Mudcat Café message #2430065 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114018   Message #2430065
Posted By: ConcertinaChap
03-Sep-08 - 02:18 PM
Thread Name: Advice needed: folk clubs in G.B.
Subject: RE: Advice needed: folk clubs in G.B.
> My concern is with how folk music is given meaning and used socially. So my emphasis will be more on talking to people than strictly listening to music (though, of course, I also want to listen to the music). The ideal club(s) would be somewhere where the regulars would be willing to talk to an American interloper about folk music.

It's worth noting, before you arrive, that the English folk scene is structured very differently from the US scene (a caveat here, my American experience is all on the East coast from DC up to Maine, things might be different elsewhere in the the States).

For one thing there is no equivalent of the house concert in the UK. There are a very few large folk clubs that are run like coffee houses, but the majority are smaller and more intimate. Some have guests, who do 2 half hour sets; the rest of the evening is taken up with "floor singers" who do two or three songs each. Singaround clubs, which only have floorsingers are increasingly common. This means the English folk scene is a good deal more egalitarian than the US scene (setting aside such fine institutions as the Washington Folklore Society) so there should be plenty of material for your study.

If you can, try and get to some music sessions, English, Irish and occasionally French. These are a bit harder to find than song clubs, but very social when you do find them.

If your time and budget will stretch to it it would be worth spending a bit of time both up North and down South. If you get to Lewes, watch out for the dwile flonking!

Best of luck,

Chris