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The current state of folk music in UK

Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 19 - 03:46 AM
r.padgett 23 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 08:59 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 08:15 PM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 19 - 06:43 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 19 - 04:38 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Joe G 22 Oct 19 - 03:33 PM
Vic Smith 22 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 02:57 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Joe G 22 Oct 19 - 01:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Oct 19 - 01:34 PM
Iains 22 Oct 19 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Peter 22 Oct 19 - 01:21 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 01:13 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 19 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,JoeG 22 Oct 19 - 12:11 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 19 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 22 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 22 Oct 19 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 22 Oct 19 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Starship 22 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM
Iains 22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,JoeG 22 Oct 19 - 10:11 AM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 09:54 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 19 - 09:38 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 19 - 09:30 AM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Guest 22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM
punkfolkrocker 22 Oct 19 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 22 Oct 19 - 08:40 AM
Iains 22 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Oct 19 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Peter 22 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Oct 19 - 07:22 AM
Howard Jones 22 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 22 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,guest 22 Oct 19 - 04:36 AM
Iains 22 Oct 19 - 04:08 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM

Read it Jim. Nowhere does it say we don't need clubs. Are you sure we speak the same language?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM

we don't need clubs
Read through all the arguments Dave - you don't have to go back further than PFR's four postings up
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM

"Do clubs still matter to that extent any more these days..??"
Thye don't if you reduce the Songs of the Peiople to "hobbyist' and place it next to "pets" and "stamp collecting" PFR
I've never ever come across it placed in that category
I came onto the scene looking for alternative entertainment too Max Bygraves and Ricky Nelson - I was immediatly swept up in the tidal wave of what folk song was really about
The first concert I ever attended was a benefit raiser in a posh Liverpool Hall, by Rambling Jack Elliot for the then dying Woodie Guthrie, who carried his guitar into war against Hitler bearing the slogan "This machine kills fascists"
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
I joined The Spinnrs Club - somewhat bland and over-friendly in the view of an apprentice electrician working on the docks, but the experience, but their singing of anti Apartheid and Ban the Bomb songs immediately got me to realise that, while these songs were very entertaining, they were much much more than that
Topic Records were pouring out records about people just like me - seamen, soldiers and factory workers and when I met Ewan and Peggy I realised that songs such as these went back centuries and operated as a voice for people on the same social level
I listened to and saw Dominic Behan sing songs about a week-long event in Dublin that sent the many-centuries old British Empire crashing about its ears
All this happened in the "hobbyist" clubs that were set up to give youngsters like me a voice of our own, to listen to songs about our forefathers, and and to encourage us to song them ourselves
I wouldn't have got that in the West Liverpool Goldfish Association in Speke
Later I met Lomax, who had toured the Texas prisons taking songs from black Convicts and Charles Seeger who, with his wife Ruth, helped introduce American youth to their heritage duruing Roosevelt's 'New Deal' project

I met Pat and we plunged into recording singers from the lower echelons of society - the despised Tinkers - we took them to folk clubs so others could meet them - we even to three singers, storytellers and musicians to the somewhat starchy Cecil Sharp house and sat them in front of an audience of young people to hear them sing play and tell stories and - most important of all - to swap their knowledge, skills and personal experiences with each other and the listeners - all carried out under folk-club conditions
Those clubs lasted for decades and allowed us to explore our songs and via them, our backgrounds (mine Liverpool post famine Irish, Pat's Anglo Scots) though the songs we listened to and weer able to sing - at the "hobbyist" folk clubs
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 - not if I can help prevent it by making myself a pain in the arse to those who advocate on behalf of shuch inhuman life-sentences

I've got a clear enough view if the state of folk music in the UK, if the opinions of a small handful of people who post here are anything to go by - it's been betrayed and sold back to to the predatory Music Industry we managed to escape from all those years ago
The history of the British Folk Scene is beginning to read like THIS HISTORIC SERIES
Hobbyist - really ???
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 03:46 AM

Jim, as far as I can see no-one has said we don't need clubs apart from the above guest who has apologised and explained and PFR who was playing devil's advocate. Nor has anyone said that 180 (sic) clubs is the sign of a healthy club scene. If they have, I suggest that you link where they said it.

As far as I can see the vast majority on here have said they can attend folk clubs in their areas very easily. No indication that they are not needed.

It was me who first introduced that wiki article (many years ago it seems) to point out that it says that clubs declined through changing social and musical trends and the decline stopped in the mid 90s with a resurgence of interest.

The figures in the article, seeing as it is you that keeps quoting them, are over 300 in Britain in the mid 1960s down to over 160 whenever the article was published in the 2000s. Whether the figures are right is disputed but the trend indicates an almost 50% reduction. Whatever the actual number, it seems to be plenty enough to satisfy current requirements.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM

I believe and know to some extent that clubs do meet and have regulars and guest booking policies ~ best is either a sole enterprise or a well run and set up committee! all have pitfalls

Note that clubs are not necessarily all Concert clubs who predominantly book guests and have a wide remit of choice, good for the professionals

Sessions to my mind are different: Mixed sessions instruments, melodeons largely with strings and reeds also and songs usually chorusy ~ or just music sessions of course

Workshops usually attracting up and comers in specific types of instrument, or song

Unaccompanied song sessions with harmony type ideas

Do students bother to read any of these postings?

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 08:59 PM

I wonder if the entire notion of hobbyist clubs is on the wane..

When I was at school from the early 60s to mid 70s
clubs were very much part of the fabric of our lives.
Pets club, cycle club, angling club, stamp collectors club, war gamers club, model rail club, D&D club, etc...

All actively encouraged and supported by school and parents..

Do clubs still matter to that extent any more these days..??
Are they a fading reminder of past cultural pursuits and social structures..???

Some clubs for adults do seem to be thriving locally,
but what they get up to behind closed doors is best not mentioned here.
They are an open secret seemingly tolerated by the town council and the police.
As long as any folk instruments they may use are thoroughly washed afterwards...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 08:15 PM

"I apologised, and amended my statement "WE don't need folkclubs" - which referred to where I am musically and geographically "
The argument has been "we don't need folk clubs" has been a long-running and all encompassing one for a long time now - your saying it was a latecomer into these discussions - it's become the mantra of a dying folk scene
We've had alternatives like concerts and festivals, the internet; and excuses like "folk is no longer relevant" or whataboutism like, "look at what's happening on the music scene in general
Anything but "what can we do to put things right, or even, "is the music worth putting things right for
I don't want apologies - I would like to know what people think
Instead we get insults about alchoholism and typos and snideswipes from the feller who presented 180 odd clubs a sign iof a healthy scene
I think the music is far more important to be sunk under this nastiness and indifference and I have yet to see a single suggestion of how the music willl draw in newe people, as it has in Ireland, without starting at the bottom and rebuilding the foundation it once had

I know the music still has the power to create a buzz among a mixture of experienced veterans and young people - it will be a long time before how it worked on Saturday - I can't see urban Belfast being that much different to London or Manchester or Liverpool
For me, the music is worth it

Dave
The Singers ran steadily till Ewan died - it ran on a little later until Peggy went back to the states
Ftar Peggy got over Ewan's death she played to a packed audience at another club in Hamstead before se reopened The Singers - there was never the lingering demise due to a loss of direction or enthusiasm
In its history, the clubs had a few 'thin' nights but mostly enjoyable comfortably attended ones, because people knew they would hear the music that it carried on its label
In the summer months it became a sort of Mecca for folk lovers from all over the world - particularly the States, but plenty of other places
The residents used to argue that they were committed to presenting w reasonable night whether twent or two hundred were in the audience
If got recordings of club nights where you could walk on the atmosphere - with ewaan and Peggy, or the others

For them, the music was worth it
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 06:43 PM

How do people involved in folk music ever find the time to go to folk clubs?

Wednesdays, I've been going a session of some sort for years, currently a "multifolk" one where all kinds of stuff happens. That's Edinburgh Folk Club out (and they do often have good guests).

Thursdays, Middle Eastern band practice. That's my village folk club out (ten minutes walk away but I haven't been there in 15 years).

Tuesdays, klezmer session - not every week but often enough that I've hardly ever been to Leith Folk Club (which can also have good acts).

I do occasionally get to sessions at weekends (not much this summer with either Middle Eastern gigs or drumming on Scottish independence marches) but midweek is when clubs meet.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM

Just a reminder of the title of this thread...

anyone notice the word "clubs" in it...???

Now as much as clubs were/are important to the folks they are important to...

We were asked to discuss UK folk music in 2019,
not just fixate on one restricted aspect of it...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 04:38 PM

Jim - I apologised, and amended my statement "WE don't need folkclubs" - which referred to where I am musically and geographically - to "I [ personally ] don't need folk clubs". It may have been presumptious of me to speak for the other musicians whom I regularly play traditional music with, but it is an undeniable fact, that very few of them have felt the need or desire to set foot in any of the local folk clubs for many years, in some cases, never. You, and nobody else here are in a position to refute that statement, so I would humbly ask you to believe me, and accept it as the truth.
But please, it is at least disingenuous of you to bring this quote up again when I have corrected it. I was speaking solely for myself. I don't think I can be any clearer, or more honest, than that


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM

I know where the fixation on numbers came from. The article in Wikipedia about folk clubs that says

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends. In London Les Cousins in Greek Street, where John Renbourn often played, and The Scots Hoose in Cambridge Circus, were both casualties.[13] The Singers Club (George IV, Lincoln's Inn) closed its doors in 1993.

The decline began to stabilise in the mid-1990s with the resurgence of interest in folk music and there are now over 160 folk clubs in the United Kingdom, including many that can trace their origins back to the 1950s


Whoever is fixating on the number is completely missing the point about the decline being down to changing musical and social trends and now stabilising.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 03:33 PM

Very good points Vic. Totally agree. Many of the younger bands & artists who perform traditional material eg Lankum, Jon Boden, Jim Moray, are being heard in a wide range of venues and being discovered by non folkies through You Tube, Spotify etc


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM

Jim -
Tousands of others did the same - that's when the clubs started to disappear, as did the shops, record labels magazines and everything that went with them
We are down to a tiny handful of magazines - no shops few labels


You are describing specifically the folk scene but actually, you are also describing a malaise that exists over all the minority musics and a good part of the Indie and mainstream rock scene. You might add the severe decline in pubs and small music venues and the fact that many festivals, folk and mainstream, are having to look way beyond their purely music content to satisfy today's tastes. You try to ignore the fact that this is a societal not a folk scene only situation. Actually the folk scene is better structured than most to cope with the and well attended song sessions and tune sessions and mixed sessions are thriving as never before because of the high participatory and low or no financial elements. If you lived here you would see these changes for yourself. "No shops few labels" - this is because so many people make their own releases and the sales of digital downloads outstrip the declining CD and vinyl sales.

It has been said by me and others before but I'll say it once more. Fixating on the number of folk clubs does not help because the scene is much more varied, more diverse than you claim. Folk song and music is welcome in many non-specialist venues and in many ways is much healthier than inside the folk ghetto.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM

it's beside the point if folk song clubs aren't needed, as is being argued"

Jim - if you are refering to me..

I've made it explicitly clear I was playing devil's advocate..

part seriously, part in response to other mudcatters ingrained prejudices...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 02:57 PM

"Petty squabbles don't help debate."
Tell those specialise who hurling insults
I just tried to put it into context
"little jimmie you are being a pain, Behave!"
You've been warned above the line - not sure what they can do about your behaviour up here, but you seem to have more friends (not difficult as you have none down below)
"I am not sure how you would count folk clubs in a realistic manner."
I assume they do so by counting those who choose 'folk' in their job description - whether singaround or residents/guests/ floor-singers set ups
As I said earlier, it's beside the point if folk song clubs aren't needed, as is being argued

We had a superb night at a folk-based evening on Saturday - not a bad singer or out-of place song all night (I think I was the only one to sing a non-folk song all evening and I had three requests for the words of it at the end)
Mixture of ages, including half a dozen English visitors from the TSF conference, and half-a-dozen relatively new-to-the-scene singers, mainly women, who were singing like veterans - the whole evening unaccompanied
They had to drive us out at twelve, but I'm told some of the singers draged out musical instruments and joined in the trad session till three in the morning
I got six requests to be linked to my PCloud box by singers looking for new material
THe secrat seems to be that the organiser has been running workshops aimed at drwing in new blood

Bit of a let-down to come home to comments on typos, personal insults and accusations of insobriety
I'd rather the people here lerned from those I met than Saturday's singing crowd learned from the nastiness here
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM

Joe G - It's too tempting to paraphrase myself [..ooer.. mrs...]

"But I stand resolutely alongside any Labour voters I may have petty disagreements with,
when it comes to ending the survival of our tory government...
"

well.. nowt wrong with a bit of self indulgent solidarity on a miserable overcast Tuesday evening...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:39 PM

Can we continue with the assumption hatchets are buried? Most posts here have been friendly and interesting. Petty squabbles don't help debate. As pfr says the great majority of us are on the same side (though possibly in the way that Labour supporters like me are ;-). I assume we all want to see traditional music survive but have different views on how that is best achieved


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:34 PM

There are more than 100 listed in Tykes News and over 40 in Folk North West. Just out of interest. Perhaps the 130 refers only to clubs that conform to the 1954 definition? ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:24 PM

We already have our resident one of those
little jimmie you are being a pain, Behave!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:21 PM


" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them ?

By my reconing that puts about 20% of the country's folk clubs within Greater London. But then how are you defining a "folk club"? When does a guest booking club turn into a "concert" and when does a singers club turn into an informal singaround?

I am not sure how you would count folk clubs in a realistic manner. There is no central reguister not every county still has a folk association (Ex EFDSS district) that could provide figures.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM

"Jim Carroll in an usually calm and proof-read mode."
I have always believe that people who regularly indulge in childish insulting such as this while at the same to=ime leaps on the rarest chair screaling "insult" at the faintest hint of a challenge to their statements is a sign of limited intelligence
We already have our resident one of those
Can we assume that, now I am back to defend myself we've seen the back of this childish behaviour that is more in the schoolyard pseud
Pack it in eh, there's a good lad !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:13 PM

The thing to remember is that we are all* here because of our enthusiasm and repect for 'folk' music..

[* discounting a minority of politically motivated 'trolls'...]

That is what unites us as being on the same side..

I personally prefer 'trad folk' to singer songwriters..
I personally, for whatever reasons in my history, do not go to folk clubs;
though I do support the need for them to exist for as long as other folks want them..
I personally prefer some types of music to most UK folk..
I personally have more emotional engagement with the sound of the music and singers, than the words of old songs..
I personally think electricity is a good thing..

We are not all the same, or here for the same homogenous reasons...

But I stand resolutely alongside any mudcatters I may have petty disagreements with,
when it comes to continuing the survival of our trad music...


.. Right then, who fancies a gratuitous squabble about anything most folks don't give a toss about....


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM

" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them"
I was shocked some time ago to be told there were 180 and to be told that that was propf of a healthy scene
Since then, the wiki article has dropped the number to 130
This has been on offer in during these arguments for a few months now and nobody has challenged it to date, so I assume that people are fine wiith that
The argument seems to have turned to "We don't need folk clubs"
Please try to keep up
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM

" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them ?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM

May as well get the misinformation out of the way first
"Also ironic that Jim is insisting on the need to 'actively participate' in folk music when a) as far as I am aware he is not and has never been a musician, and "
I have been a singer for over fifty years -
I started by accompanying myself but never thought I was good enough
so I worked with a friend for about two decades
Since moving to Ireland I have settled on unaccompanied singing, first out of necessity, later because I found I preferred it
Totally immaterial anyway - it is sheer elitism to suggest that a listener can't have as good an understanding as does a performer
In my opinion many of them have a far greater grasp of many of the singers I have listened to and thought "Someone needs to tell him/her....."

" Jim Carroll has in the past stated that when he goes to folk clubs he expects to hear traditional music but not popsongs and presumably he now no longer wants to go to folk clubs because he believes that he cannot hear the music he wants to hear in them "
I've sort of said that Dick =- I actually said that I stopped going to clubs when I found my self not hearing anything that resembles one
Tousands of others did the same - that's when the clubs started to disappear, as did the shops, record labels magazines and everything that went with them
We are down to a tiny handful of magazines - no shops few labels - and 130 folk clubs
I also made the point that I didn't believe folk clubs were the place for pop songs -
I don'r suppose there are many pop fans who would appreciate being given unaccompanied ballads if they turned up to hear their chosen music
Maybe ours isn't as important to us as theirs if to them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:37 PM

like JIM,I do not want to go to folk clubs to hear pop songs, if people want to play pop songs in an acoustic manner call it an acoustic music club.but do not expect me to be there
I HAVE PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AT MY GIGS AND SAY HOW NICE IT IS TO HEAR TRAD SONGS and VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE SINGING THEM,you can draw whatever conclusion you like from that but that is my experience


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:11 PM

I'm glad you like Reg's song Starship - he has many others which are well worth a listen - as you say he has a stunning voice to. Reg is well worth seeing live - as is Joe Solo who is possibly the most passionate performer of any I have ever known


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:07 PM

"I'm also thinking that perhaps he was not fully sobered up before posting some recent contributions"
Lot oto read here but I'll start by aking why people feel so insecure that they feel they have toyo be so f**** rude
Grow up Pseud - I've suggested you do before now - you don't seem to have reached adulthood so far
If you can't answer arguments, ignore than please
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM

Iains - so, hardly a massive catalogue of songs about Vietnam, considering the pop output during the period of the war. Also, a number of them have only a tenuous link to say the least. This is not a criticism of pop music or the quality of pop music. There are some great songs in that list.

On the whole, pop is not equipped to deal with issues in depth - that's not the function of pop.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:42 AM

"Is it better to say 'person of obesity' than 'obese person'? I'm asking for a fat c**nt"


That's a quote (presumably some will find it funny) from a modern roots music web site featuring self written music. Pro freedom of speech. Determined to say what they like. People who hate hate speech, they say, simply 'hate speech'. Pictures of tongues in barbed wire to make their points.

Written by somebody definitely 'one of the people'. About politics, certainly. Lots of it in the first person.

So be careful what you wish for.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:33 AM

So when Jim posts I always have in mind that he and Lloyd and MacColl were in fact a type of 'agit prop'. And Jim seems to me to be trying to continue in this vein, though for me he is as likely to alienate those he is trying to reach as to persuade them. Don't assume that 'the folk' will produce nice lefty stuff in line with Marxist views about base and superstructure and progress towards a classless society is what I am saying or even with liberal views about what the poor/weak/exploited will write. Folk music as in "the dream" is and let us be very clear about this under serious threat by a right backlash, anti minority, anti feminist (when a lot of the folk world hasn't even caught up with 2nd wave feminism).

Humph!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM

JoeG: that is a beautiful and powerful song. Thanks for posting the link to it. It tells a story and touches the heart of social protest like so many others in the pantheon of this thing called folk. He has one dynamite voice, too.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM

Pop songs are predominantly about love and romance and almost always in the first person. Love and relationships in folk songs can be first of third person and often include developed plots. But folk songs also cover the themes of travel, food and drink, immigration, law and order and crime, separation, war, politics, class struggle, work and unemployment etc, etc. In pop songs, where these themes are touched upon they are few and far between and seldom with any depth or enlightenment. There are seldom any good stories in pop songs that will stand the test of time.

Songs vietnam war
Fortunate Son
Creedence Clearwater Revival · 1969
For What It Is Worth
Buffalo Springfield · 1966
Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire · 2016
We Gotta Get out of This Place
The Animals · 1965
The “Fish” Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag
Country Joe and the Fish · 1967
Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones · 1969
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Pete Seeger
Paint It Black
The Rolling Stones · 1966
War
Edwin Starr · 1970
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
The Byrds · 1965
Hello Vietnam
Johnnie Wright
A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
Bob Dylan · 1963
Give Peace a Chance
Plastic Ono Band · 1969
Goodnight Saigon
Billy Joel · 1982
Ohio
Crosby, Stills & Nash · 1971
Masters Of War
Bob Dylan · 1963
Run Through the Jungle
Creedence Clearwater Revival · 1970
I Ain't Marching Anymore
Phil Ochs · 1965
Draft Morning
The Byrds · 1968
Riders On The Storm
The Doo

or from Oz
"Only 19" is the most widely recognised song by Australian folk group Redgum. The song was released in March 1983 as a single, which hit number one on the national Kent Music Report Singles Chart for two weeks
or from South Africa
Fernando by Abba was adopted by troops involved in the Angolan bush war and had a lot of airtime in country.

Difficult to say how American troops reacted to the songs above. I have worked with many Americans who served in Vietnam. Not one of them would ever speak about it.
Pop song or folk song? Sometimes the boundaries are blurred and dictated more by personal experience than scholastic endeavour.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM

I agree with the remark made by Jack Campin in the first part of his last post. Indeed, I had framed a reply to the post by Captain Swing, but didn't bother to post it. I wondered whether Captain Swing was in fact Jim Carroll in an usually calm and proof-read mode.

People ought to engage with music on the internet, not least because I am aware of local music-makers who make up songs giving far-right perspectives and post them on sites with a lot more far-right stuff, Breitbart-type inspired 'libertarianism', often anti-Islamaphobic to boot. That is grassroots 'folk music' if anything is, and not consumed passively or intended to be, but intended to persuade. We get links to US far-right stuff stated by the Southern Law Poverty Centre to be 'hate speech' posted on local music pages. So don't assume grass roots song making is dead, and don't assume none of it is online and don't assume it will be forgotten soon. Some of these youngsters didn't grow up as we did in the shadow of WWII and, it appears, cannot see why oldies make such as fuss about them being far right. This dreamy fantasy about 'the people' producing lefty/liberal (in the nice sense not the tea party libertarian anti social democracy sense) songs is nice, tempting, but potentially dangerous.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 10:11 AM

Joe Solo and Reg Meuross to name but two artists I saw this weekend are writing songs on similar issues pfr :-) Reg sang his song 'Faraway People' which is the possibly the most poignant song demonstrating the tragic impacts of austerity on people. A folk song if ever there was one - in my opinion of course!
Reg Meuross - Far Away People


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:54 AM

Dick - no problems...

Mudcat spats are light relief compared to the daily real life problems and fights
us ordinary folk have to contend with..

Will there eventually be trad folk songs concerning the trials and tribulations
of claiming social care benefits for aging parents under a tory governmnent...???

Or buying and fitting expensive key safes
that a child could easily break into within minutes..???
That the key safe industry must surely be aware of..
fer instance...

Agreed, there aren't that many pop songs written on such topics..

But punk bands would tackle these mundane domestic 'folk' issues...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:38 AM

PFR,I disagree with a comment you made , i explained why i disagreed with it, you can make what you like of that ,that is your problem.
guest guest, I consider some of the work of Alan Smethurst to be good well written songs , i have no problem with them being sung in folk clubs.,I THINK THEY ARE WRITTEN IN A FOLK STYLE.
However i do not want to hear Elvis songs, when i go to a folk club, unlike Jim, I do not think that is why folk clubs are in decline, HOWEWVER it would put me off from attending a folk club, it is not what i want to hear, if i go to a classical concert i expect to hear classical music not country and western
i think there are a number of other reasons, why folk clubs are in decline
whether pop songs will become folk songs is debatable ,but should have another thread.
I HAVE EXPLAINED MY POINT OF VIEW ,I HAVE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW INCLUDING WORK ON PREPARING A FOLK FESTIVAL SO GOOD BYE FOR THE TIME BEING


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:30 AM

What genre something belongs to and how good it is are unrelated questions. Saying the difference between folk songs and pop songs is that folk songs are better is just going to make you look an idiot if you're trying persuade people to listen to folk music.

It also make you an embarrassment to anybody else today who is trying to get people to listen to folk music of some sort. "Before you can appreciate what I'm trying to get you to listen to, you have to agree with me that Ed Sheeran is crap" - fuck that.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM

Dick -
Did I actually suggest Hobgoblin should surrender their accounts to the folk authorities..

No of course not...!!!

So stop making such an exagerated fuss taking it so literally..

I merely made a quick off the cuff generalised remark indicating a POSSIBLE
practical line of evidence in considering the state of UK folk...

Hobgoblin being possibly the primary shop of interest beginner folk musicians...

I can suspect 2 reasons why you are making such a meal of it,
and so can most other mudcatters used to your personality...

So please give it a rest...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM

Howard,
       I asked Dick the question in view of his statement on Buddy and Elvis songs, because he sings Molly Windley.
I, like you see little harm in the odd song or two of a non folky nature
if they are well performed and well received. A little variety is a change.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 09:02 AM

Dick - so you are still carrying your ages old petty grudge over into any thread you find me in...

Get over yourself and stop playing the victim.. yet again...

Now, let's consider this.. which one of us is habitually most grumpy, and starting fights in threads...???

Which one of us habitually starts fights then blames the person they pick on,
whilst then playing the victim...?????

Which one of us is nearly always in good humour and friendly,
though sometimes a little too irreverent and sarcastic...???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 08:40 AM

The notion that the pop songs of today will become the folk songs of the future is spurious. It suggests that folk songs and old songs are interchangeable - they are not. Pop songs differ from folk songs in many ways, not least in the range of themes they cover. Pop songs are predominantly about love and romance and almost always in the first person. Love and relationships in folk songs can be first of third person and often include developed plots. But folk songs also cover the themes of travel, food and drink, immigration, law and order and crime, separation, war, politics, class struggle, work and unemployment etc, etc. In pop songs, where these themes are touched upon they are few and far between and seldom with any depth or enlightenment. There are seldom any good stories in pop songs that will stand the test of time.

By the way, I like pop music and was a massive Beatles fan. The Fab Four were not folkies though!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM

The hoary handed sons of the soil are too busy driving tractors and those on the shop floor terrorised by time and motion experts so where does modern folk music originate? Is it now a fossil genre or has the medium and it's proponents changed?
It either has to be one or the other.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 07:55 AM

Sorry my last post did not make it clear that I disagree with those who believe that broadening the range is a bad thing.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM

That sounds like Ernie the singing bus conductor Howard. I remember him a few years earlier at Brentwood before he retired. He would sing Hev You Gotta Loit Boy or the theme song from the Beverley Hillbillies. I think he had a third song but I can't remember what it was.

The decline of that club was down to the pub going downhill after the druggies were thrown out of the High Street pubs and moved there rather than with his floor spots.

My experience is that the use of contemporary popular music in clubs followed on from the general decline in the 70s rather than being a cause of it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 07:22 AM

all 'folk' in the wider meaning

Isn't that the big bone of contention though, Howard? I agree with you but there are those who would say that there is no wider meaning. It is the inclusion of a broad range of music that has destroyed the 1950s folk club.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

"So where does Molly Windley by the singing postman fit in a folk club Dick"

This makes me think of a regular at a singers' club I went to in the 1970s. He was probably in his 60s or 70s - maybe average age for folk clubs now, but then it was considerably older than most of the rest of the audience. He sang unaccompanied and had only had a few songs, and this was one of them. It was always well received, and why not? No one pretended it was a genuine folk song, and anyway in the course of an evening you expect to hear a broad range of music which was all 'folk' in the wider meaning, including plenty of traditional song.

It was a great club where I made a lot of friends and learned a lot about singing and performing, and most importantly had a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM

what we now consider 'folk song' was the pop song of its' day

No it wasn't. Look at some Victorian or Georgian popular music publications. The only (small) part of them to have survived in folk tradition are those that started off as folksongs anyway.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 04:36 AM

" if people want elvis or buddy holly why dont they clear off and watch am n ELVIS or buddy holly tribute band"

So where does Molly Windley by the singing postman fit in a folk club Dick


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 22 Oct 19 - 04:08 AM

Most of those posting from the UK suggest folk is quite healthy. Those who do not live in the UK say UK folk is in a dismal state. Who to believe?
This thread has the same arguments played out by the same people as one earlier in the year:

uk folk clubs high standard. It would be best just to agree to disagree.


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