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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Guest No Fixed Abode folk outside of clubs and festivals (37) folk outside of clubs and festivals UK 01 Dec 08

I was not going to comment on this thread as I thought it would degenerate into an My clubs better than yours type thread but fair play it is refreshing to see everyone trying to help and understand.

So here are a few points that may add to the debate (or not!)

I read with interest the "what sort of folk club is yours" thread and it got me thinking about the fact that I have never seen a thread broadening the discussion about folk music outside the festival/folkclub arena yet I know from personal experience that folk music exists outside the clubs/festivals circuit

We are a duo who do occasional folk clubs and festival gigs but we could never earn a living doing this alone so as professionals we earn most of our income from Pub and "other venues" Now to explain……Pub gigs have a bad reputation among "Folkies" however we have found more than enough "good" pubs for us to survive for the last three years. Yes you have to be able to entertain and at times it can feel like missionary work but we believe that if folk music is to survive it has to come out of the "back room" and back into places where "ordinary" people reside. Now I should point out that the type of folk music we do in a pub situation is what the traditionalist would call common folk, and it is true that traditional folk would possibly struggle in a pub environment but if people do not hear even some folk music one thing is for sure it will disappear.. We accept that when we perform at pubs we are not going to get the public's attention or silence without earning it and it is so rewarding when you do shut the pub up, and at the end of the night it is great to get people coming up to you and saying things like "where did that song about the storms come from?" "Tell me more about that song,"

perhaps there should be another club called folk friendly pubs/bars I have not seen anyone talk about folk in bars/pubs yet it clearly exists, would it be interesting to know if folk music is actually migrating from the back room into the bar?

The second category is Other Venues and this may be more contentious but there are a number of clubs throughout the UK who do support folk music on occasions an example is last weekend when we supported a rock band called never the bride at a club called the pokey hole club. Tickets were £20.00 and the gig was sold out..200 people, full sound and light system and if we are not folk enough this club has over the years booked people like Derek Brimstone, Magna Carta, Colvin Quarmby Steve Tilston, We added over 40 people to our mailing list and sold 24 cd's so maybe there is an audience for folk that is not being tapped.

Places like the Musician in Leicester, The Boardwalk in Sheffield Blue cat café Stockport the Maze Nottingham.

It is always interesting to see how the Americana artists seem to be able to get there music into these types of clubs but having spoken to a number of these venues they rarely get approached by Folk artists for gigs…I am at a loss to explain why.

I do accept that I may have not put my points eloquently so please forgive me if I appear "harsh" I to want folk music to survive and thrive so my points are made with this in mind.


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