AM

"Heads bowed down - loser"??? sorry Bonzo3legs, don't understand
"I hope & PAY that our Jim Carroll is a very different Jim Carroll to the one on that Myspace link."
Can I take it that the cheque's in the post?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 05:33 AM

singing goats?
that would be worth paying to see.
however, inadvertently you have made a good point about performing,it is best to sing with a feeling of confidence,singing in the style of Pete Seeger[is not recommended] is however bad for the voice.
posture is important,plus singing from the diaphragm,adress the audience,when you get up to perform say hello,etc.
eye contact,is something that must be handled carefully,only fleeting eye contact is best,nothing wrong with singing with ones eyes closed either.
Bonzo,I have been booked frequently at London folk clubs in the past ,but I cant recall any singing goats anywhere,tell us more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: MikeL2
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 06:39 AM

hi jim

< A question, and please treat it as rhetorical; I spent enough times in jazz clubs to know the answer.
If I walked into one of your jazz clubs with a clarinet and said "I heard this wonderful number called "The World is Wating For The Sunrise, last week; it really knocked me out, so I went and bought this. I haven't got it quite right yet but a couple of spots in front of your audience should soon put that right - what do you think?" what do you think the response would be? >

Jim it has actually happened more than once - not with that song or instrument.

You have to try to ascertain what level the requestor is at - some very much underplay their abilities and others the opposite.

However in the situation you describe my answer would be to kindly point the person towards providing me with some sample of his/her prowess after the gig with a view to coming back at a later date.

I would also try to get one or two guys from the club to sound him/her out and to try to get him to join in a practice session.

But you can't win them all - I had a guy send me all kinds of blurb and commendations about him being the " next Bob Dillon"...etc etc.

he travelled many miles to come to my club ( uninvited and unannounced )the night before and asked could we put him up for the night. We did - we were used this then.....not now !!!

He talked the talk so I put him on. I had to jerk him off after two songs.....nicely of course.

So you can't always tell.

I do get your point Jim and I agree with much of what you say and I applaud your fantastic work that you do in keeping something that is important to you ( and to music ) alive and well.

Kind Regards

MikeL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: theleveller
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 06:42 AM

In my opinion, the best folk clubs are those that offer a wide variety of music in the (for want of better words) folk idiom (dons hard hat and waits for the missiles). I suspect (and I'm sure Banjiman will correct me if I'm wrong) that this makes for a successful club because it has the widest appeal. If I were to go to a club where only traditional songs were sung I would soon get bored and would probably not return. I suspect that this would be the case with many folk fans.

Something for everyone isn't a bad maxim in this, as in so much in life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:03 AM

A lot has been said about the need for and advice about vocal training and related issues. Where can such advice be found? Websites, books?

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:15 AM

MikeL
"You have to try to ascertain what level the requestor is at..."
It would appear that we have no disagreement whatever - you are applying the same standards I would expect.
There is a tendency to exaggerate these arguments - all I have ever asked is that a singer ON A PUBLIC PLATFORM be able to hold a tune and remember the words well enough to convey the meaning of the song to an audience - no more, but certainly no less.
I, and the people I have worked with have probably spent more time than anybody on this forum encouraging and helping new singers. The London Singers Workshop ran from 1969 to about 1990 and worked with a total membership of over 60 people. Before that, The Critics Group set up by MacColl, of which I was a member for a couple of years, ran for 10 years.
Before that - the Manchester workshop ran for over a year until I moved to London.
Not too bad a track record!
All of these were run on the basis of giving new singers a platform before they went public.
Is that not feasable and desirable for today's clubs?
Leveller:
"a wide variety of music in the (for want of better words) folk idiom"
No problem with that at all - providing we can agree on what consitutes the 'folk idiom'.
I am not - and have never been (quoting Senator Joe Mac) a member of that group who wishes only to present traditional songs, not because I would find it boring, but I would find it quaintly antiquarian and reactionary; as I said 'Sealed Knottish'.
I've given examples of what people present at their clubs - now that I find sharp practice (and probably boring as well).
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM

thing is, there are plenty of jazz open mics too. In London, the Jazz Cafe does one on Sunday afternoons, and there's quite a few around south London and east London.

It's essentially the same principle as floor spots: nobody is suggesting they will be as good as pro guests (though sometimes they are).

This floorspot or "good enough for folk" debate will run and run forever, but it really doesn't need to. I personally think having an "all-comers welcome" slot is a really valuable thing, and because it's always given it's own little box, nobody could possibly confuse it with "the real thing" - so I don't see how it's detrimental to folk or any other sort of music that indulges it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:29 AM

"I personally think having an "all-comers welcome" slot is a really valuable thing, and because it's always given it's own little box, nobody could possibly confuse it with "the real thing" - so I don't see how it's detrimental to folk or any other sort of music that indulges it."

Absolutely! It's no different than joining a watercolour class, chess club, hiking group, dinner party club or indeed any other sociable amateur hobbyists club.

Amateurs aren't considered representative of or responsible for the overall condition of any other art-form or discipline that I'm aware of?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:50 AM

A lot has been said about the need for and advice about vocal training and related issues. Where can such advice be found? Websites, books?

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 07:57 AM

If I were to go to a club where only traditional songs were sung I would soon get bored

Really? I've been going to the Beech singaround in Chorlton for two years; I've heard a few songs twice in that time (and sung a few twice), but I've heard at least one song I'd never heard before at every single session. (And, judging from reactions, I've sung something several other people had never heard before at most of them.) 'Traditional song' covers an awful lot of ground.

In an ideal world I think I would want to go to a club where only traditional songs were sung, but I know it would never be possible to have that kind of policy without getting into endless and pointless arguments. Les's line to describe the Beech sessions - "songs mostly but not exclusively traditional" - hits the right balance, I think. It certainly seems to work in practice.

matt: I personally think having an "all-comers welcome" slot is a really valuable thing, and because it's always given it's own little box, nobody could possibly confuse it with "the real
thing"


But that's just the point! Go to Chorlton FC and, nine nights out of ten, that "all-comers welcome" slot will be all you see: twenty-odd assorted semi-pros, amateurs and hopefuls, of widely (wildly?) varying levels of ability, doing one song each because there's no time to do more and get everyone on. And any newcomer to the scene, heading for the local FC because they fancy hearing or playing some folk music, is naturally going to get the impression that that's what "folk" is like. I know, I did - I was that newcomer, and it was several years before I found my way to somewhere where traditional songs were being sung & sung well.

I'm not slagging Chorlton FC (honest) - it's a good night out. But the music really needs something different.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:03 AM

I mean, sure, if a newcomer were to wander in at exactly the moment when a particularly bad singer is murdering a classic, well, it's bad timing. But, realistically, the odds are it's not going to happen that often. It's bad luck, it's not the death knell of the folk scene's 'marketability'.

I heard a truly awful floorsinger a few weeks ago, both tone deaf and nervous. Someone really should take him aside and tell him. But he was one of about 5 floorsingers that night. All the others sang their song to what I'd call a 'professional' standard. Without a floorspot feature, we wouldn't have heard those other good singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:12 AM

that was me above, by the way.

well Pip, it sounds to me you're essentially describing a regulars' singers night. I still think that's a valuable thing. OK, it wasn't what you were looking for, and it's unfortunate that that's the first place you found. But you'd presumably heard folk music before, right? The stuff that made you go looking in the first place? So it wasn't like some be-all-and-end-all-experience: you must have known/guessed even then that there were other folk gigs doing different things.

Especially now, with blogs, with websites (like this one) it's so easy to see that there's a lot of multifaceted folk clubs out there. I don't think anyone these days could possibly dismiss folk clubs outright on the basis of one bad night unless they were out to do so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:51 AM

"Amateurs aren't considered representative of or responsible for the overall condition of any other art-form or discipline that I'm aware of?"
Sorry CC - yes they are if the are part of a set-up that aims to attract audiences from the general public. A bad singer can bring the whole evening crashing down about your ears. At best, the more experienced singers have to work twice as hard to pull up the slack.
The most frustrating thing about this discussion is that if the clubs took the initiative and set up facilities to cater for non singers who wanted to learn, none of this would be necessary. Practice in front of an audience is totally unfair to the audience, to the regulars, and certainly to a new singer. It damages the image of the music rather than enhancing it.
You should never encourage a bad singer by telling them they are good; that only establishes bad habits and complacency. Rather, why not have some of the regulars publicly offer help; it doesn't have to be patronising or insulting if it is done with a degree of sensitivity and it can cover singing, accompanment, instrumental work, even examining and helping build a repertoire.
For a time in London we worked on three levels. We ran a weekly club and we had a fortnightly workshop which catered for all levels of skills; we found plenty of other things to do if there were no newbies needing help (nobody with any sense ever stops learning).
But for simply creating a club atmosphere (as consenting adults in the privacy of....) we took a pub room, or even someone's kitchen, and held private, very relaxed singarounds-discussions over a few bottles. Worked like a charm for the new singers and the seasoned ones. Slow starters were often encouraged to try their hand at storytelling. Anybody who was serious at singing we supplied with recorded examples of voice exercises and we regularly went through simple relaxation techniques.
None of this produced Joe Heaneys or Jeannie Robertsons, but it certainly helped some people not fall apart in a song and get used to singing in front of strangers.
We also set up a (eventually huge) sound archive and a small library.
I don't think anybody can describe any of this as elitist, even if we didn't encourage singers to practice in public.
Going on far too long again.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 08:54 AM

Jim Carroll has said so much over Christmas that it's impossible to respond to it all so here's a selection.

Snail:
"We don't all live in Miltown Malbay either."
Nope, you don't, but I do,


Rather my point. Lewes has two UK folk clubs, Miltown Malbay has (by definition) none. Lewes has many UK folk clubs within travelling distance, Miltown Malbay has none. I am involved in running a UK folk club, Jim is not. Apparently I have my head buried in the sand and Jim knows far more about the UK folk scene than I do because - "even if I hadn't visited one club - visited a few actually - I could get some indication from what put up on Mudcat on a regular basis." Jim has now excelled himself by using the "Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith..." twice in one thread. Even Sweeny is beginning to comment.

Plenty of example of people who would be 'folk' enough for me - Terry Yarnell, Bob Blair, Len Graham, Kevin and Ellen Mitchell, Gordeanna McCulloch, Sara Grey, Peggy Seeger

Heard four of that list in a UK folk club in the last year. Is that enough?

Favourite quote, from interview we did with MacColl:

An excellent quote with which I heartily agree but I wonder why you post it when you are so fundamentally opposed to what it says.

Cap'n; as much as I have admired the Lewes programme of workshops (from afar unfortunately) I see little there that resembles anything ongoing for beginners - not saying there isn't anything, just that it doesn't appear appear on that list.

Thank you. Can I take it that you are no longer accusing us of "dumbing down" and "promoting crap standards"? We have ballad forums where people sing, analyse, compare and generally emote over their favourite ballads and we have harmony workshops but we don't have anything specifically for beginner singers. I run a concertina "mutual support group" and some of us run a beginner musicians session, both out of the eye of the general public.

I meant to add - and a damn sight more friendly and welcoming than some of the cliquish freemasons lodges where the regulars sit in little bunches and ignore strangers

A curious piece of nastiness even by your standards, Jim. Really needs no comment apart from noting that it is a bit of a reversal from your usual "landfill site", "anything goes" accusations.

Try pleasing all of the people all of the time and you end up pleasing no-one. I know this from bitter experience when two thirds of the club audiences disappeared in the 80s because folk clubs stopped presenting folk music, and basic standards were abandoned.

Could you just remind me who was running the clubs then? Whose watch did it all start to go wrong on?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:36 AM

"we supplied with recorded examples of voice exercises and we regularly went through simple relaxation techniques"

A lot has been said about the need for and advice about vocal training and related issues. Where can such advice be found? Websites, books?

L in C.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: autoharpbob
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:39 AM

Jim, you are obviously not going to change your view of what is needed on the folk scene, which appears to be some sort of vetting panel that decides who should perform and who should go away quietly - along with the belated but welcome idea of good performers actually helping out those who are starting up. Fortunately, I have never found a club such as you describe, and I hope I never do. I would not wish to go to such an elitist, exclusive, discouraging gathering, and can only say how pleased I am that all the clubs I have attended and learned in have been inclusive and encouraging. The only thing I would learn in a club such as you describe is how to be part of an audience, as i would never have been asked to perform. And please tell me how it is possible to learn how to perform IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE without an audience?

"Did you expect the other singers at the club to pick up the pieces after you had made a fool of yourself and was the extra work you put them through worth it now you have "had your first professional booking"? "
I expected what I got - everyone there clapped me like mad and told me not to worry, they had all been there, done that. Then quite a few of them showed me how it should be done, while several others made as big or bigger "fools" of themselves. And a great time was had by all. There were no pieces to pick up, nothing got broke.

This seems to me to be a matter of expectations. If I go to see a pro guest at a folk club, which seems to be about once a month around here, my expectations are very much higher than if I go to a normal meeting. I don't go to see as many guests as I should - cost is a big factor, but the other factor is that on a guest night I probably won't get to perform. I, like many people, want to perform, and I learn how to do that by doing it and watching others do it - good and bad. It seems to me that clubs who attract new performers are doing as much if not more than clubs who attract new audiences.

And a Happy New Year to all!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:43 AM

Bryan;
Ypu seem determined to cut acrioss evey posetive suggestion I have tried to make.
I have asked that we agree to disagree, but ....
Right - basic difference
Did you or did you not propose that the only criterion fo encouraging anybody to sing in public was that they shoud want to, whether they where capable of holding a tune or remembering and understanding the words or not? I hasten to add that you proposed this for other clubs as such things did not happen in Lewes.
If you did so - how is this NOT dumbing down?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:56 AM

"what is needed on the folk scene, which appears to be some sort of vetting panel that decides who should perform and who should go away quietly"

Well - that IS what happens with professional performers in any equivalent business isn't it? Yes, nothing wrong with that. If I paid money to go see musicians (or any other serious performance based art form) and incompetent tone deaf awfulness was up on stage, I'd want my money back. I see nothing wrong in managers vetting performers (be they paid or unpaid) before a paying audience.

Amateur song / music sessions are a different matter. The amateur session I regularly attend is a mixed bag, but there are still people who like to come and listen for free as is their right - who's going to tell *them* "sorry, but we're only amateurs so you can't drop in and listen, as it might put you off *proper* folk music?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:57 AM

Hello, hello?

L in C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 09:58 AM

I believe Jim, has some Critics teaching materials archived Les??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:05 AM

Les - perhaps your (twice-asked) question might get answered if it had a separate thread all to itself? I believe Jim plans to start a thread on that very topic... perhaps it's time, Jim? *nudge*

And maybe it's time someone (me, if I had the skills...!) started a little webpage somewhere that would be a resource for voice/singing training/courses/workshops/tutors/etc?

Sue


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM

you must have known/guessed even then that there were other folk gigs doing different things.

No, not really. There are very few clubs where the bill of fare is mostly trad (in this area, in my experience, in this decade... add qualifications to taste). When I tried other clubs, they mostly felt a bit less open to all comers than Chorlton, but the mix in terms of material was pretty similar. If anything, the comparison with other clubs made me feel like Chorlton was the one getting it right - if you're going to encourage any and every kind of material, why not encourage anyone and everyone to have a bash? The two go together, I think.

It took a long time for me to find my way to a mostly-trad singers' session, and a while after that for me to realise how different it was. The only reason I get involved in these discussions is that I'd like to save people like me a bit of time!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:15 AM

The example I gave of one floorsinger (out of five) who was awful, while the rest were all very good, happened at a folk club that has been going for decades, and which was full on that particular night.

If bad floorsingers really was something harmful to clubs, surely QED it would have destroyed those clubs years ago. The fact that it hasn't suggests that if there's anything wrong with folk clubs it is something else entirely.

Personally I don't really think there is anything especially wrong with folk clubs. The UK folk scene is doing a hell of a lot better than plenty of other niche, non-mainstream musics.

Oh, and the really awful singer I referred to was a guy in his early 20s – precisely the sort of 'new blood' that bad floorsingers are supposedly discouraging from attending.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:28 AM

"Oh, and the really awful singer I referred to was a guy in his early 20s"

Actually I wouldn't be surprised if there were a real upturn in younger performers sparked from the success of young folk bands. I saw a really dishy hip young guy sing at a club a while back myself, though he sang very well in fact! There will no doubt be pants X-Factor wannabe's among them, but I bet the quality will outweigh the dross. Err 'kids' (hark at the old one!) are usually pretty focused and serious about crafting music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:51 AM

Jim Carroll

Ypu seem determined to cut acrioss evey posetive suggestion I have tried to make.

Really? Examples please. Your contributions seem to be overwhelmingly negative.

I have asked that we agree to disagree, but ....

But you continue to attack and denigrate the work that I and many others do to promote precisely the music that you claim to love. Am I supposed to sit back and let you do it?

Did you or did you not propose that the only criterion fo encouraging anybody to sing in public was that they shoud want to, whether they where capable of holding a tune or remembering and understanding the words or not? I hasten to add that you proposed this for other clubs as such things did not happen in Lewes.

No. I did not say that.

If you did so - how is this NOT dumbing down?

And if not, not.

I notice you have ignored some of the more inconvenient points in my last post. Who DO you blame for the downturn in the eighties?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:51 AM

I `ad that Jim Carroll in my cab again this morning. `e looked well confused. `e`d just come off that MudCat. When I asked him where `e wanted to go `e just kept shaking `is `ead saying `DAY-JAR-VOO`, `DAY-JAR-VOO`
I said, "DAY-JAR where? Where the `ells that?"
`e just kept on, "DAY-JAR-VOO. You know, Jim. It`s French for seen it and been there all before."
I said, "Oh, France is it".
So I took `im up the St.Pancras Eurostar terminal!!

Whaddam I Like??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:57 AM

Jim Knowledge

DAY-JAR-VOO

Nah. It's French for "Here we go again" which is what I said a while back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

the downturn in the eighties

The cause was unfunny "comedians" and failed popsinger snigger-snoggers. Any sort of noise with some vague connection to someone who had a cousin who once owned an acoustic guitar, to the extent that the word "f*lk" (and "f*lk club" in particular) became so terminally damaged that punters ran very fast indeed (mostly into the Crown & Anchor, to Dingwalls or to festivals and ceilidhs).

Come the mid-90s, the old guard's offspring + motivated mates came to the fore (Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr, Barnaby Stradling, Andy Cutting, Saul Rose . . . that sort of ilk . . . came to the fore, followed by Nancy Wallace, Matt Quinn, the brothers Sutton, the sisters Askew, the Oates siblings and similar bright young progeny.

For over a decade, these artists have been filling venues, enthusing others into emulating their achievements and fast-tracking the tradition at breakneck speed into the future. Which isn't all that different from what Jim Carroll and his associated Critics started off four decades ago.

Déjà vu? Not really as there is such a sense of doing something new with what has been inherited.

There's nothing wrong with what occurs in one little town in Sussex (as far as I know, I can only speak from personal experience of the Royal Oak, never having been to the Lewes Arms or whatever it's called nowadays), but it's a very small part of what's stirring out there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 1 April 2:05 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.