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Where are the youngsters?

GUEST,Vincethecat 29 Aug 12 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,FloraG 29 Aug 12 - 04:19 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 28 Aug 12 - 02:26 PM
selby 28 Aug 12 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 01:15 PM
Allan Conn 28 Aug 12 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 28 Aug 12 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Vincethecat 28 Aug 12 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 11:01 AM
TheSnail 28 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Julia_Writer 28 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM
John P 28 Aug 12 - 09:40 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Aug 12 - 09:14 AM
selby 28 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM
Musket 28 Aug 12 - 06:25 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach 28 Aug 12 - 05:32 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 04:36 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 12 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Aug 12 - 03:56 AM
Jack Campin 27 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM
Rob Naylor 27 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Ripov (not at home) 27 Aug 12 - 07:25 PM
Jack Campin 27 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM
selby 27 Aug 12 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach 27 Aug 12 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Ripov (not at home) 27 Aug 12 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Tony 27 Aug 12 - 10:16 AM
TopcatBanjo 27 Aug 12 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 27 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,FloraG 27 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM
Allan Conn 27 Aug 12 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 12 - 07:38 PM
Rob Naylor 26 Aug 12 - 07:30 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 12 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,FloraG 26 Aug 12 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,FloraG 26 Aug 12 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Tony 26 Aug 12 - 10:49 AM
Jack's Rake 26 Aug 12 - 07:18 AM
Jack Campin 26 Aug 12 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,FloraG 26 Aug 12 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Tony 25 Aug 12 - 08:56 PM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 12 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,roderick warner 25 Aug 12 - 07:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Vincethecat
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 07:43 AM

FloraG- I appreciate your point re performers- actually I think one of the most wonderful and special things in the Folk world is an informal, friendly singaround/music session, give me one of those any day over a "Folk Club" where everyone sits in rows facing the stage waiting to do their floor-spot. That Folk Club format is stiff, dated and unwelcoming and I'm sure puts many younger people off. On the other hand there are amateur musicians in many genres who do it largely for the love of it so I don't think Folk is unique in that regard.

What I feel is that traditional songs and sounds have an eternal appeal- there is a large group of younger people drawn to things folky, rootsy, "authentic", old-and-strange probably for similar reasons to the folk-fans of their parents or grand-parents' generation; from the "Alt-Psych-Folk" Green Man festival sort of stuff, to the Wicker man soundtrack (yes it's still a major way that people get interested in traditional music), to Sea-Sick Steve and even the dire M*****d & S*ns. But this group and the established Traditional Folk Music scene are on the whole completely disconnected, which is a shame. I think it would be wonderful to bring these two groups of people closer together as they have a lot to gain from each other.

Acts like Bellowhead and the Unthanks probably help bridge the gap to some extent; and while I'm neither are exactly to my personal taste I think they both show that traditional music can still reach a wider audience by fusing with other genres, just as it did with Folk-Rock in the 60s and 70s. What I really think would bring more young people into traditional music is more genuine fusion of traditional music and other genres, as opposed to the likes of M & S; "Rootless Folk-Pop" as one reviewer recently aptly described them. We have to be secure and open minded to encourage this kind of experimentation, in the knowledge that it doesn't detract from the original source material but ensures its continued relevance and gives it a wider audience.

On a practical leveI, I think the best thing that the established festivals can do (and I know this has been done to some extent) would be to give new Folk promoters a window to take on one of the usual tents/venues, ideally this would be for the duration of the event, and to give them as much free reign as possible in terms of marketing, booking artists etc. This would allow a space for more experimental and younger orientated "folk", but in an environment where it could remain genuinely connected to and inspired by genuine traditional music.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 04:19 AM

No pops. Its just a statement of fact. The sailing club is not a pub and Bobs session is mostly music. Not them then. Anyone who works in/for a festival - mostly without pay - can run things the way they like. If you don't like it you have the choice to get involved and take on a lot of work - or not go.
The radio 2 best folk club award was based on views of visiting artists. This meant that clubs that had the most artists tended to get voted for most. Nothing wrong with that as I don't think it affected the way the best folk clubs run.   eg The cambridge folk club has a mix of open stage, the best of whom are asked to showcase, and some paid guest nights with invited ( usually local ) support. This model is more work than just having guests, but it encourages new groups/ solo performers to hone their skills with good PA provided, and means a lot more variety for the audience. I'm not sure there would be an easy way to vote democratically about this. The Conway sounds delightful.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM

I don't go to Broadstairs much any more as I like singarounds and sessions but my experience of the past is that Flora's accusation is baseless. Tom and Barbara's singarounds in the sailing club are run on a strict rotation of the room (on polar co-ordinates) without any preferences. My only gripe with them is that they are too full and joining in is frowned on (and once someone turned up with recorded backing tracks).

The other pub (the Wrotham Arms)has Kenwood mixer sessions and my experience is that the organisation is scrupulous to give all a fair crack of the whip without even a hint of exclusion of those whom the organisers might not wish to hear - although it seemed to be on a sort of "Lazy-Z" sweep. My only moan there is that they are also rammed and I find it inconvenient to stick to the "easy key, easy rhythm" requirement.   

I infer that Flora did not intend to refer to Neptune's Hall - not a "pub" as such).   If she wants to have a pop at Bob and Kath perhaps she should openly stick her head above the parapet.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 02:26 PM

They quietly dropped that one a couple of years ago Selby. Shame.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 02:01 PM

FloraG does not the Folk Awards give an award to the best folk club which takes issues like welcoming into account :-))))))


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 01:15 PM

I think we could start another thread here - the most welcoming folk club.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 01:11 PM

I've not visited many folks but as we were having a week down in north Wales we decided to try out Conwy Folk Club. It was very well organised and friendly. As soon as I was in the door several people came up enquiring as to who I was and did I want to perform etc. They lady who was in charge that evening, they take turns, explained that I'd be on fifth and that there was a maximum of two songs. Later on in the evening it transpired that their numbers were shorter than normal and as I was a guest from afar they asked me to do another two songs! The majority of the people there were older but there was no grumpiness etc. A really nice bunch of people.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 12:46 PM

Lucy's Dad is often with her ....... and he's younger than a lot of the audience at some folk clubs:-) Fine fellow he is as well.

Does that count?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM

leveller - it was the language it was deteriorating into that made me make the comment. I do know exactly what you mean. At the Broadstairs sing around pub you don't get asked to sing by one of the two orgasnisers unless your face fits. ( The other one sidles around and listens to people and is more democratic who he asks to sing - well, he asks us anyway so perhaps I'm biased) At one of the two folk clubs I go to they had one of the best melodeon players in kent turn up - and he wasn't asked to perform - so we had to hear the residents yet again.

My own personal little gripe is that if we turn up together as we usually do - we get asked to do one song. If my husband does an unaccompaied song then I get ignored and the same the other way around. Bless the Wimbourne club - Oh no - you must do 2 as there are 2 of you.


My friend had Lucy perform at the Cambridge folk club and said she held the audience well. I just wondered if she uses face book etc to attract her own audience as I know some performers have e mail lists that they use extensively.

Vince the cat - I'm glad to hear you have mostly been been welcomed and helped. Most folk performers do it for the joy of the music, not any personal gain. Are there things that you would alter with the organisation of festivals that would encourage more people of your age to turn up? ( remembering that most of the work is voluntary).
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:20 AM

"Leveller - did Lucy come with her own youn adience?"

Whenever I see Lucy the audience seems to be a wide range of ages - she has a very broad appeal. I first came across her when she was, I think, just 17 and brought a totally fresh approach to songs ranging from The Recruited Collier to Lilac Wine. Few people can bring me out in goose bumps like her voice does.


Flora, I was making a serious point about the style, attitudes and arrogance of some of our older folk establishment that put off so many people. Here's one example: mrsleveller and I were at an informal pub singaround which had been organised by a friend for his birthday. He asked us start things off and requested a couple of our songs. After we'd finished, one of the previously mentioned raucous Captain Birdseye impersonators stood up and, filled with his usual self-importance, announced, "Well, so much for the warm-up act, now it's time for the real pro." mrsleveller had to be physically restrained from punching his lights out and now refuses to be in the same room as him. 'nuff said!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Vincethecat
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:15 AM

Having come back from a folk festival recently feeling slightly depressed, I thought I would share my thoughts. I'm talking mainly about English Folk here, as I get the impression that the relationship with folk music is very different in Ireland and Scotland.

I'm in my early 30s, my girlfriend is in her mid-20s, and we felt the odd ones out a lot of the time. Firstly- age wise there is undeniably a big dip in the 20-40 age group at most events (20-50 is probably more like it) - the exception being the Ceilidhs.

Secondly (and I don't think this issue is discussed enough); neither of us come from "folkie" backgrounds but have discovered and come to love the music independently as young adults. I know a lot of people, including some of the most influential performers, came to traditional music this way in the 60-70s but in my experience it is very rare now. It seems to me that the majority of younger people who are around at the festivals (including as performers) have been raised in folk families and grown up with it- a look at a cross section of the younger performers shows this is overwhelmingly the case. It's good that they are carrying on with it, but if English traditional music can't engage a wider audience then it's doomed to a slow decline.

I think one of the issues here is that because there was such a huge revival of interest in traditional music in the 60s it has to some extent become attached to a particular generation. That generation are on the whole still the ones running folk clubs, festivals etc. Given that they are often old enough to be their parents or even grandparents, it's not surprising that they struggle to attract people in their 20s, and as many of the clubs and festivals have an audience that goes back year after year, they really have little incentive to do so.

I think the established "folk scene" has a role to play and can help by sharing knowledge, by being welcoming, non-judgemental and open to people dipping their toes in the water (ie not scoffing at people just for having learnt a song from Leige and Leif). Ultimately though I think it's up to younger people to discover the music for themselves and make their own scene and events, I doubt if Trad Folk will ever have another revival as big as it the 60s, but there is hope.

On the positive side, I know of a number of younger people (not all from "folk" backgrounds) that are interested in and out performing traditional music; friends of mine who aren't big folk fans are intrigued when I sing a traditional song or play a tune. I also think there is a genuine interest in "Folk" amongst young people (and the wider population as a whole) but an ignorance of what it actually is, or how to go about finding out. I'd also like to say I've met some wonderfully welcoming and helpful older people around folk music who have done much to nurture my interest.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 11:01 AM

Boys please - stop the point scoring - and get back to what for me and obviously a lot of other people is a serious issue.

Julia - the joy of folk music is its variation. Find an easy song and you really only need to know the first 4 bars - you will find lots of others singing along, and pleased that you had a go.

Leveller - did Lucy come with her own youn adience? At Broadstairs despite having young guests there who were very good there were few in the audience under 40.

John P. Which area do you live in. What do you put the success down to?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 10:36 AM

theleveller

"It was a far cry from some groaning. prune-faced greybeard with a pot belly droning out yet another uninspired rendition of John Barleycord or a band of Captain Birdseye impersonators bawling raucous and interminable shanties."

"preferably without stupid comments about snigger/snogwiters."


Compare and contrast.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 10:11 AM

Richard, it's not a case of better or worse - it's about whether you enjoy listening to someone and whether they enjoy listening to you, preferably without stupid comments about snigger/snogwiters. If the answer to both is 'no', what's the point?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Julia_Writer
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:42 AM

Well I'm definitely not better than everyone else. I am 34 and have only just started learning the guitar. I tell myself I do it to test my teacher's claim to be patient (he is, I'm still alive).

I have always loved folk music but have had singing lessons for 10 years, focussing on classical - apart from the unaccompanied folk section in the exam - because it's in the syllabus. Only when I failed grade 6 (down to tuning but, probably best not to walk 3 miles to a singing exam)my teacher suddenly said "Oh but you sing folk very well". Hoorah! Great, so what do I do...? How do you study folk singing? The syllabuses are aimed at classical and jazz. Even at singing festivals the folk section is one class and has a certain...academic whiff about it. I've just signing up to the Saturday course at EDFSS and once I've sorted out moving house I will be looking out the folk clubs though I doubt I will be brave enough to sing in front of all those experienced knowledgeable people. I've got a weird kind of stage fright. I've done stand up comedy and yet my voice goes up at least an octave when singing in front of other people. :)

I was at a John Tams gig at The Maltings in Farnham a few years ago and he was, as usual, brilliant. But what I really loved is that he said to the audience "If you want to get up and go to the bar, go ahead. This isn't a recital". That's a good outlook I think.

I've been running a very small theatre company for the last couple of years and have to say that the hire charges of rooms in pubs, certainly in London, are really very high (even before the issue of who pays for the PRS licence rears its ugly head). I ended up rehearsing in my kitchen (very understanding housemates).

Younger people wanting to set up a club independently of the older, more established groups are really up against it on that point.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: John P
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:40 AM

When I was young I wasn't into folk music. Like everyone else I knew, I grew up on rock and blues. To me, folk music was Cat Stevens. Maybe some younger folks just haven't gotten there yet.

Original folk/rock seems to be one of the most popular types of music for the young people around here. There are hints of roots music here and there through it, but mostly it's people playing modern-sounding original songs on acoustic instruments, or bands with an acoustic guitar as the main chordal instrument, backed up by electric bass and drums. Violins and cellos abound. It pushes the limits of my definition of folk music both lyrically and melodically, but they call it folk and the really big point is that they are playing it, all the time, everywhere they can.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 09:14 AM

It's quite amazing how many people here think that they are better than everyone else in some way.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 08:04 AM

What else do you think Shrewsbury is getting right? I was more impressed with the line up than most festivals last year. It would be interesting to have your thoughts?

Frankly everything I think that when we talk of youngsters and where they are if you have a town based festival they find their haunts and go there, a greenfield site is INCLUSIVE, my youngest was playing with people of all ages, abilities, colour, creed and whatever other pigeon hole you may wish to add. The line up was fantastic I really feel for the organisers as they have to top this year with next years what a brilliant problem to have. Silent Ceilidh fantastic, not really my cup of tea but loved the Sweetback Sisters. The Swedish band Baskery brilliant the Galician piper brilliant so many high spots. The icing on the cake was the Global Dance Project organised by a young person Hannah James brilliant fantastic etc etc. plus Dervish.
Can you tell I am still Buzzzzzzzing


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 06:25 AM

No Fun was an excellent song written in the "70s by Iggy Pop.

Now.. Never thought I would apply the philosophy to the folk circuit, but yeah, listen to the words some time. (The Sex Pistols did a good cover version of it on the B side to Pretty Vacant.)

I really like the few local clubs I go to, nice people and a good night. I tend to be a bit slow at searching out other nights though, and as has been noted above, perhaps the answer for those not seeking a night of personal nostalgia, the venues considering themselves as acoustic roots are the answer?

I started going to a local folk club as a teenager many years ago and was the youngest there by far. Now, more years on than I can care to think about, I was invited to a party that a friend from there hosted, and was asked to bring a guitar. All the old mate were there, singing the same songs and I had a lovely night.

But I was still the youngest bugger to get up and give 'em a song...

Folk clubs have already altered, and sadly, the term folk club as we In The UK know it will be something to do with either those that evolve themselves, or the very few who will survive through critical mass and reputation. The rest? The folk world I entered was very different to what I see now. the funny thing is though, many think it hasn't changed.....


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 05:59 AM

Thinking back across the mists of time to when I first became interested in folk music at the age of 16 in the mid-60s, it was EXCITING! My local influences were The Watersons and Robin and Barry Dransfield. The music they produced was amazing - full of energy and passion, humour and horror and unlike anything I'd ever heard before. But more than that, they were lovely people (in fact the whole scene was), and they were always more than generous with information, advice, instruction and encouragement. It was a far cry from some groaning. prune-faced greybeard with a pot belly droning out yet another uninspired rendition of John Barleycord or a band of Captain Birdseye impersonators bawling raucous and interminable shanties.

Sorry, peeps - but it's just no FUN any more.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 05:32 AM

This is precisely the kind of narrow minded attitude that puts people off. I have sat through too many so called "folk " perfomances over the years which were traditional and quite frankly boring and rubbish


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 04:36 AM

"That's what many of us posting in this thread care about. I have some involvement with genres classed as "world music" but I don't give a flying fuck whether country and "acoustic" music in the UK curls up and dies, it's completely alien to me.
"

I think that this is exactly the attitude which puts off so many people, young and old, from wanting to get involved in folk. It's certainly one of the reasons I've become less and less interested in going to folk clubs etc. Much too fundamentalist for me!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 04:24 AM

Personally, I think one of the most inspiring people on the folk scene for the younger generation (now that Eliza Carthy probably wouldn't consider herself a youngster :0 ) is Lucy Ward. Not only does she look cool, she has a wonderfully appealing mixture of traditional material, superb self-penned songs and a great stage presence - plus, of course, the most amazing voice.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 03:56 AM

Selby - you are right. We did Shrewsbury last year and parked in the noisy area. I had to complain to the youngsters (oops ) camped next to us that they were not noisy enough. Could not match the time we were at an Irish festival with a hurling match at 3 am and sessions that started at midnight. I think having the 2 areas to camp might be one way to attract the youngsters. They tend to be more nocturnal.

What else do you think Shrewsbury is getting right? I was more impressed with the line up than most festivals last year. It would be interesting to have your thoughts?

We went to the dartmoor festival imediately after sidmouth and there were more youngsters there. Mr and Mrs Lakeman, guests at the festival, suggested that they should emulate the activities going on, in their area on the other side of dartmoor, having seen the number of youngsters involved in the South Zeal area. That should be interesting.

Jack - I personally have a problem with singer songwriters who witter on about teenage angst issues - even when some of them are older than that, but for them its a start. Most of us were lucky enough to be able to try out our 2 chords on skiffle tunes. Some of us even managed 3. There is nothing equivalent to that at the moment.

Rob - post about the festival earlier next year + details about where to park. It sounds well worth going to.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM

Tony seemed to be implying there was no problem about the survival of traditional music because there were lots of venues for younger people in his neighbourhood where people played music that had nothing to do with it. If someone like Jim Moray (who undoubtedly does understand and use trad material) ever got a gig in those places, Tony didn't see fit to mention it. What he was describing was wall-to-wall Mumford and Sons.

I am well aware that some players do trad and other genres. But if their work in those other genres is all that's getting a hearing, there's a problem.

if you look at the influences the kids on the Acoustic stage cite, a lot of them reach back into British traditional and roots music...admittedly often by way of Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy etc. They value their heritage, but they're not hidebound by it

Never mind what they cite, what do they actually sound like? I don't hear any noticeable change in the "acoustic" idiom over the last generation.

Where Richard Thompson fits in I can't imagine. As far as I know he's never performed anything in a traditional idiom, or even claimed to have done. And people who claim to have been influenced by Carthy usually ignore his melodies, texts and vocal style (which are indeed traditional, going back a very long way) and focus entirely on his late-20th-century my-tuning-is-stranger-than-yours guitar style, which has no traditional antecedent at all.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM

FloraG: Robb - You have cheered me up. Is the event run by ------ or by us bus passers?

It was started about 7 years ago by a local musician called Paul Dunton. He's in his late 30s now, so was in his early 30s when he started it.

All the organising's done by the musicians themselves, with volunteer helpers.

And (to counter Jack Campin's carping a bit) if you look at the influences the kids on the Acoustic stage cite, a lot of them reach back into British traditional and roots music...admittedly often by way of Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy etc. They value their heritage, but they're not hidebound by it and they certainly don't want to scrunch up in the corner of a pub listening to bitter oldtsers moaning about how young people "would love this if they only gave it a chance"....they take what they value from the past and bring it into their own present, with (largely) their own peer group....plus a few people like me who are actually prepared to go along to *their* venues rather than assuming that *they* ought to want to come along to "ours"!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Ripov (not at home)
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 07:25 PM

Hey there Jack you're way out of line there. Many of us musicians who love "traditional English" music are also involved in other genres. Most of my musical time is spent playing English folk, but I play jazz, early, classical, Irish, Swedish, and anything else that turns up, although probably not so well. And so I find out about the connections, both musical and historical between them. Not to mention getting involved in discussions about pitch, temperament, scordatura tunings and interpretation. And of course heated arguments over what constitutes "folk/traditional" music. The musical community is MUCH bigger than English folk. Get out there and join in!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM

there is a vibrant musical scene in London and H counties at least which has separate circuits from the Folk club listings. There are blues and country music clubs - jazz and swing - acoustic and world music clubs where younger age ranges foregather and play

But absolutely zero interest in British traditional music?

That's what many of us posting in this thread care about. I have some involvement with genres classed as "world music" but I don't give a flying fuck whether country and "acoustic" music in the UK curls up and dies, it's completely alien to me.

Listing a bunch of genres that somebody with a love and knowledge of British trad could not possibly contribute anything to is missing the point. We have something we value. We thing more younger people would value it too, if there was some way they could find out about it. How do we get that through, in an industrialized mass culture like the one we live in?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: selby
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 03:26 PM

Hi Eric I am fine and hope you are well (thread creep)

Just got back from Shrewsbury and whatever you call them younger than me, there was loads of them playing,, singing dancing in teams, Ceildh dancing, getting P****d not getting P*****d and general couldn't care less what we call them Interestingly talking to people as old as me or older with a lot of sense and interest in all things folkie. Hope I haven't patronised anyone


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 01:01 PM

I agree with the last poster - there is a vibrant musical scene in London and H counties at least which has separate circuits from the Folk club listings. There are blues and country music clubs - jazz and swing - acoustic and world music clubs where younger age ranges foregather and play

Also a lot more is done online and via social networking

I am old - so I am not going to get involved in making judgements about younger people but I am involved in flamenco - jazz - blues - folk - classical and acoustic music
Also in my part of London there are lots of gospel and soul related choirs with lots of young people actively involved


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Ripov (not at home)
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 10:16 AM

I am totally offended that I am excluded from being a "youngster" because I have exceeded an arbitrary lifespan!

But, to the thread - (and to mention only "folk" here is a bit myopic).
There are pubs and clubs where you will find Sinatra/Elvis imitators, with an appreciative audience of a certain age.
And there are pubs and clubs where you will find McColl/Dylan imitators, with an appreciative audience of a certain age.
And there are pubs and clubs where you will find young people playing or singing new, or reworked music, with a young audience.
Was it ever any different ?

And why are musicians who have spent years learning their trade so looked down on by some "folkies"? Would you sooner your builder had "picked it up from his mates", or your doctor? Or dentist?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 10:16 AM

quote: I think that "GUEST: Tony" is being very aggressive and confrontational in his posts aimed at Flora and that this is unnecessary.

I joined the discussion about the word "youngster" only because someone had said he personally felt patronized by it, and also said that several other people had already said the same thing. And I did so in mild terms not offensive toward anyone, and only to apologize to them for what I said was surely an unintended slight. The comment wasn't addressed to Flora and wasn't pejorative toward her. There was no need for her to answer it and to call the issue trivial and to say she didn't care what anyone thought of the word.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 08:18 AM

Apologies - that was me above - so to avoid confusion let me repeat my opinion:

I think that "GUEST: Tony" is being very aggressive and confrontational in his posts aimed at Flora and that this is unnecessary. It's unfortunate that the very loose moderation of this site means that someone can make these posts without being warned about their behaviour.

Clearly Tony feels that "youngsters" is a derogatory term and that "young people" is the correct and desirable term that should be used, but concentrating on this (in a very aggressive manner) to the exclusion of the actual debate is unfortunate and unhelpful. I also doubt very much that young people would be seriously offended by the term youngsters to the extent that that it would deter them from participating in the music. They might think it a bit naff and old-fashioned, but to compare it to the N-word is ludicrous and in itself offensive.

I rarely get involved in these Mudcat spats but feel that Flora G (who I do not know at all!) is being unfairly maligned in this conversation.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 08:13 AM

I think that "GUEST: Tony" is being very aggressive and confrontational in his posts aimed at Flora and that this is unnecessary. It's unfortunate that the very loose moderation of this site means that someone can make these posts without being warned about their behaviour.

Clearly Tony feels that "youngsters" is a derogatory term and that "young people" is the correct and desirable term that should be used, but concentrating on this (in a very aggressive manner) to the exclusion of the actual debate is unfortunate and unhelpful. I also doubt very much that young people would be seriously offended by the term youngsters to the extent that that it would deter them from participating in the music. They might think it a bit naff and old-fashioned, but to compare it to the N-word is ludicrous and in itself offensive.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM

Robb - You have cheered me up. Is the event run by ------ or by us bus passers?
Tony - the answer is yes. There are a lot of words used on this site that are unneccessary and inappropriate - silly little boy talk from grown ups, that you would correct if from your own children. I found this site when looking for comments/photos of a music event and was distressed to find verbal bulying of me and members of the morris side I had been in. I was surprised that inappropriate language is not commented on every time it is used as it detracts from what mostly is a very good site. I'm not convinced that the word ----- is one of these but I shall ask once the term starts.
It would be nice ( not a word approved by the literacy hour but one I like ) if we could move on to more successful methods/ schemes / examples of where the young have been engaged in the tradition. They have not been where I have been this summer - except for the Sidmouth fringe.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 02:29 AM

"You may not have heard complaints about it from them, but have you asked them how they feel about the word youngsters? Have you heard them referring to themselves in that way?"

I'm baffled by the way this thread is going. I've never heard anyone young being offended by being called a youngster, or even heard it suggested before that it may be an offensive term. As to the use of the term then yes they call themselves that - though here it tends to be "young yins" that is used. Try and encourage someone young along to the open mic and the likely response will be "is there ony ither young yins there". It's purely descriptive without any connotations.

As far as I can see we seem to be worrying about a term being possibly derogatory without any clear evidence that anyone regards it as so. Certainly here anyway! I know there are many seemingly innocent terms that some see as derogatory or some dislike (eg British Isles, Scotch, Sassenach etc etc) but I've just never heard of young or youngster being in this group!


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 07:38 PM

That is wonderful, Rob.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 07:30 PM

Well the "youngsters" in the Tunbridge Wells area are largely playing at the "Local & Live" event this weekend....it's a free event held on the Pantiles over the weekend with around 100 bands or solo artistes on 2 stages (1 electric, 1 acoustic). Not for profit, and all the bands and artistes are local, almost all living within a 15 mile radius of Tunbridge Wells.

Just looking at the lineups for the acoustic stage should give an inkling that young acoustic musicianship is alive and well (if not exactly beating down the doors to the more "traddy" venues in town). Remember, all these people are from the immediate area around the town. A lot of them are excellent, too, it's not just an "anyone who turns up can play" event. Paul holds fairly rigorous auditions and most of the acts appearing play regularly at one of the local venues (the venues I mentioned way up-thread that I can't seem to get the older people interested in).

L & L Acoustic Stage Saturday

Acoustic Stage L & L Sunday

Acoustic Stage L & L Monday

There'll be upwards of 20,000 visitors to the event over the weekend.

The electric stage tends to have more bands than solo artistes, but a lot of these also have "folky" influences:

Main Stage L & L Breretons

So yes, "yoof" musician ship is alive and well as I said above...they just don't hang around in the same places as we old gits, most of the time.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 05:31 PM

As a youngster, may I say that the term youngster really doesn't bother me one iota.
That is all.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 02:42 PM

Flora: The debate about a word doesn't deflect from the issue; it is the issue, or a specific instance of the issue, which stated more generally is exclusionary language and attitudes. That kind of talk tends to alienate or embarass young people. You may not have heard complaints about it from them, but have you asked them how they feel about the word youngsters? Have you heard them referring to themselves in that way? What about whipper-snappers? How did you feel about that when you were young? (Or was that just in the US?)


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 01:50 PM

Tony - its not their opinion that is trivial - but the debate about words that deflect from the issue. To my way of thinking its the sort of thing that lawers do. The thread also nearly developed into - acoustic or electric - a debate in its own right but not the main content of this one. I do note that it is not - as far as I can make out - anybody in the category that has complained about the appelation. Apologies if I'm wrong.

There have been some interesting and thoughtful answers to an observation made initialy at Broadstairs, that I think has wider relevance to a lot of folk activity. The same issues might be raised about jazz, or voluntary work for a trade union, and other things I can't think of at the moment.

I am still more of a pessimist than an optimist on the issue of the future of folk because of the lack of ------- ( whatever people under 40 like to be called ).
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 12:25 PM

No, of course it's not in the same league. But after trying subtler ways to make the same point, and getting nowhere, I resorted to something easier to understand.

Look, Flora, you asked why you don't see many young people at music gatherings, and some young people answered you, and then you characterized their response as trivial and told them you aren't interested in their opinion. Can't you see anything wrong with this picture?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 12:17 PM

We are all guilty of offensive labeling - just about every label will offend someone, but I don't think youngsters is in the same leage as your example Tony.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 10:49 AM

quote: I think were diverting again into trivia - I don't mind what you think of the word youngsters - its a factual description of people who are under a certain age but older than the group collective children. There is no value judgement implied.

This is perhaps the worst part of being old – being stuck in the company of other old people, who figured everything out a long time ago and don't need to pay attention to new opinions.

They know that the term "nigger," though used freely by their parents' generation, is really not just a factual description of people of a certain race or skin color, and so they assume that they themselves can't be guilty of offensive labelling.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Jack's Rake
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 07:18 AM

Hiya Jack.

Sorry, I don't know who they were; it was the first and only time I've seen them, I think.

Agreed regarding the age of, and response toward, the shouter. That's probably another factor contributing towards the low proportion of young people in such places. Whitby excepted, of course.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 05:57 AM

I witnessed a girl of around 18 being shouted at, very publicly, by a much older man for singing more loudly along to her friend's song (to which she obviously knew the words) than the song sung by someone else immediately before.

Thanks for the explanation. I was a few feet away and thought the guy was just nuts. I guess if he'd been the same age as the people he was shouting abuse at, he'd have been rapidly shouldered out the door and left to cool off in the street.

Those young singers were really powerful. I haven't heard a large group of people that age singing like that in Britain before. Where are they from?


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 04:04 AM

I think were diverting again into trivia - I don't mind what you think of the word youngsters - its a factual description of people who are under a certain age but older than the group collective children. There is no value judgement implied.

I was in Orkney last year and what an excelent day we had - the local fiddle group played in the Cathedral on the saturday morning. Very good it was too. It gave them a chance to perform before an audience and it gave us as tourists a chance to hear the local music and see the inside of the cathedral. I wish a few more churches could invite the local music school to do the same. I know there is a concern in some of the islands that free music tuition is being stopped.

I'm really pleased to hear about all the youngsters in Whitby. In Kent we have a thriving morris side that has a section for under 16's and some of them stay with the side despite peer pressure and home work. The kent music school also now gets involved with Broadstairs festival.

However, pleased as I am to be able to talk and hear about these exceptions I still hold concerns about the aging demographic. Look around at the events you go to and be realistic.

Question yourself
Do we mind that we are mostly collections of left over bus pass users - the last one putting out the lights?
Are there things we have done ( and do) that inhibit the youngsters?
Are there things we should be doing?

Me - I played for many years for the childrens morris side and taught them the sword dances. One of our musical yougsters went on to the Menhuin school after being with us for a year. I have one person under 40 in the barn dance band. Its not much - but little bits add up I think.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 08:56 PM

quote: There's your problem, encapsulated in that phrase. Personally, I find, as do others up the thread, the word 'youngsters' as patronising.

I apologize on behalf of the old-timers for the patronizing term "youngster." I don't use it, but I can see why someone my age wouldn't realize that it's patronizing. I'm sure they wouldn't say it with any intent to belittle younger people, but rather with a kind of apology and remorse for not being able to feel included in that group. Young means beautiful, healthy, strong, hopeful, energetic, popular, useful, etc. It's all the good things whose loss we feel every day and feel a bit embarassed about.

Similarly, there's probably no ill intent on the part of strangers who address me as "old-timer." They probably mean it as a term of respect, but still it doesn't feel good, and I can see how "youngster" could work the same way, by making the person called that feel they're being excluded and perhaps labelled as lacking something.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 08:40 PM

If you're not seeing the youngsters, it's just because they are not where you are, they are just somewhere else. But they are out there, doing it. One of the places you could find them would be in the Ben Nevis bar in Glasgow a couple of nights a week.

I am a little sceptical of that one. From what I've seen of it, the Ben Nevis is mostly used by students from the RSAMD/Royal Conservatore of Scotland or whatever it's calling itself this week. They see themselves as being on a career track involving traditional music and figure that showing off as much technical flash as possible in a venue frequented by media people can't do them any harm. There is an organization in Glasgow which tries to help get a wider range of people playing - the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop - but it mostly reaches a much older clientele, as does the Scots Music Group in Edinburgh. The RSAMD is about professionalization and developing traditional music as a revenue stream within the music industry, it's not about keeping the music central in the wider culture.

The Feis movement in northern Scotland may still be doing a bit better - I don't know much about it. But I don't think there is still much community initiative in the major cities to provide younger people with a grounding in traditional music and to build a social network for them to use it. Even less so with singing than with instrumental music.


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Subject: RE: Where are the youngsters?
From: GUEST,roderick warner
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 07:59 PM

'Youngsters under 40.' There's your problem, encapsulated in that phrase. Personally, I find, as do others up the thread, the word 'youngsters' as patronising. Similarly, for me, words like 'folkie.' Maybe that's why a band has to call themselves 'The Young 'Uns,' which is cringemaking, in an attempt to fit in with the old folks? Or just clumsy. I'll be in London tomorrow, well tonight now, at a jazz gig, Cafe Oto in Dalston, which puts on an amazing variety of cutting edge musics. For me, best venue in town. Audience - a hell of a lot younger than me in the main, as they always are at this venue. Oh, 'youngsters.' Going to see Wadada Leo Smith, great American musician, supported by John Edwards on bass among others. He probably just fits into the straitjacket of 'youngster.' And is one of the best bass players in the world... As for improvised music/jazz, so for 'folk.' Plenty going on - if you're on the radar...


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