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Will folk clubs survive

SPB-Cooperator 06 Apr 20 - 09:19 AM
Rain Dog 06 Apr 20 - 09:25 AM
John MacKenzie 06 Apr 20 - 09:32 AM
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Nigel Paterson 06 Apr 20 - 09:51 AM
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JHW 16 Apr 20 - 03:17 PM
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GUEST,Observer 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Apr 20 - 02:40 AM
The Sandman 17 Apr 20 - 02:45 AM
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GUEST,Observer 17 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM
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SussexCarole 17 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Starship 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 20 - 03:50 AM
SPB-Cooperator 18 Apr 20 - 05:40 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 05:55 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 06:00 AM
Joe G 18 Apr 20 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 18 Apr 20 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 18 Apr 20 - 07:25 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 20 - 08:47 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 09:16 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 20 - 09:46 AM
Joe G 18 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 20 - 09:54 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Starship 18 Apr 20 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,big al whittle 18 Apr 20 - 11:55 AM
SPB-Cooperator 18 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Apr 20 - 01:00 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 01:11 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 20 - 04:42 PM
The Sandman 18 Apr 20 - 05:37 PM
The Sandman 19 Apr 20 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 20 - 03:48 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 20 - 05:42 AM
The Sandman 19 Apr 20 - 05:53 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 20 - 08:40 AM
Jack Campin 19 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,lbig al whittle 19 Apr 20 - 01:59 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Apr 20 - 03:06 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Apr 20 - 02:19 AM
The Sandman 20 Apr 20 - 03:04 AM
The Sandman 23 Apr 20 - 02:38 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 20 - 02:44 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 20 - 06:29 AM
Jack Campin 23 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM
SPB-Cooperator 26 Apr 20 - 05:37 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 20 - 06:35 AM
The Sandman 28 Apr 20 - 04:18 AM
SPB-Cooperator 13 May 20 - 05:37 AM
The Sandman 13 May 20 - 05:01 PM
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Subject: Will folk clubs survive?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:19 AM

Once the pandemic subsides and it is safe for people to gather again, how many venues have made a commitment to welcome the folk clubs back.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:25 AM

How many venues will still be there?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:32 AM

Anything that gets punters into reopened pubs, will be welcomed by publicans, when it's all over.
How many of us will be left?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:38 AM

I agree with you that pubs will welcome clubs & their punters back when they reopen.

I do worry that there will be a few pubs that will not reopen once things get back to 'normal'. We will all have to wait and see.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:51 AM

Just about everything we took for granted before the pandemic, will, when we get the all clear, be changed; have been lost completely; be still with us, but slimmed down; appear to be missing, but 'magically phœnix-like', reappear to astound us all. Folk clubs are in this giant, melting pot.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 10:49 AM

I suspect finding venues will be the biggest challenge. Pubs were closing in their numbers before this hit. As a result, I suspect there will be a lot of pubs/hotels/clubs/cafes that will not even bother to try and re-open when this is over. People's attitudes, habits and outlook on life in general will possibly change as well. This could work out to be to the benefit of performing 'live' whether it be folk, rock or otherwise. Of course, the opposite could happen - who knows? I don't expect it will ever be the same as it was a month or so ago.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 11:13 AM

We certainly intend to continue once that we are allowed out again and we are possibly fortunate at Tigerfolk that the Stumble Inn, Long Eaton is one of the town's go to real ale pubs as well as the live music centre of the town. The landlord had cancelled all the band bookings for the forseeable future along with their open mic plus darts and dominoes etc. We are reasonably confident that we will re-open to our regular audiance when this crisis is over.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 12:08 PM

We are heading for a financial nuclear winter. There won't be as much money around. But cheap entertainment, ie local, will flourish.
Venues will be the problem, though selling property won't be easy, running as a pub/cafe/parish hall will be easier for many.

One thing I can predict with confidence is that it won't be exactly the same. We will have to accept it as it comes.
Food/consumer goods won't have the plethora of choice. I mean, who will buy bottled water from Hawaii, in the UK? Not that I believed it was water from Hawaii anyway. Minerals yes, distilled water - definitely!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 12:45 PM

Maybe they can take the opportunity to build an improved model like they did London after the Great Fire
Just a thought !
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 02:37 PM

1666 had Christopher Wren , who wold the great architect be?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:44 PM

I suspect that people's social habits will have changed by the time the current situation ends.
They will have got used to spending more time at home and will be less likely to keep up old habits.
I know that my own social habits (going for a pint every night) changed as pubs became less social and it is a long time since I have visited my locals on any nights other than Monday, Tuesday and Thursday quiz nights when social dialogue and interaction are still possible.
I/we usually try local hostelries when on our various travels and are occasionally pleased.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 03:03 AM

" who wold the great architect be?"
Hopefully someone who doesn't need a white stich and has to go around wailing "Nobody knows what folk song is anymore"
I know of many fine singers and enthusiastic folk lovers who left th scene because they stopped hearing folk songs - like me, they didn't lose their love of them, they just couldn't be bothered having to look hard anf have to take pot luck - we haven't all died off yet
Best not to look for leaders in my experience - they're probably doing the same -
Getting something started only takes a handful (even two, if you're thinkinh about something else !)

I don't go along with Malcolm - the folkies I know/grew were gregarious, even herd animals who thrive on company - I suspect they are missing the buzz of that every much as I am
We live in a one street town in the West of Ireland - five/six nights of sessions - multi ones on Saturday and Sunday
I expect they'll hold a mass to celebrate their return (so will the publicans)
We're also lucky to have at least one venue where people who prefer to keep drinking and music apart and can hold an occasional mini-display' concert
That's not going to disappear
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 03:24 AM

The UK ended March 2019 with 39,135 pubs, 320 more than a year earlier, the first net increase since 2010. So there is a demand for venues where people can meet, eat, drink and make music.

Inevitably, some pubs and hotels will remain closed after the lockdown ends, so the downward trend is likely to resume this year. Some will find a new use, but others will re-open in due course, perhaps with community support. Folk clubs can be one element of this.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 04:48 AM

Certainly around here in the Home Counties the new "pubs" are small bars opening in redundant High Street shops. The purpose built pubs with the capacity to host a folk club, without taking over the whole venue, are still on the decline.

@JimCarrol its nice to know that pubs in a foreign country are still thriving in the traditional form but that doesn't invalidate Malcolm's comments about this side of the Irish Sea.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 05:39 AM

I am finding more and more pubs, are focusing a lot more on food sales, with social drinking increasing squeezed into a corners. A few years back on holiday in the Cotswolds we ran across a village pub where customers could only sit at a table if they were going to have a meal and this seems to be happening more and more. There are also pub chains like Wheterspoons, which because of their asset wealth are more likely to survive than freehouses, that are only interested in pumping out sales to as many customers as possible and don't fit in as part of the community and another chain which has been discussed before in the forum whose owner is against live music.

I like to think that at the end of the pandemic, communities will want to come together and things will change for the better but I'm not holding my breath.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 05:45 AM

Looks like I have drifted off topic on my own thread.

Another angle is also whether, at the end of all this, those who organise folk clubs, will be motivated enough to deal with the hassle of getting going again, and if they will get enough support from folk enthusiasts to do so.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Rain Dog
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 05:46 AM

There has also been a rise in the number of micro pubs. They are cheaper to run than the traditional pub. We might well see an increase in their number once things start to return to 'normal'.

Of course we might also see some of the micro pubs we have now disappearing due to the current situation. Hopefully they will be able to hang on in there until things get better.

Posted from Kent, the home of the micro.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: JHW
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 05:56 AM

Though we folkies were regular patrons of many a pub we weren't known for spending money on drink. Probably driving. Many even took own water in. Nearby Mon FC landlord asked to add a quid to the guest night door money to help income.
At the very first FC I went to, Oaktree at Richmond (Yorks of course) the heaving Friday FC was ousted to instal a pool table, decades ago. Pub has been houses for years.
New recruit little bars on shopping streets may re-appear. May suit a FC better than the many pubs that had the walls pulled out last century. No business can survive without turnover. Pubs were struggling and closing anyway.
It will be life Jim, but not as we know it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM

I must have seen the last of the couple of pubs here who ran on a shoestring but still encouraged only the drinkers they had things in common with
They were family pubs which were rub vy people who considered them their homes
WE dran in two of them until their demise - I still shed a a silent tear for Mary Fahy's and Tom Queally's when I pass them - regularly
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 01:22 PM

"I still shed a a silent tear for Mary Fahy's and Tom Queally's when I pass them - regularly".
I'm with you on that, Jim. And also the Cleary's across the road from them - if I've remembered that right. All great hosts for the music at Willie Clancy week, starting for me in the 1980s, Hennessey's as well, although we did get a few tunes in there, surprisingly, about 3 years ago.
"Will folk clubs survive ?" I don't know. It would not affect me at all if they didn't, at least, where I am. What's more important is that the songs and the music will survive, of that I have no doubt.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 07 Apr 20 - 10:34 PM

I accept your assessment, Jim, of things as they are where you are but must admit to writing only for things as I see them where I am.
I have had many glorious times in your part of the world and hope to renew the experience again - ano domini allowing.
Interestingly when I worked in Ballymena in 1976/7 I had problems finding anything other than country and western but those were difficult times.
As someone says above the songs and music will survive and hopefully we will not be paraphrasing by saying "Its folk music Jim but not as we know it"
I feel I have done my bit over the years and am still doing bit as I approach my dotage but would probably turn down a knighthood (tongue firmly in cheek).
Lets all keep safe and keep as well as we can.
And stop bitching (not accusing you of that Jim) - life's too short.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 02:51 AM

Maybe sessions will return more easily than Folk Clubs

The difference?
Well, drinkers can sit and talk with a session going on in the corner.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 03:34 AM

Kenny - now you really have left me in tears - not only are the bars closed but those running them are no longer with us (I suppose ou know Young Jim Marrinan died a little after Noreen was immobilized by a stroke)
Still humming with music here - more than ever in fact

"Its folk music Jim but not as we know it"
Being involved in folk song on many levels, I haven't got a clue what that means I'm afraid Malcolm - I'm basically a singer-turned researcher
I was drawn into the scene because I liked what I heard and eventually wanted to be part of it
When I lifted the corner to see what was underneath I found it teeming with life and social history - two levels of deep enjoyment for the price of one
I sat through several local history classes here before the Dreaded lurgi closed them and found there were about a dozen songs I was aware of that touched on the subject matter, local murders, drownings, shipwrecks, women disputing being married off, evictions, land wars, cattle rustling... both part of my two interests
I really can't see how what has gradually happened to the folk scene has come anywhere near replacing that in either enjoyment or intellectual stimulation
Whe began to lose our   clubs when they forgot what folk songs were and how unique and important they were
We can alwas try karaoke if all we want to do is blast out a few songs, but it seems a little..... well... destructive to steal the identity of such an important aspect of our history and culture
Sorry if that upsets some people (as I secretly hope it will)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:21 AM

>>I'm basically a singer-turned researcher.<< >> When I lifted the corner to see what was underneath<<

How many other people did that in these islands since the 50s when it all kicked off? How many are doing that today? The TSF has a membership of about 200. That will give you an idea of the % of folk enthusiasts who bother to 'lift the corner'. Most are quite content to perform or listen with a minimum of lifting, and it has always been that way. Neither of us is going to change that significantly no matter how hard we try. (We will both keep trying of course). I doubt the situation is much different in Ireland.

In my own area, to discuss face to face with anyone the level of interest we have, other than TSF meetings, I have colleagues in North Lincs, Sheffield, West Yorks and Newcastle. At least an hour's drive away.

>>Whe began to lose our   clubs when they forgot what folk songs were and how unique and important they were<<

Jim, you have been taken to task on this one numerous times by numerous people. The decline of folk clubs was down to a multiplicity of factors over a long period. Folk Music in the UK is every bit as strong as it ever was (allowing for current economic and other conditions) but it has evolved in a myriad of ways. The folk club is NOT the be all and end all.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:33 AM

Steve - the main causes of the decline of the scene are both obvious and were predicted - what happened later may have had numerous reasons
Standards were bad and getting worse and people were turning up at folk clubs and not heaing folk-songs
What remained has proven to be non-sustainable
That makes total senswe to me
If I want to hear Ed Shaeran songs I go to the master, not the sweeper-up
If I want to take pot luck there are other, better organised laces for that

I think it's common sense to think that the more you learn of the song the more you are likely to want to sing or listen to it again
Research and performance have always seemed inseparable to me
Now we have the internet and forums like this we are able to add constantly to both our knowledge and enjoyment of the songs - it would be a crying shame to waste that
I have recently added around a dozen 'must-learns' to my list from my Irish Child ballad work
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:45 AM

'Research and performance have always seemed inseparable to me' Then you are in a very very small minority. On here I can only think of Brian in that category. I suppose I do know the background to all the songs I sing but that is a biproduct. I definitely consider my performance and research as 2 separate but very enjoyable things. Perhaps if the likes of Bert had done the same we might have had a lot more clarity from him.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

Hmmm, I suppose most here were around at the start of the fifties and sixties "folk boom".   The truth is, that very few who attended our weekly concerts were in the least interested in the history of the songs, they came for the emotional kick that wasn't present in the popular music of the time.
Some people here, and one in particular should start to understand that our population has changed out of all recognition regarding how they respond or are entertained. Our generation felt a connection to the music, as we recognised the hardship of life; it affected us all and if it didn't kill us it made us strong. At the time, our music also engendered a sense of community through the plethora of chorus songs constructed many years before for that sole purpose,
Times have changed, let the clubs die in peace, there is always Mudcat to ease the pain of our more sensitive brethren.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:55 AM

>>>Standards were bad and getting worse and people were turning up at folk clubs and not heaing folk-songs<<<<

This was happening right from the 50s and through. Some places it happened but not in others. I and many others here have stated that as City dwellers like you were, if we wanted it we could always find traditional song clubs where that medium dominated. In the 60s in Hull we had 2 main long-lasting folkclubs in the same pub. One was an anything goes, the other dominated by trad folk music. The trad one went on into the 90s long after the other had folded, and even then the trad one evolved into 2 clubs out into the sticks where trad continued and still does dominate. I see similar patterns in other areas which we've told you about constantly and you ignore. Then there are all the sessions, singarounds, concerts, festivals that thrive in the cities and elsewhere, even in these sad economic conditions. They WILL come back after the pandemic.

And by the way, enthusiasts are going to great lengths to run events online. More power to them, until we can get back what we had, and for Godsake give them all the support you can.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 06:32 AM

"This was happening right from the 50s and through. Some places it happened but not in others."
On the contrary - while some clubs ogged along, many maintained their own standards and no lonegr had to depend on outside help - the standard became particularly high in some and never fell below what was acceptible in many otherse which is why Alex Campbell developed his "good enough fro folk"   jibe to annoy 'the purists'
When those standards began to fall there were comments in the mags (still have many of them)
Folk Review published an article (from Fred Woods I think) which led to s long, long debate on everything people thought was going wrong with the clubs - I still have them
Shortly after that audiences declined, clubs began to close, labels and other outlets disappeared... the rest is history
That happened i London, Birmingham, Manchester and other cities and also in some of the smaller places we had dealings with - Pat noticed this as she was booking secretary for 'The Singers Club
It was around then that, when she tried to get Walter Pardon booked she was told, "We don't do that sort of thing, we're a folk club'

On line is fine - but it's impersonal and remote and basically uncontrolled and uncontrollable in both quality and content
The social side of the club scene was never too important to me but some people here and elsewhere have put it up sometimes as being as important as the music
Nevr get that from your I-pod
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 08:14 AM

Can we return to the real 21st century folk scene rather than Jim's reimagining of the 20th please.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 08:23 AM

The question could be; How many folk clubs will survive?

How many professional singers will they be able to support? Will folk singers in future be amateurs and semi-professionals? Would this be a bad thing? Where would they find their audience, if they actually need one?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 08:42 AM

The boom in on-line performances provides a basis for a recovery to start with gatherings in private homes - then sessions and house concerts in small venues, whichever ones are still open. The larger the scale, the longer the recovery will take, more because of financial risk than infection risk - and given the additional hit of Brexit, folk stadium concerts are probably gone forever.

Folk clubs are in the middle of this spectrum. It might take more energy and commitment to restart one than can be found. I can't see many of them making it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 09:22 AM

" I can't see many of them making it " Sadly Jack I think you're right. There's no need for a designated space a lot of songs sung would be perfectly acceptable in the bar.We gathered together in a separate room for a reason. Our music wasn't main steam.

Things will be different when they sound the all clear.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 09:31 AM

"How many professional singers will they be able to support?"
The revival was set up to avoid the need for professional singers - who needs them - we never did
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 09:42 AM

I wish all pubs had those Pepsi machines like there are in Harvester pubs. I get pissed off with the expensive and lousy choice of non alcoholic drinks. I don't know what its like in other countries, but in England you will lose your driving licence if you drink over the limit and drive.

The americans were lucky having folk clubs in coffee houses. There were a few in England, but the majority were in the upstairs rooms of pubs - totally inaccessisible for disabled folk music fans.

Its stuff like this and the loudmouths who look like they've been arseholed since 1954 that need a re-boot. Some changes have been good for our society - like the tightening up of the drink driving laws and awareness of the needs of disabled people. Many of us seem to have ignored them.

Also nice comfortable chairs would be good.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 10:03 AM

I almost agree with Jack C although, in the great scheme of things, most folk clubs are probably more at the smaller end of the spectrum.
So, they may have a better chance. Certainly the more cosy and community variety. Even Edinburgh Folk Club could fall into such a category since they moved to a smaller venue a few months ago.

Then medium sized venues but I reckon many people will be very cautious about attending larger events until they are very sure that the virus has been eradicated.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 10:13 AM

Which virus?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 10:56 AM

I find much of this both revealing and depressing
Iv'e spent years being told that I have no ight to an opinion and folk clubs are healthy
Now I'm being told that they are more or less finished and that I have to rely on I-phones
Who is a girl to believe !!!
I-phone see a litle like pleasing yourself by masturbating -and why sing into them when you've always got a rubber duck in the bath awaiting your attention
I relied eye-contact and listener response to help my judge if my songs were working for others - we shared opinions and information at our clubs, we requested songs from the singers
I can still remember queues of people during the interval and at the end waiting to talk to the unapproachable Ewan and Peg, both had to apologise regularly for not being to fit in all the requests
Our songs were, I believe, made for sharing emotions and experiences - they were a social necessity which thrived on human contact
Lap-top, I-pone - nah - I might as well take a leaf out of Shirley Valentine's book and talk to the kitchen wall

Pepsi always made me fart - it used to be 3d a bottle in the Cavern until some local humourist spread the rumour that it made you impotent
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 11:42 AM

Will folk clubs survive?
Yes, as long as people wish to meet and sing and play together.
The people will enjoy what ever kind of folk they personally enjoy.
Some clubs will lean heavily in the traditional direction others will lean the other way.
Most clubs are a mixture of both and appreciate both types.
This is what most audiences did in the past ie before clubs when they met in homes, pubs, harvest suppers, et all.
the singers learned songs old and new which they liked and taylored a performance to suit the varied tastes of their listeners.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 11:50 AM

Found the below on the internet and it brought this thread to mind:

"Extinction is often caused by a change in environmental conditions. When conditions change, some species possess adaptations that allow them to survive and reproduce, while others do not. If the environment changes slowly enough, species will sometimes evolve the necessary adaptations, over many generations. If conditions change more quickly than a species can evolve, however, and if members of that species lack the traits they need to survive in the new environment, the likely result will be extinction." (from PBS)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 12:25 PM

It would be artificial to create the old ways Derrick and would defeat the purpose of taking folk music up in the first place
To do so would be to fossilise the music which would almost certainly noy survive the presentt older generation
You are not seriously suggesting that youngsters gather at home and sing folk songs, are you ?
Pop songs are transient and seldom live their sell-by date
We are talking about the same people's culture, 'The Songs of the People' aren't we ?'
I'd have thought EFDSS were the l people to stand on the platform waving their rasen d'etré off into the sunset
Nobody would do that if they believed the genre unique and important
Once yopu believe that to be the case with folk song you don't attempt to tailor performances tyo suit anybody - you make the best job of what you have and hope it's good enough to draw new people to it

I know traditional song and music can work for the younger generation - I've only got to turn Irish television or radio to see and hear them wallowing in the largely unadulterated stuff - yes - and experimenting with it
It has now re-rooted here for at least another century I would guess
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 12:59 PM

"Will folk clubs survive?
Yes, as long as people wish to meet and sing and play together".

You don't actually need a "Folk Club" to do that. Never have.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 01:27 PM

"You don't actually need a "Folk Club" to do that. Never have."
Well actually we have Kenny
When the club scene started folk song as a living art was as dead ass Monty Python's Parrot
It was preserved in aspic in books and an a few recordings but these were largely exhibition cases in all but a tiny handful of exceptions - it was doubtful if those within a few familiesd would survive that generation
It gave us an escape route from teh clutches of the 'Ink and Blue Toothbrushes' and all the other pap that was being foisted on us and gave us the opportunity to transform from passive bums on seats into creative and in some cases talented butterflies
I would come home from the docks, take off my overalls, wash and become someone else for a few hours - that gradually spread to take over my life
Apart from the responsibility some of us feel towards what we discovered, to rob our kids of the opportinities we had wold be pretty selfish
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 01:38 PM

Jim I am not advocating fossilisation of the genre,on the contrary,I am saying that is what happened before folk clubs were invented.
Folk clubs bring people who appreciate the music together to perform it and keep it alive.The music of the people was both old and new songs and the singers reflected that.
Your take the view that songs should be trad or written in the style of old songs if not they are dismissed as pop rubbish.
You say a song about farting in Church is a folk song if it was written by a local ,and say modern singers only write pop songs that will not last,smell the coffee millions of songs have died over time who ever wrote them.
The only songs which last for many years are the best of whatever genre they are.
Kenny of course you are right when you say that folk clubs aren't the only place that people can share music but it a place that many people do, another way to do keep it alive


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 01:56 PM

"When the club scene started folk song as a living art was as dead ass Monty Python's Parrot "

In Scotland and Ireland too(I believe), there was always music and song around. Perhaps not all of the variety which we (now) or the "folk Police" might approve but it was always there.

Of course, the folk revival and clubs were very important but there was still a form of "living tradition" going on in Scotland and I'm not just referring to the "White Heather" type of thing. Not that the latter was all that bad either. We had people like Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor, The Corries, and quite a few more who actually predated the folk club scene although one or two clubs did emerge as early as the late fifties.

It's quite possible that folk and traditional music might have taken off in the sixties in some other way if folk clubs hadn't existed. It has certainly flourished and evolved in other areas in recent years beyond the club scene.

Of course, how the music develops won't necessarily suit everyone but folk clubs are only a part it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 03:00 PM

John in the early sixties in rural Scotland there were no "Folk Clubs" We were known as "The Alba Folk Club" but there was no "club" ingredient, we were in truth a weekly organised concert of folk music, a few big name artists, a group, a couple of local amateurs and a huge quantity of hard liquor. These nights went on from eight o clock till sometimes the wee small hours, Even the bigger names loved the large audience, several hundred, and the opportunity to polish up their "patter". They were well paid for the effort most of them put into their performances, but these crowds did not come to be "educated, indoctrinated, or lectured", they came to have a bloody good night out through involving themselves in the music and engaging the big names in some hilarious banter. It was all about involvement, but todays population have other lonelier means of being involved.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 03:05 PM

"folk Police"
I swore |I wouldn't respond yto this insulting behavior - how world you respond if I refererd you to an anti-folk fascist ?
Folk song had died in Scotland too - the BBC set themselves the task of capturing what was left largely from from elderly people who were remembering what their parents and grandparents taught them - the main exception being the Travellers
Even in the Hebrides, Lomax and Ennis had to persuade the lady waulkers to pretend to be waulking the tweed
Maccoll was actually busking with Scots Ballads and songs in Gaelic outside Manchester cinemas in the thirties, but he was not part of a living singing tradition
Dead as a doornail despite the unqualified claims of our insulting friend
The lver for the club scene was a conscious effort by a few dedicated people, (now largely reviled by lesser mortals) using the findings of the BBC team
one of the great leaps forward was 'The Song Carriers' which turned the retirements of 'The Folk Boom' into a serous movement
Bert ws doing his best to ling British folk song with its international cousins - wonderful days when we midgets were riding on the shoulders of giants like MacColl, Lloyd, Parker, Lomax, Goldstein, Henderson, Norman Buchan.... and thankful for the lift
Where have all the heroes gone !!!
McGregor came tio folk in the early 1960s when he teamed up with Robin hall according to a talk he gave at Keele - up to that he was a trainee potter and a teacher, if memory serves
The Corries were formed around the same time, during the boom and only lasted six years

"You say a song about farting in Church is a folk song"
That was a quote by an old man who described the hundreds of anaonymous songs being made throughout Ireland and taking root for a time in the rural towns
They hardly survived the memory o the events they described, but they fitted any definition I've ever come cross of folk songs - they represented a largely lost folk repertoire
Ireland hasd a living Tradition up to the 40s until Church and State combined with the Dance Halls act, which killed off most home-made singing and music artificially   
In England our folk repertoire was largely as dead as a dodo
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 03:48 PM

The Corries only lasted six years? Ach well.


Ake,

I believe Scotland's first clubs might have been The Crown and/or The Buffs in Edinburgh circa 1958 but many others soon followed during the sixties.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 03:50 PM

Oops, last post was mine


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 04:50 PM

Hi John, I believe the Edinburgh University Club was pretty early but were they actual clubs or run as concert nights like ours?
I think I told you already, I have old video/DVD from the Pleasance featuring Silly wizard, Martin Simpson June Tabor the Macs and several others


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 04:59 PM

If I recall, that was an eighties TV progamme. "Fiddles, whistles and 'a'" for The BBC.
Filmed in The Pleasance but not connected with any of the local clubs. I went to a couple of the shows myself.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:10 PM

Could be right John, as June did "Flash Company" and "Gamekeepers" Martin did "First Cut" and Andy sang "Golden Golden" with SW.
BTW I agree with your remarks regarding the Scottish folk scene I see nothing insulting in anything you have ever written here or elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 05:31 PM

Where do you get "6 years" from, Jim ? I know it's "Wikipedia", but :
"The Corries were a Scottish folk group that emerged from the Scottish folk revival of the early 1960s. The group was a trio from their formation until 1966 when founder Bill Smith left the band but Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne continued as a duo until Williamson's death in 1990".
There are several clips from "Fiddles & Whistles An'A'" on "Youtube", guests also included "Ossian", Dougie MacLean, "The Albion Band", Allan Taylor and "Crannachan". One of TVs better efforts.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 07:34 PM

Yes, I was wondering about those six years that the Corries "lasted"

1962 until 1990

Never really bothered with touring or performing outside of Scotland by choice according to Ronnie Brown, although if anyone wants to verify that they could easily consult his book.

I only sing songs that I like.

First thing is that I have to like the melody

Second is that the song has got to be about something, it has to tell a story.

After I have learned the song, I then take great pleasure in finding out as much as I can about it, but that part of it is purely for personal interest.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 09:37 PM

Jim, I had a friend who a lot of people will remember who was a great singer and also a fierce man for the drink as the Irish might say.
One particular evening we had been celebrating being alive and at the end of the night he came out of the pub and as someone remarked set off for home in six different directions at once.
You seem to have the same problem when it comes to presenting your position with regard to the topic in hand. I get particularly confused when trying to interprit your typos and would ask that you self check your messages before pressing the send button - please.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 02:44 AM

Some interesting comments from the usual mudcat suspects

Will folk clubs survive post Covid 19? I thought was the question ~ but of course the wider longstanding questions are relevant

A number of pubs where folk music is an important source of revenue where I find the songs and the music are Doncaster Brewery Tap ~ where the pub brews and yes we sit in what was a Shop frontage ~ I reckon should survive

Fernandes Tap in Wakefield ~ real ale pub a good turn up of traditional style singers/musicians ~ and audience ~

Audience is vital for the on going survival of not just music performers but the pubs themselves

Polka Hop in Wakefield run by young folkies who attract the local Wakefield Morris and sword dancers and also musicians ~ while ever there is an interest in ppl gathering to make music, sing, dance and drink there will be a place and venue ~ all of course depends on continued interest

Concerty clubs are likely to hold and continue to hold Charity folk nights ~I know of two locally who make donations to Charities as a matter of course and attract audiences and enthusiasts on that premise

Professional singers are the key to Folk club continuance ~ many of the revival clubs were and continue to be run by the "young thrusters" there is and argumen that audiences are taken for granted and seen only as a source of income to pay for visiting professional and semi pro guests ~ this is another story!

So for folk clubs to survive depends on the attraction audience, and the nuts and bolts of how the club is run ~ it is not a matter of the guests booked attracting paying customers ~ for me in Barnsley the best guests are booked by the Local Authority entertainments ppl who have the bigger venues and can vary the entertainment and stand any losses whilst taking the profit (or increasing the contribution to fixed costs)

Folk scene is a wide wide animal with all sorts of facets

Folk clubs are ~I will define what I mean, a place where people congregate to sing songs play music and ditties that they (hopefully have learnt) to an audience of ppl who hopefully will embrace the performance ~ guest probably once every so often say once a month ish

A Folk club booking weekly guests is not to my mind a folk club ~ it is a Concert club ~ these should could and hopefully are run on a Club basis ~ it is hardwork and tasks need to be shared and this in turn should help the continued success of the venture

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:28 AM

Sorry Malcolm - I type far too fast and invariably send off my postings while doing something else
I'm afraid I don't accept 'typos' or suggestions that what I have to say is unclear as an excuse for not answering my points, which are, I believe too clear for some people
I'm disappointed that you should hide behind typos - you, of all people

We came together all those years ago to listen too and sing a particular type of song, many of us came to believe those songs to be far more significant than mere entertainment and we began to dig deeper
In the case of Pat and I, that included seeking out people who had a claim (though they may not have made it themselves) to be part of our oral traditions through either having participated in them or belonging to families who had
We spent over thirty years recording their songs and what they had to say about them and, largely based on what we learned, formed our opinions on where where they lay in the grand scheme of things
Some of what we had believed didn't hold water, much did, and we were able to add to that store of knowledge some things we hadn't known - Pat found something that had been staring people in the face about broken token songs that had gone unnoticed, and between us we found out masses about the way traditional singers had learned and passed on their songs and how they viewed them personally as singers (literally envisioned them, in fact!)

Probably one of our most important findings was that the people we met came from generations of natural song-makers who, contrary to the claims of some of our neo-scholars, didn't repeat songs they had been given like parrots, but in fact made many of them because of a desire to record what they saw and experienced - this has been overwhelmingly proved a fact in Ireland and to a lesser degree in Scotland; I see no reason why the same shouldn't be the case with England unless they/we were a particularly backward race

This is the nature of the beast we set out to capture - the remnants of a people's largely lost creative culture and oral history mixed into one enjoyable bundle
As younger people we enjoyed singing the songs - it sometimes took a little time to milk them for their full richness, but we got there in the end - I'm delighted to have lived long enough to see the Irish youth embark on the same path we did and again, I see no reason why that can't happen in Britain, where the ball appears to have been dropped at present
I still enjoy singing, I can't get enough of it, but more important than that, I'm pleased and proud to have something to leave behind in the hope that people will get as at least half much out of it as we did

I have vague memories of having met you on a couple of occasions - I seem to remember you having come from a similar background to myself
I had a pretty basic education and left school having been told by those who taught me that all people like me needed to get through life was the ability to count our wages at the end of the week
Luckily I came from background that taught me that wasn't enough -
My grandfather, a merchant seaman, believed that if you wanted to change the world you needed to educate yourself, so he helped set up the W.E.A among his fellow sailors - he became a fanatical Shakespearean buff, translated some of his plays into broad Scouse and was invited to give talks to students in his home town of Stoke on Trent when he was nearly 80
My dad was similar - an avid reader who wanted to make the world a better place, went off to fight Fascism in Spain, where he was wounded, imprisoned and tortured mentally for nearly a year
He came home to find he had been blacklisted via the authorities so he became a navvy, where he spent a great deal of effort trying to improve conditions
He never stopped reading and brought me up to do the same - he's another Shakespeare addict, as I have become - a family addiction

What I'm trying to say in my typically long-winded way is that I believe we stumbled across something extremely important and precious in our youth and, whether we like it or not, we bear a great responsibility for it (In Ireland they call it 'An geasach' (phonetic) - a binding commitment given as a gift)
It's our job to pass it on, whether we want to be bothered or not - I'm lucky enough to still want to be part of it

Should be enough typos in there to keep those who are inclined that way busy for a week :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:34 AM

Sorry Ray - I like sone of what you say but I believe professional singers, far from being "a key" are a burden we all have to bear
If we relay on them why not stay at home and listen in comfort
We should take our sustenance from our grass-roots nature £young thrusters" sounds a little partonising to me - they are, or should be any revival's lifeblood
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:41 AM

folk clubs need dedicated organisers ,a reliable and pleasant premises with good acoustics,one that is not at the mercy of changing managers, a good set of resident singers and musicians, and good promotion.
recently [feb 2020]   i had two fantastic nights one at stoke on trent and the other at stockton, one of the organisers of the potteries folk club anne morris an experienced organiser sent me a personal message thanking me for a wonderful night. are you listening clive pownceby?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:56 AM

Folk clubs, as being discussed, came into being less than 70 years ago. Folk music, as we know it, has been around for hundreds of not thousands of years and it will keep going long after the clubs have passed into legend. Much like this discussion really. The folk clubs of the 50s and 60s are gone and no one can turn the clock back. We have moved on but as long as someone is singing and playing the music it will continue to thrive in spite of what people say and do. That is the important thing. Folk music is far too big to be stopped by individuals or constrained by either venues or definition.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM

The problem isn't so much what happens to an individual club - some described here obviously have what it takes to survive - but a spiral of decline that affects them all. Less clubs within travelling distance makes a tour more expensive, which discourage a act from touring, which means less acts available, which means clubs get less attractive and more likely to close... that process can only be redirected by changes in the overall economics or culture of the folk scene. And the culture is the more flexible bit. I suspect we will see a closer integration of on-line performance and micro-venues which will largely replace the folk club institution - it won't be back to as it was before the 1950s but something new.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 05:19 AM

"it will keep going long after the clubs have passed into legend. "
It will surcive in books and archives - unless people encourage and take advantage of it it will not possibly "keep going" - there is now way it can
That is absolving the generation who re-discovered it from all responsibility for it
If everybody had done that it would have disappeared when it ceased to be part of our cultures
Ticking over in a few 'warm spots' is as far from "thriving" as you can possibly get
It is as "big" or "small" as the numbers involved Dave
That's a whole mixture of contradictions
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 05:58 AM

"I see no reason why the same shouldn't be the case with England unless they/we were a particularly backward race"

Same old mantra totally unfounded and illogical!

No-one has even hinted, let alone stated, that the English were not capable of, or indeed didn't compose songs.
We have repeatedly told you on numerous threads , and given examples, to show that they did and are still doing.

The point you totally cannot understand and will not take in is that because of their location and the lack of technology at the time (first half of 19th century) these songs had little chance of passing into the national or even regional corpus. When the collectors came along they were more interested in those songs that showed wider evidence of oral transmission as opposed to the locally composed pieces that showed little or no evidence of oral transmission.

For the umpteenth time, comparing 70s Irish travellers with early 19th century rural English is chalk and cheese, as regards what they wrote and sang.

'backward race'! Don't be ridiculous!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 06:13 AM

Steve wrote
Don't be ridiculous!
It is more than ridiculous. It is evidence of racist eugenic thinking and should not go unchallenged by the moderators.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 06:20 AM

At the beginning of the revival and well into the 60s the folk club was the life blood of the folkscene. For better or worse that is no longer the case. The folk clubs are only another facet of a widely diverse collection of venues and outlets. This will help it to survive, and in my opinion is a much healthier situation.

One aspect that is healthier is that instead of being tucked away in a private room in a pub the music is being taken out into the wide world where anyone can access it and come across it by accident.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:00 AM

I don't think I said folk clubs rely on the guest artist being booked ~

1 I think that it is a good idea that the young thruster professionals
should run their own clubs and attract their own audience, to rely
on folk clubs (see my definition above posting) creating an audience   
and
booking guests is a thankless task and should not be taken for granted
   
2 Many artist do rely on their good name and ability for bookings and
their attitude is "I am an artist I do not run clubs" ~ yes yes there
are a number who do! But do the artists NOT have a duty to be   
inclusive, to research and teach and be sociable towards younger and
older ppl as well as encouraging audience and club allegiance?

There are many very good/excellent guest artists looking for work ~ so why do they not get working on creating their own clubs and popularising the genre ~

Yes of course many look to different venues ~ is this the way forwards?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:17 AM

Sigh.....
"No-one has even hinted, let alone stated, that the English were not capable of, or indeed didn't compose songs."
Suggesting that 90% plus of our folk songs were originated from the pens of bad poets - the hacks - is saying exactly that - as is your equating loccaly made songs (when I raised the matter) as the scribbling of retired people with little else to do
What do you suggest our traditional singers were other than parrots repeating whet they had bought Steve
I agree entirely with Vic, though I dought if our meanings are the same - it is "racist" to suggest that the English people didn't make our songs as the Irish now obviously dis
What part exactly do you claim the singers had in the compostion of our folk songs Steve - have you really changed your mind
Ot maybe I misraed and you didn't say they had to buy them ?

Not only did the songs and stories sweel Ebgland/Britain - they were found in Europe
Britain was an Empire - it's soldiers, sailors, peddlers, Travellers, itinerant labourers..... covered the world
Stop making excuses - we know these songs proliferated wherever the English set foot - at home and abroad

If, has as been pointed out, it only takes one person to make a community literary, then equally it only takes one singer to spread a song wherever he/she travels

We don't know for certain who made our folk-songs - we never shall, we can only deal in probabilities
It is highly improbable that desk bound bad poets forced to work at a rate of knots under pressure could possibly have made songs as intimate and insightful of the rural human condition as is to be found in our folk songs
It is far likelier that those who experienced the events described did
It really never gets more difficult than that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:31 AM

I think the real problem is that people like Jim still see folk music as a vehicle to advance a political position.    Although this idea was shared by Ewan, Pete, Woody and the BNP, it is totally false and bears no relation to the music of the people, which was usually aimed at making themselves feel better through song and dance.    Politics never made ANYBODY feel better.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:37 AM

I have spent far more time (and money) at festivals and workshops (all round Europe) in recent years than I have at folk clubs. Most of the ones I've been to before, and might have gone to this year, have compensated for the cancellations by organizing some sort of web-based content - video retrospectives, new album releases and previews by their most visible performers, Skype/Zoom tutoring and playalongs... it's been pretty actuve, more than I can follow. Some local sessions are doing the same in virtual pubs. Surely folk clubs need to do that if they are going to live through hibernation. Who's doing this well?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:51 AM

I'm not arguing with you, Jim. I have stated my point of view. Everyone knows yours. Neither will change and to repeat those views ad infinitum results in rancour and insanity. I disagree with your standpoint but accept it is your view. If you could do the same you can draw a line under it as I am now.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 08:13 AM

Jack asks "Who's doing this well? "

Well this is quite important.

There is so much going on online out there including individual artists, musicians, and singers promoting themselves for a variety of reasons. Some just like performing and getting the music out there but, for some, there are financial considerations.
As Jack says, local sessions, workshop tutors, festival organisers are all doing this sort of thing too.

I too find it hard to keep up with it all and there's still plenty of other musical things I can be doing at home without worrying about too much increased activity online.

However, I think most of us will be more discerning as to to which videos we check out, groups we join or follow and so on. So, it's possible that we might even become less loyal to our local clubs and/or sessions etc if we see that there's something better out there.
With The Internet, "the world is your oyster" so to speak but, with live music in the real world, your access is restricted to venues and events within travelling distance although we obviously make a special effort to visit some of our favourite festivals too.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 08:21 AM

"I think the real problem is that people like Jim still see folk music as a vehicle to advance a political position."
Try responding to what I have said rather than throwing stones at it from a sake distance Ake
If you think folk song is the product of the educated elite - don't beat about the bush - just come out and say so

"I have stated my point of view. "
Me to - that's what were here for
The queue of people pleading the fifth on the grounds it might incriminate them grows longer and longer by the day
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM

Politics never made ANYBODY feel better.

Nonsense. The Scottish independence movement has consistently had exhilarating music, so did the anti-racist and gay liberation struggles in their heyday.

It's a downer (speaking as an enthusistic indy street musician) that the Scottish national struggle has been suspended until the plague's over, and we need to do something about that.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM

Jim
As ever, songwriters write songs. Not many others had the time or the inclination, and is still thus!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 09:53 AM

I'm not going over all that stuff again. If anyone has the slightest interest they can go back over all the responses to Jim's twaddle on this subject.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 10:19 AM

"I'm not going over all that stuff again."
I didn't expect for a moment you would Steve
You have always been at a loss to back up your outlandish claims with rational or even friendly argument and that obviously remains the case
Suggesting that the English hadn't the time to write songs while the Irish undergoing Famine wars of national liberation, mass enforced exile, struggles for land... used those hardships to produce thousands of their most important songs appears to add to your somewhat jaundiced view of the English rural dweller
If you are going to make claims as important as you have about 'The Voice of the People' you need to have thought them through very carefully - you obviously have not, which saddens me quite a bit
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 10:49 AM

"so did the anti-racist and gay liberation struggles"
The memory of the Civil Rights Struggles in the Southern United States heve been imprinted forever in our memories through the songs they produced - as did those on the fight against slavery a century before
ONE OF THE MOST POLITICAL OF THE IRISH ONES
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 11:19 AM

>>>>>you need to have thought them through very carefully - you obviously have not, which saddens me quite a bit<<<<<

Not only have I thought them through carefully, I have actually done the research on almost every single ballad and most of it published. Where's yours?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 11:21 AM

Not only that, but if the current confinement continues I will have all the proof you need out there in under a year. (That's the 90% BTW)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 11:43 AM

jesus christ .lets hope he rises again


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 12:09 PM

"Where's yours?"
You know wheer mine is Steve - thirty years of it
How about sharing your proof ?
All the research in the world is meaningless as regards claims such as your without proof
You fly in the face aof everything that has been believed to date - including by veteran broadside researchers such as Leslie Shepherd
"My resarrch's bigger than yours reduces research to a pissing competition - that is not what I want to be involved in
I left that sort of thing behind in Junior school - got fed up with wining!!
So far, you have admitted that you are unable to guarantee your claims for a single song and have admitted this is your opinion only
What more can I wish for ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 12:53 PM

Old anti-drummer joke
A man walks into a shop and says, "I'm a drummer and I've decided to change my instrument
I'd like a Martin guitar, raised frets and a mother of-pearl designs inlay along the neck - with Thomasistic strings"
The man behind the counter stares at him for a second and says, "This is a fish shop"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 12:58 PM

Jim's idea of what a folk club should be would end up with a tiny audience and would die out within weeks. Most club attendees I suspect have wider tastes, which stretch to contemporary songs in the folk idiom, and love the variety of music in the folk genre that can be enjoyed at a well run club such as the Topic in Bradford or the Black Swan in York. Perhaps if Jim popped across here and visited one of them he might find he has an enjoyable and rewarding evening

I was pleased to see earlier that the Black Swan has put together a virtual club night with guests Chris While & Julie Matthews and floor spots from club regulars (sound quality is poor in the first couple of videos unfortunately)

Black Swan Virtual Club Night


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 02:40 PM

'How about sharing your proof ?'

Again, Jim, you are not reading what people are stating here.

Just a reminder...(readers must be sick of me repeating this)

FACT..90% of the earliest extant versions of those folksongs in the published English corpus are from urban commercial sources.

OPINION (from 50 years study of hundreds of thousands of ballads) this is where 95% originated.

My proof is already out there in 4 published books and numerous articles in other books and journals. And as I've just stated within the next 12 months I will be publishing the earliest sources for all of them.

If you want to read the material before I bring it all together you can find most of it in second editions of Marrow Bones, The Wanton Seed, Southern Harvest, and the new book shortly out, Southern Songster.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 02:48 PM

"Jim's idea of what a folk club should be would end up with a tiny audience and would die out within weeks"
Given the right circumstances - well sung songs fitting the description you give your club - there is no earthly reason that should be the case - that is the limit of what I suggest - no purism - no banning of accompaniment, no "traditional songs" only...
That formula worked for decades and petered out when it was no longer the case
Wider tastes - you mean you expect jazz clubs to put on grand opera or vice versa
Why make such demands on folk clubs unless you regard folk not worth bothering about - do you ?

A few yeras ago I young man I have now come to know well as a friend, posted on this forum that a group of his contemporaries were starting a singing club in Dublin to cater for young people
I ave to say I bridled somewhat to be excluded because of my age (not the case of course)
Now, 'The Night Before Larry Was Stretched' (abbreviated to 'Larry - thank god) is ranked among the best folk clubs I ahve ever attended
Unnacomanied tradition songs, well sung mainly by young people, some of whom are carving a name for themselves elsewhere
Why can't that happen in Britain/England
The only reason I can think of is that there are too few people who have the confidence in our folk songs any more
Sad, sad, sad
Have I aver said what I enjoy and don't enjoy - don't remember have to any extent, but it's immaterial anyway
I love mid-career Sinatra but I wouldn't want to find it at a folk club
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 02:55 PM

Why can't that happen in Britain/England

We have given you numerous examples of this happening in Britain. You just dismiss them.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:26 PM

i do not know about bradford topic or the black swan.
all i can say is that i recently had to excellent gigs one at stockton folk club and one at the potteries folk club in stoke on trent, both clubs were full, and i had good nights, with good audience singing , the organiser of the stoke folk club, annie morris sent me a message thankyou for a wonderful night, annie morris used to run a folk club at the black swan in fallowfield manchester and is an experienced organiser.
i know jim would have enjoyed those nights.
i used to play the black swan and bradford topic , i suspect they do not book me any more because they consider me too tradtional[ even though i sing some contemporary songs written in trad style].
i dont care , i had two great gigs in february ,it was just like it used to be good singing and good songs, i get booked here in ireland i had a great gig [unaccompanied] no banjo or concertina allowed i dont care, we all had a great time tradtional music is alive and well in ireland, and stoke on trent and stockton on tees ,and the wilsons club in teeside, bradford topic used to be an ok club too , but cannot comment on it now. I HAVE very few REGRETS ABOUT MOVING TO IRELAND. I hve given myself two places to perform,I CAN HEAR HIGH STANDARD OF TRADTIONAL MUSIC FOR SEVERAL HOURS MOST DAYS ON RADIO+NA+GAELTACHTA.I do miss watching good morris dancing, and i think folk clubs are superior to open mics, and i would be soory to see them disappear, particularly the ones i have mentioned which are based on high resident singer standard


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:35 PM

I disagree withJOE GRINT , I HAVE RECNTLY QUOTED TWO CLUBS BASED ON JIMS CRITERIA THEY WERE BOTH FULL. i talk from experience joe grint, you are basing your analysis upon your own club.
ihave had excellent gigs at the following clubs over the last couple of years bodmin, welly teeside folk club stoke on trent, stockton, darlington workshop, folk on the moor nr plymouth derby folk club, these are clubs that fit jims criteria.
personally i think there should be room for trad clubs, contemporary clubs blues clubs and clubs that feature all


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:37 PM

"Jim's idea of what a folk club should be would end up with a tiny audience and would die out within weeks"
Jim has complimented us on our booking policy and choice of guests in the past at Tigerfolk, Long Eaton (our last guests before the lockdown were Kevin and Ellen Mitchell with a surprise drop in by Francey Devine) and in February we celebrated our 29th Birthday.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:43 PM

I would say that at the very least 90% of the music and songs I hear in folk clubs is folk music as I and most people (except Jim :-) ) consider it. Clubs that had a narrower booking policy based primarily around traditional song alone would not appeal to me and I suspect would significant narrow their potential audience base. The variety of music to be heard at clubs is their attraction to most I suspect. Jim keeps throwing up extreme comparisons but as has been said so many times on here the music most often heard at folk clubs (certainly those I have attended since the age of 17 - 43 years!) is folk music. Not jazz, not opera, not 'pop'. I've been to see a few blues players at folk clubs over the years and I booked an excellent Danishfolk /jazz fusion band but other than that almost everything else I have heard has been folk


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:49 PM

Jim's idea of what a folk club should be would end up with a tiny audience and would die out within weeks. Most club attendees I suspect have wider tastes, which stretch to contemporary songs in the folk idiom, and love the variety of music in the folk genre that can be enjoyed at a well run club such as the Topic in Bradford or the Black Swan in York. quote joe grint.
ihave quoted 7 clubs that are well run and based on jims criteria, and are succesful


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:52 PM

Fair enough Dick - I'm just glad you understand what Jim's criteria are :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:57 PM

Will folk clubs survive? Yes, of course they will, along with all the other diverse outlets for the music. Of all types of music I can think of folk music is the most accessible and easiest to get actively involved in. Before WWII it wasn't there but ordinary folk had a lot more on their minds than music and by and large they were happy to sit back and listen. A lot of things changed after the war, and though things have evolved since then you are not going to see a decline in our music. It's never going to be mainstream but it never has been. Surely that's part of the attraction.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:59 PM

Jim - 'Given the right circumstances - well sung songs fitting the description you give your club - there is no earthly reason that should be the case - that is the limit of what I suggest - no purism - no banning of accompaniment, no "traditional songs" only...'

That seems perfectly reasonable and what I have experienced at almost every folk club I have been to :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:09 PM

Whilst accepting this OP is about folk clubs, there have been criticisms of people using folders and phones etc. I'm not keen on this myself, but not one session or folk club or similar I have attended in the past 30 years has had a majority of performers using this method. In fact in any event where it has happened they have been very much in the minority. At some point one would hope they would look around and see that the majority are having more success and applause by singing songs they have learnt. I have also noticed singers progressing from using the crutch to throwing the crutch away.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:15 PM

Sorry that last Guest was me. Looks like my login had logged out!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:19 PM

joe grint please note
Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave Sutherland - PM
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 03:37 PM

"Jim's idea of what a folk club should be would end up with a tiny audience and would die out within weeks"
Jim has complimented us on our booking policy and choice of guests in the past at Tigerfolk, Long Eaton (our last guests before the lockdown were Kevin and Ellen Mitchell with a surprise drop in by Francey Devine) and in February we celebrated our 29th Birthday.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:43 PM

Yes I saw that thanks


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 07:50 PM

"Suggesting that the English hadn't the time to write songs while the Irish undergoing Famine wars of national liberation, mass enforced exile, struggles for land... used those hardships to produce thousands of their most important songs appears to add to your somewhat jaundiced view of the English rural dweller"

The "English" have written a vast number of songs, many now falsely claimed by the Irish purely because Luke Kelly on his numerous sabbaticals brought them them back and introduced them into the Dubliners repertoire.

The Irish, their claim to fame as the MOPE [Most Oppressed People Ever] is a bit of a joke. Under the rule of the British the people of Ireland suffered no more from Famine {See Scotland 1700 -1707 & 1847 -1851} Struggles for land [The enclosures] The population were treated no differently than anywhere else in the Kingdom. There were a number of factors that mitigated certain events throughout the British Isles and they were largely down to the resilience and common sense of the people. Nowhere at all in any discussion of the Famine in Ireland do I ever hear that 40 years before it happened land owners and tenant farmers in Ireland were warned and told that they had to alter their ways and that all such advice was studiously ignored - always easiest to blame someone else.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 08:03 PM

Something that is likely to change in the near future: the way people structure their listening experience.

Web-based music making is likely to improve very fast. There is an incentive for the makers of software like Zoom to improve their product, and people are going to improve their use of it. Already the sound quality you can get at home from an Internet performance can be better than what a typical folk club sound tech can achieve.

So, the sonic experience isn't a USP for the live folk club.

More importantly, music on the web is a mass of files of every duration you could want, linked by every relationship the user might want to follow. Want to spend an evening listening to versions of Long Lankin, follow an Arabic oud piece with an animated score, trance out to a full-length concert video from 30 years ago, play singalongs for your kids at bedtime, put together your own assemblage of John Prine's career, switch from a Spanish Civil War song to a related Pathe newsreel, listen to something a friend just messaged you about - none of that is doable from your seat in a folk club. The stasis of a folk club goes deeper than simply spending all evening in the same consumer relationship to the same performers doing material of the same genre you got last month.

So what does a folk club have to offer to somebody with those enlarged expectations? In their present format, not a lot - to anyone, since older generations who ignored music on the web in the past will now be driven to use it willy-nilly.

Drastic change is inevitable.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM

Drastic change is inevitable.
your opinion,based on the claim that technological improvement will be more important than accustomed social interaction, you might be right you might be wrong ,lets wait and see, but i think old habits will die harder than you think, your predicted change, if it happens, is likely in my opinion to be more gradual than you think
since you have a crystal ball can you tell me the winning numbers of the lotto


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:39 AM

"We have given you numerous examples of this happening in Britain. You just dismiss them."
I don't dismiss anything out of hand
I have ad description from a few sating "it's all right in our area" - that doesn't tie up with the fact that the club scene has reduced from thousands of clubs to less than two hundred and that a fraction of those have rejected folk song and adopted the 'singing horse' definition   
My concern is for the songs Steve - yours should be as a researcher
Non folk folk clubs, crib sheets and indifferent singing has not only become a major problem but has been argued for using terms like 'elitism'
Whenever it is suggested that folk clubs should live up to their chosen description we are deafened by hysterical shrieks of "folk police"
Folk song will not survive that treatment - it is not surviving it
I have no intention of taking up Observers somewhat snide attack on the Irish and I hope nobody else does - I hate national jealousy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 04:33 AM

Jim, whilst there is a modicum of truth in what you say, please take it from one who is in the thick of it, the music will survive and thrive. Your position is very extreme and doom-laden. The situation does not warrant this.

BTW have you got the Irish versions of Lord Robert, Child 87? (Lord Abore).

For once I find myself siding with Dick. Jack, you are not taking into account the social interaction and the desire to sit amongst those you are singing with. I'm in a 6-piece group. We all love performing and all sing and play instruments. I can't see anything changing there. We are also bringing in younger members who like what we do and want to be part of it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 04:53 AM

No guarantee Steve and survival like the frigging virus - has t be worked for
You are talking about you - I'm in a position where I ahve to take an overview and believe me, I have friends from the Gorbals to Glastonbury who say different
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:11 AM

Everyone has responded to the "Subject" title, but I don't think that anyone has actually answered the initial question, which was :
"Once the pandemic subsides and it is safe for people to gather again, how many venues have made a commitment to welcome the folk clubs back".
There's no doubt that some clubs will come back, but how many won't ? And will any new ones start up ?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:15 AM

Jack:   "older generations who ignored music on the web in the past will now be driven to use it willy-nilly."

There will no doubt be some changes and more interest in the possibilities for doing things online but most people will still want to "meet up" when all this is over.

I'm quite "au fait" with technology and the various possibilities but I don't feel "driven" to use them all as a matter of course. I still like to think I have a choice and I'll use technology as I see fit.
Even at this moment, I don't intend to embrace everything which is on offer. I still like to be selective and there's plenty of ways to enjoy music and the online experience is only part of it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:16 AM

Neither hearsay not anecdotal evidence would sway a critical judge. Only true and verifiable facts or the testimony of an expert witness will do. We have to ask ourselves who can provide those facts and expertise. I am not arguing for or against any claims but, given the evidence, I know where my money goes!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM

I did have the social interaction aspect in mind - acts that involve interaction with the audience are doing something that you can't get in the same way mediated by the Internet, and people will still want that experience (though getting together with a small group of friends also does it, no club or professionals involved). But there are more acts that do exactly the same thing in every show on their tour, playing off the same setlist with the same jokes in the same places. They don't have what it takes to get bookings after this is over.

But in the long run, live performance will have to interact with online world, not simply provide something separate and different. I can't imagine what forms that kind of interaction will take but I expect it's already developing.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:31 AM

I agree that some of those performers who do exactly the same act every night will be "found out" much more quickly especially as there are now already many live streams available.

The Edinburgh Folk Club has been broadcasting some of their gigs for some time time and other clubs too. However, the videos don't quite convey the same atmosphere as you experience at the actual gig and, in many cases, can even make things look quite amateurish. The "raffle" is even more tedious than normal, for instance. :-))


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:35 AM

"Only true and verifiable facts or the testimony of an expert witness will
do"
With respect Dave - that's unbelievably stupid
I have no evidence that our politicians are charlatans and thieves but it hasn't stopped us discussing these traits elsewhere
We have to rely on what we are told by people we trust - we can't be everywhere at the same time
I know for a fact that singers who were once household names won't go to clubs any more because of "the shitholes that many of the clubs have become" - to quote a recent communication
I keep finding singers who I thought must be dead are still alive and healthy - and well able to sing, but can't be arsed any more because of the indifferent and often hostile reception their songs have met with
You were the one who put a number on the present clubs

"Remote singing"
Singing folk songs has always been a form of human contact - electrionic contact is a form of alienation in my opinion - for the reasons I ahve given
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

You were the one who put a number on the present clubs

No I wasnt, Jim. I simply linked a Wiki artcle. It is not known who put that number on or how they arrived at it. I know I said I am not arguing with you but when you purposely misrepresent the facts I feel you should be corrected.

But rather than keep dredging up the past how about moving on to folk clubs surviving the crisis? As I said earlier, the folk club of the 50s and 60s is dead and buried anyway. Maybe if the idea of that Folk club doesn't survive this crisis, that may not be a bad thing. The music will survive and thrive as it did before the viral onset of folk clubs. Maybe it is time for something else and this virus will be a catalyst to make that happen. I don't know what clubs will survive and in what format but folk music will live on regardless.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:15 AM

The Edinburgh Folk Club has been broadcasting some of their gigs for some time time and other clubs too. However, the videos don't quite convey the same atmosphere as you experience at the actual gig and, in many cases, can even make things look quite amateurish. The "raffle" is even more tedious than normal, for instance. :-))

Folk club raffle videos would be a really obscure niche for YouTube.   Though you could easily do them for real on Zoom. I wonder when the gambling regulators would step in?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:31 AM

"No I wasnt, Jim. I simply linked a Wiki article."
You put it up as an argument of how well folk clubs were doing Dave
If you didn'y belive it you wouldn't have put it up
There's no point in arguing- it's a done deal
Why confine it to clubs surviving the crisis when it appears that they have their own exusive crisis
It seems an ideal time to discuss their future as purveyors of folk clubs - as far as I can see, there's little point in working to retun them to what they were any more thnan there's little point in working to give Britain back to Boris and his Breeders if there is a chance of using the crisis as a new broom for the improvement of all, including the lesser well off
They learned that as far back as The Fire of London - a better life rising from the ashes

If always been aware of the decline in the club scene - coming to Mudcat persuaded me that I wasn't the only one when I read reports of unn accompanied singers being shown hostility at some clubs, or not finding what they were looking for at folk clubs any more, or having to sit through bad singing to hear an occasionally well sung song.... it's all been raised here at one time or anotherer, and it's anecdotal evidence like this you would have us dismiss out of hand
Te evidence comes in a reversed form too - as a defence for some of the above - do't discourage crib shets or don't put bad singers off from singing in public...
Tere are remedies for all these things but it should never be inflicting it on an audience

I believe most people can sing - if they put in the work they can improve their singing - if they reall work at it they can become bloody good singers
It lay within the abilities of most clubs I have been involved with to assist in this - and it happened
It is to all our advantages - and to the music itself that it happens again
If someone wants to sing something else I wouldn't wish to stop them - but they sould find somewhere other than folk club to sing it - we owe that to ourselves, those who turn up to listen to folk songs, and to the future of the music itself
I wouldxpct that someone who wished to sing pop songs at a fok club should be made welcome as I would be turning up to a local amature opera society and blasting out thirty verses of Young Hunting in open voiced traditional style
Why should folk be treated as a poor and embarrassing relation ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:59 AM

Why don't we forget the clubs and start putting an emphasis on "street music".....The Irish have made it work and trad Jazz in New Orleans is gaining in popularity through groups like Tuba Skinny and others taking the music directly to the people and incorporating dance in the mix.
It brings life back to the music. The historical aspect will always be there for those with the will to look for it.
Dance was always a large part of traditional music, in Scotland, Ireland , England and Wales. I has been written out of history.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:01 AM

I'm a little wary about commenting here, Jim, as I don't wish to offend.

However, you say

"I believe most people can sing - if they put in the work they can improve their singing - if they reall work at it they can become bloody good singers "

This is true but there are other possibilities outwith the folk club scene whereby budding singers can hone their skills and gain confidence. e.g. community groups, courses, and workshops. Many of these also organise concerts, sessions, small get togethers which aren't too dissimilar to what many folk clubs do.

Several years ago, the Scots Music Group started up in Edinburgh and many people became interested in traditional music via this route and gained enough confidence to sing and play. They wouldn't have considered doing this via the folk club route which was considered to be very "cliquey" by many unless your were a part of it. Even many club regulars would be reluctant to have a go in case they upset the long term club performers or their input wasn't welcome. Also, if you are naturally shy, doing a floor spot for the first time can be a very daunting step.

There are many similar organisations to SMG up and down the country and plenty of other opportunities to get involved in folk music and song. Of course, they all imperfect and have their flaws just as folk clubs do. However, I think there's a place for everything.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:23 AM

"budding singers can hone their skills and gain confidence"
Why should folk club audiences be invited to sit and watch singers practice in public when it's not necessary ?
Would you expect that from any other music scene - idf not, what is there about folksong that makes it acceptable ?
I've been involved is singing workshops all the time I've been involved in folk song and I've benefitted in numerous ways
I get a buzz out of watching singers improve and become butterflies
I have seen club nights improve with the addition of new singers who have been at the workshops
And, from a purely selfish point of view, I have never been in a weokeshop and not learned something about my own singing from working with others
That's how the Critics Group was set up - mutual help that we were all benefiting from simply by being forced to think about the problems in order to solve them - a win-win situation all around - for the newbie, for those helping him/her and for the audiences at your club
MacColl was constantly saying that he learned more from working with the Critics Group than he ever did anywhere else - he said that tight up to his death - even after the Acting Group broke up as acrimoniously as it did
This is why I hammer on as much as I do to at least look at and discuss the work we did before you bin it
Please don't worry about offending me Johnny - I have far too short a fuse and I'll let you now when you have

The clubs are where you go, not just to listen to music, but to associate with people who share your interests and possibly work together
I came away with a wife - hope her husband never comes looking for her:-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:35 AM

You put it up as an argument of how well folk clubs were doing Dave
If you didn'y belive it you wouldn't have put it up
There's no point in arguing- it's a done deal


Yet again you are misrepresenting the facts Jim. You argued that clubs were failing because they no longer presented folk music. I put up the article because it said

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends.

The numbers are mentioned elsewhere but only you fixated on them. The numbers are disputed anyway and my link to the article had sweet Fanny Adams to do with them.

I agree that there is no point in arguing but as long as you keep getting it wrong I shall keep correcting you. I have the patience of a saint:-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:47 AM

Sorry Dave - let's leave it
I've put upi the evidence (and where to find more) of why the clubs declined
If you're not prepered even to discuss that it's pissing in the wind to expect you would consider more
I didn't quote what you said b=ecause I belived it - that number knocked my sideways in fact
I put it up because it wa given as proof that the cene was healthy
If you don't accept that I suggest you revisit it as I have
I'm too old for Balck Holes
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:52 AM

Can I just add to allt this that some time ago (thanks to a suggestion here) I purchased a limp of PCloud in order to distribute our archive in the hope people would make use of it - sing some of it maybe
I'm more than a little cffed at the sccess to date - from Ireland, from the US - from Australia
Not nearly enough from the UK
It's a permanent feature for whoever wants to use it and I'm open to requests to add stuff if we have it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:11 AM

The number of guest booking clubs has declined much more in the 21century compared to how many there were in the 80s,
i agree with a fair bit that jim says, we have now many competent guests but 50 percent of them in my opinion play nothing that resembles folk music as i knew it, and i first went in to a folkblues club in 1966, if they were playing blues which is the roots of american folk music,i wouldnt mind, but no what i sometimes hear is competent soulless drivel about their love life its worse thatn dylans ballad in plain d,
Iwas booked at chippenham folk festival in 2019, the best performers in my opinion were nic dow,jack rutter, the wilsons, john bowden and vic shepherd, what a proprtion of some of the others were doing at a folk festival i have no feckin idea.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:15 AM

Billy Connolly visited the Arran Folk Festival, and the organisers asked him if he would draw the raffle.

Billy was happy to oblige. The raffle took over an hour, and many people said it was the best act that they had seen.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:22 AM

Would love to hve ben there Henry - wouldn't have minded listening to the banjo or drinking pissy Scots beer :-)
Loved Arran though
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:42 AM

Might I ask what "purchased a limp of PCloud" was intended to mean? Any source of words, airs, or even songs, is always welcome. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 09:09 AM

Will be in touch An
There's more than your heart could possibly desire
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 10:24 AM

AnBu
If you PM me an email address I'll link you to my PCloud
There's a permanent selection of stuff which I leave in until I think there will be no more takers - probably indefinitely
Help yourself
Anything specific, I'll have a look and let you know and if you give me some idea of yor tastes I'll make suggestions
I've recently put i a pile of US material (non-available albums mainly) by request - there are a lot of them and there will probably be more when the two American friends get their act together
Help yourself to that, but that will not be permanent - too big
E-mail address and I'll let you have mine so the children can't listen in :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 11:30 AM

I put it up because it wa given as proof that the cene was healthy


I'm not sure there is any different way of putting this

NOT BY ME IT WASN'T! STOP MISREPRESENTING WHAT I SAID


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 11:36 AM

Why did you put it up Dave ?
In the end, it doesn't matter anyway - that many clubs makes my case perfectly
I may be mistaking what you say Dave BUT I NEVER DELIBERATELY MISINTERPRET ANYTHING ANYBODY SAYS - IT'S NOT WHO I AM
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:10 PM

Why did you put it up Dave ?

I refer you to my list of 07:35 AM today.

You may well be mistaking what I said but when I told you precisely why I put it up less than 4 hours ago I begin to wonder...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:26 PM

List=post


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:44 PM

That was not the argument at the time Dave - you were claiming the clubs hadn't declined
Around that tim you actually invited to stay with me and visit your clubs
I ahve pointed out consistently what I believe the reason to be for their decline and have quoted the 'Crap begets Crap' correspondence
Thow "musical tastes" of those who walked away - myself included was exactly the opposite - because our musical tastes hadn't changed but the clubs no longer catered for why we'd siigned up in the first place - along with declining standards, noisy clubs and poor administration
Prior to this plummet, the scene had neverreally been so healthy, plenty of our own magazines (we were thinking of starting another), a few record labels, folk shops...
Not me who's misinter
preting - deliberate or otherwise
You have never put up a shred of evidence to back up your..... guess maybe?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 01:04 PM

That was not the argument at the time Dave

It was the argument I was making. If someone else was making another one take it up with them. Just stop assigning things I have not said to me and I will be happy.

Now, how about looking forward instead of back?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 01:18 PM

Sorry Dave did you not claim the clubs where in fine fettle and invite me over to prove it ?
must have gone to bed on a bad pint to have imagined that
Let's leave it at that - I hav e no desire to either retrace old ground nor fall out with you
The figure show what a shitty level the scene has fallen to
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 02:07 PM

I claimed the clubs I go to were in "fine fettle" and did invite you to see. I have no idea about clubs elsewhere other than what people say on here. The people that attend other clubs tell me that they are also in fine fettle. You tell me they are not. I made my choice as to what to believe when these arguments first started so, yes, there is little point continuing. But I will still correct you whenever you misrepresent me. The saintly patience is still intact :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:02 PM

Sorry Dave - you are wriggling like a landed eel
We are wasting space
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM

Ok,Jim. Whatever. You have reminded me why having this discussion with you is pointless. I'll resume when you misrepresent me again.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:42 PM

Jim - I printed out your last post that mentioned me with the intention of giving you and the world a potted history of my background and my involvement in folk music.

I have just ploughed through 50 or so posts mostly involving yourself and have decided not to bother.

I will carry on organising events that people enjoy and which are primarily concerned with traditional dance, music and song.

I also hope, once the current problems are over to continue attending events to support others with similar aims.

All the best

Malcolm and, yes, we have met.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:35 PM

There is some interesting discussion about the state of the folk club scene over the last decade or so, but personally I am still not sure if folk clubs as we know, and sometime love, them will whether the storm. Nearly every folk club I went to in London has closed either mainly due to the fickleness of pub venues.

What we don't know is how many existing venues will still be in business when the lockdown finally ends, how many of us will be around or will have the will to organise or even attend clubs. There will always be performers, but if we lose the intimacy of small/medium size clubs in favour of concert venues, folk as an inclusive entertainment will get harder to find.

I have no worries for the future of folk song and music. For as long as we have collections preserved, that reference point will always be there. I believe their will continue to be new waves of technically brilliant professional, but without the continuity of clubs, that understanding of 'community in performance' could be lost.

I know that I am doing nowhere near enough to support folk clubs, with so many other distractions in my everyday life.

Anyway - gone off on a tangent - I read suggestions that 'clubs' could continue but go underground, a bit like Czech Theatre did under commmunism, for example Havel producing living room performances. Maybe this is something that folk needs to do, but I can't see it re-emerging later as this isn't the same as countering cultural suppression. With pop-up micro pubs - there are a few near me but they are very small. One I go to is smaller than my living room!

I guess we need to wait and see what happens.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 03:22 AM

Wasn't a potted history Malcolm of your history - just a recollection of having met you briefly - I really don't know why people paint an impression of me that is inaccurate - I try to be fair and open with others
Ah well - never mind eh ?

Of course the music will survives in somebody's cupboard somewhere if that's what people want - maybe someone will find it like The Dead Sea Scrolls if the world survives its present misuse
I'd much rather it was giving others the same pleasure it gave us while I'm still around to be part of it and I'd rather that happened face to face than as disembodied sounds or back to the "me performer - you bum on chair" music industry ethos we all ran to escape from
It happened with a little effort for a large part of my life and I'm now lucky enough watching Irish youngsters in their thousands making the same discovery and use of their heritage just as well and in many cases, far better than we ever did
Clare County Library put our Clare song collection on line a few years ago and now we're hearing those songs sung back at us wherever we go - better thn winning The Lotto anyday
I can't for the life of me see why that can't happen again in England - I really can't

At least these discussions seem to have moved on from "our folk club scene is fine and you are out of touch" to "We don't need folk clubs anymore" - progress of sorts I suppose, but I'm not sure in which direction

I argued with MacColl during an interview we did with him when he predicted that there was a possibility that folk would die "if it fell into the hands of those who didn't like or appreciate or understand it" - I wish he was still around so I can apologise
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 05:23 AM

You seem to be suggesting that all of us who have spent our lives being obsessed by folk music will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over. A very negative and doom laden attitude! There are enough of us obsessives in every part of the UK to ensure that this will continue in whatever form; concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools.

Just before the lockdown struck we managed to fit in a free 4-hour concert in the local Minster that had footfall of near 800, and just before that we had a packed-out chanty night. Had the lockdown not struck our 6-piece group were booked to go into a secondary school to start up a once a week folk club. This has merely been postponed. Whilst in lock-down we are continuing to work on our 4th album. 2 of us are also working on digitised recordings of 60s folk club recordings to go into the local Folk Archive followed by setting up a website to publicise this, all funded by ourselves. I am just finishing off another book whilst working on two book chapters to be published next year.

What more do you want?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

"will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over"
Where did I do that Steve ?
I've been pointing out the poor state of things since long before all this was still being written about by Science Fiction writers
I've been 'arguing with those who dedicated their lives to it like you' that things have gone radically wrong to the point of no return and being told to mid my own business - I don't now what I am talking about
As far as I can see, many who should know better have become a part of the problem rather than a solution
Some things have continued, but nowhere near enough and the confusion that has been deliberately created around the term 'folk' is likely to kick many o them into touch before too long
One you remove the foundation - the building collapses
Groups are fine as a diversion but our fol songs are solo animals that require solitude to make them work - whoever wrote them they are single thoughts put into verse
In the main, I find most groups sound rather than narration - try imagining The Illiad or Tess read by four-five-six voices
Your a little behind with your digitied live performances - I've been distributing them for years and have had little luck (if some) trying to do just that on this forum
I sent a load of the Singers Club to Callum MacColl, who intends to use selections for a four- CD set of Ewan's live performances

Whatever we (you, I and your friends) do - unless others regain what appears a lost confidence in and understanding of folk song, it isn't goig to be near enough and complacency ain't gonna help
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 06:29 AM

You seem to be suggesting that all of us who have spent our lives being obsessed by folk music will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over. A very negative and doom laden attitude! There are enough of us obsessives in every part of the UK to ensure that this will continue in whatever form; concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools.

It's obvious from what you see on the web that huge numbers of people are furiously woodshedding away at the moment and will emerge from this with new material better performed. They'll find some way to show it all off - but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges. Some traditional performers experienced a step change in power after they retired and could spend more time at home practicing - Billy Pigg is an example. We may see many more like that.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM

"but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges"
Not very rational - it's hard to think were else
I know that I will screaming for the company of the singing circles when this lot is over as will many of my friends
The clubs guaranteed that th music was kept grass roots and not an elitist stairway to the stars - lose them and you lose that
I also know that people are busy learning or working on songs - our on-line archive has never been so active and our list of volunteers to sing Irish Child ballads is getting impressive
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM

"but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges"
Not very rational - it's hard to think were else
I know that I will screaming for the company of the singing circles when this lot is over as will many of my friends
The clubs guaranteed that th music was kept grass roots and not an elitist stairway to the stars - lose them and you lose that
I also know that people are busy learning or working on songs - our on-line archive has never been so active and our list of volunteers to sing Irish Child ballads is getting impressive
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:27 AM

To get back to the thread title.....the answer is.....yes of course!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM

'As far as I can see,' Not very far, from the west of Ireland!

As an organiser in Yorkshire I know for a fact that similar things are/were going on in many other parts of the country, just a few examples of where things continue to flourish--York, Sheffield, Ripponden area, Teesside, Newcastle, Sussex, North Lincs. Please feel free to add to this list.

London obviously is a very different case. They have one massive advantage and one massive disadvantage--advantage, a large population In a relatively small area to draw upon--disadvantage, a multiplicity of competing entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM

'As far as I can see, many who should know better have become a part of the problem rather than a solution' Jim

perhaps you could elaborate on that serious accusation for us, Jim, perhaps name a few names...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:55 AM

"Not very rational - it's hard to think where else"

Jack has already given a few examples

"concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools."

but there are more.

There will always be a place for people gathering together to sing and play although the traditional folk club format of a "booked guest" along with resident floor spots may or not persist.
However, the more informal arrangements will and also small concerts in village halls, arts centres and so on will continue. Of course, these won't soley focus on folk concerts but they will likely always be part of the local programme.

I should also say that the term "folk club" these days covers a multitude of sins. It can be anything from a a slightly more organised session or singaround to an actual concert. In many cases, regulars and members don't get a chance to participate and the support spots are "hand picked" or are visiting acts who wish to gain some extra exposure and volunteer to play.
Also, the music and song may or may not be traditional or even "folky" at all. I'm not saying if this is good or bad but just how things are.

Of course, there are all sorts or arrangements in between but not all folk clubs match the "ideal" which Jim and some others advocate.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:59 AM

Oops, sorry. Jack was quoting what Steve had said. Anyway, my points still stand.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 08:31 AM

"perhaps you could elaborate on that serious accusation for us, Jim,"
Of course I refuse to name names - they should be self evident to those concerned
Those who have helped create the fog around the term "folk", removing the right of those wishing to hear folk songs when they turn up at clubs are the leading culprits as far as I'm concerned - that includes both club and event organisers and some researchers/academics
'Folk' has become a little like 'antisemitism' - once it meant something definite, now it has been manipulated into meaning something else to the detriment of its/their real meaning
The success that has taken place in Ireland has been achieved by returning to the music's roots and persuading young people of its worth - I can be reminded of that fact most nights of the week by switching on television or the radio

Most of Johnny's list are bums on seats events - festivals are too one-off to be of lasting value unless you can afford the time and fare and accommodation money to visit enough of them - if there enough within reach
As far as I can see, the difference in singarounds and clubs is in removing booked guests, featuring your best singers and creating the possibility of having a permanent opportunity to assist and bring forward inexperienced singers
'Shooting the scene in the foot' springs to mind

"yes of course!"
Not if the voices screaming "folk clubs have had their day" have their way they won't
Curiouser and curiouser
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 08:40 AM

A good summary there from @JohnnyJ.

The guest plus floorspot format seems to be on the decline with a tend to move either to a full concert format or a more informal singaround. Having said that there are still plenty of clubs running the classic format successfully but the smaller clubs that I know have gradually been cutting back on booked guests.

Post CV19 we really don't know. Every club and concert series will need to relaunch as if it is totally new and there may be issues in scheduling reopening events timed to relaxation of restrictions if notice is short.

Apart from the risk that many venues will not reopen at all I suspect that the trend towards a split between regular singarounds and ad hoc concerts will increase.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 09:15 AM

Whether clubs will survive or not will be answered soon enough I suppose. It will depend on the will of the attendees, organizers and singers. If the cooperation needed is exemplified by the posts on this thread, dire times are ahead. I doubt people who didn't support them in good times will be showing up to support them in bad. Good luck to all of you regardless the outcome.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 10:51 AM

I think one of the main reasons for the decline in folk club numbers is their cliquiness. Before I elaborate on this I must state that this is not necessarily a criticism, it is also part of what holds the club together. And it also certainly does not apply to every club. It was also ever thus right from the beginning, but the clique in the 60s were young enough and active enough to sustain the club and keep things evolving. Our main problem, like so many other interests that have become top-heavy with the aged, is that we didn't see the writing on the wall and didn't make enough provision for introducing new blood. Those clubs I have been in have the same old faces taking up any spots for performance and booking the same old faces as well. (There are exceptions and this is speaking very generally, not aimed at any one club). Some sessions can also be quite cliquey particularly Irish based ones, whereas singarounds more often than not welcome allcomers and everybody gets an equal chance to perform (well they do in my area).

However I must repeat, the decline in 'folk clubs' has more than been compensated for in the increase in other outlets for our music.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 11:08 AM

I don’t think the Clubs ever intended to become cliquey, but it happens by default sometimes, because the main participants get older and greyer, and through longer involvement they naturally become more proficient as performers. Welcoming as they might be to younger performers, newcomers and those just startIng out tend to then feel intimidated by the more experienced and adept performers already there.
If I was twenty again and walked into a club or indeed a session, where everyone seemed to be quite accomplished and clearly older than my grandparents are, I’d probably think twice before going there again. It’s easy to see why open mic sessions are popular with younger performers, but it would be sad if we lost the Clubs and only saw the rather impersonal and unsupportive open mics survive.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 11:13 AM

"I think one of the main reasons for the decline in folk club numbers is their cliquiness. "
These are feeble excuses - their decline was documented well enough to be correct in magazines like Folk Review yet nobody seems to want to go near the reasons given - I wonder why
Your club may ahve been cliquey - none of those I attended where

THre are now more excuses to explain away the loss of folk clubs that there are to paper over the flaws in the theory that crap hacks wrote our folk songs - I really didn't see that bus c.... argh...!!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 01:10 PM

"their decline was documented well enough to be correct in magazines like Folk Review yet nobody seems to want to go near the reasons given"

- "I wonder why
Your club may ahve been cliquey - none of those I attended where"


Might be a good idea to refresh the memory of those who may have read the Folk Review articles referred to above and/or tell the younger ones what reasons for the decline were cited, please Jim

I have to agree with Steve ~ clubs are and have always been cliquey ~ this is one of the main reasons in my view why they fail ~ booking policy and egos are other reasons ~Folk clubs.

Concert clubs and mixed sessions (song and music) are different animals in my view and owe success/ failure to different factors entirely ~ but not always!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 01:39 PM

"Might be a good idea to refresh the memory of those who may have read the Folk Review articles referred to above and/or tell the younger ones what reasons for the decline were cited, please Jim"
I have done over and over again - here and elsewhere - seems little point to do so again if nobody read it the first - second - third.... time around
Some clubs weer cliquey by not by any means the majority of them Steve can speak fro his own
I veisted about for clubs a week at one stage - a mixture of pleasure and research
The singers was largely a 'concert club' - most I knew weer
The 'anyody who turnd up' ones were very much latecomers on the scene
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 01:53 PM

Maybe the folk clubs could use Village Halls, as lots of the old venues will undoubtedly have succumbed to the loss of revenue, owing to Covid-19.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 02:22 PM

"refresh the memory "
A quick try again - Simon Reeve - the bast travel broadcaster ever beckons
The reason most I knew walked away was turning up at Clubs nd not hearing a folk song all night
That ct down my number of visits- first by experience, then later, playing safe and not preparing to take a chance any more
G'night all - be careful out there
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 02:46 PM

Maybe the folk clubs could use Village Halls, as lots of the old venues will undoubtedly have succumbed to the loss of revenue, owing to Covid-19.

If your village still has one. The Tories have done their best to destroy spaces open to the whole community. The folk scene can't depend on any one kind of venue exclusively.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM

Quite, Jack, which is one good reason why we diversify, pubs, village halls, museums, churches, shopping centres, schools, community gardens, outdoor stages, marquees when we can afford them, boats such as keels, sloops, schooners, fishing vessels, trains, car parks, restaurants etc., etc.. . .


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 03:26 PM

Oops, missed out art galleries.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 05:09 PM

...and I could add to Steve's list: farmer's market, microbrewery, Muslim and Jewish community events, charity marathon, student socials, house parties, local history meetings...

Dunno how people interested in folk music find the time to go to folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 03:07 AM

I think perhaps we should firstly consider the circumstances historically as to why the folk clubs of the 1960/70 actually "took off" and to the extent they did ~ weekly folk clubs and in some cases a number on the same night in the same catchment area

People were still coming out of the 1945 War and finding time to enjoy themselves, they were questioning how their world was and what restrictions in society were there ~ free speech and money to buy even on Hire purchase

So will Covid 19 leave UK society in a different place than before?

Well who knows and this thread is about that!

As Steve Gardham says other venues are currently (before Covid19) looking at the use of other venues as an alternative to pubs and as well as!!

Folk clubs can only survive where there is a consensus as what the aims are and that all ppl are happy with that ~or the dissentients will no doubt either suck it or beggar off elsewhere

I do feel a number of initiatives are in place ~ some EFDSS based but local initiatives could and should be sought out ~ Soundpost at Dungworth is one such project and serves to employ and bring ppl together

New "stars" and gods are there, maybe not as clever as Ewan MacColl and of course we have lost a number of the Revivalist singers like Peter Bellamy and singer songwriters like Keith Marsden,

but there are stars here now and developing all the time ~ what goes round comes round and it is no good simply saying we are ignoring the traditional songs and these are the only songs that should be sung ~

it never ever was during the 1960/70s and entertainment and beer were also part and parcel of what folk clubs were ~ as well as the entertainers ~ Billy Connolly, Mike Harding, Jasper Carrot as well as Tony Rose, Dave Burland who sung and kept alive the traditional songs

Yes many new folk singers do look to the tradition for material to sing and arrange musical accompaniments and long may it be so

Traditional song and music will continue to be sung for as long as people see the historical and/ or artistic value in them and can relate to the feelings expressed and context within them, many of those relating to humanity itself

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 04:14 AM

Folk clubs started as an antidote to entertainment that they had no control over and had a wish to flex their own musles and make their own - at first it was letting off steam; later, and in growing numbers it developed into something more lasting
People began to deepen their interest in enough numbrs that some higher education instititutes took it up - Leeds, Shaffield, Aaberdeen....
It came into its own while at the same time, remained an entertainment for the majority
That is what is happening now in Ireland - in Galway, In Limerick and (I think) in Cork - there are now 'folk areas developing in places like West Clare, Cork and Galway, with a history in the Traditional Arts
Ireland now has a centre of excellence and a permanent resource for information in the Irish Traditional Music - a foundation to fall back on and a permanent reminder of what traditional music is
When a couple of enthusiastic non professionals in Wexford decided to draw attention to Child Ballads they approached The National Library of Ireland, which gave it its full support
Up to the Time The Celtic Tiger had its teeth drawn by the banks, applying for a grant from the Arts Council of Ireland was punching on an open door - I know that from personal experience
If a charlatan hadn't jumped the gun years ago, Traditional music would have a representative in politics
By taking itself seriusly, Irish traditional music has guaranteed itself a several generation future (at least)

What seems to have happened in the UK is that those who were in at the beginning have aged and have been disillusioned by a hostile takeover of the clubs have departed and have yet to be replaced   
Unless a new crowd on all levels (not as wannabe stars) England's Voice of the People will disappear into cupboards, display cases and bookshelves and we would have allowed it to happen (I understand the pipe museum in Alnwich isn't there any more - is that right ?)
This ducking and diving really is getting nowhere
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 05:14 AM

Jim
    No trace of a pipe museum in Alnwick Nortumberland,but there is a
bagpipe collection in Morpeth (Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum)not a million miles away.
See Here
                  
https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/our-collections/musical-intruments/


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 05:27 AM

Thanks - that's a bit of a relief
Ther use to be one at Alnwick Castle
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 05:40 AM

The have a poison garden at Alnwick castle. Perhaps they decided that 2 attractions dedicated to unusual ways of harming people was too much :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 05:48 AM

The only ducking and diving I see is the old man in exile.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 06:02 AM

there are stars here now and developing all the time ~ what goes round comes round

Not quite in the same way. Becoming a star on social media is a very different process than the old process mediated by agents, promoters and folk club committees - the sort of help a rising YouTube star might need is a search engine optimizer. And for a few months at least, social media will have a monopoly on reputation building.

Folk clubs were invented 60-odd years ago to increase the public visibility of folk music and its performers. Social media make that function totally irrelevant. They had very little to offer a rising star before the pandemic and absolutely nothing from now on.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 06:53 AM

"The only ducking and diving I see is the old man in exile.
Thanks for trying to reduce this to a personal and abusive level
I trust others have more sense - let's see
Ageism and a display of 'Little Brit' at your age - tsk, tsk
You really should know better
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 08:12 AM

Incidentally
Folk clubs wen't "invented" for anything specific - they evolved spontaneously - nobody is sure where
They seemed to be the natural progression of something that was already beginning to happen
MacColl's crowd wtth the than exiled Alan Lomax started a couple of concerts at The Theatre Royal in East London - Ewan always claimed that was the first but that has always been disputed
The main objective was to air the music rather than display platforms for people who had already carved their names elsewhere
Different aprts of the country reacted differently
The Folk Boom introduced a scramble for the top
Mike Brocken's extremely flawed history covered that period reasonably accurately


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 08:23 AM

"They had very little to offer a rising star"

Live music venues of any kind will help artists to gain experience and develop their skills and stage craft in front of actual audiences.

Of course, you might wish to argue that's no longer important. However, those who wish to perform online on a more permanent basis will need to do so in a professional way. People will soon tire of amateurish videos broadcast from musicians' bedrooms.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 01:39 PM

In the Shanty Crew we cut our teeth performing in the open air, whatever the weather, and apart from maritime festivals, we did far more gigs in the community than in folk clubs. So there are no limits to venues where folk can be performed and appreciated.

But..... my introduction to folk was through folk clubs, and was inspired by people who were booked and good floor performers. Outside shanties and music hall I honed my craft at singerounds, and as a whistle player, sessions.

I have been to clubs, particular singaround clubs, that are so insular this inevitably led to their decline. But as someone who used to enjoy singing and playing, I still enjoyed going there.

I am at the age now that I have no interest in carving a career in folk/music hall, and I don't really have time to do anything with my folders, box files, and bookshelves and filing cabinet drawers full of folk and music hall material (sometimes I wonder if, when I finally pop my clogs, it will all end up in a recycling bin). I definitely have no aspiration to ever organise anything again.

Anyway, on a personal level, folk clubs inspired me to be involved in folk song/music and music hall, whereas folk music in the community would have been more of a passing "That's nice/interesting, and move on".


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 02:46 PM

Needs writing in stone SPB-C
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 03:30 PM

i enjoy performing, whether it be in folk clubs, community centres,or busking, last friday i sat in avery quiet bantry square and played tunes for 40 minutes just to cheer people up. when i am feeling ok i enjoy sitting at home and playing as well


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 04:45 PM

Hi SPB, likewise I have a room full of books and a loft full of folders, thankfully mostly reasonably catalogued and sorted. I know which bits are scarce and which are unique and the local material will go into our local folk archive and any scarce stuff like my broadside collection and sheet music will go to EFDSS. Very few of the books are particularly rare and the majority will probably go to auction or charity. Whenever I have a cull I sell off anything interesting and the rest goes to charity or mates. What I am getting at is if you have any rare print or manuscript or if you have done any personal research or taken on someone else's archive this needs to be separated off and offered to either an institution or another archive. Far too much important material gets binned. I have possession of material that belonged to Nigel Hudleston, the folk song collector, and some of Malcolm's folk material and writings. What I did with some of Malcolm's books etc is I passed them on to younger researchers which is one good way to preserve them.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:11 AM

yes.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:16 AM

Steve
I sincerely hope things ahve changed radically at Cecil Sharp House
During my time in \london they were turning away major collections such as that of Leslie Shepherd (Broadsised and books) because there was simply no room - much of what they had was crammed into cupboards, much unexamined, never mind catalogued
We spent years searching for somewhere to leave our large collection and Library and totally failed in the UK - we couldn't give our sound archive away
We tried the Working Man's Library in Salford (who have dedicated part of their space to MacColl), but they neither have the staff or funding
WE didn't try Newcastle in vew of hahat happened to other University-based folk Departments - I can't remember whether it was Sheffield or Leeds whose newly appointed head peremptorily closed down her long running folk department, describing them as "tree-huggers)
We also suggested there might be a club willing to take our digitised sound archive as a resource for its members
One club refused our of hand, another could find no-one prepared to bell the cat
In the end we were lucky to ask Limerick Uni. World Music Centre who has welcomed the Library and collection and has suggested that they might be able to put sore recordings on line and use it to expand their already established Traveller section - there was talk of a 'Carroll/Mackenzie Library - I'm not sure I want that to happen

As far as I'm concerned,, the impossibility of bequeathing folk material is as much a sign of the run-down state of the folk scene as are the clubs
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 04:51 AM

As far as I'm concerned,, the impossibility of bequeathing folk material is as much a sign of the run-down state of the folk scene as are the clubs.quote.
well the folk club scene has always had a broad spectrum ,some of those people are not and never have been interested in tradtional materia, i think that proprtion of clubs or people has increased not interested intrad by about 40 per cent over the last 50 years. my impression based on gigging in folk clubs over the last 46 years is that the clubs or more importantly orgnisers of clubs, is that it is now about 65percent to 35percent, not interested in trad material 35 percent interested, that is on the ENGLISH folk club scene, i think that agents by their nature push the more commercial aspects of folk music, which is by its nature of commercialism, takes us away from the roots of the music which is tradtional folk music
46 years ago my impression of the uk folk club scene was 65percent interested in the roots of the music 35 percent not, so commercialism and folk club and folk festival orgnisers have altered the proprtion.
the mantra ...........      
bum on seats takes us away from the roots of the music and agents and organisers by promoting that aspect are partly responsible.
the uk folk scene particularly the english part is being driven by the forces of commercialism away from its roots


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM

the aspect of the uk folk revival which remains closest to its roots is dance particularly morris dance imo


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 05:04 AM

so they may survive how much folk music will be played and how much popmusic or popsongs played with acoustic instrumentsand how much contemporarysongs of angst and personal relationships with a vaguely folk sound is open to conjecture ,i am not optimistic.
my memories of good nights where people particpated in chorus songs and listened to old story ballads, i think commercialism of the music will mean these aspects will diminish, very sad,i fear it will become more them and us, more like popmusic, the stars and the passive consumer. i am glad that i was there in the thick of it when i heard good tradtional singers and the majority of folk people appreciated it


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 05:09 AM

The basis of the scene was the tradition - not purist, but it was the foundation the scene was built on
When that was abandoned the scene headed for collapse
Our archive encompasses far for that the tradition - workshops be revivalists, workshops on song-making, loads if new songs in traditional style... what a folk archive needs to be
Still can't find a home for it in Britain - Wonder how Walter Pardon with take to his new home in Ireland - he'll certainly be far more appreciated than he has been back home lately
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 01:51 PM

Folk music exists regardless of the arena it is heard in.

Its interesting of course that those used to function rooms in pubs are now seeing Youtube and social media as an outlet as if it's something new.

Welcome to the folk music platform that has been enjoyed for a number of years now by younger performers and listeners. Vastly far more of them judging by "followers" than half a dozen pensioners in a circle claiming to be the town's only "folk music outlet."

The question of whether folk clubs survive is being asked by those who see pubs as their social outlet. Folk music is surviving and evolving nicely where those who will carry it on congregate. On line, festivals and sit down concerts.

I'm misty eyed and nostalgic for the upstairs rooms with candles in wine bottles every bit as much as the next person. But survival of the genre is a different discussion to survival of the platform. I'm excited by the young acts we book at our concert style club, spend time listening on Youtube to wonderful new interpretations of traditional ballads by young people that have never had a bloke with trousers up to Jim's tits telling them they are doing it wrong. It's brilliant and exciting.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 02:04 PM

Too much common sense there, remember this is Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 02:26 PM

With respect, Dick, you are only seeing folk clubs and Paying venues. There is a whole grass-roots scene out there and young people are definitely involved. They are largely locally based like ours. Generally speaking our performers perform free for our own events but charge a fee for other organisations and out of area gigs.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 02:56 PM

Folk song venues which are designated as such were there to drw people in to listen to folk songs - old and new
Play them down (as has become the thing here - a change from recent finials that there was anything worng with the club scene0 and you lose your magnetic centre
hat anybody would want to ageist name calling is beyond my comprehension other than to realise that the insulted is lacking in several things, including an answer and good manners and certainly "common sense"
Why foul up a discussion with this garbage fellers ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 02:57 PM

"I'm excited by the young acts we book at our concert style club, spend time listening on Youtube to wonderful new interpretations of traditional ballads by young people "
Please name some of them. I'd love to be excited by them too.


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Subject: RE:
From: JHW
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:17 PM

Will folk clubs survive? How are we going to sing with a facemask on?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:45 PM

That's of there's face masks available to put on when not even medics can all get them.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:50 PM

Granny's Attic, Cohen in particular. The Young Uns. Alice Jones, Sam Martyn. Come on ,folks, let's make up a good list.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 03:54 PM

Well said Some Bloke and Steve. My involvement with folk music only occasionally involves going to a folk club


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 04:14 PM

Live music venues of any kind will help artists to gain experience and develop their skills and stage craft in front of actual audiences.

Of course, you might wish to argue that's no longer important. However, those who wish to perform online on a more permanent basis will need to do so in a professional way. People will soon tire of amateurish videos broadcast from musicians' bedrooms.


Conversely, doing a good video in a domestic setting is a skill you don't automatically learn from performing on stage - it takes a different attitude to create an involving performance cold with no audience, get the camera angles right, and script your act to have just the right amount of talk with the right attitude. There are lots of videos by people with folk club stage experience who take too long to get on with it, perpetrate excessive self-deprecation and give you a screenful of boobs and boogers from belly level.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 01:51 AM

Ah folk music via Youtube and social media, hmmmmmm, I somehow doubt it. As Jim Carroll has been trying to put across what "folk music" is it would appear that he is met with arguments and points of view of those who are being deliberately obtuse.

Now it would appear the way forward is predicated upon owning a laptop, Tablet, I-pad, Smart-phone, or whatever. Now that means that I do not have to trawl through the absolute mountain of absolutely horrendous renditions of songs and tunes that you can find on Youtube, etc, because let's face it you are listening to a recording and if you are listening to a recording you might as well listen to the "original" [Example: If you can listen to Paul Brady sing and play "Arthur MacBride" why on earth would you ever want to listen to Joe Bloggs halting and hesitant rendition of the same song].

If I go to a "folk club" I do rather naively expect to hear folk songs, however it has been a long, long time since that was the case and even in "folk sessions" now we get people ridiculing Folk music as "that miserable, boring stuff" and declaring they "If people sing it it is "folk"" and yet another evening, afternoon is lost to 60s and 70s "pop" songs that are basically "busked" because those playing and those joining in can only remember one-an-a-half verses and the chorus. This weakness they try to cover by stringing songs together as a medley. But here modern technology comes to their aid as you see the ranks of tablets, I-pads and phones come out and these "performers" can now deliver a complete song that they cannot be arsed to actually learn by reading through the lyrics, with appropriate stops to scroll down the page of their "absolutely essential, can't play without it device".

Folk Clubs will survive for those who want to listen to "folk music", hopefully those who ruined it will be enticed from the scene by concentrating of churning out their dross in the privacy of their own homes to throw out there to be discovered and forgotten on Youtube, Facebook, etc.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:31 AM

Folk music has moved into the 21st century very well. It's about time some people did. Folk clubs were invariably in pubs in the UK. Any idea how many pubs were open 60 years ago and now many there are now? People have found other ways to socialise and folk music has found other ways to flourish.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:59 AM

Observer seems to sum up pretty much what I believe to be the truth and the problem
Our folk music was, among many other things, an enjoyable exercise in social intercourse, a way of coming together, not just to listen and to perform a music we had found (or had been given by those who found it for us) but to share it, pass it on and give it a future
We did that by talking about it, arguing its finer points and taking in what each other had to say, and (with a few notable exceptions) to remain respectful of each other while we did so
THat seems to have one with the clubs - I have never encountered such waves of bitter contempt from people I though I shared a love with as I ahve here
I have witnessed ageism, suggestions that, as I no longer live in Britain what I have to say about a music I have devoted my life to is no longer valid, dishonest accusations of being a racist by someone who refuses to qualify what I am being accused of....
Not so long ago I was accused of personally insulting people because I criticise the action (or the inaction) of EFDSS and saying what I thought about singers performances.... a list of ten so called personal insults someone who I once respacted put up
Like any art form, folk song should thrive on critical analysis - unfortunately Alex Campbell's "Good enough for folk song" seems to have won the day

Mve from folk clun to the impersonality and irregularity of festivals, concerts and what the media hashed up was bad enough - but I-pods COME ON
Over the last few weeks I and many millions of others have been screaming up the wall because we have been deprived of human contact - now there is a gleeful rush to sentence our music to a life (if that's what you dare call it) of social isolation
I wonder how many would be as happy to see live theatre, football and all other sports and pleasures we have always enjoyed suddenly shrink in size to fit it onto a small, plastic screen
Maybe there is a mjority for that, I'm rapidly beginning to cease to understand what's happening to our once vital enjoyable world
Jim Carroll




The


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:06 AM

"Folk music has moved into the 21st century very well."
Yup dave - bring on global warming, an increasing poverty gap and another minute on the doomsday clock
Our folk songs started to disappear when people started to say "I don't know what "folk" means any more and when or clubs reduced from the sever thousand they one numbered to only low hundreds they have become
What exactly do YOU mean by "folk song" Dave ?
As far as I can see from your arguments, it's no longer 'The Voice of the People' that gave the term its definition
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:29 AM

Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome - PM
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:31 AM

Folk music has moved into the 21st century very well. It's about time some people did. Folk clubs were invariably in pubs in the UK. Any idea how many pubs were open 60 years ago and now many there are now? People have found other ways to socialise and folk music has found other ways to flourish.
if you think internet communication is socialising, ha ha,that is a very good joke,
if you think that open mics [where no one is listening to other performers is the appropriate form of socialising for this music] youare a smaller brained gnome than i have thought, open mics and people not bothering to listen to others are disrespectful ,the music becomes wallpaper music. i take on board some of steves other points and hope that which he says is not just confined to yorkshire


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:41 AM

I will just repeat in simpler terms for those who seemed to read a number of things into my earlier post that were not there.

Pubs and folk clubs have vastly reduced in number.
People have found alternatives to pubs and folk clubs.
Folk music has survived.

Which, if any, of those statements is untrue?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:56 AM

Please don't reduce this further by partonising me Dave - I will only construe it as being defensive
Venues have always been the problem, as has our ability to overcome it
You have ignored the real problem, as has everybody else - that a cloud of distortion and misinformation has been deliberately wrapped around the term "folk" in order to make it a cultural catch-all for anything people cant think of another name for but would like to perform publicly - that has become a hostile take-over and has edged real folk song off the satge many of us worked bloody hard to create
Dedicated people walked away from the scene because it stopped providing what they were looking for
The same would have happened if football grounds had begun to put on ice hockey or The Royal Opera House had begun to specialise in Big Ballads
We had our choice of what we listened to surgically removed gradually

It strikes me that if you spent as much time actually discussing the subject as you did defending the indefensible (somewhat insultingly) we'de get much furhter with these discussions and would have remained friends - I miss that feeling from you as much as I miss not being able to go out for a friendly pint
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 04:01 AM

So, which, if any of the statements are untrue?

200


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 04:21 AM

Observer, you have my utter sympathy. I don't know where you live but I have only rarely experienced what you describe. Whatever it is you are experiencing there are many places where 'The Voice of the People' can be heard and participated in. I cannot believe that Yorkshire, such a vast area, is some sort of mecca. What I can believe is that the metropolis might cause problems of the sort that Obs describes. I imagine lots of places where you can get the 'anything goes' scenario and a few dedicated folk clubs packed with the same old faces, but I could be totally wrong.

Jim, there has been no hostile takeover, though I concede that it could appear that way to some people. What has happened is that, as existing acoustic formats, people wanting to perform their own brand of music in a friendly amateur environment have been attracted to it. But this has also been a medium for introducing new people to our music. As long as our music still dominates, and in my experience it does, I don't see a problem.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 04:26 AM

"So, which, if any of the statements are untrue?"
Yo're dong it aagainfd Dave
You are ignoring everything I have said and demanding answers
You are even ignoring tha fact that I have just responded to one of our points about premises
The music id dying - it isn't surviving - how ban it be when people don't know what folk is any more
The "lrenative's" you are claiming aren't for folk song - I have been detecting an open hostility towards that for some time now - even on this forum - "outt of date, finger in ear, purist boring, not what people want..." are a few of the new-age folk phrases common now
Please respond to me arguments and stop pretending I haven't made them
nd stop


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 04:50 AM

An obvious advantage of social media over a folk club is that while duff performances do exist, you can leave them with a tap of your finger. Anyone who's ever been to folk club will remember moments when you wished you could minimize the pub into an icon in a corner of the sky and open a different one. (Particularly when some grumpy old fool started ranting at you about how it's never been the same since Ewan MacColl's time - not all physical socialization is fun).

People who have got used to exercising their own discernment minute by minute about what they're listening to won't welcome being asked to sit down and just accept whatever they're offered for a whole evening. Folk clubs started at a time when the alternative was a night in with the BBC Home Service. YouTube offers rather tougher competition.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 05:10 AM

I've been sampling some online stuff mainly from the site Peggy Seeger instigated
With the best will in the world it hardly begins to come anywhere near replacing the clubs -
At presnt it has a 'wartime' feel, which is understandable - knees-up in the air-raid shelters
It lacks two essetnial ingredients, quality and product control
If I'd been faced with songs I didn't want to listen to, as I was occasionally at the clubs, I'd go down to the bar with my mates and talk - and still take the memory of a pleasant evening home with me
If we discussed the music we'd come to listen to, we'd probably go home knowing bit more - all aprt of the learning curve
I find the idea of 'siting and tapping my fingers' totally abhorrent - I's rather work i the garden and I detest that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 06:36 AM

Could it be Jim that your definitions of folk music needs re-adjusting rather than the state of reality.

I say this with all respect to your life's work and achievements.

I've had no dealings with Cecil Sharp House and frankly they'v never displayed any interest in my activities, despite one or two tentative approaches.

Doubtless the folks in Cecil Sharp house have difficulties of their own - difficult choices, inadequate resources , etc.

The one thing that's nice is that nowadays we all have access to the great filing system in the sky called cyberspace. The ages can decide on the value, or worthlessness of our works.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 07:23 AM

Please respond to me arguments

I've said before, Jim. I am not arguing with you. There is no point as our views are different and neither of us are likely to change. Nor am I demanding anything. I just made three simple points. If you wish to dispute them, feel free. If you don't, that's fine too.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM

You never have dave
I'm not out to change anybody's mind - I never haev eb, they'll do that for themselves
I'm here to discuss and compare ideas so I we can add to each others perspectives
I've more than answered your points - you have chosen to respond to nothing, which saddens me

"Could it be Jim that your definitions of folk music needs re-adjusting rather than the state of reality."
Not really Al - unlss someone comes on a view that can be agreed by all
I certainly have not intention of the "I don't know what folk song ois any more" school of thinking
Sixtry years of songing collecting and reading makes it far too late for that
If you have an alternative definition I'd be happy to consider it - nobody else has offered one, but there's a first time for everything
Britten once said "You should try everything once except incest and Morris Dancing" - I've always thought that a good idea
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 07:52 AM

I never have what, Jim?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 07:54 AM

i am in agrreement with jim generally , i would say that i include blues as folk music american folk music. however this sort of trolling coming from someone who appears to be perenially insulting.,takes the biscuit. our old codger jack campin, an insulting old bollocks if ever i met one, ....quote jack campin(Particularly when some grumpy old fool started ranting at you about how it's never been the same since Ewan MacColl's time - not all physical socialization is fun)
jack, if you are from scotland or england it is spelled/spelt socialisation not socialization, or are you an american trojan horse


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 08:09 AM

Pubs and folk clubs have vastly reduced in number.
People have found alternatives to pubs and folk clubs.
Folk music has survived.

Which, if any, of those statements is untrue? quote dave the gnome
      what a simplistic post , people have found alternatives that does not mean those alternatives are any better in fact open mics are worse , because they encourage wallpaper music, where no one or very very few is/are listening.
folk music has survived ,that does not mean it is flourishing or close to the mainstream as it is in ireland
if i go toa jazz club i expect jazz notopera, if i go to the opera i expect opera not cliff richard. i know what folk music is and when i go to folk clubs or folk concerts i do not want to hear martin carthy singing an opera by verdi or singing rock around the cock


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 08:17 AM

on many occasions over the last few years, when i have done gigs in folk clubs in the uk, i have had people come up to me and say how refreshing to hear an evening of traditional songs, they then say we dont hear them very much these days


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 08:19 AM

"I never have what, Jim?"
For crying out loud Dave
You never have offered an argument
Over and out
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 08:30 AM

Quite, Jim. As I said, I am not arguing with you.

Dick - what a simplistic post

Exactly. That was the idea. Folk music has survived and there are alternatives to pubs and folk clubs. I agree that it does not mean they are better or worse. Just different. It comes back to the opening question - Will folk clubs survive? I don't think that matters as much as will folk music survive. Seeing as it has already survived for millennia. I don't see why not.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 08:50 AM

if you are from scotland or england it is spelled/spelt socialisation not socialization, or are you an american trojan horse

If we're sinking to that level - I learned to spell in New Zealand, where schools taught the spellings used by the OED. Which prefers "-ize", and for that word it gives as its first citation a quote from William Morris in the 1880s - he spelt it the New Zealand way.

The OED's earliest cite for "bugger off" is from Joyce's "Ulysses" in 1922.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 09:20 AM

BTW Dick, I would be very interested to hear Martin Carthy sing "Rock around the cock" :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 09:37 AM

Dick wrote:-
jack, if you are from scotland or england it is spelled/spelt socialisation not socialization, or are you an american trojan horse

Come on, Dick, you are nit-picking! We all know what Jack meant whether he used an 's' or a 'z'..... unless you have an obsession with accuracy, in which case you need to make an orthographical check of the second line of the post that my quotation was taken from.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 09:55 AM

Dave wrote:-
BTW Dick, I would be very interested to hear Martin Carthy sing "Rock around the cock" :-)

More pot calling the kettle black at 14 Apr 20 - 05:04 AM where we read particpated. Nobody objected to this because it was obvious what he meant.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 09:57 AM

vic smith. The man in the wilderness
Asked me,
How many strawberries
Grew in the sea?

I answered him
As I thought good,
As many as red herrings
Grew in the wood.
Will folk clubs survive? I don't think that matters as much as will folk music survive.quote d the g.
so you dont think it matters if folk music is treated as wall paper music[ re open mics] so it doesnt matter how it is treated? you appear from the posts you make to wish to drag us into the 21st century amd make people put up with the music being disrespectfully. well
The OED's earliest cite for "bugger off" is from Joyce's "Ulysses" in 1922.perhaps you would oblige


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 10:21 AM

some interesting thoughts Sandman.

A lot of artisrs I knew found it difficult to work their magic outside of folk clubs, which generally have polite attentive audiences.They are or can be very nice indulgent audiences.

(Which is why , if you go and see a folk artist you often get lumbered with twenty minute support act supplied by the organisers kids - a sqeaky clean pubescent in training for Britain's Got Talent.)

On the whole though I'm not sure the bathing in milk and honey has really been to the advantage of folk music. Certainly none of the great folksongs have such effete origins.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 11:09 AM

ok al, if we played in working mens clubs. i would probably have to sing delilah and tie the yellow ribbon.
i could have taken that direction, and with a half decent voice had material success but i did not fancy it,i could have made more money, so i am proud to be effete, i am proud to sing songs i like, i am proud to show respect for my material. back in 1968 this music was alternative, it still is an alternative to the consumer passive middle of the road pap. I AM PROUD TO SING TRADTIONAL MATERIAL, GOD BLESS THE EFFETE.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 11:17 AM

so you dont think it matters if folk music is treated as wall paper music

No, Dick. I said nothing like that. I said, as you quoted, that folk clubs do not matter as much as folk music. As I said to Jim, I am not going to argue as there is no point. But I am going to correct misrepresentation of what I said when I see it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 11:45 AM

"folk clubs do not matter as much as folk music. As I said to Jim, I am not going to argue as"
That's a profound statment and a cop-out all in one posting
You may quote me on that - I'll certainly quote you having said it
Its a rversal from saying there is nothing wrong with the club scene, I suppose
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 12:54 PM

i think the Gnome has tbeen too busy playing with his fishing rod at the bottom of the garden, definitely not been paying attention, but if folk clubs do not matter as much asfolk music logically you are saying that venues that have people listening to the words do not matter as much as the music, so you areiun effect saying that as long as the music is being played, it does not matter where.
so logically you are saying it does not matter where the music is played.   
if it does not matter where the music is being played, as long as it is being played, then it means that it can belayed in unsuitableplaces such as open mics, or working mens clubs
Dave have you tried singing the buffalo skinners or thomas the rhymer in a working mens club,or at open mics if the venue is not suitable a proportion of the fomusic material is not sung.
even your hero anthony john clarke, whois avery competent performer would not hack it in a working mens club, and probably not want to sing at an open mic


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 12:59 PM

I repeat. I am not arguing with you, Jim. It is pointless. I disagree with you and you with me on this subject. We knew this year's ago. Using the same tired old arguments is just flogging the proverbial dead horse.

To make my position clear though I am happy to restate it

The clubs I attend are fine. Current crisis aside of course
I only have the word of other people on here that theirs are fine too
There are alternatives to Folk clubs both live and online
Folk music itself will survive as it always has and that is the most important thing for me.

Nothing to argue about. No right or wrong. Just my point of view.

Seemples.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 01:07 PM

False logic, Dick. Nowhere do I say folk clubs are not important. I just believe that folk music is more important. If it was not for Folk music, folk clubs would not exist. If folk clubs did not exist, folk music would carry on as it did before 1950. So which is more important?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 01:13 PM

A folk club - for good or ill - is personal interaction with living, breathing people. "Online" is watching a TV or computer screen.
Not the same thing, and the latter will never be an adequate substitue for the former.
Just my point of view.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 01:17 PM

It isn't, Kenny. You are quite right. Hence my putting There are alternatives to Folk clubs both live and online Folk clubs are good but my point is that they are not the be all and end all.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 01:20 PM

Will Folk Clubs survive-Almost Certainly
Will they stay in the same venues- Almost certainly not although that's not hard and fast.
My prediction is the emergence of house parties, the use of private halls or rooms, arts centres, and existing social clubs, or hotels with a spare room and a bar. In fact anywhere that an audience can listen and participate. I think the days of the upstairs room in a pub are numbered.
Just a matter of venue that's all. Folk songs are tough cookies, and they will surface again stronger than before, believe me.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:02 PM

That last line is perfect, Nick.

Good to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:17 PM

Re the "You can always switch it off (Or fast forward)" argument in support of Online concerts and the like....

Yes, you can whereas you can't do that in a club or concert.
However, many choose to go to the toilet or bar when a duff singer is performing or even if they know that there's a particular song coming up that they may not like. I've even done that myself, discreetly of course! :-)

Notwithstanding the above, it can be rewarding to persevere.
An artist may grow on you after a few songs and you might just be lucky enough to witness some classic moments and/or material. If you keep flicking through various You Tube clips and so on, you'll likely miss a lot and th focus is likely to be, for most people, on their favourite singers and musicians or those which have been recommended.

It's already the case that many younger people never listen to an album all the way through anymore and just pick and choose their favourite songs. That used to be one of the joys of playing vinyl and to a lesser extent actual CDs but all that has been lost.
I'd hate things to go the same way with live performances and concerts.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 02:46 PM

In fact anywhere that an audience can listen and participate.quote nic dow.
that exactly what a folk club is, whether the room is upstairs or downstairs in a pub or in a social club or in a britsh legion club or a cricket club it is not important, they are still folk clubs where hopefully some tradtional music can be heard
or as in the case of norwich folk club in a perfect acoustic room but without a bar, but it is still norwich folk club. hopefully open mics will disappear


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:16 PM

Huge drawback to the online tack is that YOU personally have to search, whereas I always found the great delight of folk clubs, sessions whether they be in pubs or on the fringes of festivals you could sit down and hear things that you yourself would never have otherwise found.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Apr 20 - 03:30 PM

Dave
I'm sorry you've decided to opt for purdah rather that talk through your somewhat dogmatic claims (that's what they are if you won't discuss them - though that was me)
You are, of course to entitled to do just that, just as I am entitled to draw my own conclusions why you don't want to discuss your beliefs - I genuinely thought doing that was why people posted here - live and learn eh?
I also reserve the right to comment on what I believe you have said and what you say here
I was told by someone not so long ago not to refer directly to what he wrote - sorry - don't do that sort of thing on a public forum
Apart from anything else your views and what I believe to be contradictions reflect others opinions here

I have made quite clear why I believe folk clubs to be important; to extend what Kenny has just said far more succinctly than I could manage, they are not just a means of personal interaction, they are personal and social interaction themselves by their very existence
They are clear statements - "This is is what I believe", "this is how I feel", "this is who I am" - and the most effective way to get the message across has always been face to face (from the point of view of the teller and listener
They have always worked best in an intimate setting among those who share the same experiences, outrages and ambitions
As large as some club rooms have been, I have seldom come across a folk cub where that can't be achieved

I used to attend Festivals before they became conveyor belts for established performers - even the indifferent and good ones were breaks from the real thing for a short time

The internet I find spooky - disembodied faces and voices on a small plastic screen which you either like or hate but over which you have no control whatever (except to "click your fingers and wait for the next disembodies....); brrrrrr!!
I've watched more than a few 'locked-down refugees' and remain coldly unconvinced
They seem to fall into several categories: seasoned performers who you like or dislike, unknowns practicing or others who don't care for folk song but just wanna do their own thing      
Not for me, even if it didn't exclude people who are technically literate, or self conscious or camera shy or simply don't have or don't want or can't afford the necessary equipment any way - I knew few if any folk clubs that ever did that

We are gregarious creature whose art thrives on that fact - lats hang on to the wherewithal to do just that for as long as we can

I don't believe premises are as major a problem as some people believe them to be
Lookking at Nick's list I go alng with some but would shy away from impersonal venues like halls (even village halls)

I think home gatherings are fine if incestuous and unlikely to attract the desperately needed youngsters

Small public rooms fine - when The Dublin Goilín Cub was ousted from its pub rook it quickly found a perfect home in a teacher's club
Ther are not as many pub rooms as there were but there are still some where guvnors welcome musicians with open arms on a quiet night - that, I believe is bound to increase come the impending slump

For crying out loud, let's' keep this music as live as it was always intended to be

There seems to have been a big U-turn here
For years I have been shouted down and told I am out of touch when I said the clubs were failing
Now, It seems. I was right all along and people didn't really like clubs anyway
Dave (whatever he says now) insisted that the clubs were in fine fettle, why else would he link me to a wiki article saying just that if that's not what he was saying ?
He says he was referring to just his own club but I saw no mention of that in the article - just a national assessment
I was invited to a club he now claims is "not important' why ?
Perhaps he was lusting after my body - a narrow escape eh? :-)

Looking at what's available to youngsters on today's internet and comparing it with the 'self conscious elite amateurism' of the folk input, I con't believe there be a snowball's chance in hell of attracting new people to our music other than for the reasons that Londoners used to visit 'Bedlam' to look at 'the loonies' on Sunday afternoon
Sorry folks, I think a bit of realism is called for here
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:15 AM

Sigh. Here we go again

Dave (whatever he says now) insisted that the clubs were in fine fettle, why else would he link me to a wiki article saying just that if that's not what he was saying ?

That is not why I linked the article. I told you that only a matter of days ago.

Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome - PM
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:35 AM
...
Yet again you are misrepresenting the facts Jim. You argued that clubs were failing because they no longer presented folk music. I put up the article because it said

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends.


I said I am not arguing but I have the patience to correct you every time you misrepresent me. That has not changed.

Nor have my views which I explained very clearly only yesterday. If you want to dispute anything I actually said, rather that what you imagined I said, feel free.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:30 AM

He says he was referring to just his own club but I saw no mention of that in the article - just a national assessment
I was invited to a club he now claims is "not important' why ?
Perhaps he was lusting after my body - a narrow escape eh? : quote. jim
   excellent post, no he is too busy playing with his fishing rod at the bottom of the garden
The points i have made illustrate the potential for excellence that folk clubs could achieve that open mics are not[by their wallpaper nature]not achieving. folk music songs deserve respect in the same way classical opera has respect that means when i attend being able to listen and hear the words., and not be drowned out by extraneous conversation, that is why folk clubs will survive ,
i hope when i turn up that i can hear story songs and that i can join in choruses and participate and that i can hear trad material. preferably without amplification, although there are occasions when the balance in a duo such as carthy kirkpatrick, that the guests performers insist upon it,for balance of instruments it is occasionally necessary but unfortunately the downside of amplification is that it [imo] creats a barrier the vast majority of folk clubs do not require amplification
another radical difference between them and open mics is the amplification question. performers should respect their music and audiences should respect performers and not treat music and performers like wallpaper music of course amplification is also provided on occasions to get more bums on seats another example of commercialism interfering with the music set up. if all this makes me effete so be it


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:33 AM

dave,, when you are in a hole stop digging otherwise you might end up in australia


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:40 AM

Once again, Dick, I have the patience to correct your misrepresentations no matter how many times you make them. I have never said that Folk clubs are not important. Just that Folk music is more important than folk clubs.

The beauty of discussions like this is that they remain online for anyone to look back on. Everyone can see what I said just as everyone can see how you have tried to change it. It doesn't work and does you no favours.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:54 AM

Folk music and song and dance will continue to have a following no matter where, while ever people sing, dance, play and entertain

Traditional music and song have their origins in other than folk clubs! and it is the genre and following that matters most ~ "folk" however it is defined is dependent upon its audience ~ whether they are paying customers or not

People(folk) like to create their own entertainment and will continue to so, hopefully in pubs and other acceptable venues ~ long may it be so and long live folk clubs, festivals, workshops, EFDSS and local initiatives

New songs and songwriters will always be composed and no they are not traditional ~ but who knows ultimately!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 03:38 AM

Just that Folk music is more important than folk clubs. quote gnome
All the time you make statements that can be interpreted in different ways, and that have different meanings you are laying yourself open to being intrepreted in different ways.
folk music is more important than folk clubs, can be interpreted as meaning that the music is more important than the venue[ a folk club is a venue is it not?]
I am afraid that if you meant that, you are wrong , the venues are very important to the success of a club, acoustics ambience etc.
or if you mean venues in the sense of open mics or folkclubs you are wrong again as i have already illustrated in previous posts,
if you did not mean either of these things. i suggest you take more care with your wording in future
VENUES[ EG FOLK CLUBS OR OPEN MICS] AND OR BUILDINGS THAT VENUES ARE IN ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE FOLK CLUB ITSELF AND JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE MUSIC ITSELF.
my point is that having suitable venues or kinds of venues[ eg folk clubs rather than open mics] is part of showing respect for the music, if you want to play folk music in a public toilet go ahead and enjoy ,but dont expect me to turn up


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 03:51 AM

Folk song was grinding to a halt when Sharp and his crowd had thei arce with the undertaker (Tom Munnelly's description of Ireland) the songs were being remembered by elderly people, most of whom were reporting what ther parents and grandparents sang
When hsrp finished his work, the songs were confined to drawing rooms and didn't surface again till they were taken out of their cryogenics machines by the second revival in the late fifties - it took hard and dedicated work to do that
They have never been accepted by anybody other than us few eccentrics
Unless people are prepared to do the work they will retreat to their shelves and cupboards as they have before
It is suicidely complacent to think otherwise
Who on earth is going to take these old-old songs up if they are not won over
I suggest you count those singing real folk songs for the love of them, work out their average age and come beck and tell me there are enough

Sure - peole have always liked to make their own entertainment - go and look how much is on offer to choose from and see how far down the list folk song comes (if the list is long enough)

Far too many people misinterpreting you nowadays Dave - would it be rude to suggest.....?
Maybe it would
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:04 AM

Folk music is not just suitable to be played in any venue at any time, and that is why we have folk clubs.
you try singing half an hour of songs such as tifties annie in a working mens club
there are of course some situations outside of folk clubs where some aspects of folk music can work , for example ITM instrumental sessions work well enough often in pubs where people are not going specifically for the music, but the problem with this is that the overall folk repertoire becomes limited. then you have the argument why should customers who are enjoying alcohol have music foisted on them,just because we like it it does not mean everybody does,
that is another
reason why having specific venues for the music is important .
MORRIS DANCING is another example, of folk music that can work however morris dancing and ITM , DO NOT REQUIRE PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO LYRICS AND HEAR THEM PROPERLY.
That is why having correct and suitable venues is as important as playing the music, house parties and folk clubs are venues that fall in to that category,
public toilets and noisy pubs do not.
Dave, stop getting hung up on your notion of somebody trying to misrepresent you, but listen to the points being made, if you agree with what i am saying then just say so.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:12 AM

Re venues,

While "upstairs" or in the back room of a pub is great although not always suitable for more high profile guests, there are other possibilities as has been mentioned.

I went to a folk club held in a cafe(Ardersier Folk Club) a few months back which was very homely. Nice decor and furniture and not a "greasy spoon" type of place. The cafe was actually closed in the evening and the folkies just took it over. We could bring in our own beer, wine etc and it was a great atmosphere.

Re village halls, some also have smaller rooms attached. For instance, we always have a great time at Newcastleton Village Hall during the festival in the Supper Room. However, smaller halls themselves can also be reorganised according to the event with tables instead of rows of seats etc.
There are any number of possibilities. Bringing in your own drink is often a better experience that consuming what many pubs have on offer although there are still some good establishments around selling good beer etc.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:16 AM

"Folk music is not just suitable to be played in any venue at any time, and that is why we have folk clubs.
you try singing half an hour of songs such as tifties annie in a working mens club"

It could still be a folk club although it is being held within a working men's club, of course. The club would just hire or use a suitable room on a night when it was free. Many folk clubs do, in fact, meet in clubs. Bowling clubs, for some reason, seem to be very popular for this sort of thing in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:26 AM

I used to go to a folk club in a book shop in Manchester in a similar style, Johnny J.

Dick,the venues are very important to the success of a club. Of course they are. But if it wasn't for Folk music, the folk club would not exist at all. So which is more important? As far as I can tell, there is no other way of interpreting "Folk music is more important than folk clubs". No matter how hard you try.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:30 AM

Dick is spot on
Songs at sessions tend to be the poor relation when the musicians want a break and a **** chat - musicians can be the worst listeners of songs
Try getting attention for a big ballad in a roomful of drinkers
Sam Larner summed it up pefectly - "sure, we sang in the Fisherman's Return every week but the serious singing was among your mates who liked the songs, usually at home or at sea"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:03 AM

"But if it wasn't for Folk music, the folk club would not exist at all."
If it wasn't for the folk clubs the folk songs gathered by those astute to realise their value would be locked in cupboards for other people who realised their value to ask permission to us
Do you know how much information of this sort is is the same position - go and ask for a tour of the vaults of The British Library (or even the locked cupboards of Cecil Sharp House) sometime
This sort of complacency with return folk song to those vaults and cupboards
The media wil only continue to give it air space if there are enough people to make it worthwhile, as they have more than proved over and over again
We needf our own platform open to all - even the technically illiterate
THat is why folk cluns are not "unimportant"
Ignore away -Dave - I'm addressing this to the open-minded
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:03 AM

it is more important to have suitable places to sing the music , if you sing the music in places where no one is interested, you are demeaning the music you are also not able to perform it as well,good performance is a two way thing it requires interaction.
I have got to the point now where i would rather sing for my own pleasure at home ,or as i did yesterday sitting on a deserted beach at dunmanus bay in the sunshine , than sing at an open mic or to be booked at a totally unsuitable venue, that is why i no longer take gigs on new years eve. there is your answer.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:14 AM

it is more important to have suitable places to sing the music

Well, Dick. As you have made part of your living from performing at these places I can understand why you believe that. But let me ask you a question. If it wasn't for Folk music, what would be the point of folk clubs?

And Jim, I have already gone to great lengths to point out that I have on no occasion said that Folk clubs are not important. Just that Folk music is more so. If you wish to dismiss that as closed minded there is nothing I can add.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:42 AM

Re Sam Larner quote
"serious singing was among your mates who liked the songs, usually at home or at sea"

So, that's what happened before folk clubs existed. At sea, on the berry fields, in the factories, mines etc and in the community too. Also, people passing songs and tunes to their children who would share them with each other in street games etc.
There was also the more formal music hall tradition too and people getting together for "a song". By their own accounts, when the early collectors were doing their field work, many of the source singers also had many "modern" songs of the time in their repertoire too. They didn't think of their old songs as "folk" or "traditional" but just songs.

Of course, much of the above was almost lost in the modern world and folk clubs and the work done by many performers, activists, academics and so on in preserving same and keeping the music alive was very important. I don't think anyone is disputing that.

However, as Dave says, there are other ways. Many are fairly similar to or adapted from the folk club model, of course, but some will be quite different. Not all changes will be for the good, I'm sure, but that's always been the case.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:48 AM

"it is more important to have suitable places to sing the music , "
That's the truest thing anybody acn say about folk song and the snide comment about your being professional certainly sorts the white hats from the black hats in this difference of opinion
I have my reservations about how important paid singers have to the future of folk song - it depends how much they take out and how much they put back (and whether the latter should be, to some degree mandatory - but evry singer of folk song needs a decent listening venue or else they are being degraded and exploited (if they are paid)
Out binman works to an agreed standard and I'd never have been able to d my job with a crowd of noisy drunks getting in may way
Why sould singers have tio settle for second best or rely on only what the media and music industry think they can profit from
That's where a no-club (or even an "unimportant club" scene would invariably end up
Keep up the pressure
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 06:44 AM

Thanks, Johnny J. Your last line pretty much sums up what I have been trying to get across.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:14 AM

i have not dismissed you ,yet.
you made a comment about dragging people in to the 21st century, well since some of the venue sin the 21st century are open mics, i am making it clear that i do not want you to drag me to an open mic to hear folk music being treated like wall paper music. this is what you said
Folk music has moved into the 21st century very well. It's about time some people did.
well since folk music has moved in to open mics, you must think since you say it is moved very well, that open mics are good. i do not think that my conclusion is unreasonable, if you did not mean that why did you make the comment. you do agree where are in the 21st century and open mics are one of the venues where it is played and you have said that it has moved in to the 21st century very well, if you dont mean this make yourself feckin clearer


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:26 AM

However much you might like folk clubs, there are two awkward realities.

Firstly, on present trends, no gathering of that sort is likely to be feasible for a year or more - not just folk clubs, but weddings, Pilates classes, church services, Masonic rituals, the Womens Institute or big screen football. This will be a more drastic hiatus than has ever happened in wartime. It isn't just the clubs and their venues that will have a problem getting started again, many professional performers (and probably all the older ones) will call it a day.

Secondly, unlike wartime, there is an alternative that does provide a sustainable medium for many kinds of music, and which is particularly well suited to folk, given a bit of adjustment by performers and listeners. The internet wasn't around for people living through the London Blitz or the siege of Sarajevo, but it is now. For the foreseeable future it's all we've got, and it's going to change our expectations; we will get used to listening and performing alone, and we will learn to do without the performers who fall silent. Whatever happens when this is over will be shaped by what we are about to go through.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:44 AM

Dick, your reasoning makes no sense. How you get from "Some people need to move into the 21st century" to me wanting you to perform at open mic nights is beyond me. Nothing is further from the truth. Only you had mentioned open mic nights. FWIW I went to a few more than 10 years back and I never equated them with folk music then. I have not been to one since. There are dozens of outlets for folk music available to us. Folk clubs are still probably the best places to perform and listen to folk music but they are far from the only ones. As the current Covid19 crisis has proved. Which is what started this thread.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:06 AM

Jack I think you are being a bit pessimistic when you say a year I would say about six months at the most. People love travelling to festivals seeing and singing with old friends. Professional performers will not so much 'call it a day' as simply go back to how they started by singing folk songs for the love of it. I've been singing for 45 years and have played most clubs and festivals in the UK, but I am just as happy in a sing around. That said I think you have a point about regular internet appearances. That will not do any harm to the music, and may spark some interest.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:07 AM

stop wriggling Dave,
you wished to drag people[ presumably jim and me] into the 21st century ,open mics are a recnt phenomenon and part of the 21st century folk revival, how else do you think i came to that conclusion, if you did not mean it, be specific as to what you fucking well meant, what did you mean with this snide comment, come on tell us.
Dave i do not need to to be dragged by you into the 21st century i recently [feb] had two very good gigs at stoke and stockton where people listened and participated and sang choruses, i received a complimentary message from one of the organisers
stop wasting everyones time and when you make these remarks explain yourself clearly.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:14 AM

No wriggling Dick. If you can find where I said I wanted people to go to open mic nights, other than in your head, please provide the link to it. Sorry if you misunderstood but that is not really my problem is it. If you want to waste your time finding hidden meanings and agendas in my posts that's up to you but I, for one, will not waste any more effort on it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:20 AM

I don't like the Open Mic format either but some folk clubs and festivals have actually encouraged this over the years.

Of course, in the above cases, it was intended to encourage performers of "our kind of music" but an unfortunate consequence was that more singer songwriters, poets, and other "experimental" artists were also attracted.

It's more of a phenomenon at festivals and the like.. e.g. Danny Kyle's Open Stage at Celtic Connections and so on but this also happens at many other festivals over the years. In fact, it was a regular feauture at Edinburgh Folk Festival and some smaller Scottish festivals as far back as the early eighties.

More recently, Edinburgh Folk Club has been trying to revive the non guest night format but, unfortunately, was sending out "mixed messages" as to what was involved or expected. Sometimes it was advertised as an Open Mic format when it was intended to be a Singaround or, on occasions, a "residents' night". It wasn't clear if the latter meant the regular floor performers/supports or for members generally!
I'm sure many clubs are guilty of perpetuating this confusion.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:25 AM

As someone used to say "I agree with Nick" :-))

I also think we'll be able to do something by six months time. Perhaps not large concerts nor sports events but certainly informal gatherings and smaller events which would include folk clubs could be feasible.

There may be still be some restrictions on numbers and spacing, of course.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:30 AM

"There are dozens of outlets for folk music available to us."
Not to guarantee to keep it either folk and certainly not grass root
Stating this without putting facts behind it and refusing to respond is Iainism writ large

Some of what Johnny says make s sense with one exception
"much of the above was almost lost in the modern world and folk clubs"
By the time the clubs arrived what Johnny describes had disappeared - to a degree, some clubs reintroduces it, but as it came from a different world, it was neither possible nor desirable to aim to bring it bak - that would have been as artificial coming to the clubs in straw hats and crinolines
The clubs were largely a n urban phenomenon - the significant rural communities had largely vanished if they hadn't been eaten up
As far as I can judge, you were never guaranteed an audience for say big ballads ot shanties, in the rural venues - in some areas ritual songs would have been not only odd but downright unlucky in the places where the customs still prevailed - that remained the case in parts of rural Ireland where even a bodhran was a taboo instrument (instead of the pain in the arse it now is)

Folk song proper is as 21st century as Shakespeare and Johnson - and if respected (in very short supply nowadays there is no reason for it remaining so -
THe only difference between The Bard and Folk Song is that one works as a grass-roots art - the other is bums-on-seats - long may that continue to be the case
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:38 AM

"much of the above was almost lost in the modern world and folk clubs"

Sorry Jim. I should have constructed the sentence better as the excerpt you've quoted now conveys a different meaning from what I intended.

Perhaps something like

"Of course, much of the above was almost lost in the modern world. Folk clubs and the work done by many performers, activists, academics and so on in preserving same and keeping the music alive was very important."

would be better.

I hadn't intended "modern world" and "folk clubs" to be in the same box, in this instance. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:54 AM

A folk club needs to get a lot of ducks in a row to reopen.

The performers have to be able to get there. The audience has to be able and willing to put up with the risks of getting there and sitting there, and willing to pay. The venue has to be solvent enough to pay its bills, which will include an unknown amount of liability insurance.

No projection puts a vaccine closer than months away. If the UK leaves the EMA it'll be more than a year for regulatory reasons. Drug treaments may come quicker but probably won't stop the pandemic any faster, if experience with TB (the most successful medical intervention yet for a highly contagious disease) is anything to go by. So I'm going with the currently more conservative estimates for how long social distancing needs to go on for. And the relatively old folk club audience is likely be more cautious than most (also more likely to be dead or permanently disabled by the virus, which won't help put bums on seats)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:04 AM

Among many other interests I have a two-pronged cause.

1) For people who have never experienced or shown an interest in folk music to be given the opportunity to sample good quality versions, albeit it at grass-roots level.

2) Those who are already interested in 'folk music' in its wider sense, to give them the opportunity to come further into the fold, by making available good quality traditional folk music along with that which follows on from this tradition, i.e., revival music in the same vein.

As an organiser and performer those are my main goals and I know there are many others doing the same all around the country.

Those who deny this is happening are an insult to this and the music.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:15 AM

Jack,

I agree that the "touring circuit" will take quite a while to recover but more local artists might find it easier to do bookings.

Smaller clubs like Nitten(in Scotland) and similar which tend to focus more on singaround/resident nights might fare better at the start. They also have guests but these usually tend to be smaller names with a few exceptions and only happen on a monthly basis.

If the venues are open for other purposes then it should be possible to hold such events with care.

Again, it's over pessimistic to assume that most of us over a certain age(Includes both of us) will die. Even among the older age group, a majority of people should recover.
Besides, I'd certainly feel much safer sitting in a folk club albeit a safe distance from everybody than visiting the supermarket.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 AM

Rather conversely it will be the grass-roots music scenes that are more likely to survive and thrive. It is the more commercial genres that will suffer the more the longer the lockdown goes on.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM

I'm afraid I share Jack's pessimism about 'getting back to normal'. Even for the smaller informal events which some of you think may be able to re-open before the larger concerts, it may still be difficult to persuade people - many of them in the most vulnerable age group - that it's OK to get together in a confined space. Has anyone yet mentioned the droplets that we spray around the room when we sing? And that's before we consider the likelihood of many more pubs closing.

I have come across one or two older pros who are already thinking it may be the end of the road. Like Nick, I've been performing a long time and could probably get by without the gigs, but it would really grieve me to see communal music-making impossible for months or years - and just when we were seeing quite a few young people discovering the joys of the singaround. I have taken part in a couple of virtual song sessions but, although enjoyable, the experience is nothing like sharing songs, chat and laughter in the same room. Let's hope I'm proved wrong, and bring on that vaccine...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 10:09 AM

It will depend on much of a risk we perceive there to be from the virus. That's why testing is important and we need more localised information as to how prevalent it might be locally.

At present, we get the figures for Lothian, for example, which are quite high at over 1000(of course, they'll be much higher)but not for individual towns. I presume most cases are in Edinburgh but we don't know for sure.

If it falls back to a similar level at the beginning of March and appeared to be under control, a lot of people might be fairly relaxed with that as long they had enough information to decide.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 11:44 AM

"Perhaps something like"
I agree qith that 100%
I'd buy you a drink if they were open
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 11:46 AM

On risk factors I do hope that "we" do not try to return to normal too soon ~Trump of course wishes to do just that ~ the overriding consideration is that the virus will return even stronger and in areas not affected before ~ not helpful to the economy also but!!

It will all take time and strange happening will happen ~ god 'elp us!

I do think it important that established venues and sessions are maintained ~ people may think that also, having suffered this lockdown effect for a period

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:42 PM

I've been away for a few days, but on reading most of the later posts I see that the work of the Corries is spoken of with derision by some of the contributors. Perhaps this will give these gendarmes pause for thought   
Highland Lament


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: JHW
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 03:17 PM

Will folk clubs survive (the pandemic?)
Tonight the word is we may have to maintain social distanceing until there's a vaccine.
So 2m apart and maybe facemasks for a year or two.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:00 PM

If the lockdown goes on for 5 years, at least the grass roots will survive. Plenty of young people I know have already invested a lot of time and energy in that. I'm not worried about that. I feel sorry for Brian and Nick and I'm hopeful they will be able to resume once that is possible.

As a researcher and performer not needing to put bread on the table I am simply getting on with a lot of research and playing a bit of music and learning some new songs now and then for a break.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 PM

"it is more important to have suitable places to sing the music , "
That's the truest thing anybody can say about folk song and the snide comment about your being professional certainly sorts the white hats from the black hats in this difference of opinion"


No truer word ever spoken!!

I will now make it a personal goal to actually to travel to and go and listen to Dick Miles perform. I am sure that I will thoroughly enjoy the experience.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:40 AM

"So 2m apart and maybe facemasks for a year or two."
Time for people to have a think and maybe plan ahead - I hope that timeline is a pessimistic one though

We had a wonderful confirmation of what is happening here in Ireland yesterday
For some time now there have been signs of more and more young people following the lead of musicians and taking up the traditional songs; we have met some of them
We have been asked permission to use of some of our recordings for a new project - they are planning to issue an album of source singers as an example of where they are learning their songs from - we couldn't reply quickly enough
It seems some people aren't suffering from cultural amnesia
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:45 AM

well since folk clubs often are smaller gatherings, social distancing might be easier i think it very possible they will survive ,it may take longer for festivals to return. to quote Stanley Baldwin lets wait and see


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 03:17 AM

I too have lost a considerable amount of gigs[ thankyou for your kind thoughts Steve] ,however i now have 3quarters of a uk sate pension 95 sterling a week],so of course i have no worries
But I feel most sorry for younger performers, my advice to them would be as soon as this is over, get out and organise, start a folk event[ A HOUSE PARTY, A CLUB, A ONE DAY FESTIVAL, but not an open mic [as soon as this is over]
the uk folk revival needs to look back to its early days when many performers were involved in organising events clubs.gigs dont just happen, without organisers


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM

Until more is known for definite about Coronavirus and an effective vaccine is produced, proven and readily available. I would say that things such as "House Concerts" will be exceptionally rare occurrences.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM

Too true, Dick. The organisers of all ages are out there and we need to give them as much encouragement as possible. No negativity!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SussexCarole
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM

Swansea Copper Folk will be running again on our (sort of) monthly basis just as soon as it is safe to do so. Maybe we have to wait for a well tested vaccine to keep us all safe.

Traditional song/music session while we sail on the River Tawe with no mics/amps and no featured performer.

Perhaps we have to wait until 2021 or further ahead, but our outlook is positive.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM

Folk clubs will survive if people support them. When people don't support them then they die slow deaths, or fast ones if the owners see the writing on the wall. In one form or other things have to be paid for. When those things aren't, the business goes TU. It's mostly always been that way.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM

"Folk clubs will survive if people support them."
In a way this sums up the problem for me, I'm afraid, just as does laims that our folk songs will "survive"
I lived through a long period when this would never have to be said because there was no question of them not "surviving" because they were thriving
I came to these arguments in the first place being told that there was nothing wrong with the club scene - I was given lists to be persuaded that was the case - it obviously wasn't if we have to talk about it "surviving"
It needs to do far, far more than that - it needs to be enjoyed at least as much as it once was - not just by listeners but by performers and potential performers
That has to be more tan wished for - it has to be worked for
That should be the topic of any communication that takes place - how is that going to be achieved ?

I'm not enjoying this long period of isolation - is anybody ?
Yet that is what is being proposed as the future of our folk song - over my dead body, I hope
I sneak into towen (I shouldn't) for my newspaper and each time I realise how much I am missing talking to the people whose houses I pass
I could call them, we regularly speak th them this way now because we check up on each other
Is that really how people want our songs and music to "survive" ?
How Orwellian
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 03:50 AM

Folk clubs will survive if people support them. When people don't support them then they die slow deaths, or fast ones if the owners see the writing on the wall.

Most clubs would be ecstatic to have slow decline as their worst problem right now.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 05:40 AM

A bit of a tangent, what can we do to get emerging talented singers and musicians to use this hiatus to get to know our rich folk tradition, look and learn from source material and recordings, and the best revival ambassadors living and passed on and spend time developing their craft to be the next vanguard.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 05:55 AM

Might be a better time for some of out crib sheet merchants to actually learn the songs they sing
I've never thought of our (sometimes far-from) "better" singers as ambassadors I'm afraid - just occasional breaks we relly don't have to rely on
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:00 AM

Shortly after we moved to Ireland National TV put on one of e best analyses I can ever remember on professionalism in traditional song - it was entitled "Has folk music sold out ?"
One of Ireland's finest musicians, Paddy Glackin, summed the situation up perfectly
He said, "Once you become professional you cannot survive without becoming a member of a group - you have sacrificed the choice of what and how you play"
I acn accept that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:10 AM

There are many, many professional folk musicians who are not part of a group. Not that there is anything wrong with groups of course


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:34 AM

I really don't get that at all. Before I open my gob, could somebody explain Paddy Glackins' point of view.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:11 AM

Paddy explined the situation he found himself in at the time -
In those days Irish music was at an ebb and the media only selected those who they believed would sell to a general audience - things are very different now that traditional music has come into its own - they call the shots
Britain was exactly the same during the folk and jazz booms - groups, funny uniforms, singing pullovers, even restrictions on the length of song that could be sung
When flok ceased to sell, the media and music industry walked away - that's when the folk revival and the jazz clubs streamlined themselves and returned to what they wanted to play
Unfortunately there have always been those among us who confuse excellence with popularity and fame
Some people found the experimantal period with groups like Bothy Band and Steeleye attractive - never rang any of my bells
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:25 AM

Got it, especially the confusion with popularity.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM

To be fair to Dick Sean (just wrote "Sick Dean" - nearly left it in :-) )
I thing if I were in his position I think I'd find myself under siege as things are


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 08:47 AM

Irrelevant.
If you are in a group or perform individually there are advantages and disadvantages to both. People like Cohen get the best of both worlds and many on the scene have done this to great advantage over the years. Martin Carthy springs to mind but there are many others. All 3 are options and you choose what works for you. I enjoy performing solo about the same amount as I enjoy being in a group. I don't think this has much bearing on the survival of folk clubs, except perhaps solo artists are cheaper for the organisers.

I would dearly love the crib-sheet merchants to learn their songs, but as they are very much in a minority I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:16 AM

"Irrelevant."
Not really, as far as sining is concerned
Our songs were expressions of individuality - how an individual reacted to the world around him/her
Thet is sacrificed when you perform in a group
It may be different if you perform as a family like The Coppers and, of course, rituals and shanties were a always a group activity, but these are very much a small part of our tradition
Carthy was in the position to do both, (Glackin was for a while) but most aren't -nd in both cases, the group side came with a shelf life - solo singing is ageless
How long did 'the singing pullover's' approach last - not long overall ?

Crib sheets became a subject for much argument at one time so it was certainly an issue then - last tie I was in The Cellar at C# Sharp House there were about 4 singers using them
I've noticed them being used on several on-line performances of late - they are unnecessary for most people and therefore largely not acceptable in most cases
Sorry - we disagree again
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:46 AM

'Our songs were expressions of individuality - how an individual reacted to the world around him/her'

Well if you mean they were written by one person, nobody can deny that except people like Gummere who are long-gone.

Many things are different in the modern world to what they were before WWII. You seriously believe we should only be performing in the same way as those people who helped preserve the songs for us? No instruments, no duets, no choirs, no pub sings with wonderful harmony? If not what exactly are you suggesting?

The majority of the songs were written in third person, only a few first person. The majority are impersonal.

Next you will be telling us that people accompanying songs and singing in duets closed our folk clubs down!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM

Don't tempt Jim, Steve ;-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:54 AM

A bit of a tangent, what can we do to get emerging talented singers and musicians to use this hiatus to get to know our rich folk tradition, look and learn from source material and recordings, and the best revival ambassadors living and passed on and spend time developing their craft to be the next vanguard.

People like Tobar an Dualchais and ITMA have already put a tremendous amount of material online and it's already being used heavily by younger performers - they don't need lessons in how to apply it. About all there is for older generations to do is upload what they've got.

Right now there is NO shortage of people offering on-line teaching in anything you could want - this is the obvious recourse for pros whose diaries have suddenly gone blank. But the notion of "best revival ambassadors" can go - performers starting out can bypass them and go back to their sources if they want. The best teachers and the best performers have always been largely separate groups of people in the art music world and there's no reason why folk should be any different in the present situation.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 10:04 AM

"Well if you mean they were written by one person, "
You should know by now I don't - nobody knows who or how many made the songs
That are largely structured as 'one person' narratives and have remained largely the domain of the solo voice apart from choruses
Group singing is largely experimental
Folk songs ceased to be made in 'the modern world' apart from isolated communities, like the Travellers who still maintained an oral tradition, and they were still solo songs
Even the revival song-makers using the tradition as inspiration, recognised that when they composed their songs
That the songs weer written in 'the third person' (not sure about "the majority" is immaterial - a song-maker usually expressed from community experience in order for his/her songs to be of interest to those around him - they are far from beimng 'impersonal'
The broadsides weer a different kettle of dingbats
Navel-gazing introspection of personal angst is very much a revival thing - expressed rather harshly once by Tom Munnelly who told a modern singer of his own songs "I sometimes want to tap you on the shoulder to ask you fer permission to come in"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 10:15 AM

I think all of us have seen clubs come and go over the years/decades. What are the commonalities of successful clubs? What are the commonalities of those that folded? Inevitably (I think) it comes down to bums on seats. If one were to open a jazz club in a place where jazz is appreciated by 1 in a 1000 people, and if the town only has 5000 people, chances are things won't work out. Christaller's 'Central Place Theory' is somewhat dated, but it's also still true. There is a limit to how far people will travel to hear singers/musicians or groups. These days, people really need to do feasibility studies to determine the potential viability of their respective businesses, whatever those businesses may be. It is also important to gauge both what the audience--read customer--likes and what it doesn't, and that should be an ongoing process. The customer may not always be right, but the customer does pay the bills, and regardless what one wants, first and last the bills have to be paid. I have seen clubs that have continued success because they cater to specific types of music. If you as a customer have continued going to a club on a regular basis because you know the club will be presenting the kind of music you enjoy, then the easiest way to screw that up for the customer is to start presenting a different kind of music. Doesn't matter how good the new music being presented is. As a customer, if I have been going because the performers sing unaccompanied, and I then get three weeks of electric rock, chances are I won't be back. The converse holds true also. The old adage that "I may not know what's good, but I do know what I like" is important for club owners to realize. It is a truth whether one likes it or not.

A problem that does occur--I gather more in the UK--is ownership of the facility in which the music is held. As a pub/bar owner, my main interest would be selling beer, food, etc. The music aspect would be relegated to nights that were slow. However, when I saw a chance to earn more income by turning that night into a karaoke evening, well, do the math, because as an owner that's what I'd have done. When the arts meet the banks, the arts seldom win.

That said, I think the way forward is not necessarily a gloomy one. COVID-19 has changed much in society (as Jack alluded to), but in chaos is opportunity, and as we see the interrelationships of tradition(s), art/music, economics and livelihood, we can perhaps solidify our strengths and shore-up our weaknesses. I think it was Socrates who said that he unexamined life is not worth living, Maybe he was right.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 11:55 AM

I'm quite looking forward to the Weymouth Sailors Return Folk Club, on Zoom, next Wednesday. A new experience for me.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM

Steve G, Not sure if I am addressing your point but I wouldn't say that everyone who wants to sing folk songs need to do so in the style and manner of source singers, but we do have a responsibility to refer back to sources.

As another aside(ish)....

In my days with the Shanty Crew we spent a considerable amount of time in rehearsals making sure that what members proposed to bring to the group repertoire had some semblance to written sources as opposed to revival recordings. In doing so, what we brought to performance may have been less pretty, but understanding how the shanty worked brought its own life to them.

At maritime festivals when we listened to other performers we could often tell who they got their versions form, and pin it down to which track on which record.

Learning from records, in my view, often simplifies the detachment from collected sources. Back in the 80s I was equally guilty, and lately I've pruned a vast chunks from my repertoire.

Not sure if that has anything whatsoever to do with my original question though.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 01:00 PM

Not really, as far as sining is concerned

I would love to find this folk sinning club. I presume it was the extra "n" that was dropped?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 01:11 PM

" I presume it was the extra "n" that was dropped?"
I would have been obvious enough to be unworthy of comment
Wot -no :-) ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 04:42 PM

'Group singing is largely experimental.' I prefer the description 'enjoyable'.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 05:37 PM

SEAN O SHEA it is not love that is blind, but jealousy.   

Lawrence Durrell


Sean.
I suggest go to spec savers and get your eyes tested or learn to count.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 03:22 AM

important factors are suitable venue, good promotion, good resident singers, if i have said this before it is because it needs to be said


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 03:48 AM

"I prefer the description 'enjoyable'."
No accounting for taste - I prefer being able to concentrate on the words and listen to an interpretation other than musicalAre you seriously suggesting solo singing is not ?
My point was that our singing tradition - is word based, largely narrative
There's nothing wrong with doing what you wish with it - on the cotrarty - 'Butterworth's 'Banks of Green Willow' is one of the most exquisite pieces of music I never tire of - but i ain't folk and that isn't as that tragic ballad was intended to work

The good thing with now having a foundation for traditional music here is that, no matter how far afield you stray, you always have somewhere to return to to check you haven't forgotten something
That is what England seems to have lost (or thrown away)
Maybe folk should have been fitted with a sensor - like some keys are nowadays - you don't have to wander around shouting "where's my ***** keys" when you've got one of them
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM

'Are you seriously suggesting solo singing is not ?' Please read what I have written without putting any spin on it.

Strangely perhaps, some of us are still capable of listening to the narrative, appreciating the arrangement and enjoying the performance, all at the same time. Aren't we clever?

To put a finer point on it, if you are watching and listening to a live performance, it all depends whether the song is new to you, or you have heard it a thousand times and know the story backwards. If you are listening to a recording of your own you can play it back countless times to appreciate the narrative, arrangement, musicality etc.

Nothing thrown away, more and more available online, and being used more and more in live performance. Much more material, recordings, out there than ever there was, indeed far more than any individual could deal with in a long and healthy lifetime.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 05:42 AM

"Strangely perhaps, some of us are still capable of listening to the narrative, "
We are all capable strageley enoutgh - some of us prefer not to be distracted
Group singing tends largely to me musical rather than narrative - interpretation tends to go out of the window - inevitably; singers who interpret do so on their own behalf rather that for a couple of mates as well
Phrasing inevitably goes to pot - a note per syllable tends to be the order of the day - 'four-square singing' we used to call it
Go listen to The Watersons, come back and tell me that doesn't happen
I remember my reaction when 'Frost and Fire first appeared - I was bowled over.... for the first three tracks then it became boring-boring-boring
I never got around to side two or ages and then, because I felt I should

Live recordings are good to learn from but they can never be a subject for either the real thing or a chance to learn by talking to people at a club
I ton't want our songs to be a matter of staring at a small screen or becoming no more than a bum on a seat - there is not even a future in that, never mind it being proposed as a future in itself
Excuses seem to be a speciality of yours Steve
One of my favourite science fiction stories, by Ray Bradbury - describes people having to queue up to see 'The Last Tree'
If we're not careful, that's going to be the case with us
Now people have moved on from "Our clubs are all doin' fine" to "We don't need 'em" perhaps it's time for our next "Step for mankind" - perhaps Frankie Armstrong will have as much success as her namesake Neil ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 05:53 AM

since every festival appears to be cancelled up uintil the end of august if we do manage to get out of lockdown before then, well folk clubs might temporarily do ok for a while ,bearing in mind that folk clubs are smaller gatherings of 20 to 25 people average, lots of ifs but we must wait and see.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 08:40 AM

Where ?
I can only see this posting unless you've reverted back to Karen
I always read what everybody says - it really doesn't help suggesting that people don't - - this has been pretty insult-free until now - let's try and keep it like that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM

'Group singing is largely experimental.' I prefer the description 'enjoyable'.

Doing it by Zoom is an experiment, though - the fact that most of the singing people in the UK have done in the last 500 years has been in groups doesn't help you synchronize with a leader over an Internet link. I know people are trying it, anybody here involved in that?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,lbig al whittle
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 01:59 PM

like I say, Wessex FC at THe Sailors Return in Weymouth are doing it this Wednesday. I expect if you go the club Facebook page there might be information.

Apparently the technology was a bit of a bugger last week, but they think they've got it sorted for this week.

I joined my ukulele class by Zoom last week. That was pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 03:06 PM

Listened in to a Zoom singaround for 2 hours just now. Some singers were clear, others a bit iffy. Depends on the equipment I suppose. More of a social thing for me, but they all enjoyed it, and it was nice to see some familiar faces.

As regards the group singing and playing, we still have a single lead singer with the rest joining in on the chorus. Always thought that's what the choruses were there for. Watersons generally follow the same. Again, Jim, with your dislike of the Watersons you appear to be way out of step with the majority, but wasn't that ever the case?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 02:19 AM

"Again, Jim, with your dislike of the Watersons you appear to be way out of step with the majority, "
My like or dislike is immaterial, as is anybody else's, I analysed what they did with the song for you, ou have chosen not to comment, your failure to do so is not uncommon here
Or song traditions are based around the principles of storyelling; ou singers sang as they spoke, made sense of the narrative and made the story they were telling so they could be followed as such - that' why the singers visualised their songs as vividly as they did
Chorus singing is based on sound and musicality

If I worried about what others liked I'd go off to be sheared regularly or maybe voted to leave Europe - It would be as boring a world as I find 'Frost and Fire' if we all liked the same, wouldn't it ?
Why is what other like always so important to you Steve, do others have to think for you - that was what the 'Mrs Bucket' character was based on?
I put up my opinions in the hope of a debate - I find it more and more difficult to get one nowadays
Jim

I always understood that there was always a question around what choruses and refrains were for - there used to be anyway
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 03:04 AM

well there are some chorus or joininng in songs that are story songs my son david or the two sisters orthe bnony banks of fordie


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Apr 20 - 02:38 AM

yes at least two will


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 20 - 02:44 AM

Hopefully more than that if folk song is to have a future beyod the bookshelf and the archive vault Dick
I recently called for volunteers to sing Irish Child ballads for me and have been heartened to find how many relatively unknown young singers there are interested more in the songs than in being singers - - a 'first cuckoo' hopefully
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM

Excellent work, Jim! Let's hope you get some of them to sing them for you. Sounds like a project we English should be promoting. There are enough English Child Ballads out there. Come to think of it I ought to make a similar list of all those that have been collected in England.

Will give it a go after I've finished the spreadsheet on the earliest extant folksong versions. Please remind me if I forget.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 20 - 06:29 AM

" I ought to make a similar list of all those that have been collected in England."
It really wouldn't be a bad idea Steve
I have gained the impression that they survided later in Ireland - there are far more of them here than I believed there were
I'm now looking for singers for six Robin Hood Ballads and an impressive version of The Broom of Codenknowes (from Waterford)
The Two Magicians (similar to Bert's) and sever 'Broomfild Hills
You can't throw a stone without hitting Lamkin, The Demon Lover, Hind Horn or Lord Bateman
A bit mind boggling really

If you do or anyone does, look in collections like 'Helen Hartness Flanders, Edith Fowke and Creighton - some excellent English and Irish survivals in all of these

I've just had a lovely young lady from Cork sing a full version of 'Famous Flower of Serving Men' (from Clare - circa 1920) for me
All very interesting !!!!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM

A lot of remote instrumental teaching going on right now - every instrument and genre imaginable. But nobody seems to be teaching anything vocal. Have I just not noticed?

You'd think something like the Glasgow Ballad Workshop would Zoom-ify quite well.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 05:37 AM

Remote bodhran conferencing? THe apocalypse has surely arrived.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 06:35 AM

"Remote bodhran conferencing? "
The remoter the better
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 04:18 AM

Distant Drums


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 May 20 - 05:37 AM

On 'another' tangent - as we will need to wait at least until July before we return to any sense of normality, will virtual folk sessions continue in parallel to live venues, or should they? One thing in favour of virtual sessions is they can have a much wider geographic reach.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 May 20 - 05:01 PM

NO, Virtual sessions are virtual they are not real, they do not include socialising, they are also arranged, and thats bollocks about reaching a wider geographical area,people arrive at our local session if they are on holiday, and anyway the session can be recorded and put on the internet, so that it is accesible to people in timbuctoo or madagascar


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Mudcat time: 10 August 9:46 PM EDT

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