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Are the sessions real in Ireland?

Scrump 12 Jan 07 - 09:54 AM
Shaneo 12 Jan 07 - 10:20 AM
Gulliver 12 Jan 07 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Fidjit 12 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Bubblyrat 12 Jan 07 - 05:02 PM
danensis 13 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM
Leadfingers 13 Jan 07 - 01:15 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM
Tootler 13 Jan 07 - 02:16 PM
GUEST 13 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM
Skivee 13 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM
GUEST 13 Jan 07 - 04:59 PM
Skivee 13 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM
GUEST 14 Jan 07 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Fidjit 14 Jan 07 - 05:30 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM
The Sandman 14 Jan 07 - 11:19 AM
Tootler 14 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Tarantula's friend 14 Jan 07 - 02:29 PM
MartinRyan 14 Jan 07 - 02:31 PM
GUEST 14 Jan 07 - 02:58 PM
The Sandman 14 Jan 07 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 14 Jan 07 - 03:49 PM
MartinRyan 14 Jan 07 - 03:55 PM
MartinRyan 14 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 15 Jan 07 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Fidjit 16 Jan 07 - 06:20 AM
GUEST 16 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Bardan 16 Jan 07 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 17 Jan 07 - 11:31 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM
GUEST 17 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,GUEST Hempsy 17 Jan 07 - 04:24 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 07 - 04:15 AM
The Sandman 18 Jan 07 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Fidjit 18 Jan 07 - 05:50 AM
Scrump 18 Jan 07 - 06:03 AM
Cats 18 Jan 07 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 21 Apr 15 - 04:48 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Apr 15 - 06:27 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 15 - 05:22 AM
Manitas_at_home 22 Apr 15 - 07:17 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 15 - 08:12 AM
Tradsinger 22 Apr 15 - 10:23 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Apr 15 - 03:22 PM
Herga Kitty 22 Apr 15 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Desi C 22 Apr 15 - 08:53 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 15 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 23 Apr 15 - 10:06 AM
Will Fly 23 Apr 15 - 10:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 09:54 AM

Seems strange to be able to find anything off the main drag anywhere round Temple Bar, but I must investigate next time I'm there :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Shaneo
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 10:20 AM

You will find plenty of trad. sessions in Temple Bar over the next ten days as there is a bit of a festival of traditional music taking place.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Gulliver
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 12:01 PM

Well, to be honest, I didn't just pass the pubs--I had a look round in each one and had a pint in the most interesting looking. As well as the "trad" pubs there was also live jazz and rock in other places, plus salsa dancing and there's Italian and Indian music in restaurants (but not necessarily on Wednesdays), also belly dancing and an interesting group doing a mixture of old-timey and shanties (but only on Monday nights, Halfpenny Bridge), and I was told there was a singing session in the Palace on Tuesdays. I'll take a notebook with me next time...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Fidjit
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM

Good to see we're getting a lot of good and few bad respons' on here.

Hope it's opened the eyes (and ears) to a few people.

Didn't know about the Lighthouse being closed as it's a few years now since I've been there. My regards to Barney and friends. And to Gabby (have her and her boyfriends name on a beer mat somewhere here)who introduced me to the Lighthouse via Monkstown session.

Am guesting on here these days as the computer is on the blink.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 05:02 PM

I have a terrible confession to make : I love Irish music,& have a stab at playing it, but---I"ve NEVER been to Ireland !! So I don"t really know what a true Irish session is like. However,I DON"T NEED to go to Ireland,when I can go to the "Herschel Arms" in Slough , which is apparently as close as you can get to the real thing (whatever that may be ) For me ,the landlord is the most Irish person in the known world, as are some of the musicians I have heard there-Paddy Keenan,Tommy O" sullivan, & ,last monday night, Finbar Dwyer, melodeon legend !! The musicians,some Irish,some of Irish descent,some English even,are superb ,the decor (as far as I know ) authentic,the craic amazing. So why not try it ?? Monday nights, 2100 onwards,not advertised,not commercial,lovely people, woderful sounds !! So there !!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: danensis
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM

THe late starts were a big disappointment to my son and I when we went to Ireland last year. We'd heard all about the pub sessions, but when we got to Ireland we found that most things didn't start until nine or ten o'clock at night, and children are not allowed in bars after five.

At least in the UK we can let our youngsters see live folk music. I've noticed that at The Attic there are more and more youngesters in the audience.

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 01:15 PM

GUEST Bubblyrat - If you are looking for 'other' folk than Irish , why
not pop into the Seven Stars at Knowl Hill ,just down the A4 from Slough and see what the Thursday folk club has to offer . And I will agree with you that its a lot easier to go to the Hrescel on a Monday than across the Irish Sea for an evening ! And Tom King is a TRUE Friend of Irish Music !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM

in reply to danensis
as a member of skibbereen comhaltas[Jim Carroll gnashes his teeth]Ican inform you that once a month skibbereen comhaltas og[youth]have a round the fire session,with youngsters aged five and up playing music with other children,once a week on a wednesday[july to august] skibbereen comhaltas,hold a session which starts early,for details see their website,.
there is also [july august] wednesdays, a session in schull community hall co cork,starting at nine o clock,run by bertie moran.
if you want earlier sessions then check out comhaltas web sites.
these sessions rely and happen because of tourists,but the music is of a high standard,and not fake in any way.www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:16 PM

Jim Carroll wrote,
"An intelligent musician comes to Ireland to listen to how Irish music is played by the natives, and hopefully take some knowledge away with them.
Unfortunately, what happened to Doolin is the visitors came to play, not to listen."

Jim,

I can see the point you are making, but if I go to a session and I have an instrument with me, I will want to play. That, after all, is the point of a session - at least to me it is.

The point was made in another thread about being sensitive to other participants in a session and I suspect that was what was possibly missing in the case you cited.

As a visitor at a session there are some simple courtesies that can help things along;

1. Ask the existing members of the session before joining in
2. Stay in the background and don't lead a tune unless you are given the nod.
3. If you don't know a tune, don't play, at least initially - though sessions can be good places to learn new tunes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM

Tootler,
I can't disagree with any of the points you're making, nor do I have any quibble with your list.
Unfortunately the opposite all too often happens here.
Over Christmas we had two magnificent sessions ruined by a visitor with cutlery (don't know if you've heard Con Fada's 'Spoons Murder - she was a prime candidate for te Raleigh bike).      
Last Summer we had another lady with a tambourine, one of those with jangly bits (the tambourine, not the lady) who sat there and thumped it completely out of time. The locals said nothing - it took a fellow blow-in to tell her to desist - to which she replied - 'I thought that's what you were supposed to do'; she then disappeared in a cloud of huff.
Cap'n, have far too few teeth left to waste them on Comhaltas.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Skivee
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM

Hey, Jim Carroll.
Neither of these questions is mean to derail the conversation, or start a "Thing". I'm simply asking, here.
I thought that Comhaltas was doing the good work of continueing grass roots interest in Irish folk music. Is this not so?
Are they badly organized, lead, or just wankers? Perhaps it's the prospect in 30 or so out of tune 6 years old playing The Little Beggerman, all out of tune and without a central meter that is daunting? Scarey indeed, but probably necessary to start 'em going at that tender age. What's the deal?
Second, I've reread you response to my post several times. What prompts you to think I was being patronising when I wrote,"We would do some tunes with them, but I would take a break to listen every few minutes. after all, I didn't realy go to Ireland to teach them how to play their music."? I meant it to be the exact opposite of patronizing...anti-patronizing, in fact.
Please compare and contrast.
Skivee
PS, sorry about the teeth.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:59 PM

Skivee,
Short answer (Guinness and music calls).
Comhaltas, in the early days did a tremendous job of keeping the music alive (to qualify this, the branch members did this by teaching youngsters). Unfortunately the organisation at the top decided that this teaching should aim at entering the young players into competitions, for which they produced a set of rules as to how the music should be played (these rules were not based on the tradition, but rather on the preferences of the organisers).
Competitions may be OK for the winners, but the losers tended to drift away (which they probably would not have done had they been taught to play for the love of it). I know literally dozens of families where children have been through this process and have been lost to the music forever.
The scene is much healthier nowadays with youngsters playing because they want to, not to win badges; largely they have ignored Comhaltas and have learned from local musicians who live in a Comhaltas-free zone.
One of the finest young concertina players in Ireland Edel Fox, still in her teens, now takes over a dozen pupils (no Cap'n, hse didn't enter a Comhaltas competition, he was awarded 'musician of the year' prize by TG4, no competition, test or anything, she was judged the best.
Comhaltas now, thanks to a shoddy leadership, has been marginalised, despite the fact that it's president, a State Senator, has put himself in the position politically to avail the organisation of the largest share of national grants (have you read the report yet Cap'n)?
Jim Carroll
PS I was given the impression by your posting that you somewhat looked down on the local musicians you met over here - if I am wrong about this, I apologise unreservedly.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Skivee
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM

RE; Comhaltas...that's just a shame. Tis ever thus in empire.
RE: My comments. I wasn't looking down on the musicians, just the deplorable calculated situation... and the sessions in Galway and points North were simply wonderful.
Most of those that we found to the South and into the Ring Of Kerry were obviously set up for tourists. I'm sure that "real sessions were just around the corner someplace. On the other hand, I had a great chat with an Irish poet at O'Flaretty's pub (sorry, a bad American spelling) in Dingle. It seems that we were both huge fans of Mike Oldfield's work.
No offense taken.
I hope that both the Guiness and the music were satisfying.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 05:14 AM

They were, particularly the Guinness (you could have done handstands on the head of the pint last night!)
You will find in places very popular with tourists, particularly in the summer, the standard of music is not high.
We were in Clifton last year and didn't hear a decent tune, despite there being a 'traditional session' poster in the window of every pub. Killarney and Tralee were the same, with the publicans cashing in on what the believe are visitors who come to feed the Leprachauns and pick the shamrocks.
Here in Miltown Malbay we are lucky enough to have a strong local music scene all the year round and visitors tend to come simple for that.
Come up and see us sometime (as the lady said).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Fidjit
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 05:30 AM

Mae West it was Jim that said that. (Sexily!)
No I wasn't refering to anything by that.

Yes. They are just around the corner. Pubs fighting for punters put up the session signs.

My advice is keep an ear to the ground, to find the "Real session".

They are there. Never said they wasn't.

Shame about all the competitions that put off the loosers. Shouldn't happen.
Music is not a competition. It's to be enjoyed, whichever sort you're into.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM

Jim

Mention of Clifden (spelling!) reminds me of an incident a few years ago when Josephine and I were there, due to head off next morning to Inishbofin, I think.

We went looking for a session. Started by going into a pub with musical instruments emblazoned on their windows. No luck - but they listed three options for us to try. First was a small hotel across the road where the archetypal "Tom and 'Tina" were setting up their gear to play country music (probably for the locals!). Quick exit and down to the next venue, a nice-looking pub on the street corner. Four very competent traditional musicians standing there, miked up and playing for a large group of tourists who stood there in much the same way they'd stand at the monkey-cage in a zoo! Nothing wrong with the music - but not worth hanging about for....

The first good sign for the third option was that, initially, we couldn't find it! When we did, we found a brilliant young woman fiddler, accompanied by her father on guitar and a woman who looked like the classic Jewish bridge player, complete with twin-set and pearls! She was laying into the piano like there was no tomorrow - with a pint of Guinness balanced precariously on the lid! The music was rough - but brilliant. The whole pub was involved and we had a great night.

Persistence pays!

Regards
p.s. The fiddler turned out to be one of the Kane sisters!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 11:19 AM

jim carroll.edel fox is quite prepared to judge comhaltas competitions[ive seen her doing it] so she clearly doesnt share your views.
comhaltas, while not being perfect still do a lot of good,they run sessions during the summer which I would recommend,Examinations which in my experience children enjoy,fleadhs [local regional and national]my local branch skibbereen, also hold monthly sessions for children of all ages,where the children socialise [in asafe environment]play music for fun,learn dances [seige of ennis etc].
jim;it is a minority that are put off by competitions.go and attend GAA SCOR COMPETITIONS,,In rural areas, and you will see how much fun the children have.The main point of the competitions,Is not the competition itself but the practising beforehand ,the learning how to play with other people.,AND THE SOCIALISING. Comhaltas are not alone, Glor na gael,AND THE G. A.A. see the value of these events.
You are so negative,.NEVER DESTROY SOMETHING TILL YOU HAVE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO PUT IN ITS PLACE.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM

Jim Carroll,

The people you describe are to found everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Tarantula's friend
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 02:29 PM

The good Cap'n wrote re. Jim Carroll: 'You are so negative,.NEVER DESTROY SOMETHING TILL YOU HAVE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE TO PUT IN ITS PLACE.'

You've never met Jim have you? He'd destroy his own furniture given the chance even if he lived a hundred miles from the nearest furniture shop and it had recently closed down!

If you ever have the misfortune to find yourself in a conversation with Jim Carroll then just do the decent thing and run straight out of the nearest door or jump through the nearest window. It will be much easier in the long run as you wont suffer death by painstaking boredom.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 02:31 PM

Here we go again......

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 02:58 PM

Don't feed them Martin, they'll creep back under the bridge soon enough (or get back to writing pot-boilers).
Thanks for the spelling correction.
Cap'n,
I really have no need to put anything in the place of Comhaltas, there is a world of Irish music who have no need of competitions and who are doing very nicely.
Read that report yet? Would love your opinion on it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:28 PM

no jim, it would not have been here if it wasnt for comhaltas,
as you well know comhaltas was founded in 1951,because the irish tradition was in danger of dying,they have successfully revived the tradition and still are doing a lot to promote the music.
1.when did you last go to a comhaltas meeting.
2,Julia Clifford was an all ireland champion[if its good enough for her its good enough for me.
3.Edel Fox is a comhaltas judge[she clearly doesnt share your opinions.
4.Comhaltas is an organisation,that is very strong at local branch levels,some comhaltas branches are very active,others not, they are left by central office to get on in their own way,you are welcome to come to skibbereen branch,to the comhaltas og[youth] monthly sessions round the fire ,and see all the children making music dancing and having fun[it does your heart good]
5 any local branch is only as good as the people in it,and I think I am and DO have a progressive input.,
6.I am more interested in helping children to enjoy music and promoting the non competitive side as much as Ican,than reading reports by stupid asses.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:49 PM

'I really have no need to put anything in the place of Comhaltas, there is a world of Irish music who have no need of competitions and who are doing very nicely.'

And it's good to see that good grammar is still alive and well in Clare


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:55 PM

Curious! The Martin Ryan of the last entry to this thread was not I! I would never use "who" to refer to Comhaltas!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM

...nor to any "world", of course.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 04:16 AM

Martins,
This particularly disturbed troll appears to have abandoned his former identity of 'Tarantula's Friend' (probably having realised that he only has one friend, just as disturbed as himself) and is now having 'an incident'.
If he, or anybody, is the slightest bit interested, I'll be happy to fill in the background details.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Fidjit
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:20 AM

Time this one sank into oblivion.

Think we all know what it's all about now.

Comhaltas and Come all ye.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM

Here here,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:10 PM

I was in a great session in Finland a while back. There was a finnish piper, an english fiddler, an american whistle player... Oh yeah! And one guy came in and started playing something that looked like a djembe, but it was great fun, the standard was high and the music genuinely irish, despite the foreign people/instruments etc.

Anyway, my take on the whole authentic session thing, is avoid anywhere that says "Paddy O somethings genuine irish pub" or has a picture of a leprechaun on it, avoid the sessions with 20 banjos/bodhrans/whatever or the guys singing nothing but the wild rover very loudly and enjoy the rest! Oh and the ones with the silent tourists who clap at the end of every tune- they just tend to spoil the ambience somehow.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:31 AM

Comhaltas does good work, but standard of judging in some competitions is very variable. Remember one time when several excellent performances were passed over in favor of markedly inferior ones (in the opinion of not a few listeners), the winners afterwards saying loudly to the adjudicator, "See you in the pub, ------"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM

Here here,
Jim Carroll


Where where Jim? :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM

Scrump,
Miltown Malbay - where else?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,GUEST Hempsy
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 04:24 PM

Cap'n,

I cannot agree more with you when you state:

"6.I am more interested in helping children to enjoy music and promoting the non competitive side as much as I can,than reading reports by stupid asses."

But in the interests of greater clarity should you not point out that the Report you are referring to was written by one Senator Labhras O Murchu?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:15 AM

And that Senator Labhras O Murchu (Larry Murphy) is the unelected Life President of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:25 AM

two bigger asses are Bertie Ahern,the man that wasted millions on Berties BOWL[A Real white elephant]and eamonn Cuiv who wasted thousands trying to change the name of Dingle[against the wishes of dingles residents].


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Fidjit
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 05:50 AM

Oi ! KNOCK IT OFF !

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:03 AM

eamonn Cuiv who wasted thousands trying to change the name of Dingle[against the wishes of dingles residents].

I'm not surprised - fancy wanting to change it to "Dangle", the fool :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Cats
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:56 AM

Where will I find a good session where I can sing, as opposed to play, in or around Belfast?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 15 - 04:48 PM

what a strange question- what does 'real' mean in this context- do visitors really expect to find a lost world of traditional music in Ireland?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Apr 15 - 06:27 PM

GUEST
It has already been explained, but as is usual with controversial threads on Mudcat it turned into a slanging match which somewhat obscured the OP's original intention.

A 'session' to most people in the English-speaking folk world loosely means a gathering of performers for the fun and craic playing together and unpaid. However some enterprising landlords have seen how this can draw in the crowds and pay maybe half a dozen performers to come in and entertain. This is often advertised as a session but is anything but, in other words a fake session. (Before anyone jumps down my throat this is not a criticism. I've done the fake session myself on occasions. Each to their own!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 05:22 AM

Sorry Steve - no such thing as as a fake session - paid or unpaid, they're all real sessions - no set definition.
Suggest you refer to Fintan Vallely's excellent 'Companion to Irish Traditional Music for a full explanation of the phenomenon (a bit big, but will scan it down in full if needed).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 07:17 AM

Possibly Steve's idea of a session is the 'open' session where anyone is welcome to join in. A set of hired musicians might prefer to make the session a performance and close it to outsiders or limit it to people whose skills they know so as to keep the standard high. A staged session can still be open, in this case the paid musicians would be there to lead and keep the music flowing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 08:12 AM

I read Steve's post as simply explaining the OP's original question to the guest who couldn't be bothered to read the whole therad (and I don't blame him)

In this sense "fake" is simply a shorthand to mean a pre-planned performance presented in a session type style. Not the best term to use but it has been used in this sense through all the years of this thread. These sort of shorthand terms are regularly used and those who claim not to understand them in that sense are mostly deliberately trolling.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 10:23 AM

I will be on holiday in the Portrush area in late July and wondered if anyone could recommend any song sessions in the area (not C & W and not just tunes).

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 03:22 PM

Okay, so they're all 'real' in the widest sense of the word. But there are different types with different etiquettes and anyone wanting to attend a session really wants to know which type they are likely to come across in any given venue.

At one end - a free and open session
Then an organised performance of booked performers but other known musicians might be accepted
and at the other end - a performance (that might resemble a more informal session but isn't, often characterised by half a dozen accomplished musicians who regularly play together sitting facing inwards in a tight circle and really playing to each other.)

I've seen all 3 of these and other combinations together in the same town both in England and in Ireland.

Another factor is why are they there, to play for pure enjoyment, to play to an audience or both. Personally I prefer it when it's both.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 03:27 PM

We're in Dublin for a week next month, 13-19th, so would be grateful for info on song sessions (An Goilin already noted!)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 22 Apr 15 - 08:53 PM

Speaking as an Irish musician in England, I still travel back to Kilkenny each Summer to play in a few sessions. As far as Kilkenny goes I can vouch for them being very real indeed. The Monday night session in Cleere's Bar there has been going non stop for almost 30 years now.

Almost nothin is ever formally arranged or set up re the session. The musicians, singers etc simply turn up and certain seats are always there for them. There are the instrumental only sessions,and as in Cleeres instrumentals interspersed with local and visiting talent, songs, stories, poetrty etc. Usually very lively and late finishing. Can be noisy too so don't expect UK folk club type reverence, basically if you're good enough they'll listen. Sadly central dublin these days rarely sees a real genuine session


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 07:41 AM

"We're in Dublin for a week next month, 13-19th, so would be grateful for info on song sessions (An Goilin already noted!"
Sadly, you'll miss The Cobblestone (Smithfield) Sunday night session, held the first Sunday of the month.
Excellent evening run by young singers all singing good songs to a high degree of skill and and dedication.
"to play for pure enjoyment, to play to an audience"
The best sessions here are those where the performers are playing for enjoyment to an audience that has turned up to listen, so they don't have to make an effort to 'perform' to them.
One of the problems with finding good sessions is that, for outsiders, it takes a little planning nd forethought - I still remember our disappointment in, the early days of seeing doxens of 'ballad sessions' advertised and finding out what the term meant in those days - thought all my birthdays had come at once at first......!!
After a while, you learned to ask around first - the net makes it so much easier nowadays.
Here, during the "long dark nights in Miltown Malbay" (a comment once made by a folkie group who sound like a firm of solicitors responding to a comment I made about the state of folk song) we have four/five regular weekly sessions, all ranging from enjoyably good to international standard plying - in the summer, that can rise to 8 or nine.
A few are organised and paid for by the publican, but the overwhelming number are sit in - usually with a core of reasonably seasoned regulars.
Visitors quite often make the mistake of believing that Irish music only begins when they step off the boat or plane and finishes when they go home.
Some time ago, I had a rather unpleasant encounter with someone on this forum who had difficulty in understanding why a mini-bus full of bodhran bashers, banjo bangers and 12 string Kalashnikov strummers might not be welcome over here in the West of Ireland.
In places like this, visitors are made incredibly welcome, even when they don't behave themselves, but it really does make for a good holiday if you remember that the music is an integral part of the life here and not just something put on for the emmets between trips to the beach.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 10:06 AM

'One of the problems with finding good sessions is that, for outsiders, it takes a little planning nd forethought'

There's that. And if a few musicians are going to get together, ad hoc or otherwise, they're not going to tell the world about it. Getting word out to the people they want to play with (or for) instead.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 10:55 AM

I spent a most enjoyable week in Waterford a few years ago - went over specially to see a rare concert by Leon Redbone - and dropped in to a couple of excellent sessions, just to listen. I was reminding myself of this trip just now by looking at a web page on Waterford pub sessions - and came across this witty and sensible set of etiquette "rules":

Some notes on "session etiquette", regarding acceptable behaviour as a guest:

• Refrain from asking for your favourite tunes unless invited to do so.
• Even if the low volume and (to your ears) dubious quality of an octogenarian's
"sean nos" (old style singing) is not to your liking - do not start a loud conversation
while everyone else is trying to listen.
• If you want to take photos, do so without causing too much disturbance - and remember
that most participants in a session are there for fun, not as paid cast members.
• Should you have bought a bodhran or a tin whistle the day before and just started to read
the instructions ... please refrain from joining in as a "musician" and thus embarrassing yourself.


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