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Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4

Tootler 21 Jul 06 - 06:29 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 22 Jul 06 - 06:06 PM
8_Pints 22 Jul 06 - 06:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jul 06 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 23 Jul 06 - 01:43 PM
Tootler 23 Jul 06 - 05:05 PM
John Routledge 23 Jul 06 - 06:12 PM
Compton 23 Jul 06 - 06:20 PM
My guru always said 24 Jul 06 - 07:14 AM
vectis 24 Jul 06 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Big John 25 Jul 06 - 08:50 AM
GUEST 25 Jul 06 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 25 Jul 06 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 25 Jul 06 - 12:30 PM
Tootler 25 Jul 06 - 07:04 PM
GUEST 26 Jul 06 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 Jul 06 - 07:05 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 06 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 26 Jul 06 - 09:31 AM
Bopper 26 Jul 06 - 01:47 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Jul 06 - 02:03 PM
GUEST 26 Jul 06 - 02:34 PM
Bopper 27 Jul 06 - 06:46 PM
sian, west wales 28 Jul 06 - 04:17 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Jul 06 - 04:46 AM
Kevin Sheils 28 Jul 06 - 07:19 AM
The Borchester Echo 28 Jul 06 - 07:27 AM
John Routledge 28 Jul 06 - 12:09 PM
Liz the Squeak 28 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM
melodeonboy 28 Jul 06 - 05:22 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 06 - 06:04 PM
melodeonboy 28 Jul 06 - 06:19 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 06 - 07:20 PM
The Sandman 28 Jul 06 - 07:58 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jul 06 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 29 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Jul 06 - 04:26 PM
nutty 29 Jul 06 - 04:48 PM
8_Pints 04 Aug 06 - 05:41 PM
The Sandman 04 Aug 06 - 06:04 PM
nutty 04 Aug 06 - 06:18 PM
Snuffy 07 Aug 06 - 08:38 AM
GUEST 07 Aug 06 - 09:59 AM
The Sandman 07 Aug 06 - 03:08 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 06 - 05:04 PM
GUEST 14 Aug 06 - 04:49 AM
sian, west wales 15 Aug 06 - 04:22 AM
Tootler 15 Aug 06 - 05:49 PM
The Sandman 15 Aug 06 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 16 Aug 06 - 03:38 AM
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Subject: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 06:29 PM

I see the Folk Britannia series is being repeated on BBC4. The first programme was tonight.

I can't say that seeing it again really changed my mind about it. A few observations.

Peggy Seeger's comment about there being no singing tradition in England that has been passed on grated as much this time as the first time. She was probably right about the urban tradition as the Industrial Revolution brought huge disruption but I think she was totally wrong about the rural tradition - I suspect the style did not conform the the ideas she and Ewan had. Anyway I think there was an element of the pot calling the kettle black.

Martin Carthy's singing of "Georgie" was spoilt by the accompaniment. It made very clear the comments made by some of the old singers about accompaniment getting in the way. Martin should have put his guitar down and sung unaccompanied and the song would have sounded superb. The song would have stood alone and it showed that the English folk song tradition is essentially one of unaccompanied song.

While it was nice to see a little feature on Irish traditional music and some mention of Scotland, no mention of continuing traditions in the English Regions. No mention of the Copper Family, no mention of a continuing tradition in Northumberland where musicians such as Willy Taylor, Will Atkinson, Joe Hutton, Jack Armstrong would organise dances on a Saturday night and would directly influence musicians such as Alistair Anderson and Kathryn Tickell. I am sure people can thing of other examples.

It is still quite clear the BBC producers had a very narrow focus and basically got it wrong in so many ways.

What they came up with was a set of cliches about folk music in Britain.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 06:06 PM

Aah think the BBC feel like the government - The 'Culture' Secretary is on record as saying that England has nee folk heritage - Especially as the BBC seem to think that an american woman knaas aall abot wor culture

As a true 'geordie' (born within the soond of the rivet guns at Swan's Shipyard) Aah'm continually incensed by the way wor heritage is viewed.

Me Ma taught me to have a belief in me ain history - The 'rural' traditions of England are every bit as important as Irish, Scottish or Welsh - Unfortunately the only time englishmen seem to want to stand up and be counted for their country is when some overpaid ballet-dancer gets one of the home team sent off in the world cup.

At least the other nations in our United Kingdom stand up for their culture. We divvent!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: 8_Pints
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 06:59 PM

Yes I agree with many things said but found some of the material quite illuminating.

I couldn't understand the policy of singing only from your own local tradition, but when viewed against the adoption of American culture instead of the indiginous British Tradition I can see why McColl imposed the rule he did.

I don't think it should be interpretted too literally though!

David Attenborough's recollections about "She moved through the fair" and the film clips were interesting.

I had always assumed this was a traditional song, but perhaps it has been absorbed into the tradition.

There was some Copper family material, but admittedly not much!

I look forward to the repeat broadcast so that I & others can view it again.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 01:35 PM

saw this last night also.

I'm sure Martin Carthy will be glad of your instruction on how to sing folk songs. He has obviously given the matter too little thought.

However he was appearing as a member of the revivalists - rather than masquerading as 18th century ploughboy on this occasion. Perhaps we can forgive him for demonstrating his own unique contribution, which honours the rhythmic complexity of English folk music - as opposed to the Joan Baez version of that song which captured the imagination of folk club audiences - in the years when people actually bothered attending folk clubs in any number.

Personally I still think the 'English' only policy that was seized on with delight by some many trad club organisers, had much more to do with the fact that working class oiks were starting to take an interest in folk music. All the gurning, outlandish harmonies, and dull as hell ballads of little interest effectively ringfenced the folk clubs for middle class twits.

And it worked.

Elsewhere on this page you will find people speak with affection of The Fitters arms in Walsall. On the night Barrie Robberts opened that club there was a queue round the block from about 6 o'clock. And that is measure of the hunger and thirst that exists in England for people to find a music form that offers a degree of self expression - and which skiffle tapped into.

The traditionalists fed that thirst with the vinegar of middle class pretension.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 01:43 PM

Right on brother! I remember the clubs in the midlands heaving every night. Of course, then, "songwriter", "entertainment" and "communicator" were not dirty words.It was a time of connection, a golden age that needs its history and its archive preserved.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 05:05 PM

I'm sure Martin Carthy will be glad of your instruction on how to sing folk songs. He has obviously given the matter too little thought.

Sorry WLD I must be "ever so 'umble" and recognise that there are certain icons that one must never under any circumstances criticise.

In fact I thought his singing of the song was superb as befits one of his quality, but I still think the accompaniment spoilt it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: John Routledge
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 06:12 PM

Looking forward to the repeat. Enjoyed it immensely despite irritations most of which have already been mentioned.
In one hour, given a TV audience, I cannot see what more could have been achieved.
It is rather disturbing when you realise that Peggy Seeger knows more about the singing tradition in Britain than 99.9% of the indigenous population
This does not mean that she is always right!! :0)
Looking forward to a more detailed debate after the next showing.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Compton
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 06:20 PM

I was hoping it might be better, this time...ho.ho!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: My guru always said
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 07:14 AM

Missed it while we were at Warwick!! But thanks for the heads-up - now just gotta figure out how to record from Freeview onto DVD - our wiring is a bit of a jumble....


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: vectis
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 03:58 PM

Typical BBC timing.
OK it's the height of the festival season, all the folkies are away enjoying themselves, let's put Folk Britannia on again!
HUH


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST,Big John
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 08:50 AM

This three part series was excellent and I for one was particularly interested in the last episode. It features some of the politicised folk from the UK in the 80's such as Billy Bragg, The Pogues and the vastly underrated The Men They Couldn't Hang. I think the Pogues are defunct now but 'TMTCH' are still out there and front man Swill, although very quiet in the interview, is also producing cutting edge folk as a solo artist.

I recently bought his album 'Elvis Lives Here' after a review in the latest fROOTS magazine compared the feel to the legacy of Alan Hull. I've quite a penchant for Lindisfarne so picked up a copy and it's now being played regulalry in my pub alongside the likes of Martin Carthy and Pete Seeger. How the wheel turns.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 10:24 AM

Good grief, and what pub is that, pray?


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 11:27 AM

>> All the gurning, outlandish harmonies, and dull as hell ballads of little interest effectively ringfenced the folk clubs for middle class twits. <<

So, were the working-class audiences of your day (which I suspect was some time ago) more likely to be enthused by newly-written, introspective love songs, or perhaps anti-Vietnam-war polemics? Seems to me that it was the middle classes who were interested in that kind of stuff. And what about Roy Harris, a proudly working-class singer who ran the Nottingham Traditional Music Club for years?
The above quote says much more about your prejudices than about any actual music.

>> (Martin Carthy) was appearing as a member of the revivalists - rather than masquerading as 18th century ploughboy on this occasion. <<

Are you suggesting that Martin masquerades as an 18th century ploughboy on most other occasions?


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 12:30 PM

"newly-written, introspective love songs"
These didn't really appear until the female writers began to work which was more in the 80's and subsequently, than in the 60's and 70's. Yes, the big audiences then were mostly into the songwriters and what the hell is wrong with anti-Vietnam war polemics? Those were the times and that's what they wanted to hear. If you go to the records of the writers of that time you'll find a lot of story songs,social comment songs, chorus songs and funny songs. Vibrant, relevant, full of energy many of them, and that applied to the performers who sang them too. When that began to disappear to be replaced with the introspective, respectful and frankly boring stuff, so the audiences waned.
Energy and passion is what young audiences like which is why some of the festival bands pack 'em in today, and why so many folk clubs have tiny audiences who massage each others egos and sing songs at each other. The same ones. Over and over again.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 07:04 PM

I had hoped to catch the second episode again this week, but my daughter gets married on Saturday, so I will be somewhat tied up this weekend. Pity, for all my gripes I quite enjoyed the programmes in a perverse sort of way. There were definitely good moments.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 04:33 AM

"Good grief, and what pub is that, pray?"

That wouldn't be The Duke of Wellington in Shoreham high street by any chance would it?


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 07:05 AM

>> what the hell is wrong with anti-Vietnam war polemics? <<

Nothing at all, I'm all for anti-war polemics. I was objecting to a previous contributor's inaccurate generalisations, which suggested that "working class" audiences were turned off as a whole by traditional music or songs, and implied that this kind of audience was more sympathetic to something different. I wasn't involved during the sixties, but there was still a lot of political energy around folk clubs in the mid-seventies when I started going. It just seemed to me that a lot of this political energy was coming from (to use a generalisation of my own) former student radicals, i.e. the middle classes.

>> Energy and passion is what young audiences like <<

Couldn't agree more. It's what I like too. And I'm very happy to see that much of that energy and passion is coming from young artists playing traditional stuff.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 08:02 AM

Agreed! Now if we could just get the songwriters back to energy and passion I might start buying cds again.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 09:31 AM

>> Now if we could just get the songwriters back to energy and passion I might start buying cds again. <<

Pete Morton? Alistair Hulett? Richard Thompson? Go buy!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Bopper
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 01:47 PM

I would love to be able to see the Folk Brittania series currently repeating on BBC4. I have asked my son to tape it for me. As an old folkie now living in Canada it is highly unlikely this series will air over here. However, if I may throw my three cents worth in. I do have a little credibility- I ran two folk clubs in London & Loughton, Essex from 1962-1968 and count many of the performers as personal friends.I also managed Paul Simon, Al Stewart, Don Partridge,Dorris Henderson and others. Ralph McTell was a good friend when he played in his first band "The Hickory Nuts". I spent a pleasant two hours this last Saturday talking with my old friend John Renbourn after listening to him "knock the socks off" the audience with his brilliant playing. For Peggy Seeger to say that Britain had no folk song tradition is nonesense- she must have forgotten performers like Owen Hand,Louis Killen,Red Sullivan, Cyril Tawney & the many others that song old tradional ENGLISH folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 02:03 PM

Well, of course, Peggy Seeger was quite wrong in stating that the tradition had died out in England but the truth is that, though surviving quite merrily (thanks very much) in pub sessions and village hall dances, it was very hidden. As a child I thought it quite normal that my grandfather played his accordion for ritual dancing, though obviously it wasn't. But the string of performers you name were part of the revival, not the tradition. Lou Killen and Cyril Tawney, as well as performing, did collect and Redd Sullivan's comprehensive archiving of early revival tapes is a fantastic resource but I'm puzzled that you include Owen Hand . . . he was Scottish, innit?


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 02:34 PM

I'll give you Pete Morton Brian, but what I really meant were the new young ones. There's a lot in the world to be passionate about but I don't hear their voices. As a generalisation it seems young people want a career and they want it now. The generation of writers in the revival wrote because they wanted to write and they had something to say, and thus they found a career that hadn't existed before they came along.There was no career structure in acoustic music/folk music, these writers and singers created it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Bopper
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 06:46 PM

Sorry, you are quite right Owen Hand was Scottish. I should have said British not English. Not sure that I would agree that Louis Killen, Cyril Tawney etc: are part of the revival. I think more accurately they were carrying on the tradition. Cyril Tawney's "Oggie Man" was a great observational piece he wrote about the Plymouth Dockyard workers. Coming originally from Devon I was aware of "Tiddie Oggies" or pasties. Let's be thankful these singers passed (and still are) on their songs and knowledge to this generation. I used to like to listen to Meg Aikman, the London street singer, when she made her club visits. On the more contemporary side does anyone remember Elyse Weinberg. She was from Toronto and came to London and played about 1963/4.She changed her name to Cori Bishop some years back and now lives in Oregon. A new generation has just discovered her songs.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: sian, west wales
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 04:17 AM

Just as an aside (and I may start a new thread closer to the time) Radio Wales has commissioned a new series, "The Traditional Music of Wales" for August. 4 programmes on August 17, 24, 31 and Sept 10 with a number of repeats. Presumably this will be available online as well. It's written and presented by Huw Williams of Crasdant (formerly of Huw & Tony Williams).

Should be good. There's a chance that it got commissioned because of the fuss some of us made about the English focus of Folk Britannia. Huw had been trying to sell the idea to the Beeb for some time and got called in for serious discussions a couple of weeks after FB took to the air.

sian


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 04:46 AM

There is a puff for the programme from the BBC here
I think the most telling bit of the whole piece, and in it's own way a perfect definition of what happened at the time, is the last paragraph.
Folk-rock entered the mainstream - Lindisfarne's Fog on the Tyne spent 54 weeks in the charts - but by the mid-1970s the genre had become a parody of itself.
I do hope it doesn't do the same again, although I do find the over mannered interpretations of traditional songs, and the appearance of the 'Folk Big Band' seems to be bit of a parody, as well as being largely self indulgent.

Giok

Good pic of DG on the page!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:19 AM

Good pic of DG on the page!

Not a bit like Dick Gaughan!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:27 AM

Not a lot like Davy Graham either. The page is well worth clicking on for the video clip of Richrd Thompson doing Adieu, Adieu.Whoever it was on some other thread that said RT 'hadn't done a f*lk song in 20 years' ought to be made to watch this.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: John Routledge
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 12:09 PM

Yes CR - Richard Thompson's performance of Adieu,Adieu was the highlight of the programme. And I didn't think that I was a fan of his :0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM

But it was over 20 years ago...... more like 40.

Watched it last night (or rather, early this morning) and found it interesting enough to keep me mostly awake til 2.00am.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 05:22 PM

Thanks, Sian, for the info about the forthcoming series on Welsh music; that sounds interesting (and long overdue).

I noticed while watching "Highland Sessions" this evening (a wonderfully lo-fi, no-frills programme with excellent Gaelic music), which was on before Folk Brittania, that it was produced by BBC Wales although it features only Scottish and Irish music! Strange but true!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 06:04 PM

Lots of strange stuff about early(ish) broadcasting. Apparently the first ever Welsh language folk music radio programme was produced in and broadcast from the Irish Free State, fronted by Welshman WS Gwynne Williams.

Also strange but true.

sian


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 06:19 PM

Indeed, Sian.

By the way, I did, of course mean "Britannia", not "Brittania"!

(Yours pedantically)


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:20 PM

"The Highland Sessions" demonstrated the usual self-indulgent Celtic navel-gazing. Although some of the music was great, why did they not provide subtitles to the incomprehensible Celtic lyrics? We switched over and went in search of something more accessible to an English-speaking audience.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:58 PM

I remember playing as a support act for Ewan Macoll and Peggy Seeger.An interesting experience.I had a conversation with Peggy, this was 1987, I think,. And she said the same thing then about the lack of good songwriters in the British Isles, at the time I was flabbergasted, because performing regularly at festivals were Leon Rosselson, Peter Bond, Cyril Tawney , Bill Caddick, Richard Grainger,Pete Morton and many other fine song writers. When Ithought about her statement I understood. Ewan and Peggy isolated themselves from a large part of the folk world, they didnt like to have support acts,they tended to only go to the singers club, They didnt go to festivals unless they were booked, they didnt go to other folk clubs. so they were unaware of what was really happening. I must say I was surprised, they must surely have heard of Leon Rosselson, I found the whole conversation INCREDIBLE.Then Ewan said to me I really admire you, Dick, I couldnt do what you do , away from home, night after night at folk clubs ,it would be too lonely.It was the journeyman professionals who were in touch. and Peggy is still talking the same nonsense twenty years later. Yes EWAN WAS AGREAT SONGWRITER and they were a very good duo, but if they had mixed abit more with the rest of the folk world they would have been better infomed about other song writers. Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 08:12 PM

Amen Dick!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM

And on the subject of Peggy Seeger and the lack of good songwriters, I seem to recall there was this chap called Alex Glasgow who was doing a bit around that time...you might have thought she'd remember him.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:26 PM

They weren't writing the sort of songs that fitted the McColl/Seeger straightjacket.
We all know people like that, who only speak to people who play the game according to their rules.
G.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: nutty
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:48 PM

There were wonderful things happening in Scotland as well, but, when you regard London as the Centre of the Universe, you tend to have a limited view.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: 8_Pints
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 05:41 PM

Saw the last episode tonight and found the evolution very interesting.

The performance clips were relatively short. The cutting in of premature narrative did annoy me somewhat.

There was a hint of dissent over Jim Moray's interpreation of traditional folk that could have been expanded. Maybe not!

Much to commend it, however.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 06:04 PM

Ihave not seen the programme. but I agree with tootler I believe martin carthy sings better without his guitar, in fact I think most people do. The question of accompaniment is a compromise, as part of an evenings entertainment, I include guitar and concertina and unaccompanied songs, which provides more contrast. but most people are at their best when they have only one thing to concentrate on. I heard the clip of martin singing georgie and I didnt like it.He is an excellent gutarist and singer and I must say its unusual for me not to like martins accompaniments. I can still listen and enjoy jeannie robertson, harry cox,they were great singers who could hold me riveted without needing to use a musical instrument other than their voice. DickMiles


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: nutty
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 06:18 PM

I have to admit to enjoying the programmes much more the second time around.
Perhaps, because I have overcome the indignation I felt at the glaring ommissions when I first saw the programmes.

This time I am enjoying the performers and their performances ... I'm certainly enjoying the nostalgia,(I went to my first folk club 40 years ago), and still experience that sense of belonging.
This is my music .... it gladdens my heart.

Some bits I like more than others, some performers I like more than others, but folk music is in my soul and I have to admire people like Martin Carthy for their dedication to the genre.

I have to disagree with Dicks comments above... I suspect that had folk been purely about song, it would have been dead and buried a long time ago.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 08:38 AM

That's not how I understood Dick's comments. I took hum to mean that nobody can concentrate 100% on the song if they are also accompanying themselves: something has to suffer. If you want an accompaniment, you should get someone else to play it, so you can concentrate on getting the song across.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 09:59 AM

Isn't Billy Bragg just dreadful? He can't sing, can't play the guitar, writes truly awful populist songs. What a bore!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 03:08 PM

Yes, snuffy that was exactly what I meant


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 05:04 PM

Snuffy, so Woody Guthry should have sung unaccompaned?


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 04:49 AM

Big John Said
"I think the Pogues are defunct now but 'TMTCH' are still out there and front man Swill, although very quiet in the interview, is also producing cutting edge folk as a solo artist."

I think you're wrong there John, The Pogues are still performing just without the toothless wonder Shanne McGowan. The Men They Couldn't Hang are indeed still out there and recently headlined the 'alternative stage' at The Rhthym Festival in Bedford (Jerry Lee Lewis headlined the Main stage and Seth Lakeman also played). TMTCH vocalist Swill has just released a new album on Irregular Records and is reviewed in this months FROOTS magazine.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: sian, west wales
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 04:22 AM

As mentioned above, here are the details for the Radio Wales programme - Traditional Music of Wales - which starts Thursday.

I still think that it was commissioned at least in part because of those of us who drew the BBC's attention to the Anglo-centric nature of Folk Britannia. OK, I'd rather this was on Radio 4, but it's a start ...

sian


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 05:49 PM

I was discussing the series at Folkworks summer school last week and someone made the point that the programmes were not about the music, but about the people - or some of them at least. This could explain a great deal of the dissatisfaction with the series as there was a major mismatch of expectations.

Now a series about the music, especially if it looked at the British Isles as a whole and not just London and the South East - that would be something worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 06:21 PM

to guest7 august 06 5 04 pm   Woody guthrie was a fine songwriter, in my opinion he was only an o k singer and guitarist, your point doesnt seem to have much relevance, he might have been a beetter singer if he hadnt played an instrument, but that wasnt what he was about . what WOODY GUTHRIE[ correct spelling]was about was the social comment of his songs,and he was able to get that message across without being a great singer or instrumentalist virtuso,he had something important to say .


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Britannia repeated on BBC4
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:38 AM

I was disappointed at the somewhat limp-wristed response to Peggy Seeger's statement that there was no longer a passed-on tradition - Owen Hand, Louis Killen, Red Sullivan, Cyril Tawney – for crying out loud. As worthy as (some of) these singers are/were, not even their best friends would describe them as traditional singers. Like the rest of us they came to the tradition second hand; I doubt if any of them would claim to be of part of the tradition; rather than having borrowing from it (in fact I know from personal discussion that at least two of them definitely didn't).
Of course the tradition is dead – long dead. I consider myself lucky to have been around in time to hear its last dim echoes, but even then its was from singers well advanced in years and past their best, people like Harry Cox, Sam Larner, Charlie Wills – and the great Walter Pardon, who gave the revival (that's what we've got) a transfusion of material and examples of singing that could have given the revival its second wind and kept the songs going for another generation or so. As far as I have seen the jury's still out deciding whether that transfusion took; but as far as I can see the prognosis isn't hopeful.
The last time I visited a folk club in the UK it was a little like visiting an elderly relative in sheltered accommodation who wasn't quite sure where they were and why.
The sooner we come to realize that the tradition is a thing of the past and decide what we are going to do with our legacy, the better, as far as I can see.
Jim Carroll


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