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Change at the BBC folk awards

GUEST 13 Oct 12 - 06:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 12 - 08:57 PM
Will Fly 14 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Oct 12 - 06:17 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 12 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Bobs folk show 14 Oct 12 - 06:58 AM
Johnny J 14 Oct 12 - 07:46 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM
Silas 14 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM
Will Fly 14 Oct 12 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Desi C 14 Oct 12 - 08:17 AM
SteveMansfield 14 Oct 12 - 08:20 AM
Silas 14 Oct 12 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,CS 14 Oct 12 - 08:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Oct 12 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Oct 12 - 04:31 PM
Will Fly 14 Oct 12 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,999 14 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 06:58 PM

Bernard Wrigley. Wouldn't you rather see him than Dolly Parton strumming indifferently?

In all honesty, no. And in terms of listening rather than seeing, definitely no!

jeremy Taylor . . . The Yetties, and Ian Campbell's group

All made it onto the TV. Taylor was on regularly, Campbells were certainly in the ATV Hullabaloo series and I'm sure others. Yetties' own web site refers to "numerous TV appearances".

You can usually tell if there's any real demand for stuff by whether it turns up on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 08:57 PM

yeh they were squeezed onto shitty news programmes, or Taylor endeared himself to Spike Milligan - and got squuezed for a few minutes in front of rthe camera.

But really you shouild know better.

These were important people with a story to tell about the creativity - its sources and its practice.

Bonnie Sartin of the Yetties for example - his family supplied the Hammonds with some of the songs for their collection. Ian Campbell what a seminal character - a folksinger Dad, there at the time of the folk Ballads records , there on the records with MacColl, and his kids go onto form UB40 - a real multi cultural phenomenon.

Every bloody one of them has a more interesting and compelling tale to tell than what passes for folk music.

What about that Bolton power house of humour and folk club acts - the Bob Williamson, Brownsville Banned, Bernard Wrigley axis.

I understand - you don't get it. You think every thing is hunky dory. Well I've been on and around the folkscene - and I think they've got it 1000% bloody wrong.

They twat on endlessly about some boring pile of bollocks from the 18th century, and they are missing a motherlode, an explosion of talent and interest in folk music. In a hundred years they will write books about what bloody pillocks the present cognoscenti of the folk world are - and they'll be right.

Easily as stupid as the neo Georgians, trying to write poems in the style and language of the 18th century when the industrial revolution was kicking the shit out of England and its society.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM

some boring pile of bollocks from the 18th century

Well, Al, you're just going to have to beg to differ with lots of other people who don't share your viewpoint or your taste in music. That's the whole trouble with any discussion of "folk music" and the "folk scene" - ideas of what constitutes tradition and what's important can only ever be personal and subjective.

I was out with the ceilidh band last night - full force (saxes, melodeons, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums) - giving it some wellie at a wedding reception. The room was rammed, everyone danced their socks off all night - and most of the tunes were piles of English, Irish and Scottish bollocks (as you might say) from all centuries, not just the 18th.

And here's the rub: we play these tunes - not a vocal in sight, by the way - because they're bloody good tunes regardless of when they were written, and they're just great to dance to. Many of them were written in tune books at the time and have survived, with variations, all over the place. We don't play them because they're "folk music", or because they're social documents or because their associated cultural phenomena. That's just so much baggage that gets piled on top of the music itself. And that baggage gets piled on your heroes just as much as anyone elses heroes.

And this lunchtime, having put away my gear from last night, I'll be swapping amps and guitars, getting out the archtop and playing some '20s and '30's jazz (as a duo) in my local pub. No arguments there, by the way - once again the tunes speak for themselves. Why can't we let "folk" music do the same?


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 06:17 AM

I dunno why its not working. But its not. Lots of people feel the same and have just faced up to the fact The middle classes have got it wrong - once again - like voting for Thatcher, closing down the railways, appeasing Hitler......

It may be the confrontational style of the middle classes with all their holier than thou, this is the way it SHOULD be done style, you know nowt attitude.

However as SOH hands said in an interview - whatever the British public want, its not 'traditional' English musc. All that gang are better at the trad stuff than I'll ever be, and they've tried flogging it hither and thus.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 06:49 AM

It may be the confrontational style of the middle classes with all their holier than thou, this is the way it SHOULD be done style, you know nowt attitude.

Well, I know that you've encountered opposition to doing your own thing in various folk clubs at various times over the years, and I think I know what you're referring to. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "middle class" attitude though - I think you're adding a bit of your own cultural and sociological baggage here... :-)

I suppose I've been either very lucky or very thick skinned in that I haven't come across the 'holier-than-thou' attitudes very often - though I've met one or two very unpleasant and rigid individuals now and then in folk clubs. To which I should add I've met some lovely people in folk clubs, but I wouldn't attribute a particular class to any of them either. People is just people, good or bad.

I suppose I have very simplistic view of music - just play the bloody stuff, in any way or style you choose - and take the consequences of doing so. Sometimes you'll end up getting the cold shoulder or laughed at, and sometimes you'll be worshipped as a minor god with people asking you to sign your records. I've had both in a long life but all I care about in the end is playing the the music(s) I love without reference to anyone else, or awards of any kind.

Al, I like what you do. You write great songs and play good guitar. But why blame a "folk" scene for perhaps not being appreciated in it? One of the reasons that I rarely attend folk clubs is because I know at heart that, although I love traditional tunes, I'm not really a devotee of folk song. I wouldn't know a Childe Ballad if it came up and bit me on the bum. So I go to a club occasionally - mainly to keep up acquaintance with people I know and like, for a bit of musical variety, or to try out a new bit of guitar work. But folk clubs are not where I do my main thing because I don't really fit. I spent years playing in pubs, working men's clubs, bars, British Legions, etc. You know where you are in these places! So why rail against a scene that - at heart - you were probably never really a part of? I'm just guessing here, so no offence intended.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST,Bobs folk show
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 06:58 AM

Well said will fly. There are only three kinds of music, music you like music you dont like and music you have never heard.
Why are folk music fans so negative? Just enjoy what you enjoy and stop slagging of the rest.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Johnny J
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 07:46 AM

Firstly, I don't really agree with the idea of awards.
So, the question of transparency(or not) is quite irrelevent as far as I'm concerned. However, they(Awards in general) will continue to exist as those who win these are unlikely to criticise or boycott them.
It's a bit like the Honours system. As long as people are willing to accept these, the nonsense continues.

Secondly, if there are only three kinds of music then why have a folk scene, folk clubs, or *folk shows* in the first place, Bob?
Why not just have a music scene, music clubs, and general music shows?
(The above could apply to any genre)
There's no real point in having a folk scene or organising "folk" clubs unless you can distinguish(however, loosely)what music is suitable or appropriate to represent this concept and/or should be included.

Was it Karl Dallas who once said something like "Folk clubs exist so that one day they no longer need to exist?" Has that time now come?


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM

There's no harm in principle in categorizing music, or anything else, into genres, even though we may argue endlessly about what constitutes a genre, or what fits into it. The sad thing is that the argument often seems to be endlessly combative, like sects and sub-sects of a particular religion bickering over the One True Way.

The fact is that no music is conceptually "better" than any other and, in the end, all that matters is that you/we the players play what we want to play and that you/we the listeners listen to what we want to listen to. Hopefully, the two things occasionally coincide!

But, within Bob's area of folk music - and any other area of music - his words about there being three kinds of music are essentially valid.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM

Well, its seems the bloody woman has done it again.

Lets just post last years thread and be done with it.

As for mad Lizzie, I was also a member of the message board and her recollection of events is quite different to mine.

Is the spoof, but very entertaining 'Gemma Kidney' blog still going?


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:07 AM

I haven't read the Hartley blog and don't intend to - and I don't give tuppence for the BBC folk awards or any other awards. I was just interested in Al's take on the filming/recording of artists by the Beeb now and then, and on his view of the folk establishment.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:17 AM

In my umble opinion BBC Folk and the Folk Awards badly needs to move with the times, with the exception of Ian Campbell and the dubliners who thoroughly earned last years awards. The whole thing was like looking at a living graveyard, I honestly thought half that audience had long ago passed on! There are loads of good new talents around the Folk clubs who never get featured on the beed. As someone else on this thread points out THE Beebs output seems to largely consist of transatlantic sessions and endless repeats of James Taylor. The old stuff dserves it's place in the grand scheme of things, but the Beeb needs to come out of the dark Folk aqes and recognise we're 12 years into a new century!


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:20 AM

The Gemma Kidney blog looks to have been abandoned since November 2011. Rather hits the nail on the head though ...


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Silas
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:27 AM

Hi Will
I agree that the awards themselves are pretty meaningless, but it does give mean that some TV coverage is given over to Folk Music for a refreshing change and last years coverage was pretty good despite the breakdowns in transmission.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:46 AM

The Kidney blog is hysterical in places. I love the 'how tall is Mike Harding' piece.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 10:25 AM

I don't really mind the awards. I'm not really bothered about recognition for my own paltry efforts - its not about that.

Itell you what its about.

Alan Bennett said in one of his talks about English poetry. There is no more difficult period of history to appreciate and understand than the recent past. And that's the problem - in a nutshell.

the temptation is always to go for the easier option - the remote past. I remember when St helens council brought out a book about the history of the town. i was amazed, because it was all about the 17th century. The St Helens that my parents and grandparents talked about was being swallowed up every day, by town planners, incomers, the mass media....

And now the same thing has happened to me. I lived through this amazing period where ordinary people picked up guitars and tried to express themselves. And according to folk music experts - its not folk music. It never was folk music. Every little town with two or three folk clubs. But it wasn't folk music. And the people who sang there, they are without honour or memory. Look how someone sneered at derek Brimstone's life achievments on this thread - just a few posts ago.

The trouble with Show of Hands is that they sing 'We've lost more than we'll ever know...'   But they don't believe it. If its lost its lost and the corollary is that to express our lives - we need yo create the new, and we need the example of those who started the job.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 10:34 AM

Big Al …you've got it right! (IMHO)


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 04:31 PM

Well no point in going on about it. I respect many trad musicians and count most of the ones i know as my good friends. I have more in common with them, than i do with people who follow the X factor.

However I really think people should think more about the music, about the artistic movement that we are privileged to be a party of.

Particularly - people like journalists and BBC people. They should visit folk clubs and understand the movement at ground level - how one half disowns the other. And in my opinion its one of those great great British class tragedies - like the Battles of the First World War.   Something wonderful is being lost for ever.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 06:53 PM

Something wonderful is being lost for ever.

Not lost, Al - perhaps set aside for the moment. We have audio recordings of these people, at any rate and, in years to come - like everything else - these things will emerge and have their day again.

There's no point in yearning for the past - let's just get on with the present and play our music and enjoy ourselves.

I'm writing this at 11.50pm, having just returned from my local where we had my monthly acoustic session. We played and sang blues, old rock'n roll, 1930s songs, old-time fiddle and guitar music, unaccompanied ballads, Jim Croce and many other things, And - do you know - no-one mentioned folk music, folk, the folk process, folk awards, the BBC or anything connected with anything. We just sat round a table, drank beer and wine and played and sang our hearts out.


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Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM

That's a good part of what music is meant to do. imo.


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