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Spleen Cringe Is Folk Dead (114* d) RE: Is Folk Dead 16 Oct 12


Desi C, sorry if it seems like I'm picking on you below. I'm not, but I hear the sort of things you're saying quite a bit so I'm kind of hijacking your post to make a few points. No offence intended!

Open mics welcome with open arms the increasing number of people who want to play real instruments and 'live' music.

The ones I've been to are either endless covers of Don McLean, Bob Marley and so on or generally not very good (with a few notable exceptions) acoustic singer songwriters. I didn't hear much folk, even in the broadest sense of the word. Of course, anywhere with live music is a good thing, but I don't necessarily see much relationship between open mics and folk music. Especially the open mics that are more like acoustic karaoke nights...

Anyone who saw the BB folk awards last year must agree it resembled a dinosaurs graveyard!

Far be it from me etc, etc, but I wouldn't call The Unthanks, The Young Folk Awards entrants, Tim Edey and so on dinosaurs. Don McLean, yes, but he was there to appease the R2 demographic. And any ceremony that gives a Lifetime Acheivement Award to the great Bill Leader can't be all bad. He may be in his 80s but he's no dinosaur!

Folk Clubs especially the very trad ones, all I hear from young and even old performers is that they feel very unwelcome there as they get dirty looks if they try anything but trad English.

I've found the trad ones to be extremely welcoming. More so than the anything goes ones, certainly. The traddish singaround I mainly go to always has someone or other who insists on playing something that isn't trad, but they always get a polite smattering of applause. I also think if a folk club describes itself as 'trad' there's a bit of a clue on the tin. You wouldn't go to a jazz worshop and play death metal. Or would you? :-)

Which is fine but nobody seems to want to help newcomers to learn the genre

Beginners tunes sessions at the Beech in Chorlton. That's helping. I'm sure there's plenty of other examples.

Trad Folk music and an ever ageing BBC radio need to embrace modernity or they will die out, simple as that

Have you not noticed all the trad singers and players under 30? I persoanlly find a lot of it a bit bland, but it's definitely out there. And Mike Harding has played stuff I've put out on Folk Police that certainly isn't old stuff by old people. Though a bit of old stuff by old people isn't necessarily a bad thing. Have you heard Tom Paley's new album?


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