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The Unthanks-A Very English Winter-on BBC Player

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Tar Barrel in Dale (George Unthank) (19)
Why I won't be seeing the Unthanks (158)
Guardian article today from The Unthanks (7)
The Unthanks on Jools Holland (62)
Review: The Unthanks (14)
Rachel Unthank& co THIS Fri N Lincs (5)
Unthanks on BBC NE (6)
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset (245)
Rachel Unthank came second (43)
Rachel Unthank at The Spitz 21 Sept 2007 (7)


Jim Martin 18 Jan 17 - 08:20 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Mar 13 - 06:33 PM
Uncle Tone 05 Mar 13 - 06:19 PM
Les in Chorlton 01 Jan 13 - 07:41 AM
Howard Jones 01 Jan 13 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,henryp 31 Dec 12 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 31 Dec 12 - 01:42 PM
r.padgett 31 Dec 12 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM
Stu 31 Dec 12 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 06:09 AM
r.padgett 31 Dec 12 - 04:57 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 30 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud 30 Dec 12 - 04:40 PM
Rumncoke 30 Dec 12 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 30 Dec 12 - 02:21 PM
Semofolkie 30 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM
Wheatman 30 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Derrick 30 Dec 12 - 11:36 AM
Stu 30 Dec 12 - 10:23 AM
Wheatman 30 Dec 12 - 09:41 AM
Stu 30 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,CS 30 Dec 12 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,upnorth 30 Dec 12 - 05:25 AM
Spleen Cringe 29 Dec 12 - 09:44 AM
Allan Conn 29 Dec 12 - 07:52 AM
bradfordian 29 Dec 12 - 05:21 AM
r.padgett 29 Dec 12 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 28 Dec 12 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Folknacious 28 Dec 12 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 28 Dec 12 - 06:26 AM
GUEST 27 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,achmelvich 27 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Dec 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 27 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Dec 12 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 27 Dec 12 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Dec 12 - 08:16 AM
Edthefolkie 27 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,henryp 27 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper, of Ottery !! 26 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 26 Dec 12 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,henryp 26 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 26 Dec 12 - 11:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Dec 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM
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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very English Winter-on BBC Player
From: Jim Martin
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 08:20 AM

Very good to see this on again this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pdsvd


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for that. :-)


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Subject: The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter'
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:19 PM

A repeat of The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter' is available on BBC iPlayer for the next two or three days. Well worth a watch.

A Very English Winter

Reminiscent of the fabulous1986 film, 'The Future of Things Past'.

Future of Things Past

Both very evocative and important in recognising and recording our traditions.

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 07:41 AM

Well put Howard - I hope you are not wasting your breath

Les


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 05:38 AM

We have to remember this programme wasn't made for us. It is aimed at a general audience with no particular interest in these things, or in folk music and traditions in general. We might have preferred it to have been done differently, but it's unlikely that such a programme would be made in the first place

The Unthanks are hardly celebrities, but they are among the few folk performers to have come to wider attention whilst still retaining their roots in folk, so they are probably a good choice to present these programmes. They come across as pleasant and unassuming, and with a genuine interest and pleasure in what's going on.

Most importantly, by speaking to locals rather than "experts" they showed how these traditions are not just quaint oddities but of genuine significance to their local communities.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 02:11 PM

David Attenborough does has enormous enthusiasm. And when it comes to to polar bears, I'd be happy to have him standing in the way blocking the view.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 02:08 PM

Ray, Why I don't sign onto Mudcat any more would take rather more time to explain than either you or I could manage. You can trace my postings by clicking on my name and then referring to the list which comes up. It works just as well for guests as for members.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 01:42 PM

One would have thought these so-called 'Folk Customs' go hand in hand with Noah's Ark in terms of their general appeal to the Fortean / Antiquarian mind. Both are matters of custom, tradition and a more feral faith that goes places where science just can't. That requires imagination and a sense of wonder. I've had a life long fascination with both the Noah's Ark Drogue Stones (& related features) and the Allendale Tar Barrels since reading about them in maybe the same edition of Ripley's Believe it or Not when I was about 7.

That's the appeal. When the Customs become the reserve of Folkies, or Noah's Ark becomes a clarion call Fundamentalists I run a mile.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 12:39 PM

Fred, can you sign in to mudcat so that your comments may be traced

(Yea not my place to ask but tis polite and usual!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM

Suggarfoot J. David Attenborough. I don't know that he ever gained a postgradute degree, which I presume is what you mean by postdoc. He did though study geology and zoology at Cambridge and graduated with a degree in natural sciences.

But, as you go on to say, it's all down to his knowledge, understanding and ability to communicate, rather than qualifications. And I would add to that list, enthusiasm, and sheer love of his subject matter. Ditto for Bert Lloyd, whom I mentioned in my first posting on this thread. Bert had even fewer formal qualifications than DA, but he combined a phenomenal knowledge of folklore, and quite a few other things besides, with all the qualities possessed by Attenborough. Could both Unthanks combined hold a candle to either one of them? Not on present showings.

Joanna Lumley. Worryingly gullible will do just fine. I thought she did an excellent job of securing citizenship rights for the Ghurkas though. Which probably just goes to highlight the old adage; stick to what you're good at. In the case of Lumley and the Unthanks, that seems not to include the presentation of interesting documentaries.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 08:07 AM

". . . I was asking for is that programmes like this one should be introduced less obtrusively and by someone rather more expert in whatever the subject matter happens to be."

The presenters are our proxies at the event. We see them there, watching or partaking and we imagine ourselves doing the same. It's an effective, tried and tested way of communicating information and storytelling. Your criticism could equally apply to David Attenborough picking up a pygmy chameleon in the rainforest, but we see his reverence and joy and he communicates some of that wonder and understanding to us, sat in our living room thousands of miles away. How far did Attenborough advance the cause of mountain gorillas by actually being there and interacting? Here's the rub - Attenborough isn't a primatologist; he's not even a got a postdoc but does that lessen his knowledge, understanding or ability to communicate? Of course not, but there are people "rather more expert" in terms of qualifications than he who can't hold a candle to the man when it comes to communicating (or even perhaps understanding in the wider context) the life and earth sciences.

The Unthanks are excellent artists and their love and delight in our seasonal customs was evident. They treated the traditions with respect and as locals to some of the events are certainly 'expert' enough to present on the subject.

P.S. With regards to the godawful (pun intended) Lumley Ark programme, no archaeologist would have touched that programme with a bargepole as it would be professional suicide, being based as it was on hearsay and local legend and eschewing science completely. A biblical scholar would have been more entertaining as they'd be in their element. As for Lumley, she didn't need to be an expert in anything, although she seemed worryingly gullible (perhaps she was being polite).


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 06:09 AM

Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud. If you read my initial posting you will see that all I was asking for is that programmes like this one should be introduced less obtrusively and by someone rather more expert in whatever the subject matter happens to be.

BTW. Nobody else seems to have pointed it out, but the thread title is wrong. It should be "A Very English Winter". I seriously no-one formed the impression that mid-winter ceremonies stop at the Scots border.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 04:57 AM

I add nothing to the folk Customs by my attendance at events?

Well if we the so called folkies don't attend such events would this detract or add to the popularity of such events?

I have been to Longsword events at Wakefield, Cleckheaton and Barnsley this Christmas and met lots of people (yes mainly folkies) that I dont see the rest of the year as well as the participants who I see probably once a year!

I simply add ONE to the crowd

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM

Thanks to Bradfordian for the tip about the re-run of the programme: I downloaded it to iPlayer, but as many of you will have found, there have been serious glitches lately with iPlayer, ever since the last update to Adobe Air. I believe the BBC's tech gurus are trying to sort it: advice given on their Help page and in various forums is beyond me, apart from uninstalling and re-installing BBC iPlayer desktop and Adobe Air.
Anyway I went to play the programme tonight and it just said "there has been an error with this download" after showing the initial screen, and the rest vanished, as also did Jools Holland.
One that I downloaded last night was OK, so hopefully the glitch has been fixed - Manran at the Hebridean Celtic Festival: nice young and very talented folk with a largely young audience!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM

Two questions are regularly asked in these threads -

1. Why is folk music not given a higher profile by the media

2. Why are folkclubs and events so short of young people

Comments expressed here show how little support some people on the folkscene are prepared to give when programmes are produced and seem to constantly find fault with a generation of young folkies who are prepared to get off their backsides and make things happen.

Is it sour grapes - I wonder? Are these individuals jealous of the success some young ones have achieved ?

These talented individuals have worked hard for the success they are achieving and should be encouraged rather than be constantly put down.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for the translations.

Fred - some of us have to watch this stuff on the telly because we can't afford to travel to the event itself. In our stead go presenters, who, as they cover a range ofevents centred around a theme, act as our proxies on the ground. We take their observations and comments and try to glean even a little of what the event is like, what it means to those involved and us as observers from afar. All this is bound together in a narrative that reveals, perhaps, some link between the events that is not immediately obvious to the ingested layman.

I would have thought all that was pretty obvious really.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Rumncoke
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:34 PM

Having once been in the Bonfire procession at Lewes, and sung carols in the pub before midnight mass at Groombridge the experiences are long cherished memories.

I did chuckle to hear the reason given for pancakes being made. It seems that the fast during Lent is no longer common knowledge. If that is the level of knowledge about such an ordinary thing then information given about something, anything, more obscure should really be considered suspect.

It is interesting to see the various customs from a spectators point of view, as I don't often see things that way, having always been a joiner in. I don't travel around deliberately looking for something happening, but if there is something going on I generally end up involved.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 02:21 PM

Upnorth. Forgive me for I was generalising. I'm well aware that the Unthanks regularly attend several local festivals. However, taking customs generally, the ratio of celebrities to ordinary punters is far lower than media coverage would suggest.

Personally I'm getting fed up with people saying that they enjoyed the Unthanks without saying just what their presence was supposed to add to the event. Tell you what, the next time I'm at a traditional custom, I'll try and imagine how much my enjoyment would be enhanced if there were a couple of celebrities standing in the way and blocking my view. If it turns out that my interest or enjoyment or understanding would have been notched up by even the merest scintilla of a centimetre, I'll buy everyone on Mudcat a pint.

BTW. It's not just folkin' celebrities. I watched that programme about Joanna Lumley looking for Noah's Ark last night. Eek! Awful! Why couldn't they have cut the crap and got a proper archaeologist (no pun intended), or biblical scholar to front the thing instead?

I know, I know. Joanna Lumley's box office, and archaeologists very seldom are. All together now. "Yes, but look how enjoyable it was to watch Joanna Lumley instead of a dreary programme about musty old Nowhere's Ark."


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Semofolkie
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM

I might of missed it, but did anyone mention that Classic Tradition, "The Doctor Who Christmas specials?"


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Wheatman
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM

Also "proceed with care and trepidation" is a reasonable translation. As with all Geordie / Makum sayings, they quite often have more than one translation, a simple one is "cheers" Brian


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:36 AM

"gan canny"

Geordie dialect meaning take care or proceed with caution.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 10:23 AM

Gan canny

Wot's this mean then?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Wheatman
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 09:41 AM

OH! here we go again a reasonable thread dragged into a slanging match, I do wonder how much of it is trolling. I saw most of the program and will try to see what I missed on the 7th. Yes is painted a picture with the girls in the fore front but it did provide an insight to the events, it was put out on national telly and it did not take the p**s as a lot of high profile TV presenters seem to want to do. You may not like how the subject matter was handled but that is surely down to personal taste. The programme may attract more visitors to these events or similar or perhaps want to understand the niceties of long sword.
I must admit I was disappointed that whittlesea straw bear did not get a mention but we have had our 5 minutes of fame. Molly dancing was well represented though. I do not subscribe to the notion that any publicity is good publicity, but in my view this was good publicity and the "folk" world in general needs good publicity and less embittered wrangling. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM

Wow. Always the curmudgeonly and miserable, elitist old scrotes show up to piss on the chips.

This is one of several reasons why I don't bother with English folk music; you get the naysayers and haters everywhere when everyone should just be enjoying themselves. Who gives a damn if Billy Bragg doesn't know about the Padstow Carols? So what?

The Unthanks are great, the programme was very enjoyable, and for those of us without the means to travel all year round it gave us an insight into traditions we didn't know existed in our own country. Just like the people that watched Billy Bragg and the Padstow Carols. Oh no! Finding out about our traditions? Not the proles, please!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 06:49 AM

I thought it was a charming little telly programme. Someone nailed it below when commenting that TV programmes need to appeal to ALL viewers, from gran down to the kids, and not just specialists in specific fields. Scholarly writings and archive recordings are there for the latter. Telly is a medium for entertainment first and foremost and education second at best. I do appreciate some of the grumpings about the inevitable use of 'famous faces' being used to front a TV programme, but that's just how telly works. Me, I can't stand that Julia Boring Bradbury gazing blandly out at the landscape on every single programme made about walking and hiking...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,upnorth
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 05:25 AM

"How is it we never see these people at traditional customs when there's no tv cameras about?"

I almost didn't respond as this thread has degenerated into the kind of thing which gives mudcat a bad name. For the record, Rachel and Becky have been going to Greatham on boxing day, Ryton carols and Allendale at new year since they were born. Their dad, George, was one of the Redcar Sword dancers when they revived the Boxing day dance and play in 1967 and is still goes to Greatham every year 45 years later. All the family have been heavily involved in folk dance and song traditions for very many years.

I always think it is wise to be aware of the facts before making unsubstantiated claims on a public forum.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 09:44 AM

Give me the Unthanks over grumpy old folkies any day.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Allan Conn
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 07:52 AM

"Frankly I found the video work and the research and the Unthanks delightful" Likewise I don't get the earlier comments about them coming over as miserable types. Didn't come across that way to me at all.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: bradfordian
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 05:21 AM

For anyone who like me missed it first time round, it will be on tv again here: Mon 7 Jan 2013 23:30 BBC HD (and hopefully on iplayer for 7 days afterwards)

brad


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 04:14 AM

Doc Rowe is the man!!

We [and I am a collector of songs] don't have time to visit all parts of England to see and experience Folk Customs all the year every year!

I have a grasp a bit better than average of the existence of certain Customs but have no intention of having a Tar Barrel on me head nor fighting for a mock Ladies Cap (Haxey Hood)

Frankly I found the video work and the research and the Unthanks delightful and I think we (folkies) should also be minded that it is and was aprogramme for everyone not just (us)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 01:44 PM

Folknacious. You can take it from me that Billy Bragg doesn't know the first thing about Padstow carols. That became blindingly obvious from the broadcast. Ditto for the Unthanks.

Interest? Enthusiasm? How is it we never see these people at traditional customs when there's no tv cameras about?

Just for the record, if that dig about 'self-appointed expert musicologists' was aimed at me then you're even further off beam than I thought. I am not a musicologist, self appointed, expert or otherwise. Folklorists certainly interest themselves in traditional customs. It's hard to imagine many musicologists doing the same.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 12:32 PM

what the ******* does the Bard of Barking know about any carolling traditions?

On another hand, what do you know about Billy Bragg or the Unthanks in order to preach so knowledgeably about their tastes and motivations? If they're asked by the BBC and they have an enthusiasm, why shouldn't they help spread it. The end result might even reach beyond a few self-appointed expert musicologists. Is this a bad thing?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 06:26 AM

Guest. I don't know whether I've missed it, but has anyone on this thread actually said that traditions are static and unchanging? That is certainly not an opinion I hold, and it's not one that the evidence would support. EG. The first time I went to Worrall, I asked someone how many tunes they had for While Shepherds Watched. He said 11. I went back the following year (1972, I think), and the guy said "We've got 12 tunes for While Shepherds Watched now".

The twelfth? Well, Judy Collins had had a big hit with Amazing Grace earlier that year. The carollers liked it, realised it fitted the metre of While Shepherds and incorporated it into their repertoire. So far as I know, it's still there forty years later.

Regarding charges of misoginy, I most definitely plead not guilty, and have railed equally in the past at similar programmes which have been fronted by male celebrities. EG., some years ago, BBC radio got Billy Bragg to talk about the Padstow carols. (At any rate, I think it was Padstow. Apologies if I've got that bit wrong.) I don't want to be rude, but what the ******* does the Bard of Barking know about any carolling traditions? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM

Since when were traditions static and unchanging anyway? One of the Bampton sides regularly dance to an Italian tune introduced to them within the past 30 years, because it fits perfectly. I think daddy Unthanks' song is splendid. I suspect the problem lies more with the fact that it's girls in frocks doing the introducing. The old traditional northeastern misogyny dance


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZiPCJrd0_4

a great folk singer - respect, hope, tolerance, anger and love


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 10:11 AM

If I were you achmelvich I would quit this thread. It has reached the point that most threads do on here: Nothing new or relevany will besaid and people will go on and on about what they don't like.

best wishes


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM

in what sense are the unthank lasses 'celebrities'? the folk world (and particularly the english folk tradition) is small - the term 'folk star' is an oxymoron. i've been into the music for 40 years, i regard live music events as the highpoints of my time and have travelled thousands of miles for gigs and festivals. so i'm a 'folkie' - and therefore not welcome to some writers above? i'm well used to the sullen locals mistrust of incomers in any part of the country i've lived (there are some in my local who don't speak - i'm from carlisle, 25 miles away) i hadn't realised there are those who think we should just stick to our own village bonfire, when everyone i've met on my travels has been friendly and welcoming. maybe i'm just lucky to have lived in scotland and the north. what would joe strummer do? is, i reckon, a decent way of looking at such things. and laughing lennie cohen? he's all right.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 09:22 AM

Guest. You certainly can, and several more besides.

Eric Burdon? I must say I'm inclined to agree, except that I've shared more than a few songs with the Elliotts of Birtley in the past. Brother, you want to get them going on a good night.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 09:08 AM

Yes Fred, again spot on- can we include Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby and
Seth Lakeman in your surplus to reqirements' list- and if you want Geordie music, bring back Eric Burdon, more soul than the whole folkie crowd...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 08:16 AM

Henry Piper. I didn't say we don't need folklorists. I said we don't need the Unthanks.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM

I think it's a fait accompli that any TV programme about anything now has intermediaries who supposedly act as representatives of the viewers. I notice that Patrick Stewart features as said intermediary with Stirling Moss on a prog tonight. Hope he isn't let loose on the Mille Miglia Mercedes 300SLR, leave that to Sir Stirling methinks.

However, the Unthanks obviously know a bit about the North East and singing, and I thought the latest effort was much better than the first one.

I don't see that them singing their dad's song was particularly corrupting - even Padstow seems to have accepted outsiders on May Day these days (a bit).


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM

Thursday 27 December 2012
Open Country 3.00pm BBC Radio
Helen Mark visits Kirriemuir in search, I believe, of Peter Pan rather than traditional folk celebrations.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Henry Piper, of Ottery !!
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM

Who needs "experts" to keep a local Custom Going, Our Tar Barrels here in Ottery are supported to a man by the townspeople as well as attracting many outsiders who come to see this unique event,
and not a folklorist, morris dancer, folk singer,or similar to be seen, who needs 'em !!!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:57 PM

henryp. In my view, the custom or whatever would remain with the local community to whom it has always belonged. They, after all, will be here long after we are gone, and hopefully still rushbearing or wassailing or whatever.

Who should be sacrificed? That's a moot point. Normally, I would say the third group. After all, if your presence is actually getting in the way of the custom, there's not much point in hanging around. However, I can think of one custom where it's suddenly become fashionable to be seen at. Dunno why, although it's possible that media attention is to blame. But over the past few years people have started pouring in from neighbouring towns and villages, with the result that you can't get into any of the local pubs for love or gold.

That would be acceptable, even allowing for the admittedly usually amiable drunks and the stench of barbecues all over town. But the number of people who attend the actual ceremony has not changed one iota since this influx began. In other words, they mostly go for the booze and the burgers, not the custom. (Thinks. Anyone who has ever tried to find a decent session and a pint at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will know exactly what I mean.)

So I'd say 'new' locals should certainly be encouraged, but they should be encouraged to take a pride in their customs, and to take an active part.

BTW 1., as I've said before, I'm not blaming the unthanks so much as the media mekons who think the only way they can get ratings is by sticking a 'celebrity' in front of whatever the programme is supposed to be about.

BTW 2., I absolutely love Geordies. They are warm hearted, friendly and very funny. A bit like scousers on helium in fact.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM

Well, I've never thought of Leonard Cohen as a miserable crowd. He makes me laugh! Am I the only one to think he has a great sense of humour?

I've also enjoyed visiting the traditional events in the company of those celebrities the Unthanks. Have they completed their travels or is another tour planned? There's still time to catch some wassails.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 11:19 AM

Fred McCormick is spot on- the BBC thinks you have to have celebs for less interesting topics like traditional music so haul in The Unthanks, Phil Cunningham, etc to liven it up- these plonkers will never grasp the fact that msany thousands of people are interested in the TOPIC rather than the celebs- also as i am from the Northeast can I say again that Geordies are really quite cheerful folk but this lot are the most bloody miserable crowd I've heard since leonard Cohen


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 11:00 AM

"I wasn't turning nasty on The Unthanks, " - I know Sean I was having a mild poke at Fred - quite undeserved - but a poke at dodgy 'folklorists- folkers/ fakers' is always good fun and needs to be done - I always enjoy your own activities in that area

Les


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM

Where judicious external encouragement has revived an event, does it belong to the local community just as it did long ago?

What role do the 'outsiders' then have? Do they become intruders once again?

In Sheffield pubs, for instance, this isn't a problem while there is room inside. When demand exceeds the space available, who should be sacrificed - new locals, the old enthusiasts or the seasoned observers?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM

I wasn't turning nasty on The Unthanks, I just don't like that song. To have a couple of Folkies doing a show on so-called Traditions largely perpetuated / revived / attended / regulated by other Folkies demonstrates how far such things are now removed from their original non-Folkie habitat...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM

To be honest Fred i was only following this thread to see how long it would be before someone tuned 'nasty' on The Unthanks. Not a very laudable activity on my part.

As for folklorists, it seems anybody can be one and say anything they like with out the bother of much evidence or even semi-serious research. Is that the legacy of Bert Lloyd? He was an immense character, who was easily a force for good , and has been explored in depth here and elaswhere, but he was never short of a hypothesis, theory or some connecting ideas between aspects of 'folklore' that were in all probability inconnected.

Wassail, as somebody used to say

Les


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