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The current state of folk music in UK

Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:43 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:36 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 06:32 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:28 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 06:25 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 19 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Joe G 01 Nov 19 - 06:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 19 - 06:11 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:07 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Joe G 01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 05:48 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Joe G 01 Nov 19 - 05:40 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 05:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 19 - 05:29 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 05:26 PM
Nick 01 Nov 19 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 19 - 05:02 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 03:52 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 03:48 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 03:39 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Nov 19 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 01 Nov 19 - 03:25 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM
Joe Offer 01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 12:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 19 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Nov 19 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 19 - 11:46 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 01 Nov 19 - 11:12 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM
Vic Smith 01 Nov 19 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,JoeG 01 Nov 19 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 01 Nov 19 - 09:48 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM

In pretty sure it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it. But there are certain songs that will be folk no matter how they are performed. Just IMHO.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM

The song is probably a product of the folk scene. The performance is typical of folk scene. Where's the problem? Of course interpretation matters but the most important thing is the audience and if they like it. If they do then there's no problem. You are most definitely not harming the song in any way.

I enjoy listening to the old boys, but I like some better than others. Joseph Taylor, Phil Tanner, Sam Larner are 3 of my favourites. I have the utmost respect for Walter but he's not one of my favourites.

Thanks to Jim there is a marvellous new 2 CD set of North Yorkshire songs out on the Musical Traditions label recorded from traditional singers in the 60s. Well worth a listen for some excellent songs and singing.

Blues fine. In the 60s I used to go to the American Folk Blues festivals in London. Some marvellous stuff. Sleepy John Estes, etc.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:43 PM

Steve

Always been my thought.

Mick occasionally does that Oirish stoff


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM

Took 2 goes but got there!

There are 6 of us in Spare Hands. (see website)
Mick, Les, Bill, Tom, Andy & me.
I'm not familiar with 'Childs I Know' but we've all been around for a long long time.

Also not familiar with 'smoke up arses'. It sounds painful and dangerous.

I've never heard Mick or Les sing anything else but 'folk' for the last 50 years but there's always a first time.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:36 PM

I would rather ask Jim and Dick whether our interpretation of song is ok

The song or the singer?

There are two ends of this.

The song is THE THING.

Regardless of the performance

Or does interpretation matter?

As I said we'll go and sing this tomorrow - to a NON folk audience. They will appreciate the craft of the singing and playing.

So are we harming the song that we care about performance?

It's there I get confused.

When my friend does his listen to Walter Pardon thing - I listen for the song rather than the performance.

Much like in the early 60s I used to listen to proper blues.

Is this a purely folk thing or can we talk abuut blues?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:32 PM

Joe
If I can't use the word 'folk' in its modern sense to describe that I'd struggle to give it any other appellation. I'm happy with it. I'm more at the traditional end of the spectrum but I enjoyed what they did.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:28 PM

Steve

You sing with Mick and Les

Les can do a million verses of Childs I know

So are Mick and Les folk?

And you are a very fine singer and player by the way (smoke up arses..)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:25 PM

Hi Nick
Basically we fall out when someone deliberately attacks the hard work we put into what we do.

I was a little confused there as to who I was talking to. Now I see you are GUEST. The line-up I heard sounded like 2 ladies and a guitar, all coming across very well.

Although all the verses come from other love songs in the tradition I can't find any oral tradition versions of this composite older than the 1950s when Pete Seeger sang it.

I'm very happy to say it's 'folk' to me, both in performance and in the song itself. I could also set out an easy case for it covering most of the descriptors in the 54 declaration.

I am also currently blushing!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM

Guest Joe G

Be nice to meet you one day

Do you play?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM

I'd certainly call this folk though it probably does not meet others' more rigourous definition

Dan Webster - Haul Away


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:20 PM

Jazz is a derivation of African traditional music and probably nearer to real folk than much that is passed off at folk clubs nowadays
G'night all
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the invite Nick but unfortunately I'm not going to the gig as I have dodgy eyes and can't drive far in the dark.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:11 PM

Whenever someone mentions Jazz I am reminded of a scene in "The Commitments". Can't remember the exact details but someone does some sax impro. The leader tells him to stop it because that's Jazz and that is musical wanking :-)

Before someone jumps on me from a dizzy height, no, I don't believe it!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:07 PM

Folk for me still exists just not as other people know it.

Now you can go to Huby on a Wednesday. Very trad. And very good


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 06:06 PM

Joe - If we weren't playing at Farlington at 7pm ... I would I have gone. But it's rude to leave especially if we are doing the sound.

If you are going to Dan detour round to Farlington for a few mins a couple of mins off your journey. I don't think I know you. If you get asked for your ticket say Nick said it would be ok - "I'm the other sound man"

We do a bit of folk and a bit not


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM

Yes Emily is a phenomenal fiddle player and the rest of Dan's band are top class musicians too


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM

I think I realised it's easier to post music than all the theory stuff.

Jim C was a very nice man to me some while back. Courteous and good.

Dave (a gnome) is a lovely man.

Raggytash (and Mrs Raggytash interesting thought -who is a very fine singer)is wonderful. I'm sorry we were one day wrong at Whitby

Why do people have to fall out?

Steve G you are very good player and singer

For me it's much easier to post something and then we know what we are talking about.

If you all go "well that's rubbish" I'm ok about that. And then critique it.

SO GETTING BACK to THE THREAD

IS THAT FOLK?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:48 PM

Guest Joe G

I think we'll get away with it

Dan comes from a tradition. And Emily blows my socks off.

Is it folk. I have no idea


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:44 PM

I blame James Taylor for messing with proper songs.

Steve I hope you are well I enjoyed sitting in a garden of a pub in Helmsley some years ago. With Mimi... outstanding talent+-

I shouldn't play proper songs wrong I know but I'm bad

Is it the song or the performance.
Or the arrangement.

Late to the party.

I have a lot of friends who love Walter Pardon (? I may have got this wrong) and I find it hard work. But at least I listened

There are purer versions of the water is wide - but we will sing it to a 'non folk audience' tomorrow night and they will go 'wow'

Unless I'm mad


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:40 PM

As a big fan (and friend of) Dan Webster I would say a good proportion of his original music would fall under my definition of folk and he also performs some tremendous covers of folksongs during his more informal gigs


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:39 PM

It's jazz


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:29 PM

Yebbut is that folk music, Nick? :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:26 PM

Okay GUEST, if you're after an opinion, this song 'The Water is Wide' performed in much the same way has been a staple of the folk scene for at least 70 years so if it isn't part of the folk tradition it most certainly is part of the folk scene tradition. Very pleasantly performed as well. I enjoyed it. I much prefer it sung with straight notes but that's a minor quibble.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:16 PM

Sorry. Computer problem. If we weren't playing about 3 miles away I would have gone to Terrington to watch Dan Webster's band. Is Dan folk? Is the wonderful Emily Lawler folk? Or the rest of the band.

Who knows

It is at least part of some tradition.

Mr Gnome (who I have had the pleasure of meeting as I have several people on this thread) will know where I nicked Nat Shapiro from in the spirit of the folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:02 PM

Is this folk music. We were practising the other day and now I don't know whether I am a folk person or not.

Confused. Moi. Aye

Oldish song

If it IS folk then we are a folk band round York.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 03:52 PM

Oh and while I'm on a roll our Maritime Concert at Hull Maritime Museum is on the 9th but don't bother coming as the last 2 have been packed out and we've had to turn people away as the room can only hold a 100. And this is just with local artists performing sea songs, all of the type Jim would approve.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 03:48 PM

But just to pile it on, in my immediate area, say 3 miles radius, there are 3 folk clubs and numerous sessions and singarounds and I can guarantee that 90% at least of what is performed is of that material that Jim has said he would approve, i.e., traditional, or of the type that is of the Radio Ballads, local material using traditional tunes and largely of some sort of local heritage connection. Added to that there is a local Folk Archive and a charity Folk in Hull that runs bigger events throughout the year, oh and I know the Sheffield area has 10 times this amount.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 03:39 PM

But this has been said here many many times. There's nothing new to add and nothing needs adding.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 03:38 PM

Okay, I've stayed out of this one hitherto. I've plenty more important things to do with folksong, like singing it and writing about it for publication.

When people express their opinions that's fine, we can't argue with that,
but presenting statements as facts >>>>>Until this one is sorted out, folk song will not move an inch<<<<< has to be challenged.

You have been told repeatedly that the UK folk scene has evolved/changed from the 60s when we were all young and fresh to the music and had the time to dance, play, sing, research, act to our hearts' content. Many many people here have stated fact that folk music now takes place in a wide variety of places. Technology has advanced significantly. Many people, young and old like us, are working extremely hard to promote folk music all over the country, in a wide variety of forms. One way of introducing new people to the scene is to run sessions where a wide variety of styles and genres can be included, and as long as our traditional music forms an important part of that, performed well, then it will draw in new people. This happens most days of the week where I live and I know of plenty of other places where it thrives even more.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 03:25 PM

For a long time, the Church in Ireland was not the Church of Rome"THEAT IS STILL THE CASE THERE IS A PROTESTANT CHURCH CALLED THE CHURCH OF IRELAND PLUS METHODIST AND PRESBYTERIAN AND EVEN QUAKERS.
If you check the irish constitution,Article 44 of the Constitution deals with religion. You are free to practise your religion and your freedom of conscience. The State guarantees not to endow or favour any religion and not to discriminate on the grounds of religion.Dec 24, 2018


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM

On topic
The problm when soeone writes "'I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy" I believe they need to define what they mean in relation to folk clubs
Some people are quite happy to listen to pop ot pop type songs that have lbeen labeled 'folk' somewhere or other on today's folk music scene, which brings the discussion to square one - what are we entitled to hear if we turn up at a folk club - or are we no longer allowed to choose what we hear?
Folk song cannot be the only medium to remove the meaning of it's description, but that appears to be the case
In my opinion, it is why we have lost most of our clubs and our followers
Until this one is sorted out, folk song will not move an inch
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM

The current state of folk music in UK..

Not as bad as some folks fear, not as good as some folks wish for...

But it's best not to overgeneralise from any individual point of view...

At least there is a new younger generation of folks
who will continue to care enough about it,
even if some of us don't welcome what they might do with it...


Well at least I like this recent 'collaboration'...

Lowlands


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM

I can understand that Joe but hopefully people will desist and keep on topic - thanks for being tolerant so far


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM

I don't have any problem with people referring to the past where it has a direct relevance to the topic of discussion - I imagine I will do so at some point! It's the petty arguments about specific incidents that I feel have no place here


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM

I'm tempted to close this because of the animosity that keeps popping up here. Please stay on topic.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM

Vic: Ha ha! Of course the 29th was a typo for 20th century: I owned up to these in advance! No need to search iplayer further:

Sorry if raising the past as I have seems irrelevant; it just seems that views of it permeate in a variety of ways so much discussion of the state 'folk' is in today.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 12:13 PM

Psuedonymous said ' For me, the sort of folk music we need is one that addresses the problems with racism, nationalism, religious hatreds and fundamentalism of various sorts, and, last but definitely not least, environmental issues.'
'I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy to live in a world where this term has varying definitions, but for me any attempts to limit or control how people sing, or even decry people making a living out of making music, there I tend to lose interest.'

I couldn't agree more!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 12:10 PM

And, yes Joe, you are right. This thread is about folk music but some are out to close it down. Just ignore tnem.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:54 AM

I do apologise: the last guest, was me, I forgot to sign the piece about Lloyd. And also for the typos; read the biography of Lloyd and all will become clear.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM

Come on people - arguing about things that may or may not have happened decades ago has nothing to do with the topic under discussion - if you want to discuss historical issues that have no relevance to this subject it would be far better to do so under a new thread. It might surprise you but the great majority of people here almost certainly have little interest in your arguments


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:46 AM

"or are you simply trying a bit of troublemaking by making very pointed accusations with zero to substantiate"
Now there's a description to conjure with
Jim carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM

"any more than meeting Ewan's three wives."
My having met them and been there when reminiscences on how Theatre Workshop operated has far mre relevence to your challenging the technique I was describing than does how far newr The Theatre Royal you lived
Jean Newlove was one of the main members of T.W. who helped devise some of the techniques that they used - including its relaxation methods
It is both arrogant and insulting for you dismiss something I have heard discussed, have been taught and am still using out of hand based on your living in Stratford East
The technique worked then and still does - please don't ridicule it bey comparing it to a fart - there has been far too much arrogance and insulting as there is

"Soviet propaganda"
This type of language used to attack leading figures in the revival who gave us the chance to make our music should have died when the MacCarthy witch-hunt trials were ended
Lloyd's book was, and still is inspirational and far more relevant in my opinion is the other book bearing that title
Pete Seeger narrowly escaped a jail sentence for being a "lefty"
These peopel Maccoll, Lloyd and Seeger had a perfect right to hold whatever views they chose to - none of them were politically active in any way shape or form anyway, but even if they had been so what
I met them all and found them intelligent, kindly and far mor humanistic than most people I have met
Even out of common courtesy, they ought to nbe left to rest in peace - as Peggy wrote to The Living Tradition - they're not around to speak for themselves any more
Jim Carroll
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:12 AM

Jim,

Just as I expected "hearsay".

Re your Malcolm Nixon story which you raised before on another thread it just points out how much you rely on gossip and second hand information. If you had any real knowledge of the folk scene in London at the time you would realise how laughable that accusation is. I pointed that out then. And if I remember correctly you complained many times of what I think you call "grave dancing".

Re the BBC recordings I was there that night but don't know what relevance that has any more than meeting Ewan's three wives.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM

Going back to A L Lloyd's book, which, when read for the first time long after its publication seems so plainly to have been written by a lefty in the thrall of Soviet propaganda (if not directly pointed out by the Soviets as the biography of Lloyd points out did happen).

He was hoping for a new folk music, which, because of the political stance underpinning the book, in effect meant music reflecting the sort of political movement he hoped to see emerge. That part of his dream one might share in without following his flawed analysis of the benefits of Soviet domination and the command economy.

Well, for me, the sort of folk music we need is one that addresses the problems with racism, nationalism, religious hatreds and fundamentalism of various sorts, and, last but definitely not least, environmental issues. All of which, of course, come across as middle class issues irrelevant to the needs of the white indigenous population …

I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy to live in a world where this term has varying definitions, but for me any attempts to limit or control how people sing, or even decry people making a living out of making music, there I tend to lose interest.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM

"and I don't intend to read any response that Jim Carroll posts, because too often experience them as bullying or generally belligerent in tone"
I'll tell my wife and my travller frioiends that - should make them smile
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM

Any mention of nasty Nick is a good excuse to play Chumbawamba's marvellous Dance, Idiot, Dance they

I have already linked It once on this thread but It is always worth repeating. It is the perfect response to the misappropriation of our traditions by the extreme right.

Sadly, Joe, it is still going on and Griffin's pet attack dog is still active on here, regularly using the names of other Mudcatters to spread his bile.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 10:59 AM

Pseudonymous wrote
....was popularised by some TV programme mid-29th century.
I have just checked and this programme is not yet available on BBC iPlayer.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 10:51 AM

Anyway the current moment is a very good time for folk music in my opinion as both Jim Moray and Jon Boden have just released their new CDs :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 10:43 AM

Some useful points there Pseudonymous and, as the OP, I have no problems in you saying that the thread title is not a perfect springboard for discussion (nothing on Mudcat is ever perfect ;-)) - it has however resulted in a long running and, in my view, mostly interesting discussion.

Like you my own interests lie far wider than the music of the folk revival and what followed in folk clubs and the like and I would see no harm in widening the debate to cover such music - as an attendee at the Musicport Festival for 16 years of its 20 years existence I have seen great examples of music from other traditions being made by musicians who have lived in this country all their lives as well as of course music made by musicians who live in the countries where such music originates. Sorry that all sounds a bit clumsy! Unlike some I welcome cross cultural experiment eg Afro Celts, E2, Imagined Village, Keetama, Vaarlens Band etc. It doesn't always work but when it does it can be extremely powerful. I consider such cross cultural music to be folk music every bit as much as an unaccompanied singer at a singaround. There of course I would differ from some here but, as has been demonstrated, we all have our own impressions of what we consider folk music to be.   

I had meant to respond earlier to your comments about the far right using acoustic or folk music to further their cause - I must admit I hadn't realised that this was still such a threat though I remember well the odious Nick Griffin and his cohorts trying to use the music for their nefarious ends. So I think the fact that other people hadn't raised the issue was more because, like me, they were not aware of it still being a significant problem rather than not being concerned. i hope I am correct on that point


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 09:48 AM

Sorry one or two typos, it should be border 'where' the UK ends and the Republic begins, of course.


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