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BBc defends folk awards

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EmmaHartley 21 Nov 11 - 06:00 PM
The Sandman 21 Nov 11 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,henryp 21 Nov 11 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 11 - 03:40 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 03:44 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 AM
Spleen Cringe 22 Nov 11 - 05:01 AM
Banjiman 22 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM
GUEST 22 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM
Musket 22 Nov 11 - 05:24 AM
greg stephens 22 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM
Silas 22 Nov 11 - 05:58 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Nov 11 - 06:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 11 - 06:28 AM
greg stephens 22 Nov 11 - 06:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 22 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 Nov 11 - 07:16 AM
Vic Smith 22 Nov 11 - 07:18 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Nov 11 - 07:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM
The Sandman 22 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM
Howard Jones 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 Nov 11 - 08:22 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 08:34 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM
Will Fly 22 Nov 11 - 08:49 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 09:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 09:17 AM
BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM
theleveller 22 Nov 11 - 09:42 AM
Les from Hull 22 Nov 11 - 02:49 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM
BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Ralph NcTell 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 PM
BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 04:02 PM
stallion 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Usual suspect 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM
Rain Dog 22 Nov 11 - 04:29 PM
BTNG 22 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Nov 11 - 05:53 PM
The Sandman 22 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM
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Subject: BBC defends folk awards
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:00 PM

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/bbc-folk-awards-raising-blood-pressure.html

A piece about some issues surrounding the folk awards, provoked this response from the BBC and Smooth Operations.

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/11/smooth-operations-and-bbc-compliance-on.html

It's possible the folk awards are in breach of the BBC's "how to run an awards" code of conduct - the parts about transparency and business connections between judges and nominees.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:26 PM

thankyou.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 07:10 PM

Oh no! If Smooth Operations come clean, what will be left for us to speculate about?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:40 AM

Zackly. The reason why there's so much griping about the folk awards is the lack of transparency.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:44 AM

Smooth Operations ? come clean ? give us a break, from the above links it's fairly obvious they never will, Mike Harding says the judges names are not secret and John Leonard says they are, clear as f...ing mud, and totally dishonest.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:46 AM

I'm just surprised there are as many as 170 movers and shakers in the folk world to be judges.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 AM

What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show. That immediately limits it to a certain category of music which fits the SmoothOps/MHS remit. No one, not even SmoothOps, seems to think that the MHS is representative of the folk scene in general.

So when they call it the "BBC Folk Awards", what they mean is awards for folk who've been on the BBC. Not exactly inaccurate, but...

Despite this, I'm not one of the conspiracy theorists. The Folk Awards may be flawed, but they are a showcase for the best of folk music - some of the best anyway. No matter what the cynics say, it is real kudos and a definite boost for those who are nominated. I've got my ticket, and I'm looking forward to it immensely. I'll be cheering on my mates in Pilgrims' Way who are up for the Horizon award.

A bit more transparency would remove most of the grounds for carping and allow us to enjoy it for what it is.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:01 AM

Gemma Kidney's Glory Hole


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Banjiman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM

Fascinating stuff.

It doesn't sound as if there is any representation from Folk Clubs at all on the voting panel......festivals, agents and record companies etc but not Folk Clubs.

Interesting that.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM

Howard Jones wrote:
What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show.

As one of the so-called judges, I can say that this statement is inaccurate.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Musket
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:24 AM

Awards for something as abstract as music are always going to be subjective.

The alternative would be the BBC joining in the idea of folk being something that weird beards with twigs growing out of their sandals and leave well alone unless Simon Cowell some day decides it is cool.

Be grateful for the easy access to good music each Wednesday night. I know I am. Sorry, I wouldn't allow my enjoyment of the awards to be subject to knowing who the judges are. To me, it's irrelevant. One person's enjoyment is another person's earful. With one hour a week, Mr Harding has a job on, and one minute he is accused of not showcasing enough talent, the next criticised for cutting songs short to fit more in. Poor bugger, should have stuck to being one of the most prodigious folk talents the scene has produced.

I enjoy the new music I may have never heard before and I for one particularly enjoy being taken back thirty odd years by him slipping in someone I last heard in the upstairs room of a pub that no longer exists.

Keep it comin' Mike & crew.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:34 AM

Interesting to see the statement about artists not being allowed on the voting panel. Smooth Operations public statements are notoriously changable, I recall this statement being made tyears ago. Yet everyone knows it's completely untrue, I recall at least one artist coming clean and writing about his experiences on the panel, and I believe there are plenty more. Though without a list to look at such an impression can only be speculation.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:45 AM

I really can't get my head round all this bitching and sour grapes. Of course judges are going to vote for people they like – duhhhhh, it's a no-brainer. But if there are 180 or so judges, it seems that there'll be a fairly representative consensus.

Looking at it another way: is there anyone on the list who doesn't deserve to be there? Well, not in my opinion – I may not like the music of some but they all deserve their place. Are there people who aren't on the list who deserve to be? Of course, loads, but that's the nature of awards – not everyone can be a winner and there's always next year. Awards are not a democracy – they're the subjective opinion of a group of people and the bigger the group, the more representative the choice, but there is a limit to how many people can be asked. Fine – disagree with the whole concept of awards (yes, inevitably they represent the commercial aspect of folk more than the grass-roots aspect) but I doubt if there's a totally fair way of selecting the winners at an acceptable cost. Strangely, you never hear the winners complaining about the selection process.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:58 AM

I don't have a problem with the awards as such - they do at least promote some of the best folk music to a wider than normal audience. What I do object to is giving people like Donovan (a person who has none nothing for the past 40 years)a lifetimes achievement award just to get bums on seats, when people who would really deserve an honour like that are passed over. It devalues the award.

I also don't like some of the tossers they get to present the awards - would love to know who picks these cretins out of the woodwork.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:14 AM

Your complaints don't go deeply enough! It is not the CONDUCT or the SYSTEM of the Folk Awards that is wrong, it is the whole CONCEPT of the folk scene acting like some minor league Oscar ceremony with its sad self-congratulatory behaviour.
When artists or agents contact me and say that they have won some award and therefore I ought to book them, I always point out how meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things. How I wish that the folk scene would stop aping the celebrity-led mainstream music industry with its false attitudes and values. If a person is good as a singer or musician then let them prove it without a panel of "experts" telling us what is good or bad.
VIC SMITH


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:16 AM

Honours would be spread more widely if each artist could win just one award.

They would be spread even further if winners were not considered the following year, or perhaps for the next two years.

These measures would make the BBC Awards more of a showcase for folk - if that is the intention.

I think it's a good thing to bring in presenters from outside the world of folk. It shows that folk does have a wider appeal.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:28 AM

I think the thing is Vic, that folk is part of the music and entertainment industry. A relationship that has had some benefits for both parties.

Cool it. You can't have sex without having the odd accident. Its not like those of us not involved are going to catch anything - not dangerous diseases, not awards. Its their game - not ours in the folk clubs.

The recording and broadcast industry want it. Let them have it, by their own rules - so it does what THEY want.

Nothing to do with us lot, Thank Gawd!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:38 AM

There is a lot wrong with Smooth Operations and the Folk Awards( also with folk awards in my opinion but that's another story) but I dont think it's very fair to start being suspicious of Alan Bearman's stable of acts getting an excessive amount of awards(as happened earlier in the thread). Alan Bearman is an agent in the business of representing succesful folk acts. Given those aims, is it surprising that a lot of his people get a lot of awards? That's the kind of people he represents, and he's obviously very good at it. Nothing odd about that( except perhaps that finding an efficient folkie with a bit of nous is an odd thing in itself?)


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:47 AM

Vic: "I always point out how meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things"

Most things are "meaningless these trivial things are in the grand scheme of things"

But the music played by most people who win awards is worth hearing. You either like it or you don't, that's it. It doesn't matter to anybody else what anybody likes.

The awards seem to bring some kind of 'folk music' to a wider audience. Who can be against that?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM

Vic, I agree with you one hundred percent


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM

Les wrote:-
"The awards seem to bring some kind of 'folk music' to a wider audience. Who can be against that?"


The problem with that, Les, is the words some kind. Take the "Lifetime Award", How many times has it been given to a tired, past it American performer who just happen to be in the UK at the time?

What about the self-seeking "personalities" who are trundled out to present the awards? Would you say they are there because of their love of folk music or because it will give them publicity in various media?

I wonder why the "Folk Club Of The Year" award was removed a few years back. I reckon that it was because it was just that little bit more transparently ridiculous than the rest of the silly circus.

It is a stupid game and I don't want to play it.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:15 AM

"Vic, I agree with you one hundred percent "

Dick, are you saying that if you were up for an award you would reject it on principle?

I just think that if you don't like the awards, simply ignore them instead of getting hot under the collar. Like Vic says, they're meaningless in the grand scheme of things - but a nice pat on the back for those who win.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:16 AM

Bunny Rabbits to the folk awards.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:18 AM

Can anyone give me a serious explanation of what Musician of the Year actually means? What tests and credentials are applied?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:19 AM

I agree with Silas, on the presenters thing. Last year they had Tamsin Greig as one of the presenters. Now I love her as an actress, and she will always be Debbie Archer in my mind. However she waffled on about nothing, tried and failed, at being funny, and generally was an embarassment to herself and the Folk Awards.
If they want someone funny, there's Richard Digance, John James, Noel Murphy, and a host of others, who are folk performers, and amusing too. People the audience can relate to more easily.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM

Ok Vic,"The problem with that, Les, is the words some kind" - well we have been around that can of worms a few times on here and many contribitions have been ................ I can't be bothered.

Life time Achievments have gone to 8 English, 3 Irish, 2 Scots and 7 from the US. So, yes the US is over represented. But to descibe Steve Earle, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Tom Paxton, James Taylor, Judy Collins and Nanci Griffith as "past it American performer(s)" is clearly your opinion but not everyones.

I can imagine another end of this discussion in which some civilian goes to a singaround and dies of boredom or someone takes a whistle or guitar to a tunes session and gets frozen out.

That is just about as representative of the state of English folk as the Awards but it happens.

Gregs comments about the managment and promotion of our kind of live music by people in the awards is more crucial. It seems that currently loads of younger and not so young people are making great music that is trad or close to it. Are they getting some kind of equal or fair access to audiences that would enjoy their music - probably not.

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:43 AM

leveller, i would reject it on principle, but i would also make surethat everyone knew i was rejecting it and why.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM

H ha ha - the best of both worlds, eh Dick?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:48 AM

Howard Jones wrote:
What is interesting is that the list sent to the judges is based on what's been played on Mike Harding's show.

As one of the so-called judges, I can say that this statement is inaccurate.


I was simply paraphrasing what Emma had reported John Leonard had told her:

"There is a list, he explained, of new music sent out to all the judges every year, based on what's been played on the Mike Harding Show (which is also produced by Smooth Operations)." Perhaps the judges are not expected to limit themselves to what's on that list, but it's bound to focus their attention.

I think the value of the Awards is that they briefly give our music a higher profile than it usually gets. It would however be good if we could understand better how the nominations are arrived at and what the criteria are. Otherwise I think there's a great danger that the folk scene will become too cynical about them. As theleveller pointed out, everyone on the list deserves to be there. We can all think of other nominations who are equally deserving of recognition, and I can understand Vic's point of view if someone feels entitled to gigs just because they've won an award, but on the other hand it does at least suggest they're worth listening to, if only to make up your own mind.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM

The BBC need to get rid of Smooth Operations, they run the awards, where the only music and songs eligible for an award are the music and songs played on a show they produce and choose what is played or not and they won't tell anyone who the judges are, if that's not the definition of corruption I don't know what is.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:22 AM

The SmoothOps/MH residency at the BBC is the living epitome of a sinecure. A genial old fart Harding may be, but the John Peel of Folk he sadly is not.

But thanks to the internet noise now being generated, I have discovered Emma's Glamour Cave - a great resource, and really well done - and through that The Destroyers.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:34 AM

Peter, "A genial old fart Harding may be,"

- singer of songs both trad and written, pretty good instrumentalist, songwriter of some excellent songs, one of the funniest people I have seen, playwrite, advocate of cycling and rambling, creator(?) and front man of some excellent TV progs. advocate of all sorts of music generaly recognised hereabouts as folk music.

A bit more than an old fart wouldn't you say?

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM

Of course all the critics of Mike, The Awards, Smooth Opps, The BBC clearly do so much more to create, perform and promote our kind of music than any of the above list ............... erm

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 08:49 AM

Sorry to butt in, Les, but that's a bit of a false premise.

The fact that A may have less impact than B on something doesn't invalidate A's right to criticise B.

And, in fact, several of the posters in this thread are working far harder to propagate and promote the music they love in their area - including your good self.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:10 AM

Mike Harding is a pretty good singer, brilliant songwriter,comedian and instrumentalist, he could be a really good radio presenter, but he just does what Smooth Ops tell him.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:17 AM

Hi Will,

the "folk music world" is a small but surprisingly diverse one. Who "create, perform and promote our kind of music" most?

It's not a competition but the major and lesser known festivals, whoever they are, the EFDSS - and that has a far amount of critics on here, weekly folk clubs sessions and singarounds, dance clubs?

I don't know and I bet most people have no evidence that would stand up.

So, "Mike, The Awards, Smooth Opps, The BBC" in their way do a good job. Not perfect and not promoting the kind of 'folk music' that some would like to hear and criticism and suggesting for improvemnt may well be ignored, we would never do that would we?

It's a point that has been made before - the tone that comes across from the keyboard in to a blank space is perhaps more agressive than was intended.

Where's me banjo?

best wishes

Les


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM

"but he just does what Smooth Ops"

Well biting the hand that feeds you is not a useful course to take at all. If Mike Harding weren't hosting, I've a feeling that the programme wouldn't exist at all, then you'd have one less, in an ever shrinking field, outlet for the music; then where would you be?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM

So "but he just does what Smooth Ops tell him." One M Harding?

So, when I was employed I did what the management told me to do, what about you Dave, were you in a better position.

For what it's worth I ssuspect Mike has more than a little say in many things in the programme and in Smooth Opps

L in C


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 09:42 AM

"If Mike Harding weren't hosting, I've a feeling that the programme wouldn't exist at all,"

It was brilliant when Ralph McTell was presenting it.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Les from Hull
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 02:49 PM

Welcome to the Annual Bitch-fest! People will always complain if their particular favourites aren't chosen. What a actually matters is that someone is being chosen that represents the music that we all sort of like, and if that helps to improve the profile of folk music, then we all sort of benefit. There's a useful cd issue as well that gives us an opportunity of listening to artists we might not have heard that someone must like. So let's agree that on the whole it's a good thing. You'ld have a lot more to winged about if the BBC stopped supporting folk music completely.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM

It was pretty good when Jim Lloyd was the host too.

I was the Union Branch Secretary at my last long term job Les, so I did more arguing with management than saying yes sir no sir three bags full sir.



Dave H


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 03:29 PM

Was Ralph NcTell doing what Smooth Ops told him?

a simple yes or no will suffice


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Ralph NcTell
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:00 PM

No


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:02 PM

much rolling of eyes and the thought of "typical Mudcat response"


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: stallion
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM

Who gives a flying f**k? Week last monday at Herga is where the soul is, and numerous other venue's across the UK and wider world. The awards are what they and attach what value you want to it, Mike Harding does his job, a nice gig if you can get it. I suppose it is galling if one works ones butt off and someone else breezes in for accolades on the back of a record label and their promoters but really it is just a marketing game, now lets get on with the serious stuff!


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: GUEST,Usual suspect
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM

Like the earlier Guest, I am also on the panel. First, we're not restricted to the list sent out by Smooth Operations - it's supposed to act as an aide memoire for the folk albums Smooth Operations is aware have been released during the eligible period. This helps to ensure that the albums nominated are actually eligible. There is NOTHING in the agreement judges sign which asks them not to reveal that they are on the panel. Given that, why do I choose not to say who I am? Mostly because I don't want any group of fans or record company lobbyists, not to mention the malcontents of Mudcat on my back. Third, the blog at the top of the page looks like someone who probably thinks they ought to be on the panel themselves. I wonder why they have never been asked?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: Rain Dog
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:29 PM

They are what they are. Their main purpose is to promote the music, hence the guests from outside the 'folk' world who might draw others into this dark and mysterious world.

I read the following extract in the Guardian newspaper yesterday. It is from Srephen Sondheim's book 'Look, I made a hat' He has something to say about awards.

Stephen Sondheim on being igonred by the BBC Folk Awards


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: BTNG
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

that's your opinion, stallion and yours alone, and some people do care and that's their choice, and who are you to say what you do is serious and nothing else is?


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:53 PM

If you read the blog you will see that she has been invited to submit her name for inclusion as a judge.
This is the time honoured principle of inviting people into the tent to piss out. As it stops them being outside the tent pissing in.


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Subject: RE: BBc defends folk awards
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM

"not to mention the malcontents of Mudcat on my back"
who is this berk?some fantasist who probably lives in east cheam


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