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Is there a folk club mafia ?

Avril Betts 29 Mar 04 - 05:48 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 05:59 AM
breezy 29 Mar 04 - 06:09 AM
Leadfingers 29 Mar 04 - 06:24 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Mar 04 - 06:31 AM
Moses 29 Mar 04 - 06:35 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 04 - 06:42 AM
Catherine Jayne 29 Mar 04 - 06:48 AM
Doktor Doktor 29 Mar 04 - 06:51 AM
VIN 29 Mar 04 - 06:52 AM
VIN 29 Mar 04 - 07:00 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Mar 04 - 07:00 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Mar 04 - 07:04 AM
Micca 29 Mar 04 - 07:08 AM
breezy 29 Mar 04 - 07:08 AM
Morticia 29 Mar 04 - 07:18 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 07:19 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 07:21 AM
greg stephens 29 Mar 04 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 04 - 07:22 AM
Micca 29 Mar 04 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,two sides maybe 29 Mar 04 - 07:33 AM
beetle cat 29 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM
pixieofdoom 29 Mar 04 - 07:36 AM
Avril Betts 29 Mar 04 - 07:37 AM
Essex Girl 29 Mar 04 - 07:49 AM
Catherine Jayne 29 Mar 04 - 07:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Mar 04 - 07:59 AM
breezy 29 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Two Sides 29 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM
greg stephens 29 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 08:20 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Betsy 29 Mar 04 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND 29 Mar 04 - 08:29 AM
breezy 29 Mar 04 - 08:30 AM
breezy 29 Mar 04 - 08:35 AM
el ted 29 Mar 04 - 08:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 04 - 08:39 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 04 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND 29 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Mar 04 - 08:50 AM
Roger the Skiffler 29 Mar 04 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Amazed 29 Mar 04 - 08:56 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Mar 04 - 09:02 AM
Avril Betts 29 Mar 04 - 09:04 AM
Strollin' Johnny 29 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 04 - 09:09 AM
Alice 29 Mar 04 - 09:10 AM
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Subject: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Avril Betts
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:48 AM

Hello everyone, I've just joined Mudcat, Let me introduce myself.
I'm Avril Betts and I live in South East London. I started singing folk songs almost two years ago, although I've sung with a church choir since I was nine. I also sing regularly at various Karioci evenings. I sing most of my songs without accompaniment, although I've started using a bodran with some of them recently, and at some sessions various guitarists accompany me.

My songs always seem to go down well with the audience, but I keep getting told by club organisers that they can't fit me on the list or that I've got there too late. I often notice that a lot of the time, other singers, who are usually friends of the organiser, get there much later than me and still get a chance to sing. Is there a sort of mafia that runs in folk clubs and if so, how do you join ? One of the clubs which I go to regularly has "featured spots" where one of the regular singers gets a chance to do a mini-booking, but every time I ask if I can do one, I get told that they might think about it in the future. How long do you have to be singing before you get accepted ?


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:59 AM

Just local cliques, Avril, not any form of organised resistance to new entrants. It's the bad flip-side of people organising into clubs of any sort. It doesn't have to be this way of course, and there are several clubs west and north-west from London (Herga, Maidenhead, St Albans) that would welcome and embrace any newcomer.

Don't give up. Keep battering those walls. And widen your search of clubs. You'll find a good one soon.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: breezy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:09 AM

El Greks correct , but its tough in Catford anyway.
when I first visited st Albans I had no chance
Now I've taken over the singing scene and my clubs are the only ones worth being seen in.

Ring em up before you go and prebook your spot.


There that could stir up the sh.. !!!

I didnt know there were any clubs booking artistes in S E London


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:24 AM

Avril - I can only reinforce whats been said above, but keep plugging away , phone the organisers to book you spot and DONT arrive late and expect to get on. Having run clubs myself, I know that most people like to 'balance their evenings if possible, so knowing who is there and what they do before you start makes it a lot easier.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:31 AM

Avril.

I think it's only fair to say that you need to widen your choice of songs and definitely choose ones which are more suitable for folk clubs - most of the ones which I've heard you perform are pop music and without the instrumental backings just don't work. The only song that I've heard from you that really fitted into the folk club scene was "Lord of the Dance" - and that could have done without being drowned out by the bodhran. It would also help if you actually learned the words of songs, rather than have to read them from lots of bits of paper which you keep dropping all over the place and which you have to hold up close to your face.

Finally, the main reason that I and other guitarists accompany you, is that it helps to keep you singing in the same key, otherwise you're all over the place.

Linda's tried to help by suggesting some new songs, but you told her that they were all too boring - yet you'll notice that she usually gets asked to sing, when you don't.

Do some work on your singing, learn (not just read) some new, more suitable material, and listen to some of the more experienced singers - both their singing and advice, and perhaps you wouldn't have to feel that you were being unfairly treated.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Moses
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:35 AM

Folk clubs are run by "folks". They (the clubs and the organisers) come in all shapes, sizes and tastes. Depends on the format - are the clubs you have attended "concert" clubs which charge good money to enter and where it is expected that only top rate performers will appear? In this case the organisers would not take a risk to put on someone inexperienced or who may not deliver what their paying audience expects.

Try the "singers" or "spotlight" clubs where you will be welcome whatever your experience or level of talent.

Open evenings at Herga (most Monday nights at the Royal Oak) or the Spotlight club in St Albans (various Sundays - contact Breezy to pre-book a spot & check Unicorn for dates for both clubs) will guarantee you a "sing".

As El Greco says, keep trying until you find a club you like and which makes you feel welcome. There are plenty out there.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:42 AM

Dye your hair blonde. Make the organiser think you might sleep with him.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:48 AM

Well well well look what the 'cat dragged up! I have to say to women...watch your men....she is a man eater...all over Micca everytime I look away!

Voice is ok but limited repetoire with a love of durges.

Welcome to the cat and enjoy


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:51 AM

Theres a Singers Night at Stortfolk on Thursday - just on the London side of Stansted airport. You'd be welcome!

.. & if you want a non-mafia experience, come to Woodworks on 17th April. Details on beerfordbury.com .....

ps - we dont have any definition of "acceptable" songs - probably why our programme is a bit umm .. catholic ...

(pps Suggers says we're desperate anyway)


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: VIN
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:52 AM

Hi Avril.

Hope these experiences don't put you off going to the clubs/sessions, gigs etc. There's always been 'cliquishness' and 'favouritism' in folk clubs (as in any other areas and events where poeple gather together). I experienced this in the late sixties when i first attended folk clubs - and it still goes on, its a human thing. It may sound slightly naive, but it's the music that matters to me and that's initially what i go for, anything else is a bonus. If i'm invited to join in a singaround then that's nice but if not i'll just listen and enjoy the songs/tunes. Usually tho, i find people are pretty friendly if you give em a chance. Those that are'nt, well its there loss eh? Keep on singing!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: VIN
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:00 AM

P.S. Having said that, Dave Bryant does give some useful tips. When poeple are prepared to offer constuctive advice, then thats great. I would always welcome it even at my age especially from more experienced performers.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:00 AM

Guest - She dyes her hair black - and she gives all the fellows the idea that she might sleep with them ! - folk club organisers or not !
She even had a run-in with Khat on one occasion when she was obviously setting her bonnet at Micca. Tact is not one of Avril's finer skills - she basically asked Khat if her "dad" was looking for a girlfriend !


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:04 AM

Whoops - cross-posted with you Khat - hope you didn't mind me telling the full story - I know that Micca was highly amused and has "dined out" on it since.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Micca
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:08 AM

Well, take it from me mate, Dirges and a worse singer than me, and it is my opinion that Avril is Poison!!!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: breezy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:08 AM

O K , I've got the fuller picture now.

Go and do your research and find and learn your material thoroughly.

You are being overlooked cos you aint ready for the folk audience yet.

dont be put off, there is no short cut.

Pop songs are boring, mundane and are unsingable as they mostly have little or no melody while their content is pure dross.

Thats why we descerning folkies demand more and have higher expectations of the material and of us as performers

it takes alot of years and a large collection of CDs

see www.folk4all.net and see how many of the artistes named on the St Albans guest list you know of and have heard

You want to run before you can walk.

But you have to have staying power, I went from Puff the M D to the watersons via Paul Simon in one week at the railway Tavern Catford in 64

No crib sheets allowed, its not a choir, actors dont read the lines onstage, and you are on stage when you stand there, so be weell versed and rehearsed before starting.

good luck

Sleep with the organiser? now thats an idea.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Morticia
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:18 AM

Sorry Avril but you know I've said this to your face as well, dear, if you must persist in singing Celine Dion songs, it would probably help if you finished in approximately the same key you started in and knew at least some of the words......and the tune.

I think I was the only folk club organiser she hasn't tried to sleep with, so I guess that won't work either.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:19 AM

Hey, man-eating is not a crime folks. Neither is the reverse. When we started going to folk clubs, for many of us that was one of the main attractions - why should things change now? Having said that, a bit of tact goes a long way.

Breezy gives some sterling advice (and he is available).

As for me, sorry - happily married. But it's been ages since I had to fend off any attention, so go on - boost my ego.

Don't give up, girl. But do listen to the advice, and keep plugging.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:21 AM

But I did find Micca's story funny, go on Khatt, admit it!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:22 AM

Well, well, well....what you find on Mudcat eh?


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:22 AM

Interesting - no-one has offered to sleep with me to get a spot. I wonder how I might react.........


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Micca
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:32 AM

Well, Next time I go to Swinton, Manchester, FC I am NOT going to offer to sleep with Dave the Gnome OR Spot the Dog!!!!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,two sides maybe
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:33 AM

Sounds like Avril has made a few enemies!
However - there can be two sides...
If she genuinely thought Micca & Khatt were father & daughter then she made an honest mistake - Micca is a lovely friendly bloke & maybe she was misreading his signals.
What are the specific pop songs that are being dismissed as worthless? Are they REALLY the dross type, or just not suitable to a particular style of club. There are good and bad songs in "pop".
There are plenty of threads debating the issue of whether or not it is acceptable to read the words - and there are arguments on both sides.
I don't know Avril - but I hate to see anyone being so completely slagged off.... - especially when she has given her name and location & so has made herself vulnerable to attack


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: beetle cat
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM

Hey Avril, we share a last name. Im Mary Betts from NYC. There are lots of traditional songs that arnt boring. Half the fun is in researcing them.   GOOD LUCK.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: pixieofdoom
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:36 AM

The mafia told me to tell you that if you persist in these defamatory allegations you'll wake up one morning to find a bodhran skin on your pillow. They'll make you an offer that's 87 verses long.

Seriously though, you might get asked to do more spots if you didn't tell everyone in the club how you'd run it better, usually loudly and over the top of everyone elses songs. Just a suggestion


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Avril Betts
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:37 AM

Perhaps I should look for some new clubs. The only thing is that I don't have a car and all of the clubs mentioned are the other side of London from me, I live near Woolwich. I could probably get there by train, as I work in central London, but it's getting home late at night that's the problem. If any fellows could give me a lift home afterwards, I'd love to come. I could even put someone up at my flat in Woolwich if they didn't want to drive all the way back.

Dave Bryant - You and Linda don't sing the sort of songs that I like. One singer who I do like is Ron Trueman Border, I like his style, perhaps I'll try and learn some of his songs. I have to hold my words close to my face because I am very short-sighted, and I don't like wearing glasses because I think they make me look unattractive.

I don't think that I do flirt, OK I like men and have been looking for a steady boyfriend since I lost my husband three years ago. I behave the same with the people I know at church and noone has comlained there.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Essex Girl
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:49 AM

Avril, the people at Church always try to be 'nice'. We do most of the time, but it gets a bit wearing when you don't take any notice of more experienced performers suggestions. Haven't you noticed the way people always go to the loo or the bar when you're singing.I agree that Rons songs are very good but they do need a guitar backing.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:53 AM

Avril, I suggest you take a good long hard look at yourself in the mirror. I admit that you can be a good person but you don't realise the signal you put out.

If you want to be taken seriously take heed of what people have said. Listen to more folk music...if you want to sing pop songs go to a karaoke night down your local pub.

Guest 2 sides.....Avril knows full well Micca and I are not father and daughter....she was being snide.....however Im glad Linda didn't see her trying her best with Dave!...that would have been a confrontation I would have paid to watch!!

El G....yes the story is funny but unacceptable!!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:59 AM

Micca...


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: breezy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:08 AM

I like Ron Truman -B and I booked him at my club this year.

I played his Cd over the summer and look forwrd to hearing him again.

However his songs are a marriage of content and style and if one aspect is divorced fromthe other then it may not work unless you are brilliantly talented.

The divorce is at the nisi stage seeing as grek mentioned it.

I'll be at Waltham Abbey tonight,at the legion , Mike Nicholson's on and he'll be travelling home to kent after I think , but moses will have her eye on me. See you during the interal for an audition, stand up or lying down, whatever way makes you feel comfortable its all the same to me.

Think I'll put Ron on
5 minutes do you? or is it a ballad?


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:10 AM

Glasses wouldn't make you unattractive, Avril. Squinting might. Use what you have, and that includes the glasses.

Learn the words as much as possible, this will allow you to "perform" the song. You can keep them close buy for a reminder or for comfort if necessary - as long as your energy is directed to performing rather than reading.

If there's a problem with holding the pitch, then some simple tone-giving accompaniment might be in order. The bodhran does not help there. It's good for some songs, but spoils the rest. Why not take up the guitar? Simple chord stuff, just to keep you in check.

Travel is a problem, but if you can combine with visits to friends in the vicinity, that would make it easier.

As for the rubbing up of people the wrong way: Well, not everyone can be sensitive enough to realise it when they are offending. But listen to criticism, and even if you think it wrong, apologise - it shows at least that your intentions are honourable. Remember that the simple fact that you are advertising "available and looking for a friend", in word or behaviour, is likely to increase sensitivity in protective partners - that is normal and natural. Don't hold bitterness, it only makes things worse. You go to church, so use some of the good advice there.

And keep plugging.
Good luck


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,Two Sides
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM

Well that's diffrnt then Khatt. Maybe she's just jealous. No need to be snidey though is there? Grrrr.
Sounds like a woman slightly out of control - I hope she can take that honest look at herself & sort herself out.
Avril - I expect if you were to take on board what people here are saying a bit then it would not take long to turn the situation around a bit & have everyone nicely unruffled again. You may have to work at rebuilding some bridges, but its probably worth it.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:17 AM

Interesting as all this may be, I feel it should be deleted. A little too personal for Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:20 AM

Agree, Khatt, sorry. If anyone asked Vanessa whether her Michelin-man was available she'd feel the same...At least I like to think that she would! (Now I'm worried...)

My disappointment is - nobody has asked her such a question... At least you can both be proud of the unwelcome interest. And a bit of smugness might also be allowed in the circumstances :-)


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:22 AM

Greg,
yes it's personal, but it looks like there is some constructive dialogue going on - Avril is listening and talking still. It might do some good after all.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:26 AM

Folk music is a big church - but some music doesn`t fit. Hard to tell what sort - and also some types are acceptable in one club and not so much in another.
Dave Bryant - I know him not - seems to have been very constructive - and this thread seems to be very self promoting to this lady so maybe you are that type of girl who is using this thread as a publicity vehicle.
There are some clubs which will not book certain singers performers because this or that particular singer does not fit in with their idea of a Folk night - nowt wrong with that-their members & attendees are paying - so they know a general direction they want to go in.
Sounds like a bit of practice and new songs are needed young lady - and the only tips I can give,is,leave the drum at home and find clubs where they will tolerate you - however difficult
They can`t be ALL wrong


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:29 AM

Avril,
       Having read Dave Bryants`s vivid description of your performance you appear to have made quite an impression and any folk club really should give you a floor spot. But seriously, we have run folk clubs in London and the south east from the "Railway Tavern" at Catford to our "sing and play" nights where we are now and never once have we resorted to pre-booking floor spots. Sound a bit "mafia-ish" to me.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: breezy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:30 AM

this is where the support really is over here, hang fire greg, others may empathise, and most of us know each other.
its some times harder for some of us to talk face to face but there is a clear picture emerging and there is humour too.
Let it ride .
this is real folk in and around the london scene.

was it the word 'mafia' that bothered you?


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: breezy
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:35 AM

John,   I think you got it arseaboutface, its the artistes who ring up the club to secure their floor spots in advance to be sure of getting on, not the other way about.
so I wopuld ring you to ask if I can have a floor spot at Elsie's

See you in Padstow on 1st of M, regards to all.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: el ted
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:38 AM

I had to sleep with the harri watts band to ensure my place in the concert we are giving at The Lamp in Hull on wednesday night.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:39 AM

You did sleep with me at Swinton, Micca!

Well, in the next room anyway..;-)

Cheers

:D


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:40 AM

If you really want to help and direct her why all the character assassination. I know reasons have been given but people are giving personal opinions about other peoples issues. Avril may have one or two issues but it's not helped with all the knifes going in one after the other. Help and guidance was asked for and no wonder


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM

Breezy,
       What I meant to say is that we have never requested any person wanting to do a floor spot to call us beforehand. Just be there, and if time allows, you`re on: sometimes to such an extent that we run well over time.
Padders here we come!


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:50 AM

El Greko & Greg

"I started this thread to find out why I don't get asked to do many floor spots at folk clubs and I suppose I've been told the answer, although I think that they're all exagerating a bit. Perhaps I should stick to the Karioci evenings, all the fellows cheer me there, especially when I show a bit of boob, I think your all a bit prudish on the folk scene.

There must be other singers out there with the same problem that I'm having - how do you try and get floorspots ?"


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:54 AM

You know there's a folk mafia when you find a hobby horse's head in your bed.

RtS
(galloping for cover)


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST,Amazed
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:56 AM

Dave Bryant says "Guest - She dyes her hair black - and she gives all the fellows the idea that she might sleep with them" how dare anyone make such a discusting comment in public. Best advice is leave the club they dont want to help you.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:02 AM

Now I am confused! Is this Dave? Linda? Avril? Lirva? The little devil on my shoulder? Too much for a small brain without a drink yet...Aah, I think I guessed it...or have I? Help!

But I know one thing: When it comes to showing a boob I could compete with the best. It's just that I haven't chosen to do so yet, in case someone cries "unfair competition". Fair-minded, that's me (And bloody fat - Vanessa)


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Avril Betts
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:04 AM

Dave Bryant - are you trying to post as me ?   I can look after myself, mind you I don't mind the bit about the boobs, I've seen you looking at them and then looking to see if Linda noticed you doing it.


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM

Obviously a piss-take. Laugh? I thought I'd never start. :0)


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:09 AM

Excellent piss take out of the punch the horse characters, who were REALLY taking the piss out of their nearest and dearest friend


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Subject: RE: Is there a folk club mafia ?
From: Alice
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:10 AM

Find a good voice teacher.
Take lessons and practice every day for six months while MEMORIZING a new repertoire of folk songs. Then go back to the club and try it again.

Alice in Montana, USA


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