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What is Happening to our Folk Clubs

GUEST,Dick Miles 21 Nov 17 - 03:11 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Nov 17 - 06:09 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Nov 17 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Nov 17 - 05:28 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Nov 17 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 21 Nov 17 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Jerry Crossley 21 Nov 17 - 03:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Nov 17 - 02:12 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Nov 17 - 01:50 PM
Johnny J 20 Nov 17 - 01:40 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Nov 17 - 01:27 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Nov 17 - 01:23 PM
Johnny J 20 Nov 17 - 01:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 20 Nov 17 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Nov 17 - 07:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Nov 17 - 06:56 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Nov 17 - 06:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Nov 17 - 05:29 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Nov 17 - 04:15 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Nov 17 - 03:36 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 17 - 03:26 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 17 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Jerry Crossley 17 Nov 17 - 07:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Nov 17 - 07:08 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Nov 17 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 14 Nov 17 - 02:07 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Nov 17 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 14 Nov 17 - 11:58 AM
Raggytash 14 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM
Dave Sutherland 05 Nov 17 - 07:25 PM
The Sandman 05 Nov 17 - 08:51 AM
r.padgett 05 Nov 17 - 03:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Nov 17 - 09:54 PM
Musicboy 03 Nov 17 - 12:12 PM
Jack Campin 03 Nov 17 - 10:47 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Nov 17 - 10:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Nov 17 - 10:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Nov 17 - 09:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Nov 17 - 09:37 AM
TheSnail 03 Nov 17 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Desi C 03 Nov 17 - 07:16 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 17 - 05:52 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Nov 17 - 05:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Nov 17 - 05:01 AM
r.padgett 03 Nov 17 - 04:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Nov 17 - 08:38 PM
TheSnail 02 Nov 17 - 07:00 PM
Raggytash 02 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM
Vic Smith 02 Nov 17 - 10:38 AM
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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Dick Miles
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 03:11 PM

"the reason can normally be found in its residents. If they are content to churn out the same old songs week after week, they cvan hardly be surprised when they start churning them out to smaller and smaller audiences. It is a bsic and obvious truth, but it i"s one against which many resident singers are complacently blinkered."
not my experience at all, and i have gigged in many hundreds over 40 years


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 06:09 AM

Can I say that every club I was ever part of offered a workshop or at least a group of volunteers who made themselves available to help anybody who requested it.
The workshop we ran longest (about fifteen years) acquired an archive of donated recordings and eventually books for the use of the singers - I am now left fith th dubious honour of passing on a massive archive of now digitised recordings to anybody prepared to use it for the purpose it was originally intended
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 05:58 AM

We were encouraged to perform the same material every week if that's all we had. I think that was seen as better than having nothing. Maybe, in the long run, it wasn't...

I'm not a singer, but I'd guess that learning a song that you were perhaps going to accompany yourself on, sufficiently well to do it with without artificial aids, is a bigger ask than learning a new tune. I'd also add, speaking from the bitter experience of more than a few train-wrecks, that you can THINK you've learned a new piece well enough to get out there and do it, then, as soon as you get in front of people...


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 05:28 AM

Fred's description fits in pretty well with what was gradually starting to happen at the time in many clubs - standards were being deliberately lowered to put more bums on seats and the 'anything goes' policies gradually introduced an air of "where did all the folk songs go?" among those who came looking for ballads and traditional songs
Fred Woods was one of those who helped instigate the 'Crap Begets Crap' series of protests about the lowering standards.
'Ewan MacColl once said that a singer should learn a new song every week"
Ewan tended to exaggerate his claims, but The Singers Club did try to instigate a policy where residents were asked not to sing the same song within a couple of months (regular requests being the accepted exceptions)
It did guarantee that you always came away hearing new songs each time
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 05:27 AM

Incidentally, Grahame, learning a jazz standard would not really be the same thing as learning a folk tune. We are not supposed to have "correct versions," and are supposed to be steeped in the spirit of the folk process. Not only can you not be that if you're reading from notation, you can't be that if you LEARNED the tune from notation (unless you've already spent years learning tunes by ear and know intimately the need for flexibility).

I might add, somewhat mischievously, that I could knock out my personal "expressive" rendering of "Summertime" for you right now on a blues harp. And I could repeat the exercise tomorrow morning and it wouldn't be the same...


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 05:15 AM

Well that certainly chimes with me, Grahame, even though our folk club folded twenty years ago. What Fred Woods didn't mention is that the audience had to put up with that repetition and so-so quality week after week in reverential silence. It tended to depend who showed up: a fairly jolly time would be had, even on non-guest nights, if a particularly-talented "breath of fresh air" who was only a sporadic attendee turned up. Other times, you'd have four or five singers of dirges in a row. Always at the mercy of who turned up, and the unspoken rule was that the MC was powerless to deny anyone's right to their spot in the interests of balance. You just never knew what sort of a night you were going to have. And if you resented being part of a captive audience on a dire evening, there was always the rest of the pub...

But I have a lot to thank that club for nonetheless!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 04:42 AM

I've been trying to think when I first saw someone in a folk club use a crib sheet for lyrics (I've no problem with people reading the dots and chords- when there are more than three of them- I've done a few jazz gigs and never managed to learn a single jazz standard by heart apart from "Summertime") and I can recall a sea shanty singer who used to sing from a book as far back as c.1978. And sea shanties only have two new lines per verse... Re Les Barker, there used to be a spate of floor performers reading his stuff from books, usually very badly. Haven't seen that done lately though.

Anyway I found this quote in Fred Woods' book "Folk Revival- the rediscovery of a national music" published in 1979.

"The structure of a club evening tends to be unvarying wherever you go-and this is one of the weaknesses of the systen as a whole. The evening is opened by the resident arist or artists, who warm the audience up; they are followed by others, indistiguishable from the residents except in the context of club organisation, called floorsingers. Their allotment is usually two songs, and it is with these short spots that the floorsinger gains sufficient experience to graduate to residency or even to full-fledged professional status. The first half closes with half an hour from the booked guest, if there is one. After a beer break, the scond half follows the pattern of the first.
(Now it gets interesting!) The drawback of this kind of presentation is its rigidity, coupled with the fact that too few floorsingers learn new songs with sufficient speed. One hears too frequently the statements 'I sang this last week but...' and 'I only learned this today today so I may forget it.'Ewan MacColl once said that a singer should learn a new song every week; a counsel of perfection, indeed, and I would not expect an amateur singer to live up to that testing demand. But a song a month is surely with anyone's capability, and a repertoire of twenty songs ensures at least a diminuation of the unblushing repetition that is one of the worst hazards of regular attendance at a club. Some clubs are fortunate in possessing a resident group of near-professional standards-the Nottingham Traditional Music Club, or the Grimsby club, are two such- but these are few and far between. The vast majority of clubs have to make do with singers of lesser quality, and as such things are self-feeding, a lesser quality seems to produce musical stasis just as much as a higher produces a continuous improvement.
Such a relatively minor matter would not normally call for extended comment were it not for the unfortunate fact that it has considerable effect on long-term membership and attendance. If a club is in decline
the reason can normally be found in its residents. If they are content to churn out the same old songs week after week, they cvan hardly be surprised when they start churning them out to smaller and smaller audiences. It is a bsic and obvious truth, but it is one against which many resident singers are complacently blinkered."

Apart from the rise of the smartphone, and the reverence with which he treats Mr MacColl, still true?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Jerry Crossley
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 03:46 AM

Poetry is the art of the written word, and so reading from printed text is acceptable to my mind, and if done in animated fashion, with ad libs, etc, can also be engaging for the audience. Singing is about the sung word, and reading the lyrics whilst singing them simply distances you from your audience and creates musical wallpaper, over which the audience feels comfortable talking. Ignore your audience and they ignore you.
We?ve all heard Best Man speeches, where one inconfidently reads out a rigidly prepared script and the jokes fall a bit flat, and others where they seemingly improvise around a few basic prompt cards and they go down a storm. In the latter case, the key is practising beforehand until you know your speech well enough to be able to deliver it in an engaging fashion, and only need a few key words as a prompt to the next anecdote. All these one man comedy shows work on the same basis, though come over as fully improvised.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 02:12 PM

which folk club in Dublin are you referring to? I'll try and get there some time - some time after this bloody on/off winter.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 01:50 PM

"In the many cases, the poet will probably know the poem "off by heart".
Not necessarily so the singer although they mays till use the song sheet as a prop even when they don't really need to do so."


Do you have hard evidence of those two propositions? Why the assumption that the poet knows his material, yet the contrary assumption that the singer probably doesn't? Sounds like a double-standard is operating there. Or a complete illogicality.

And why is it 'acceptable' for a poet to have a crib-sheet, but not a singer (apologies if I'm misunderstanding you on that).


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 01:40 PM

In the many cases, the poet will probably know the poem "off by heart".
Not necessarily so the singer although they mays till use the song sheet as a prop even when they don't really need to do so.

Quite often, lecturers and speakers will quote from a book or written material because it adds more authority and the audience are less likely to think that he or she is just making it up.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 01:27 PM

Johnny - so a poet not bothering to learn his/her stuff and reading deadpan from a book is 'part of the act' (and presumably acceptable), but a singer not bothering to learn his/her songs and singing them from a crib-sheet is 'disrespectful' and, therefore, unacceptable?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 01:23 PM

I've seen them both. Tatie - Les quite a number of times. But we're talking about the standards of club-performers here, and I was responding to the comment about comedians in comedy-clubs. I see many 'floor-spot poets' in folk clubs - most, if not all, read their material as I described above, and seldom with any attempt at expression or feeling. Are they showing a 'lack of respect' for the poems they read?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Johnny J
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 01:20 PM

Nothing much to add here but I want to see this nonsense reach over 1,000 posts.

Reading poems from a book is often just part of the act. I'm sure most poets could memorise them if they wished.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 12:19 PM

Backwoodsman - Pam Ayres recites her own poems from memory - so as she said in her lovely accent: "You folks have paid good money to 'ear my poems: I thought the least I could do was learn 'em" - she only read one in an performance lasting well over an hour, with the excuse that it was a very new one. Go and see her if you get the chance!
Les Barker reads his poems: but does not have his nose in the book: he just glances down, and there is plenty of facial and vocal expression, body language, comic timing, etc in his delivery, so that you are barely aware of him using a book at all.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 07:50 AM

"i think in Ireland although there will be regional differences, "
Nope
English workers were writing songs in their thousands right through the 19th century
The situation is Ireland as far as song making was concerned really was no different than that in England
Go check Tommy Armstrong (miner) or Samuel Bamford and Samuel Laycock (weavers)
A quote about working poets in the Victorian period

"In the Victorian period, galvanized by the Chartist movement from the 1830s to the 1850s, working-class poets increasingly identified their literary work with working-class politics. As scholar Peter Scheckner points out, "Chartist poems were read every week by hundreds of thousands of active Chartist workers and supporters throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; the ideas and commitment behind these works were translated month by month into political action." The Chartist movement is represented in the exhibit by the work of Gerald Massey and Ebenezer Jones, both of whom also worked for the Chartist press. "
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 06:56 AM

i think in Ireland although there will be regional differences, i wouldn't have thought it was as cosmopolitan as England. i may be wrong. After all Joyce chose the wandering Jew to represent Dublin!

to try and harness the English tradition, you may as well try to catch the wind...


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 06:03 AM

"Where are the people showing how it should be done, and how to hold an audience. "
That appears to be what is starting to happen with the song in Ireland - one of the best folk clubs in Dublin is run by youngsters in their twenties
The music has already been guaranteed at least a two-generation future
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 05:29 AM

last night i was in a session.

there two of us singers who weren't using prompts. mainly electronic.

I sang Blueberry Hill, cos I still feel a bit tearful about Fats Domino. A Blind Lemon Jefferson song, I learned off Hamish Imlach and The Midnight Special, which I always loved from hearing Gerry Lockran singing it.

I think the determining factor in giving respect to a song is probably meeting people like Hamish and Gerry, who worked out ways of playing and presenting songs that were dynamic.

You're not going to like this Jim, but I do feel that part of the closing down of so many folk clubs was down to the influence of Ewan, Somehow he gave the impression that what you sang was much much more important than how you sang it. In a way -- it was natural for him to work and polish his work to a high standard - with his theatrical discipline. Many of his followers didn't understand this. I used to despair hearing guitarists trying modal tunings at a point in their playing career where learning One Man Went to Mow with two chords would have been more appropriate. Many saw singers like Fred Jordan, and just saw an old man singing songs - they missed the art. They thought - I can do that.

It became very fashionable to despise minstrelsy. And many of the minstrels seemed suddenly to have to be working for Ann Dex in Norway and god knows where.

Where are the people showing how it should be done, and how to hold an audience. There aren't the clubs any more, thanks to all that bad mouthing of the minstrels., coupled with people turning out and finding incompetents - highly self satisfied ones, keeping the tradition going.
I was offered a gig on the other side of the country - yesterday. No money of course, it was assumed I would do it for the love of my art.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Nov 17 - 04:15 AM

"I don't know about our folk clubs but this sort of squabble is why you hear younger folkies laugh when mudcat is mentioned."
Yeah - quite right
While the folk clubs are increasing at the rate they are and are bursting at the seams these people should be allowed to read from crib-sheets and mobile phones - a sign of true dedication to the songs - even if you can't be arsed learning the words you can still stand up in front of an audience and sing them !!!
This practice has made a laughing stock of folk song as the casual pastime of dabblers
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Nov 17 - 03:36 PM

"Would you go to a comedy club where the stand up acts all read their jokes or anecdotes from a sheet of paper?"

Dunno about comedy clubs, never set foot in any of those, but I see a great many poets in folk, and other, clubs, and i have yet to see one recite his/her poetry from memory - they all have notebooks, tablets, or smartphones from which they read their stuff, usually with little or no feeling whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 17 - 03:26 PM

I don't know about our folk clubs but this sort of squabble is why you hear younger folkies laugh when mudcat is mentioned.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 17 - 07:06 AM

The last concert I went to, by a pretty famous folk group four out of the five musicians read from music sheets set up on little stands.
They were good but, I thought a little removed from the audience.

Certainly a lack of "spontaneity"


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Jerry Crossley
Date: 17 Nov 17 - 07:08 PM

To be fair, it?s not just folk singers that seem to rely on crib sheets these days, since an increasing number of pop, rock and indie acts now tend to hide behind music stands, or even worse stare at an A4 folder lying at their feet. Grahame?s song above says it all; classical players, folk dance musicians, vocal choirs, etc can be excused when following melody lines, especially with harmony parts, but performers that can?t remember simple and usually standard strummed chordal progressions should either have the decency to practice it beforehand or perhaps shouldn?t be performing at all. Would you go to a comedy club where the stand up acts all read their jokes or anecdotes from a sheet of paper?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 07:08 PM

i did a weird gig about 18 months ago. this guy asked me to a gig for people at campsite.
of course they didn't know anything even vaguely folkie. but soon i was aware of everybody singing along to EVERYTHING.

When I looked they were all singing the words from their mobile phones. i told them the title and in two shakes of a lambs tail they had tracked down the lyrics on the internet. very skillful, i can't find things that quick.

perhaps that's the way o go. tell everyone to bring a mobile phone to your folk club.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 05:53 PM

Ha-ha! But if you're going to put stuff on an iPad or tablet, make sure it's in a non-internet-dependent app such as Pages or Word.......or just learn it!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 02:07 PM

Going back to the moan about floor singers just reading their songs from folders or i-phones I wrote the following song. Another thing that annoyed me once when a booked guest got in a tizz because he couldn't get a phone signal and needed it to access his setlist.
The song is sung to the tune Nic Jones uses for "Barrack Stree" or Noel Murphy for "Paddy & The Bricks"

Learn the song!

A man came to a folk club with a fine Martin guitar
A music stand with a little light. Professional! A star!
He opened up his folder at page number 62
And then he sang the same Tom Paxton song he always seems to do.

And it only had three verses, and it only had three chords
So come on guys, learn the song! The music and the words!

Then I saw another bloke, just the other day
Put his i-pad on the mic stand, and he began to play
He stopped, he blushed, he knew he?d lost the audience affection
Why have you stopped? He cried ?I?ve lost my internet connection!?

Chorus

In this modern age of apps, many sights you see
At an open mic a singer said ?Please accompany me?
The guitarist got his phone out to help him play the chords
The singer had his own phone out to remind him of the words!

Chorus

How difficult is it to just to learn a simple basic song?
Carthy and Dylan often sing ones thirty verses long!
It?s not jazz, it?s not prog rock, the chords are pretty easy
Is it just playing in public that makes folk singers queasy?

Chorus


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 12:48 PM

"It might ruffle one or two feathers !!!"
One of the great constants of life is how happy the middle classes have always been to deny that working people might have something to say for themselves
Nothing new under the sun
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 11:58 AM

On which page ? I don't see it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 11:45 AM

Interesting article by Steve Roud in todays Guardian........



It might ruffle one or two feathers !!!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Nov 17 - 07:25 PM

Just got home from Tigerfolk, Long Eaton where we had Miamh Parsons and Graham Dunne as guests (see a few hundred posts above).Great night; traditional and contemporary songs from our guests all well received; high standard of singing from the floor and a full room with not a crib sheet or music stand in sight. That's what is happening at our folk club.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Nov 17 - 08:51 AM

I had an enjoyable gig at dublin singers club, friday, plenty of good singers.
this music is not about stars or heroes it is about good performance, there was plenty of that on friday night


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Nov 17 - 03:23 AM

Yea Tony Rose was a quality folk singer, same breathe as Nic Jones,

Martin Carthy, Dave Burland and Peter Bellamy as far as traditional

revivalists ~ we need new heroes it seems and they are out there but are

they the bookable crowd pleasers as of old?

Ray


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Nov 17 - 09:54 PM

Quite recently, i heard a young man in Weymouth fc singing When Jones's Ale Was New.

I said, gosh! i haven't heard it sung like that for a long long time. where did you learn it? It was just like being in a time machine being in THe Jolly Porter in Exeter in 1965.

he said, oh my Dad was a folksinger. he was quite well known.

turned out he was Tony Rose's son.

what happened to folk clubs. I suppose we got old....


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Musicboy
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 12:12 PM

"What do I expect to hear in a folk club...?"

To be honest, I'm happy to hear pretty much anything and everything that entertains me.

What did I actually hear in the late 60s and 70s, around Sheffield?

Child's and other collector's, traditional ballads in what appeared to be
Re-worked versions of these based largely, but not completely, on what Ashley Hutchings was doing.
Music Hall songs.
Stuff written by contemporary folk artists, including (as examples), Dylan, Lightfoot etc.
Tom Lehrer stuff
Acoustic blues.
Acoustic versions of pop songs.
Folk rock (rare though it was).
British dance music.
Skiffle.
Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh and Manx songs, so obscure that people couldn't remember who wrote them (i.e., proper folk music).
People performing unaccompanied songs (often using crib sheets.
Recitations, often using crib sheets). Note cribbing was always better than continually forgetting the words.
Songs made up by the people wot sung 'em.
Professional performances by folk stars, such as Martin Carthy, Mike Harding and that Jones chap (who was always amiable).
By 'eck, them wer't days

It would be easier to define what wasn't acceptable, rather than what was and that varied from club to club. One of the joys was that anything went. Another feature as that it didn't have to be perfect.
generally, it was us (we, the folk implied in the phrase "folk music") entertaining ourselves in our own ways.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 10:47 AM

Calling them turns reminds of the old working men's clubs that showed their dislike of anyone on stage by throwing rocks at them. It is said that there was no turn unstoned.

These days it's kiwifruit.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 10:42 AM

Aaaaahh, the good ole ?Boot & Shoe?! I remember it so well!
Played there several times in the ?70s, never had a bad night (but I know a few who had shockers!). Is it still there?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 10:24 AM

i used to play the Boot and Shoe Club in Leicester. One desperate character had scrawled on the wall of the dressing room, " I'm not frightened of them!"

I did one gig on the Sunday lunchtime, before the stripper. A packed roomful of men all reading the Newspaper. THe stripper didn't turn up. THe word went round.
As I stood in the wings, one old bloke said, "Dunna worry lad! They'll be quire pleased to see you. Mostly the act doesn't turn up either...."


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 09:59 AM

Calling them turns reminds of the old working men's clubs that showed their dislike of anyone on stage by throwing rocks at them. It is said that there was no turn unstoned.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 09:37 AM

acts, turns, call em what you will.

it was Johnny Coppin's gig at the old Windsor Castle in Nottingham that I first noticed the phenomenon.but I've noticed that other artistes with a following organise their gigs through websites.

probably they realise that the semi pro's and floorsingers only want to listen to themselves. The days when you had actually had respect for a non famous person who just happened to have developed skills you respect is fading into the distance.

look at all the humble jobbing musicians that Jim accuses of being on some sort of showbiz gravy train.
And yourself as well Guest by the sound of it.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 09:30 AM

Just to avoid any ambiguity, when I said "So why are we doing it?, I meant organising clubs, not failing to book.
My answer to that is "The Music". While one or two may be doing it for the power and the glory, I think most are doing it to share the music they love with other people, both performers and audiences. I don't think any organisers are in it for the money.
Yes, we'd like bigger audiences for the music we like. I don't see that putting on music we don't like achieves that.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 07:16 AM

I'd just like to complain that there are far too many posts on this thread, so much so that there's no point in me telling you what I think is wrong with our Folk Clubs. bye


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 05:52 AM

Acts? Acts? Big Al, maybe that's the problem, the showbiz mentality?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 05:44 AM

?so you go next week, on a singers night and theres no one there.?

Exactly the opposite in the clubs I go to - rammed on ?Singers? Nights?, struggling to get an audience for booked guest artists.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 05:01 AM

in these days of internet. some acts have tremendous followings through their websites.

you attend the club on a guest night, and you think - this place is doing well.

so you go next week, on a singers night and theres no one there.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 04:23 AM

Yes bookings can be down to one person, but that one person should be

aware of the attraction of certain acts and the problems with others ~

club audience is a fickle thing and many factors will come to play ~

indeed with a folk club the weekly attendees could all be musicians ~

not come the week/s that guests are booked etc

Many clubs have folded and the right balance can be of paramount

importance ~ building audiences of different sorts could be a good

idea! Paying to see guests, floor singers, floor musicians, raffle

persons, treasurer, etc all are important in getting a thriving club ~

but do not leave all to the few ~ too many dead (useless individuals)

should be pulled out of the ruck (Rugby Union sorry) moaners and groaners can be disasterous (in gest! er um)

Ray


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 08:38 PM

as i remember there were a number of reasons

1) responding to requests of other club members
2) booking friends. you don't always like the music your friend plays
3) maybe you owe a favour to another club organiser - so you book an act, because the act will visit your area for two bookings but not for one
4) admiration for the skill of an artist - even if its not really your sort of thing
5) a cracking review that makes an artist of interest

probably hundreds more reasons, but what else would you do?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 07:00 PM

I'd like to stay in this discussion, there are interesting things to discuss. I'll just have to steer clear of Jim.
r.padgett
Club organisers who fail to book except to their own tastes
Ummm? So why are we doing it?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM

No Jim, I am stating FACT James Miller was his name, I am not "mixing" it as you claim.

I know as far as you are concerned the sun shone out of his arse but the fact remains he was brought into this life with the name James Miller.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 10:38 AM

Jim wrote:-
Joe Heaney, Bobby Casey, Tom McCarthy, Martin Burns and Seamus Ennis
Decades ago, I booked three of these performers at our folk club. Bobby and the McCarthy Family* twice and Seamus quite a number of times in the early 1970s as Tina and I used to arrange tours for him - so I must be getting something right in your eyes. Perhaps when you wrote that I had gone over to the Dark Side, you meant that I had gone over to the Irish Side.

* I remember going round the corner to the phone box to phone Tommy McCarthy, couldn't afford a house phone in those days. I phoned Tommy and suggested a date. He said that he thought the date was suitable but give him a minute to check in his diary. He came back to the phone and said, "Oh dear! This is most unfortunate. Sadly, we are booked at the Royal Albert Hall on that date."..... we managed to arrange another date.


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