Mudcat Café message #3946273 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164711   Message #3946273
Posted By: Jim Carroll
26-Aug-18 - 02:51 AM
Thread Name: UK Folk Revival 2018
Subject: RE: UK Folk Revival 2018
It seems to me that, despite the complaints of being insulted by some, there is a fair amount of it coming from both sides here and those complaining the loudest are quite capable of doing their share
I suggest that rather than pointing fingers we ALL agree to stop it or we all learn to live with it
I find this "nuffin to do with me guv" attitude as insulting as it gets

"The club scene sank because"
I go along with much of what Dick lists, but I think the essential reason people stopped going was the choice of what they could listen to in a folk club was taken away from them
Before the takeover, even in the 'Mickey Mouse' clubs, you knew you would go home having heard a night of songs you had set out to listen to a few hours earlier - folk songs - if you chose not to go back, you did so on the basis of how well those songs were interpreted.
Then the "anything goes" crowd moved in and the people stopped coming
It didn't help that the standard fell because the tolerance of bad singing from 'singers' who hadn't bothered to learn their songs became the norm Those of us who expected a standard below which public performances didn't fall were called 'elitists' - we just expected singers to have put in enough work beforehand to put over their songs - little enough to ask as far as I'm concerned.
The more responsible of the clubs devised ways of helping inexperienced singers, be it established singers offering to help to full-blown workshops
Bad singing from 'Magical Mystery Tour' folk clubs killed off a healthy and still very promising scene.

The club scene was established on a definite form of music - originally introduced by Sharp and co and later revived by th BBC's 1950s extended field trip
We didn't need a definition - '54 or any other kind - the type of songs we wanted to listen to could be found in Lloyd's and Vaughan Williams' Penguin Book of English Folk Songs' or MacColl's and Seegers' 'The Singing Island, or that issued on the 10 volume 'Folk Songs of Britain' series of albums or Norman Buchan's 'Scotland Sings.
They were the basis of the folk sohg scene
Singers like MacColl and Leon Rosselson and many others were making new songs using old forms so our clubs never strayed far from their roots
We knew that we were there to promote a certain type of music - not ourselves
That seems to be the basic difference between then and now

I still have a couple of dozen live recordings of clubs I attended around forty of fifty years ago - they are still highly enjoyable and they buzz with atmosphere
We made a two radio programme tribute to MacColl a couple of years ago and the young producer commented on just that and said she envied our being there - they certainly seem not to make 'em like that any more

For me, MacColl made the best and most enjoyable analysis of British Folk Song in 1965 - a series of 10 half hour programmes of exquisite singing from the best of our performers, with a loving and very perceptive analysis - those programmes have never been surpassed in all this time to my knowledge.
If you want to know what British and Irish folk song is, listen to them - if you haven't got ac copy - just ask