mudcat.org: BBC4 Christmas Session
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]


BBC4 Christmas Session

VirginiaTam 12 Dec 10 - 05:43 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Dec 10 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 12 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,glueman 12 Dec 10 - 08:10 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Dec 10 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Silas 12 Dec 10 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,eliza c 12 Dec 10 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,JohnC 12 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,JM 12 Dec 10 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,John rom Kemsing 12 Dec 10 - 10:59 AM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 12 Dec 10 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,glueman 12 Dec 10 - 11:28 AM
DMcG 12 Dec 10 - 11:32 AM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Dec 10 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,erbert 12 Dec 10 - 12:27 PM
Bounty Hound 12 Dec 10 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,mulv 12 Dec 10 - 01:06 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,erbert 12 Dec 10 - 01:49 PM
theleveller 12 Dec 10 - 01:53 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Dec 10 - 02:06 PM
brezhnev 12 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM
JohnB 12 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 02:17 PM
theleveller 12 Dec 10 - 03:44 PM
Tootler 12 Dec 10 - 04:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Dec 10 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,LizMcfarlane 12 Dec 10 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,mulv 12 Dec 10 - 05:19 PM
Paul Davenport 12 Dec 10 - 05:24 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 05:25 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 12 Dec 10 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,TB 12 Dec 10 - 05:32 PM
Bonzo3legs 12 Dec 10 - 05:32 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Dec 10 - 05:38 PM
Paul Davenport 12 Dec 10 - 05:42 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Dec 10 - 05:56 PM
GUEST, tom bliss 12 Dec 10 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,FloraG 13 Dec 10 - 03:40 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 13 Dec 10 - 04:23 AM
Will Fly 13 Dec 10 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,glueman 13 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM
Abdul The Bul Bul 13 Dec 10 - 04:48 AM
Bounty Hound 13 Dec 10 - 05:50 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Dec 10 - 06:17 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 13 Dec 10 - 06:42 AM
Leadfingers 13 Dec 10 - 07:42 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:43 AM

Of course it was nothing like the Trans-Atlantic Sessions (please bring them back). But was it meant to be? It would be useful to know what the planned remit of the show was and who was in on that planning.
If it was meant to be a thrown together leisurely, kind of last minute lark, then I think it worked.

I still love the steampunk clothing and the guy in tights made me laugh. So what if he was a bit attention grabbing. He was invited to stand up an show them off.

Adored the Tar Barrels song performance.

As said before, I would like another show and maybe a bit more serious quality in areas of content, format and tech. Maybe initiate the unconverted into the quality of music we want to preserve and promote?

I just want more. I don't have enough live music in my life (not in my local area) and getting on telly is filling a hungry void.

That's my take as a 52 year old, American living in England, new to folk music fan, and I am sticking to it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:53 AM

It usually is Silas :)
The difference between this programme and the Transatlantic Sessions, along with many other Scottish music/TV progs is just this. People who perform, are more involved in the production and direction of many of our programmes, notably Rab Noakes. While people like Archie Fisher, and Mary Ann Kennedy actually present programmes.
They both still perform, and draw audiences, whereas I get the feeling that Mike Harding is now passé, and out of touch with what's happening around the clubs and festivals.
It looks to me, as an outsider, that the production and presentation of folk programmes on English national TV and radio, is a closed shop.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM

I really enjoyed the Unthank sisters exploring the UK dance scene. It was an interesting and enjoyable hour's viewing. But when they start to sing I have a problem. My copy of 'The Bairns' will find its way to a charity shop fairly soon. That aside the so-called Christmas show was a real curate's egg. My opinion over two well-separated viewings was unchanged - with skilful use of the editing shears a fairly decent half hour's programme might have survived.

Unlike some I am not grateful for every crumb of folk music that is shown. I will praise the good stuff (and there is some very good stuff) but I feel under no obligation to support the rubbish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 07:53 AM

"I feel under no obligation to support the rubbish."

No, and nor should you, but it would be nice if a few more people could manage to gather together a little objectivity and separate out their personal tastes from judgements of quality and the wider issue of publicity for folk-rooted music, because they're not the same thing. I personally can't stand the noise that opera singers make, but I'd never say opera was rubbish, because it's obviously of the very highest quality, and a lot of people love it.

I'm not sure what your point is, John MacKenzie. I don't think anyone could call Sam Lee, Paul Sartin, Jim Moray or even Mark Cooper (or any of the performers for that matter) out of touch, they're slap bang in the middle of a 'happening scene.' (Mike and Smoops had nothing to do with the production - at least I don't think they did).

Yes, there is a small group of production companies who have managed, through merit and hard work, to be in pole position on the broadcast end of the UK folk scene. I wish I was one of them but that's just life. They may be out of touch with what's happening in the clubs (and I've told them as much myself), but the clubs only represent a tiny tiny proportion of the Radio and TV audience. And they're not out of touch with the festival and theatre circuits - as the artists selected for this show prove. You really couldn't have crammed in many more.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 08:10 AM

If the complainants are getting acts of an order of magnitude more competent than Sartin, Boden, Spiers, Unthank down their local folk club, I'd like to know where it is. People are griping about the show for what it wasn't, which was a serious expose of the history of English folk music, rather than what it was, which was a Christmas show with quality acts performing some old seasonal songs.
Anyway, I still say there isn't ANY music hall on the telly and this was a fair stab at it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 08:21 AM

Bring back Leonard Sachs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 08:23 AM

Oh yes!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:24 AM

hi Tom
My criticisms come from two places: firstly, I did think that some of the performances were a bit dodgy. Not just not to my taste-and here you have to remember that I play with several of the people involved and rate them all as musicians and mates-but poorly done. But it isn't just that. It's the prancing around and the gurning and the wearing of stupid outfits. I thought that died in the seventies. Dad has a memorable story of being on Jim'll Fix It (BBC wish-granting show for kids, US catters) with Steeleye and having to wear mediaeval get-up , including a ridiculous velvet pancake hat that he refused to put on in the end, pretending that they were all at some banquet with the little kid who had written in all dressed as a princess. The watersons sitting on haybales in a West London TV studio in the sixties. This kind of thing relegates us firmly to the past, not a movement of current interpretors, not part of the natural continuum. It's ghettoisation and it's insulting and the media just seem incapable of treating us any other way, don't say to me that this is a part of some evolutionary step that I just don't understand. It's completely retrograde, unimaginative and a shame.
It's not that I don't have a sense of humour or that I think the programme should have been a history lesson. I just think it made us all look like idiots trying far too hard. That kind of treatment of traditional music makes novelties of us, strips us of dignity and sex, two things I think English music possesses in abundance; makes sideshows out of us that can then be dismissed. Plus the broadcast sound WAS bloody awful.
xe
ps thanks for suggesting that i'm not a part of this new gang and that no-one would have heard of me by the way-i wasn't available but you're probably right. trying not to let it get to me. i have a few things left to do before i pack it in yet! i promise it wasn't bitterness prompted the rant-just red wine and a need to say something that's been brewing for a while...i'm not saying there isn't room for everyone...i just thought it was an awful representation of something i'm involved in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,JohnC
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM

To make comparisons between this concert and the Transatlantic or Highland Sessions is nonsense. This was an evening of Christmas songs, and, as such, not at all representative of English folk music. A genuine 'English Session', drawing on the best vocal and instrumental talent, and allowing the singers and musicians to choose their own material from the English tradition would more than hold its own with the Transatlantic and Highland sessions, but of course, the BBC would never contemplate commissioning such programmes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:44 AM

Interestingly enough, Lisa Knapp and my solo song were only added in on the day to cover a gap left by the withdrawal of Mike and Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy. I can't imagine they'd have dressed up, but Mike was due to sing Jack Frost with the Unthanks string section which would have undoubtedly been my highlight of the whole show.

I do regret my song, but only because I picked the wrong key and didn't nail it as well as I could have done. Seeing as my preparation consisted of printing the words out from the Internet, having one run through and then recording it in one take it's not my best performance but I'm not losing sleep over it. As for the rest, I enjoyed playing with Bellowhead (which is what I'd been booked to do). I wouldn't have chosen the dressing up and slapstick if it was my band, but that's what they do... And why they are very popular and I am not.

Finally, this show was put on by the same team who do Later with Jools Holland. They
are the most experienced music tv crew that you can get, and the producers have
enough weight to get anything they want green-lit. It was a bit of fun. It's over now. If the opportunity comes up again we'll do it differently, but it's no big deal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,John rom Kemsing
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:59 AM

Tom Bliss,
          I fully appreciate your detailed and long winded defence of this programme but please, cut to the quick. Accept the fact that too many viewer/listeners are giving it the thumbs down for their opinions and observations to be ignored. Could you not agree that on this occasion, "Could do better" is the order of the day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM

"this show was put on by the same team who do Later with Jools Holland"

This explains a lot. Another show I usually watch on fast forward.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:10 AM

Hi Eliza,

sorry if you thought I was suggesting you were not part of the gang, or that the suits wouldn't have heard of you - that's so obviously not the case that I assumed it was a given! (And there are plenty of other artists who could and would have fitted the bill if there'd been room and they'd fancied it).

But I think you're worrying unnecessarily about this being some kind of ghettoisation. (Steeleye survived the humiliation, and they probably sold a few extra records. No real harm done).

I hear your point about relegating folk music to the past - but that IS after all folk's USP (and, like antiques, a lot of the point of it for a lot of people).

Smart marketing suggests starting from that, and then working outwards/forwards - which is exactly what you guys have done and fair play to you.

The opposite danger is that we only present folk as some disembodied modernist art from, which would risk breaking the link with history and tradition - or worse still, turning it into some sort of sociologicalist carbuncle.

If this had been the only exposure for froots music on TV this year I'd have agreed with you 100%. But it's not been, not by a long chalk. And it has to be said that if anything a majority of what has been aired has been quite right on, so maybe it was time for a bit of dressing up and mucking about. The tradition is chock full of it, after all.

I don't think this stripped anyone of dignity or sex. It was just tapping into the whole Les Mis/Sweeny Todd London Musical Hall swing, and no animals were harmed in the making.

Tom

PS And John from Kemsing, I do "accept the fact that too many viewer/listeners' on mudcat "are giving it the thumbs down for their opinions and observations to be ignored" - but then I'm not ignoring those things. Just asking those people to try to see the bigger picture and cut these guys a bit of slack. I'm not even sure that 'could do better' is appropriate, but words like 'rubbish' and 'terrible' and some of the quite personal attacks above are certainly not. (I hold to the view that you shouldn't write anything about an individual on a public web forum that you wouldn't say to that person's face. And this discussion has not changed my opinion).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:17 AM

Tom Bliss,
          If you feel that "could do better" is not appropriate then what would you say to the BBC regarding the above?. I trust it would not be "Congratulations"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:28 AM

If concerned punters are enthusiasts for the artists featured and thought the production let them down, fair enough. What's often the case with criticism is the person doesn't like the performer and the performance and trimmings are a stick to beat the same old drum.

As an outsider the show looked like fun and was a chance to see top ticket festival artists in one place doing their thing. I can't argue with Eliza's take on events but I wasn't unduly exercised by stripy tights or funny hats. Her mum and dad would have brought gravitas, as well as a rounder perspective on English folk music and it's a shame they and she weren't on, party hats or not.

I don't remember this much fuss when it was first aired?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:32 AM

I don't remember this much fuss when it was first aired?
I do!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:33 AM

There was a long thread when the program was first aired, and the point I made then was that I felt that it was a missed opportunity to show the excellence within the British folk scene.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 12:27 PM

Is it on BBC4 again this xmas ? I really do need to watch it in a more sober state than last winter,
to be able objectively judge this programs true merits as entertainment.

Like I said, despite my deeply ingrained class and regional based 'prejudices'/'resentment'/'chip on shoulder'/'envy' etc.. etc..,
I think I was so pissed and full of Lidl's rich christmas pudding I thoroughly enjoyed it last xmas.

.. especially shouting good hearty loud crude insults at the preening toffs in the audience on the telly !!!!


nice to let off a bit of steam in the holiday season of good will.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 12:47 PM

Interesting to read the thoughts of Jim Moray, as an actual participant in the event, rather than just mere observers like the rest of us.

His statement that the programme was put on by the same crew as do 'Later with Jools Holland' kills the argument that it was all the sound technicians fault.

It is evident that he felt under prepared for his solo spot, and perhaps his parting comment 'It's over now. If the opportunity comes up again we'll do it differently' gives us a clue. We all know that the people on stage that night are exceptionally talented people, and more than capable of producing something far better that we actually heard, so I'm now wondering whether the whole thing was just under rehearsed. Perhaps the performers saw it as a bit of a Christmas jolly and didn't give it the same attention as they would for things that would form part of their key repertoire.

And just a personal thought on Bellowhead. I don't think whole Bellowhead show and sound translates well to your living room, either on a screen or a CD. I think you have to be there and be part of the atmosphere they create. I've seen them live several times and have yet to be disappointed, but sitting on my settee, I'd rather listen to just Spiers and Boden.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,mulv
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:06 PM

"I'm genuinely puzzled as to why this concert should have drawn down so many strongly negative reactions, and on so many issues."

Well,I've got no telly background or none of my 'mates' were there so I'll now give it straight to you as an average singer and someone who watches some telly...........

I thought the MC'ing was actually rather cringeworthy

ALL vocals sounded poor (with one possible exception)....and some of these performers I have seen 'live' so I know that they can sing....I'm not talking about the odd flat note (which happened) but all the singing sounded dull and 'flat'/lifeless which I'm assuming was a technical thing (but - and this does make me wonder about the vocals overall - Niopha Keegan's short solo as lead sounded really good,so how come she got right what many others didn't ?)

The counter on the tech side is that all the instruments (in the main not thru' mikes) sounded really good - to the standard that you'd expect from the Beeb for any musical type of performance.

Maybe,if you were actually there on the night,it appeared all very jolly....in my living room it was almost 'black' like a cross between 'Moulin Rouge' and Greenaway's
'The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover'.Yeh,real festive stuff !

Oh - and I agree about the bloke in the leggings and the rivetting interview leading up to the Thai Curry !

In fact,when I first started this thread,I hadn't realised that I came to this a year too late.....I was seeing this with 'fresh' pair of eyes and ears...so I'm gobsmacked that BBC4 have actually chosen to show the whole bloody thing again....and re-run it about 4 times this month ! Cutbacks must be really kicking in

It just worries me that whilst some folkies might enjoy it (and clearly they do),others would get the impression that
(a) ALL folkies enjoy this type of stuff
(b) would actually think this is the world in which we live and find to be entertaining.

Maybe this sums it up......after 15 mins,my missus (who's not really into folk music that much) went and mopped the kitchen floor !

(Then,last night,I was lucky enough to stumble upon BBC Alba Piping Live and the Treacherous Orchestra - sanity returned !)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:44 PM

Well, in fairness to Paul Sartin, I think his act was a deliberate "o'marge" (and not spread too thick) to Sachs. I saw it in that light and thought it worked perfectly for the mood of the event, but perhaps if you're not familiar with the old Good Old Days show (and lets face it most will not be) it might have misfired.

Jim, you do yourself a disservice. To expand on what I said up there, I always find the application of your very individual delivery style to traditional songs makes one think twice about the lyrical content - and it did so again with Emanuel, even if you hadn't planned it.

As for this issue of sound quality, I'm flummoxed. I can only repeat that I had it turned up nice and loud and it ALL sounded really REALLY good on my TV (couple of minor issues with the balance at times, but that's all). The only thing I can think of is some phasing issue around the stereo transmission which presented on some systems, or possibly in some regions, and not others - but I'm at a loss to explain how such a thing could happen.

I do know that Bellowhead suffer from the same audio disease as I do - they just don't come across on recordings as well as they do live, but that wouldn't explain any problem with the other acts. I think we must be taking about personal likes and dislikes here. I preferred some songs to others, but they all went over the bar in terms of quality.

A friend of mine told me that they did turn it off - but only because it was about God and stuff.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:49 PM

If it provides any clue, in our region freeview digital sound is weaker with less depth and presence,
than sky SD satellite signal.

At least that's been my experience with our budget price home entertainment set up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:53 PM

I don't know why everyone is getting so serious about this. It was a bit of fun, in a pantomimey sort of way. Remember fun?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 02:06 PM

I do.

throws a great big custard pie......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: brezhnev
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM

Quite apart from the ghettoisation thing (eliza c, you're totally right, but they'll never have the wit or the imagination to do it properly), it was just another deeply dull bbc programme, dreamt up by luvvies to be performed in front of an audience of whooping luvvies, all of them clearly delighted to be part of some weird 'folk' reclaiming of Leeds City Varieties.

Most bizarrely, it was advertised as 'fun'. Fun?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: JohnB
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM

I came across this programme on You tube a few months back in six parts starting here
I did not particularly notice the synch issues, as I was watching through a You Tube version, I accepted this as a computer glitch.
If it was as bad as it comes across to me via my computer, sorry it was crap production wise and I do hope it wasn't as bad as that.

The "Guy with the tights", watch the clip at he start, he is one of the "entertainers" he is shown "singing" while the "Belles of London City" are Morris Dancing in the background, during the "pre-show" warm up of the audience. Where else are you going to seat anyone looking like that but right up front and centre.
The whole thing is "Over the Top", it was meant to be, it was aimed at being a "Christmas Revelry". It was not aimed at the "Folk Elite" who know their stuff and write on "Mudcat", it was a light hearted frolic. If BBC keep showing it, it obviously works for a majority somewhere.
Watching it for the first time on you tube I accepted it for what it was an enjoyed an awful lot of it. However there were parts which I could fast forward though, so gladly they do not stick in my memory.
One of which is the "Unthanks" whose tuning and harmonies I can not come to appreciate, they were not the only ones though. They are just the ones which I recognize, having seen them live on a trip to England.
So take the majority of it for what it was, entertainment which was not really aimed at "YOU" but the general public.
If you want better original entertainment, go to a "live" Folk Club etc, something I am not able to do in Canada as much as easily or frequently as the contributors from England.
JohnB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 02:17 PM

For the record I was listening on Virgin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 03:44 PM

Splattt!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 04:36 PM

I saw it last year and this but I missed the beginning this time round as I had been performing myself that evening, but when I got home, my wife had it on and I came in as the Unthanks were singing "In the Bleak Midwinter". I Remembered it from last year and my feelings about their rendering of the carol were much the same as last year - dire! Admittedly it is not my favourite carol, but it is too easy to sing it as a dirge and that is the trap they fell into. Otherwise this was a useful chance to re-appraise it and my feelings this time were to accept it for what it was. This was a piece of light hearted entertainment and, on the whole it worked at that level for me.

I think there are too many people in this thread who are taking the whole thing too seriously. This is a Christmas entertainment that happens to feature folk musicians not a showcase for folk music or an attempt to capture something of the folk club/session scene - which would not translate well to TV anyway.

That said, I understand Eliza C's concerns, but I think it would need a completely different type of programme to achieve what she would like to see. I detect the BBC becoming more aware of folk musicians. I have seen both Kate Rusby and Bella Hardy on Songs of Praise recently, in both cases being featured in a respectful manner. I suspect it needs someone with the right contacts and determination to push things along to bring them and others more into the mainstream of BBC programming.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 04:42 PM

The format could have been OK - after all it was much the same as you get late night at many folk festivals. It was just done very badly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,LizMcfarlane
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:01 PM

Thanks Auldtimer and others - What a relief - I am so glad it looks like I am not a grumpy old negative b****! I just didn't have the heart to put it so bluntly. Would whoever you are, please stop misleading people into thinking they really have a great talent when they don't. Look that's what's great about the folk scene, everybody can have a go and it's great to take your turn at singarounds and be a 'floor' singer at the folk club but a whole CD? And on television? I have a hard enough job encouraging my non folky friends to appreciate the music I love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,mulv
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:19 PM

Well,I've said me bit and probably enough already.I'll also concede that I've re-listened on IPlayer and then looked at JohnB's YouTube link - vocals sound better,I believe,on Youtube even if lips/sound are out of sync.
Still think it was a rather unconvincing piece of TV entertainment......oh and loved the 'custard pie' line ! Bloody roared.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:24 PM

What would it cost to float a production company and do the job right? Tom? Doug? Eliza?
This is a serious question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:25 PM

There is something else happening here that I'm struggling to understand.

It's clear that a lot of people simply don't see any merit in some of the singers who appeared on that programme.

I might have suggested that this was because those singers are an acquired taste, but this is plainly not the case - because their success in terms of album sales and bums on seats at bookings proves incontrovertibly that they are in fact very fine singers and that huge numbers of people get that straight away (numbers which massively outweigh those who don't like them, as it happens).

But I also have accept that loads of people here on Mudcat and across the folk world disagree, and I have to respect that view too.

So are we seeing some paradigm shift in the concept of what constitutes great singing?

Let's be a bit simplistic and create a generic dissenter who we'll call Moz.

If the artists who Moz thinks should be getting the breaks which our BBC4 singers are getting DID get those breaks - would they be as successful in that marketplace in this era as the BBC4s? We don't know.

Could it be that the BBC4s are in fact somehow 'right' for this arena, in ways that other singers are not - and that they are vocalising some 21st century folk zeitgeist that Moz is just not attuned to?

I don't know, but I do love to find beauty in unexpected places, and I find it easily in the voices we heard on this programme.

Maybe they're not actually bad - just different.

Tom

Or this the breaks actually float by at some point and actually they did not come up to the mark.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:31 PM

Paul, the cost is not the issue. turnstone.tv could do the job tomorrow.

The 'problem' is a small number of broadcast slots (expanding in TV thanks to BBC4, but dwindling in radio) and a commensurate number of incumbent suppliers who have a good track record, good relationships with the commissioning editors, good ideas, good networking skills, good contacts in the folk world etc etc.

The door is not locked, but the corridor sure is crowded.

Which is why I've only talked to my contacts so far and never wasted my time with a written proposal.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:32 PM

ignore that last line in my penultimate. It was never even a sentence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:32 PM

Very boring indeed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:38 PM

I suspect it needs someone with the right contacts and determination to push things along to bring them and others more into the mainstream of BBC programming.

Some requests from the public couldn't hurt either.

I have already sent my comments in to the BBC requesting more sensitively treated programmes about traditional music and dance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:42 PM

'Paul, the cost is not the issue.' Sorry Tom, of course it is. For the reasons you just listed. I'm well aware of the 'old boys networking' and the role of 'pluggers' That's how acts are promoted, it's naive(?) to think that success in the media is achieved without these things. Promoting an act, project or a single artist is a matter of finance. That's a fact of media life and nothing to do with 'folk'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:56 PM

Well to answer Tom's comment that it was a dislike of individual performers. In my case it isn't so, I freely admit to wondering why people get so excited about Bellowhead, but apart from that, all of the performers were OK. For instance, I liked the Tar Barreling Time song, and intensely disliked Jim Morays treatmant of Oh Come Immanuel. That's not down to the ability of the perfermers per se, just the songs they chose.
A TV perogramme is like a CD, you need to get your tracks in order, and get some continuity. Split your songs in the same key, the same with those in the same tempo.
This programme was unbalanced, and if there were 10 acts all worth a theoretical £100, then the sum total of this production, was no more than £700.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, tom bliss
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:59 PM

no paul, you miss the point.

it starts with the bbc schedule, which has x number of slots for folk.

next come the guys pitching, to fill those slots.

they suggest acts but the bbc polices the content and the format.

the only way to by in is to set up your own tv station (and even then you need bandwidth).

the only way isb bto pitch a better show. and the beeb liked this


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 03:40 AM

What I really miss and wish it would return is BBC radio 2 folk programme going round the folk clubs. I know outside broadcasts are much more expensive than just doing ' my favourite new CD this week' or request programmes, but I remember some of the best material coming from the floor singers.
FloraG.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:23 AM

Sorry Paul, posting from my phone was not a great idea.

A better explanation - this is the usual BBC process, though there are some shows which just roll on from year to year, like the News. (The other channels work in much the same way).

Step one happens when the senior suits decide on their big picture, based on the audience figures, what the competition is up to, and any good ideas they' fancy pursuing - oh, and the budget - etc.

From this they decide what they want to commission over the coming year. Some of this will be specific (a major strand on underwater cookery, perhaps), and some more general (such as fewer reality shows or more costumer drama, or more reality costume dramas).

This structure will, we hope (now that at last our music seems to have snuck onto the agenda), include a number of folk programme slots, probably - as things stand - under the BBC4 Sessions brand. They may also give a steer on what folk content they'd like to see in general music strands like Later (not sure about this, it could be left to the producers).

This strategy is then made known to interested parties - i.e. programme-makers, including the BBCs in-house production teams.

These providers then submit proposals on a competitive basis to fill those slots.

The closer they can get to the required strategy, (and the cheaper too, obviously), then the better their chances - and if they can manage to tick a few bonus boxes too then so much the better.

Sometimes a new broom gets the work, but more often than not, for obvious reasons, its the incumbent - or someone with a proven track record in that field who is well known to the department concerned. Outsiders run the risk of having their ideas rejected only to see an almost identical programme being made by the in-house team or regular supplier - who, it emerges, just happened to submit an almost identical proposal. (Next time I see you I'll tell you a tale or too from my own experience that will curl your hair right up).

Now, there is no rule to stop anyone submitting a programme or strand idea at any time, but the commissioning team who receive it will merely look to the strategic plan and see if it posts through any of the slots (with or without a minor or even very major tweak, such as, perhaps, silly costumes).

If it's a really really strong idea that happens to strike a chord up the chain, it even might go on the pile to be considered for the next round, but the commission could still go to someone else on the way back down.

There are people who will, for a substantial sum, take the relevant people out to lunch and whisper in their ears - but I can do that for myself, and the truth is that because the folk world is quite small, the slots are quite few, and the existing providers very good, there's really no point in me doing so, and certainly no point in me paying someone else to enjoy the meal.

I have in fact got a short list of folky ideas, and a couple of months ago I did do the lunch thing, but I did not come away from that meeting inclined to invest any time or tears on folk shows - for the moment, anyway.

It's not like planting seeds in a big open field. It's like hoopla with one ring from the back of a scrum.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:29 AM

I'll repeat what I said about this programme when it was first aired.

If you compare the sound quality, for example, to the BBC4 proagrammes recorded at St. Lukes - June Tabor, Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman, etc. - the sound quality was bloody awful.

The programme looked over-complicated and, frankly, rushed, in presentation. I used to work for the Beeb many years ago and I can assure you that the programme did not live up to the normally good standards. As for the performances, well, it's just personal taste (which is what I always say), but I don't care for the Unthanks and didn't care for Bellowhead - whom I usually like very much.

6/10 - could do better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM

The big old terrestrial broadcasters are only one way of spreading the word. The technology is cheap enough to make your own programmes and have them seen at festivals (film and folk) and on web broadcasts and, who knows, even on the telly.

If you wait for the BBC to give you what you want you'll wait forever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:48 AM

Well I liked it, I like(d) all the artists and I am looking for a pair of orange horizontally striped tights for myself. Who wants a slick presentation? I like my folk with glitches. I did have a couple of negative thoughts about the forced jollity of the two white haired youngsters at the front but told myself not to be such an old fart.
The Mudcat Miserable Buggers are really the worst thing about this site.

Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 05:50 AM

I think Will Fly has summed things up well, the presentation and the performance were less than perfect.

Perhaps we have become conditioned to expect perfection when watching our television.

Perhaps we expected more from performers such as these, who are after all, held up as the current 'big names' in the folk world.

We have already heard earlier in this thread from one of the performers involved, who was obviously not happy with his solo performance and states clearly at the end of his post, that if it was to happen again they would do things differently, which would suggest a collective dissatisfaction from the performers. It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of the other performers.

Just to repeat my thoughts from my earlier post, perhaps they saw it as a bit of a christmas jolly, and were a bit under rehearsed?

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 06:17 AM

As I've said elsewhere, it was a chance to show the non-folk world that the folk world is full of entertainers who are masters of their instruments, and as such it failed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 06:42 AM

Dave that's just not true.

I think you are crediting The Great British Unwashed with far more understanding of how concertinas, bagpipes, melodeons etc are supposed to be played than is reasonable.

This show was NOT designed for the experts we find here on Mudcat. I do in fact play (to some degree at least) nearly all the instruments on display, and I didn't notice any poor technique at all (though I bow to Eliza's greater abilities here), I was just enjoying the flow of show.

Most TV programmes contain a few bloopers which only the initiated will spot, and no-one is sent to the Tower as a result.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BBC4 Christmas Session
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 07:42 AM

100


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: 31 May 9:14 PM EDT

[ Home ]

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