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Eliza Carthy in the Guardian

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Subject: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:47 AM

Eliza Carthy in the Guardian


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:52 AM

thank you! I spent ages yesterday looking for this!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM

It was actually in the Observer last Sunday 13th.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:00 AM

I meant looking for it on-line. i knew it was in the Observer, but couldn't find it in the on-line edition despite various searches.

Anyway, fab piece. Next time I see her I shall definitely give her a hug, and not a Chinese burn.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:05 AM

Oh, there's no point in looking for anything online from the Sundays for a couple of days. They can't get the staff, y'know.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Willa
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:21 AM

Thanks, Nigel, and congratulations to Eliza on a very spiried article.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:23 AM

I love the idea of a ceilidh in that big barn of an Albert Hall. They won't have to move the seats or chairs out of the way.
Who is the caller?
Mary


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:28 AM

I think it's an Irish ceilidh...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:28 AM

Sarah Pavey (of this parish).


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:29 AM

the programme says it's the London Lasses and Pete Quinn.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:31 AM

Pete Quinn plays keyboards in the band.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:35 AM

Surely that was Garth Hudson


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:35 AM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 10:54 AM

"The Proms are supposed to be about the people's music, and for once it doesn't feel like the people are being handed a pompous, Royal-approval-stamped thing some arts director thinks they should like or some patronising, low-brow housewives' choice that everyone knows in their heart of hearts is a bit desperate. In fact, the BBC Proms have finally done what they are meant to and provided every one of us with a rare opportunity to be involved in something genuinely lovable and enriching. That's better. Flag please!" [QUOTH ELIZA]

I don't know what she's talking about in this last paragraph, and, more to the point, neither does she. "For once?" "Finally done?" "Every one of us a rare opportunity?" The Proms are one of the finest music festivals on the planet and this loadabollox is an insult. She sounds like one of those who think the Proms is the Last Night.   Go find your own barn, Eliza.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:42 AM

I wouldn't personally have chosen The London Lasses as the band for the ceilidh (though it's only a short one at the end). Not because they're not a good band, because they are (and Sarah Pavey is an excellent beginners' caller), but because they do Irish and this will serve to reinforce the public perception that trad dance music from Britain is only Irish and Scottish.

The concert, however, is brilliant. For Bellowhead and Bella Hardy to be showcased in such a high profile gig is a tremendous breakthrough for English music. It's music the public don't yet know they like. It's genuinely "people's music" and oh, the joy if they yell for more and more. And they will . . . why wouldn't they?

Of course the Proms is a world-renowned music festival. But this is an element that's been largely overlooked by them till now. Roger Wright didn't waste his time entirely at R3. Eliza's piece speaks for many (though clearly not all) of us. After this day in July I'm hoping she'll be speaking for several thousands more.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

Bloody hell, for the first time ever there will actually be something presented as part of the proms that I actually want to see. I couldn't agree more with Eilza's last paragraph!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

hi Steve,
    Diane says it, really. That paragraph was edited, but pretty much says what I wrote. Although I am referring to the Last Night for the purpose of adding some levity to something I feel very strongly about, I am also talking about the opportunity for people not in the know about folk music for whatever reason to have a chance to see it at a national-level arts festival. This shouldn't be an odd occurrence, but it is. I do have my own barn, thanks...it's called the Albert Hall, and I want to see my country's traditional music there. Are you saying that the Folk Day is a bad idea or just that I'm an idiot you don't like? It's not clear from your post.
eliza


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:54 AM

Well Beethoven string quartets have been largely overlooked by Sidmouth but I'm not complaining. The Proms are what they are and, to give the organisers in recent years some credit, they have been allowed to evolve. Ms Carthy's piece was unnecessarily patronising in that final paragraph and it reeked not a little of ignorance of what the Proms have evolved from and into.

And folk music--Albert Hall--hmm!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM

I take what I read at face value. I know no other way. I love folk music and I love the Proms. Your article is very worthy of you until that last bit.   It reads as though you're here with a mission to give the Proms a one-person shake-up. I hope it's on the telly so that I can cheer along. I spent three years right next to that barn doing my botany degree. It is a bloody barn too.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:04 PM

folk music--Albert Hall--hmm

For many, many years the EFDSS held an annual festival in the RAH.
Indeed a while ago they had an event called Return To Albert.
This day could indeed herald just that, in a highly relevant way.
Eliza . . . patronising? W-h-a-a-t??


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:11 PM

"And folk music--Albert Hall--hmm!"

I'm afraid you're waving your own ignorance like a flag there, Steve. The Albert Hall has been playing host to folk music and dance for decades. the EFDSS used to hold an annual festival there. Waterson:Carthy and Show of Hands played there last year.

It's about time more of this country's national music and dance was represented at high-status cultural events. The "high art" bias in England has done the tradition enormous damage - maybe it's time we got to redress the balance.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:13 PM

Snap, Diane!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:13 PM

...and Bob Copper used to tell a good tale about the family's appearance at said barn.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:14 PM

Come on, stop arguing and address that offending last paragraph! I mean, is this cobblers or what: "...and for once it doesn't feel like the people are being handed a pompous, Royal-approval-stamped thing some arts director thinks they should like..."

I listen to a very large proportion of what the Proms has to offer over its couple of months and no, it doesn't feel like that to me at all. It might feel like that if you don't like classical music of course, or if your appreciation is confined to the odd Beethoven symphony or Strauss waltz, which mine is not.    Like I said, I happen to like both genres being discussed here and I would appreciate being allowed to enjoy both without someone implying that in the one I'm merely being offered a load of outmoded old tosh. Anyway, if you need a harmonica player on the night I'm free.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM

Ruth, if something's worth saying it's worth saying twice!
And I'll be behind you in the queue to hug Eliza and save her from the Chinese burns.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM

And I like my folk music human-scale, more or less, but that's just me. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM

Steve, I think what Eliza has said represents the feelings of people beyond the classical audience, and there are a LOT of those people. They see a huge proportion of government subsidy - their money - spent on a minority music which is largely still too expensive for ordinary people to experience live on a regular basis. Having done outreach work in an orchestral context, I can tell you it can cost something like 5 times as much even to deliver an education project than an equivalent project in other music genres. Classical is a largely inaccessible genre for many people, yet it still receives a disproportionate level of funding, and in my opinion, status. Why? Well, as Eliza sayts, many years ago the powers that be in the arts annd arts funding sectorsa decided that classical music (and opera, and dance) represented the "best" of human achievement, and it was "good for us" to have it in our society, and as a result it has been funded out of all proportion to its actual audiences. It's a "top-down" approach to arts subsidy.

Admittedly, a lot of people aren't folk enthusiasts, either. The big difference, for me, is that folk is this country's national music, but it doesn't achieve the status, airtime or funding that classical does. And as a result, it is much more a "bottom-up" approach to arts engagement - its music that comes from people, not just from orchestras and programmers and the insitutionalised arts infrastructure.

I completely agree with Eliza's final paragraph. For once, the Proms will be relevant to me.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:01 PM

Having read Ms Carthy's article I can't disagree with any of it. I just hope, though, that she won't be reduced to the status of 'compere-ess', as she was in the unfortunate 'Folk Britannia' debacle on the telly.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:11 PM

Yes indeed, a very spirited and well thought out article on Eliza Carthy's part

"I don't know what she's talking about in this last paragraph, and, more to the point, neither does she. "For once?" "Finally done?" "Every one of us a rare opportunity?" The Proms are one of the finest music festivals on the planet and this loadabollox is an insult. She sounds like one of those who think the Proms is the Last Night.   Go find your own barn, Eliza.


Ohhh she knows exactly what she's talking about, and I believe she knew, when writing it, that some people would get all bent out of shape about that last paragraph, with which, by the way, I fully agree, having attended, in my time, a few Proms concerts

It was much to my regret that I was unable to attend The Watersons/Waterson Carthy A Mighty River of Song. The Royal Albert Hall ws the perfect place for it.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:28 PM

Excellent, spirited article. Any article by Eliza C is always thought provoking. If I could only be there! Will they broadcast the event on the radio?

Yes! A new Eliza C album. I got Rough Music in 2005, must've listened to it dozens of times, but then spent two years in Russia. All that time I had been hoping that by the time I got back, she would have a new one, but oh well, I expect it'll be worth the wait!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:37 PM

'Yes! A new Eliza C album.'

Release date is 23rd Jun, I believe

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:56 PM

Which version of Folk Britannia is Shimrod talking about? The one in his/her head or the one that was actually broadcast on my TV?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:01 PM

'Folk Britannia' debacle on the telly'
Unfortunately the only pieces of this programme I've seen are those posted on You Tube, a bit of Fairport Convention/Sandy Denny and a bit of the segment on Davey Graham, but have read both pro and con articles on Folk Britannia. It seems to me that people either liked it or they disliked it, there was no middle ground.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:58 PM

For once, the Proms will be relevant to me.

For one day or so.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:07 PM

Well, it's more than ever before, Uncle Dave!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:10 PM

Jim Copper , his brother John and their respective sons Bob and Ron sang at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1952, I believe. So much for "And folk music--Albert Hall--hmm!"

Though I once knew someone named Albert Hall, when you talked about folk music he'd always go Hmmm!

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:17 PM

Cheers for Eliza - though I wonder what Ralphie will make of her reference to Housewives' Choice!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:18 PM

"Jim Copper , his brother John and their respective sons Bob and Ron sang at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1952, I believe. So much for "And folk music--Albert Hall--hmm!" "

err, yes - at an EFDSS festival. I think this point had already been made...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:21 PM

"and Bob Copper used to tell a good tale about the family's appearance at said barn."



errr the date wasn't mentioned...and I was asking a question, thank you for you prompt attention in this matter.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM

I see no problem with the article, and the last paragraph, for those of you who feel the need to dissect word by word someone's opinion, is not at odds with the rest of the article. I know full well what Eliza means, and from what I understand about the Proms, she is right to be excited about a slight nudge in a different direction. I find nothing patronizing about it, in fact, I feel it is very much the truth.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:26 PM

"Your article is very worthy of you until that last bit."

speaking of patronizing....

"It reads as though you're here with a mission to give the Proms a one-person shake-up"

Now that wouldn't be a bad idea at all, all things considered, and if anyone dare do it, Eliza Carthy is that person!

Go for it Eliza

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:36 PM

"I was asking a question,"

Oh - it looked like you were just copying and pasting information from the Copper Family website.

My mistake.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catchers unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:39 PM

yes indeed, your mistake. it was a legitimate question... I checked the website for the names. It may surprise you to know that The Coppers are known outside of the hallowed, parochial halls of Merrie Englande, and that I possess some of their recordings

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:49 PM

I still can't see a question - just an interjection that repeats what two of us had already made clear. Never mind.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:56 PM

exactly...what is important is Eliza Carthy's article which is what the thread is all about...

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:58 PM

Yes, right, to all of you who assume that I didn't know that "folk" events have been put on before at the Albert Hall, well of course I did. Unlike in your cases though, my Aunt Sally wasn't there. My comment did not imply that particular nugget of ignorance on my part no matter how you care to read it. And there is a good deal of ignorance and anti-Prom bias coming out here.   Comments such as   "For once, the Proms will be relevant to me" simply reveal at best a lack of penchant for the huge variety of classical music on offer during the wonderful Proms season, and at worst a lack of motivation to at least find out about it and try something different. The Proms are extremely diverse and there is truly something for everyone. Decry them as stuffy and elitist and it's your severe loss.   We have a body of people here who aren't too keen on classical music who want the whole boiling to be shaken up. We'd be better off sorting out folk music's image problem first I reckon.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:03 PM

What I'd like, Steve, is for a substantial amount of the money and airtime currently given to classical music to be re-directed at folk. That would go some way to helping to sort out the "image problem", I reckon, much of which is the result of generations of under-resourcing.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:05 PM

I don't know what she's talking about in this last paragraph, and, more to the point, neither does she. "For once?" "Finally done?" "Every one of us a rare opportunity?" The Proms are one of the finest music festivals on the planet and this loadabollox is an insult. She sounds like one of those who think the Proms is the Last Night.   Go find your own barn,

I think I know exactly what she is talking about. It is the pompous, patronising presenters you all too often get on the broadcast proms, including the last night. Richard Baker used to make me cringe every time I saw him.

Well said Eliza


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:15 PM

You know, not everyone likes classical music, and they never are. Not everyone likes folk either, but it's something we have to live with. Now....bringing the two together, as The Proms is doing this year, can only benefit both genres.Classicos attending the ceilidh, and who knows, folkies attending one or two of the classical concerts. Only time will tell

Chalotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:23 PM

Well, Ruth, have you ever wondered why there is a Classic FM and not a Folk FM?? People don't want it, you see! Folk music, especially English, plays to its own in it own world way too much and most of the public still think it's fingers in ear, singing down the nose and blokes in funny clothes bashing sticks. Are you going to blame the Beeb for that or get them on some evangelical mission to tell the world how cool we all are?   We haven't done over-much to change the image have we, just moaned about how ignorant and prejudiced and unaware of their "roots" the public are. As for presenters, Tootler, might I suggest you tune in to a few Prom concerts this year apart from the Last Night. Every concert is broadcast on Radio 3 and a good few pop up on the telly too. You'll hear a whole variety of presenters and they have all ditched the stuffy old approach.   And there is a good audience! This thread is clearly suffering from "Last Night of the Proms is the Proms" syndrome and a good bit of knee-jerking in reaction to even the slightest criticism of one of our stars. And it wasn't even criticism of her music!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:31 PM

"And it wasn't even criticism of her music!"

no, but you're sure doing a job on the music (folk) that you profess to love.

"We haven't done over-much to change the image have we"
....?

Dunno which cave you've been sleeping in for the passed 30 or so years, but the changes in folk have been quite noticabler, for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM

Classic FM is the dumbed down version of classical music for people who find Radio 3 too challenging... .discuss.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM

I AM THE CALLER!!!!!!!! heretical or not!
Thanks for the nice comment Diane

I think it should be a great occasion and hopefully a few people will find out what folk is all about while dancing the night away. Officially we only have 45mins so its going to be a speed ceilidh

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:33 PM

Steve...."the huge variety of classical music on offer during the wonderful Proms season. The Proms are extremely diverse and there is truly something for everyone."

If that is true what is the diversity of which you speak? And if there has been no or little folk music before, how is that truly something for everyone? It seems to me like most of the people who posted on here are open minded, and have experience with The Proms, and are not simply bashing it with no knowledge. And if you knew about folk music at The Albert Hall, then what do you mean by "My comment did not imply that particular nugget of ignorance on my part "


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM

for the image of folk music.

So let's start with one suggestion.

Let's treat it as music with some real value, worth subsidising and worth listening to. That would help. Perhaps give it one - just one promenade concert. And not whinge at Eliza's article promoting said concert.

It took the organisers until the 1950's to get a northern-based orchestra (Sir John Barbirolli and the Halle) into the act so I suppose we can't grumble too much.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:41 PM

"Classic FM is the dumbed down version of classical music for people who find Radio 3 too challenging... .discuss....."

Dare I say....classical music as pop music? (heaven knows what something like Folk FM would sound like) Thank goodness I can listen to Radio 3 on the internet.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM

Well, here's my take on it Steve:

Culture in Britain was, in the 19th century, defined through the "high art" forms of classical music, opera and ballet. Artforms of the people - "folk" art forms - were traditionally seen as "low art", and accorded a lesser status within a society whose upper echelons dictated taste.

These upper echelons continued to dictate the cultural standards in the UK until the 60s. Classical music was seen as better, more sophisticated than other forms of music, which is what led to it being so heavily subsidised. Folk culture was seen as coming from the working classes, and therefore not worthy of equal status - indeed, the term "folk" (originally coined in Germany in the 19th century) was a largely pejorative term for many decades.

So why do we have a Classic FM and Radio 3, but no folk radio station? I don't think it's because people don't want it - I doubt that the listening figures for classical radio really justify its existence in purely commercial terms. But despite relatively low listening figures, we have these things because they are "good for" society.

"The BBC was seen by Reith as an instrument of national culture which had to transcend the different and conflicting groups in society. He felt that it should provide moral guidance and respect for traditional values. One of the ways in which it tried to achieve this was by constructing the listener, typically a male one, not as a member of a particular class but as an individual at home with his family. This celebrated patriarchy, the domestic sphere and the radio itself. However, this cosy image, far from transcending class, actually promoted middle-class culture and values, hence the plummy tones of the announcers, and hence too the attempt of the Music Department to impose "classical" culture on its audience." (Day 1997: 16)

These old values of the BBC are still seen in Radio 3, methinks. Classical music is a minority interest, just like folk: one has its own radio station, the other gets an hour a week on national radio. Because of this history, folk has a monumental mountain to climb.

Folk has suffered because of this prioritisation of classical music and "high art" culture in the past, which has certainly been a contributing factor to its low status in contemporary culture. And if you are tempted to say "But that was then...", just look at the level to which the classical artfiorms are still subsidised today.

And don't even get me started on the national lottery...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:49 PM

Well, Ruth, have you ever wondered why there is a Classic FM and not a Folk FM?? People don't want it, you see!

Actually when you add up all the people who go to festivals large (Sidmouth) and small (Bradfield Traditional Music Festival) then you have a lot of people who do want it. And are prepared to pay mostly unsubsidised prices to hear and see it. Show of Hands and The Watersons Mighty River of Song both (more or less) sold out the Albeert Hall last year a few nights apart. So much for people not wanting it. At unsubsidised prices.

As for the BBC, when asked if the programme which replaced Radio Newcastle's Folk Programme was getting more lsteners the answer was err.errr.ummmm.... Did you know Steve that having transferred folk music in the main to local radio, there is no BBC local radio coverage in Sheffield, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Middlesborough and other large parts of Northern England?

Never mind, we have the Proms.

Tell me Steve how many people would listen to opera once the subsidies were withdrawn?

A lot less, that would be for certain.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM

sorry - I should have made clear that the quote above was from a paper by Jane Dowson, a former colleague of mine at De Montfort University.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

You can also listen to "Thank Goodness It's Folk" on the internet.

See my Permathread on Friday for the playlist.

Dave (who in confessional mood, presents the programme so this is a blatant plug).

PS And for Steve's benefit - it is one of the most consistently listened to programmes on the station. We don't have a classical programme. No-one would listen to it you see..........


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:57 PM

You are right Ruth, and in terms of funding, etc, in the US, it would probably all go to jazz, which seems to shrink more and more, but gets so much press and attention here in NY. That's no condemnation of the people involved, but I feel the pain of being a folk and world music fan mostly, who finds limited support of the music. Being in New York City helps of course, because there is an audience for just about everything here, but you just know it could be so much more.

So what's all this about the national lottery! (Just Kidding)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:03 PM

'You can also listen to "Thank Goodness It's Folk" on the internet'

great programme, great music...and no, folkiedave didn't pay me to say that *LOL*

'We don't have a classical programme. No-one would listen to it you see.......... '

oh dear was that a dig? ;-)

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

irishenglish, I did an outreach project some years ago with Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra and Winton Marsalis - it was as expensive as classical orchestral work (or would have been if the producers hadn't achived a huge grant). I feel your pain!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:09 PM

How sad that people who love one form of music feel they have to diss another kind of music. Classical music has a lot of subsidy because orchestras and large ensembles, and operas and ballet (like theatre) are expensive things. To keep a 40 strong symphony orchestra on the road costs a hell of a lot more than a . In the past there would have been patronage for music from the aristocracy or rich merchants, in the more recent past there has been commercial sponsorship ... but in these tough times there's less of that about. So there's subsidy these days from the Arts Council - but that is rapidly shrinking too. You should be fighting for more support for all cultural forms, not just our own little corner.

Forget the stereotypes of classical music being the music of (a) the upper classes (b) musical snobs (c) so-called 'high status'or moneyed classes ... just LISTEN to it in all its huge, enthralling, intriguing, wonderful variety. Maybe there's some you don't like, but you're sure to find some you do.

I don't go for much 19th century stuff, but bring on Bach, Mozart, Handel and some earlier stuff and such giants of the 20th century as Vaughan Williams, Messaien, Britten, James MacMillan, Harrison Birtwhistle and Peter Maxwell Davies (have you heard his stuff with Northumbrian pipes: fab!)- and I'm in seventh heaven. Bring on Joseph Taylor, Walter Pardon, Micky Moscrop, Robert Forrester, Waterson:Carthy et all too and I'm probably in eighth heaven.

I have played, sung, danced and researched folk music for the past 35 years or more and obviously love it. I also love classical music (and my partner is a classical musician)and have played it in the past, and still sing in choirs. The Proms is a wonderful two month long festival which showcases the best of musics (I use the plural advisedly: it's a diverse set of musics)for everyone and anyone. If you can't get there you can listen on the radio, or watch on TV. I've only been twice, but each time the atmosphere was really something.

Don't close your minds: open your ears!

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:11 PM

Oops, missed a bit in second line of my last message. Should have read 'more expensive than a folk band, even a big one with PA and techies.'

S


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:18 PM

Sue, my mind is not closed, but having worked in venues for many years (in partnership with one famous orchestra for a couple of years) I have seen the audiences for these subsidised artforms - largely upper-middle class - and feel that we are subsidising what is not only a minority artform, but one largely enjoyed by people who are already quite privileged. Why should they enjoy these benefits, particularly as they are largely paid for by working class people buying lottery tickets? Other artforms have made much more successful inroads into wider accessibility to people from all sorts of backgrounds - I haven't observed this with opera, ballet or classical music.

While it's true that orchestras are expensive to keep on the road, my experience is that it can cost substantially more to bring in equivalent numbers of classical musicians compared to those from other genres, because the pay scale is significantly higher. Why should this be, when the artform is already receiving subsidy?

I am not dissing classical music at all. I just don't think it deserves a higher status than folk music, which is the national music of this country.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:32 PM

Ruth, I don't think status should come into it. It's another music to be listened to, participated in and enjoyed. I too have worked on outreach projects with classical musicians, and one orchestra in my day job in arts development. And we had some fantastic successes: classical musicians working with adults with severe learning difficulties for example, and a 'Cobweb Orchestra' - as in 'blow the cobwebs off your music stand' and get your instrument out of the attic - for all comers, of all ages, any instruments (flautists would play first violin parts etc etc) which is still on the go some ten years late.

Yes I do agree that, although I do know some keen youngsters, when I go to concerts there is a preponderance of middle class, grey haired people. It's the same at the literature festival I help to organise. Some of that's down to money, but much is down to people's perceptions or misconceptions ... and most of all I think to education or lack of it. Kids do far less singing and playing and listening to different forms of music (especially classical and folk) than when I was at school. Play them some Maxwell Davies I say - and get Max on telly talking to kids (he did Blue Peter some years ago I remember) Make playing instruments and singing really fun - in any genre - and things would really improve. But you need to spend money on specialist music teachers in primary schools to start with ... so as always it comes down to money.

Orchestras are trying to be more accessible these days and work in other ways. Northern Sinfonia share The Sage at Gateshead with Folkworks, and there's lots of education work going on there. Maybe that's a good model for the rest of the country.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM

Sue, the reason I think status is important is because it impacts on how the music (and dance) is viewed by the government and by funders. Both are key to the music (and dance) being celebrated as part of England's cultural life, similarly to how it's viewed, say, in Ireland. As long as that status isn't apportioned, folk will continue to struggle with its image and visibility.

No arguments about the orchetras who are making an effort - fair play to those engaging in interesting and exciting outreach work, and these days there's more of it about. But I think that's at least partly to do with certain funding now being contingent on these orchestras demonstrating their accessibility.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:41 PM

'Maybe that's a good model for the rest of the country.'

One can hope that some of this spills over into The Proms, you never know what might happen. Open mind, open ears....

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM

Bugger1


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM

I should add that last year, as part of our partnership with the Distil showcase, I tried to draw down some funding for a folk/classical outreach and touring project. The funders (who fund classical music development)decided that using a classical chamber group was not sufficiently orchestral, and would only agree if there were substantially more touring orchestral musicians involved and there was additionally a full orchestral concert in my venue at the end of the project. I could not make this work financially. The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things. It was the inherent assumption of superiority from the classical crowd that really rankled with me.

By the way, if I'd wanted to do this project with folk musicians alone, it would have cost around £5k. The costings with the classical orchestra involved came to almost £20k. Crazy.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:56 PM

Sorry - having keyboard problems here! That should have been, bugger I've just lost the long reply I was writing to Ruth. Can't do it again ... suffice to say I was relating problems in getting funding from the Arts Council for anything that's not innovative and hits their diversity etc targets ... which tradarts/folk can rarely do.

They simply continue funding their traditional recipients such as the big orchestras, ballet, opera and theatre companies who cannot exist without funding and for the rest ask you to hit various buttons which are foisted on them by the Government. Sadly folk music isn't one - unless you've got a project which is new and different. They rarely fund anything which is just ongoing.

It's a big problem for us in Cumbria: we can't play the numbers game (rural county: sparse population) or hit the BME button (about 1% ethnic minority here). We always have to be very creative in the way we apply for Grants for the Arts funding ... folk/tradarts needs to be creative in just the same way. Migh be better though to stay out of the arts funding labyrinth!

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:00 PM

"The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things."

So they don't perform anything by Vaughan Williams or Ivor Gurney I take it?

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM

Yeah, when I said there needs to be better music education, I reckon that should include education of classical musicians too. Just as there perhaps needs to be education of born-again folkies about music of other genres?

Sue
(runs for cover)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM

I'll just say that for smaller-scale traditional arts outreach projects, I've done okay over the past couple of years - around £30k. But I realise it's a drop in the ocean compared with what the classical world achieves. It's also interesting that some of the regional folk development organisations have been cut altogether this year. My theory is that giving someone like me the money to do outreach is more cost-effective, as my venue pays my salary, marketing, infrastructural costs etc. If they can get more people who are already employed by other organisations doing the work, they can save a lot of money that would previously have gone on infrastructure.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM

We have a fine tradition of classical music in this country. It is subsidised, and could not exist without it. Dave old chap, I have no axe to grind whatsoever when it comes to opera (silliest thing with clothes on, etc.), but the plain fact is that opera is exceptionally expensive to stage and if it were not subsidised it would not happen, never mind attract smaller audiences. I don't care for it much myself but I defend to the hilt its right to exist. Just think. Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner (fascist pig though he was), all down the pan.    We've had a great tradition of symphony orchestras too, including several superb ones under the Beeb's umbrella on top of the London-based ones and several regional orchestras of exceptional standard, notably the Halle and the Birmingham Symphony (and I'm not wishing to leave out the others). You can't have this without subsidy. There was reference to unsubsidised gigs by Show of Hands et al.   Mighty though they are, Show of Hands are two guys. Of course, there is an infrastructure behind 'em, but symphony orchestras have that too. Perhaps the critics here of classical music funding would like to see classical concerts with the cheapest seats at £200 so that we can watch Show of Hands for a fiver. Actually, I've seen Show of Hands four times (seen Eliza a couple of times too! :-) ) and I've been to a lot of symphony concerts too and I want to be able to keep going to both. Ruth's statement "and [I] feel that we are subsidising what is not only a minority artform, but one largely enjoyed by people who are already quite privileged" is not only inaccurate but also reeks somewhat of sour grapes.   Privileged in what way? So much that they damn well deserve to be fleeced rotten for going to a concert? I smell doom for most of our wonderful orchestras if this kind of opinion were to prevail.

Sue wrote, among other wise things, "Forget the stereotypes of classical music being the music of (a) the upper classes (b) musical snobs (c) so-called 'high status'or moneyed classes ... just LISTEN to it in all its huge, enthralling, intriguing, wonderful variety. Maybe there's some you don't like, but you're sure to find some you do." Fabulous. Couldn't agree more. And it's all in the Proms. You don't even have to watch the Last Night to find it either! Cheers, Sue!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM

I have no problem with peoples' access to any sort of music, I have a problem with disproportionate access to one thing over another. I studied classical music at A-level, and oddly that didn't kill a lifelong love for its many forms!
A national free festival in our most famous venue should have some representation of the many kinds of national and international music that we have, and not favour anything over anything else. I am very, very suspicious of people who roll out ancient and irrelevant cliches to support their arguments. It's like resorting to mentioning Hitler in a debate-the minute anyone says the phrase "finger in the ear" or anything to do with what folkies wear or what they look like or that no-one could possibly want to listen to a vast, many-faceted genre of music I am afraid I immediately assume I'm dealing with someone that really hasn't thought things through, or who perhaps is clinging to one idea to justify initial rudeness, which is, by the way, fine. I don't think you're entirely wrong Steve, my knowledge of the history of the Proms is limited-I just don't like being insulted from the outset of a discussion.
   My article was not about someone like you that loves both the Classical and folk art forms, it was about the average person on the street that has no access to our folk music at all and who will now have the chance to have that, for free, at one of our most famous arts festivals. If you react to perceived patronisation by committing the same crime it makes you look petty. Maybe I just did that! Oops. Going now. Sorry if I offended you, but I'm not an idiot and I honestly thought the beginning of the article qualified my position at the end.
Thanks everyone for your support. I have no doubt, because I've spent plenty of time around this forum, that you all would have ripped me to shreds if you had thought I was out of order.
eliza


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM

It grieves me to say it, but sadly most people 'on the street' have no access to either folk or classical music. Suggestions as to what we can do about that?

It's absolutely fantastic that both art forms should be represented at the Proms ... and we should be letting as many people as possible know about it.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,guy wolff
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM

This is a great discussion and as an American I have been amazed for years at the lack of national support, in Briton for its musical heritage. I am fascinated at everything said here .
        I would love to see how the powers that be in British legislation would feel about home made classical music get togethers in pubs . Would that fly easier then singsongs ?
        The British tourist board could use your wonderful folk music traditions as a commodity; not something to be embarrassed of to bring folks abroad.
        The discussion at hand is the tip of a rather large iceberg I think . Finding a common voice for a rather large and diverse group of folk musicians is daunting .I look forward some day to the Northumbrian Pipers So having a show at the Albert Hall in the same way great folk acts end up at our Carnigie Hall here in New York . More "traditional music" at both venues is the ticket!! In good will to all here , Guy Wolff


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:49 PM

" I would love to see how the powers that be in British legislation would feel about home made classical music get togethers in pubs ."

It's really interesting you should say that. When I was in discussion with our regional orchestral development body, one of the things I mentioned is that folk is unique in providing "ways in" to the music for adult musicians via sessions in pubs. I said how sad it is that many classically-trained musicians put down their instrument when they leave school, because there aren't informal opportunities to get together with other musicians and just play. I suggested maybe classical music could take a leaf from folk's book...

The classical bunch were horrified at the idea of classical music sessions in pubs! I was informed that classical musicians DO get together informally, in each other's homes, and maybe have a meal and a glass of wine and play. I asked how new people would access these groups, and they looked at me like I was nuts. "Why would you want strangers in your home?"

They weren't inclined to get it, really. So I gave up.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,guy wolff
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:01 PM

My wife plays viola de gamba and I could very easily see a consort of viols and sackbutts getting together in a pub for a "playin !! " A night of Gibons or Tallis " Yes this sort of thing really works to bring new people into the fold and enlarge everyones lives . (As a night of Anglo and English concertina at the Albert Hall could broaden another audience )Ahh what fun !   
yours guy


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM

You misrepresent what I said, Eliza. I said that the peception of most people( or rather those who can be arsed to actually have a perception I suppose) was finger-in-the-ear, etc. I was not resorting to saying that because that's how I perceive it. I don't. At least I didn't resort to mentioning Hitler. Oops - unfair? Yes, but no more so than your accusation was.   I was saying that there is a perception problem, and one of the problems of English folk music has been its inability to see this. It has been very inward-looking. I've been to very well-publicised gigs by Roy Bailey, Martin Carthy, Pete Coe, Brian Peters and other luminaries that have been attended by handfuls and it's very sad. The average person on the street had access and didn't want it.   A few big names can break through all that these days but they are the exceptions and they are rarely at the very heart of folk music - you know, a bit loud, a bit electric and all that...I love it all the same, just before you accuse me of purism, and I am not against change and innovation. The initial comment on your article was picking you up on your attack on the Proms, which I think was completely unjustified (and you've just admitted your limited knowledge of them - not something, I venture, that was to the fore in that final paragraph), and was in no way insulting. Try "direct." You put your head above the parapet and sometimes you have to just duck down again.   Anyway, to conclude, I think it's great that there will be folk music at the Proms. Good luck with it and make sure they put it on the telly.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:27 AM

According to the programme it is only the evening concert that will be on telly (BBC4) Steve. The afternoon prom is live on the radio as is the evening concert too. But the bit in the Guardian last Thursday (10th) suggests the media are interested in this event and so I'm hoping there will be further coverage of the days events since it is branching out from the traditional idea of the Proms and after all it is the Beeb's event.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:21 AM

Woo, Oh my!
Who would have thought that a simple concert could provoke such reactions?
Of course it's wonderful that the Beeb has included a Prom concert, and good luck to all involved (Mind you the RAH is a nightmare when it comes to PA....Aaaaargh!
In a way, I've always liked the way that a whole phalanx of BBC presenters (Start List.... Peel, Kershaw, Walker, McConie, Harris, Talkington, Sharp, even Terry Wogan!!) have gradually introduced a different take on all sorts of music. And put it in the mainstream too.
Having left work, I've been going through my recordings of "Folk" related artists, that I was lucky enough to meet and record in the last 30 years at the Beeb.
At a rough guess, I'm up to about 50 hours worth...and still got another bin liner full to sort out.
I'm with Eliza all the way on this one. All opportunities should be taken, although there is a part of me that would like to keep it quiet. If we tell too many people about this stuff, it might become popular!
Look at the Sheffield Carol singing. Once a quiet series of events in Yorkshire pubs, now, you almost need to get a AAA pass to get within 10 miles of the place!!

Anyway, Hope to get to the Barn in June, and good luck to all taking part.

Ralphie

PS Thanks for the mention for Housewives Choice, Eliza!!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:28 AM

I've been to very well-publicised gigs by Roy Bailey, Martin Carthy, Pete Coe, Brian Peters and other luminaries that have been attended by handfuls and it's very sad. The average person on the street had access and didn't want it.

I have been going to classical concerts for many years and for about twenty years my wife and I were season ticket holders at the Sheffield City Hall for the classical series. Season tickets numbers have been in decline for the last twenty years. My wife sings with the Philharmonic Chorus who struggle for younger (especially male) to join.

When I first arrived in Sheffield people queued around the block for tickets to some concerts - notably the Messiah - but other popular choral and orchestral works too. This never happens now.

I have been to well publicised classical concerts by major orchestras like the Halle - that whilst not empty have hardly been only part full. Around Christmas the Halle's Christmas concert was not a sell out for the first time in years.

A few days later Christy Moore and Declan Sinnot sold out the same venue at £30.00 a ticket.

So let's get rid of this myth you keep perpetuating Steve that people do not want folk. Folk is enjoying a boom at the moment with new festivals each year and new venues and a new audiences. And loads of young people. NB Folk, not folk clubs. The Times recently published (23/03) an article saying exactly the same thing about the USA.

If the major broadcasting organisation allowed people to perpetuate stupid myths about classical music and devoted one hour a week to a poor representaton of the genre on national radio and closed down a lot of the programmes without aking any notice of protests do you think it would last? Do you think it would get subsidised?

Well that's how the traditional music of this country is treated. So let's not knock those who are trying to alter that treatment.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM

And the Sheffield Carol Festival which takes place every two years is an instant sell out.

And I meant to say "young singers" of course.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:17 AM

"Which version of Folk Britannia is Shimrod talking about? The one in his/her head or the one that was actually broadcast on my TV?"

My point is that, in my opinion, Eliza C. is one of the few people uniquely qualified to 'represent' English Folk Music. I watched the 'Folk Britannia' programmes with some dismay. In one episode we had Billy Bragg, who seems to think he represents English Folk Music, hogging the stage (in my opinion Mr Bragg's output has very little to do with Folk Music - 'political punk' might be a better description - nothing wrong with that, if you like that sort of thing - I can't stand it!).

On the other hand, during Ms Carthy's episode, my recollection is that she sang a couple of songs but spent most of the programme introducing other performers.

I know that Ms Carthy reads this, and I really don't want to come across as some sort of 'starstruck fan', but I do think that, of all the younger performers, she is the most talented and most innovative, as well as the performer who gets closest to the emotional heart of English Trad. music. We need to hear more of Eliza Carthy and less of the likes of Mr Bragg! You are our great hope, Eliza - go for it!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM

With the greatest respect to Eliza, Shimrod, I think English traditional music would be in a pretty parlous state if its future rested on a single pair of shoulders. Billy Bragg notwithstanding, there are a host of young(ish) performers who are making positive contributions to the future of the music (and dance). Yes, Eliza takes risks and is innovative while remaining true to the tradition, which is not an easy feat to pull off, but she had some pretty good teachers in the previous generation of her family (not least in Lal Waterson).

But let's not forget about the rest of the young English folk scene. If the music has a future, it is going to rely on a critical mass of solid young performers, and from what I observe at festivals and events around the country, the scene is in rude good health. There are many of them whom I'd be happy to see as ambassadors for English folk music.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:38 AM

Dave. I'm not saying that all is sweetness and roses in classical either. But chucking in a long-time legend like Christy in to demonstrate how to get audiences is like me saying we'll get Simon Rattle and the Berlin Phil, fill the Bridgewater three times over and lo! See how all's well in the world of classical!   And the Hallé playing Messiaen or Shostakovich will never fill the hall but that is not a reason for not airing less mainstream, less popular works. Without subsidy you'd have to ditch them (no loss to me in those cases as it happens but that's hardly the point is it. Had Bach been left to "market forces" in the hundred years after his death instead of being advocated by a few aficionados with vision we would scarcely have heard of him now). A big promoter in London can fill the Albert Hall every week as long as puts the all-bells-and-whistles 1812 on the menu. The subsidies for classical help to preserve diversity. I hope you can see it's not the same perception problem as with folk music. Anyone can quote exceptions that prove the rule. I happen to think that we need to preserve culture, even minority culture, and that will usually require taxpayers' dosh. Jeez, if they can do it for Northern bloody Rock... The problem with folk is that it has yet to prove (not to you, not to me, not to each other!) that there is culture worth preserving. To the general public, even to the reluctant Beeb. Traditional Irish has big problems of perception (and the rapidly-changing nature of the country) too but they are not the same as here and there are several regular (and good) radio slots on RTE and on local radio. It's what people think of us at the end of the day innit. We can't expect either them or even the Beeb to make all the running in getting the perception right and fair. It has to come from within.   Whining on about lack of subsidy of folk is a perfect manifestation of one of the symptoms of the problem.   Anyway, the Barn Concert is great and will do good. I didn't haven't a pot at Eliza's article because I have a problem with the gig.   I just don't. I didn't have a problem with the article either apart from the snipe in the final paragraph. We need good airings by good people. All power.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM

political punk

Shimrod doesn't seem to be aware of the range of Billy Bragg's songwriting output.
Long may King James' Version stay in Eliza's set (and indeed St Swithin's Day in her mother's).


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:46 AM

And I happen to think that Billy Bragg is truly a folk performer in the best sense of the term. He sings great songs about CONTEMPORARY issues that affect real people. If there had ever been a golden age that's what folk singers would have been doing. Yes, that could get up some traditionalists' noses I suppose. Of course, if we WANT to sideline anyone with electric pretensions or regional accents...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:06 AM

"Whining on about lack of subsidy of folk is a perfect manifestation of one of the symptoms of the problem."

I'd love to see how the classical community would start whining if their subsidy was cut back so that it was commensurate with other artforms.

The whole point is that the lack of subsidy reflects the lack of priority placed on our national music by the government - a huge missed opportunity, as was mentioned earlier, in terms of tourism and national identity.

While Cecil Sharp House in London struggles to even be fit for purpose, Ceol, the recently-opened Irish Traditional Music Centre in Dublin, received something like £4m in public subsidy. Its opening was attended by the Minister for Culture. Apparently it's a fantastic building with great facilities - a showcase for the country's traditional culture.

THAT's why I'm "whining on". Because if English music were properly valued and funded, it could stand shoulder to shoulder with any other music this country produces. You may call it whining - I call it lobbying.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM

But I'm saying we have to ask ourselves why the nation doesn't fall over backwards to give us some dosh. I't's no good keeping complaining that it just ain't fair. We have to address the reasons for the reluctance. Folk music is seen by a lot of non-folkies as inhabiting its own strange, cliquey world. You know it's wrong, I know it's wrong, but if that's what people think the government is not going to throw money gleefully in our direction. I mean, can you demonstrate how folk music can be used to help define our "national identity," still more drag in the tourist quid? You've got a job on there!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:18 AM

Of course, we could start by not calling ourselves "folkies." Just like Irish music should avoid referring to itself as "diddley music."


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

If someone employed me to do it, Steve, I daresay I could. Irish music didn't get to where it is without national government intervention.

If the government recognised traditional culture as part of the heritage industry, and promoted it accordingly (perhaps starting with the brilliant folk festivals we have), it would raise the profile of the music and dance both within Britain and beyond.

If money was spent on teaching children GOOD QUALITY traditional music and dance in schools, it would begin to form part of a national identity.

Two quick ideas, as I'm just off out. But honestly, it's not rocket science.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:42 AM

EC didn't front any of 'Folk Britannia', she co-presented the 'Daughters of Albion' concert and her 'episode' isn't on either of the two series recordings I made!

Is 'Visual Comprehension' not taught in schools at all?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: mattkeen
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:47 AM

As the old album title goes:
"Hull 4 London 0"

I think its brilliant


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:49 AM

"And I happen to think that Billy Bragg is truly a folk performer in the best sense of the term. He sings great songs about CONTEMPORARY issues that affect real people. If there had ever been a golden age that's what folk singers would have been doing."

Says who?

Oh how I hate the idea that music has to be 'relevant'! The idea that Folk Music has to be 'relevant' is a politically correct, Twentieth Century fabrication. It's a load of sanctimonius twaddle! The only things that Folk Music is, or has to be, relevant to is the human heart and imagination. Let's have less f*cking 'relevance' and more skill and passion. Over to you, Eliza ...

I stand by everything I said!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Willa
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:51 AM

"The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things."


Clearly they don't relise that many composers of classical music did feel they could learn from the'folk' and did so!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:58 AM

There's none so blind as those that won't....


    C !!!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:13 AM

QUOTE "And I happen to think that Billy Bragg is truly a folk performer in the best sense of the term. He sings great songs about CONTEMPORARY issues that affect real people. If there had ever been a golden age that's what folk singers would have been doing."

Says who? UNQUOTE

Oh, for goodness sake, there wasn't a golden age so just allow me my reverie. As for relevance, there's room for a bit o' that and there's room for a bit of irrelevance. As long as we shut up about Willie Taylor every now and again. It is perception you know. He even puts me off, and I'm a folkie. For want of a much, much better word.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Confrontation Viper
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:15 AM

Nice to see those Ghastly Geffs staying out of this thread, what?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:17 AM

Who?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:23 AM

Bit of a non-row this thread really, not sure that people have fully listened to what Steve Shaw is trying to say, or that Steve Shaw fully listened to what Eliza Carthy had to say.
   Anyway,I would like to raise a couple of related points. Ruth Archer makes a great deal of the posh people who make up the classical world, and the common people who make up the folk world. In fact, that split seems to be the whole thrust of her argument. I think that is largely wishful thinking, making up facts to fit a theory. Now, I know people in Bellowhead, and I know classical musicians, not to mention lots of other genres. I do not honestly think there is that much difference between the average cultural and social backgrounds of those in Bellowhead, and those in the Halle orchestra or whatever(or at least in the backgrounds of the classical players of comparable age to Bellowhead). Folk music obviously originally came from, on average, a lower social class than did classical. But the current practitioners of folk-related music(or at least those selected to be at the proms)are converging, as regards class, with the classical world.
    Obviously I am speaking generally, there are some working class classical people, as there are working class young folkies.But times have changed.
    My other, and very similar point, is that it is great there is a folk day at the proms, but it is only a start. There has always been some folk related stuff available in the "respectable" music world. Composers and performers have often chosen to perform, and experiment with, folk related material: they do this in music, as they do in the visual arts world, or in literature. The folk revival of the 50's and 60's did this and has developed into the "folk scene" of today. But the real breakthough will occur when "actual" folk music is shown and made available in these settings, on an equal footing with the processed and reworked and developed versions. Then we shall really see some eyes being opened!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: the button
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM

Good points from Greg, I reckon.

Maybe folk & classical share a common problem, in that there's a perception from a lot of people that they're "not for the likes of me." As much as I love (some) classical music, this was very much the feeling I had the first time I went to the Royal Festival Hall, even though (at £6 for the cheapest seats) it was one of the cheapest nights out in London.

The "not for the likes of me" factors might be different in folk (FWIW, I think it's largely a question of image), but they're there all the same.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Meggly
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:30 AM

"The idea that Folk Music has to be 'relevant' is a politically correct, Twentieth Century fabrication."

Ummmm, wasn't it 'relevent' at some point back 'in the day'? Where did all the songs come from if it wasn't? What about the ballads of people being pressed into the Navy for example? Did that not happen?

As I saw it, the 'folk' songs that we sing now came from the real experiences of the people who 'wrote' them, which is just what Billy has been doing.

But more than that, I don't see that just becuase a song was written about the Napoleonic wars it isn't relevant today; we still have wars; lovers still head off into the blue (albeit with better telecommunications); people still have one-night stands (although not in hay-ricks with Grenadiers). Although, I suppose, at least we don't get pilloried for haveing sex out of wedlock these days; but then I also find it hard to notice a lovely May morning, living in the smoke as I do, so there's good and bad in the modern world.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:36 AM

Well, Greg, I read the article and took umbrage at the final paragraph, which I thought was ill-considered. It's a simple as that. Yep, hands in the air, I started it. I like the fact that luminaries from the world of folk music get articles in newspapers and I like the fact that the Proms is reaching out a bit. The general tone of the article was just fine - until that dig at the end, which was predicated on a very limited knowledge of the Proms, as Eliza later admits. Maybe I should have said that to balance my first post but there was plenty of balance coming from elsewhere at the time. Right? But we're also reading stuff on this thread that seems to pit classical against folk, and that is not right. Tell me where I wasn't listening.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:41 AM

Steve Shaw,

"But we're also reading stuff on this thread that seems to pit classical against folk, and that is not right."

I guess in terms of accessing funding, that is entirely right. With a limited pot it is competitive.

Strange that on a mostly "folk" forum that the majority of posters come down on the side of folk! Not.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:45 AM

Back in about 1970 to my delight one Prom concert was presented by "Soft Machine" with "Badger" as a support act, and there was all sorts of comments made then about how standards were falling etc.

The experiment was not repeated as I recall.

Anyone think that this will become a regular part of the Proms?
If it's an attempt to get more people into classical music by putting on one event from another style of music I think it is doomed, back in the 70s I only listened to the "Soft Machine Prom".

Or with the present declining status of classical music will other inclusions be made. After all, classical music could be a passing fad; Unlike folk, it only seems to cover a period of about 200-300 years:)

Robin Madge


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:45 AM

Strange indeed, not, but you can't beat a bit of balanced thinking. We're not writing letters to Take That's fanzine, you know.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:47 AM

"Unlike folk, it only seems to cover a period of about 200-300 years:)"

Haha, good joke! I'll have a belly-laugh just after my Hildegarde von Bingen CD has finished...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:54 AM

...the 'folk' songs that we sing now came from the real experiences of the people who 'wrote' them, which is just what Billy has been doing.

There is nothing in Traditional Folksong to compare with prescriptive right-on proslytisation as purveyed by Billy Bragg, VOTP. We find narratives, experiences, regrets & reminiscences - but messages? Maybe not, at least none so overtly declaimed, and certainly none so political, Lord preserve us, unless in their interpretation, but never in their intention.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:58 AM

"Ruth Archer makes a great deal of the posh people who make up the classical world, and the common people who make up the folk world. In fact, that split seems to be the whole thrust of her argument."

No, Greg, I was pointing out the historical situation which has led us to where we are now. If you don't believe me, look at Keynes or Reith and their respective views on the founding of the Arts Council and the BBC. My version may have been pretty potted and simplified, but as I used to teach this stuff I feel pretty confident that it's accurate.

The middle classes are largely the patrons of the arts in general (including folk), so one could argue (and my students used to have to write an essay on this very topic) that the National Lottery is a tax on the poor to subsidise the entertainment of the middle classes. Again, I'm not going all class war - I absolutely believe in public subsidy of the arts. But that's another debate.

I'm also not really trying to pit classical against folk - at least not as artforms. I haven't said that I think folk is better than classical music - all I've said is that it deserves equal visibility and status. Not very contentous, really, unless you're a classical bod who sees such statements as a threat to your annual funding bean feast.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:02 AM

Not all traditional songs, Sedayne, but some, surely. Some of the Jone O'Grinfilt variants are taking digs at the government of the day, individual politicians and even Royalty... Surely, that's political.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:04 AM

"There is nothing in Traditional Folksong to compare with prescriptive right-on proslytisation as purveyed by Billy Bragg, VOTP. We find narratives, experiences, regrets & reminiscences - but messages? Maybe not, at least none so overtly declaimed, and certainly none so political, Lord preserve us, unless in their interpretation, but never in their intention. "



No wonder butter's a shilling a pound,
See those rich farmers' daughters how they ride up and down
If you ask them the reason they'll say, "Bonny lass
There's been a French war, and the cows have no grass."

Chorus:
Singing, honesty's all out of fashion
These are the rigs of the time,
Time, my boys
These are the rigs of the time.
Now here's to our landlord, I must bring him in,
Charges tuppence a pint and yet thinks it no sin.
When he do bring it in, the measure is short
And the top of the pint is all covered in froth.

And here's to the butcher, I must bring him in,
Charges four pence a pound and yet thinks it no sin.
Slaps his thumb on the scales and makes it go down
He declares it's full weight yet it lacks half a pound.

And here's to the baker, I must bring him in,
Charges a ha'penny a loaf and yet thinks it no sin.
When he do bring it in, it's no bigger than your fist
And the top of the loaf has popped off with the yeast.

Now here's to the tailor who skims with our clothes,
And here's to the cobbler who pinches our toes,
Our belly's all empty, our bodies are bare,
No wonder we've reason to curse and to swear.

Now the very best thing that I could find
Is to toss them all up in a high gale of wind.
When the wind it do blow, the balloon it would burst,
And the biggest old rascal come tumbling down first.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:06 AM

I thought that Hildegarde von Bingen was "early music" rather than "classical" according to current clsifications, and I wouldn't think of that as the same sort of music. I would think that most people don't think of anything earlier than perhaps Purcell as "classical".


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: mattkeen
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:32 AM

A lot of traditional songs surely were, to some extent, in code. They simply couldn't be as politically overt as Billy Bragg

For instance - don't you think that a lot of the songs admiring Napoleon were phrased as they were because it would have been dangerous to say "Lets have a revolution like them French geezers - that'll show the bastards".


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:44 AM

Nice one, Ruth! But Rigs of the Time doesn't strike me as being political in the slightest, just a realistic overview of the sort of shit that invariably goes down in an open market economy. We could put an anti-capitalist gloss on it, but it's the quality of basic human decency that's being lamented here, rather than free-trade per-se, and one still gets the impression it's just one person's experience.

I thought of a few other exceptions to what I said earlier on too, but I stumbled on trying to fix any secure provenance on any of them, saving the odd Corn Law or Chartist anthem which are politically overt but not necessarily folk songs, even though they might be (convincingly) sang as such.

Decidedly off thread, as ever, but if any one's got any more...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:49 AM

I would have thought Purcell was decidedly Baroque; it's not until the middle of the 18th century that classical music kicks in, which, oddly enough, is where I generally stop listening...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:57 AM

Political songs?

What about The Cropper Lads

That would appear to be inviting luddite behaviour amongst the masses

Just a thought

Sarah

Who actually quite likes some classical stuff and sings in a choral society before going on to an Irish session in a pub.
Diversity is the spice of life


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:57 AM

Well, having pulled down Roy Palmer's excellent collection "A Touch on the Times" from my bookshelf, there are dozens.

Striking Times (1850s), with the chorus "And it's high time that working men should have it their own way, And for a fair day's labour receive a fair day's pay," could be right out of the Billy Bragg songbook.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:13 AM

"There is nothing in Traditional Folksong to compare with prescriptive right-on proslytisation as purveyed by Billy Bragg, VOTP. We find narratives, experiences, regrets & reminiscences - but messages? Maybe not, at least none so overtly declaimed, and certainly none so political, Lord preserve us, unless in their interpretation, but never in their intention."

I think you may be missing something about contemporary folk song. It ain't just Billy Bragg who breaks your rule. Why, Christy Moore, Leon Rosselson, Dick Gaughan and Roy Bailey do it all the time, to name but a few. I mean, is it folk? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:26 AM

"I thought that Hildegarde von Bingen was 'early music' rather than 'classical' according to current clsifications, and I wouldn't think of that as the same sort of music. I would think that most people don't think of anything earlier than perhaps Purcell as 'classical'."


Aargh!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:09 PM

Hey Eliza.
Can we use the quote?
"Some patronising, low brow Housewives' Choice that everyone knows in their heart of hearts is a bit desparate"
Couldn't have put it better myself!
Baroque and Roll
Onwards with a grin.
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:26 PM

So what Hildegard CD were you listening to, Steve? My favourite remains Sequentia's original 1982 recording of Ordo Virtutem, which I have in the vinyl boxset.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 01:57 PM

Canticles of Ecstasy, recorded by Sequentia in 1993. The next oldest music to that I love is the Cantigas from 13th century Spain. I have a wonderful CD by Ensemble Alcatraz with Kitka (women's vocal ensemble) which contains Cantigas de Santa Maria and the seven wonderful Cantigas de Amigo of Martin Codax. It's a 2000 recording on the Dorian label. Classical meets folk, after a fashion. ;-) It's fabulous stuff.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 02:36 PM

Re Bellowhead - Paul Sartin was a classical musician and choral scholar until he heard Ian Giles in a pub in Oxford..... and Eliza's dad was a chorister too!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 02:39 PM

I just pictured Sir Martin in a frock with frilly collar....


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: mattkeen
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 02:56 PM

Chris Wood was a chorister too, and Tim van Eyken studied and sang at Wells Cathedral as a boy.


John Dipper plays like he could play anything at all with grace and brilliance.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Surreysinger
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:08 PM

Kitty - unless I'm mistaken, doesn't Paul Sartin still perform in the realms of classical music as well ?? I had the feeling that he was part of a male singing quartet, not to mention being involved with music for series like the Vicar of Dibley


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:11 PM

for completists:

Paul Sartin

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:18 PM

I think it's great that there are classically trained singers and musicians who can perform and improvise folk song and music and sound really good without the dots....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:27 PM

It would be very interesting to her from such singers and musicians (who can play classical etc from dots and folk without them) about the way they approach each type of playing/singing, and the extent to which each style informs the other.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:47 PM

This thread is hilarious.

I thought we'd agreed that 'f**k' isn't definable?

Clearly not....


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:55 PM

who's we, oh great troll, Guest Ed? You in your mind may have decided, but the debate, clearly is, a never ending one and most likely will always be so.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:57 PM

oh and the word FOLK is not a rude one, so you can print it in full *LOL*

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:00 PM

Not sure wjy you choose to call me a troll whilst I make exactly the same point as you. But there we go...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:07 PM

Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer - PM
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

If someone employed me to do it, Steve, I daresay I could. Irish music didn't get to where it is without national government intervention.

If the government recognised traditional culture as part of the heritage industry, and promoted it accordingly (perhaps starting with the brilliant folk festivals we have), it would raise the profile of the music and dance both within Britain and beyond.

If money was spent on teaching children GOOD QUALITY traditional music and dance in schools, it would begin to form part of a national identity.

Two quick ideas, as I'm just off out. But honestly, it's not rocket science.
RUTH,are you sure?
when did Comhaltas first receive government money.the first few fleadhs,were they supported with government money.the 1950s in Ireland,was a time of mass emigration and poverty,my guess is that the first nine fleadhs 1951 to 196o,didnt receive government funding.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Surreysinger
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:25 PM

Well,as a singers I've been doing both since being knee high to a grasshopper. I've been a sightreading choral singer since schooldays, and have been singing folksong in tandem (although not, I hasten to add, at the same time !) I wouldn't dream of using most of my choral techniques for folk singing though ... overly dotted i's and crossed t's sound daft, and extremely uncomfortable, for traditional unaccompanied English songs. Similarly I wouldn't dream of using some of the vocal mannerisms that I sometimes I adopt when singing folksong for the choral singing. I'd be strung up for that ! When singing with the dots, it's mostly a matter of following the instructions you're given - either by the score, or by the conductor, and singing (in my case) to someone else's direction.

I've found that choral or classically trained singers of my acquaintance have deep difficulty in shaking off their training in terms of use of consonants and vowels - these can sound so over the top in traditional song. They are also exceedingly nervous of coming off the page - ask them to improvise something, and they'll get intensely jittery. Ask them to memorise something, and they'll panic (I've seen that happen on a music summer school that I've been attending for a number of years, where the (very well known) conductor insists on two songs being learned by heart for performance at the end of the week.) When told that you can sing over 80 songs from memory they invariably ask how on earth you can manage to do that ! I've often wondered what they would have made of Henry Burstow with his 400 songs, or James Parsons and his phenomenal number (not to mention others).

I know that I switch from one mode to the other without thinking about it too much - and that's probably because I've been singing both types of music (and loving both) since I was small. I suspect it's more difficult to make the transition if you've become ingrained in one type of music for a long time before tackling the other.

As to one style informing the other - of course there's a crossover. For me that would have to be the tuition I've received in vocal techniques, breathing techniques, posture etc while singing with choirs - all very valuable stuff - and the principle guidance on the need for communication with the people that you're singing to. Those principles apply whatever type of music you're involved with, as does the need to transmit the story or the message of whatever you are singing - whether it be Mozart Requiem, or "The Unquiet Grave". As my long term choral conductor always says, you should be aiming to get it over to your stone deaf granny in the back row !! And in both forms the singer is trying to put over to the audience their own enjoyment of and feeling for the music .

Having the ability to read the dots does, of course, mean its possible to shortcut some of the learning process. However, whereas with classical music, on the whole, one stays with what is written on the page, the music of a song in a book is just the leaping off point for a folksong. Once the basic tune has been learned, then its a matter of learning words, and moulding the tune to fit the words and the feel of the content.

Coo - that all sounds a bit pompous dunnit ??


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Surreysinger
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:26 PM

Whoops - that was a response to George... took so long to type that three or four snuck in under the wire in between .. [grins]


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:41 PM

Surreysinger - as you know, I fell (ascended?) into folk music from choral singing. I was practising a Les Sullivan song last weekend and realised that I found a guilty pleasure in singing through the consonants because it sounded right for the song....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Surreysinger
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

LOL ... yup, Kitty, I was actually thinking back to that conversation of ours at the National more years ago than I care to remember (after listening to Martin C talking about his years as a young choral singer, IIRC) as I wrote some of that. I think that that was the first time we met wasn't it ?? I definitely think that it should never be said that you "fell" into folk music though ... how could it be considered to be a descent ??


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:09 PM

Because I fell among friends....? And yes, Irene, I was thinking of that "Meet Martin Carthy" session at the National, too!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:29 PM

Quoth Surreysinger: "I wouldn't dream of using most of my choral techniques for folk singing though ... overly dotted i's and crossed t's sound daft, and extremely uncomfortable, for traditional unaccompanied English songs. Similarly I wouldn't dream of using some of the vocal mannerisms that I sometimes I adopt when singing folksong for the choral singing. I'd be strung up for that ! When singing with the dots, it's mostly a matter of following the instructions you're given - either by the score, or by the conductor, and singing (in my case) to someone else's direction.

I've found that choral or classically trained singers of my acquaintance have deep difficulty in shaking off their training in terms of use of consonants and vowels - these can sound so over the top in traditional song."

Phew. Here's half or more of the problem. Folk-singing with its unwritten rules! Can't do this cos I'd be strung up for that, deep difficulty shaking off the training...

There...are...no...rules! Of all the genres of music, surely folk-singing in all its diversity can shrug all this nonsense off. I told you two-thirds of a thread ago that inward-lookingness was the problem...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:36 PM

'I told you two-thirds of a thread ago that inward-lookingness was the problem...'

This is, of course, your personal opinion, and not the gospel truth. and you know what? I 've never had a problem with a few rules to guide me. You, however seem to be once more, or still, slagging the music you profess to love.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:26 PM

Oh, Charlotte, 'tis not the music I'm slagging. We are discussing attitudes to it here, not the thing itself.   I wouldn't bother arguing about it if I didn't love it. I hate jazz and want it to go away and for that reason you'll never catch me bothering to slag it off. Can't be arsed, as it were. And OK, I challenge you. List for me the rules of folk-singing that guide you (and, presumably, should guide the rest of us - unless, of course, the rules are personal to you, in which case the rest of us can make up our own minds about rules...). I await with trepidation. And as for gospel truth - as an atheist I rejoice in that wonderful phrase as the ultimate oxymoron that it truly is.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 02:46 AM

Hmmm. See what you're saying Steve, but can you imagine the Week Before Easter in the style of a opera diva? That would be just plain old silly.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:02 AM

"I thought we'd agreed that 'f**k' isn't definable?"

No, if you'd read any of the interminable threads that have gone before there are (at least) two irreconcilable schools of thought:

(i) Those people who know that 'Folk' was defined perfectly adequately back in 1954.

(ii) Those who, for some unaccountable reason, are desperate to have their favourite types of music defined as 'Folk'.

Now, before you come back at me, and bore the pants off everyone else, please go back and read all of those interminable threads - and when you've done that - GO AWAY!!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:00 AM

The fact that folkies can sit around "contributing" to long, interminable threads which agonise over the meaning of "folk" is a big symptom of the problem.   Next time I've been a naughty boy I must remind myself to read those threads for punishment. Beats the confessional box, the hair shirt and self-flagellation any day.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Marje
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:11 AM

So Steve, it's Ok for you to pass on and share your thoughts about folk music in threads like this,but when others do it, it's inward-looking and a waste of time?

Marje


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: folk_radio_uk
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:24 AM

A great article Eliza and as for the last paragraph, I loved it!

Great to see you getting a voice and using to make what is clearly a view shared by many as is clear in this thread.

Well done and I'm looking forward to your new album!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:41 AM

Marje, this thread is a response to a topical newspaper article and the tangential discussion that has arisen from that is not about "the meaning of folk" (apart from the inane offshoot about Billy Bragg!) but about the public perception of it. Taking your comment to its logical conclusion, it probably isn't OK for anyone to give their views about anything folk-related simply because they think that the old, crusty debate about "what is folk," so oft rehashed in usually thin disguise, is utterly shagged out. I think I can say this, as an opinion, without disqualifying myself from commenting on other aspects of folk music, thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM

So you go to the Proms a lot, eh, Alex?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

Hey, Steve! I just found this post from you on another thread - you know, the one about Eliza and Seth Lakeman being asked to write about their favourite songs in The Guardian:

"Why the hell were Carthy and Lakeman selected for this by the Guardian anyway! This calls for a letter to the editor. I can only surmise that someone thought that Englishness has something to do with bloody big egos. There, I've gorn and said it."

It's nice to know that your comments to/about Eliza on this thread were borne purely of your response to her Observer piece, and not because you've got a dirty great chip on your shoulder.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:06 AM

"It's nice to know that your comments to/about Eliza on this thread were borne purely of your response to her Observer piece, and not because you've got a dirty great chip on your shoulder."

Nice one, maybe that will stop him whinging on!

Didn't want to be petty on the thread hence PM.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:25 AM

Note the "e" in "whingeing," in case you need it again.   I said many feet up the thread, Ruth Archer, that I reacted to the article taking it at face value. I maintain that the last paragraph was unwise and ill-informed. Up to that point in our proceedings the article had not been challenged in the thread in any way, and I thought there were at least some grounds to challenge that last paragraph. I have said more than once that the rest of the article is fine, it's good that our luminaries get space in the papers and that the folk Prom is a great idea. Your job, if you're interested, is to counteract my adverse view of the "offending" passage with argument.   It is not your job to imply that I can't be objective because of opinions I expressed in the past on a different topic. Frankly, and I think you know it, that is a cheap shot. You are posting on a public forum and I will thank you to not make insinuations about my integrity.   I've put a fair amount of effort into my posts in this thread, right or wrong, and I'll argue my corner as best I can. Might I suggest that you do the same.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:40 AM

Thank you for the spelling lesson. No doubt I will need the word again........

Paul


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:42 AM

"Your job, if you're interested, is to counteract my adverse view of the "offending" passage with argument."

My job is whatever I choose it to be. Who died and made you king? You, too, are posting on a public forum (where anyone who cares to can see that you have attacked Eliza, her perceived lack of talent and her ego on at least three different threads). Expect people to take all of what you say in context. Eliza herself clearly found your opening gambit aggressive and offensive: "Are you saying that the Folk Day is a bad idea or just that I'm an idiot you don't like? It's not clear from your post."

For what it's worth, Eliza plays for Goathland Plough Stots and Bampton Morris. She plays free of charge in charity concerts. She is about as generous with her time as someone in her position could realistically be expected to be, and this is because of her huge commitment to the tradition. I'm not sure how you define "bloody big egos", but I'd be intrigued to know.

In any case, I have already countered your argument with a number of considered postings, but as you acknowledge no opinion but your own, I think anyone reading can tell who really has the ego problem.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM

I haven't attacked your integrity and now you're just getting cross. You're just cherry-picking from the thread. Of course I listen to what people have to say. I have agreed with some points made by various contributors to this thread and not agreed with others. I have been coaxed into declaring my support for the article as a whole and for the Proms project, something I'm very happy to do and which I probably would not have had occasion to do had I not posted to this thread. I acknowledged that my opening post could have been better balanced. I told you that I've seen Eliza twice and you may recall a smiley, indicating pleasure, after the mention. Of course I've stuck my head above the parapet on previous occasions and I'm quite happy for you to bring that up. I have nothing to hide, believe me. What I'm not happy about that you're extrapolating that into a personal attack on my integrity. Desist please.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:59 AM

And I don't want to give you homework but my search talents are very poor. Perhaps you'd care to reference those three threads so that anyone who's in the faintest way interested (not many, I'll wager) can see exactly what I said for themselves. Unsupported quotes on forums are not the best idea. Oh dear, What am I letting myself in for.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: mattkeen
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:06 AM

No I don't think Ruth is getting cross, she is just countering your argument again.

In any case, argument and counter argument isn't everything.... in fact its mainly semantics wrapped in a conceit of logic, and its conclusions do not actually tell you/one what is right and what is wrong or what is true or false. Wisdom does that, and you Steve are displaying very little of it.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM

I think you're misinterpreting my post - I'm not at all angry. It's interesting, though, that you interpret having your own words repeated back to you as a "personal attack" that is out of line, while simultaneously feeling entitled to make quite public personal attacks on the personalities of artists that you clearly don't know.

Don't dish it out if you can't take it, as my mum used to say.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:18 AM

I just asked you to dish it out and you've yet to oblige. Actually, you've lowered the tone enough now so I'm going off to help the bloke who needs advice on his moothie-playing if it's all right with you. You could perhaps find something more useful to do as well. Perhaps help Matt with his semantics or whatever he was on about. Ta-ta.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:22 AM

"Actually, you've lowered the tone enough now"

LOL! I kind of think you did that with your first post - I don't think I referred to anyone else's opinions as "loadsabollox". But htere we go.

Ta-ra a bit...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:45 AM

Here you go Steve:


A snippet of your views on Eliza Carthy


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:52 AM

Here is another Steve.

detail.cfm?messages__Message_ID=2264175

Admittedly you have included Seth Lakeman in this attack as well.

Sorry Ruth you ought to be doing this but I couldn't resist.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:54 AM

It's called "tall poppy syndrome", I believe.
Anyway, you butted in and spoiled the rally.
New balls!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM

Thanks for the link, Banjiman.

For the record I found those comments 'quite interesting'. I didn't agree with them mind - but then I'm just an "inward looking self-flagellator", so what do I know?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 09:06 AM

Sigh. I really am leaving the thread in a mo. Banjiman could have looked a bit further down that thread where there was something I said that Ruth agreed with. :-) So a bit unkind but there you go. On t'other hand Dave could have trawled down a bit more and found much worse. Go, Dave! Good luck to y'all. I've lost. The "paragraph" remains inviolable and the thread now belongs to the sycophants. Next!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:08 AM

Steve,
Nobody's won, so you can't have lost - I believe in the law of entropy. Differences of opinion have been noted. Some offence was given - and more taken, but then that's internet communication without the assistance of body language for you. In the end no blood was spilled. But you're right, this one has been beaten to death.

See you again, in some thread down the road...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Banjiman
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:13 AM

Steve,

Absolutely no intention to be unkind, it was actually a completely random choice from your postings, the first one I read. It amplified the point being made though.

No winners, no losers, just points debated.

Enjoy the rest of the proms and I'll enjoy the folk event.

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:28 AM

Captain Birdseye- Irish music didn't get to where it is without national government intervention.

If the government recognised traditional culture as part of the heritage industry, and promoted it accordingly (perhaps starting with the brilliant folk festivals we have), it would raise the profile of the music and dance both within Britain and beyond.

Amen! Well said.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 10:53 AM

TO ALL THREAD CONTRIBUTORS
Phew!! All your wide ranging correspondence has quite exhausted me concerning Eliza Carthy. But I`m a stayer and look forward to your observations on the Rachel Unthank item in today`s "Daily Telegraph".


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 11:18 AM

Looks like it is copied from last year's press release. Here's the Guardian's sort of near identical take on the same press release but dated last Septmeber.

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2168104,00.html


It's why the Telegraph is called a "news" paper.

And sorry - we did the Unthank sisters ages ago.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 11:33 AM

"Looks like it is copied from last year's press release."

I thought the same. Nothing new - the Belinda quotes are obviously old, and even the picture is of the old lineup.

I liked this bit:

"On the train from Newcastle to Carlisle, en route to visit folk singer Rachel Unthank at her cottage near Hadrian's Wall, I ask a fellow passenger if he knows the Unthanks.

I'm told they are a well-known local family, and that there is an Unthank Hall. And there was me thinking it was some rather original stage name..."

Right - so he'd done his research, then...

I find it rather hard to believe that anyone had to travel all the way to Carlisle on a train to construct a piece of press-release puff like this.

I dunno - why does it seem that recently there have been a lot of pieces in the national press by journalists who don't have any context for folk at all? The Telegraph could have got Colin Irwiin to do a much better job - he's writing for them now.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 02:48 PM

Well-known local family... I expect they are now, but George Unthank was originally from Teesside, not Tyneside, I think?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 02:53 PM

'The Telegraph could have got Colin Irwiin to do a much better job '

Yeah, I understand he's real good with obituaries *LOL*

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 03:00 PM

????


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 03:42 PM

Yes, indeed, he did cause Mr Swarbrick to remark while sitting up in a hospital bed reading the Torygraph (why I wonder if he was feeling ill already?) that it wasn't the first time he'd died in Coventry. That was nine years ago and he's touring like nothing's happened.
.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 03:45 PM

Yes - and Colin has written one or two pieces since then, funnily enough - it would be sad if his whole career were defined by one incident (which wasn't even his fault).


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 03:56 PM

The man totally amazes me, I watched a couple of vids on You Tube of the Fairport Liege and Lief line up, what energy he has...incredible! Now if we could get Swarb over to Canada, that would be something!

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 03:58 PM

Yeah, yeah, it was the Torygraph wanting to put an inside page to bed early . . .

Mr Irwin has written more than a few other pieces containing monumental screwups. No, I can't be arsed to list them. They're quite readily accessible.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:09 PM

...and they'd had the obit on file for some time.

Everyone makes mistakes. Personally, I think the great service he's done to folk outweighs any Colin may have made. Heck, even Folkiedave likes him now! :)

He's one of the good guys.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:12 PM

I find it rather hard to believe that anyone had to travel all the way to Carlisle on a train to construct a piece of press-release puff like this.

I doubt he left the office.

People lie. They pretend they are interviewing people in one place and they are really in another.

Disgraceful.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:16 PM

LMFAO!!!!

Naughty, naughty man.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:43 PM

with a view of that obituary in mind, I still have a problem with In Search of Albion, parts of which I enjoy immensely, but.....Maybe one one day I'll get passed the block.

Charlotte R


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