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What is Happening to our Folk Clubs

RTim 24 Oct 17 - 07:26 PM
Raggytash 24 Oct 17 - 07:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Oct 17 - 07:07 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Oct 17 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Oct 17 - 06:23 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 04:39 PM
The Sandman 24 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM
Raggytash 24 Oct 17 - 02:38 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 02:37 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 02:05 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 02:00 PM
The Sandman 24 Oct 17 - 01:59 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 01:46 PM
TheSnail 24 Oct 17 - 01:30 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 01:21 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM
Raggytash 24 Oct 17 - 01:07 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 12:55 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 12:20 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 12:12 PM
Raggytash 24 Oct 17 - 12:12 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 11:57 AM
Raggytash 24 Oct 17 - 10:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Oct 17 - 10:03 AM
Jack Campin 24 Oct 17 - 09:58 AM
Johnny J 24 Oct 17 - 09:58 AM
TheSnail 24 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 09:44 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 09:43 AM
Johnny J 24 Oct 17 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 09:14 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 09:04 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 08:56 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 17 - 08:51 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 17 - 08:29 AM
Ged Fox 24 Oct 17 - 08:05 AM
TheSnail 24 Oct 17 - 07:57 AM
TheSnail 24 Oct 17 - 07:40 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 07:35 AM
TheSnail 24 Oct 17 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Oct 17 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Oct 17 - 06:47 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 06:35 AM
Ged Fox 24 Oct 17 - 06:09 AM
Ged Fox 24 Oct 17 - 06:03 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 17 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Chris Wright 24 Oct 17 - 05:05 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 17 - 04:15 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Oct 17 - 03:49 AM
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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:26 PM

Well done Nick - this thread has got totally out of hand.............

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:17 PM

Thanks Nick, I couldn't have phrased it better if I'd tried.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:07 PM

P.S. if this were Facebook, I'd be "liking" Nick Dow's and Johnny Jay's posts.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:05 PM

I just wonder how many hours some of these posters spend on here? Get a life: go and listen to some CURRENT live music and stop pontificating!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:23 PM

Just a thought Jim. If it is all so hopeless, and the revival is doomed to be swamped under a flood of Americana, and your contemporaries have given up in despair, and nobody respects British traditional music and song, and the clubs have lost their way, and your field recordings are locked away in a library and your efforts were treated with contempt and you are too old to be pissing against the wind and the importance of the music is ignored in our culture and those who believe otherwise are fighting a hopeless rear-guard action and todays folk scene drove away more than it retained and we can not come up with a workable definition of Folk song and you are tired of the abuse and the English club scene can not find it's arse with two hands and god knows what else, could you please answer me one question. It's a very simple question. Why the bloody hell are you bothering to post on Mudcat at all?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 04:39 PM

Annnnddd.....400!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM

"I saw the skids going from under the Club scene long before I left England - which is why I and thousands like me left when we did"
I left England BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET AWAY FROM THATCHER.
i miss the uk folk scene,i miss morris dancers, especially female morris dancers.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 02:38 PM

You decry the world wide web Jim but if someone were to offer to put all your past work on it, for all to access, I reckon you would jump at the chance.





And if why why not.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 02:37 PM

"{{{{Deep, heartfelt sigh}}}}"
I know hat you mean
G'night all
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 02:05 PM

{{{{Deep, heartfelt sigh}}}}


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 02:00 PM

"You don't know what goes on in today's folk clubs. "
I know plenty of people who do and your behaviour pretty well confirms what I have been told
I saw the skids going from under the Club scene long before I left England - which is why I and thousands like me left when we did
ho appointed you in your tiny corner of the universe to speak on behalf of thousands a=of people - I speak for myself, you appear to think you speak for the world - there's a name for that
"No, Jim. Your archives are your responsibility."
I tried with your club and was left with the feeling that I was trying to peddle iffy goods
I've tried elsewhere
I'm too old to take up pissing against the wind
"I do my best to be reasonable with you, Jim, but you don't make it easy."
If that's your best - god help the child!!
"It was very entertaining to see you rubbishing your own words."
Just as it is entertaining watching your display of ungraciousness in attempting to making capital of a mistake n the face of an apology - more of "your best", no doubt
"Now, I'll advise you again - stop digging."
Give it a rest Baccy - you've made your point - or not, as the case may be!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:59 PM

I would like to thank all the unsung heroes who have run folk clubs, some for over 40 yars TED POOLE, VIC and Tina SMITH, clive pownceby,wilsdon family, john taylor,roger and patti [st neots], ernie warner,my apologies to anyone i have forgotten, these people are more important than all the talk here


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:46 PM

Jim, you complain about what you claim are insults, but you're constantly insulting me. Not only me, but others here too. You distort and mis-interpret what I say, and respond on the basis of those distortions and mis-representations. Worse than that, I caught you telling a bare-faced lie. Then, because I have the temerity to defend myself against your onslaughts, you accuse me of being a 'boorish, bad-mannered, bullying lout'.

If anyone is using Teribus-tactics here, it sure as hell isn't me. It's all here, on this thread, for everyone to read.

And I call you 'Jim', always have, always will. If you'd care to point me towards anywhere where I've called you 'Jom', I'd love to see it. Name-calling is something even a boorish, bad-mannered, bullying lout like me is able to rise above.

Now, I'll advise you again - stop digging.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:30 PM

How else have I insulted "thousands" if it is not through challenging what goes on in today's folk clubs?
It might be nowadays in an English club scene that couldn't find it's folk arse with both hands
You don't know what goes on in today's folk clubs.

That's a two-way street Bryan I'm sure you have found out.
I do my best to be reasonable with you, Jim, but you don't make it easy.

I have given up seeking help in Britain - I managed to get it locked in a cupboard, so as far as I am concerned the ball's in your court, otherwise, posterity will have to sort it out.
No, Jim. Your archives are your responsibility.

Sorry Bryan - I mistook your point, but the thrust of my argument remains the same
I would never dream of applying for a grant on the basis of such terminology

It was very entertaining to see you rubbishing your own words. The fact remains that you have not come up with a workable definition of what is acceptable in folk clubs but you still demand that others do.
For the record, here is the first sentence on our website -
Our interest is mainly (but not exclusively) in British traditional music and song and contemporary folk music/song derived from the tradition.
Rather better than "loosely conforms" I think.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:21 PM

"Stop digging Jim. You're making yourself look stupid"
Yep - Teribus always resorts to that as well - "Jom" on the way, I suspect
Come on Raggy - the world wide web!!!!!
Wonder how Shakespeare managed!
You have the documented definition, you have my arguments - were are yours?
I'm getting a little bored with the abuse
I've often wondered if Walter would be subjected to this type of abuse id he stated his beliefs - I'm beginning to get my answer
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM

Stop digging Jim. You're making yourself look stupid. Pity, I thought better of you.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 01:07 PM

I did not say you actually said the youth of today but that you sound like an old man with an idea from time gone by firmly fixed in his head, that nothing but nothing will shift. The same sort of discussion we get from Teribus, Akenaton and KAOH.

The world of communication has moved. We communicate electronically and you and I are doing so now. We learn from the television, the radio and more importantly the internet.

I'll give you an example, I Was sitting in a pub listening to a duet (who you wouldn't classify as folk) when they sang a song which sent the hairs on my neck up like a bristle. At the end of the gig I asked if they had a CD with it on and could I use the song. They said yes to me singing it but that it wasn't on a CD as yet. However they put it on their website for 24 hours only so I could download it.

Ours way of communicating have changed beyond all measure, the world wide web was in it's infancy when Walter Pardon died. I wonder if he would have used it had he had the chance.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 12:58 PM

"More delicious irony from the man whose furious, bellicose rants are legend here"
None of those Baccy and now you have sunk to the level of borrowing from Teribus's script
My suggestion to Raggy goes to you as well
Grow up - it's a long way from the schoolyard
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 12:55 PM

""the youth of today mutter, mutter, mutter........"
Now you are sinking to the level of the insulters Raggy - shame on you
We are not discussing "the youth of today", we are discussing what should be a specific type of music and its importance in our culture - we are supposed to be adults, so far I see little sign of that
Your flailing about and looking for a weakness really isn't a substitute for either defining what your interpretation of the term is or why it is not important - both are preferable but either will do
I don't "cling to a definition" - I went out to test if if hold water and you know what - it did.
If Walter Pardon, Tom Lenihan and the Travellers can sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of identification and hold their music as important, I see no reason why a bunch of adults here can't do the same
I've put Walter's statement on how he discriminated between his different types of songs man times - I'll put it up again when I can lay hands on it
Now - we've has all the childish abuse - how about some real adult argumet
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 12:20 PM

"Doesn't make too much difference to the fact that your boorish bad manners makes you a bullying lout though"

ROTFLMAO! More delicious irony from the man whose furious, bellicose rants are legend here. Words like 'pot' and 'kettle' is the kindest response I can make to that little gem, Jim.

"o wad some power the giftie gie' us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 12:12 PM

"something that loosely conforms to that description""
Sorry Bryan - I mistook your point, but the thrust of my argument remains the same
I would never dream of applying for a grant on the basis of such terminology
You need to apply very specifically for what you want - we found the Irish Arts Council very generous on two occasions when we did
The end result was a musical and textual transcription of our work with Travellers and a book of Tom Munnelly essays produced by a History group I was involved with - successful on both occasions
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 12:12 PM

You know Jim (you're not going to like this one bit) but you sound just like Teribus, Akenaton and KAOH.

A little Englander sitting there saying "the youth of today mutter, mutter, mutter........ " "it wasn't like that in my day mutter, mutter, mutter ........"

The definition you cling to, like a drowning man to a straw doesn't work any more.

People don't learn through an oral tradition anymore. They buy CD's, they go on-line, they listen to YouTube, watch television or listen to the radio.

The oral tradition is for the most part, dead, deceased, no more, it's expired, gone to meet its maker, bereft of life, joined the heavenly choir ..........


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 11:57 AM

"if folk clubs just had to rely on people like yourself for an audience I doubt if many, if any, would be open today."
If the clubs refuse to adhere to what they claim to present, does it matter?
I joined this mans army to promote the music, not to give somewhere to go on a rainy night.
"I think what we are saying is that clubs in general are not in a mess, Jim. "See my comments above Dave"
It all depends on what you belive the role of the clubs to be
If they are to put bums on seats, the general belief appears to be that there aren't anywhere enough of them and those are declining as we fall off the twig.
If they are there to promote folk music, the fact that nobody seems able to say what that music is is a clear indication that they have failed dismally - a rudderless ship.
"Not an argument I have ever used, Jim."
How else have I insulted "thousands" if it is not through challenging what goes on in today's folk clubs?
"You can't stump up a workable definition either, Jim"
Of course I can Bryan - I have repeated over and over again that, flawed as it is, the '54 one will do till a better one comes along, Steve Roud in his 'Folk Song in England' says exactly that.
"If you were applying for funding, I don't think "something that loosely conforms to that description""
I know what the problems of getting a grant for furthering folk song are in Britain first hand, I was part of a team that once tried to set up a national archive
"something that loosely conforms to that description" would be as as successful as trying to quench the sun with a bucket of water.
Even The National Sound Archive at the B.L. is totally stymied in making available its folk song holdings through lack of money,
A dilettante approach such as the one you suggest would be laughed all the way up the Euston Road.
"If you want help with your archive, try being nice to people."
That's a two-way street Bryan I'm sure you have found out.
I have given up seeking help in Britain - I managed to get it locked in a cupboard, so as far as I am concerned the ball's in your court, otherwise, posterity will have to sort it out.
"It's never been the case that all folk clubs have soley focused on traditional song,"
Despite some of the misrepresentations here, nobody has ever sought to create a situation where "all folk clubs have solely focused on traditional song," - certainly nobody I ever worked with and respected.
Back in the day, we peacefully co-exited with the Zimmerman school of thought, they did their thing and we did ours -there was even a degree of crossover, certainly not the hostility I find here
"But the clubs aka singing circles in your part of the world are not in a mess"
No they are not (some of them are a mess, but that's a different argument)
The don't cater for one specific type of music nor do they claim to - would that that level of integrity crossed the Irish Sea
You did of course -- you referred to I Don't Like Mondays - my apologies
"More made up shit, Jim."
Doesn't make too much difference to the fact that your boorish bad manners makes you a bullying lout though   
"Now you may believe it still has credence but I'm afraid you are in a VERY small minority."
Am I?
I have a definition to work to - you people appear not to have even been able to cobble one together between you
That makes it that there are far more of me than there are you,
When push comes to shove we "are all in a VERY small minority."
The type of shenanigans that are well represented here has meant that, by and large the British public don't give a toss about folk song - real or ersatz, and who can blame them?
We have even lost the ground we once won.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 10:09 AM

Something for you to ponder on Jim, if folk clubs just had to rely on people like yourself for an audience I doubt if many, if any, would be open today.

The people you freely disparage are the backbone of the folk world week in week out in the 21st century.

Few have any notion of an archaic and outdated "definition" of folk, a definition drawn up before the introduction of television for the majority of the population, before the advent of the computer era, a superb way of disseminating information that a majority of us take for granted.

Now you may believe it still has credence but I'm afraid you are in a VERY small minority.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 10:03 AM

I think what we are saying is that clubs in general are not in a mess, Jim. Ones like you used to run and attend all those years ago may no longer exist but they have been superseded by something different and, quite possibly, better. Those new clubs, the ones that are more acceptant of a looser definition of folk music, are thriving. The ones described in the opening post may be in decline, and rightly so, but the better ones either pull floor singers up with them or restrict the poor ones to times where they do least damage!

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:58 AM

But the clubs aka singing circles in your part of the world are not in a mess, despite doing exactly the same sort of thing as their opposite numbers round where I live (Edinburgh/Midlothian) and in pretty much every other region of Britain where people own acoustic guitars?

they style themselves 'singing circles' and make it clear that there is no restriction on what is sung. They seldom, if ever book guests but rely solely on local talent

They don't hold enough interest for me to visit very often, though I think their social and educational role is important and I wouldn't want to see them go. I don't suppose you've ever been to one in your life - what do you fantasize is the difference between British and Irish ones?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:58 AM

"Expecting to know what to expect at a folk club"

It's never been the case that all folk clubs have soley focused on traditional song, accompanied or otherwise, although there may have been more of it in the past.
Over the years I've heard lots of blues, jazz influenced music, "folk rock", contemporary singer songwriters and so on. Even comedy, although I'm glad that's not as much to the fore...the great Billy Connolly honed is act in the folk scene but, unfortunately, he encouraged a lot of imitators!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM

The nonsense lies in your argument that to challenge something that is apparently wrong is to insult those involved Bryan
Not an argument I have ever used, Jim.

You can't stump up a workable definition either, Jim. If you were applying for funding, I don't think "something that loosely conforms to that description" would really hack it.

It might be nowadays in an English club scene that couldn't find it's folk arse with both hands counts as challenging something that is apparently wrong does it? That gives us a lot of leeway in what we can say to you.

If you want help with your archive, try being nice to people.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:44 AM

" purists,"
Not the most helpful of phrases and one which has become an epithet rather than a description
Expecting to know what to expect at a folk club is not "purist" - it is simple common sense and the fact that it is no longer applicable has led to the mess the clubs appear to be in.
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:43 AM

More made up shit, Jim. What I actually said was, "Forget about the Birdie Song".

I asked why 'Freeborn Man' is 'folk-style' and 'IDLM' isn't. I also said that I consider 'FM' to be greatly superior as a song to 'IDLM', and that I love the former, but dislike the latter.

You, however, chose to mis-represent that as saying that you 'should be prepared to take Bob Geldof as a substitute for Sam Larner....yards yadda'. A bare-faced lie.

You see, when you post made up shit in order to try to 'win', you need either a good memory, or to carefully re-read what's actually been said.

Distorting and mis-representing what someone says is, of itself, a deep insult. I reserve the right to return the compliment however and whenever I see fit.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:22 AM

I'm starting to lose the will to live a little with this thread now.
;-))

As for the original post, I think we can all agree that there is sometimes an issue with some floor singers in certain folk clubs.

However, as TB and one or two others have pointed out, there is much more choice(In our area, anyway. We may be lucky)of different arrangements.
Some of the more rural clubs encourage floor singers more so than the city venues although there is a very good traditional, mostly unaccompanied, club "The World's Room" in Edinburgh which caters for the die hard traditional song afficianodos.
Of course, the regular folk clubs also feature this in their programmes but also a much wider variety of "Folky"(using the term loosely) music.

Also, there is quite a large informal session scene where we are with all variety of opportunities and levels. Many singers(and musicians) prefer these to formal clubs.

In fact, to restrict the discussion to folk clubs is probably not that informative. These days, there isn't really a typical folk club.
Certainly much of what happens therein isn't for the purists, in many cases, but a lot of what happens in the wider field often is.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:14 AM

"You made that up"
I think you read back on that one Baccie
The usual suspect who brought up Geldof here suggested that if they turned up at a club today they should "sit back and watch how it should be done"
"You really need to stop posting made-up shit, Jim."
You asked the difference between freeborn and The Birdie song - I replied politely
You were not the first to mention 'Birdie' - any further comments were addressed to all, not you
You need to stop complaining about others if you are going to resort to insulting people yourself
I may mistake what is being said but I make up nothing - you are now sinking to the level of Teribus - I thought you above that sort of thing - my mistake
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:04 AM

""the oral tradition" is of great importance to you and others, "
Please don't minimise this by confining it to just a few of us - it is very much an essential element of what constitutes our folk music and has been since the genre was first documented
As far as Balquhidder is concerned, it has firmly established itself as traditional, among non-literate Travellers and field singers, in Britain, Ireland and America, to earn it the description 'Folk' or traditional - it's even been awarded a Roud number, which works fine for me.
I'm sure that you are aware of the court case involving the ownership of 'Wild Mountain Thyme' by the McPeake Family
I have to say that, despite its origins, 'Taunton Deane' has always left me with the impression of the townie's view of the idiot country yokel
All of which goes to show that there is a degree of pleasure to be got from academic discussion
"I don't think it's nonsense to find that insulting and it doesn't seem to be questioning anything."
The nonsense lies in your argument that to challenge something that is apparently wrong is to insult those involved Bryan - it is an argument used by populists to defend that most extreme actions by the most exxtreme people
Let's face it, today's folk scene drove away far more people that it retained, so technically, it is you who is in the minority and, by your own logic, it is you who is doing the insulting.
Even the few of you remaining can't stump up a workable definition and agree among yourselves, risible to say the least.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 08:56 AM

Never come across clubs that do that, but I've known a number of performers who decline having support-artists on their gigs.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 08:51 AM

I came across a new phenomenon today a venue that does not accept floor singers even if they are professional or semi professional performers who do gigs, this is the first time i have encountered this in 50 years


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 08:29 AM

Nowhere has anyone suggested that you 'should be prepared to take Bob Geldof as a substitute for Sam Larner, Harry Cox or Phil Tanner'. You made that up - your standard, goalpost-moving tactic when someone has a different point of view to you, and you can't keep a grip on that foul temper of yours.

What was suggested was that there is room for a modern composed song, e.g. IDLM, alongside others such as 'Freeborn Man'. That's all.

Please quote where I said what you're claiming, or STFU.

You really need to stop posting made-up shit, Jim. It's deceitful, it's disgusting, and it should be beneath you. Shameful.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Ged Fox
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 08:05 AM

" "Wild Mountain Thyme," but it is not remotely "folk."
The song is an excellent example of how a written and published song can become part of an oral tradition - I suggest you dig out Elizabeth's Cronin's 'Braes of Balquidder' to see what I mean."

Yes. I had met "Braes of Balquidder" (in a book) before the sixties. Quite likely, (and I expect I am speaking heresy to you now,) as the daughter of a schoolteacher, Elizabeth Cronin got the song from a book too.

But here the divergence of planes that I mentioned earlier. I can appreciate that "the oral tradition" is of great importance to you and others, but I cannot feel in my guts that there is any great difference in moral quality, as it were, between oral/aural transmission and other kinds. The first "real" folk song that I can remember hearing was "Richard of Taunton Dean" sung by an old fellow in a pub in Devon - not in a folk club, just the usual village crowd gathering round the piano on a Thursday night, (their favourite was "I'm forever blowing bubbles.") Later on, I learnt the song from "The Oxford Song Book." Much later on, I realised that my copy of "The Oxford Song Book" was older than the old fellow (well he was older than forty anyway) who had sung the song. Did he learn it from a book or his granddad? If someone learns it from my singing, is it back in the oral tradition? Does it matter?

Fifty years on, I agree that "Wild Mountain Time" in the McPeake version, has probably entered the oral tradition and might be classed as "folk" assuming that one can admit that the sort of people who go to folk clubs are "folk."
At the time, however, I felt that McPeake had thrown away the truly folk part of the song, kept the art part and added a new part. I did not appreciate that he had copyrighted his arrangement as well, but had I known that it would have confirmed my view that it was not folk. Whether anything with a known, and living, author can be "folk" is an old and fruitlessly debatable point, but it definitely can't be "folk" if you are denying folk free use of it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:57 AM

If questionin what is happening on the folk scene is "insulting",
Can I just remind you of what you said Jim -
It might be nowadays in an English club scene that couldn't find it's folk arse with both hands
I don't think it's nonsense to find that insulting and it doesn't seem to be questioning anything.

You see little sign of what Nick describes because you choose not to. You have been repeatedly told that things are not as you describe and you ignore it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:40 AM

Jim Carroll
I didn't spend my life recording the last of our old singers in order that they should be confined to archives - I hoped to pass it on to others who I thought might get something from it - arguments like this have shown me I am wasting my time
Possibly constantly insulting the very people who might be able to help you is not the best way of going about it.

This sheds some interesting light on the matter -
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/pardon2.htm
Scroll down to the Introduction.
This is a nice read as well -
http://www.eatmt.org.uk/walter_pardon.htm
The Wikepedia entry for Walter Pardon is worth a look -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Pardon


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:35 AM

"He seems to think that gives him good reason to insult the entire British folk community."
If questionin what is happening on the folk scene is "insulting", I wonder how those who voted for Trump and Brexit should be regarded
Is your position really so untenable that you should resort to such nonsense Bryan?
The proof of the pudding lies in the discussion
"Where have all the folksongs gone"
I sincerely hope your experiences are reflection of the scene as a whole Nick - little sign of it here, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 07:01 AM

Just for the record, Jim Carroll's "folk arse" comment was in response to this post from Ged Fox -

Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Ged Fox - PM
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 08:41 AM

"they style themselves 'singing circles' and make it clear that there is no restriction on what is sung
They seldom, if ever book guests but rely solely on local talent"

That, apart from the name, and that instrumentalists are also welcome, would be a fair description of my local "folk club." The fact that my local club has the self-contradictory name of "Broadside Folk Club" merely serves to point up the fact that, on this side of St George's Channel, "folk" is a term used fairly loosely.

It seems to me that you are only quibbling over the name, not the phenomenon, of English folk clubs.


He seems to think that gives him good reason to insult the entire British folk community.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:52 AM

Sorry about all the rouge ??? question marks above. My key board has gone bonkers (along with me)


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:47 AM

With the best will in the world I don?t think that things are as bleak as you suggest Jim and Chris. I can honestly say that I am rather encouraged by the interest shown in traditional songs in traditional style by some of my contemporaries and especially by the younger singers who I have encountered. The sterling work done by those of my own generation still slogging round the clubs and holding body and soul together is well documented. With regard to the next generation I have given songs to Jim Moray, Cohen (Granny?s Attic), worked with Bryony Griffith and Paul Sartin, and the interest is generally there.
Perhaps marginally more important is the legion of club singers old and young who are looking for new traditional songs to sing. There is not anybody on this thread who would not willingly share their songs and be happy for other singers to perform them There really is a dedicated audience for recordings of Traditional singers, and especially Walter Pardon, and all the others that you mentioned. My evidence for this is the blank amazement I felt when I was persuaded to produce a CD of unaccompanied songs. Yes the reviews were great, but the most refreshing reaction was from numerous club singers (old and young) who wanted to sing but played no instrument and could not read music who snapped up the CD and gave the general comment that ?We?ve been waiting for something like this! Can I sing one of them??
The answer was of course a resounding yes.
Well OK bully for me! The point I am making is that the interest is still there, just look at this thread! However unless sombody like those who have posted above helps a budding singer to understand what to listen for in a performance by Walter Pardon for example, then it is just an old man singing Folk Songs and very probably not as interesting as who ever is on at your local club. Then the dedicated audience will eventualy dwindle of course, but it aint looking that bad to me. To me the rule is if somebody shows an interest (and that usually becomes plain and a gig) actively encourage them to take songs from you, liberate those recordings from wheresoever they are Jim (or anybody else) and make them available. How about a workshop at a festival? Try and Email singers who you think have an interest, and please try not to be dissillusioned. My opinion for what is is worth.
kind regards


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:35 AM

"You denigrate, frequently and at length, the current English folk scene."
As someone with a foot in both camps (research and performance - now more enjoyment than participation), I question what it has to do with folk song as I know it and how it is documented Jed - hence my uncalled for outburst, for which I apologise.
I don't approach song as an intellectual exercise, I still sing and still get great pleasure in listening to good singing.
My active experience of the revival (a quarter of a century) was one with no contradiction between research and performance - one fed, even relied on the other.
THat is no longer the case and the research side has become the loser - even the cracks are beginning to show there.
If the gap is now unbreachable, we really need to know and a good start might be that we be told what now passes for folk music nowadays.
Chris Wright's contribution makes sense to me, though I have to say, commercialism hadn't taken the grip when I left that it has now.
The revival, through the skiffle scene, was a reaction to the pap pop music industry of those days - a chance for Everyman to become a creative performer - now it seems Mammon has his foot firmly in the door as you pointed out in your earlier post "Some of us are professional or semi-professional musicians of skill and experience,"
With the greatest respect, the secen was not about those who wished to make a living from it - it was not a problem, but neither was it an objective - now it appears to be just that for so many - too many.
I have no problem with new songs - I sing them and I see tham as essential to the future of our music - the people I respect most made more new songs than any other performer in the revival.
THe demise of the revival bothers me because without it everything I have done over the last half century will be, like your balaclava "something to stuff my head into".
We recorded from live performers who had something to say about our lives, our culture and our history - understanding their message cannot happen as an academic exercise.
I disagree with something else you just said
"Wild Mountain Thyme," but it is not remotely "folk."
The song is an excellent example of how a written and published song can become part of an oral tradition - I suggest you dig out Elizabeth's Cronin's 'Braes of Balquidder' to see what I mean
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Ged Fox
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:09 AM

Blast, carried away again by my own rhetoric. "not, I feel, remotely folk." Call it what you like, I'd rather sing it with you than argue about it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Ged Fox
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 06:03 AM

"a reaction to what I believe to have been an insulting remark"
Indeed, Jim, and I'm not complaining. I responded to what I considered a generally abusive comment with a personally abusive comment and you responded to me in kind. 'Nuff said, on the subject of abuse, at least.

As for discussion on folk music, folk scenes or whatever, we move in separate planes that intersect somewhere about a shared liking of old songs. You denigrate, frequently and at length, the current English folk scene. I have no knowledge of, or particular interest in the Irish traditions that you have devoted your life to.

The demise of the sixties folk revival does not bother me in the least. Although I was around at the time, I was put off by the contempt expressed then for CJS, S B-G and all those other stalwarts of the earlier folk revivals.
Quite wrongly, as I am prepared to admit, I saw the sixties folk revival as a pretty fake departure from true folk music, epitomised for me by one song that was and is still very popular among folkies.   Originally, there was a genuine Scottish folk-tune; the poet Tannahill (of the early C19th folk revival) wrote words to it; in the sixties folk revival a chap with an Irish name ditched the folk tune and set a version of Tannahill's words to another tune. I love the song, the "Wild Mountain Thyme," but it is not remotely "folk."


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 05:07 AM

knowing both Bryan asnd vic smith I think they would agree with me about that comment


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Chris Wright
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 05:05 AM

I've given this a great deal of thought in the last ten years, so here's my two cents (distilled into a couple of short paragraphs to save my sanity!):

Folk music has become increasingly professionalised and institutionalised, and this is continuing at a seemingly accelerating rate. This in turn has produced a self-reinforcing process whereby emerging musicians and singers who want to play professionally (usually self-identified as 'folk' musicians) have increasingly learned to take their cues from the worlds of high art and popular culture as opposed to folk culture, this partly being demanded by the criteria of funders and broadcasters. The folk music industry's increasingly insatiable thirst for novelty has created a commodity which privileges the *performer* and their *product* - since these are the most easily packaged and transmitted - over the communicative *process* that folk music facilitates, and which is limited by participation in a small, face-to-face group setting.

The prevailing philosophy among the movers and shakers in the industry also appears to be that syphoning public funds for the popular presentation of folk music on television, again on the terms of the broadcasters, will somehow lead to a kind of 'trickle-down folkonomics', thus encouraging take up in musical traditions. While it *might* be true that it's helped popularise instrumental folk music to some degree, it certainly hasn't done anything for traditional singing, as there are very few young Scots/English singers in Scotland, not to mention almost no young *male* singers, and very very few *good* young singers. Part of the reason might also be that there's an incredible lack of genuine critical dialogue in the folk music industry itself, leading to some very mediocre performers with high-self confidence, and very little self-awareness. The bottom line is that there's no industry analogue for the casual apprenticeship that characterises the pedagogic tradition in folk culture.

The above reasoning was why I became very dissatisfied with the offerings at EFC and stopped going; I'm not sure if it's changed direction in the intervening years. Instead, I decided to found a different sort of club, where participation was central, and where professionalism was irrelevant. That's how The World's Room started in 2012.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 04:15 AM

"Was there a howl of protest at that particular piece of nastiness aimed at our source singers - there was not"
I did not protest, Jim, because the comment was below contempt, some of us remain silent but it does not mean we agree., it means I think the comment is not worth the effort of bothering with


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 03:49 AM

"Jim Carroll has just been gratuitously offensive to around one thousand people.
No I have not - I have never been "gratuitously" offensive to anybody
I have responded to being talk down to - sometimes badly, but I have always kept my responses within the subject
I have no intention of breaking that habit here
I get angry and frustrated occasionally, but it is usually in response to being insulted
For instance
"You are a self obsessed pratt" was a response to "we don't mistake it for a balaclava helmet, i.e. something to stuff your head into. "
Over the top on my part maybe, but a reaction to what I believe to have been an insulting remark
The original poster on this forum made a comment on what he/she believed to be the declining standards on the folk scene - the immediate response was "Has anyone noticed the decline in quality of whining on Mudcat?"
I see no rush of protest to object to that particular piece of nastiness
On this thread, Bryan Creer responded to a reasonable, calmly laid out argument with
"For F*%$#S SAKE! It makes you wonder why we bother."
We are all prone to losing it occasionally - Bryan included
I have dedicated my time over the last half century to finding out about the music from the people who kept it alive and generously passed it on to us (the "tit-trousers, according to one contributor here - a remark aimed at elderly people like Walter Pardon and Fred Jordan, whose sartorial tastes obviously don't meet up with those of the writer)
Was there a howl of protest at that particular piece of nastiness aimed at our source singers - there was not
The writer was, as far as I could make out, that same thing that many people are saying here - that folk music as documented has had its day and it's time it was replaced with something else.
In arguments like this I have been called "finger in ear", "folk police", "folk fascist" "dinosaur".... par for the course on this forum
When I lose my rag and respond in kind, as I sometimes do, you all leap up on your chairs, highly offended
Give us a break lads
I believe the folk scene has moved away from the music that inspired it in the first place, and nothing that has been said here has convinced me otherwise
I find no respect for the music that brought me to the folk revival here, on the contrary, in places I find contempt for it.
I didn't spend my life recording the last of our old singers in order that they should be confined to archives - I hoped to pass it on to others who I thought might get something from it - arguments like this have shown me I am wasting my time
Our recordings of Walter Pardon have been locked away in a cupboard somewhere at the B.L. for over twenty years and for the life of me, I can't think of anybody who will ever want to use them in Britain - perhaps The World Music Group at Limerick University, who is planning to take our collection will put them on line
I believe the music I know as folk music is an important part of our culture and our history and I have done my limited best to pass on what evidence we have gathered to back up that belief
If the definition of folk song has changed, nobody has ever offered an alternative one
There are constant complaints like that of the OP on this forum which all boil down to the same thing - there are very few places in Britain now where you can go to sing or listen to folk songs reasonably sung - as limited as my experience now is, that is my opinion too, and that of many old friends in Britain who have given up in despair
Arguments like this, that I should be prepared to take Bob Geldof as a substitute for Sam Larner, Harry Cox or Phil Tanner, only confirm that opinion
If that is not an opinion you all share, where are your howls (or should I say "whines" of protest
The folk song revival I knew would have confined such suggestions to the dustbin it merits.
If folk song has changed, what has it changed to, and where do the songs defined as "folk" fit in to the grand scheme of things   
Jim Carroll


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