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The current state of folk music in UK

Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM
Vic Smith 23 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 23 Oct 19 - 02:59 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 02:50 PM
Raggytash 23 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM
Jack Campin 23 Oct 19 - 02:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM
r.padgett 23 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,JoeG 23 Oct 19 - 01:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,JoeG 23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM
Vic Smith 23 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 11:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 11:37 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM
Jack Campin 23 Oct 19 - 11:15 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM
Vic Smith 23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Oct 19 - 10:52 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 23 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM
Iains 23 Oct 19 - 10:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 10:07 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 09:43 AM
Jack Campin 23 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 23 Oct 19 - 09:00 AM
Allan Conn 23 Oct 19 - 08:14 AM
Allan Conn 23 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Oct 19 - 07:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 23 Oct 19 - 07:27 AM
Jack Campin 23 Oct 19 - 07:17 AM
Howard Jones 23 Oct 19 - 07:16 AM
Vic Smith 23 Oct 19 - 06:27 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 06:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 05:36 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 05:09 AM
GUEST 23 Oct 19 - 04:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 04:49 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM

Or perhaps the folk club regulars could haul their arses out of their comfy armchairs

I'm a folk club regular, Jack. Sing a bit. Play a bit. Not particularly talented but I enjoy it. Until about 7 years ago I helped to run a weekly club and annual festival. I have been involved in ritual dance and drama in the community. I have booked acts from across the globe to appear in free community events. I worked full time until July of this year and juggled the needs of an extended family with health issues, high pressure support work and moved house in the meanwhile.

I now just want to enjoy my visits to local folk clubs and have a good few years retirement. I am sure you will excuse me if I no longer want to haul my arse out of my comfy armchair and would like someone else to have a go for a change.

Perhaps Mudcat contributors would get better discussions if they stopped using antagonistic phrases?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM

Jim wrote:-
Not at my best today - I returned from Belfast with a streaming cold as well as a load of books

I can suggest a remedy for your first ailment but I'm afaid there is no cure for your second one; I suffer from it myself....

OOPS! Both off topic! Slapped wrists for both.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:59 PM

Perhaps because posters here are relatively old, few if any posts have referred to University Folk Clubs. I have googled and quickly found evidence of clubs at the following unis:
Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, Nottingham

Some of these specify that they are interested in a range of folk music, not just that deemed to be of UK or British Isles origin, but this is within the range of the subject line of this thread. So that is a positive, I hope. Some seem to run events open to town as well as gown.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:50 PM

"That's insulting and patronising"
"If you aint with Jim exactly, you're against 'im..."...???
"But you are lining up with middle class folkie snobs"
THink were're finished here - don't you ?
I've told you exactly where I'm coming from - over and over again
You have obviously made up your own mind on that and nothing I'll ever say will change that
That little diatribe along with the ungainly rush for the 'thread drift' escape hatch just about finished me for now - I really have had enough
I'd happily continue this till Tim Henman takes the Mans' Singles, but not under these fouled-up circumstances
I'll leave you to it
- for now at least
Enjoy
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM

In the past 5 years I have visited Essex, Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, and North wales.

I found folk clubs for each night we where in those counties.

When I am North Yorkshire there are two weekly clubs close at hand and in the town I live in their are sessions EVERY night of the week.

That seems pretty healthy to me.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:39 PM

I can kick off by repeating my views that the current folk club scene seems healthy enough but, in my experience, does need an injection of new blood. I don't think we will get that new blood by insisting that only traditional songs, sung in the traditional manner should be performed.

Or perhaps the folk club regulars could haul their arses out of their comfy armchairs and make the case for the music they care about in the outside world? The sort of large-scale ritual/drama I was talking about can easily incorporate traditional song, and often has done - but better it comes from somebody willing to get their hands wet in the papier mache first.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM

One aspect of the current scene that we haven't discussed is the way in which all musicians have altered their attitudes to recording their music.

I think this has impacted on folkies in many ways. Sometimes I think the recorded versions of songs are more comprehensible, Its easier to understand and apprediate than the live version.

I also think some people who have something to say are not robust public performers find the recording situation more comfortable than singing in the competitive pub atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM

btw..

"Your working class background does you proud
- it's a pity it's nort reflected in your attitude towards an extremely important part of working class creative culture
"

That's insulting and patronising... and very wrong...

Even though we on the same side, with similar objectives,
you are too wrapped up in your own preconceptions
to show fair respect for my different experience and knowledge..

"If you aint with Jim exactly, you're against 'im..."...???


"You appear to regard working people like me who indulge in the study of that culture as dogs walking on their hind legs
a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..Shame on you
"

Again.. wrong...!!!
That's just you distorting what I said to fit your own misunderstanding
of what I posted...

I dont care what class background a condescending folkie snob is from...

I just don't take well to smug elitist folkies who think they and their music
are superior to mass popular entertainment,
usually associated with real life modern working class culture,
and the millions of folks who love/live it...

Now I'm not saying you are the class traitor,
because neither of us is..

But you are lining up with middle class folkie snobs
in your dismissive disdain for what most ordinary folks take great pleasure and comfort from...

.. and let's not have any of that 'opiates for the masses' bollocks...
We already had you dusting of 'alienation' from our old marxist text books...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM

No one is obliged to make comments on others views ~no matter how many times the views are expressed!

The question above is seeking views as to the "current state" of folk music in the UK~ this does pre suppose that views and comments are invited from people attending or participating in folk music (however defined!) or song as a hobbyist or professional

Thread drift once again is not appreciated (hope Joe G agrees)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM

Moira Furnace Folk Festival that is!

BTW. Forgot to mention. I was in Whiby on Friday but didn't realise Musicport was on! Not that I could have got tickets but maybe I could have bought you a pint somewhere. Ah well. Next time perhaps :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 01:26 PM

Us folkies often have a lot of common ground with other enthusiasms - I'm a bus and beer man myself. Fully paid up anorak :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

Joe G. If I remember rightly either the KWVR or the Embsay Railway have had folk events in the past. Moira Furnace festival always had a civil war re-enactment event. Maybe we can combine the lot. Would I need to wear an anorak over my Aran jumper though and where would I keep my halberd?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM

DtG - I'm out of touch with how well it's progressing,
but online musicians communities have been working on solving latency problems...

Maybe in the not too distant future,
with faster more reliable internet connections,
it may be possible for folks within a reasonable distance from each other
to play together in real-time sessions on line...???

But right now it is possible to work out simple set ups for online turoring and mentoring...

. even auditions...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM

Phew - you've all been busy whilst I've been away - we must be past the 300 by now Dave?!

Thanks to the last few posters for trying to get the discussion back on track - lots of interesting stuff here - let's keep it that way and not descend once again into pointless arguments. I'll keep my tongue bitten if everyone else will when it comes to the comparative importance of preserving our transport heritage, civil war re-enactments and folk song collecting and singing :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM

"Your posting seemed to imply that a benefit concert was being held for Pete Seeger."
Sorry Hoot - could have sworn I said it was for Woodie who was suffering from Huntigon's Chorea - my fault
It was at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool
I saw Pete at the AH in the seventies - a spectacular show in extremely luxurious surroundings
Our singer friend, Oliver Mulligan was an accountant for McAlpine's and he got us seats in the Company's box, right over the stage - should have saved the wood-chips from Pete's chopping logs onstage
Not at my best today - I returned from Belfast with a streaming cold as well as a load of books

"Can I suggest we concentrate, as you suggest, on the thread topic."
You too - not really surprised any more

Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM

Jim,

Your posting seemed to imply that a benefit concert was being held for Pete Seeger.

As Pete had appeared in the UK in 1959 it seems unlikely that he needed a benefit concert in the 1960's.

He had also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 16th November 1961. I still have the flyer and I quote

"Phillips Recording Star PETE SEEGER SINGS"

"a Singers Club Presentation"

I am NOT attacking or insulting you just trying to clarify/correct what your posting implied.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM

Could having a virtual room where inexperienced performers could practice their act and be "judged" by sympathetic viewers help with that, Vic? If you saw someone live who had obviously not learned their songs you could suggest they try out on virtualcritics.com first :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM

Dave
How can we help to improve it?

By constant analysis, evaluation and discussion about development followed by action. In many ways this is already going on; Jack Campin enumerates a lot of things that we should feel proud off, but there are still ways in which things can be improved and one of my bugbears has been the use of cribsheets & electronic devices to read the words. Here I would distinguish between a free admission singaround and a paid event like a guest night at a folk club. I resent paying money to her someone read a song that they have not bothered to learn. My own impression is that this is not anything like as common as it was five years ago in Sussex but I am old enough not to give a monkey's about what I say so if I encounter it I will always gently point out to singer and compere my feelings that a song cannot be expressed until it has been learned.
I can see more of a case for in free singarounds but it still irritates because it never used to be considered good enough.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:49 AM

On a roll now. Virtual sessions have been mentioned. There are problems with latency etc. but how about a virtual room where people can perform without the pressure of a live audience? Ok. You cannot join in but a skilful and sympathetic room admin could use it to help and encourage performers by inviting constructive criticism from viewers. A sort of virtual critics group :-) It may be better than the original as we would soon see which viewers should be allowed to comment and which should be kept on a tight leash!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:37 AM

Good post, Vic.

Can I suggest we concentrate, as you suggest, on the thread topic.

What is good?
What can be improved?
How can we help to improve it?

I can kick off by repeating my views that the current folk club scene seems healthy enough but, in my experience, does need an injection of new blood. I don't think we will get that new blood by insisting that only traditional songs, sung in the traditional manner should be performed. Tradition should certainly always be in the fore but young people need to be given their head to find new ways to enjoy it. I would certainly never subscribe to the "anything goes" school (despite being accused of just that) but I see nothing wrong in trying something new.

I accept that there are whole new ways of enjoying folk music too. How can these be utilised to inject new ideas into the way us old gits enjoy our folk? Usually over a pint or three :-)

Next!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM

"confrontational/defensive mode,"
Not me
But yet again, you fal to respond to what I argue

"OK, now let's talk about "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else."
Joe has no more right to direct the way a thread should be discusses as any of us has if it can be shown that the direction it has taken is relevant - I believe I have done that on numerous occasions
When I said my poit have not been responded to I was referring to other threads, as you were when you referred to my repeating points
Nobody has suckered you into talking about me - you have chosen to do that in order to stop this present discussion
Sop blaming others for your own bahaviour
If you are not going to respond to what I have said, please make your own points and stop trying to prevent me from making mine

Hoot
I put in Guthrie and Elliot in order to confirm my having picked up the leaflet - 1962 - the same year as Seegers's sentence was finally quashed
Go and look it up before you indulge in insulting please
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:15 AM

There are now an estimated 500 folk clubs thriving in British pubs and backrooms and, contrary to what you might think, they’re not weirdy-beardy or fusty.
In 2015, they embrace wider genres, inspire younger generations and are tremendous sources of fun, friendship and creativity.


And folk music also includes the kind of event I mentioned where music is only part of the spectacle - these involve far more effort than any folk club night, on a vast scale with script development, prop and costume making, makeup, pyrotechnics, circus skills training, first aid, working with children... in other words pretty much the same sort of commitment popular festivities anywhere have involved for millennia. They attract audiences of thousands. Folk music is also the kind of act I was doing a couple of weeks ago as one of the musicians on the Edinburgh Scottish independence march - 200,000 people ranging from facepainted people in their 90s being pushed in wheelchairs to pre-school girls in unicorn costumes. Popular creativity doesn't have to involve sitting through a raffle with 30 pensioners.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM

"someone who boasts of his working class heritage "


Jim - and why would you think I was boasting...??????

I think the word you might have been struggling for was 'explaining'..

or some other neutral word like that..

Yet again, you get yourself worked up into confrontational/defensive mode,
when most of the rest of us are just having a matey straight forward, sometimes hypothetical, discussion..


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM

Joe Offer (administrator) 13 Oct 19 - 09:32 PM
OK, now let's talk about "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else.

Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 09:13 AM
Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary.

Well, it seems to me that you are getting no replies because those participating want to concentrate on the subject in hand which has led to some interesting and thoughtful posts rather your expressed wish to "repeat them as often as I consider necessary." Another reason is that you expect answers to questions but we do not see much evidence of you giving answers asked of you.

It also seems to me that you should consider the statement made to you by an administrator as he was forced to close yet another recent thread down through your intransigence -
You know lots of good stuff about music, and yet you seem to turn every discussion into a discussion of yourself and how you are offended. Most of us here, don't give a rat's ass HOW offended you are and who offended you. We want to talk about music, not about Jim Carroll.

I am not trying to be unkind in quoting this, Jim, but I don't want to see another good thread closed down and I know that even if you are not up-to-date with the UK scene that you could contribute much of interest to the current thread. Do you think that I could ask you to do so?
To me, it seems to me that people here are bending over backwards to accommodate you. I certainly feel as though I am. I feel that the closure hammer is close again. I want to discuss the state of the UK scene and here I am - being suckered into talking about Jim Carroll again.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:52 AM

Jim,

Did I mention Jack Elliott or Woody Guthrie ???

Do you not digest anything you read before firing off a reply?

I guess not.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:50 AM

btw.. accusing any of us of agism is a bit comical..
I don't know how old Jack is,
but at 60 I'm probably one of the youngest here...!!!???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM

I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody   ….

Good luck with that line of argument!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:25 AM

There are now an estimated 500 folk clubs thriving in British pubs and backrooms and, contrary to what you might think, they’re not weirdy-beardy or fusty.
In 2015, they embrace wider genres, inspire younger generations and are tremendous sources of fun, friendship and creativity.
Leave your woolly Aran jumpers at home, pull your finger out of your ear and join the "crumblies?".............

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/entertainment/music/21st-century-folk-clubs

Probably not the most reliable source of statistics, but then neither is wiki.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM

I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody

Sorry Jim but I must pull you up on that one.

What about the dozens, if not hundreds, of folk club organisers who put their heart, soul and, often as not, money into folk clubs who you accuse of not knowing What folk music is?

What about the tens of thousands of hobbyists of all types who live their lives for a hobby which you decree is not as important as folk music?

What about me, who you have repeatedly misinterpreted and will undoubtedly continue to do so?

But, once again, is there any real point in continuing this? It seems to have got to the stage where we all know what everyone's views on the current state of folk music in the UK are and are all happy with our own environment. Why try to convince anyone here otherwise? New blood is what is needed and if that brings changes, so be it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 10:07 AM

"everyone else is wrong and should be ashamed of themselves.."
Don't twist my words or take them out of context - my remarks are addressed to someone who boasts of his working class heritage and compares the only chance working people ever had of actively participating in workers culture as "trainspotting"
That's you, I think
It isn't a matter of being "right" or "wrong", it never has been - I came here to find out how my opinions stood up in the light of public discussion
There's been little response to that so far
I've long (or short) shown you mine - your turn now
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM

Jim's right..

everyone else is wrong and should be ashamed of themselves..

ok.. got it...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 09:43 AM

"like the composition of my bellybutton fluff."
You have as high an opinion of folk song as you do for old people Jack
well done you
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM

Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary

I don't suppose I'd get many replies if I posted as often about something comparably interesting, like the composition of my bellybutton fluff.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 09:13 AM

I am totally appalled at the level this has sunk to with its ageist and personal insulting
I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody - would that everybody had doe the same

Vic
If we can't compare what is happening now to what has happened in the past and what we believe could and perhaps should happen - in essence - putting the present scene in its context - then there is little point debating at all other than to say how great things are - there are more than enough sites fro doing that- "thread drift" is usually an escape hatch for those with no answers, in my exerience
Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary

Hoot
Elliot was handing leaflets out at the Guthrie Benefit Concert in 1962 - the year Seeger's sentence was quashed - I can't remember if I had joined the Spinners club then - it was nearly sixty years ago
I still have that leaflet

PFR
Your working class background does you proud - it's a pity it's nort reflected in your attitude towards an extremely important part of working class creative culture
You appear to regard working people like me who indulge in the study of that culture as dogs walking on their hind legs
a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..Shame on you

Jack's ageism is beneath deserving an answer
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 09:00 AM

Allan
Online resources for playing, discovering and sharing music.
Yes.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 08:14 AM

Apologies that should read 25 in the whole of Scotland and half a club in the Borders


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM

I've got to agree with Howard the number of clubs stated does sound far too few if comparing it on a local level. If there are only 300 in the whole of GB (ie Scotland, England and Wales) then by using percentage of population there should only be 12 in the whole of Scotland. The Scottish Borders only consists on 2% of the Scottish population so there should be only a quarter of a folk club. There are of course far more than that. Here in the central Borders three long establised clubs spring straight to mind. My own at Kelso as well as Denholm and the Rolling Hills in Melrose. Add to that there are other regular sessions etc which are maybe not quite so organised along club lines. There are regular song sessions in Hawick, Duns, Selkirk, Yetholm and Morebattle. There are trad mostly tune sessions again here in Kelso as well as Jedburgh. There are regular more small concert type nights in St Boswells, Selkirk and Hawick. This isn't taking into account any clubs or sessions over in the far west or far east of the region.

Likewise as to how people access their music. I love going to the club but it is clear there are lots of people who enjoy folk music who don't go regularly, if at all, to the clubs. There are great online resources for playing music, for discovering music and for sharing music with others.

I use all of the above methods and personally would miss my weekly live club sessions but I also appreciate how others get their music differently.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM

ps.. In my post late last night I was specifically focusing on the general cultural concept of 'clubs'..

I deliberately avoided mentioning 'folk clubs'...

The post before that, I considered whether this thread topic
should even be monopolised by discussion about folk clubs..

Seems some folks just can't help filtering the world through their own entrenched bias...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:56 AM

Jim - you seem to make the same mistake someone else did yesterday..
Taking light hearted off the cuff words of mine too literally,
and then going off on a rant with them...

But having said that,
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM
is a prime example of why you are one of my favourite mudcatters..
and also one of our most prickly

Remember, I'm from a working class council estate.
My dad was a factory machine operative, and shop steward.
My mum a cleaner and care worker
She had also been a member of the Labour League of Youth,
and both were idealistic young lefties in the 1950s..
It's their belief in the power of education that got me to grammar school and off the estate.

Despite the fact I am from a region that was source for Cecil Sharpe,
folk music did not exist to any degreee in my upbringing.

Our working class culture was the factory social club and pop covers bands..
and the telly..
Real authentic provincial 1960s and 70s working class culture.
It was grammar school and 6th form college that got me into the town library,
where I found shelves of folk LPs.

As much as you tend to belittle hobbyist clubs,
they have always been of immense importance in working class self education and pride.
School hobby clubs enpowered me to at least care enough about learning to be selected for the best state school in the area..
[rights and wrongs of grammar schools ought be another thread..]

My list was off the top of my head late at night,
and nothing like a serious academic treatise.
But you seem to take it to heart and respond as if it was.
I could have included working men's pigeon clubs and competetive vegetable clubs...
You can be sure those blokes are just as passionate as you about their committment to their life's interest,
and that their clubs are possibly better symbols of working class pride,
than the average posh village folk club.

It was school hobbies that shaped us as people..
and adult hobbies that gave us sense of individuality and status..
Jim, you are a power house of the working class cultural history and music movement,
which is why I admire you.
But you unjustly underestimate the value of other folk's interests and activities, and popular entertainment.

That's why I interact with you the way I do.
A mix of respect and irritation..
If I wind you up occasionally, it's out of friendly mischief, not malice.
Same as I'd do with difficult old opinionated mates in a social club...

Btw.. the humble traditionl working men's clubs and social clubs,
which some pundits say are also living on borrowed time,
mean more to my life than urban middle class folk clubs..
That's just the way it is..
So, I don't take well to patronising put downs on our real working class culture
as it's actually lived in our contemporary era...

..and yes that does include well pissed up kareoke nights,
where ordinary working folks have a great time letting off steam,
and showing off there singing skills for the enjoyment of their friends and strangers...
One old bloke is an excellent 1950s style crooner.
It's probably the highlight of his week and perks his life up a bit...
I'd rather spend a night out in their company than with a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..

That's if I could actually afford to go out drinking anymore...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM

It's still a hobby, Jim. Every passionate hobbyist in the world is convinced that their own particular passion is the most important. From preserving railways to LARP, everyone will make the same arguments as you. And do you want me to quote Bill Shankley on the importance of football? All you are doing by saying your own hobby is more important than theirs is alienating a lot of people and giving the impression that you think their passion is worthless.

As to Yoy were somewhat disparaging about the idea of talking for a day on folk song

Was I? Just when and where was that? Once again you are arguing against what you think I said rather than against what I actually did say.

Anyway. As I believe I did say, many moons ago. You believe there is something rotten in the state of folk. I, and many others, don't. You left for greener fields. We stayed to enjoy what we have. Win-win situation. We all have what we want. These discussions are interesting but will never achieve anything.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM

On the latest post reporting on the current state of folk music in the Republic of Ireland we read:

"I picked up a leaflet for a Pete Seeger Benefit Concert - he had been sntenced to ten one year sentences by the House Un-American Activities Committee"

Jim, have you got this right? I believe you have stated that you first got into the music courtesy of The Liverpool Spinners in 1960.

If that is correct then your memory isn't.

Pete Seeger had had his travel restrictions lifted and as a result was able to appear in London in concert on 4th October 1959. The concert was promoted by Ballads & Blues. It is quite possible that he also came to Liverpool but presumably at this time you were still enjoying Max Bygraves.

Peggy and Ewan were in the audience and can be heard on the recordings made and issued by Doug Dobell.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:27 AM

Absolutely agree with Vic Smith about people using streaming and to let others hear their songs. Soundcloud and lots of others. And if we define folk songs as songs composed by 'the people', as is sometimes done, then you will find a lot of it online.

Also would add a questions 3) to Vic's list that I feel I am not the only one who much prefers long posts to be proof-read and therefore is it not in the interests of people with an idea to convey to do this in the clearest way ie in reasonably well crafted prose?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:17 AM

None of this would have been possible without a club scene and it would be a crying shame to see the generations that come after us deprived of this by being condemned to life sentences of staring at little screens

The average age of the people involved in this folk-based event would be a bit under 30. I don't think there's much screen time involved in it. And even less time sitting around listening to twisted old guys whining.

https://beltane.org/beltane-fire-festival-2019/

Maybe Valmai can chip in about the bonfire societies in Lewes, which are along the same lines. As are the Mari Lwyd events in Wales which Mick Tems here used to play a big role in.

Would they be miffed by having it described as a hobby? I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 07:16 AM

I have suggested elsewhere that the figures in that wikipedia article are highly suspect. There is no mention of how they were arrived at. My recollection from when I started going to folk clubs in the late 60s and early 70s is that there were at least a dozen clubs within a 20 or 30 minute drive. Scaling up over the whole county, and even allowing for the more rural areas, that would suggest that 10%-15% of folk clubs were in Essex alone, which I don't find remotely credible. Similarly, when I look at the number of clubs in my region today the wikipedia figure looks like an underestimate.

Folk clubs are pretty special. I can't think of many other situations where amateurs get to perform alongside professionals, or where both floorsingers and general audience are able to easily meet with and talk to their heroes. However none of the clubs I went to, over 20 years and in many different parts of the country, were anything other than places of entertainment. I can't think of any which regularly held discussions or workshops. Of course people chatted about music in the intervals, as well as the other usual topics of conversation, but the clubs of my experience were not centres of education.

However folk clubs are not the only place to listen to or perform folk music. To focus solely on the clubs while ignoring or dismissing all the other options is to gain a false impression of the true state of folk music today.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 06:27 AM

Jim,
Could I politely ask you to re-read through your long post at 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM and then answer these two questions?

1] Is there one word in that post which deals with the subject of this thread which is The current state of folk music in UK?

2] Is there one point or statement in that post in that list of your life experiences in this music that we have not read previously, some of them many times, on the Mudcat Café?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 06:19 AM

Much more than that Dave
If you are serious about your subject you don't have any spare time, for a start - it becomes an extenstion of your life
These are PFR accuriate lists of hobbies
Pets club, cycle club, angling club, stamp collectors club, war gamers club, model rail club, D&D club, etc..
A far cry from how I - and many others regard folk song
Yoy were somewhat disparaging about the idea of talking for a day on folk song
On Saturday we did just that, had a meal and then spent four hours listening to and singing the type of songs we'd been talking about
John Moulden gave a stunning talk on collector Sam Henry and later went and sang about shipwerecks
Maurice Leyden spoke on Belfast Mill Songs and then sang |about them
Fergus Woods talked on Monoghan Songs and then sang them
I talked about Irish Child Ballads and later sang a MacColl song about Navvies and one about A Liverpudlian escaping enlistment in the English army
A perfect end to a perfect day and a massive ruch of adrenaline thrown in for good measure
I came home with a bundle of promises I have to fulfill to share our collection with what will eventually be over a dozen singers, some of them starters out
If you think that's hobbyism, then we live in different Universes
That's the club scene at its best, as I remember it - room for a wide spectrum of all levels on involvement

I have no intention of being part of degenerating this still very promising discussion into one of semantics, by the way - I suggest you look ad PFR's list again
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 05:36 AM

A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time, not professionally and not for pay

Most of us are, therefore, hobbyists.It has always been thus, Jim. Even in golden era of the folk club. Why does the truth depress you?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 05:09 AM

Jim, but most of us are hobbyists.
I'm beginning to gather that Dave and find that very depressing
Read it Jim.
Nobody needs hobbies in the age of the computer - we have a little screen that does everything for us
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:56 AM

Ah, fuck it. I tried to explain, I tried to be nice, and what do you get ?
Enjoy your folk clubs. I'll carry on with the music somewhere else, and also stop wasting my time on "Mudcat Cafe".


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:49 AM

...and I hate to break it to you, Jim, but most of us are hobbyists. Aside from professional artists and the handful that make a living from folk academia, none of us are reliant on folk songs for our living. It is a passtime, an entertainment and even an education but so is keeping the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway open. So is enacting civil war battles. So is watching football. No matter how passionate you are about it, to most of us folk song is a hobby.


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