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GEFF and Proud of it

Tootler 08 Apr 08 - 03:01 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Apr 08 - 04:51 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 08 Apr 08 - 05:31 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Apr 08 - 05:36 PM
irishenglish 08 Apr 08 - 05:38 PM
irishenglish 08 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 08 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM
Rowan 08 Apr 08 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Jon 09 Apr 08 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 09 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM
GUEST, Mr Grumpy 09 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM
GUEST, Sminky 09 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 09 Apr 08 - 08:23 AM
TheSnail 09 Apr 08 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,LTS preteding to work 09 Apr 08 - 09:25 AM
Dave Earl 09 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM
Kosmo 09 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 09 Apr 08 - 11:47 AM
Herga Kitty 09 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 09 Apr 08 - 02:37 PM
Leadfingers 09 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM
TheSnail 09 Apr 08 - 05:17 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 09 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM
Leadfingers 09 Apr 08 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Jon 09 Apr 08 - 06:57 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Apr 08 - 07:01 PM
Tootler 09 Apr 08 - 07:12 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Apr 08 - 07:13 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Apr 08 - 07:16 PM
TheSnail 09 Apr 08 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 09 Apr 08 - 07:23 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Apr 08 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Apr 08 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 09 Apr 08 - 08:09 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM
Kosmo 09 Apr 08 - 08:54 PM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 02:18 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 10 Apr 08 - 02:41 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 10 Apr 08 - 02:43 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 02:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Apr 08 - 03:25 AM
Banjiman 10 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 10 Apr 08 - 03:40 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 06:05 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 07:33 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Paul (banjiman) in the office 10 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM
Rapunzel 10 Apr 08 - 07:58 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM
Dave Sutherland 10 Apr 08 - 08:35 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 08:46 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 08:51 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 09:19 AM
Karin 10 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM
mattkeen 10 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 10 Apr 08 - 09:50 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 09:57 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Paul, 10 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Paul...out of his meeting 10 Apr 08 - 10:16 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 10:30 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM
Dave Sutherland 10 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Paul, still in the office! 10 Apr 08 - 10:44 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 10:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 08 - 10:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Apr 08 - 11:21 AM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 12:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 08 - 12:26 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 10 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM
TheSnail 10 Apr 08 - 12:35 PM
Captain Ginger 10 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 10 Apr 08 - 01:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM
mattkeen 10 Apr 08 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM
Herga Kitty 10 Apr 08 - 03:36 PM
Dave Sutherland 10 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Apr 08 - 06:01 PM
GUEST, Mr Grumpy 10 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM
Leadfingers 10 Apr 08 - 07:31 PM
Leadfingers 10 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 08 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 11 Apr 08 - 03:34 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 11 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 11 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Jon 11 Apr 08 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Jon 11 Apr 08 - 06:11 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 11 Apr 08 - 06:33 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 06:50 AM
GUEST, Mr Grumpy 11 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM
Dave Sutherland 11 Apr 08 - 07:20 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 07:26 AM
The Villan 11 Apr 08 - 07:36 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Apr 08 - 07:52 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 08:04 AM
The Borchester Echo 11 Apr 08 - 08:11 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM
The Villan 11 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM
theleveller 11 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 11 Apr 08 - 09:23 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 09:28 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 09:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM
Dave Earl 11 Apr 08 - 10:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Apr 08 - 10:57 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 11 Apr 08 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 11 Apr 08 - 11:24 AM
Banjiman 11 Apr 08 - 11:29 AM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM
The Villan 11 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM
henryclem 11 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM
TheSnail 11 Apr 08 - 07:08 PM
Gervase 11 Apr 08 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 11 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM
Banjiman 12 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Apr 08 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Apr 08 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 Apr 08 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Apr 08 - 07:02 AM
Banjiman 12 Apr 08 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Apr 08 - 08:42 AM
Leadfingers 12 Apr 08 - 09:35 AM
Banjiman 12 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Apr 08 - 10:03 AM
Banjiman 12 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 12 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM
Silas 13 Apr 08 - 03:52 AM
The Borchester Echo 13 Apr 08 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 05:41 AM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 07:04 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 13 Apr 08 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Apr 08 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Apr 08 - 07:37 AM
Banjiman 13 Apr 08 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Apr 08 - 07:39 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 13 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 13 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM
Dave Earl 13 Apr 08 - 08:39 AM
Banjiman 13 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM
Brian Peters 13 Apr 08 - 10:53 AM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM
Saro 13 Apr 08 - 11:33 AM
Brian Peters 13 Apr 08 - 11:49 AM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 13 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM
Banjiman 13 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 13 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 01:27 PM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 03:27 PM
TheSnail 13 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 13 Apr 08 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,glueman 13 Apr 08 - 05:23 PM
Leadfingers 13 Apr 08 - 06:02 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 13 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 14 Apr 08 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 03:57 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM
Banjiman 14 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM
TheSnail 14 Apr 08 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 07:51 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM
TheSnail 14 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM
Gervase 14 Apr 08 - 12:08 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 14 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM
Gervase 14 Apr 08 - 12:44 PM
Ruth Archer 14 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 14 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 02:30 PM
Silas 14 Apr 08 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 02:59 PM
Tootler 14 Apr 08 - 03:24 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM
Suegorgeous 14 Apr 08 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,glueman 14 Apr 08 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Apr 08 - 04:17 PM
Gervase 14 Apr 08 - 04:24 PM
Suegorgeous 14 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 14 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 02:47 AM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 15 Apr 08 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 03:55 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 15 Apr 08 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Betsy at work 15 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM
Georgiansilver 15 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 05:26 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 15 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM
Dave Earl 15 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 15 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 08:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,glueman 15 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 09:13 AM
glueman 15 Apr 08 - 09:23 AM
glueman 15 Apr 08 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Jon 15 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM
glueman 15 Apr 08 - 09:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 11:54 AM
Brian Peters 15 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM
glueman 15 Apr 08 - 12:36 PM
glueman 15 Apr 08 - 02:42 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Apr 08 - 03:22 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Apr 08 - 03:33 PM
The Villan 15 Apr 08 - 04:14 PM
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Subject: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 03:01 PM

I notice someone has been taking my name in vain elsewhere on Mudcat.

If you really think you are Good Enough For Folk (or even F*lk) Then sign up here

GE(O)FF and Proud of it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 04:51 PM

Geoff - I hope we're not in for a repeat of my ghastly thread. I have, however, just posted this message on that thread...'Well, having been officially trashed in the Living Tradition
as "someone who sings folk songs rather than being a folk-singer", though "having obviously served (my) time", but having been selected in 2 successive years as a teenager to sing at the EFDSS-run London Folk Festival at Cecil Sharp House on the bill with the High Level Ranters and the Fureys, am I GEFF?'

There is a difference, though, between clubs that aim to entertain with good quality performances, and where the floor singers are carefully pre-selected, and those that are intended for people who want to have a go!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:31 PM

In my humble opinion, only your very best - whatever that may be - is good enough for folk. Is this fair enough? I have no problem with giving it your all and still messing up. I do however think life's to short to listen to the half-arsed, the lazy or the can't be bothered. I'd like to think most of these don't have the wherewithal to get out of the front door. I hope I'm right.

My own best, however much I will it otherwise, will never be good enough. I can do plenty of other things, but I can't sing or play an instrument to save my life. Which is why I wouldn't dream of imposing my gruesome efforts on others and why I'm happy to listen to those who have the skills and talent. I'm fine with that. I can concentrate on getting better at the things I am good at.

Cheers,

Nigel (Not good enough for folk and grateful for the insight)

PS Kitty - Living Tradition, reasonably fine organ though it is, do sometimes talk complete rubbish... as they appear to have done on this occasion.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:36 PM

Nigel - thanks for raising the issue of whether the audience is GEFF! (I hadn't previously thought of that as an issue...)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: irishenglish
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:38 PM

Don't listen to them Herga Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: irishenglish
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM

I just read it Herga Kitty, it has been awhile since I looked at Living Tradition online, and so many of their reviewers have an amateur (I could have been doing this for Rolling Stone or Mojo, but instead all I have is Living Tradition) attitude, it defeats a good portion of their reviews IMO.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM

Maybe they think poor quality reviews are 'good enough for folk'... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:46 PM

Well, I did read the ghastly thread, all the way until a couple of days ago but I didn't realise what GEFF was supposed to be until looking at this thread. I left the other thread shaking my head at some aspects but enlivened by the passionately expressed positives on it. Living in Oz, as I do, and with only limited and ancient experience of the British scene I found the update "interesting". And I think I'm good enough as a participant but such a judgement must be left to others.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:07 AM

I like to think I'm competent enough for the events in which I participate.

Proud of it? It's difficult - one way to look at it would say not really, although I'm pleased I can join in and believe (or hope) my contribution is worthwhile and I am not ashamed (though I have been at times I've done things not giving a sh*t).

By that way of thinking, I guess to feel really proud, I'd need not only to be rather better than I am to take me to what I might think an acceptable professional performance standard but to be a lot better than that. It'll never happen but I guess with music, the only way I would be truly satisfied, would to have to be at virtuoso level.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM

Basically, I don't give a little hairy rats' ass whether people consider me GEFF - I enjoy doing what I do and no puritan asskisser is going to stop me doing it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Mr Grumpy
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM

All amateurs strive. But no amateur is a prostitute.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM

If I'm paying money to watch someone entertain me, then I expect a certain level of performance. However, I also acknowledge that this scenario is a recent invention (last 50 years or so) and has NOTHING to do with the folk tradition.

If, on the other hand, I participate in a singaround or ceilidh, then I expect all manner of abilities - good, bad and indifferent. Because that's the way it's been for the previous 900 odd years.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:23 AM

I'd have thought yer average "puritan asskisser" would be one very confused and screwed up bunny.

Who are these people? Have you met them?

Do they do the bottom-related deed then severely chastise themselves before god? With a scourge?

We should be told.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:34 AM

Nigel Spencer

Who are these people? Have you met them?

Which is exactly what I was wondering about "the half-arsed, the lazy or the can't be bothered".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,LTS preteding to work
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 09:25 AM

Puritan - person of extreme strictness in religion or morals.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Earl
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM

I think I am Good Enough as I get asked to do my thing at most of the places (clubs' Festival fringes etc)

It does however require that I make my best effort on every occasion for fear of being O(only)GEFF. This Incidentally is what the lady in the other thread is really complaining about.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM

How about "Good enough in the appropriate place"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Kosmo
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM

You know what, as long as someone thinks you're GEFF, it shouldn't matter what a certain few people think. No one is above anyone else, expecially not in the folk world.

Besides, if you enjoy what you do and have fun doing it and other people join in and have jsut as much fun then awesome.

And there shouldn't be any such thing as GEFF ... it's kind of elitist isn't it?
Not a very folkish attitude ...

Aaaanyway, I reckon I'm quite GEFF, well I dunno, I'll pop and ask a second opinion.

Crantzy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 11:47 AM

I `ad that `erga Kitty in my cab the uvver day. She said "Would you take me to the Musical Traditions Club please". She was tuning `er instrument in the back and it sounded blooming `orrible. I said "That`s a bit orf, ennit". She said "It`s good enough for folk". I dropped `er at Centre Point and she said "Oi, this quite a way from the club". I said "It`s good enough for Foley Street!!"
What am I like??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM

Jim Knowledge - not good enough for cab driving?

Kitty

PS What's "tuning"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 02:37 PM

'What am I like??'

a one trick pony comes to mind *LOL*

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM

I dont know about G E F F , but I have been a pro working Muso for long enough to not worry ! The fact that I get regular pro work makes doing floor spots at my local folk clubs more of a Live Practice .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 05:17 PM

The trouble is that there are those who seem to think that the only alternative to excellence is the sort of thing that Nigel summed up earlier as "the half-arsed, the lazy or the can't be bothered." and talk as if the whole folk club circuit is infested by them.

He also said "In my humble opinion, only your very best - whatever that may be - is good enough for folk. Is this fair enough?" Sounds good to me but it can't be avoided that there are quite a few people who have a deep love and dedication for the music and practice for hours in the privacy of their own garden shed but, well, they might be ill advised to try and make a living out of it. Equally, there are those who wouldn't dream of trying to make a living out of it but can easily upstage the booked guest. All of these are, to my mind, the backbone of the folk scene. The professionals are a bonus and the "half-arsed"....? How many really fit that description?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:39 PM

Snail. Please don't take it personally. It's only an opinion. I haven't been to your club and couldn't possibly comment - though I like the sound of how you describe it on Mudcat.

Maybe I've been harsh. Maybe - unlike other genres of music - amongst the whole of the folk world there is absolutely no-one who could be described as 'half arsed etc...' and everyone's giving it their all. If so, fantastic. I really hope it's true. even a little bit true would do.

It's just that it sometimes feels on this forum that some people (not you, Snail) are staunch defenders of the right to be... well, a bit mediocre and sunday painterish. 'Professionalism' frequently gets a bit of a pasting (whether its affront at how any 'folk' musician has the temerity to want to make a living or the tedious and regular sniping at the Newcastle graduates or the tired old Lakeman/Rusby bashing). There seems to be a belief its somehow wrong for folk music. This seems to be expressed far more frequently than the idea that the presence of professionals is good for the music. They're all derided as wannabe pop stars or johnny-come-latelies or whatever the putdown of the moment is. It's all a bit sad really. No, not sad. Pathetic. Insular. Smug. Self defeating. Short sighted. And so on.

From all this, the conclusion I draw is that in the folk club world, mediocrity is to be celebrated, defended and held up as how things should be. Maybe I'm wrong and some posters are just a bit bobbins at expressing themselves. After all, there are plenty of professional traditional musicians who do the folk club circuit who are excellent at what they do. Maybe some people think they detract from the purity of their scene and might attract outsiders and non believers like me (again not you Snail. I'm answering your point but I'm not assuming this is how you think). Still, apart from the fact thre are useful things to learn here, it's enough to make me not want to bother visiting. It's enough to make me think sod the UK folk scene: I'll just buy the traditional records I like and attend the odd gig and festival and not bother with the rest.

Meanwhile, I do tend to like Les's comment.

Personally, I feel I have no choice but to retain - and apply where necessary - my own critical faculties. As the parent of a young child, I only have a relatively limited amount of time to spend on nights out, which is why, with live music, I prefer either concerts of artists I really want to see or the truly participatory and democratic entity that is my local singaround (though they want me to join in and ruin it for everyone rather than lurk harmlessly in the corner!). I'm not saying everyone should be like me, but folk clubs end up being quite a bit lower on my list of priorities. Not least because they are entirely outside of my cultural frame of reference. During their heyday, I was either not yet born or a little kid... and when I was old enough to go to gigs, folk was rarely part of it. Coming to folk for the first time, over the past few years, as a fully fledged middle aged bloke and folk scene outsider, I have no emotional or sentimental or historical attachment to the concept of the 'folk club'. Hell I'm not even a folkie, I'm just an ex-punk rocker who likes traditional music. Halfway decent trousers, too...

You probably shouldn't take what I have to say too seriously - it comes from outside of your world.

Over and out.

Nigel (to steal Charlotte's thing, the view from outside the window).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:55 PM

Sadly , there ARE a lot of people who DONT prepare for a spot in a Club at all - Or so it often seems ! Equally so , there are the Floor singers who , for whatever reason , dont want to give up the day job and are superb performers , singers , entertainers , or what ever !
But that is what gives the scene a lot of its cahrm - You can never be 100% sure what will happen at any given event - It depends who turns up !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:57 PM

Maybe I've been harsh. Maybe - unlike other genres of music - amongst the whole of the folk world there is absolutely no-one who could be described as 'half arsed etc...' and everyone's giving it their all. If so, fantastic. I really hope it's true. even a little bit true would do.

I believe the vast majority do try most of the time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:01 PM

The fundamental problem is that the essence of professionalism is to do what is profitable - and sod integrity.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:12 PM

The trouble with a lot of the arguments around folk clubs and the quality (or otherwise) of the "performances" you get in them is that the people arguing are often discussing different things.

Herga Kitty in the second post made a valuable point, in my view, when she said

"There is a difference, though, between clubs that aim to entertain with good quality performances, and where the floor singers are carefully pre-selected, and those that are intended for people who want to have a go!"

That pretty much sums up the spectrum of folk clubs as many are a bit of both having some nights devoted to participation and other nights where there are paid guests to provide entertainment.

As has often been said, music is a social activity and sessions and singarounds are part of that, providing an opportunity for people to enjoy the pleasure of making music together. They are not about entertaining an audience but about taking part. That there are sometimes those, like Nigel above who go along to listen is incidental. It's nice when they are there and I know I have had a buzz in the past when someone has come up at the end of a session and thanked us and told us they enjoyed the evening. But that is still not the main point it is more about sharing a mutual interest.

In such circumstances the whole notion of "Good enough for folk" is a nonsense. Anyone willing to take part is good enough. This is particularly true of singing because singing is something all but a tiny minority can do naturally. It is a little different with instruments, because you do have to achieve a certain minimum standard to be able to participate, but the whole point of a good session is that the participants themselves judge when they have reached that standard. It is essentially self policing.

By the way, Nigel, why not have a go at your local singaround. You may surprise yourself and find that you can sing and I am sure the regulars will be very encouraging and supportive of your efforts!

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:13 PM

Richard - no, you're getting back to the dictionary distinctions between nouns and adjectives that have been thrashed out in the ghastly thread.

The essence of professionalism is to perform to the best of your ability and with integrity and respect for your audience.

I decided I didn't want to be a professional singer because singing is what I do to enjoy myself, not because someone is paying me to do it whether I enjoy it or not!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:16 PM

Oops, that was meant to be a Forum home, not a submit message...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:21 PM

Good Grief!

I hope you won't take this personally, Nigel, but that's beginning to sound a lot like "I never go to folk clubs because they're crap. I know they're crap because someone on Mudcat who never goes to folk clubs told me so."

Who are these defenders of mediocrity? Name the guilty parties.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:23 PM

Richard, you are being very selective in your definition. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, professional means:

• adjective: 1 relating to or belonging to a profession. 2 engaged in an activity as a paid occupation rather than as an amateur. 3 worthy of or appropriate to a professional person; competent.

• noun: 1 a professional person. 2 a person having impressive competence in a particular activity.

The being paid for it is only one part of it. Skill and competence is the other side of the coin ... and you don't HAVE to be paid to be competent and acting professionally. And, in fact, usually when you talk of someone acting professionally, you actually mean they are acting with integrity.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:52 PM

Don't believe all you are told.

Ask yourselves what professionals do.

Once upon a time professionals as distinct from mere traders had principles. Alas no more for most.

I may or may not be of excellence as a performer of folk or similar songs. I would be chagrined to think that anyone thought I was so conceited as to say that I was good.

By way of example, when I was captain of squash at Nottingham University, I set up an internal match between the students on the Mechanical Engineering course and the teachers (lecturers, professors, and seminar leaders, etc). We hammered them, and I beat an Egyptian called Nassim Hay who I gather used once to play competitively. My number one player was embarrassed to have to pfaff about not to humiliate a chap with an Oxford squash blue (and who wrote a textbook about plate vibrations).

Not long thereafter, I was talking to another student (Nick, I forget the rest) in the coffebar queue. It transpired that he played squash. I said "Shall we have a game" He said that there might not be any point. I said "Are you any good" (he might have been too bad or too good). He said "I'm quite good". I thought "What a conceited shit". It turned out he was the then UAU (Universities Athletic Union) Number 3 - ie the third best university squash player in the UK.

Unless you are that good, no gentleman (or lady) says they are any good, and no gentleman or lady says that any other person is less able than they are.

I may be good, or I maybe dogshit. But I'm GEFF or for what ever else I do and any prima donna who says I'm not good enough for her can kiss my proverbial, if I would let her, which I won't.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 07:53 PM

Richard - I'm not planning to take an active part in this thread for reasons I'm sure some will appreciate, but I do think you are a reasonable man open to the occasional contrary thought, so I'll just say this on behalf of my colleagues.

Your comment above "The fundamental problem is that the essence of professionalism is to do what is profitable - and sod integrity" seems to stem from some emotional/political objection to people making a living from music (of any sort) than from any real understanding what it actually takes to be successful as an artist (of any kind).

The "what-most-people-call-folk-but-you-call-acoustic-plus-the-actual-interpreters-of-traditional-material" scene is populated by some of the best-informed, most critical listeners (I'd have put 'consumers' but I'd have been stoned as a harlot by Mr Grumpy and Sminky) outside of the, err, jazz? scene.

It is ABSOLUTELY impossible to be profitable without integrity in the club and festival environment. As, indeed, it is in the world of Soliciting.

The essence of 'profiteering' may be to do as you suggest. But there are NO profiteers among the people who work the club and festival circuit. The two meanings of the word professional ('to work at the upper limit of your ability at all times', and 'to rely on the income you manage to generate from this activity') applies to a group of less than 50 individuals who scrape by an income most school leavers would turn down out of a passion for the music and the culture - (and the others who supplement their income from elsewhere have the same ethos).

Most of the rest of you have jobs which pay a decent salary (I hope). Does that make you prostitutes in your fields? Or prove you have no integrity? I don't really think it does.

So why are people so angry with us? We're doing out best to live our dreams, while feeding the bairns. Isn't that a good thing?

Thanks for listening if not understanding

Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:09 PM

PS I should add that our 'profit' is what's left in the brown envelope after we've paid for fuel, strings, posters, websites, CD production, adverts etc etc.

Profit is not something left over after we've taken out a salary. It IS our salary.

TB

(Almost none of the promoters make ANY money - a handful do make a living at it, but they're in the same boat as us).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM

Yes, most lawyers are prostitutes. Particularly city ones. They hire out from the neck up, rather than waist down. I am not (now) one such and have an axe to grind with the prostitutes in that area with whom I once consorted, indeed amongst whom I was not without reputation.

I do not agree that professional and semi-pro musicians necessarily have artistic integrity. Believe me, I was once invited to roadie the Sweet.

I am an admirer of those who are sufficiently dedicated to their music as to rely utterly upon it.

What I utterly refuse to accept is that those who perform folk (and allied) - who said lawyers cannot be succinct - music have to be of a particular standard or be vilified, as SWMBO would have.

I may or may not be dogshit (you judge, you've heard me play, PM me and I'll tell you others who have thought me OK but I won't put it up as self aggrandisement on a public board - but I am prepared to cast my fate to the winds and tell you to PM the Barden and check what he thinks) but whether I am dogshit or not I am GEFF. I am an F. I play from my roots. It's my and everyone else's music and it doesn't belong to SWMBO.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Kosmo
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 08:54 PM

Seriously. How old are you?
JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ.

I mean come on, it's people like you lot who make ametures with talent feel like they should give up.

I don't care if it's "just an opinion" keep it to yourself.

You're not Simon Cowel, if the music doesn't impres you well I'm sure it will impress someone else, granted some people aren't brilliant, but they've paid to be in a folk club among other people who injoy traditional music, not to be judged by some arrogant twits who think they know better.

Stop acting like whiny teenagers who think they know better.
Crantzy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 02:18 AM

F**k me, it's Groundhog Day!
Anyway, Well said Nigel - but I think we old farts are getting to the point where the next generation - like Rosencrantz - are going to give serious thought to having us sent to the glue factory if we don't shut up.
Shall we just agree that there are some here who think all's rosy, and others who would like to do a bit of gardening?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 02:41 AM

Interesting that the main point I was trying to make is not one people are interested in talking about, except presumably reasonably well paid solicitor Richard Bridge, who just proves my point: namely the frequently despicable and disgusting treatment the 'folk scene' metes out to those who have the temerity to poke their heads over the parapet and attract the likes of me to traditional music.

Hee's two examples off the top of my head:

Go back and read the thread on Rachel Unthank. If I was part of your folk scene I'd be hanging my head in shame at the vile comments being made about this up and coming young performer, who has done absolutely nothing to any of you and nothing to warrant the pasting you give her.

Go back and read the threads on the traditional music course at Newcastle University. They are peppered with snide, nasty, resentful putdowns and a belief that traditional folk music is somehow sullied if it is taken out of your insular folk clubs and also considered as a serious enough subject to warrant a degee course.

No doubt I'll be told that comments on Mudcat are not reflective of the folk scene as a whole, but nevertheless it does appear to be one of the main vehicle via which that scene expresses itself.

What I don't see here is a scene characterised by sheer joy in the music and a desire to share it with others and celebrate it and take pride in it.

What I do see here is a insular, hermetically-sealed world, shot through with bile and rancour and willing to atrophy rather than engage with the outside world. What I see is a scene that hates its young and resents everything they are trying to acheive.

I didn't create this monster in my head: I came to Mudcat and read your opinions.

Some of you seem like very nice people. Many others appear to have incredibly large chips on their shoulders, half empty glasses, an inability to celebrate and appreciate even minor success, a suspicion of outsiders, an absolute refusal to take any criticism and an entrenched resistance to change.

What I would love to see is folk scene people cheerfully and optimistically trying to demonstrate to me why this isn't the case, rather than retreating into the usual wounded and defensive sulk.

I live in hope.

A couple of brief responses:

Snail - I have 'tried' folk clubs on various ocassions and found that with my limited leisure time they weren't really for me - they were often more like social gatherings for self contained groups of individuals who appear to have known each other for years. Nothing wrong with that, but not really what I'm looking for in a night out.

Geoff - thank you for the encouragement, but I'm 44 and have known for at least 30 years that I can't sing!...

Finally...

No promises, but you all might be relieved to know (or at least indifferent to the prospect) that this is probably the last you'll hear from me on Mudcat.

As you were and will remain.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 02:43 AM

Sorry, Cap'n, we cross-posted. My comments aren't response to yours...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 02:55 AM

At the risk of sound pathetic, don't give up, Nigel. I know that those of us who argue for some degree of pride and professionalism will always be shouted at by the "it's folk, so who cares" brigade, but it's a point that needs to be made, however unpopular it makes us.
Agreed, folk clubs are a small part of the traditional music scene and declining in relevance to many, but they can be inspiring places, incubators of talent and positively welcoming to younger performers and newcomers - Sharp's in London is a prime example.
Anyway, on another tack, it's good to see that Bellowhead are to play one of the Proms this year, which will be broadcast live on R3 (the dirty sellouts - how dare they!).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 03:25 AM

Before the Bridges & GEFFs come along and hurl meaningless, defensive, snarling abuse at Nigel, I'd just like to get in my admiration of his courage at speaking out. He says nothing I haven't known for 40 years (almost the whole of his lifetime) but it needs to be said. Loudly.
Because it is THEY (the Bridges & GEFFs) who are the enemies of efforts to raise the tradarts to the status they deserve.
Nigel, the music has lasted a bloody long time and will, whether or not you and I and the Cap'n squander our time on Mudcat. It is, fortunately, for enduring than a gaggle of parochial GEFFs in a "f*lk club", a concept which is well on the way out and quite irrelevant apart from a tiny handful of shining examples.
It not just survives but thrives elsewhere, as you and I know.
And long will it.
And, yes, hurrah for Bellowhead. These things take a little time . . .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 03:36 AM

Nigel,

Come on mate, get yourself over to KFFC....we celebrate all levels of ability in the pre & post concert singarounds (from newby to very talented semi-pros)... in the bar where social music making belongs.

....and we celebrate excellence in the main concert format....no "floor" acts just a couple of pre-booked lesser known but still excellent supports and the main act who are either top rank semi-pros or a full timers.

Like you I am early middle age and spent many years listening to punk, reggae, indie etc.......the club is also less than 6 months old so no cliques who have known each other for years (though the stalwarts of the the local "folk" community to do seem to have given us their blessing, for which I am very grateful).

We also present a mixed bag of music (for which I make no apology) from blues and bluegrass (Banjo Heaven!!!) to unaccompanied traditional singers......and I expect us to present many more.

The atmosphere has been described as having a festival vibe with usually a few people in vans staying in the car park or overnighting at the club.....

It's fun, inclusive, broadminded, inexpensive ...and on a Saturday night!

Is it GEFF....I have no doubt that what we do is good enough for folk or any genre, IT IS FUN!!!!!

Which after all is what it should all be about....and my glass is always at least half full.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 03:40 AM

Breaking my new rule, but... Paul, I've always considered you to be an honourable exception to the vibe that pervades the UK branch of the Mudcat folk world.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM

Captain Ginger

At the risk of sound pathetic, don't give up, Nigel.

Give up what? Slagging off folk clubs he never goes to on the basis of what he's read on Mudcat?

the "it's folk, so who cares" brigade

Name names, Captain and back thenm up with quotes.

And Nigel, try and get out more.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM

Bt the way, the main castigator of Kate Rusby is the person who invented the GEFF acronym.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:40 AM

Oh shit. SWMBO has arrived. All bow now. Why can't you just get over yourself occasionally?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM

Nigel, re comments about lets call them young successful folk artists, it might be worth noting that the negative comments come from both sides of what appears to be the GEFF line in the recent threads here.

---
I think what happens a lot on this GEFF type of thread is they open with a strong comment which someone else responds to with an equally strong view from the other side and battle lines are drawn with each contributer finding themselves taking the side they might believe in most and attempting to show why the other side is wrong.

I don't think I've mentioned "the other side" (and I don't think me thinking TB was coming on to points he wasn't helped...) but let's try a sort of real world reality check from where I enjoy folk music.

Last Sunday night in our open to all Irish session, there was someone currently on the Newcastle degree course present. We also had a member of XIM. Some weeks, added to the mix, we have a guitar from Horses Brawl in this GEFF event.

Those who make money out of folk and study folk can and do get together for the enjoyment of folk and so far as I can tell the barriers that form in threads like these do not (at least with people I've met in that type of event) exist.

I was wondering (again) last night about trying to debate in these threads...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM

the main castigator of Kate Rusby is the person who invented the GEFF acronym

If the slimy person is trying to refer to me, he is far from accurate, thus proving an absence of attention to what I say..
What I have said about kR is simplicity itself to catalogue.
I first heard her round about 1994 and thought she was "very nice".
I have had no reason to vary that because she has in no way changed her output and performance, (apart from the odd foray with popstars, the least said about which the better), presumably because she makes a good enough living out of it.


As far as GEFF is concerned, any fule no it was Alex Campbell who used to declare "it's good enough for f*lk" when he was too pissed to tune).

Over and out.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 06:05 AM

Mr Snail,

If you read his post, Nigel says he has been to folk clubs and found them unsatisfactory. I fear that any mention of this topic is going to get your knee jerking because you perceive it to be an attack on the unequalled Lewes Arms. I'm asking Nigel not to give up stating what he believes, however much it might grate with your Panglossian naivete.
I'm not going to name names for two reasons. One, because I don't trouble to learn the names of dreadful singers and musicians I've endured as a paying punter in clubs over the years, and two, because Joe Offer has specifically asked us not to make personal attacks, and that is it how it would be perceived.
This debate would be far more constructive if people were not to bridle at imagined slights and be so stubbornly determined to take comments personally. For the umpteenth time, no-one is having a pop at the utterly wonderful and incomparable Lewes Arms, or any of its equally outstanding organisers, fragrant floorsingers, gorgeous guests and beautiful bottle-washers, or its thousands of talented young musicians from a vibrant tradition where everyone is above average.
It's just that some of us here have a lot of experience of the club circuit and have found it rather lacking.
From what I've read over the past few days and several hundred posts, Paul seems to be addressing that issue with the KFFC, and good for him - he sounds like the sort of person the trad music world desperately needs.
If you find the subject painful, might I suggest you sit down with a cup of tea, re-read some of the posts and try to imagine what it would be like for a newcomer to traditional music to stumble across a club which did not reach the peak of perfection shown by the Lewes Arms.

And don't take things so personally; it's not good for your blood pressure.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 06:36 AM

Captain Ginger, you've just mentioned the Lewes Arms for the first time on this thread. I've said nothing about it.

I'm not asking you to name dreadful singers. I'm not asking you to make make personal attacks on anyone. I'm asking you to give supporting evidence for the existence of "the "it's folk, so who cares" brigade". All you need to do is quote anything that's been said on Mudcat that remotely resembles that attitude. Nobody could possibly object to things they have already said being repeated.

Do you think you can manage that?

The same goes for Nigels "From all this, the conclusion I draw is that in the folk club world, mediocrity is to be celebrated, defended and held up as how things should be."

Supporting evidence, that's all I ask.

I promise not to take it personally.

And Diane, I don't think Alex Campbell ever used the GEFF acronym.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:12 AM

I don't think Alex Campbell ever used the GEFF acronym

I suspect he didn't - he used the phrase, which I heard at a Festival many years ago as well. OK, he may or may not have abbreviated it over the course of the years and loss of brain cells. He probably didn't invent the phrase either but who cares? To start to argue over who first used the phrase or acronym is pedantry in the extreme.

Supporting evidence, that's all I ask

Suerly the fact that a major act on the 'folk scene' used the phrase at all is all the evidence we need. If not how about having a bit of trust in what other people are saying. There realy ARE some shit acts out there who don't do us any favaours at all.

I hope you forever live in blissful ignorance of them. I wish I could.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM

It's an attitude I have encountered in more than three decades of involvement in traditional music. I've seen it from those who, at least, are conscious of their shortcoming but who shrug embarrassedly and say, "well, it's only folk and, anyway, it was in tune yesterday", to those who are oblivious to the fact that they are making an audience collectively cringe and snigger as they stop, start, stumble, mumble and massacre the material.
They are the people who prompt a mad rush to the bar from those who know what's coming, and expressions of incredulity from those who don't.

Yet how on earth I'm expected to provide 'evidence' of the phenomenon escapes me and - to be frank and to answer arrogance with truculence - I don't see why the blazes I should have to provide evidence. But anyone here will, I'm sure, recognise the 'heart sink' floor spots and the 'must dash to the bog' performers, those fine ambassadors for our passion.

Anyway, because I can't immediately cite dates and venues, perhaps I'm just imagining it, eh? Let's all pretend it doesn't happen and it'll go away...the folk club has never had it so good...hell, we're having to turn away people at the door because so many young people want to get involved...anyone who doesn't subscribe to our cosy world view is a traitor anyway...stop picking on us...we're not weird, it's everyone else...all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds...'professionalism' kills folk music...who are these punters who dare dictate what they want... and on and on and on...

So Mr Snail, get back on the gleaming bridge of the Titanic and ring full steam ahead.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:33 AM

Dave Polshaw

Suerly the fact that a major act on the 'folk scene' used the phrase at all is all the evidence we need.

Er, Alex Campbell died 20 years ago. As far as I know he has never contributed to Mudcat. Are you saying his attitude is responsible for the current (alledged) parlous state of British folk music? According to the Folkclubs Are Crap brigade, the modern folk scene is totally infested with GEFFs and with people who defend mediocrity. I'd just like to see some evidence.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:50 AM

OK, I Captain Ginger, I'll separate the sentences out. Would you like me to put them in block capitals to make it easier for you? Perhaps not.

I'm asking you to give supporting evidence for the existence of "the "it's folk, so who cares" brigade".

All you need to do is quote anything that's been said on Mudcat that remotely resembles that attitude.

Nobody could possibly object to things they have already said being repeated.


Go on. I'm sure you can do it if you really try.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Paul (banjiman) in the office
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM

Captain,

Guilty as charged, I have used THAT line when I fluff something....you have to cover your embarrasment somehow!

The presentation and perfomrance of folk music (any music?)has to be a continuum ..... from beginner to seasoned pro. You start off in your bedroom (maybe even get some lessons.....), start to attend singarounds/ sessions/ maybe get a floor spot here and there and then maybe get a paid booking if you hit a certain quality threshold (or in my case hang onto the tail coats of my talented partner!) and on from there if you are good enough and/or get your marketing right . There are other routes but I suspect that this is the most common, people just progress through the stages at different rates or are unable to reach the next one or choose to stay at one of them.

I think there is good reason to support all of these phases....in the right context and place. We cannot all be perfect straight away and need the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

I think that is all The Snail is saying (he'll tell me if I'm wrong). Let's make no mistake, the Trad/ folk world also needs people like him to who are prepared to put some effort into making thigs happen......I haven't been to Lewes yet (probably next spring, it looks like a short tour of the SE is in the offing for the other half) but I look forward to learning from (pinching!) there best ideas.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Rapunzel
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:58 AM

To the Snail - Nigel does get out plenty - I've even seen him in folk clubs.

To Nigel - I don't think for a minute you're giving up. Sometimes you're the only voice of reason on Mudcat and it would be a shame to lose that.

I hope this isn't going to make you go back on your promise of some traditional Dalek singing next month at the Beech.

As for my own opinions on the matter - I wouldn't make any friends so I should just keep quiet.

When it comes down to it, I just like a good sing. Don't care if it's good enough for folk, it's good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM

Mr Snail, you can shout, hector and write in big letters all you like, but I most certainly can't be arsed to fossick through the countless threads on this forum to satisfy some petulant demand for 'evidence' which will promptly be batted aside - but without going too far from here, just look at contributions on this thread from Nigel, Diane, Dave and Paul.
I repeat: there exists among some in the folk world an attitude that crap performances don't matter because it's only folk. It's one I don't encounter in classical, jazz, blues, rock or any other genre that I follow.
However much you stamp your foot and put your hands over your ears, it's a problem which won't go away unless we actually recognise it. For a lot of people, folk music is crap because their only exposure to what they think it to be is the procession of the half-dead and the tone-deaf up the pub stairs to the local folk club and the dreadful bleatings and twanglings that they hear therefrom.
At root all I'm asking is that we take a dispassionate look at the image we present to the outside world and that we take a bit more pride in what we perform, promote and produce if we want to attract new blood. Now stop taking it so personally, there's a good chap.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 08:35 AM

Captain, Regarding your last sentance where some of us who have been committed over the last forty plus years to do exactly that within the folk clubs that we organise it is hardly surprising that we take these things personally. Especially from those who boast that they haven't been near a folk club in years. I personally don't care much for Country and Western but I'm not on some C&W forum rubbishing their taste in music or how they present it!
Anyway I think that the term "Near enough for Jazz"(or in the North East "near enough for pit work")predated GEFF by some years.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 08:46 AM

Paul (banjiman)

I think that is all The Snail is saying (he'll tell me if I'm wrong).

That's about it. Looking forward to seeing you and Wendy if you can pay us a visit.

Rapunzel

Nigel does get out plenty - I've even seen him in folk clubs.

I wonder why he says he doesn't then.

Captain Ginger

Mr Snail, you can shout, hector and write in big letters all you like, but I most certainly can't be arsed to fossick through the countless threads on this forum to satisfy some petulant demand for 'evidence' which will promptly be batted aside

I think I'll just let others draw their own conclusions from that.

just look at contributions on this thread from Nigel, Diane, Dave and Paul.

I think Paul could have the right to take offence at being included in that list. I don't think he's said anything to support you strange views and Dave just seems to have a Mancunian determination to find any excuse to be miserable.

But you, Diane and Nigel? A happy little triumvirate backing each others prejudices because you KNOW THE TRUTH regardless of what anyone else might say.

At root all I'm asking is that we take a dispassionate look at the image we present to the outside world

Good idea Captain; why don't you give it a try.

and that we take a bit more pride in what we perform, promote and produce

I do. So do a great many other people.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 08:51 AM

I've never said I haven't been near a folk club in years. I used to go to two or three a week - now it's two or three a year. That's not the issue - what matters is how we appear to 'outsiders'.
I have on occasion taken non-folk friends to clubs and sessions over the past couple of years, and they have remarked on the oddness and the sheer bloody amateurishness of much of what they saw. To quote one back in February, "F**k me, if anyone was that bad at my local music venue they'd be laughed off the stage. It was a comedy act, wasn't it?". It's got to the point where I either don't try to introduce people to the stuff at a local level or I spend ages making excuses for it. However, I'm getting to an age where I can't be bothered to make excuses any more.
And I'm not rubbishing anyone's taste in music (de gustibus... and all that), merely the presentation.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM

I don't visit C&W fora and neither (as far as I am aware) does the Cap'n.

*We (I think I can say that) are HERE because we see a pressing need for the very tarnished and misunderstood (to the public at large) image of the tradarts to be raised more than a few notches.

*We fail to see why the ragged band of "organisers" take it as a personal slight if we criticise what is clearly wrong and damaging to that image, to the livelihoods of artists who cannot command living fees because the VENUES (not themselves) do not merit it and potential new punters are put off bigtime in their droves.

(*Disclaimer: if the Cap'n, Nigel, Dave, Paul or anyone else wishes to dissociate themselves from this blanket assumption, do feel free.)

You've done it like this for the past 40 years? You mean you haven't noticed that the world has changed? That punters' requirements are a tad more cutting edge? That the cost of living has escalated exponentially and artists have just the same outgoings as you? And that while their artistic standards have rocketed your "regulars and residents" are still unable to tune, find an appropriate pitch, remember the words or perform PROFESSIONALLY in front of your punters?

Has anybody even SEEN the plot?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM

Snail, old chap, this is futile. You can't accept that anyone who is of the folk world can have an opinion which differs from yours, and any dissenting view is merely prejudice.
I'm afraid you simply don't or won't get it. Meanwhile the number of clubs is falling, the average age of punters is rising and a good proportion of the world which has an interest in folk wouldn't be seen dead in one - which is a shame because, as I said earlier, clubs could be a terrific nursery for young talent.
It's a bit like the mainstream CofE; dwindling away as parishioners die off and being sidelined while the evangelicals and the charismatics prosper, to say nothing of other faiths and the great mass of atheists and agnostics growing in numbers.
To mangle metaphors, old mollusc, you're being an ostrich, and one day you'll be a dodo.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM

Yes, I forgot to mention people I've met at festival ceilidhs who, I've taken along later to a club because they said they'd like to see again an act that caught their eye in one of the breaks. Yes, I too have been seriously embarrassed as these horrified guests are so appalled at the weirdness and vow never to enter a "f*lk club" again. Like the Cap'n, I rarely go myself nowadays, and only when I really, really want to see an act and then only at certain venues.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:19 AM

And Snail, take a look at this thread. You'll find some of the same home truths there. Or are many of those posters just prejudiced as well?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Karin
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM

There are bad performances in all genre of music...the fast food syndrome is tipping over into everything else...people don't want to take time to learn the craft.
TASTE has something to do with our reception too. Some radio stations refuse to play females back to back...some people are into blues while others Celtic or blue grass and show disdain if the performer is boxed with their favorite label. All in all though I think that young musicians need to perform in order to get better. You never really begin to grow until you play to an audience. As musicians it ought to give some kind of JOY watching a young or new musician play...perhaps the goal should be to limit the performance to warm up act for seasoned musicians or limit the amount of time they are on stage. lol. I work with young people learning guitar and am always excited when they choose folk...A large percentage of people believe that 'noise' and lots of it gets them 'going' they don't have to think or really listen...lazy audiences. They find folk distasteful because it doesn't slam their senses and make them lose their edge...I suspect they also make love drunk.lol. You can't deal with that kind of mentality. They are always going to contribute to the illusion that folk is boring...
Let the inexperienced play so as to become experienced. We have a southern traditions music store that has jams every week and it gives the newbies an opportunity to mingle with the ol'timers...fantastic.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: mattkeen
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM

Here we go - perhaps this sad argument will end up getting even more posts than the last mega thread of misery.

Sorry to see Nigel go too, am pretty much 100% in agreement with him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:50 AM

First off, on the subject of "professionalism," I believe it was Plato, in one of the early Sokratic dialogues, who said that flute playing and getting paid for flute playing are two entirely different things. I have a dictionary too, thanks, but I tend to rate "pros" in a performance context by how well they do, not how much they are paid. I know a duo--how they met, I have no idea--one of whom is a high-powered accountant for a world-class megafirm and the other of whom cleans pools for a living. Their rendition of "Angel from Montgomery" is so drop-dead spell-binding that when they do it for free at an open mike, I think to myself, "Self, now that's professional."

Now, not that I want to take sides, but I find Captain Ginger coming close to how I feel. Besides, I remember a quick little snippet from "Upstairs, Downstairs" in which somebody was doing 'Captain Ginger' in a music hall. But I digress. Recalling that once upon a time I had difficulty singing on key and playing up to three chords on anything but a bongo drum, I am not against "beginners." I'm all for self-actualization.

But, Captain, here's where I'm stuck, and maybe you can help me with this. I see too many folks who, IMO, have not grasped the idea that ye folke house is an opportunity to make progress. I use to sometimes say, when introducing myself, "Well, I've been playing for 40 years, but I plateaued 39 years ago." In the meantime, I was giving a lot of time and thought to making that not true, or at least trying. At whatever glacial rate, I am nonetheless trying to improve. But there are those who come back week after month, who can be counted on to continue forgetting how the second verse goes, using a one-strum-fits-all approach to rhythm, and showing off their latest instrumental "improvisation" which goes nowhere in any known key or mode, and next to which taiko drums sound downright melodic.

What do I do? (a) Rise above it and hope that their in their next incarnation they know where the downbeat goes? (b) Risk being a pompous ass by suggesting subtly that that wonderful song would sound even better if ....? (c) Give Guido their address and 100 bucks/50 quid? No, all their fingers, Guido. All of them.

As you say, Captain, there are good nurseries, but what if no one wishes to suckle? "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink; you can send a boy to college, but you cannot make him think."

Suggestions?

CC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 09:57 AM

Captain Ginger, that link takes me directly to a balanced, thoughtful and courteous post from Mikefule so I'm not sure what point your making. I took part in that thread, mainly to refute Folkiedave's claim that modern folk clubs were entirely populated by teenage diary singers.

There was quite a lot of the usual rubbish on there from people of the "I never go to folk clubs because ...." persuasion. It seems to be quite common. You, Nigel and Diane boast of rarely if ever going to folk clubs and feel that this gives you the authority to condemn them.

You know, I think we can manage without you.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:05 AM

OK, Snail, try this one. Dick Greenhaus, by the way, is the guy you can thank for the Digital Tradition. And he's seen a lot of performances in sessions and clubs on both sides of the pond.
And Charlie, some people will never listen and never learn, so that's one for Guido. When he's done his stuff for you, I can find plenty more work for him!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Paul,
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:07 AM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Paul...out of his meeting
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:16 AM

oooops, pressed button too soon on post above.

Captain,Diane,

I don't totally disagree with some of the points you are making but I re-iterate that performance standards are about context.....what is good enough for a general singaround (sometimes called a folk club)without a paying audience may not be good enough for a paid performance (in what is sometime called a folk club) with a paying audience...pretty obvious really.

Snail, keep doing what your doing at Lewes. I'm interested though, do you have floorsingers on guest nights? If so do you apply any quality standard to those floorsingers......I'm not seeking to criticise, just interested?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:30 AM

Captain Ginger

OK, Snail, try this one. Dick Greenhaus, by the way, is the guy you can thank for the Digital Tradition.

Yes, excellent fellow. One of the people who is actually doing something constructive for folk music. Is he familiar with the UK folk club circuit?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM

Paul

I'm interested though, do you have floorsingers on guest nights? If so do you apply any quality standard to those floorsingers......

Yes we do. No we don't.

It seems to work for us.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM

Diane, What I have been trying to do for over 40 years is to maintain the standard of performance within a folk club that you and Captain lament is no longer there in many cases. In attempting to do so I have made myself bloody unpopular with some who do not have the talent, the intelligence or the manners to perform professionally in front of an audience. In fact there is a rumour circulating at present regarding our club, Traditions at the Tiger, Long Eaton, that we don't allow anyone to sing from books; it's not strictly true but it is certainly something that we don't encourage.
When I set out in the folk clubs in 1966 artists fees were in the region of £15/£25 and door charges were around 2/6d of course things have changed and a solo performer can now command £200/£350 per night and naturally our door charges are set to cover this.
The only thing that I have heard as regards our club putting people off is that we are "too traditional" but looking at our title that is akin to saying that the BNP is too right wing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM

Dick and his wife are very familiar with the club and festival circuit as regular visitors to the UK, as my earlier post said. Do you agree with the points he (and others) make in that thread about the quality of performance in clubs, or is he just another prejudiced naysayer as well?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:41 AM

Dave, I'm pleased to read that, and more power to your elbow. You would seem to be one of those (alongside the Snail) who is getting it right. Sadly, for every good club like yours there are plenty that don't cut the mustard and which are dying on their feet as a result.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Paul, still in the office!
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:44 AM

Snail,

"It seems to work for us."

No one can really argue with that then.....especially if they haven't been to your club.

My previous post was too emphasise that there are many different formats......find one that suits you (or not!) but get out there and try some...........if you don't like any of them set something up for yourself and like minded people.

To be fair to Diane I know she is exploring setting events up (and may have in the past, I don't know) but Captain Ginger Sir what are you doing to change the current situation that you don't seem to like.........?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:51 AM

I'd have to discuss things with Dick to find out what he really thought but he doesn't seem to be saying that there is an attitude of encouraging bad performances just that we are not critical enough.

You still haven't produced any direct evidence of anyone supporting the "it's folk, so who cares" attitude as I have asked you to do several times now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:55 AM

Their is a range of venues, small room singaround, small folk club, large folk club with PA, small concert venues, medium and large venues, tents and big tents at festivals.

Because of the floor singer tradition some people feel they can sing anywhere. Generally a good thing. What is acceptable in small venues, however, is probably not at larger venues. Well managed events manage this.

We seem to enjoy rowing at opposite ends of this spectrum.

The people who gave us our tradition would probably be at home in the small singaround. "Tradarts" seems to demand a much higher standard of performance. Generally a good thing. Lets try to separate what we and my friends can do in a small room from Shrewsbury Festival.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 11:21 AM

In my experience (30+ years and counting!) Folk Music is what people do in folk clubs to the very best of their passions & abilities; and if the latter doesn't measure up in technical terms to anything approaching conventional musical proficiency that doesn't render it mediocre - it is simply what it is and quite wonderfully so, occurring within the only performance context suitable for individuals with a love of Folk Music of any stripe to get up and sing whatever they want to in the company of others who want to do it as well.

It's an ideal of living; a utopian dream of commonality; an egalitarian coming together of like-minds nevertheless diverse enough to think for themselves; which is enough for someone like me who never listens to folk music outside of a folk club unless I happen to chance across Folk on 2 on the radio (in which case I invariable switch it off - especially now that I realise Mike doesn't accompany himself on guitar whilst reading out the charts).

The political cause of Folk Music is Humanity proudly raising our voices, both individually & collectively for whatever reason because the socio-context of Folk Music is not professional performance or studio recorded LP or CD products, which, at best, can only ever be an affectation based however so remotely on the elemental idiosyncratic empirical & corporeal rudery of a music the value of which is the immediacy of its experience, as it always has been, away down the merry centuries with people singing & playing to the very best of their abilities without ever once stopping to wonder of they're somehow good enough. I know - I've got the field recordings to prove it!

If I suspected that this wasn't the case, I'd find something else to do on Thursday nights (Fleetwood), or the first Saturday & Wednesday (Byker & Chorlton respectively) of each month, or whenever we chance upon a singers night on our travels, because where'er I go, I always find the same beauteous cranky curmudgeonly eccentric wonderment in a singaround as I've always done, thus restoring my faith in a very simple human truth.

The question is now - do I post this, or delete it like I usually do? Oh, what the hell...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 11:48 AM

Snail, your continued bleatings for 'evidence' are irrelevant, get it?

Anyway, I agree totally that context is all, and that what goes on in an impromptu singaround or the back of a pub or whatever is often rough round the edges but usually rather wonderful. Singing for its own sake, and for the sheer joy of joining voices with other human beings is part of what makes us human. It's what goes on at the Tap and Spile in Whitby and the Middle Bar at Sidmouth and is something to celebrate.
My gripe comes when there's someone on the door taking money, and when something is advertised as entertainment; when the audience can't wander in and out as the music takes their fancy or leaves them cold. When something is being presented to the public as 'folk'. That's when we need to be critical and to see things through the public's eye. And what I have often seen makes my toes curl with embarrassment, to tell the truth (but of course, I've got no 'evidence' of that, so it doesn't count for our resident gastropod!).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:05 PM

Captain Ginger

Snail, your continued bleatings for 'evidence' are irrelevant, get it?

Or, to put it another way, there isn't any.

Must go and put in some practice in case I get a floor spot at the Royal Oak tonight. Looks as if you could be in for a good evening Captain; with a bit of channel swapping you can get Hollyoaks, Emerdale and Eastenders back to back.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:18 PM

Dave just seems to have a Mancunian determination to find any excuse to be miserable.


Errr, excuse me. I have never said I am miserable. I have never been miserable by nature. I am a very happy person as are most of the people I know and, as far as I know, most of the people of Manchester.

I am afraid I see this a very personal insult and would like you to withdraw that accusation forthwith. You don't know me at all. What right to you have to broadcast such libelous accusations on the internet?

And I am afraid that your attitude of completely disbelieving anything that anyone else says unless it fits in with your experience is becoming rather tedious. A bit like the politicians who say that there is no crime just becasue tehy have never been mugged.

Thank you in advance.

Dave.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:26 PM

Tell you what as well, snail, seeing as you seem to be hung up on the proof thing, I am happy to take the rap.

I never practice. I forget words all the time. I play guitar terribly and concertina even worse. I cannot hold a tune to save my life and I make sure that I mumble on for at least 5 minutes before starting a song. Every time I go to a folk club I feel slightly guilty about it but, what the hell, it's only folk music. Who gives a shit?

There. Enough proof for you? Can we get on now?

Cheers

dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM

Sedayne wont be surprised to find that I pretty much agree with what he says. When I went to a folk club for the first time in 1964 I was astonished that people could simply stand in a room and sing a simple song, tell a story and hold such great tunes. I have always enjoyed singing with others since the cubs and scouts.

Where Sedayne is most right is that the singing in small rooms is a lot of what folk is almost by definition and it can be both joyous and not much good.

Dave sums it up well from the other perspective, when we pay we expect value for money, maybe not great value but a bit. I think it is very difficult for Folk Clubs to provide quality and quantity every week for a long time. Whenits not very good and repetitive people stop going.

I really enjoyed Bellowhead, Pete Bog Faries, Duncan McFarlane Band, and Salsa Celtica but they seem a long way from the rest of us and from what ever we are trying to do.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM

Sedayne--

I'm not talking "mediocre." I'm talking hair-raising, teeth-clenching, nails on the chalkboard, shivers up the spine type stuff.

I don't care how little I paid at the door; I resent having to sit through somebody trashing my art form of choice. Self-expression is great, but what if you don't have a self to express? Poor old Faust spent all his life striving for just an instant of happiness, as did Hokusai, rather famously, and I may dig out his quote and post it, because it hits right between the eyes of this, "This is crap, but it's me, so here I go" school of it's all OK as long as we enjoy it thinking.

I don't want to "do it as well," I want to do it better. I want to do it better until my fingertips feel like they're going to drop off.

Oh, well. Guess I'm vocalizing up the improper dendrite. (After reading your erudite post, I couldn't lower myself to say, "Barking up the wrong tree.")

CC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM

And don't let Dave wind you up with false confessions. He's more than a bit good and he smiles.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:35 PM

Dave Polshaw

OK Dave, I apologise unreservedly. I should have said "Dave just seems to have a Mancunian determination to find any excuse to grumble.

As for your second post, Guido will be around as soon as he is available.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:38 PM

You really don't get it, do you?
Honestly, it's small wonder that BBC pundits can get away with their comments on folk when it has champions like you, Snail.
Stick your head out of your shell and read some of the comments on other threads - comments from people who actively participate in traditional music. Festivals are thriving, concerts are fully-booked but clubs - with a few exceptions - are dying on their feet because of the image they present. You may choose to bimble along and ignore this because you are lucky enough have a thriving club (one of those exceptions), but it isn't going to stop.
And one of the side-effects will be that the fewer successful clubs that survive will probably attract more punters from a wider area, which will make you crow all the louder about the glories of Lewes, but it won't be such good news for those who make their living from music, or for those of us who will find ourselves living too far from any decent club to attend, or for the youngsters who could have benefited from finding their music's roots via a good club, or for regional song or for many other things.
Anyway, this thread isn't about you and the Nirvana-on-Sea that is Lewes; it's about the legions of clubs on the critical list, and about the punters of all ages who have voted with their feet.
This evening I would love to go to a decent club. You know what? The nearest one is 40 miles away and I have neither the time nor the money to make the trip in the hope that there's something decent on. Instead I make my own music, listen to recorded music and go to whatever gigs I can find where I know there'll be decent music and I'll get my money's worth and not have to cringe or make excuses.
But, hey, what do you care? In your smug, complacent southern comfort, ignorance really is bliss, it would seem.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 01:11 PM

"Oh, to be in England, now that spring is here."

Then maybe I could figure out what the Hell Snail's second post up MEANS. P'r'aps I'm am better off not knowing.

Re. certain above remarks on what leads to a state of bliss, my all-time favorite washroom graffito is "Ignorance is STRENTH."

CC
Wondering if channel swapping is closer to wife-swapping or channel-surfing and who all those other people are.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM

:D Thanks, snail. Apologies accepted. Who's Guido anyway?

I think I may have spotted the main cause of contention here - A few people, including myself, have complained that there are some, repeat some, realy poor performers on the folk scene. Others seem to have taken that as a personal afront and taken it to mean that somehow the whole 'scene' is awash with crap artists. Although why people take offence at someone criticising such a vague concept as the folk 'scene' is beyond me.

Nothing could be further from the truth though. The majority of artists are professional in approach and standards. It is the odd few that spoil it. I don't think anyone could find anywhere on here that gives the impression that the folk world is full of buffoons who wouldn't know their arses from their arias. If there is such an impression given somewhere can anyone point me to it?

There seems to be a lot of over-reaction at some honest, down to earth, self critisism. And it is SELF criticism here. When we say that there are some bad performers we are not saying that from the outside looking in. We are, believe ot or not, in the same field as you, snail. Some less so and some much more.

The point is the folk world is not perfect, just the same as the rest of the world. No need to defend it. No need to feel in anyway threatened or insecure. No-one is naming names or getting personal because we are all too nice for that.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: mattkeen
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 01:48 PM

Great post Captain G.
That is an accurate statement of my experience too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 02:32 PM

"a solo performer can now command £200/£350 per night"

A handful of solo Big Names CAN get this (and more) at larger clubs. This is a more typical duo fee - but only for clubs that can afford it (less than 100)?

Some clubs never get near £100, and a lot can't afford £200, even for a duo.

I'd estimate that an average fee across the land for a solo artist not called Martin, Vin, Boo, Bernard or Clive would be somewhere between £100 and £200.

Say £150. Of which perhaps 50 are costs (mainly fuel, but insurance, instruments, strings etc. all add up).

So to make £16k you need to do 160 gigs a year.

There are about 300 clubs that book guests. Some have 52 guests a year, some only 1. The majority are 1 or 2 a month. We are currently researching this at the moment (I'm afraid I've not been as clever with my own records as I should have been), but if we carved it up as 75 doing 50, 75 doing 24, 75 doing 12, and 75 doing 6 for the sake of the exercise we'd get a figure of 6,900 paying club gigs per year.

We're trying to research the number of artists too. FolkandRoots lists about 1,380 acts, not all of whom want to play clubs (lots of dance musicians there, for example, plus big acts that almost no club could afford). Also the same people appear in different guises, so the number of club acts is far lower. There are 150+ pros/serious-semis on the Britfolk list, and perhaps the same again who are not. Plus perhaps the same number of 'local' people getting paid bookings at clubs.

If we hazard that there are about 450 acts chasing those 6,900 gigs, that makes about 15 gigs a year each.

Typical income £1,500 per annum. [nice].

Of course it doesn't work like that because first my numbers are probably pants, (and I can't use a calculator), and anyway some people work a lot, and some are content with a gig every couple of months. Plus there are festivals where you're paid for a full day, not just an evening, and CD sales, and a lot of people do other gigs as well as clubs such as village halls, arts centres and bars - plus many teach. And the vast majority have day jobs anyway (or long-suffering partners with day jobs).

But it is food for thought if you're interested in that kind of thing.

I've not kept records (I wish had) and I can't find my last calculation, but I think it was that about 150 clubs have either closed altogether or stopped booking paid guests in the last five years. There have been about 20 new starters, a few of which have folded within a year.

There are less than a dozen clubs who run workshops.

There are now about 150 singaround-only clubs, some flourishing, some struggling.

I'm not putting any kind of value on those figures.

Finally...

The tradition is two separate things. It is an activity, and it is a repertoire (and to a certain extent a style). The activity does not require the repertoire, and the repertoire does not require the activity.

If you draw a venn diagram, it is the central portion that is in decline.

The outer two portions are flourishing.

And the central portion is something of a mirrored ball.

From inside - once you have taken the plunge - it is almost impossible to see out - hence why people can seem to wear blinkers.

From outside - if you have no incentive to plunge - it can look uninviting. Repertoire/activity Folk is to an extent an acquired taste, and most who are happy in that space acquired that taste when it was sugared by being sexy. It's not quite so sexy now - but people do travel towards the scent, and by the time they arrive their appetites are well whetted.

So the task is to take the silver off the ball and open all the windows.

Tom

For the record I am happy in all three zones of the venn, and will continue to do what I can actively to support all three.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 03:36 PM

From the thread started today by Sarah the Flute, about the Proms :

Sunday 20 July, 10.00-12.00pm (before Prom 4)
Proms Folk Family Chorus
If you love singing and you'd enjoy learning some new folk songs, sign up for the Proms Folk Family Chorus. Or perhaps the Proms Folk Family Orchestra might be more your kind of thing.

The idea is to give family members – whether mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or grandparents – the chance to play music together. Everyone is welcome, from keen amateurs to those who've never played in an orchestra before.

So, GEFTP, now!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

You do surprise me Tom as these are the figures that we get quoted. Certainly the names that you mention would be at the top end of that scale but I doubt that we could expect to book a good, well known revival singer below the £200 mark. We are not a particularly big club in as much as the room holds 60 (fire regulations and all that)and average attendance is around 45, although we are well known on the traditional folk circut. A lot of the singers that we book are of the song carrier variety whose fees are usually a bit lower than those I mentioned.However running monthly with a few workshops and extra nights thrown in we do like to present about four major names and a couple of very big names throughout the year and that is when the £350 becomes the starting point. We have had that figure plus the hire of PA quoted and £500/600 + PA for duo's and solo singers has been requested. But if they can expect that figure from the Arts Centres..............


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 06:01 PM

What guests ask for, and what they get, are not always the same figure. A gate of 45 just puts you into the larger club category taken across the board of 450 (many - most? - of whom would never use the word Traditional in their title). Also, Repertoire Clubs like yours tend to have a more loyal membership, who reliably support guest nights, so can offer larger fees per seat average. Activity Clubs often have trouble getting regulars (who are more interested in playing than listening - which is fair enough) to turn out on guest nights, so offer lower fees. Concert clubs do have to pay top whack, but often don't break even. I could name a top concert club that could bank on 150 seats two seasons ago, but averaged less that 50 last time. Big Names, too. Not many artists would expect to get the same fees at a club than an arts centre - but there are other benefits to be had.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Mr Grumpy
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM

I really am driven to despair at the number of people who now seem to see folk music as entertainment to be consumed, and in respect of which they have consumers' rights.

How nice that there are a few people like Sedayne and the Snail who will champion the right of the ordinary to make music. Most of us are ordinary or worse.

It is delightful that there are dedicated experts who are prepared to be underpaid because the muse moves them. No-one would begrudge them a better living.

But the most important thing is the passion, not the need for remuneration.

It seems very sad that some who know much are so set on excluding the mass of us who are not up to their standards. The real heroes of folk music (I think especially of Martin Carthy) as far as I know always encourage, and never dismiss.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:31 PM

Quick 1oo


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM

I am just back from what is arguably one of the better 'small' clubs in southern England - Askew Sisters tonight did a superb evening to about thirty people ! The club manages on a mix of singers Nights , when EVERYONE pays £2 and Guest nights when EVERYONE bar the Guest act pays £4 . The singers nights support the guest nights , so that the agreed fee is guaranteed , regardless of actual turn out . We are fortunate that we do have a very good stock of competent floor singers who turn out most weeks , but we still have the people who cant even read a poem from a book without stumbling over the words , and the others who cant remember the first verse of a song ! For the most part , though , MOST of the floor singers do a well prepared and enjoyable set of songs/tunes/whatever . For US , it works , and the people we do book always seem happy to come back !
For us , thats Good Enough !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 03:29 AM

But the most important thing is the passion, not the need for remuneration.

It seems very sad that some who know much are so set on excluding the mass of us who are not up to their standards. The real heroes of folk music (I think especially of Martin Carthy) as far as I know always encourage, and never dismiss.


And of course Mr Carthy, good as he is, does it just for 'passion' and never asks for remuneration. Clubs should of course just do it for the passion as well. Charge the price of a pint. Pay the artists peanuts. After all, it's only folk music isn't it. We shouldn't pay real money. Just do it for the passion.

Listen, no-one is about excluding anyone as far as I can see. Everyone bar none has the the right to warble, twang or mis-beat their drum to their hearts content. It's fine on a singers night as long as people know what to expect. But do you think that even St Martin would be happy if his support act on a 1000 seat concert was me? Tell you what - he may be the first time, but when only 500 people turn up next time he wouldn't be. When there were only 100 the next. When he couldn't get gigs at all...

Sorry but we can't, on the one hand, expect professional performances from the top artists and then, on the other, say money doesn't come into it. And poor performers should stick to the venues where they are welcome and where the audience is, like me, easy to please.

Cheers

Dave.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 03:34 AM

"I really am driven to despair at the number of people who now seem to see folk music as entertainment to be consumed, and in respect of which they have consumers' rights."

The singaround and the session are both participatory events where standards are determined by what those taking part are capable of and want. There is no consumer - all involved are producers. Essentially they are private parties others can poke their heads round the door of but have no rights in any meaningful sense to make demands about.

The concert is an event where someone determines they are going to charge a fee for members of the public to listen to music. As consumers, those members of the public have every right to complain if they are served up a bag o'shite. Is it the case that 'folk' is exempt from the normal accepted standards one would hop for from any other musical genre? Why so?

The folk club appears to be a late twentienth century anachronism that wants to straddle the two: it wants to charge admission to the public as in scenario two but wants the standards and expectations of scenario one to apply. Some folk clubs are clearly better than this. However, when I am forced to think about folk club folkies, I am reminded of aging teds swaggering along the front at Southend on a wet bank holiday weekend. The two groups are probably about as relevant as each other.

And increasing number of young people who play and listen to traditional music don't bother with folk clubs or set up their own alternatives. After all, folk clubs are what grandad like. That's healthy - better that the musical baton is passed on than allowed to rot in the hands of those who were carrying it a generation or two ago and still believe that their way of doing things is the only acceptable way.

By all means enjoy the clubs, but please don't assume that they are all there is and don't get your knickers in a twist when some of us point out that there is more to traditional music than the remaining remnants of your 1960s and 1970s youth movement.

The raw, the young, the untutored, the passionate, the enthusiastic, the experimenters, the mistake makers, the ones that make you say 'what a bleedin' racket' and all the rest of them WILL get out there and some of them will become the Martin Carthys and Eliza Carthys of tommorrow. They probably won't be doing it round at grandad's place, though. Why would they want to?

Lastly I return to 'Mr Grumpy's view from the bridge, quoted above. Please read his whole post for context, but his words are far more elitist and excluding than anything those who argue that having professional traditional singers is a good thing say: he would exclude from this music the entire public who cannot or will not play an instrument or sing. Folk music - the scene that celebrates itself and assumes no-one else is good enough to have an opinion.

Good enough for folk? I don't know. Beyond criticism? So it would seem.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 04:07 AM

OK Mr Grumpy.....you have a right to criticise, you clearly have a vision of how things should be, are YOU doing anything to support your view of the world....do YOU organise any events along the lines you suggest?

I repeat the same challenge to Captain Ginger....who I note hasn't replied to this point raised with him (I assume) earlier. What are YOU doing to change things?

Ewan Spawned a monster....are YOU doing anything constructive or just spouting hot air?

My point here is that both participative and "concert" events are part of the folk/ trad world. We should stop moaning about how others organise things and if we think we know better use that energy to create new opportunities for both participative and "performance" events......oh and spend some time thinking about the marketing (i.e. how to make these events attractive) to those outside our immediate clique.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM

Benjiman, your challenge is a good one as long as 'doing something' doesn't mean 'running a folk club', because not everyone wants to run a folk club and its only one of many ways to skin a cat. I *am* doing something as it happens. It relates completely to making folk music, but it is not happening within that particular sub-genre of folk music, the folk club scene. As soon as I'm ready to share it with the world and not a moment before I will do: unless it turns out not to be *good enough*, in which case I'll have the good grace to keep it to myself. I imagine many in the folk club world - though probably not you, Benjiman - will not greatly approve.

"My point here is that both participative and "concert" events are part of the folk/ trad world"

So is mine. My 'issue' is with the third and probably smallest sector of Tom Bliss's venn diagram above (his post was a very helpful contribution to this discussion) the *folk club*. Many of its proponents here on Mudcat and elsewhere seem to think their corner of the folk world is the only one that counts for anything. The rest (the larger part) of the folk world are just seen as opportunists hanging on the coat-tails of the great god of folk - the folk club. Without the folk club, the mantra goes, none of them would exist. Poooph! That was the sound of scores of musicians and singers disappearing in a puff of smoke. Oh. It didn't really happen.

Folk clubs are ideal for those that like folk clubs. Good luck to all of you: I for one would hate to do anything that might spoil your enjoyment of something that is so obviously precious to you. I'm not going to start a campaign to get you shut down or set up pickets or turn up and shout obscenities. You're safe from me. But please do not assume the 'folk club scene' and for want of a better term, 'the folk scene' are symonymous, or that everything that exists beyond the hallowed walls of this peculiarly british and musty institution is wrong, irrelevant or a threat.

Before we know it bridge club members are going to be going round telling people who attend whist drives and poker schools that they are playing cards in the wrong way.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:52 AM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster

Beyond criticism? So it would seem.

According to Tom Bliss there are around 300 folk clubs booking guests in the country. I would reckon that means at least 1000 people working as as organisers. I'd be interested to hear if any of us actually made any money at it. I think, at most clubs, the organisers pay on the door like everybody else.
I'm sure we'd all welcome constructive criticism and useful ideas.

What we get is -

Nigel Spencer:

the half-arsed, the lazy or the can't be bothered.

It's all a bit sad really. No, not sad. Pathetic. Insular. Smug. Self defeating. Short sighted. And so on.

What I do see here is a insular, hermetically-sealed world, shot through with bile and rancour and willing to atrophy rather than engage with the outside world. What I see is a scene that hates its young and resents everything they are trying to acheive.


Captain Ginger:

the "it's folk, so who cares" brigade

I repeat: there exists among some in the folk world an attitude that crap performances don't matter because it's only folk.

the procession of the half-dead and the tone-deaf up the pub stairs to the local folk club and the dreadful bleatings and twanglings that they hear therefrom.

In your smug, complacent southern comfort, ignorance really is bliss, it would seem.


Diane Easby:

your "regulars and residents" are still unable to tune, find an appropriate pitch, remember the words or perform PROFESSIONALLY

Then I'm told -

not to bridle at imagined slights and be so stubbornly determined to take comments personally.

Well, how could I.

All this from people who wear it as a badge of merit that they hardly ever go to folk clubs.

Bring us your suggestions and ideas. Help your local club with the administration. If you haven't got a local folk club, start one. Come and help put the chairs out, pay your ticket so all those struggling professionals can earn an honest crust. Do a floor spot so we can hear how it should be done. Come and drink the landlords beer so he looks favourably on us.

But if you can't do anything to help, GET OUT OF OUR WAY.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM

Again the Snail makes the mistake of assuming that "do it my way or piss off" is a reasonable position to take.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:00 AM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster

Many of its proponents here on Mudcat and elsewhere seem to think their corner of the folk world is the only one that counts for anything. The rest (the larger part) of the folk world are just seen as opportunists hanging on the coat-tails of the great god of folk - the folk club. Without the folk club, the mantra goes, none of them would exist. Poooph!

I didn't get anywhere with asking Captain Ginger to back up his accusations with evidence but can you produce a single quote that remotely reflects that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:02 AM

Bollocks Ewan.

Snail has being told how clubs should run (ie. they must not have artists that do not come up to the perceived standards of those who don't even go there) and is asking to be left alone if that's all these others have to offer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:11 AM

BTW, Snail, I will give you the evidence I've seen offered in these threads that amateur GEEFers mess the scene up for everyone.

1. That a very competent singer played on radio can attract negative comments from a BBC presenter.

2. That a professional main stage act did get pissed and mess things up on stage.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:25 AM

Ewan Spawned a Monster... No you're quite right, I don't mean you have to run a folk club...folk clubs are but one spoke in a big machine. For me locally, it is the most effective (and thoroughly enjoyable!) thing I can do. With the big plus that it is walking distance from my house!

We tend to get out and play both regionally and increasingly nationally in pubs, "acoustic" nights, festivals and folk clubs...it is great to have one night a month when we can relax, listen to some other excellent musicians/ singers in the "concert" and then play a few songs/ tunes with our friends in the singaround and stumble home afterwards! Luckily for us there are enough like minded souls that this is viable. We do attract a few normal people as well as "folkies"....some of them do find the singaround a little challenging (depending on who is performing what) but as the income from the folk events is helping to keep our local village pub open they do forgive any eccentricities.

You're quite right, I approve of anything that helps to get the music out there. I am glad to hear that you are organising something, especially if it is "outreach" work! Folk/ Trad music deserves not to be locked away. By the way it's BAnjiman not Benjiman.....I play a banjo (sorry...not very English Trad!!). I look forward to hearing about your event, when you are ready.

Anyone else feel motivated to back up their gripes (whatever they are!)with action?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:33 AM

Sorry Banjiman. About the name thing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:50 AM

Ewan

"Sorry Banjiman. About the name thing." Really, not a problem!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Mr Grumpy
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:18 AM

No, I did not suggest that people like Martin Carthy should not get paid.

I said, of the experts "No-one would begrudge them a better living."

When the test becomes if a performance is professional entertainment, then welcome to the Pussycat Dolls of folk music.

If anyone expects me to tug my forelock it shall not be happy that we part. How mighty some people must be that they cannot bear to be offended by the ordinary mortals. Do they carry fragrant scents to hold to their noses when forced to pass the common throng?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:20 AM

Although I might defend the folk club scene, or at least the scene in which I am involved, let me also stress that in any given year I will take in as much folk music at festivals, concerts, mini concerts, Arts Centres (while they were open in the East Midlands),Village Ventures, workshops and sessions (some of which I have found far more insular than any folk club)as time and money will allow. Taking in anything from Rory McLeod to Jeff Wesley - but 99%of the time I know where I'll get most satisfaction hearing it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:26 AM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster

I don't think the three people he cited are exactly *telling him how his club should be run*

No, they are damning the whole folk club scene (with a few honourable exceptions) to Hell on the grounds that it is responsible for the negative public image of folk music expressed by Matthew Parris (although it now all turns out to be Alex Campbell's fault, apparently).

Good luck with your venture. You will probably need some help along the way so it pays to work out who to be nice to. You won't get a lot of help from the likes of Nigel Spencer, Captain Ginger or Diane Easby.

And try and read people's posts before replying to them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:36 AM

I do not understand why people are so argumentative about what is right or wrong about live music (not, I do not use the word Folk).
If somebody decides to run an evening of live music, be it sing around, session, concert, open mike, then it up to them to decide how its run and whether they will charge entrance fee or not. The same applies to whether performers (in its broadest sense) get paid or not.
We should all be working together to keep music alive.

I have always run Concert style events and for me that's the way it will always be at Faldingworth Live.
I do attend other folk clubs and the odd Folk festival.
I attend regularly the Gainsborough Folk Club (of which I am a member), which is primarily sing around with the occasional guest. I enjoy going there as it has a very good atmosphere, with a good variety of music, comedy and good family type environment amongst friends.

I don't sing or play any instrument. As such I am part of the listening audience as well as organising.

Wise up guys and support live music in whatever shape or form it comes in.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:52 AM

Blimey, what a mess there is after Snail has been throwing his toys all over the Sussex countryside. Can someone smack his bottom and give him something to caterwaul about?

There are a number of people doing stuff throughout this land with trad music in a way that attracts people (especially younger ones) who wouldn't be seen dead in an old-style "f*lk club" after prior horrendous experience and hostility. "Ewan" (and his ilk) who are setting up alternative projects and venues can rely on my support.

And I'd thank the Snail to try taking his own advice to actually read posts before replying. But he won't. It would ruin the old, old, (imaginary) story of his perpetual whinge.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:04 AM

Surely Diane, you'll be far too busy organising the Thirsk racecourse festival. How's it going so far? Got a date planned?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:11 AM

Won't happen till 2010 at the earliest, depending on funding. Plenty of time to save up your pennies.
Meanwhile, I've delegated the bottom smacking, haven't I?
That's the great thing about originating a project - you get to choose the more congenial tasks for yourself.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM

Just a light hearted observation.....do snails have bottoms?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM

You mean to say that you don't fancy smacking a snails arse (er bottom) Diane :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:38 AM

Banjiman

Just a light hearted observation.....do snails have bottoms?

Diane wouldn't know. She thinks snails are crustaceans.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM

Putting aside the issue of professional (i.e. people who you pay to listen to) performers for a moment, I would suggest that anyone who wants to perform in public (I'm not talking about singarounds with mates here) should first indulge in a little honest introspection. In my experience, most people want to give the best performance that they are capable of and don't like making arses of themselves (or getting them smacked - in public at least), and a good way to do this is to first record your performance – there are some reasonably-priced digital recorders available now that give excellent results.

Then you need to ask yourself some hard questions:
"Do I like what I hear?"
"Am I as good as I thought?"
"Am I as good as I can be?"
"Am I as good as I want to be?"
"Will people enjoy what I do?"
"Do I care?"

And, to my mind, most important of all:
"How can I improve?"

What you do with the information you glean is up to you; for me it was both reassuring and depressing, but now I won't perform a song in public without taking the test.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:23 AM

Sorry, couldn't resist. I googled "snails' bottoms". With apologies to any Lewes residents reading.

From small-life.co.uk, a website for fanciers of stick insects and other smaller 'pets':

MYTH EXPLODED

MYTH: "Don't keep snails because of the risk of meningitis"

Wrong! It is safe to keep snails as pets and in school. The CLEAPSS organisation (concerned with science in schools) agrees and also dispels this myth on their website. The meningitis claim was silly research, based on the consequence of people licking snails' bottoms; this is clearly absurd because no sane person would do this.

From a blog about Pangasinan cuisine:

"When they are ready to cook, the snails' bottoms are patted down
with a heavy flat sandok (wooden spatula for serving rice) until
hey break."

Apparently the snail has both an anus and an excretory pore as shown here: Where do snails keep their bottoms?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:28 AM

Nigel,

You are a sad, sad man........very funny though. Good to see you back as well.

Brian, really sorry I started this! I'll be more careful with the questions I ask in future.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:43 AM

No problems with anything you've said Paul and even if I did, you are one of the people who are actually doing something to promote folk music rather than sitting at home whingeing.

Bryan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM

And if further evidence were needed, Youtube is ever dependable!

'My Snail Takes a Shit'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:39 AM

Sedayne.....and your just sick!!

See you next month.

Nice one.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Earl
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:42 AM

I have just remembered something that Diane told me about in another thread some time ago. I think it is occasions such as this that cause Diane to come out so strongly against Folk Clubs.

I can,t recall which thread it was but it may have been one of the Sidmouth debates following the withdrawal of the Mrs. Casey organisation.

As I recall Diane had seen one of the younger popular bands working with "Trad" material at a concert or festival.The concert I understand was excellent and subsequently some members of said band were booked to appear at a club" Diane was able to get to.

The "club" night turned out to be a great disappintment because of what I believe was a poorly organised club and a elow expectation performance from the artists.

To compound the problem I recall D saying she had taken a friend who was thoroughly disappointed and said " Wouldn't be seen dead" in such a place again.

If I'm mis-remembereing and it was someone else who said it I aplogise but it still seems to be the sort of thing that Diane is on about.

Yes it would have been whichever club it was showing the worse side of itself and they should not expect to have any sort of ongoing success if all their nights are to be of such a poor standard.

No the base from which we down in Sussex are coming from is that the club scene should and can be lot better than the very unhappy night mentioned above and we think we are and strive to be even better.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:57 AM

Where else but in a folk club could I get up and sing the Goffin / King classic Up on the Roof shoehorned with no apparent logic into the middle of The Copper's Innocent Hare (as I did last night at Fleetwood) and get applauded for it, however so politely?

This isn't a rhetorical question by the way, I really need to know because I'm not sure if I'd get away with it a second time...

But, when this old world really starts getting me down, I just take a look at the old Thirsty Monkey and I'm smiling again...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:02 AM

Like I say.....really sick!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:09 AM

Snail, you are so right. We run our "Sing and Play" evenings and we break even most all the time but sometimes it costs us money(subsidising, travel, hosting, advertising,etc.) but we happily regard it as paying for our indulgence of enjoying a variety of good, live music throughout the year; in exactly the same way a member of a tennis or golf club does not expect to make a profit .
                                                       John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:24 AM

Sorry to move away from the fascinating discuss of your bottom, but Snail, you shouldn't be so quick to assume that those who don't subscribe to your viewpoint are "doing (nothing) to promote folk music (and) sitting at home whingeing" - unless of course you know them and know what they're doing or not doing. They may have all sorts they are working on but are simply not at a stage to discuss them on a public forum yet. Like I said earlier, there is more than one way to skin a cat and there might be some heavy duty cat skinning going on behind the scenes.

Sorry to be so gnomic about this - I'm sworn to secrecy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:29 AM

Ewan,

Don't mention cat skinning, Sedayne is bound to find a video......


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:40 AM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster - PM

you shouldn't be so quick to assume that those who don't subscribe to your viewpoint are "doing (nothing) to promote folk music (and) sitting at home whingeing"

They are free to tell me I am wrong and have been challenged to do so.

You seem to be happy to make unsupported statements. Would you care to respond to my post of 11 Apr 08 - 06:00 AM?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM

or skinny dipping


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: henryclem
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM

There seems to be an assumption that Folk Clubs close down purely because they no longer fulfil a need - they don't satisfy or inspire, they fail to attract or retain audience or supporters. Things are never that simple. A change of landlord anyone? One of the best attended, best publicised of clubs in our area closed last year so the new owners could squeeze a few more restaurant tables into their village pub. This was a club which attracted a lot of people from the immediate vicinity and who had not previously been habitues of the folk scene.

You can blame the economics, perhaps - young people tend to spend more and if they are not attracted to the club (or session) then the bar takings from an ostensibly successful gathering (in terms of numbers) can look pretty disappointing to someone wanting to maximise their investment.

And it is true of most clubs I go to that the overwhelming majority of regular attenders are older - so it's 1 drink each half of the evening. The generational thing is unfortunate, not deliberate - I often take my son and some of his friends along and they are amazed at the amount of music they hear, and its quality. They'll buy the CDs, and even go to concerts, but are very unlikely to come along again unless it's with me. Yet they get just as much out of a Singers' Night as they do from a Guest one, so the oft repeated contention that younger people respond more to a few negative moments than to a lot of positive ones may well do them a disservice. It's almost as if they feel they have to be invited, because it is someone else's club ... however enjoyable they find the music.

As for quality thresholds for guest nights, I am sure most hosts are well aware of the qualities of their regulars and the appropriateness of inviting them to perform. Floor spots (around here at least) are usually one song or tune, maybe 2 for duos/groups, and there are limited opportunities on a guest night anyway. Most professional artists stay and listen to the floor spots; in my experience this encourages better performance (and better preparation beforehand). This is still a sharing thing, too, because on the one had it offers encouragement, advice, and endorsement, and on the other it can provide new songs/tunes or interesting approaches to old ones.

Biggest problem, as far as I see it, is that the only way to get a younger audience into the folk clubs is to introduce an upper age limit ... we'll all have to go somewhere else .

Henry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM

you are one of the people who are actually doing something to promote folk music rather than sitting at home whingeing

Don't you dare accuse all who don't fit with your Utopian view of folk clubs as people who sit at home whingeing. I have been helping to run Swinton Folk Club for as long as it has been going, nearly 30 years, as a resident singer, doorman, treasurer and general dogsbody. For 25 of those years I have also run an annual festival. In my time I have booked people like Martin Carthy, the Corries and the Oyster Band. Btw - We sold 75 tickets for Martin and fitted them all in a 50 seat room. It was tough and very sweaty but Martin was a good friend of the club and we wanted to make sure he went away with a bonus!

But lets not name drop either. Have you ever arranged a day of traditional entertainment for a school of young people with severe disabilites? Have you ever stood in the open hold of a redundant trawler on Salford Quays in the pissing rain, singing shanties to an audience of three men and a dog to support your local councils effort to promote folk music? Do you arrange concerts and ceilidhs when you know that if there is a shortfall you make up the difference out of your own pocket?

But, again,I don't want any thanks or glory. Never have, never will. And from what little I know of the other people you are slagging off they are pretty much of the same ilk as me. Believe it or not we do know what are talking about. We have paid our dues and are entitled to our opinions as long as we continue to support live music. When we stop living in the real world and start to believe that everything in the garden is roses it will then be time to hang up our gloves.

Now, please, will you just stop with the insults, stop harping on about how good Lewes is and just accept that the 'folk world' is not all banks of primroses and punch bowls? There are flaws, there always have been, there always will be and sticking your head in the sand is not the best way to make them go away.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:08 PM

No problems with anything you've said Dave and even if I did, you are one of the people who are actually doing something to promote folk music rather than sitting at home whingeing.

Bryan

P.S.

What have I said about Lewes on this thread? What do Nigel Spencer, Captain Ginger (aka Ewan thingy) and Diane Easby actually do apart from slagging off ALL folk clubs? It's you they are attacking as well as me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Gervase
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:10 PM

Er, at the risk of intruding on private grief, well said Dave Polshaw. From the point of view of one who used to go to a lot of clubs, but who now lives in the wilds of West Wales, my sentiments are with Diane, Dave P, Ewan thingumibob and Captain Ginger. The club scene overall is a curate's egg which, I'm sure, appeals to the converted hugely. But as a draw for the unconverted - no thanks! There are too many 'shaky eggs', 'read it from the book and still panic' and otherwise odd people for my liking, and it's not something to which I'd wish to introduce a neophyte.
OK, From my own experience, there's a handful of great clubs - Sharp's, Maidenhead and Herga to name but a few - but there are lot of truly bloody awful ones for whom the grim reaper can't come soon enough. I've sat through some dire evenings of naff 'performance poetry' and people trying and failing to do Steeleye covers and thinking that just because they sing through their nose it's folk to realise that the club scene across the UK is far from well.
I've not been to Lewes, and I'm sure (knowing Dave Earl and having huge respect for his judgement) that the Snail's club is excellent, but he does seem to be fixated on his own turf. There's a big wide world beyond Sussex, and there are some dire things going on out there. The people on this thread who are being accused of pissing on the parade are actually speaking a few home truths. Some of you may be lucky enough to live within staggering distance of a superb club, but many of us don't.
So stop squabbling and bickering and at least accept that there is a real need for a good, long think about the state of trad music in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM

The club scene overall is a curate's egg which, I'm sure, appeals to the converted hugely

So it serves a useful purpose then.

But as a draw for the unconverted - no thanks!

Come up with something that does then. Start, I don't know, maybe a concert club to run alongside your local "GEFF" site and maybe have some co-operation between the two.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM

Gervase.....you make some useful observations.......but are YOU doing anything to change things?

....it's really easy to sit and type negative comments about the stereotypical "Folk Club" (like most stereotypes there is some truth in it but it is not the whole story). It's much more impressive to use that energy to create something that you can be proud of and you think will appeal to others, especially the unconverted.

Please read this as a friendly challenge...but a challenge none the less.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 06:03 AM

We are ALL doing something to promote folk music, Bryan. You are doing it one way, other people would rather promote concerts and festivals. There is plenty of room for good clubs and there are plenty of good clubs about but there are are aslo plenty of poor performers who believe they are promoting folk as well. They are not. They are deluded to believe that reading obscure self penned dirges out of books and singing through their noses is entertaining for other people. But don't get me wrong, these people are entitled to perform somewhere. I have no right to stop them. All I am saying, and I think that others may be in agreement, is that they should be kept away from the general public.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

All I am saying, and I think that others may be in agreement, is that they should be kept away from the general public.

I disagree. What you do in your club is your affair. If another club wishes to allow such singers they have every right to do so.

---
I do have my own dislikes with smaller (which interest me more than concerts one btw) clubs but none come down to the performing ability of the individual.

1. I can get irritated by say can't be bothered to use guitar tuner, haven't worked out what key I do the song in, etc. This isn't lack of skill, it's just sloppiness.

2. I sometimes feel clubs can degenerate into "mutual admiration societies" where a core are only really interested in themselves (oh and the guest if they happen to have one). The standard of this core could be excellent for all I care. It's the feeling I can get, nothing to do with what I hear.

3. Personally, rather than filter out, I wish MCs would balance what they have. Three sets of (I suppose I wouldn't know) three well done Dyan/contemporary American style performers is likely to be far more painful to me than even a slightly out of tune Wild Rover.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 06:53 AM

Hi Jon - I can see what you mean when you disagree but maybe I didn't quite put across what I meant. I do not include what goes on at the folk club in general, particularly on a singers night, as 'the general public'. In my experience very few members of the general public come into folk clubs. So when I say keep them away from the general public I mean they shouldn't perform where a number of 'newbies to the folk scene', for want of a better term, would be put off. It makes sense - You don't let someone drive a bus until they are fully competant. Why let them drive your concert? :-)

I said before, and snail laughed at me for doing so, that when someone I do not know comes into our club for the first time I ask if they have been to a folk club before. If they say no and it is a singers night I will explain what goes on. I am more than happy to say that not everything they hear may be to their taste but if they persist they will find something they like. You, for instance, may not like one of our regulars who does primarily contemporary music but the person sat next to you could well dislike my rendition of The Oyster Girl. It's what makes life interesting. I don't think either of you would like someone who did nothing but forget words and sing out of tune. But at least you would both know what to expect. You because you are a folk club regular and the person next to you because I had set their expectations correctly.

To say that everything in the folk scene is rosy is wrong. To say it is all crap is wrong. There is good and bad in it just like there is good and bad in everything. All that people, including myself, are trying to do is get that across but because we are doing so we are, apparantly, just a bunch whingers who do nothing to help. Beats me.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 07:01 AM

I think we might agree after all, Dave. Thanks for that last post.

I'll never be running a folk club and even if I did it would be at the informal open end of things as that's where I enjoy folk most...

But if I was running a more concert style club, charging a reasonble fee on the door etc. it's unlikely that I, personally, would not wish to have some policy regarding floorsingers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 07:02 AM

This is for Paul.

Hi mate,

Like you I'd want to encourage people to start up clubs, but I'm not sure it's really fair just to say 'if you don't like it start your own.' The 'market' for folk is quite small, and many people already have an incumbent club in their patch. Starting another may just not be a sensible option - plus it's something not all have the gift or time for. It may be better to try to turn round a struggling club (point taken Henry about reasons for closure - though many manage to overcome those challenges on a scarily regular basis) than start from cold. There is an old saw in businesses; 'if you like what we do tell others, if you don't, tell us.' At the end of the day a club's 'success' (by whatever criteria you choose) comes down to the organisers, and above all the MC. It's all about the way a club is promoted (putting the right label on the tin and making sure people read it), how standards are managed (tact, encouragement, growth) and the welcome/charisma on the night. Last night I was in Robin Hood's Bay. The core 'folkies' are few - most of the audience are people who are still eating when the club starts and can't escape! But Jim does a fantastic job explaining what's happening and why - and they all stayed, sang, clapped and a good few bought CDs. On lady even plucked up courage to join in and sang Killing Me Softly - to thunderous applause. (She'll come again, she said).

KYFC is a really excellent example of a new start-up. Original thinking married to some time-tested ideas in a winning formula. But not everyone has the benefits of your location, personality and team.

I'm proud to count a large number of club organisers as close friends and I have massive respect for what they/you do. But I've sat long into the night with some, discussing the problem which has caused the rancour in this thread. It's really hard to balance the conflicting demands of this participation/performance equation, and though most manage it really well, a few don't (some don't think there's a problem, some do but have no idea what to do about it).

The solution, for me, is a gently pro-active approach to growth. There are ways that weaker performers (I believe we're talking about visitors rather than guests here) can be brought on. And there are things that can be done to bring newbies into the fold, even if their initial reaction is very negative.

I've put some of them onto the folkWISE tips page. What I'd prefer to see in this thread is ideas on how to solve the issue within the existing framework. I'm happy to add them to my page (I've added a few since this thread started). Then new starters can also benefit from that wisdom.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 07:28 AM

Tom,

Thanks for your (as usual) useful contribution.

I am not suggesting that everyone should start a folk club....but I am suggesting that if you are not happy with the status quo you should do something pro-active to change it, or at a minimum provide constructive feedback in an appropriate way not just knock others' efforts.

There have been a number of responses on this thread and I have had a number of PMs from people who felt they should respond to this challenge.....and what a wide and wonderful set of ideas and projects there are out there (some in the conception stage, some coming to fruition). These go way beyond the folk club format, from new approaches to concert promotion to recording projects (and I've found some new, unexpected collaborators....watch this space!). I'm hugely reassured by this and the positivity these projects are generating....

What annoyed me (only slightly....life's too short!)about this thread were people who were knocking the hard work of others without presenting positive alternatives....this is just a waste of energy. Constructive feedback is fine....non-specific negativity is not.

Tom, to answer your point on the market, I don't agree that the market for folk music has to be small....the folk club attendee market maybe small (at present) but this (as you have pointed out)is but a subsection of a wider market. Presented properly (and amended where required) there is no reason why the folk club sector cannot be grown, as with any other market...you just need to get the product and its marketing right....

I agree about The Dolphin, they very positively overcome some unique challenges .

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 08:42 AM

Yes indeed, I should have said the 'market*' is _currently_ quite small.

The most important thing for a new club is to have reasonable success from the off, from which they can grow, otherwise they may fizzle out very quickly. But if that success comes at the expense of another club it can generate other problems.

I think we'd all like to grow the folk 'market' as a whole - even if some baulk at the application of that word. I do use business terms about the folk world deliberately, by the way. The reason is that the 'traditional' engine of the 'activity' element of folk has fallen behind somewhat in England - for reasons we all understand. It would be lovely if we could just snap our fingers and go back to the 60s, and let things happen as we'd all prefer, with the music and the people being enough.

But in the 21st century, sadly, it is not.

However, other community-based, artistic activities have reversed decline by borrowing techniques from the commercial world - and I absolutely know it can work for folk... As long as people do not react to the very idea in a quasi-religious manner, and send out the suicide bombers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 09:35 AM

One thing that 'Folk Clubs' in general have in their favour is the one thing that can count very heavily against them , and that is the overall politeness of 'Folkies' . If some one gets up on their back legs , wether as a floor singer on a Guest night , or at a Singers night and is Diabolically BAD , No one will say anything , just not be QUITE so enthusuastic in the level of applause .
I accept that it is NOT easy to tell someone that they need to do what ever is required to improve , but in my experience , it VERY seldom happens ! And when the same person , after TEN years (No Names ,No packdrill) is still TOTALLY surprised that at a singearound THEY are next after the person alongside then has sung .
No WONDER new attendees at some clubs are not so keen to come back !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM

Tom,

I have no problem with the use of "business" terms....but I'm sure others will. I think the usefulness of this terminology is that it allows precise communication.

I'm interested in one point you make....how do you think the location of KFFC (KYFC.....hmmmm, WHAT are you trying to say, KY, I think of a lubricant?) is a benefit? It seems to me that it is a problem to overcome, we are miles away from anywhere with no public transport?

As I have no memories of 60's folk clubs, I don't carry with me any expectation of what a club SHOULD be like....I just think I'm vaguely normal (some would dispute this) and have sought to create something I enjoy, assuming it will appeal to others as well....doing OK so far, but time will tell.....hopefully we can adapt and improve as required.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 10:03 AM

Sorry must have been a freudian kiss

Well, I was thinking maybe your isolation works to your advantage. First it's made you work hard at promotion because you had to (and you've been damn good at it too). Second it's a lovely village to venture out to, so people are more likely to make the trek (folkies like going somewhere nice), third you have a great pub which offers the best of olde worlde folke charme AND a smart almost 'arts centre' room in the same venue, fourth you have Phil who's up for it, sells good beer stays for the singaround, provides accom and serves breakfast on a waggon hubcap! I'd call that a top location.

Not so easy to find all that in Leeds.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM

Tom,

OK....point taken! Phil and the pub are great. We don't get much passing trade though!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 10:37 AM

and in a way the lack of passing trade almost works to your advantage too. You are targeting specific 'consumers', you know who they are, you can present them with a very specific 'offer.' In a city pub you never quite know who's going to walk in (or stagger as was often the case at one I know) and you need to try to cater for a wide range of potential tastes.

(Oh and re the business thing - before someone jumps down by throat - I'm well aware that many/most club organisers think in these terms, (quite a few run 'normal' businesses, after all), in fact that's where I got it all from anyway.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Silas
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 03:52 AM

Just been listening to the wonderful(imho) Brazil Family CD set. Wonder if Diane would consider them to be 'GEFF'?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 04:17 AM

The Brazil Family: Down By The Riverside is a Musical Traditions 3-CD set, done because Rod Stradling considered their work Good Enough. And as Keith Chandler writes in the notes:

"This really is the final harvest of the old tradition.  And this really is the most important commercial release showcasing the English tradition to have appeared in many a long day". 

This does not, however, deter the GEFFs hanging about beer tents from murdering the material collected therein.

What a peculiar question. It is utterly unrelated to the topic which appears to have been launched in a pathetic attempt to justify the existence of those who can't be arsed to present traditional material in the best possible light.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:10 AM

Wot Nigel Spencer said.

The opinions of the sensitive few on here insist we still live an agrarian or early industrial society that has never heard a radio playing swing, a television showing Mr Presley or an iPod loaded with pomp rock. The Eden of pure folk is comical, academically suspect, clubbishly thin skinned, impossibly rarified, outrageously snobbish. The beauty of the instrumentation and subject matter appeal to some of us, not some middle class historian dribbling into his Bladder's Old Twaddle and getting teary eyed at his own perfection.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:29 AM

The opinions of the sensitive few on here insist we still live an agrarian or early industrial society that has never heard a radio playing swing, a television showing Mr Presley or an iPod loaded with pomp rock.

The GEEF "arguments" have nothing to do with whether a piece is new or old (although reading froots, it seems at least on seems to thing it's releated to whether or not a piece is a museum piece, etc. It's about the standard of performing that work.

While many find relevance in older songs and/or enjoy them as good songs, I can't think of any who believe we still live in that era.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:41 AM

Dave Polshaw

I said before, and snail laughed at me for doing so,

Really? I don't recall doing so. You seem to be naking a habit of attributing other people's words to me and responding to what you imagine I have said rather than anything I actuall said.

To say that everything in the folk scene is rosy is wrong.

Nobody is.

To say it is all crap is wrong.

Several people are.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:43 AM

Dyslexia lures, KO.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:04 AM

"The GEEF "arguments" have nothing to do with whether a piece is new or old"

With respect that wasn't my point. A very few posters suggest, nay demand, that 'folk' should be the registered trademark of a homely kind of quasi-historical music or story telling and that it is necessarily more authentic and therefore somehow purer than other forms.

I'm saying that doesn't stand up as an argument. It might be galling that 'RnB' used to imply rhythm and blues before the 1990s, itself a compound of earlier forms. Times change, things move on. Music will stand up for itself or it won't, survive or whither. Purists saying 'it's authentic' didn't stop folk almost dying out first time around and not just against a trans-atlantic hegemony. Nostalgia is a form of romanticism, something I'm all for as it happens, but it makes a lousy platform for deductive logic.

If people want to have a singaround at their local club behind closed doors in front of consenting adults it's nobody's business but their's. If they mark it for public consumption the public will have their say. As Nigel suggests, the disapproval surrounding acts like Rusby or the Winterset can be had for any musical genre, proprietorial snorts in the face of upstarts and ingenues. I've always thought paying dues were a lousy substitute for inspiration, fun and a dose of talent.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:11 AM

I really don't want to fan the flames any further and I think I've generally said enough for one lifetime (and subsequently been quoted completely out of context enough for one lifetime...).

I'd just like you all to click the link to this thread Scan Tester Workshop at the Lewes Arms and carefully read Valmai Goodyear's post.

This sort of event is an excellent and admirable positive example of the sort of essential work that could be done by folk clubs to promote traditional music. It needs to be trumpeted from the rooftops as a shining example of how things maybe ought to be, not just in Lewes, but in every town and city across the country.

No wonder Bryan the Snail has such a postive view of folk clubs. He has this on his doorstep (and no doubt was involved in making it happen). I would feel exactly the same as he does, I'm sure, if I had anything like this anywhere in driving distance. I would probably also have the same level of annoyance he does at those whose put forward a contrary viewpoint.

Is anything like this happening in or around Manchester, I wonder? Whenever I look at the local listings I never see ANY evidence of this sort of thing. Maybe other Mancunian Mudcat users could point out to me that I'm mistaken, that it's staring me in the face or that I'm just looking in all the wrong places. I hope so. I doubt it, but I hope so.

(The cheap and easy answer is that if I don't like it, I should do something about it. Point taken, but... it's actually the answer to everything and is also a useful rhetorical device to stifle potentially healthy and in my opinion, much needed debate).

Can anyone please tell me I've got it completely wrong and what Bryan and Co are doing is actually the norm on the folk club scene? Have I just been incredibly and consistently unlucky?

I wonder whether the data Tom and Folk Wise are collecting could be the basis of a state of the nation report with good practice case studies? Or should we just accept things are as they are and that whatever that means at any given time is always 'good enough'? Can we learn, adapt and change and is it desirable or necessary to do so? Do organisers of successful, healthy clubs need to publish their secrets for success on the internet? Do people even agree what a healthy folk club is?

Would a national data base of folk clubs with a brief description of their modus operandi and their main focus and function be a good thing? Or should we wait for all but (few?) good ones to wither on the vine as the core membership leaves for the great folk club in the sky?

Beyond the rather polarised positions we take in order to more forcefully make our points, is such a debate a good thing? Is not having the debate about not airing dirty linen in public, a reflection that all is fine and dandy, sweeping the mess under the carpet or a side effect of complancy? Or none of the above?

And more importantly, am I going to really, really regret posting this as the 'shut the f*** up, you don't even like folk clubs' comments start?

In case there is any misapprehension, I ask these questions with all due respect, not least because I probably would go to a folk club if I could find one I liked reasonably near to home.



Cheers

Nigel (putting on body armour and tin hat)

PS I probably didn't make this clear in my earlier posts, but I absolutely love being in a small room populated by people of varying abilities and skills singing to each other for the sheer joy of it and even though I'm not a singer myself, try to get along to my local singaround when I can. However, I also think such private/semi private gatherings aren't really relevant to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:23 AM

A very few posters suggest, nay demand, that 'folk' should be the registered trademark of a homely kind of quasi-historical music or story telling and that it is necessarily more authentic and therefore somehow purer than other forms.

Where do you get this from and how does it relate to "GEFF".

As Nigel suggests, the disapproval surrounding acts like Rusby...

But what Nigel seemed to me to be suggesting was those that believe in "GEFF" were those that made negative comments about artists like KR, "hated" people doing music degrees, etc. and one followed the other.

The reality is some who do not agree at all with GEFF will make negative comments about certain artists, some that do go with GEFF will speak positively of or defend the same artists, etc.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:37 AM

Can anyone please tell me I've got it completely wrong and what Bryan and Co are doing is actually the norm on the folk club scene? Have I just been incredibly and consistently unlucky?

It's not something I came across when I lived in N Wales nor something I've heard of now I live near Cromer, Norfolk (and usually going to Norwich for music).

When it comes to looking for folk music (other than concerts), I think it can be useful to go to a couple of events you do find and asking around. I found an Irish session (the thing I hoped to find most of all) through going to the Norwich Folk Club. From that session, I learned of another Irish one, and then a couple of others, and now I know a number of people, could probably find much more to do than I know of if I wanted to,


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:37 AM

"(The cheap and easy answer is that if I don't like it, I should do something about it. Point taken, but... it's actually the answer to everything and is also a useful rhetorical device to stifle potentially healthy and in my opinion, much needed debate)."

Nigel, as always you have made some points that need making, however I have to disagree (in a friendly, constructive way) with your analysis of the "get off your backside and do something" comments I have made.

From my point of view this was not meant to stifle debate but to make people stop and think if there is anything they can do to improve the current state of trad/ folk music. I have to repeat I'm amazed and energised by some of the responses that I have had to this.....and let me make it clear (again), I'm not suggesting that everyone should start a folk club.

The responses have pushed me out of MY comfort zone....we will be trying some new approaches to presenting trad/ folk music in North Yorks very soon.....as well as continuing with the folk club (we had 40 in for a "blues" night last night, attracted a different crowd and many of them are promising to come back for our regular "folk" nights....not Arena sized crowds but enough to make the club viable).

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:39 AM

It's not something I came across

The workshops that is.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM

Eek, Paul... that comment about stifling debate wasn't aimed at you (it wasn't actually aimed at anyone, just a general observation to hopefully help move things along).

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM

Bryan has pointed out that I have picked up someone elses words as his. This caused me to believe that when he commented on people doing nothing to help folk music he was refering to me. He was not. He was refering to others on the thread and I will leave it to you to work out who. Sorry for the misunderstanding Bryan.

As to your latest accusation of me attributing other peoples words to you. Well, maybe I did. Without trawling back through countless threads similar to this, and to be honest I have neither the time or inclination to do so, I cannot furnish the 'proof' that you are so fond of asking for. My recollection is that when I mentioned that there were the odd poor performers at Swinton and that I did warn people who new to the club of that fact you made a sarcastic comment. Something along the lines of me doing a good job promoting my folk club?

Oh, and talking of my folk club, I am not one of the 1000 folk club committee members. I run a folk club with two other people. I organise and promote sucessful concerts and ceilidhs on my own. I am not and never will be a committee member.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:17 AM

Two issues are being interconnected here and they don't need to be.

We don't need another "What is folk" debate. There is only one answer and it's only the terminally unthinking who say otherwise - and ironically it sort of mirrors the "GEFF" debate. The unthinkng say that anything can be called folk.

Then there is the "Are you good enough" debate. Again, there is only one point at the core. Should the great and the good have the right to say who can sing, or not? It's pretty much on a par with the eugenics arguments, when the great of their times and places decided whou shouldbe permitted to breed and who should be sterilised.

It is ironic that pretty much the same people who say that anything can be called "folk" (or, in one case, a person who says that nothing shouldbe called "folk") argue that those who are not good enough should not be alowed to do it (whatever it is).

No-one is suggesting that today's western society is largely agrarian, nor, even in physical production of anything. Only the wilfully ignorant could suggest that that was the issue.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Earl
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:39 AM

Er what about this Brazil family CD set?

Are we saying it a proper "Tradarts" collection of music/song ( I haven't heard it)or is it only seen as GEFF?

Diane says that the nice Mr Stradling thinks it's "good enough" but I am not sure in which context she is talking.

Do you mean ONLY GEFF or that it is "good enough" to be called "folk"   ( I know D doesn't us that word but it does have some sort of meaning to some of us.

Enquiring minds (or at least this one) would like to know.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:47 AM

"There is only one answer and it's only the terminally unthinking who say otherwise - and ironically it sort of mirrors the "GEFF" debate. The unthinkng say that anything can be called folk."

Richard, please try and be a bit more constructive rather than just throwing around unneeded insults........ you seem to be suggesting that anyone who disagrees with your views is unthinking.

Do you really believe that is true?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:09 AM

Thanks Dave. I never thought there were any major disagreements between us so your post on Friday evening came as a bit of a shock.

Something along the lines of me doing a good job promoting my folk club?

I think that was intended as a bit of gentle leg pulling rather than sarcasm. If I caused offence, I do apologise. It just struck me that "Come to the Swinton Folk Club and we'll guarantee you something terrible" seemed to lack something as an advertising slogan.

I am not one of the 1000 folk club committee members. I run a folk club with two other people.

OK, Delete "committee members" and replace with "people who run folk clubs" throughout. We consider that we've got a committee (we have meetings and minutes and things like that).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Brian Peters
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:53 AM

I must say that a lot of the comment in the thread above is extremely familiar to one who's been involved with the folk scene for nearly thirty years, and taken part more than once in the hoary old 'Floor Singer Debate'. Why, my credentials even include having an article several years ago in fRoots magazine, on the subject of the folk clubs, described by the editor as "a masterly piece of fence-sitting". But sometimes the fence is the only place for the unprejudiced to sit. I've heard the most awful performances from floor singers at clubs, in more than one case resulting in paid-up punters leaving before hearing what I was being paid to offer them. On the other hand, within the last few months, I've played a number of well-attended clubs which by no means fit the description of moribund anachronisms, and heard performances from the floor ranging from good to excellent.

Tom Bliss made several good points above, one of which was that this music is not always easy (nor should it be) and is an aquired taste for many. I've certainly had the experience of taking 'outsiders' into clubs and having them curl up with embarrassment or froth at the mouth with rage, that they should have been subjected to "f***ing amateurs" standing up and contributing to the evening in a way they didn't approve of or understand. In at least one case, the outsider's anger was occassioned by floor performers who I thought had been rather good. So was he - a 'normal' member of the public - correct, and me - a long-time habituee of folk clubs - hopelessly deluded?

'Ewan' suggests that the problem would just go away if free singarounds or sessions were allowed to continue allowing all comers to contribute, while events commanding an entrance fee should (if I read him right) become, effectively, concerts presenting professionals only. But although that would cut out the "I didn't pay to hear this crap" syndrome, it would also have the effect of divorcing the best performers of this music from the kind of context in which the music evolved and for which IMO it's still best suited: the small-ish, semi-informal, acoustic setting. Without wishing to open the 'What is Folk' box of delights yet again, I'd say that "people making music for themselves" isn't too far off the mark. No-one kids themselves that folk club attenders are farmhands or fishermen, but the club concept is an attempt to retain the community music aspect alongside the desire to hear top-quality performance. Until someone finds a different way of squaring that circle, I'll be more than happy to carry on playing in friendly, buzzing, participatory folk clubs like the ones I've played recently in Lancashire, Suffolk, Kent, Berkshire, County Durham, West Yorkshire and South Wales - not to mention the Lewes Arms, which I'll be visiting again next year.

Oh, and I can't let this pass - "the essence of professionalism is to do what is profitable - and sod integrity" - without mentioning that as far as I'm concerned "the essence of professionalism" is about such things as turning up on time, playing for as long as you've been asked to (no more, no less), remaining sober, giving your best in performance, and being polite to people. Which of those principles is incompatible with integrity I'm not quite sure, but I daresay all of us can think of instances when paid performers haven't lived up to all of them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM

Thanks for the plug Nigel.

Could I just say, for those who complain about me "harping on" about the Lewes Arms, that, apart from a brief response to a question from Banjiman, this is the first I've had to say about it on this thread.

Our workshop series does make us a little different. We are fortunate in being a Saturday night club with the pub room available in the day. The bulk of the credit for organising them, although she will deny it, goes to Valmai.

Otherwise, we are a fairly ordinary club with a set of residents who are at least competent. If any of us, Sandra has star quality but no inclination to persue it.

We have theme nights and singers nights and tune nights and book guests ranging from the local to the (very rarely) international. We have floor spots. All very normal unless I'm missing something.

The only point that's really relevant is that we do not place any restrictions on floor spots. The sole criterion is to want to perform in fact, I would say we see that as part of the purpose of the club. People seem to worry about the effect of floor singers on the audience which rather forgets that floor singers are part of the audience (as are the residents for that matter). The opportunity (time permitting) to do a spot is part of what you get with the price of the ticket.

It works for us.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Saro
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:33 AM

I'm always a bit reluctant to get drawn into this kind of debate, but it does occur to me to wonder if there are ways in which the standards of performance can be raised, bearing in mind the legendary politeness of folk audiences and the absence of anyone who feels confident enough to have a quiet word in someone's ear and say, "look, you really need to spend more time learning your words/ getting your instrument in tune/ working out what key you need to sing in" or whatever. In the past I have known one or two people who have become unofficial mentors and who have had the rare combination of authority, wisdom and charm to say the right words at the right time, but it doesn't happen often.
In the last year I have been involved in running two workshops for Folk South West (both as part of a much larger event) which were more or less about the topic of presenting yourself well as a singer (I'm not enough of an instrumentalist to venture down that path). On both occasions I was a bit surprised at the level of questions that were asked e.g. "How can I work out what note I should start a song", "how often should I sing a song before I do it in public".... It is easy to be scathing about these things if you already know how to do it, but maybe there is scope for some fairly basic "performing skills" workshops as well as all the more advanced stuff. Incidentally, if anyone wants the notes from FSW on "How to do the perfect floorspot" send me a PM!
Right, I'm going to hide under the table now before people start throwing things at me!
Saro


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Brian Peters
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:49 AM

Good points, Saro, and I'd be interested to hear what others think of your mentoring idea. Even so, one of my points about 'outsiders' in a folk club is that some people are always going to be uncomfortable with amateur/informal/unaccompanied performers whatever their level of skill, and that there is no need to abolish the folk club to spare those people very occasional embarrassment.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM

We all err. We should all try to think.

If we avoid debating "what is folk" - as I suggested, then there was one piece of stupidity above that I was pointing out (alas directed to "what is folk"). A horse definitioner seemed to think first that 1954 definitioners thought that the only songs that should be sung were folk songs (which is not the case) and second that because there was no agrarian society any longer that meant the definition of folk song was wrong (which is obviously not the case).

What I was trying to point out is that it seems to be much the same people who say that everything is folk who say that not everyone should be allowed to sing it (whatever "it" is). Do you understand now?

As Martin Carthy nearly said, the worst think you can do to traditional songs is not sing them. Much the same is true of contemporary songs, certainly if they are to become folk songs. So people must be free to sing them.   They must be encouraged to sing them. If they are discouraged and sniped at, the songs will not be sung, and we will hasten to the land of the big-screen television.

I must come to your club sometime Snail, it sounds great.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM

Richard Bridge

I must come to your club sometime Snail, it sounds great.

You'd be welcome. Can't absolutley guarrantee you a floor spot. No big-screen television, No games machines. Anyone using a mobile phone inside has to buy a round for the whole pub.

Last night (Dearman, Gammon, Harrison) most of the residents (including me) and several potential floorsingers (including a couple we've booked as guests in the past) didn't get on.

Don't come next Saturday for Martin Carthy though; we're sold out.

(Sorry, but if people will give me the opportunity, I can't resist.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:28 PM

Richard,

I don't think the balance of opinion on this thread is saying that anyone should be discouraged from singing/playing....anything. In fact the contrary is true.

I do think that the opinion that context is important is receiving a fair degree of support though. i.e. there is a time and place for everyone to have a go but that isn't necessarily in front of a paying audience.

But clubs take different approaches...some do and some don't have floorsingers as part of the main event. I have no problem with this, different strokes etc. As a punter, you takes pays your money and takes your choice.

I personally attend a singaround club most weeks and run a performance club once a month (with a singaround in a separate room before and after the concert). These clubs are about 5 miles apart and 80 or 90% of the regulars from the singaround club attend as audience members (some have had support/ main guest slots) at the concert club. To quote the Snail..."this seems to work for us".

I don't think anyone feels sniped at or discouraged with this set up and lots of songs of different types are sung in lots of different ways by lots of different people.....and most of them regularly take the mickey out of my banjo (you'll be pleased to know)!!!!

If I have still misunderstood what you were saying, please use words of one syllable in the future:)

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:43 PM

Well I'm glad to hear you are not a discourager, Paul. But there does seem to be a coterie of countesses who assert: -

1) "Folk" is a dirty word
2) This is because the people who sing it aren't good enough
3) They are not good enough because they are not "professional"
4) As a result they alienate people
5) Drinking from a tankard or being a "folkie" furthers such alienation.

I do not accept that those people are entitled to sit in judgement on me or anyone else.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 01:27 PM

1) Folk isn't a dirty word but 1954 definitions do not close debate, neither in any arts or science. Only the wilfully perverse build those walls.
2) No strong feelings either way unless a paying public are invited, then 'folk' has to take its place on the popular cultural duck shoot.
3)There should be a place for people develop without ridicule. That does not mean lack of development is a worthy characteristic in music or human nature. There's a fine line between retarding a cultural tradition and preserving it. I won't take lectures from anyone proffessing certainty either way.
4)Alienation? Or just choice in an eclectic musiverse?
5)Drinking from a tankard, wearing a smock and the use of panchromatic trousers are for those untroubled by the problems of aesthetics. None are hanging offences.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 02:20 PM

I'm a bit worried about this obsession with trousers. First it was "swirly trousers" now it's "panchromatic trousers".

Where will it all end?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 03:27 PM

"Where will it all end?"

In tweed and fine tailoring with a bit of luck. I view those who get dressed up to 'do' folk with the same distaste as people who go to football matches with painted faces, wear yellow afro wigs at Wimbledon or 'comical' masks at the Oval, that is to say with a mix of pity, alarm and fear for their families.
The vague, unmotivated dress connotations that have attached themselves to 'folk' lead the public to believe the music may also be prone to specious claims on its listeners. Think war re-enactment without the palls of smoke or Trekkies with no Klingons bearing cornish pasties on their forehead. All a bit rum.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 04:06 PM

Sounds fascinating. Where does this happen? I buy my jeans at BHS.

Are you sure you're not getting confused with filk?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM

Good Lord, that sounds like an opium fuelled dilerium. I'm thinking of simple guides like never wear brown in town and blue and green shouldn't be seen together. Where are Trinny and Suzannah when you need them?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:07 PM

1) Fine, let's have another "What is folk" thread. Somewhere else.   The 1954 Definition may need to evolve, but horse definitioners cause in no distinctions betweentypes of music. It is not a matter of style.   The debate should preferably be between people who have read it first. Oh, and defintions do close debate in scinece. Go read the defintions of "Amp" "Volt" "Ohm", the standards for the defintion of the metre, etc. If a new defintion is to be proposed, it is necessary to formulate the problems with the old definition, suggst a new defintion, and argue the advantaages of the new. Simply saying "I don't like it and what I do ought to be called folk" is about as useful as the Monty Python theory of what a dinosaur was. Oh, and speaking of the "wilfully perverse" please tell the prime protagonist of the theory that there should be no such word. The GEFF debate is not about what "F" is, I think. Plenty of wince-making performers do mainly stuff that is not "folk" - often contemporary humorous songs like "The hash my father scored", or "The thieves of Peckham Rye".   

2) Works for me (except I'm not wholly sure what you mean by your reference to a "duck shoot". Where I come from some locals hunt ducks with crossbows to eat. If it's said to be folk, then people who don't like folk don't need to come. I quite like some reggae and ragga, but I'm not going to go to a concert advertiesd as such still less a rapper's open mic competition.

3) (a) Yes

3) (b) Different issue. If a tradition is a tradition then if what you do is not traditional then it's not the tradition (as I think Comhaltas hold, and look at the revivial over the last 30 years in Irish traditional music). There are two things about folk song. You can take it and perform it and arrange it as you wish. In that way in about the 60s the guitar became the prime folk music instrument. In that way the tradition does evolve without Comhaltas pickling in aspic. Secondly, if you look at the 1954 definition it allows for the adoption and evolution of composed pop music, and so too "folk song" evolves. "Tradition" is not the relevant workd in the second part of that evolution.

4) Don't tell me, tell the people who say some people should not be allowed to sing because they alienate people from "folk". As I think Adge Cutler and the Wurzels said "Don't tell I tell 'ee"

5) One person's aesthetics is another's convention. Personally I think ties look silly (but I still sometimes have to wear one). Surely we do not mock the convention or culture of another simply because it is alien to our personal mono-universe, do we (still)?   I always thought skin'eads looked ridiculous, sort of stick figures with clown shoes and wingnuts for heads.   I also understood why the skin'ead culture was. It was a revolution against the pretensions of "progressive music".


It does not lie in the mouths of the self-appointed to act as gatekeepers. Subject as aforesaid, delight to discuss it with someone who listens and responds rationally even if not in agreement with me.

But don't you think it odd that so many of the horse definitioners, after wanting to define the music they perform as "folk" then want to stop some people singing it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 05:23 PM

Followed that one learned Bridge until the last sentence. No intention of stopping anyone doing anything, least of all thinking they're the fairy at the top of the authenticity tree. Like I said, I have a taste for R and B but the cat is out of the bag on that one and RnB now consists of black girls in low cut dresses using 50 notes in a bar designed for 8.

Can't speak for the guitar as the preferred accompaniment to traditional song either. One would imagine it was the popular instrument among beatniks and was absorbed into the folk scene osmotically. More of a banjo man meself. So much of your stuff sounds like no-one understands me and a quick sniff of the smelling salts. I just don't think folk definitions came down with the other wize wordz from Sinai and therefore it has to bob about with the vying cultural artifacts for contemporary head space.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 06:02 PM

When Bill Caddick started the 'Rough Music' sessions at Bracknell Festival back in the Bad Old days , the ground rule was "Perform something that you would NEVER do in a Folk Club" Buggered me completely , 'cos there is NOTHING Musical that I have ever learned , that I would NOT do in a Folk Club - From Classical through to Ragtime and Ballads to Dylan !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM

Thank you Gg - glad you do not wish to strangle - but there are plenty, and plenty on this thread who say that we must not, unless we are good enough, otherwise the great consumers will not live us (bovvered?)

Difference with RnB or any other stylistic definition is that the style defines the genre. That is not so of folk. It is the music that comes from a particular view of culture if I may oversimplify, the music that evolved when mass media did not convey the music of the proletariat (including agricultural workers in that). Thus "folk music" was what had passed on mouth to ear. It works like "folk arts" "folk dance" "folk-tale" "folk medicine" etc etc.

If, with an open mind, you read the 1954 definition, you will see how it works. It also realates to what the musical encyclopaedias say (mostly).

I use no smelling salts (mostly alcohol) and am used to people not understanding, but it vexes me when people will not listen or read (but there I go again). Disagreement, fine (apart from on politics or religion) - but not wilful ignorance.

There is of course a modern vernacular music. But because it comes from a different well spring, it is not folk. It needs a name (like "new country") so that it need not steal one that is already taken.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:35 AM

"the fairy at the top of the authenticity tree"

Brilliant!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:57 AM

Living folk?
It's an uphill battle, I only go back 50 years and folk has been tagged to almost every acoustic genre with a proletarian disposition. Besides, it's already splitting into anti-folk, acid-folk and so on in response to didacticism and general grumpiness.

Much more sympathetic to you on the quality issue, one man's meat, etc. Some people got their knickers in a twist over the singing ability of the Unthanks. Criticise them for being cloned folkie Spice Girls appealing to male journalists of a certain age by all means but Rachel's creaky harmonies and buzz saw delivery are the most 'real' and appealing thing about them. Nothing unfolkie there, quality and kosher.
It's too much to hope in our intertextual, reflexive, digital times that any music won't annexe its fellow travellers. Where some see dissolution and rot I see hybrid vigour. Perhaps it's just the title that needs working on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM

Find a quiet moment and listen to this:

Snock - Hog of the Forsaken LIVE!

No point to any of the above really, just something beautiful to make y'all smile.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM

Okay - try this:

Snock - Hog of the Forsaken LIVE!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM

Thanks Sedayne,

That did cheer me up....rough & beautiful.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM

That is brilliant Sedayne. I was musing t'other day there aren't enough fiddle playing singers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:48 AM

Great and incontrovertible evidence of blue jeans not panchromatic trousers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:44 AM

Will take a camera to Whitby, Holmfirth, Shepley, Southwell, etc to prove trousers of varying hue are a feature of folk scene and not my imagination. Inappropraite head wear is another. As for tankards attached to the body one can only regret current back into the community legislation.

Here's the splendid Hog video if I can work out amberic digitiser:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QhhRIwhOwA&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:51 AM

Fiddling singers! How wonderfully off topic... or is it?

Of course there's Jim Eldon, whose playing invariably raises an eyebrow or two with certain musicians but is nevertheless pure virtuosity to the faithful for whom Jim's genius is a salve to the woes of having been born on this miserable planet in the first place. Evidence?

Try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWg048H_ssU

Otherwise, having tried singing to various fiddles over the years, I've settled on The Black Sea Fiddle (Kemence) as being perfect for the job:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVzsWVuDMm0

GEFF? Maybe, but only just...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM

Make that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QhhRIwhOwA

And the lyrics!

And the Hog of the Forsaken got no reason to cry,
He got to chew the angels fallin' from on high,
He ain't waitin' for no answers, bakin' woeful pie,
Pie of eyesight, pie boot-black, oh that pie,
The pie of by-and-by.

And the Hog of the Forsaken well he ain't like you and I,
With bones always breakin' and no place to go an' lie,
He's in the box so dark and wet, he got so much time,
He ain't even worried yet, the Hog of the Forsaken,
He is the Pork of Crime.

And the Hog of the Forsaken, he'll leave you one more chance,
Which, if you won't be takin' he'll leave it for the ants,
He sings out in the wilderness, he sings of friend and foe,
He sings of these and those times - as well
as the times to go.

And the Hog of the Forsaken he swims out into the sea,
Finds the alligator gar chase the leapin' molly,
And chokes the water hyacinth flowin' to the sea,
The Hog of the Forsaken, he is the hog for me!

He chokes the water hyacinth goin' to the sea,
The Hog of the Forsaken, he is the hog for me!
(that's right)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:56 AM

Careful, glueman. Pointing your camera at peoples trousers could get you into serious trouble.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM

And more Jim! This time 'Live' on the Yorkshire Belle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSaF5CMXYbA


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM

Them hog lyrics make T S Elliot look like a part-time poet who works in a bank. Eat your cats heart out!
Hurley misses the obligatory number of notes to qualify for a Grumpy since 1954 kitemark of purity too. He's certainly the hog for me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM

That's right!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Gervase
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:08 PM

Someone earlier was asking for 'evidence' that some clubs are less than perfect. Rather than write it all out again, I've mentioned one painful experience in this thread.
As to what am I doing; well, I've tried to support my local club (see thread above!), but I've also tried to encourage my local music venue to hold folk nights. To his credit Steve, the owner, is a keen folk fan and former morris dancer, but he just shakes his head "Call it a folk night and no-one will come - and those that do tend to be bloody awful," he says. "Believe me, I've tried!"
So now he has accoustic nights and open-mic evenings, at which anything goes, but no-one is allowed to use the F-word...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM

"hog lyrics make T S Elliot look like a part-time poet who works in a bank"

Some of your comments above seem rather hard to understand Gg. The one I have quoted is just one of them.

And, if I may, it does rather sound as if the place that Gervase did not like was not a folk club at all, but an Americana open(ish) mic.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Gervase
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:44 PM

Perhaps, but to quote the website:
"XXXXX Folk and Acoustic Music is a live music venue that features a range of folk and acoustic styles by local and guest musicians and songwriters. On any given evening you may hear traditional and modern folk songs, ragtime, bluegrass, shanties and sea songs, Celtic tunes, and finger style guitar pieces."
That's what made me think it might be what passed for a folk club in these parts!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:49 PM

Richard Bridge, TS Eliot was, for several years, a part-time poet who worked in a bank. I believe he was rescued from this grim existence by that old fascist, Ezra Pound.

Glueman's being facetious.

I thought it was funny.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM

Ah, that's usually a giveaway: "Folk and Acoustic" usually means "We really don't want folk, we'd rather have other acoustic stuff, probably with amplification".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM

"hog lyrics make T S Elliot look like a part-time poet who works in a bank"

Makes perfect sense to me, Richard - what is difficult to understand is the need for this sort of sniping.

Whatever the case, open-mic or whatever, it seems people are so deafened by celebrity driven glitz & razzmatazz (even folk razzmatazz) that they can no longer hear the beauty (or see the point) of ordinary people getting up & singing a song.

I use razzmatazz in the sense of a flashy action or display intended to bewilder, confuse, or deceive, believing that we have been deceived, confused and bewildered in the name of entertainment for too long.

Folk Music, the antithesis of entertainment!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM

Richard has had me in his cross hairs since I appeared a week or two back. The Glueman as any fule no, was a character in a wartime film who threw glue into the hair of landgirls at night to stop them going out with GIs, who would otherwise attend his lectures on archaeology and the beauty of the England.

To the extent that he had an obsessive interest in preserving 'the old ways' he reminded me of myself. Compared to Mr Bridge he was clearly a dilettante and tyro. RB operates so far beyond the irony curtain discussion founders immediately, as it has done here. The man is on rails, I was tweaking his points.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:22 PM

'The Glueman as any fule no, was a character in a wartime film..."

A Canterbury Tale (1944) - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:30 PM

Some of your comments above seem rather hard to understand Gg. The one I have quoted is just one of them."

and so they would be hard to understand if a person wasn't familiar with T S Elliot....

and , yes, Gg, the parallels between the magistrate Thomas Colpeper, and Mr Bridge are quite remarkable :-)

"an eccentric figure with a strange, mystical vision of the history of England"

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Silas
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:33 PM

Gervase

THat IS a proper folk club!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:35 PM

When Colpepper the glueman says 'What did you hear?' and Alison says 'a lute, or an instrument like a lute' RB would yell 'well was it or wasn't it you stupid woman. Anyway lutes are the instrument of the oppressor and 1954 never mentioned them.'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:41 PM

From A Canterbury Tale:

Thomas Colpeper, JP: [hidden in the tall grass] Glorious, isn't it?

Alison Smith: [startled] Is anybody there?

Thomas Colpeper, JP: [standing] It's a real voice you heard. You're not dreaming.

Alison Smith: You know, just now I - I heard sounds.

Thomas Colpeper, JP: What sounds did you hear?

Alison Smith: Horses' hooves, voices, and a lute. Or an instrument like a lute. Did you hear anything?

Thomas Colpeper, JP: Those sounds come from inside, not outside. Then only when you're concentrating, when you believe strongly in something. Just now I was concentrating on who was coming up the hill to disturb me.

Alison Smith: Disturb you? At what?

Thomas Colpeper, JP: Breathing the air, smelling the earth, watching the clouds. Why don't you sit down?

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:44 PM

Powell and Pressburger used folk music and singers in I Know Where I'm Going and probably elsewhere if I have a think.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 PM

Gg , this link to Powell and Pressburger may help

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:59 PM

Cheers Charlotte, haven't visited that site for a few years, it's come on a bit. The songs were Eilean Mocaridh, Mo Nighean Donn Bhòidheach and Fear A' Bhata.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:24 PM

It is utterly unrelated to the topic which appears to have been launched in a pathetic attempt to justify the existence of those who can't be arsed to present traditional material in the best possible light.

Mistress Easby,

As the originator of this thread, all I can say is that since you don't know me, how can you possibly have any idea of why I started it?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:29 PM

A Canterbury Tale - one of my favourites too, but as I recall there's a dreadful attempt at Purcell's setting of Psalm 102 Verse 1 (Hear my Prayer, O Lord) in Canterbury Cathedral. Here's a nice one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WXx5tttwGo

And whilst we're in Canterbury:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv1lTaE0rcA


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:37 PM

Never trust a coffee drinker... (From A Canterbury Tale)

:-D

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM

A dreadful attempt Sedayne but as they rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral on the studio lot, ambition wasn't something P and P lacked. I'd forgotten how Prog Hatfield were, I recall them as a pub rock early Stiff style outfit. Memory's not what it was.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:58 PM

Oh no! I'm a terrible daft fule then! :(


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:10 PM

But Sue, are you gorgeous? For I am old and beauty and a kind heart trump knowledge. Or knowledge of old black and white British movies anyway.
Thing is Sue, I have an aversion to any musical form that resembles those playground discussions of yore where one has to prove oneself worthy to gain entry to the gang. The scorers of that goal, the name of Troy Tempest's Mother, the ruminations of 1954. Pop, and indeed folk, will eat itself if it's not careful.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:17 PM

'Ah, that's usually a giveaway: "Folk and Acoustic" usually means "We really don't want folk, we'd rather have other acoustic stuff, probably with amplification".'


Why is that I often get the feeling I'm at an anorak convention when I read some of the things on these threads? ;-)

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Gervase
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:24 PM

Me too - I see the word folk in the blurb, and a website with the heading "XXXX folk club" and, unlettered clod that I am, I make the silly assumption that it's a folk club.
Best to avoid 'em all like the plague, I think, lest I get buttonholed at the bar by anoraks muttering about 1954 (in my day that was just before eight).
Anyway, until such time as a decent folk club appears within 25 miles of my I'll stick to concerts (and our local theatre booker has excellent taste - we've had Bellowhead twice in the past two years, Eliza Carthy twice and June Tabor three times. I must work on her to extend the range a bit, though).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM

Gorgeousness is in the eyes of the beholder (is all I'm sayin')


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM

Gg, you don't seem to get it at all. I don't want to stop anyone doing anything (of relevance to this thread). The song you seem so to admire seemed tripe to me, but I'd not want to stop you singing it.   I might go away while you did, but that's different.

You claim my words are obscure. Try some of your own: -

"It's too much to hope in our intertextual, reflexive, digital times that any music won't annexe its fellow travellers. Where some see dissolution and rot I see hybrid vigour"..

Pretentious, or what?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:47 AM

In's not my workaday speak, it's the stuff I use in the face of unjustified certainty RB.

Text is a terrible word I admit, but it covers music, art and literature and I couldn't think of another. Inter, well you know man it's like inter, innit? They pinch from each other big time. Reflexive = up its own fundament (but in a nice way) as for digital, well once you've got a cheap box of tricks that can flip any recordable music into any other da kids are going to do it.
Your hallowed squeeze box/fiddle comes out as a theramin/string orchestra at the touch of a button. Not my cuppa tea but the instructions on such gadgets lack a taste and discernment appendix as I understand. But then you're talking to a man who struggles to put html codes around a few words to make a linky.

As for Hog of the Forsaken, yes, I thought it sublime. Genuinely moving and poetic and fantastically sung by someone untroubled by vocal convention. As honest a song as a man did and therefore folk to its very core. Don't bother with a come back on the last bit, my mind is quite made up.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:54 AM

So honesty = folk
Dishonesty = everything else.

Fascinating.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:55 AM

Folk, a vernacular definition, of the people. The people being me.

Proletarian with anti-establishment overtones, acoustic but not to a fault, using traditional form or subject matter.
Singing like a bee in a flue, wearing particular clothes, adopting hierarchies of folkiness or being prescriptive about nuance are all the enemy of folk. Blokey bonding and clubbishness likewise.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:39 AM

I've nearly gone, but...

Lovely to see a bit of Snook. Thank you Glueman and Sedayne. There's also a great clip of him singing the sublime 'Tea Song' on Youtube.

Now there's a man whose music is deeply rooted in the American folk traditions.

Yet there's also a man with his own unique, idiosyncratic vision of how that music should sound, who sings and plays his heart out every time.

Nothing bland, anodyne, lowest common demoninator, seen-it-all-before, dull-but-worthy about Snook.

When I talk about 'professionalism' (maybe I'm using the wrong word?) it's these qualities I'm looking for rather than the slick, soulless razzamatazz of showbiz...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Betsy at work
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:57 AM

Going Right back to the thread, I am perfectly sure that GEFF as used by Alex Campbell, has been taken out of context.
It's use by Alex arose as a light hearted riposte and comparable phrase to that used by his fellow professional Diz Disley who used say, after hastily re-tuning his guitar "It's good enough for Jazz".
It always got a mild chuckle. Nothing more than THAT in it.
As for professionalism in Folk music , there are many "amateurs " who are very professional in their stage performance , but remember a Professional often needs to market him /herself(club organisers get inundated with calls each night from professionals looking for dates),logistics and costs of travel accommodation, suiting the politics and personalities of clubs organisers and leading lights in the Club in order to get a return gig, rough kips(assured that accommodation is available for you, only to find it's two seater settee with a duvet), duff on the road fast food, need to practice and learn new material,don't mention Tax and National Insurance contributions , avoiding illness and sore throats, maintaining instruments , buying strings etc .....I'm going to stop there, as I could fill another two entire Pages.
So good luck to those who try to go Professional and manage to make it pay and have an enjoyable life. I think that if it "pays" you're probably "selling" a good product for which people are willing to come pay ,see and listen.
If it doesn't - there are a myriad of reasons for why it didn't work - some itemised above . It may not necessarily mean your performance standard is /was not GEFF.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:16 AM

Certainly what Alex Campbell was wont to say was taken out of context - by those who thought (wrongly) that it was licence to perform any old crap badly. It was/is not. Certainly Alex could be bad (when pissed) and ought not to have gone on. It was/is unprofessional to do so.

Professionalism extends to organisation too and I am grateful (and surprised) at Betsy mentioning it as he's usually very quick to tip the bricks over me when I do. Pro artists are doing this for a living, not (just) for fun. Good working conditions and the rate for the job should be an entitlement, not a favour.

Gone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM

Almost a year since I wrote this but I do think it has some relevance!
Best wishes, Mike.


In the days when men grafted, on ships of the line,
Drinkin tottys and tellin' a yarn.
In the days when the farmers and labourers drank,
At harvests end, sat in the barn.
They sang songs of the era, with overall zest,
Told of tasks they performed every day.
All men were expected to sing t'would appear,
They all did because that was the way.

So Folk songs were born, they were sung then for free,
Some sung to achieve an ambition.
The better ones lasted for decades and more,
Folk singing became a 'tradition'.
There are those round still, who would echo that cause,
To use Folk Clubs for all to take part.
But some now think only the best should perform,
I believe they are lacking in heart.

Mike Hill
May 2007


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:26 AM

Glueman - could it be you're getting Hatfield and the North mixed up with Kilburn and the High Roads?

Nigel - Problem with professionalism is that it lends itself to these very qualities - i.e. the slick, soulless razzamatazz of showbiz - which are a complete anathema to the notion a Folk Music, the context of which is just as essential as the content. The sort of idiosyncratic genius we see in Snock & Jim Eldon isn't something we see a lot of, but to my tired old ears any sort of idiosyncrasy is a boon in this day and age!

I've also got issues with the embourgeoisment of folk music as far as aesthetical / critical criteria are concerned; hence, presumably, the original 'ghastly' quote from someone who wouldn't know folk music if you rammed a Black Sea Fiddle up his arse.

However, just because one sings in folk clubs and singarounds doesn't make one a musician any more than the fact of one messing about with herbs, spices, vegetables & fowl in the kitchen makes one a cook. One also makes bread, but one is no baker; one also fixes the leaky pipe in the bathroom as often as necessary, but one isn't a plumber. Surely this is the essence of Folk Music; the purposefully pragmatic crack & the simple joyous necessity of doing the thing however so short our various efforts might fall of a few entirely misplaced benchmarks.

Now back to John Jacob Niles: http://www.myspace.com/johnjacobniles01


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM

Argh 'Snock' not 'Snook'! Head not quite yet on right today...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Dave Earl
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:37 AM

Diane said:-
"Good working conditions and the rate for the job should be an entitlement, not a favour."

Yes but "Professional" artists are prepared to accept what might be seen as less than the "rate" in order to keep themselves in the (folk) public eye out of the Festival season and between "concerts".

Seems to me that this is also a "professional" attitude. (They came to see me at the club so they may come to my concert/festival booking if I make a good showing here tonight?). Isn't it, somewhat extended perhaps, a form of showcasing.

In "business terms aren't we talking Market Share, Loss Leaders and such buzz phrases?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:56 AM

"Glueman - could it be you're getting Hatfield and the North mixed up with Kilburn and the High Roads?"

D'oh! Saw them both and should have known better. In mitigation a mate took me to see endless Prog bands (in number and duration) who did merge rather. Funny how English progressive rock has gone from being derided to a quintessential part of the domestic scene.

So far as professionalism goes the point is most 'pro' acts aim to provide a market with a performance that is as close to previous delivery and recordings as possible. Industrial production if you like. Mood, ambience, bloody mindedness have no place in the industrial method - though Motown did rather well by nailing some highly nuanced jazz musicians onto a big square beat - so cannot by definition be idiosyncratic. Against such prescription like you Sedayne, familiarity means I treat the quirky and raw as the rarity it is and prize it accordingly.

The return to definitions of what folk is, even when such prompts are only in the eye of the beholder, is monomania frankly. The fact the debate is still running shows the music is still pulling at its fetters and therefore, alive.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:16 AM

Wikipedia

Since no-one (as far as I know) has asserted that folk is the only music that should be peformed or listened to, the reference to monomania seems rather wide of the mark.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:28 AM

To quote from your own link RB:

"In colloquial terms, the term monomania is often attached to subcultures that to the general public appear esoteric. However, the differences between monomania and passion can be very subtle and difficult to recognize."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:33 AM

Getting back to Canterbury:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTSgARGv500


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:43 AM

And from Robert Wyatt's Sea Song, to Rachel Unthank and the Winterset's version which is how I came here two weeks ago. Weird, a bit like Soft Machine and only in the best possible way.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:53 AM

Have you seen this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9g6La7wmzA

My favourite Wyatt on YouTube right now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIX1UqNrtwE


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM

Wyatt's avoidance of melody is truly heroic. Hadn't seen either of those clips. He's up there with The Fall and Kate Bush in the English canon.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:13 AM

Oh yes; another of my life-long folk favourites: when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsUpS7MBb90


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:23 AM

Fearful symmetry, how about Catherine Bush's video homage (IMHO) to Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death. Further up slickness scale but no less cheerfully deranged.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm901CXujEg

Somebody tell me how to link.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:40 AM

See if this works
this woman's work


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:42 AM

<a href=Your URL>Your text</a>

or use the Make a link("blue clicky") link at the bottom of the form.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:49 AM

Thanks for the lesson. Curious software, but no matter, I'm getting the hang.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:54 AM

I'm getting Kate Bush, slowly but surely, especially after Aerial which I love unreservedly; Rapunzel's a big fan, so in our household it's difficult to avoid. In return, she now sings along with Oily Way when I insist on listening to Gong in the car!

She's lately got me into Sigur Ros which didn't take much to be honest, the sort of music that fits like an old shoe.

Now where's the equivalent to that in the professional folk world I wonder? Or am I missing the point? Otherwise, eschewing the tasteless holiday-home conversions to be found in the Imagined Village, it's back to John Barleycorn Reborn I'm afraid...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM

'Oily Way'.......

Now THAT'S what I call music!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:36 PM

There was a time when, like Powell and Pressburger, I thought I was the only one who got Kate Bush, now everyone from John Lydon downwards cites her as important. That isn't to say I like all, or even that much of her music but I do reckon she's important in all the right ways.

Someone - can't remember who - called her the last prog rocker which is stretching a point but I know what they meant. Completely uninhibited and getting worse (or better IMO) as she gets older. She was a huge admirer of P and P and was going to work with Powell when he died, she had the Red Shoes.
A neo-romantic, magical realist sensibility that England once excelled at producing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: glueman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:42 PM

Stretching the thread waaay of topic but here's another groove I dig.
Harrison Birtwistle


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:22 PM

IIRC, Ali Anderson was playing concertina, backing Kate Bush on Top of the Pops....

Kitty

(that's English concertina, of course!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:33 PM

Nice; I was heavily into Peter Maxwell Davies when he had The Fires of London & still have some of the vinyl; lots of folk & medieval crossovers which has much appeal, Birtwistle likewise, as this video demonstrates. Thanks for that.

Meanwhile, getting back on thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKh1G5sMN9s


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Subject: RE: Folklore: GEFF and Proud of it
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:14 PM

Was Bobby Darin GEFF

If I were a carpenter

Simple Song Of Freedom

Unfortunately not the original versions


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