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The current state of folk music in UK

Jim Carroll 28 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Oct 19 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Oct 19 - 06:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Oct 19 - 06:00 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Oct 19 - 05:50 AM
GUEST 28 Oct 19 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Oct 19 - 05:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Oct 19 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Observer 28 Oct 19 - 04:58 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Oct 19 - 09:38 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 19 - 09:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 19 - 08:40 PM
Stringsinger 27 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Oct 19 - 02:09 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 01:43 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM
punkfolkrocker 27 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 01:17 PM
Raggytash 27 Oct 19 - 01:14 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 19 - 01:10 PM
Raggytash 27 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 12:58 PM
Raggytash 27 Oct 19 - 12:50 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM
Howard Jones 27 Oct 19 - 12:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 12:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM
Raggytash 27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM
Raggytash 27 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 11:24 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 19 - 11:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Oct 19 - 10:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 10:18 AM
Howard Jones 27 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 27 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 08:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Oct 19 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM

Prem ejac.
Last para should start
As we don't know..
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:37 AM

"Performing copyright songs in Folk clubs has never been subject to writs or any such legalities. "
It would become one if the clubs gained popularity and singing this ttuff became regular practice
Not the point I was making Beatles songs are the property of those who on the Beatles estate - folk songs are common property - ours
I wouldn't want a purely trad-based club, I don't know many who do - this is becoming a regular red-herring
There is an issue of accompanied songs' in Ireland, but that's about something else

Whatever the percentage of folk song is acceptable the overall output of any folk club needs to be folk or folk-based songs and never anything that is diametrically opposite to folk-style creation - people (used to) come to listen to a distinctive style and sound
In my ealy days in London you seldom heard music hall songs in the dozen or so clubs I frequented - latterly I drank far too much because of the number of "Oh no - not again" type songs that drove me and others down to the bar
If you hope to draw newbies onto the scene, they need to know that what you are giving them is what you say you are   

"Pardon himself believed that the songs his uncle taught him had come from come from" Walter knew or believed no such thing - he thought a few of them might - Walter's family were hoarders who never threw anything out but he told us he never saw a broadside
He knew Bonny Bunch of Roses' came from a pamphlet, which he still owned

have but, as we don't really know whether folk-songs appearing on broadsides were penned by the hacks or taken from rural visitors to the towns it doesn't really matter anyway - even the most insistent of 'print-origin merchants hae been forced to admit that the broadside-oral tradition relationship was a two-way street
We owe the survival of our ballads and many narrative songs to communities that were overwhelmingly illiterate - the Travellers


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM

See Jim's post above which, 'traditional folk singer'. He was an old man who sang old songs he believed had come from broadsides.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:29 AM

The fact that Walter Pardon appeared in 'folk clubs' does not make him part of some 'oral tradition' reaching back, possibly, to Ancient Egypt.

Though it would appear he was 'marketed' as such.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:00 AM

Performing copyright songs in Folk clubs has never been subject to writs or any such legalities. That is a red herring. In recent years the PRS take a blanket payment off any live music clubs to cover any payment due to copyright holders. One argument for having a completely trad based club is that no such payment would be due. It has never happened as far as I know but it would be an interesting test case.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 05:50 AM

"a lot of Beatles songs have entered into the wider pool or repertoire of songs that live performers, including the newest generation will draw upon."
Doesn't make em folk songs
Try telling their estate that their songs are in the public domain and wait for the writs to com pounding on the doormat
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 05:45 AM

Good for you, "Observer". At least we'll have one [ partial ] answer to the question posed. I look forward with interest.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 05:19 AM

Like it or not, a lot of Beatles songs have entered into the wider pool or repertoire of songs that live performers, including the newest generation will draw upon. So has Neil Young, for example. I believe that this mirrors the process whereby commercial songs in the past got taken up, and so I welcome it.

It is an old and, you could argue, 'traditional' process. Indeed, as Jim knows very well, Pardon himself believed that the songs his uncle taught him had come from come from (commercially produced) broadsheets. I know he was marketed as a 'traditional' singer, but this glosses over the facts.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 05:17 AM

Very good analogy, Observer. The thing is a sausage is composite and will often contain less than 50% meat. (32% is the legal minimum). I would hope a folk club contains more than 32% folk music but as long as it contains a substantial portion of folk music it is a folk club. What Jim has been saying is that there are folk clubs that contain no folk music at all. If that is the case I agree absolutely that it is wrong and something needs to be done. What we are having problems with is finding any such club.

Enjoy your festival and hoping that it contains more than 50% meat :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 04:58 AM

An opinion, strongly expressed, from another thread on a completely different subject:

A sausage has got meat in in it. So do not call something with no meat in it a sausage. It's bad enough that you make it look like a sausage without you adding insult to injury by calling it a sausage. Do your own misguided thing, eat what you like, but do not call a non-sausage a sausage. And I know not what tofu is and I never will.

Now just transpose "folk club", "folk song", "folk music", "folk night" as representing what the author of the above thinks a "real sausage" is and you basically get what Jim Carroll has been trying very hard to get across to people on this thread.

Just out of interest I'll be attending a festival this coming week-end that specifically advertises itself as a "folk" festival. Over the course of the week-end I am going to take note of what is performed on stage and what is sung/played in the sessions - If this thread is still running I'll get back to you all a week from today.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM

"Is it a place to hear traditional folk singers"
I think the clubs were a compromise for urban audiences - for me they worked and were infinitely preferable to concerts
Many singers took to the clubs with no effort - Sam Larner loved his visit to London
He had sung before larger audiences in the Fishermen's Concerts when he was at sea and sang weekly at the local pub, 'The Fishermen's Return, but he made the point that "the serious singing was done at home or on board the trawlers"
Granger's Linconshire singers described singing concerts and competitions
Walter Pardon had never sung publicly before he was 'discovered' but he enjoyed the clubs
He described how he developed the technique of "looking down my nose" so the massed faces didn't put him off

"PFR.....its like Shakespeare said - When sorrows come, they come not single spies"
I thinks he might have said "come in mutton pies" in Titus Andronicus - but he did have a twisted sense of humour at times :->
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:38 PM

Good to see you still up and running, Richard!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:30 PM

Different caravan, similar stock. Obviously too well stocked as I cannot remember who you were Raggy!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:40 PM

PFR.....its like Shakespeare said
When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions.

I bet there were two of the bastards. Actually it might have been me.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM

I am unclear as to what a folk club really is? Is it a place to hear traditional folk singers, (usually unaccompanied) or a showcase for the generic acoustic music? It seems to me that Ewan and Peggy meant something quite different from what is being discussed here.

Here, in the States, we have lost what were commonly thought of as folk clubs in coffee houses. There are a few left. Most of it is singer-songwriters who play acoustic music.
Some of it is good, some not so. Generally they are more intimate than the larger venues that popular music acts are forced to play.

I'm not sure that traditional folk singers who have been documented in field recordings would find a suitable stage in the generic acoustic music scene.

What may die out is the fad for acoustic music bars or pubs that feature the singer-songwriter or Beatles players. I think that a genuine society based on interest in traditional folk music can survive as long as people know what it is and are educated to appreciate it.

Sometimes shoddy guitar players and unmusical strident voices that imitate what they consider to be "authentic"prevail in these so-called folk places. And this is augmented by unscrupulous live sound people who set levels and leave.

I find the traditional field recordings of folk music to be far more musical for the most part than the imitators or stylish ripped jeans of the scroungy persons who pretend to be somehow "working class". Working class people generally dress up when they appear on stage, suits, ties, or something that would be called respectable.

I understand rebellion. I am sympathetic to the Left and would like to see the world changed. I attempt to write topical songs as a kind of therapy for the onslaught of the disasters in the world, politically,economically, socially etc.

Still, when it becomes an affectation, even when well-intentioned, it's subject to criticism.

The solution is to embrace traditional cultures worldwide and avoid the music imperialism of the popular music industry that puts performance up to sell.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM

Sorry - shellshock
Just listened to a superb hour-long radio tribute to Seamus Ennis on Irish Lyric FM - stacks and stacks of examples so his collecting work in Ireland and Scotland
It should be available for listening in a couple of days time
Warra star
Will open a thread giving details later
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 02:09 PM

Jim - so you're still here for the moment, that's a relief..
But now that I've read back a few posts I see so far today you've been confusing me with Raggy,
And who knows who else...?????


You even got me scratching my head puzzling where I'd mentioned aspic...???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:43 PM

"So Jim, sorry if I shock too much by having been in close agreement with you all along..."
I didn't really believe we weer that far apart and I reallt don't have a problem with people's own personal circumstances - I have to content myself with going to a monthly singing session where there is no recognisable policy
Fortunately it is run by a very fine singer whose repertoire tends towards traditional songs and new ones made using old styles - her pièce de résistance is Con 'Fada' O'Drisceoll's BEN HUR
She has also a fine sense of balance which gives a great mix to any evening

For me, I have a foot in oth camps - I love to sing and listen, but am also involved in putting fifty yeears of work into a context that people will bw able to access long after I've moved to Northern Greece (or whichever heaven they're sent to when they've finished here)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM

ps.. memory plays tricks,
uncertain now if it was a duo or just one smarmy MOR Beatles cover singer
monopolising the session...???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

crikey..i see there are plenty more posts here to wade through while I was away
typing up my trip to the seaside...

I think I'll take my tablet into the bog for a quiet read...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM

Now despite me saying this before at mudcat..
some might find it surprising that I kinda support Jim..

If I wanted to go to a folk club, ideally I'd prefer to hear predominantly trad songs and tunes..

But real life don't cater for ideals, so I gave up looking where I live.

If public transport round here was not so shite,
or if me and the mrs had learned to drive,
and if we had significantly higher income;
then maybe we might have become regular folk club going enthusiasts.
Venturing as far as Bristol, Bath, and Exeter...???

At least a decade ago we decided to splash out and spend our wedding anniversary in Clevedon,
planning on getting the last Bus that would be any use getting us on our way home..

So.. afternoon seafront walk, did the pier, looked round the nearby music instruments shop, [is it still there ?]
had an early evening pub meal overlooking the channel.
Then as we prepared to leave for the bus, saw posters for an Acoustic night in a seafront pub,
but more interestingly.. a Folk Music night advertised
at the lovely old fashioned proper cider pub on the way back into town..

So happily decided.. we've already had a few pints, bugger the bus.. we'll treat ourselve's to a taxi later..

So.. the sea front acoustic night was exactly what it said on the tin..
young student types [probably performance arts and music technology...??]
playing acoustic versions of recent rock songs,
all to a high enough standard for Simon Cowell auditions..
Pleasant enough, but we were keener to get to the real old cider pub,
it's posters advertising "Folk Night"..

Got there, found a seat at a polite distance from the local regulars,
all our age and older
[we joked they could have been the parents and grandparents of the kids at the trendier seaside acoustic session...???]..
Sat there swigging cider in anticipation of a trad folk session..

The first man up was an old hippy with a fiddle..
This is more like it.. real cider and real trad folk tunes..

But after he'd been allowed to play about two tunes to fairly indiferent reception,
a duo of middle aged men in smart white shirts, with well groomed hair,
and expensive acoustic guitars,
took centre of attention and began strumming and singing Beatle songs.
They were adequate performers, but looked every bit like they'd been smarmed
for a photo shoot for publicity photos for a major concert tour...
Far more ego & style than talent..

We tolerated them.. surely the fiddle player will be back on soon.. won't he...???
Someone else will get up soon and sing folk won't they...???

Nope..

Fiddle man sat across the room on his own looking unwanted and dejected,
while the two Beatle bores continued dominating, playing to their clique of family and friends fan club
for the rest of the evening..

After a few more pints I became restless and irritated, heckling sarcastically quietly under my breath..
Well, I thought I was being quiet until the land lady reprimanded me
for starting to be a problem on their folk night..

We ordered a taxi, which cost a painful fortune to get us home,
after a sour end to a good wedding anniversary at a posh seaside resort...

That was justy about the last straw...

So Jim, sorry if I shock too much by having been in close agreement with you all along...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:17 PM

I haven't claimed there are any number of folk clubs and PFR has never said anything about setting things in aspic. Until you get the basics right, Jim, how is anyone supposed to discuss anything with you?

Have you now agreed that there are no folk clubs that do not present folk music?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:14 PM

Richard for the sake of clarity I did not bring threatre into the discussion.

By the way do you still have a well stocked caravan for festivals. I seem to recall happy times there!!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:10 PM

There appear to be the usual and possibly deliberate misunderstandings here. And, Al, it is nothing at all to do with post-imperial guilt.

It is also nothing at all to do with form.

Folk arts of all kinds (crafts, dance, music, song and doubtless others too) are distinct because of their derivation. Therefore any attempt to define "folk" has to be cross-cultural. Two things follow from that.

First there is a great deal to be said in favour of the Karpeles definition, although bits of it could do with some tweaking not least to do with the modern widespread emancipation (sic) of communication.   I would suggest that a requirement for unknown authorship is probably obsolete. Also some qualification of the meaning of "community". And if you bother to read it it does not purport to set folk music in aspic. It expressly allows for addition to the canon.

Second, until there is at least SOME agreement on what "folk music" is, this thread is largely meaningless.

Now, Raggy, it is your analogy that is senseless. "Theatre" is a form, as is "music" - but there are types of theatre that differ from others. Perhaps the single most obvious would be mumming plays - mostly traditional, mostly of unknown origin, and mostly nothing like Japanese NO theatre (which has its own rules and conventions).    Nobody is saying that music of known authorship is not music. Thereby your argument falls entirely.

So what do I think is happening in the marketplace? Most places where one may perform or participate in performing farouche music see less Karpeles definition song. This may well be true of participative events associated with house events and concerts. I prefer to go to things where there is more Karpeles definition song, and indeed at Forgotten Lands two years ago (it wasn't called "Forgotten Lands" then, it was just a private party at Stepping Stones Barn, for maybe 40 people but with most performance via a VERY good sound rig) and I did a little set of traditional mostly chorus songs (well, one was trad arr Burns) and I had a number of ppl seek me out to say how much they enjoyed and missed the sort of stuff that I had done. There might have been half a dozen people under 40 and this year there were more and a couple under 20.

They also much loved the sound of my then latest guitar acquisition - a 12 string Daion jumbo, intoned and set up and fitted with a B-band system using an undersaddle and a stick-on contact strip and stereo outputs by Brian Rodgers. But I disgress.

On the other hand at a house concert in leafy Leatherhead recently, the pre-concert session was mostly contemporary involving several guitars (including two 60 year old or more Martins, a very rare guitar with a three-letter name which I have forgotten - AYL or something like that, and an all ebony guitar which I think is the only one like that in the world, a cahon and a mandolin and a quantity of massed voices) - and I think everyone enjoyed that too - and the youngest person there by about 10 years would have been 44 and she plays wholly contemporary pop stuff and last year I heard her described at another festival as the performer most improved over the year.

So I don't think that the quality of the music is in the general proximity of what might be called folk-ish music declining - but I do wish that people would use accurate descriptors for what they do - harking back to Martin Carthy's exemplary description so long ago of himself as a "folk-song-singer" rather than a "folk singer".

On the other hand there isn't half some dogshit in hip-hop and rap! And the occasional jewel.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM

OK Number one Punkfolkrocker did not mention aspic.

I do not believe in making rules in this context, they are unnecessary and extremely restrictive. I've already said I won't play by your rules because, frankly, they are a load of bollocks.

Care to go back to Shakespeare.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:58 PM

Raggy
1. You have had every opportunity to prove me wrong - you have never even tried
2. I have no rule book - I have a desire to see a folk scene with a future where I know kids in the future have the same opportunities we had to decide whether they like what their predecessors had to say about their lives

You have at no time ever addressed that - if I am wrong, show me where I am insted of hurling insults - that's what I get accused of doing
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:50 PM

Jim, you don't even know who you are discussing with Punkfolkrocker did not mention aspic or nor did he say your argument was spurious.

I forgot I am not playing to the rules which according to you are:

Rule 1. Jim Carroll is always right

Rule 2. If Jim Carroll is wrong rule 1 applies

Just one thing Jim I will not and cannot play to those rules.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM

"Playing Shakespeare in theatres does not preclude Alan Bennett plays from being staged.
"But claiming something to be folk song when it isn't does enormous damage to the real thing
How many folk cubs did you say there were 186 wasn't it

Damn - bang goes my resolution not to respond to you until you started providing answers of your own   

Nop PFK - my argument is not spurious
You were the one who describe d 54 as 'setting in aspic' - personally, I never do - I ahven't read through it since Bert Lloyd put it in his Folk Song in England in 1967
Whatever my argument is, it's an honestly giiven one, not a 'makkie-up' (good Travellers folk word)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:40 PM

"It might be a good start if people sorted out the differences between liking something, being able to understand it, and recognising its importance."

But to what extent are the understanding it and recognising its importance the function of folk clubs? Most clubs aim to entertain the audience, not to educate them. Of course an understanding of the background to a song helps with its enjoyment, and many people who go to clubs are deeply interested in the subject. But I believe the primary reason people go to folk clubs is the same as they go to performances of other genres: they like the sound folk music makes. Folk clubs provide the opportunity to enjoy listening to it and and perhaps perform or participate in a friendly and sociable atmosphere. Some understanding and awareness of its importance should spring from that, but they are not the purpose of most folk clubs.

I use the word "entertainment" in its broadest sense - it need not all be light and jolly. People read serious books and watch films and plays which may be tragic or even distressing, and they do so for enjoyment.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:39 PM

BTW. I have only ever seen 3 Shakespeare plays. MacBeth at the Liverpool playhouse in 1968. The taming of The shrew at the Manchester Royal Exchange in the 90's and A midsummer night's dream at the Lowry in the 00's. I only remember enjoying the last one. Maybe I am a philistine.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM

Playing Shakespeare in theatres does not preclude Alan Bennett plays from being staged. Is it not theatre if it is not Shakespeare in the same way it is not folk if it is not MacColl?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM

In the past 406 years thousands, if not tens of thousands play have been written. Some good, some bad, some indifferent.

The theatre world does not say they are not plays because we know who wrote them, or that they do not conform to a ideaological bias set at some point in the past.

Your argument is spurious to say the least, most people would not be so kind, most would say it is total b*****k's.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM

"Sadly some people seem to think that folk music was set in aspic sometime in the 1950's."
I wonder why the only ones who quote '54 are those who reject it
MacColl was writing songs right up to his death in the late 1980s and I sang three of them last week-end
MacColl left around 300 songs which he made uing folk forms and (according to Peggy), forgot as many again
How does that relate to "setting folk in aspic" - that question has been ignored so many times as to lead me to believe that even those who make such distorted statement don't even believe it themselves
It really doesn't do you any credit to keep repeating that lie PFR
It is believed that Shakespeare wrote his last play in 1613 yet his plays are still regarded worldwide as the best and most important theatrical creations ever
Is the constant drive to perform them (saw four last year) "setting the British Theatre in aspic"
Why do you insist on making this stuff up when you must realise it bears no resemblance to what is being suggested ?
Not god for your image
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM

As long as you say hoorah unaccompanied and in the style of Fred Jordan I am sure it will be fine :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM

Given time all things change. Be it the height of mountains or the breadth of the seas.

Sadly some people seem to think that folk music was set in aspic sometime in the 1950's. It wasn't, it isn't' it will continue to change.

Hooray for that. I for one would be sick to the back teeth if I'd to listen to an unaltering diatribe of the same songs for the past 60 odd years.

I say again hoorah!!!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM

I have no idea what you last post was supposed to be addressing, Dick. I am sure you visit more clubs than me. Have you ever visited any club where they do not welcome folk music? Do you think the song I mentioned could be performed at a folk club?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 11:24 AM

"What do you suggest?"
I assume your suggestions are humorous Al - always welcome (well - sometimes, maybe, though the Paul Simon suggestion does have its attraction).
I don't believe there to be a cure-all Al, it's far too late for that.
In the end, the ball's in the court of those who still care to come out of their closets - I've had enough discussions with old friends to know they're still about and occasionally, during discussions like this someone pops up his/her head and raises the flag.
My personal solution is limited to offering what we have in the way of recordings, books, lectures, radio programmes etc. via my PCloud site to whoever sends an e-mail address and sticking needles under my fingernails on threads like this.
I'm but even sure it's worth putting in the time with the National Sound Archive/British Library to finally get our collection fully sorted and usable
I have been knocked out by the number of newbie kids who have used the Clare Library site to learn songs, but that's in The West of Ireland, and they're already forging their own path
You can't do much about those who don't care and are not even interested in discussing the damage they have done to the future of folk music

I argued fiercely with Ewan when he suggested that Folk Song might die as a performed art if it fell into the hands of those who don't understand it and don't even like it - I think he might have had a point.
It won't disappear of course; it's one of the most closely studied and well-documented of the oral arts - but I've always been against confining anybody to solitary confinement, particularly old friends like Walter Pardon
It might be a good start if people sorted out the differences between liking something, being able to understand it, and recognising its importance.
Thanks for asking
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 11:11 AM

Dave, when i visit clubs as a guest , i have people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed hearing some trad songs , and that it is rare now to hear guests singing traditional material , i possibly have played more clubs than you visit DAVE ,BUT POSSIBLY NOT.Dave maybe you like what you hear, at the placesyou visit and perhaps you prefer other material to traditional songs? but i have lots of people say to me theo not hear many trad songs and how refreshing it has been to hear sing them


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 10:47 AM

Well let's say you're right Jim, and there are people - lots of people - who won't go to folk clubs, because they don't sing folk songs there any more.

What do you suggest?
a) the Arts Council sue the errant club for misappropriation of the term folk club...?
b) Jail sentences for faudulent conversion of the term folk club...?
c) armed resistance - a terror campaign against companies who sell Paul Simon albums in their folk caralogue...?

You see what I'm saying - it doesn't take us any further from where we are now. And we do need to move forward in as positive a way as we can.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 10:18 AM

I find it even easier, Howard. The clubs I visit are mainly to my taste and fit my definition of folk music. There will always be things I don't like or appreciate. When they come on, I go to the bar. I go home either full of folk music or full of beer. Win-win :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM

"any club describing themselves as "folk" should have some idea of what that term means and present it or songs using folk forms as a major part of their evening"

Lik it or not, the idea of what the term "folk" encompasses is broad and (like any other genre) the boundaries are vague and open to interpretation. I suspect in most cases club organisers have their own idea what the term means, Jim's problem is that it may not be the same as his. In any event, "folk" isn't a protected term like Champagne or Stilton so we can't complain to trading standards if we think someone is misusing the term. No doubt there are some "folk clubs" which are open-mics masquerading under another name. However the experience of most of the people posting on here is that folk, in the sense of traditional or folk-based contemporary songs, can usually be found in folk clubs.

I get as frustrated as anyone when the music presented at a folk club doesn't suit my own tastes. But other people are entitled to their own likes and dislikes, and if their interpretation of folk is different from mine that doesn't make them wrong. If the audience is enjoying it the problem is mine rather than theirs. The solution to a club where the music doesn't meet one's own preferences is the same as it always was - go somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:22 AM

So, we are agreed. There is no proof of the folk free folk club so that particular concept can be ignored. How do we now move on? Going back to something I said earlier

What is good?
What can be improved?
How do we improve it?

Over to you, Jim.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM

It was, but it's what I've come to expect
That was called for - I've spent far to long involved in folk son as singer and researcehr to deserve such contempt even if I do make myself a pain in the arse
It makes you wonder if it's all been worth it
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM

My apologies. My last remark was uncalled for. Can we just move onto what this thread should be about please?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:41 AM

I thought as much. No substantiation of the folk free folk club. I think we can safely ignore the concept then. I will continue to remind you of that every time you mention it but, aside from that, yes, let's move off the Jim has been offended show.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM

'Folk forms': presumably Jim means *British* folk forms or some such?

In fact, even the cheapest seats at Shakespeare's theatres would have excluded 'the sweepings' if by that is meant the poorest in London. Might be useful to read some proper social history instead of trying to learn about it via 'folk songs'.

Also, I think current thinking is that Barbara Allen was originally composed as a commercial piece.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:15 AM

Let me quailfy my "over and out" Dave
I didn't say I was going to stop posting to this thread, which continues to interest me - just to posters who demand questions and refuse to answer those put to them - who don't interest me in the slightest
Over and out
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:05 AM

Over and out

What? Again!

I think I can confidently predict that will disproved along with the myth of folk free folk clubs.

Is it really so difficult just to say that all folk clubs present at least some stuff that we can all agree is folk music? I have always conceded that some of the stuff I hear I would not class as folk myself. We are arguing about the categorisation of a small part of what is presented.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM

First note in my FB feed this morning...

Get yourself down to the refugee kitchen fundraiser at meadows pavilion where ill be playing bayan akkordeon in edinburgh's newest balkan band skotchka republik at 3. We will be playing in reduced lineup minus drums and tuba etc. THEN and OR come down to noble's on constitution street for the gypsy jazz night where im playing guitar. We kick off at 8 30 or thereabouts.

Dunno that I'd call gypsy jazz "folk" but the Balkan stuff certainly is. And it's at a venue I've been to a lot more often than any folk club in the last few years; it often features music (78s on a windup gramophone, djembe groups, Arabic oud playing, tarantella, Swedish fiddle... could equally well be English melodeon if somebody could be bothered turning up to do it).

Seems bizarre to hear somebody from a country that never had folk clubs in the first place whining about how they aren't what they should be in the UK. Seems Ireland doesn't need them. I don't think the UK ever did either, and it doesn't need them now.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM

"I am not hounding you,"
By sending posting antd efusing to answer starigtforward questions you are refusing to do exactly that
Over and out
Jim


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