mudcat.org: Folk music in England.
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Folk music in England.

Pat Cooksey 05 Jan 05 - 08:45 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 10:22 PM
cool hand Tom 05 Jan 05 - 11:35 PM
Pete Jennings 06 Jan 05 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Jim 06 Jan 05 - 12:48 PM
Pete Jennings 06 Jan 05 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Jim 06 Jan 05 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,eliza c 06 Jan 05 - 01:30 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jan 05 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,joe 06 Jan 05 - 01:56 PM
Georgiansilver 06 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM
Compton 06 Jan 05 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 05 - 03:12 PM
fat B****rd 06 Jan 05 - 03:39 PM
Alaska Mike 06 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM
Linda Kelly 06 Jan 05 - 04:39 PM
Georgiansilver 06 Jan 05 - 04:53 PM
yrlancslad 06 Jan 05 - 07:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM
MuddleC 06 Jan 05 - 09:12 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 05 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 05 - 02:45 PM
greg stephens 07 Jan 05 - 02:55 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 05 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,eliza c 07 Jan 05 - 03:49 PM
jonm 07 Jan 05 - 04:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 05 - 04:58 PM
mandotim 07 Jan 05 - 05:02 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Jan 05 - 05:33 PM
asirovedout 07 Jan 05 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie) 09 Jan 05 - 05:56 PM
Pat Cooksey 09 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Jim 10 Jan 05 - 11:41 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 05 - 12:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 05 - 03:44 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jan 05 - 01:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Jan 05 - 04:37 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 05 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie) 11 Jan 05 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 11 Jan 05 - 09:37 PM
BB 12 Jan 05 - 03:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 05 - 03:45 PM
shepherdlass 12 Jan 05 - 03:59 PM
TheBigPinkLad 12 Jan 05 - 04:20 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 12 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Jim 13 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM
*Laura* 13 Jan 05 - 01:57 PM
synbyn 13 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Folk music in England.
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 08:45 PM

Just back from a great ten day's in Coventry, Shakespeare country
and wonderfull.
I use'd to live in Coventry at a time when there where 17 folk
clubs, all doing great, there is now not one, I played twice in
Irish clubs,both packed, and with musicians I remember from the old days.
We were in Stonleigh for the boxing day performance of the Coventry
Mummers, which for my German friends was brilliiant.
My friends in the English Midlands tell me that there is no folk scene as such anymore, the folk clubs which still exist attract, with
few excemtions, only a handfull of people.
I find it so sad that in a country of brilliant performers that the
reallity should be so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:22 PM

Pat, it's an age thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: cool hand Tom
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 11:35 PM

I know how u feel Pat.I remember the late taste clubs jammin till 6 AM ect going in at 8pm leavin for breakfast.many a good session.Much has changed and as i smoke i feel like an outcast,or as billy conelly says a snoutcast HEHE.But alas much has changed,i wish i knew the exact reason as folk music has a huge following.I can remember many years ago turning up at clubs on my Triumph chopper banjo across my back drunk as a lord and ridin home in the morning drunk as a lord,im not at all proud of that but it seemed we all did it then,smokin gettin bladdered playin and i have fond memories,its probably a sign of the times but the Triumph and Banjo survive still.And i have my memories.

Regards Tom and his magical Merlin banjo and The T140v chop.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:13 PM

I don't think it's that bad, Pat, although it isn't what it used to be. Clubs I've played at recently - The Red Lion (Brum), Brewood FC, The Unicorn, and The Chase, in and around the West Midlands and Staffordshire, usually get decent turnouts.

The age time-bomb is the most worrying aspect of the players and audiences, though, as there's hardly anyone under 45-ish to be seen. Doesn't bode well for 2030 onwards.

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:48 PM

All you need to do is move - to Sheffield, and get the best of everything.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:50 PM

If it's good enough for Martin Simpson, it's good enough for anyone!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:56 PM

It was good enough for Vance Arnold and the Avengers too! Joe should come back to his roots....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:30 PM

It is an age thing. There are not so many clubs any more because young people as a rule don't want to go to folk clubs (or more importantly set them up), they want to do other things, like-if you can believe it-form clubs! There are plenty of open-mic nights and events organised by young people around dancy things (Ross McKinlay from Bedlam does DJ/live music nights in venues around Matlock), but, as folk clubs were set up by people older than them for their own friends and social circles, young people sometimes have trouble fitting in and have started to do their own thing.
When I started in folk clubs I felt like the only young person there a lot of the time, especially performing where you feel like you are putting on a show for your parents' proud friends-like plays you did when you were little around the dinner table-and rather than conform to what was already there, people have started up other stuff. It certainly isn't as heady and focused as it was in the 60s, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. The big youth boom at the moment is in ceilidh dance music anyway, which unfortunately is inappropriate in most pub back-rooms.
x e


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:53 PM

Us older people enjoyed folk music in the back rooms of pubs from the 50s onwards. Without getting into sociology, that was how it developed at that time.

The first folk revival before WW1 was different.

Traditional music, dance and song is strong enough and some clubs will survive , but other modes of transmission and evolution will either emerge or be needed if access to traditional music, song and dance is to continue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,joe
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:56 PM

nah


hhhhhhhhhhhh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM

Move to Lincolnshire....Gainsborough...Market Rasen....not too far to travel to Hull....and there are so many mudcatters in this area!
Best wishes, Mike.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Compton
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 02:59 PM

Well. it certainly is an age thing in a lot of Staffordshire. Witness the average age of English Folk Dance and Song Society members around here. Almost certainly averaging 60 years now. They are aminly dancers-Little interest from anyone younger...as is song. What Albion could do with is Media interest...but the YOOF movement is more about Binge drinking, Boy Racers and Just bloody awful people. Like other Grumpy Old Men like me, how many long fro a return to some sort of value and national identity. Perhaps a glimmer of Hope with Celebrations of St. Georges day becoming more noticeable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 03:12 PM

I think Eliza talks great sense. the original folk revival was song based and led to a golden age of song and songwriting, but the next generation always has to do something different so now we have an age of dance, and that, as she points out needs different venues harder to find.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: fat B****rd
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 03:39 PM

Vance Arnold !!?? You'll be telling me next that Peter Stringfellow used to run the Mojo Club !!
Also guest Jim, someone will tell you not to encourage thread drift.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM

I've lived in Alaska for many years now. Years ago there were some great places where a folk performer like myself could sing on a regular basis and receive fair compensation. But now, there are so many young people who prefer to sing karaoke and listen to DJ's that live performance has greatly died out up here.

I will be visiting England next August and can't wait to experience your folk clubs and festivals. Broadstairs Festival has asked me to perform there and I'm getting some folk club gigs lined up as well. The UK still has a much more active folk scene than we have ever had here in the backwoods of Alaska.

As with all things there are cycles of high interest and low in folk music.   It is up to us to bring vitality and enthusiasm to this genre if we want it to flourish. So instead of bemoaning how sad the state of affairs might be, we should each do what we can to find little ways to make it better. Just my 2 cents.

See you there in August.

Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM

The radical cutting edge of the folk scene is back on the dance floor. This month I expect to go to two concert style clubs and two ceilidhs. Between two well attended clubs I doubt if there will be more than 5 people under the age of 40. At the ceilidhs about 20 percent of the combined audience will be under 25.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:39 PM

I thought there were still a lot of folk cubs in and around Coventry -Bedworth, Brinklow Warwick - the Malt Shovel in Spon End, Burnt Post etc and still plenty of festivals in that part of the country. Partly its perception and asking the right people -if you asked the average Joe in the street where there was folk music in Beverley or Hull-they wouldn't know but it doesnt mean to say there is not a fantastic music scene here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:53 PM

If there aint one where you are...start one please!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: yrlancslad
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 07:34 PM

As a Brit, domiciled in California, I spend a couple of months most years back in my home county of Lancashire, usually Leigh/Wigan area and have no trouble at all going to a good (well attended) folk club every night of the week. In fact I often have trouble picking one of several on a given night. Wigan(2) Leigh, Westoughton, Coppul Chorley, Lymm,(2) Rainhill, Magull, Southport,Swinton, I could go on.In fact the whole North seems to be bursting with Clubs---and talent, some of it young and even good-looking!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM

When anybody starts talking about "radical cutting edges", I tend to assume that they are recent arrivals; there isn't much that hasn't already been done (though the gear is a lot cheaper nowadays, so more people can afford to experiment). Although I enjoy the work of the young(er) performers, I rarely hear much from them I'd characterise as truly original, or which doesn't show obvious influences from older performers. That's the way it should be; change and continuity. You move forward rather more slowly than you like to think, but you do move forward.

It's certainly true, though, that the song clubs are largely the preserve of older people, and, as Eliza pointed out, that's just a demographic thing. Younger folk tend to prefer hanging out with their own age group. That doesn't mean that the one thing is better (or even particularly different) than the other. It's just the way of it.

I prefer the less formal pub sessions, where age is less relevant than engagement, and everyone can respect each other without worrying too much about who is in charge. You will, sometimes, get a bunch of students sitting in a tight circle in the corner with their backs to everybody else, playing the fashionable tune of the moment; but if they stick around, they grow out of that separatist snobbery and become part of the bigger picture.

Sheffield has always been quite good for that sort of thing. One reason I still live here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: MuddleC
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 09:12 PM

One of the things I judge a folk club by is the ale it serves, and if it has REAL cider ...wahey!

Case in point, Rose & Crown in Warwick,good front bar, nice snug, fair sized back room, guest ciders.... excellent guests and local talent... then 'they ' juppyfied it , .........Tarquin, have yoou seen Tabatha.. oo sorry, my mobiles gone off, have you booked a table??? they do such good cous-cous here..
s-t-r-e-w-th

Please note the use of real cider is for medical reasons, i.e. throat lubrication.
use of crap chilled beer is not recommended, not even for dog-ends


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 01:55 PM

I always feel optimistic about dances, they are always good fun, you don't have to sit in silence and all kinds of people will come to a dance but wont sit in the folk club. As a result the age profile is wider.

Perhaps a dance with a sing around and or tune session in another part of the same building?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 02:45 PM

radical cutting edges

Not a newbiem just a dig at the old farts who imagine they are so cool and still haven't learned to play their guitars after 30 years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 02:55 PM

In the Good Old Days, it was concentrated in the clubs, and easy to find. But it's still around, you know, or at least it is in NStaffs/S Cheshire/N Shropshire where I currently hang out. It's just there are a lot of different kinds of things going on.There are clubs, and a variety of sessions, some of which rotate mysteriously round different pubs. Plus concerts, and various other venue type events. Plus ad hoc get-togethers . Plus buskers. Plus community arts events with folky input. Etc etc. You've got to nose around, but it's bubbling away. When I was a lad, I played out seven nights a week socially,when I wasnt gigging. Now I don't choose to, but I easily could if I wanted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 03:01 PM

You can whop my Weasle if edges aren't being cut somewhere!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Greg, that was the other thing I was going to say. Sessions and concerts and the like are very popular and range wildly, age-wise. Just because clubs are not does not mean that folk music is not. The venues change, the music carries on.
x e


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: jonm
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 04:05 PM

Certainly in the WMids there are fewer pubs which could support a folk club now they are practically restaurants.

It would also help if some of these clubs were more welcoming to newcomers. Gives a new dimension to cliquey.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 04:58 PM

OK somebody will wop my weasle sooner or later


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: mandotim
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:02 PM

I live in North Staffordshire, and could go out and play somewhere more or less every night. Try this link http://webfolk.net/ and click on 'North Staffs Folk Diary'. The age range question is interesting; in the main session I play in there are lots of young people, with some more (ahem) seasoned players and singers. Another interesting thought; the younger players seem to see tunes that were pop songs when I was their age as 'traditional'...
Tim from 'Bit on the Side'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:33 PM

mmmmmmmmmmmm   trying playing Rave On as a jig (123 123 123)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: asirovedout
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 06:48 PM

I agree that concerts, musicians' sessions and the dance scene are alive and growing. But clubs are the place where the common folk (not the professionals) sing.

Even as an Old Fart (who never tried to learn guitar, luckily for everyone), I can still agree somewhat with anonymous GUEST's point about old farts.

Quite a few young performers must be grateful that old farts had the patience and empathy to listen to them while they gained performance experience.

But the many clubs where the regulars don't seem to have much to teach them (besides patience) can't expect to appeal to young listeners who grew up with professionally-performed music on call 24 hours a day, or young performers who are passionate about what they want to perform.

Most folk clubs have become comfort zones, and still doing a great job for their regulars - me included - but they don't have enough younger regulars to survive another generation. Then only the concert-style venues will be left. I don't want singing to become purely a spectator sport.

It will unless more clubs manage to dissociate themselves from this image.

Perhaps the very word 'club' - which reeks of exclusivity, antiquity and comfort - should be avoided.

A good example is the 4th Sunday 'singing session' at the Kelham Island Tavern. I reckon that the average age is usually around half that of other clubs I know, and is always well attended. Admittedly it has the advantage of a few regular semi-pro young singers, but older singers that have my respect also go there, and the youngsters can learn from them too.

The word 'session' implies that most people will take an active part, and in this case you get what it says on the tin.

It suggests to me that the established clubs who really want to get younger people through the door need to put a lot of effort into selling whatever they think they have to offer them.

@


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 05:56 PM

Hi Everybody!

An interesting discussion so far: here's my 2p worth for whoever's still following it.

Are folk clubs today less numerous, less well-attended and less interesting than they once used to be?   The overwhelming majority opinion seems to be: yes.   But what's the reason? Opinions differ. The generation gap seems to be the prime suspect, but for me, the obvious answer is that there's a lot more competition around today.

Cast your mind back four or five decades. Few folk records were issued, and not many shops stocked them. Folk music got little attention from radio or TV.   Folk concerts were rare – and mostly staged in London, which was unhelpful for those living elsewhere. The folk dance scene (both Morris and social) was rarely visible, and pretty moribund if you did encounter it.   There were no folk music instrumental sessions outside of a few hard-to-find Irish pubs. Most significantly of all - folk festivals as we know them today had not yet been invented.

Because there were so few alternatives, those of us who cared about the music – performers, organisers, or listeners - became heavily committed to our local folk clubs.   (And in those days clubs did tend to be local, because few of us had our own transport.) The music in those clubs was not always of the highest quality. Surviving live recordings reveal many technical limitations, and a widespread naivety which seems almost laughable today. But the enthusiasm of both performers and audiences was intoxicating. (And it had to be, given how feeble most of the available beers were then.)

Today, a vast array of excellent folk music is available on CDs - which are considerably cheaper than the old-time vinyls when measured against the current average income. However much some of us may complain about the BBC's coverage, there is some very good folk (or folk-related) stuff on the air now (even if people without BBC4 have to wait six months before the best of it gets repeated on BBC2). The folk dance scene is flourishing mightily, and there are live instrumental sessions in many pubs. Arts centres all over the country put on concerts featuring some of our best folk performers. And between the spring and autumn equinoxes, we have dozens of excellent festivals to choose from. Given all that competition, it's not surprising that the clubs aren't what they used to be. Indeed, it's astonishing that so many of them survive at all.

I think we must accept the fact that the folk scene's centre of gravity has shifted decisively away from the clubs.   If some of them survive in their present form, that's good. It will keep one more option open.   If some of them undergo a Dr Who–like regeneration, that's even better. They will enrich the overall quality of the national scene. But if the clubs die off along with the generation that founded them, it will be a pity, but not a disaster. The music and the conviviality which they fostered will keep flowing through other channels.

Over the past five years, at festivals and at numerous other folk events, I've encountered a great many young singers, dancers and musicians who show astonishingly high levels of expertise and commitment. I am convinced that the future of folk music will be safe in their hands, for long after I and my contemporaries are gone, and the clubs we used to attend are forgotten.

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM

The reason I asked this question in the first place was bacause I
now live and perform in Europe.
My visit to Coventry at Christmas was for family and nostagia's
sake.
To Liz I have to say that the Malt Shovel and the Burnt Post were
for the last two years finished.
The only surviving oasis of live Irish, English, and any other kind
of folk music that exists in Coventry is in the Four Provinces Club.an Irish Bar, but Kieron, the boss, is a great guy and makes room in his club for everything.
Naturally I know Dick Dixon, the organiser of the Warwick festival,
Pete Willow, and Bedworth folk festival, I met them all lastweek.
Somewhere along the line was a generation gap in our music, why this
happened I don't know, some years ago, before I returned to Ireland
I encoutered for the first time in Nottingham, the people who are
refered to here as the folk police.
Every song that i sang on this night was ignored because it wasn't
tradidional, these songs included THE SICK NOTE, THE REASON I LEFT MULLINGAR,and many more, son after this experiece I returned to Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:41 AM

"It's an age thing" seems rather too defeatist to me. Pat's story leads me to think maybe it's more of a geographical thing. I know what you mean Pat about the folk police, but they will go the way of the dinosaurs (in a much shorter time period of course).

There are many places where all-inclusive folk music is being played and sung, and the tradition (I believe) will survive beyond my/our generation. Sure it will ebb and flow now and then, but it's still too powerful an alternative to TV to simply die away.

My answer to the "folk police" - give 'em a bit of Elvis.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:40 PM

Round where I am (Hetfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire), there aren't many folk clubs because there are so many pub sessions. Everybody is busy singing and playing music in the sessions (about 1 for every 2 or 3 reasonable sized villages) that they don't have time to go to folk clubs.

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 03:44 PM

Well perhaps its stating the bleeding obvious but the reason a lot of people were interested in folk music in those days was that acoustic music was getting in the charts. People were genuinely interested in the possibility of writing something or being in a room with people whose music reached out, rather than merely reaching back.

In short as an art form, it was alive. alive with possibilities. If you choose to write songs about the first world war, being betrayed by a sailor laddy, the fun of dancing jigs and hornpipes - interesting those by roads are - you will not be troubled by a mass audience. You have marked your territory out as surely as Basil Fawlty's gourmet night - no riff raff!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 01:43 PM

Possibly in the 60s the concept of "working class culture" first achieved respectability (or at least wide acceptance), with the result that many (in London, and in Nottingham) were prepared to accept the defintion of folk music, and, for the first time, a mass audience was there for that retrospective.

Of course there was also a contemporary acoustic music scene, which indeed had its chart successes, but the clubs that emphasised the tradition of folk music (something of a tautology) were rammed, just as much as the singer songwriter clubs. And so were the clubs that were specifically "blues clubs".

It is therefore probably incorrect to blame those who still recognise folk music as such for the absence of those who do not, unless there is a reason why things differ (if they do) today.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 04:37 PM

Maybe so Richard. But while no one was to blame. Certain memories stick in my mind.

One is of a folk package tour fred jordan, the watersons, Bert Jansch, The Yetties. Anyway there was Fred in his wellies singing away, and these kids who had probably read about folk music in the NME heckling him , telling him to get off - they wanted to see Bert. 1965

Skip forward less than 10 years. The Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield - onstage Gerry Lockran, probably the best blues guitarist I ever saw.
At the back of the large, and largely empty room - the local tradiocracy - pissed as farts and totally ruining Gerry's performance with their loud insolent chatter. One excuse for humanity in the regulation fisherman's smock keeps braying loudly - he thinks he's a yank.

Both examples of intolerance, but while the dumb kid was just dumb - the other should have known better. He was killing off a movement already in its death throes.

I think the music was already in crisis by the early 70s. i'M REALLY SORRY. It was our job to hand it on, I'm not sure we can, in any meaningful sense. The artist of a living craft does not merely hand on a pattern book to his son, but rather a set of techniques that he can apply to his own life, or ignore; plus the joy of creation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 06:37 PM

Hi there weelittledrummer!

Ah yes, I remember it well! Dire gigs with ignorant audiences were (and still are) common enough. Thankfully, though, they were (and remain) a relatively small minority of the total. There's even a measure of compensation when these dreadful nights gradually become the stuff of legend, as fellow sufferers try to out-do each other with their heavily dramatised reminiscences. But for all that, I don't think your two stories (or a few similar ones that I could relate) throw much light on the reasons for the decline of folk clubs.

After all, sectarian intolerance and belligerent stupidity can be found in many other areas of our communal life – religion, politics, and association football, for example – which flourish in spite of these distractions. If we are looking for a reason for the folk club movement's alleged loss of purpose and momentum, I think we must look elsewhere. I tried to suggest some possibilities in a previous post. Any comments?

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 06:41 PM

Sorry folks, that last guest was me! - just forgot to sign on.

Should have my cookie back again very soon.

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 09:37 PM

Whenever I think of Folk Clubs and "The Scene" nowadays I cannot help but be reminded of that episode of Phoenix Nights when the folk group starts singing "Send The Buggers Back" resplendant in cloth caps and waistcoats. Is it just me or are there any others out there who would like to witness a richer and more diverse musical and literary social gathering. Where Folk,Blues,Soul,Pop, Jazz,Traditional,Poetry etc. can coexist within the same evening in the same venue and not be tainted with the snobbery that seems to pervade the usual Folk Night which in my experience has been a non inclusive replay of the previous week or month. The same faces play the same songs in the same order and so it goes.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: BB
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:23 PM

Yes, Sidewinder, that's exactly what we'd like, but achieving it isn't that easy. I help to run a monthly session at which the intention is to welcome every kind of acoustic music as well as stories and poetry, and it's advertised as doing just that. But what is actually performed there tends to be 'folk' (whatever that is) and occasional stories and poems. We know there are people locally (we are in a village) who perform blues, classical, etc. but getting them to come along seems to be impossible. It isn't always the folk people who are tainted with exclusivity! And it has to be said that those who do come (not always the same faces) do not play the same songs in the same order - it's a great evening's entertainment, but we'd love it to be more varied.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:45 PM

Folk clubs sprang up, as the medium through which various types of live folk and para-folk music was passed around, for a whole variety of reasons. One of them being the legal niceties of the English licensing system. And of course that is in the process of drastically cahnging, and that no doubt will have all kinds of unexpected results, some of them good, some not so good.

The times change and the pattern of social life changes. As Mike said, one way and another the music will carry on. Whatever the position with clubs as such, it seems to me that there is more good music (our kind of music) being produced today, especially by young people, than ever there was in the heyday of folk clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: shepherdlass
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:59 PM

Sidewinder, the problem with the Phoenix Nights folk band (which was nevertheless hilarious) is that it was pretty much the equivalent of the Fast Show's Jazz Club (though once again hilarious). It's a broad-brush caricature, which raises concerns - this must be how the general public views groups of musical enthusiasts - exclusive, backward and a bit ga-ga.

Otherwise, I'm with most of the writers on this thread - the folk scene isn't dead, it's just changed its clothes (and venues). Folk clubs themselves were the successors to EFDSS tea dances, and aren't we lucky for that? I first came into contact with the folk scene in the early 1980s, and it has to be said there seem to be far more young people involved now than there were then, though the preferred venues for traditionalists seem to have shifted to festivals and sessions.

And maybe what used to be called "contemporary" clubs have shape-shifted into "buskers' nights"?

Jude


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 04:20 PM

I live in Victoria, Canada and the folk scene here is not great. But I got my first taste of the folk scene at The Oak Tree in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, England with a band called "The Candlelighters" who I believe, are still going now some 36 years on! I was only there because it was held in an upstairs room out of sight of the local bobbies. I was 17 and drinking under age. I was in a band that covered Pink Floyd stuff, and over the years I have enjoyed and played a spectrum of music from one side to the other. I have to say I love something with a beat and accappella sonngs of misery send me to the bar for a refill. What 'flavour' of folk music is prominent currently in England?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM

Well said sidewinder. It is all about perception, rather than age. For years I have been one of the organisers of a Folk Club in Kent, which was losing attenders at a frightening rate, and had hardly any under 45 years old. Two years ago it became an Acoustic Music Club, and our adverts made it quite clear that this was INCLUSIVE. All types of music are welcomed, not just accepted. We still struggle for numbers, 'tho this is improving. But the most amazing thing is that about 50 percent of our regulars are aged 20 - 35, with a couple of 16 year olds who are struggling through voice change, and planning to perform when able. We do well enough to put on about 3 to 4 guests a year, so we're not worrying. The beauty of it is that the younger people are picking up lots of trad material from us, so the traditional side is not suffering. What's in a name? Judge for yourselves. We'll be handing over the club to young people very soon, and I am not the least worried about that. God willing I shal be there to see what they make of it, and I'm sure I'll love it.

Folk music dead? NO, JUST EVOLVING.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM

Great to hear you all so positive on change because evidently most of you feel the same way I do and want to include rather than exclude. I myself perform regularly at venues where Acoustic Workshops are the "in" thing. I try to learn new songs from a wide range of influences including; Duke Ellingtons "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", Robert Johnsons "Crossroad Blues and Dust My Broom",Hank Williams "I'm so Lonesome I could Cry" Dylans "Blowing in The Wind and All Along The Watchtower" Claptons "Layla and Tears in Heaven" and I am learning a couple of Nirvana and Oasis tunes I like. So it goes without saying; I should be given the same level of respect for whichever song I choose to perform and not be subject to barracking and negativity just because my song is not over a hundred years old and bears no relation to a sea shanty.This scenario is mercifully rare but you can understand how it puts people off having a go and I would be the last person to put anyone off - let's face it we need em'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM

"What 'flavour' of folk music is prominent currently in England?"

I don't detect any "flavour of the month" emphasis at all. Last night it was a typical mixture of stuff such as some Rob Johnson slide blues, through Fats Waller's "Black & Blue", Gordon Lightfoot's "Minstrel of the Dawn", John Denver's "Colorado Rocky Mountain High" etc to our guest singer/songwriter Anthony John Clarke. Tomorrow it's off across town to see Flossie Malavialle, and then on Saturday it's over to see Jez Lowe plus a variety of floor spots. All within a 5 mile radius. All thriving clubs very well attended and with great atmospheres. Wonderful stuff

Who said folk clubs were in decline!!!!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: *Laura*
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 01:57 PM

It's true about the age thing - whenever I go to folk clubs I really am the youngest, usually, by about thirty years at least!
But when they're good - they're great :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk music in England.
From: synbyn
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM

Point taken re age groups- at the Eight Bells in Tenterden we've seen several young performers come through & learn about session audiences. Thing is that they then disappear for several years, either because they are good enough to make the grade or because careers & families take over. My feeling is that they, like several other performers now surfacing, will be back when they feel the need to rediscover their roots.
Clubs like Nellies at the Ivy House in Tonbridge can survive on audiences of around 25-30, but only if guests are prepared to chance a hat-take. Organisers can't really be blamed if they choose not to subsidise on a regular basis. (A familiar story here- ideal room at previous venue, then Ceroc moved in at full volume in the next room. Only Doug Hudson could compete!)
Personally I prefer the club format, which gives a performer the chance to build a set/ contrast material etc- but if the audience doesn't come we have to adapt. Most attenders are players these days, certainly in West Kent. So back to the question- how can a folk club generate a reliable audience?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 5 December 12:09 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.