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The current state of folk music in UK

GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Nov 19 - 02:56 PM
Joe G 27 Nov 19 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Modette 27 Nov 19 - 02:23 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 27 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 19 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Nov 19 - 09:56 AM
r.padgett 27 Nov 19 - 09:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM
Iains 27 Nov 19 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Nov 19 - 07:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Nov 19 - 07:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 19 - 06:57 AM
GUEST 27 Nov 19 - 04:59 AM
Iains 27 Nov 19 - 03:43 AM
r.padgett 27 Nov 19 - 03:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Nov 19 - 02:38 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 19 - 08:18 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 19 - 08:15 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Nov 19 - 03:14 PM
Vic Smith 26 Nov 19 - 03:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Nov 19 - 02:24 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Nov 19 - 02:17 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Nov 19 - 02:02 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 19 - 01:50 PM
r.padgett 26 Nov 19 - 12:50 PM
Jack Campin 26 Nov 19 - 11:02 AM
The Sandman 26 Nov 19 - 10:42 AM
Jack Campin 26 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Nov 19 - 04:51 AM
The Sandman 26 Nov 19 - 03:45 AM
r.padgett 26 Nov 19 - 03:01 AM
The Sandman 26 Nov 19 - 02:41 AM
Joe G 25 Nov 19 - 07:14 PM
Joe G 25 Nov 19 - 07:11 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 19 - 05:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 19 - 04:42 PM
The Sandman 25 Nov 19 - 03:09 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 19 - 02:25 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 19 - 02:13 PM
Vic Smith 25 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM
r.padgett 25 Nov 19 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 24 Nov 19 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Nov 19 - 06:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Nov 19 - 06:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Nov 19 - 06:41 AM
Vic Smith 24 Nov 19 - 06:32 AM
r.padgett 24 Nov 19 - 06:24 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 02:56 PM

DeValera became Taoiseach in 1932. Which means the single most destructive and suppressive act with regards to Traditional Music, The Dance Hall Act of 1935, was put in place on his watch.

I agree this line of discussion should not extend much further but it was a necessary sideline to counter the point that music in the UK would have been fine, if only it had been treated as DeValera treated Irish music and traditional arts.

It could also be argued that one of Ireland's most important musicians and collectors, Séamus Ennis, could no longer find employment in his job for the Irish Folklore Commission after 1945, there was no funding for him to stay on. Instead he had to decamp to the UK, first continuing his collecting work in the Hebrides and later for the BBC, resulting in the highly influential 'As I roved out' radio program. Which was at the cradle of the 'folk boom' in the UK. If there's any question where things were supported more, ponder that one.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 02:43 PM

Interesting stuff but might be better on a separate thread?

1800 :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 02:23 PM

Sorry to derail this thread even more, but...

John McKenna emigrated to the US in 1909.
Michael Coleman left Ireland for the US in 1914.
James Morrison did likewise in 1915.
Paddy Killoran followed in 1923.
Hugh Gillespie did the same in 1927.

De Valera didn't become Taoiseach until 1932.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM

Cherishable indeed, Jim, though very often the frantic speed of the playing in order to fit the medley on to a 78 side, and accompaniment that often sounded like it was in a different key, was quite "entertaining.." :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 01:12 PM

I think anyone with an interest in traditional music in Ireland will be aware that Devalera's era was pretty disastrous. the new Republic had a blinkered and unrealistic vision of
'rosy- cheeked maidens dancing at the crossroads'
Not the place to discuss this, certainly, but all the now-revered greats of Irish music packed their bags and fled to America, where they had freedom to record the 78s we now cherish.
As a former member of the John Mckenna Society, that great musician was pretty much ignored on his return from New York- read Sean Gilrane's excellent notes to the commemorative double CD of McKenna's music issued by the Society 5 years ago.
Now back to the subject....


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM

You're right, not the time or place to go into this further. Dev had a vision but it didn't include the support of traditional music. Arguably traditional music was habitually suppressed under the early Fianna Fail governments and pretty much ignored for most of the latter part of the 20th century.

My point really was that any success and popularity of traditional arts cannot be attributed to DeValera. Later governments happily jumped on the bandwagon, once music became obviously attractive to many, especially abroad.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 11:24 AM

Perhaps not the place to discuss it. However I think Dev had this vision for the nation, a bit like Ghandi's spinning wheel - a rejection of gross materialism - with it a reverence for folk arts.

However I may well have got the wrong end of the stick.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 09:56 AM

'well its true that Franco and DeValera weren't totally pure in heart.'

I don't think DeValera is in any way relevant to the support for traditional music. Any support or recognition that is there only came along after he was well and truly of the scene.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 09:17 AM

I am certainly against politicising folk in UK ~ though artists are of course following political agendas much towards the left as has generally been the case through the centuries

The main organisation in UK seems to be such as EFDSS who have been able to secure funding for different initiatives from HLF and such bodies and thereby bring certain social aspects of folk to the surface ~ some leading to creation of news songs also

The future lies in musicianship and instrument workshop; in music making through folk sessions both song and tunes; through entertainment promoting folk artists through concerts and folk style appearances; and through festivals ~ the ever present alcohol seems to be a vital sponsorship source of funding (perhaps always was) ; the visual presence at summer festivals of dancers, such as morris, longsword etc is always popular and is probably what the "man in the street" associates with folk music best

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM

well its true that Franco and DeValera weren't totally pure in heart.

But the result of their promoting the folk music of their countries is that they were well funded in comparison to England. And it has resulted in those countries having folk music with a higher international profile.

Unless you politicise your struggle - and no party politics need be involved, you cannot lobby.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 08:11 AM

From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 04:59 AM

Ahem. "The current state of folk music in UK".

The point I make is that postwar the venue chosen (Eel Pie Island) typically demonstrates that over time different genres took precedence Swing, Jazz, skiffle,Blues, rock.........
They genres rose in popularity and fell. Folkmusic was always a minority interest and never went mainstream.It always lurked in the background and it should be no surprise that its popularity should wax and wain. There will always be folk aficionado but if the genre is rigidly defined by "academic purists" the potential audience will wilt. I note there are many contributions here but few address the root cause of shrinking audiences. You do not go to the theatre or concert to be bored,
You go to be entertained. In a session it could be regarded as self entertainment/indulgence - the audience is a bonus. In a club the audience is an intrinsic part of the event.
It has to be entertainment first folk second.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 07:17 AM

'In Spain and Ireland, the governments have used their folk music to promote their countries. The government have done it for them.'

I don't know about Spain but I'd suggest the Irish government hopped on the bandwagon long after things got going. There's a lot of commodification of music going on there, as well as genuine support for the culture.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 07:05 AM

Someone tried to politicise it, Al, and we ended up with the folk against facsism movement! I wouldn't trust our current administration with a piss up in a brewery let alone folk music.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 06:57 AM

Well as I say - its your music. The folk clubs over the years have made me understand that my music isn't folk.

I really think you need to focus, decide what is your music - and get it politicised.

In Spain and Ireland, the governments have used their folk music to promote their countries. The government have done it for them.

But I don't see anything like that afoot in England. I think you will have to do it for yourselves.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 04:59 AM

Ahem. "The current state of folk music in UK".


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 03:43 AM

Further to the Gnome's contribution. but wildly off topic. Folk became popular as the changes below were occurring. It demonstrates that the popularity of musical genres rises and falls over time.

https://acousticmusic.org/research/history/musical-styles-and-venues-in-america/skiffle-in-britain/

Venues like Eel Pie Island to an extent show the transitions of genre

http://www.twickenham-museum.org.uk/detail.php?aid=208&cid=52&ctid=3
https://www.messynessychic.com/2014/08/21/the-tiny-island-on-the-thames-that-once-held-the-rolling-stones-david-bowie-and-the-uk

The list of acts on Eel Pie Island traces the evolution of jazz, blues, pop etc in terms of the acts booked and it is pretty comprehesive Donegan, Melly, the Stones, Brian May, Rod Stewert etc

https://www.eelpiemuseum.co.uk/rollcall/rollcall/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIK6s8HESYY


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 03:29 AM

Interesting comments traditional song takes a year or two to assimilate and the old entertainment has to contend with the noisier pa's etc ~ loss of pubs and pub entertainment and knocking out of pub snug rooms etc all have had an effect on the popularity and promotion of folk clubs in separate "upstairs" rooms ~ mob handed outside gatherings with alcohol can help popularity and seaside events of course

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Nov 19 - 02:38 AM

Just a thought on the mention of Lonnie Donegan. As folk clubs seem to have received a major boost from the skiffle craze in the late 50s I would see them owing as much of their existence to Donegan as they do to source singers. I would not see him appearing at a folk festival as being at all odd. But maybe that is just me :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 08:18 PM

...And my in-laws live two miles from Sidmouth and, as locals, used to be able to get half-price tickets. I remember well those late 80s/early 90s days of which you speak!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 08:15 PM

Well, Vic, Steve Heap came to our folk club in Bude one night in the early 90s and helped to set up a folk festival here (our man at the helm in those days was John Maughan). It went really well but Bude isn't a place big enough to attract the names massive enough to draw huge crowds at small cost. There is a sort of legacy in that a folk festival on different lines (emphasis on more local acts and with a conspicuous absence of superstars) was set up by Hawker (a feisty mudcatter then but who I'm not sure still posts here), and it's been running very well for a good number of years on the May bank holiday weekend. It can be humble only but it's all the better for that. There's a website...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 03:14 PM

Al
I've said this so many times on various threads but there are still dinosaurs who refuse to accept this fact.

Here are 3 points on the spectrum of meaning, by no means definitive:
1) The 54 description
2) The stuff that normally takes place on the Folk Scene, trad and contemporary.
3) The music industry and wider public perception.

All valid in their own arenas.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 03:01 PM

In the days when the Sidmouth Festival had the huge natural arena in Knowle Park & Gardens, one or sometimes two of the evening concerts there would be huge national names that were little ot nothing to do with folk music. Acts as varied as (gulp!) Rolf Harris, Tom Waites and Lonnie Donegan* were just some of these. On these evenings Sidmouth would be full of coaches that had come from all over south-west England. In the days when Steve Heap was the main organiser and was always accessible for people's queries. comments and suggestions, he would tell you openly that such evenings were such huge money spinners for the festival that some years, they were the difference between the week making a profit or a loss. In the case of heavy rain these open-air events did not take place so luck with the weather was a big factor.

* Lonnie Donegan: -
1]   I went to this concert. In my early teens I was a regular at a youth club where I played table tennis all evening whilst the record player blasted out a diet of mainly Lonnie Donegan singles. In the concert I was slightly ashamed to find that I could sing every word to every song that he sang.
2]   I was told this in confidence but it is so long ago that I don't suppose that it matters any more. In the contract that the festival signed for that evening there was a rider which stated, "Mr. Donegan's guitar shall not be played through the foldback".


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 02:52 PM

it is, as i have repeatedly said, the term 'folk music' has changed its meaning in common usage.

you can go on ignoring this. its like someone opening a gay nightclub and expecting and expecting happy carefree heterosexuals to turn up.

you need to be more specific. 'folk' no longer expresses to the broad mass of humanity what traditional music fans value.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 02:24 PM

Good music is good music regardless of the genre. Good folk artists do put bums on seats as witnessed by the sell out Bernard Wrigley concert above. Folk acts are getting better known by exposure on radio, TV and other media so maybe the folk festival you mention could be persuaded to put on more widely known folk rather than folk-ish acts?

I must say that a folk festival or club with no folk music is not something I am familiar with but if you say they do exist, they must. I am sure they are in a minority though. Unless someone knows otherwise!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 02:17 PM

Go, the Bolton Bullfrog!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 02:02 PM

Yes, Ray, there is a real problem, but a) how effective is it? and b) what can we do about it? In my immediate area there was one weekend festival that was largely definitely folk in that most of the performers were recognised folk acts. However, in order to put bums on seats and help to finance the rest of the festival they booked acts like Chas & Dave just as a headliner. I don't have a problem with this as it was in the end promoting folk for the vast majority of the festival.

The other, another weekend festival, has nothing we would recognise as a folk activity on the Folk Scene and as far as I can discern none of the booked acts I would describe as Folk, acoustic music perhaps, singer songwriters not normally thought of as part of the Folk Scene. In other words they are using the word 'Folk' in a very dodgy way. But, it is still running, whereas the first one folded.

Again I don't even think 'Trades Description' would be interested, so what can we do about it? Genuine question. Enough of the general public are happy to attend such events and their perception of what is folk is the broadest church.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 01:50 PM

...and Bernard Wrigley were wonderful performers...
Good news Big Al
he's still doing some sellouts
"DECEMBER 2019
SOLD OUT!
Fri 20th December – BOLTON Barlow Institute, Edgworth, Xmas Concert (with mulled wine & mince pies) bromleycrossfolkclub.org.uk SOLD OUT!

https://bernardwrigley.com/


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 12:50 PM

With respect folk music has always been a minority following and certain names and characters where it be session musicians or singers at folk clubs have always had a following ~ like attracting like ~ reputations are earned for longevity

Adverts for guest artists "folk" are usually clearly in that mode or genre ~ folk adverts for artists who do not fall into that category will put ppl going there off, of course & may well do a disservice to genuine followers ~ the audience by and large are not daft and it may well be they are happy to sup their pint listening or not ~ so yes we do have a problem!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 11:02 AM

The point about O'Neill's is that it isn't really used. It's a canonical source in a community that doesn't do canonicity any more.

Or maybe they do in your neck of the woods. I was talking about Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular. It's been a long time since anybody referred me to any non-Internet source for an Irish tune.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 10:42 AM

jack, you made a nonsensical statement about the use of o neills, basically your staement shows you to be uninformed


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM

a reasonable book to start with, would be the johnny o leary book , personally i think it preferable to learn by ear but if and when i use books that might be one i would use , there are others, a book by mally.. 100 irish polkas

I've seen that - didn't recall the title and couldn't think of any reason why I'd want it.

The point is that people who do Irish music around around here WOULDN'T USE IT - I've only seen it for sale in England. The Irish music scene in Scotland is not plagued by a deluge of superfluous print publications in the same way as the Scottish music scene is. And I think that's a strength.

There is no way the people who produced all those Scottish tune books could see what would result from them, and they are all pretty well produced. But their impact has been to create a subculture of music tunebook addicts (or, in the case of the rote-memorizers, recovering tunebook addicts). The Irish scene has contracted a bit but it hasn't got generationally stratified in the same way - the way people get their repertoire is less filtered.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 04:51 AM

I'm sorry Sandman. I had no intention of excluding you - needless to say.

I DO think though, that Jim isn't an isolated voice. There is a vein of discontent in traddy circles that doesn't want to be bothered with 'trivial' characters like myself. And I accept this.

I DO think you need a title for your music that tells people like me to bugger off, and frankly merely 'folk' has slipped into common usage as meaning anything from Robbie Williams to an acoustic guitar accompaniment, to the Copper family.

I think the problem is essentially yours , rather than mine - although it impinges on me - I don't want to inflict myself and my music where its not wanted. Perhaps if you called yourself Ethnic Folk Music Clubs.

When you have drawn up your battle lines, then you start to fight your corner. And I think you will have great success, because its a middle class enclave really and the middle classes really kick ass in our society. They set the agendas. You will be able to campaign for your radio stations and TV channels, and government grants.

The sessions in England are (lets face it !) a bit of a rabble. Anyone who can scrape sixty quid to gether for a playable guitar can join in, and it IS Come All Ye. Politically - they will always be meaningless, because its about people's artistic need to express themselves - rather than having an intellectual core - an ideology.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 03:45 AM

quote [ partial quote to relevant topic] from chris foster
this morning I got one of them. It's a live recording of a whole gig I did at the Gypsey Davey Folk Club in Oxford in March 1975. Apparently it had been gathering dust in a drawer in Australia for a while.

It's very noticeable that there are many more people in the room than you would ever get in a folk club these days


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 03:01 AM

Keep music live ~ and enjoy what you do

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 19 - 02:41 AM

Als suggestion would exclude me, i sing other songs apart from british trad australian canadian american irish plus contemporary in trad style.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 07:14 PM

....and an absolutely sublime voice!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 07:11 PM

I'd like to add my thanks to Steve's re the interesting contributions made over the last few days before and after Mudcat imploded due, presumably, to the explosion of positivity and mutual respect ;-) I particularly love Vic's quotation from Sandra Kerr.

I'm recently back from a Kitty MacFarlane concert. New songs, rooted in her home of Somerset but using found sounds and sampling to enhance the presentation. I thought some material tipped over to the pretentious but, hey, she is young and clearly has a strong folk sensibility


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 05:18 PM

I think most people here do both to some extent on a regular basis. Has somebody criticised this? In the past 6 months I have performed at a festival, helped to organise one, organised and performed in a public concert, performed in a folk club, sung and played at a singaround, played in several sessions, attended group practices, been part of audiences, attended numerous meetings to promote the music, edited a book of songs, written several articles etc., etc., i.e., what most of the people on here have been doing. Anyone who suggests that this is any less valuable or less relevant than what was going on in the 60s is barking and extremely insulting.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 04:42 PM

'there is no reason why people should not do both play music purely for the sake of it and earn money doing it, i am doing both all the time. i go round to friends houses and play and enjoy it , i do gigs and enjoy what i am doing.'

I'm in a similar boat really.
I regard the songs I produce as 'folk'. Even though I'm all too aware that most English folkies wouldn't regard it as such.
Its not jazz; its not country, its not pop; its not blues; it observes none of the rules of formal classical music (couldn't play four beats in a bar to save me life!) - its what I produce as a 'folk'. I read AL Lloyd's Folk song in in England and his description of the folksinger sitting in his cottage fashioning his songs - and I thought - yep, that's me!

And I've worked as a jobbing musician - country music in miners welfares, ancient and jurassic pop songs in working men's clubs, pubs, old peoples homes, restaurants, Whisky in the Jar and Christy Moore in Irish theme pubs and Irish pubs and centres.

And yet... I know a whole load of folksingers who can't do that human juke box thing, and feel that their gift is specific to the music they have dedicated their lives to.
There are different ways to dedicate your life to music. that's what I believe.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 03:09 PM

there is no reason why people should not do both play music purely for the sake of it and earn money doing it, i am doing both all the time. i go round to friends houses and play and enjoy it , i do gigs and enjoy what i am doing.
it is didactid to suggest it has to be one or the other . the advantage of clubs in seperate rooms is that people go there specifically to listen a more esoteric repertoire can sometimes be used, the problem with singning in pubs is that some people in the pub might not want to hear music and that is fair enough, why should music be imposed on people that do not want it


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 02:25 PM

It would be wonderfully cyclical and pertinent if Sandra were to have the last word on all of this.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 02:13 PM

Some really useful and encouraging posts in the last 4 days (apart from a short spat on Irish tunes). Thumbs up to Nick, Vic, Iain, Howard, Peter, JimB , Ray, Al and Dave. Let's try to keep it as positive as this.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM

The new issue of The Living Tradition arrived today and the main cover article is the one that I wrote on Sandra Kerr. I was re-reading it again for the first time since I submitted it in the late summer. In talking about her early years she mentions being a member of the Critics Group when she was quite young and the positive effect that Ewan MacColl had on her then. As usual my last question in the interview was to ask if there was anything else she wanted to say. There was.... and what she had to say is very relevant to the subject of this thread: -

“People often ask me what I feel about the music today and I think that it’s an important question. I personally feel very optimistic. I don't have to like everything that is going on and to be honest what direction they are moving in because there are enough young people who are in touch with the tradition who will carry it forward; it will change but I still feel that it has a function to perform in our lives, artistically and politically and all these things. If you have to go back to first principles, there is more easy access to all that important material than you and I had when we were young. It's all there and it's all accessible and we need to be encouraging young people to be doing that. And back to Ewan who we started with right at the beginning, he said. ‘This is not easy. These songs are not easy entities’. Yes, I'm optimistic”


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 25 Nov 19 - 12:38 PM

Yes people nowadays like to do their own thing at sessions and mixed song and music sessions ~ I am of the impression that the many traditional folk songs now popular were first sung by many of the traditional and revivalist singers I mentioned earlier!

There is certainly a wealth of song available to new singers and entertainers if they care to look ~ arrangements and new compositions are all sought and instrumental arrangements are there for the capable

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 07:24 AM

Totally agree with the last sentence, Peter- it happens already outside the folk clubs, but by people who did their apprenticeship there, like me...
so arguing about the numbers of clubs/falling attendances etc is just not the right measure of where we are!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 06:47 AM

'vying for club and festival bookings'

I think,looking from the outside, this is a recurring theme in discussions about the UK folkscene. Time and again a musician or a particular place/club is brought up and the reaction is 'I booked him a few times' or 'I did a few bookings there' without really much, or any, discussion of the music involved.

Perhaps it is worth considering that at the core of 'folkmusic' there should be something else, playing music for the sake of it, playing music for friends or community, than 'vying for bookings'.

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 06:41 AM

i think Capstick and Bernard Wrigley were wonderful performers of trad material.

but really we have to turn our minds to the fact that we don't have these people nowadays, and thanks to the idiot sectarian wars - which we can see some people want to prolong into infinity - the whole folk revival was derailed. much of it from outright professional jealousy.

what we have left is what we have left.. I have no desire to perform in front of people who hate my guts because my style is basically in style Americana influenced.

Far better if we do as Jim says. THere should be places where people can go and hear English traditional folk songs, and everyone will understand the booking policy, and the songs they expected to perform.

Where I disagree with Jim, I think folk is in common usage as anything from Elton John to Ewan MacColl type stuff. Call the trad clubs British traditional Folkmusic Clubs


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 06:41 AM

i think Capstick and Bernard Wrigley were wonderful performers of trad material.

but really we have to turn our minds to the fact that we don't have these people nowadays, and thanks to the idiot sectarian wars - which we can see some people want to prolong into infinity - the whole folk revival was derailed. much of it from outright professional jealousy.

what we have left is what we have left.. I have no desire to perform in front of people who hate my guts because my style is basically in style Americana influenced.

Far better if we do as Jim says. THere should be places where people can go and hear English traditional folk songs, and everyone will understand the booking policy, and the songs they expected to perform.

Where I disagree with Jim, I think folk is in common usage as anything from Elton John to Ewan MacColl type stuff. Call the trad clubs British traditional Folkmusic Clubs


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 06:32 AM

A really great capacity ceilidh in Lewes last night - enthusiastic dancers with the floor full all evening - exhilarating but exhausting to play for and call the dances for.
At the end a young woman came up to speak to Tina and said. "I've never been to one of these before but it was wonderful. I can't reember when I enjoyed myself so much. I'll be looking out for other ceilidhs to go to. Whay do we sit and watch television?"
Another convert! This was one of six folk music events in the town yesterday.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Nov 19 - 06:24 AM

Yes I saw all of the listed artist in the folk club environment at some stage

in contrast the folk revivalist were also there (at different times), Nick Jones, Tony Rose, Peter Bellamy, Dave Burland, Pat Ryan, Marie Little, Rosie Hardman, Julie Matthews ~

these by and large have been followed by a new crop of singers ~ shanty singers such a Jim Mageean, Graeme Knight, Tom Lewis, She Shanties etc

and Nancy and James Fagan, Jon Boden and Fay Heild, Bryony Griffith and Damian Barber ~ the incredible musicians of the new order and of course the Scottish musicians ~ Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain and the new crop of top line musicians, both established acts like Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Mary and Anahata, all vying for club and festival bookings

The scene is pretty full ~ what is needed is the audience!!

Ray


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