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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
burntstump Why folk clubs are dying (728* d) RE: Why folk clubs are dying 17 Dec 08

Interesting subject

Being an ex club organiser who came through the seventies when clubs and floor singers were not just good but the majority were very good, I now ask myself the question why don't I frequent the clubs that still run near to where I live in Nottingham in the UK.

I can only answer the question based on my own views of the problems faced by club organisers who had a duty to try and give a genuine and honest pounds worth of entertainment to the paying public, many of which sadly failed.

Sadly, over the years, those performers that were any good priced themselves out of the market and the budget of most folkies, this left the influx of the not so tallented, who thought they were good but in reality were no better than the average floor singer. I know the club organiser should vet any booked act prior to booking them, but the reality is that a demo tape can be somewhat misleading and tour schedules fabricated.

One club that I used to visit on a regular basis moved from a comfortable pub back room to a morbid upstairs attic, they stopped allowing the floor singers to get up and perform a set of songs and went to a singaround, everyone got to sing one song from where they sat and hopefully another later in the night.

Being a musician, I need one song to warm up and to get into my performance, so the singaround didn't help me to perform at my best,nor did the singaround encourage performers to practice and polish their act, they could sit at the back in some dark corner and perform from there, very often with a crib sheet because they hadn't really learned the song or the tune.Another point was the club was supposed to start at 20.30 but very often didn't start until 21.00. This meant a lot of sitting arround waiting for the evening to start encouraging people to turn up late. At my club we started at 20.15 regardless of the number in the audience.

A lot of the people I used to know from the folk scene are no longer with us, and yes we can all reminisce about the good old days, but on this occasion they genuinely were the good old days and I for one would not have missed it for the world!!

I still have my guitars, and who knows one day.

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