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Silas BBC Folk Awards 2014 (216* d) RE: BBC Folk Awards 21 Feb 14

If I may add my t'pennoth about awards. I detest award ceremonies. I think they are narcissist self congratulatory farcical back slapping self promoting shite developed for the industry they are attached to.
However. I think the folk awards are a bit different. Why? Well…..Firstly, there is precious little folk music on TV – there are the superb transatlantic sessions and the occasional documentary like the recent Nic Jones one, but in essence very little. I like to see folk music on TV for no other reason that I like to see folk music on TV. All other genres seem to be well catered for, and I am grateful to have the little that we have. Also, the people who are winning these awards are not household names, ask most people if they know of Bella Hardy or even Martin Simpson and you would get a very blank look. The folk awards are small, intimate and quite nice – and the people who win are all very nice people who are just very good at what they do – not superstars with egos to match, just ordinary people like you and me.
The awards always cause a needless controversy about who won. Who should have won? And the trotted out phrases every year same old faces' etc. All nonsense of course, all of the 'winners' are outstanding in their field and all awards are well justified – the thing is, almost everyone nominated, and many that are not all deserve awards – the talent that is on offer these days within the small world of folk music is immense – better that it has ever been.
It's a great thing to win an award, it does help with an artists profile and although there is no immediate financial reward for winning, it does help with getting bookings and also helps in backing up the individual artist fees.
But for me, it's just nice to see folk music on TV. TV brought me into folk music. In the late sixties and early seventies, looking back through no doubt rose coloured spectacles, these seemed to be a fair amount on TV. The much maligned Spinners, Ian Campbell, The Yetis, Ewan McColl etc and I also remember many a folk performer doing kids shows. If it hadn't been for this exposure then I may have not got 'into' folk at all, and the same applies to many people I am sure.
So, let's have a little less knocking and a bit more appreciation for a well produced show that offers some superb music and a chance to also see some up and coming youngsters into the fold.

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