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Heckling at Folk Clubs

Shug Hanlan 11 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 11 Oct 18 - 12:55 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 11 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,kenny 11 Oct 18 - 01:45 PM
Long Firm Freddie 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Peter 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 18 - 01:56 PM
doc.tom 11 Oct 18 - 02:28 PM
Acorn4 11 Oct 18 - 04:53 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Oct 18 - 05:15 PM
Steve Parkes 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM
Will Fly 11 Oct 18 - 06:09 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Oct 18 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Jerry 12 Oct 18 - 04:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Oct 18 - 05:08 AM
SPB-Cooperator 13 Oct 18 - 12:16 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 15 Oct 18 - 01:52 PM
Raggytash 15 Oct 18 - 03:03 PM
Andy7 15 Oct 18 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Oct 18 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Modette 16 Oct 18 - 08:44 AM
leeneia 16 Oct 18 - 04:21 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Oct 18 - 07:06 PM
GUEST 17 Oct 18 - 04:42 AM
alex s 18 Oct 18 - 10:17 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Oct 18 - 09:29 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 18 - 04:43 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 18 - 04:48 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Oct 18 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 21 Oct 18 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 22 Oct 18 - 03:20 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 18 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Oct 18 - 09:26 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 18 - 11:29 AM
The Sandman 22 Oct 18 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Oct 18 - 02:38 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 18 - 03:13 PM
The Sandman 23 Oct 18 - 04:17 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 06:01 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 23 Oct 18 - 10:25 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 11:31 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 23 Oct 18 - 02:05 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Nemesis 23 Oct 18 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Roger 23 Oct 18 - 02:53 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 18 - 06:17 PM
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Subject: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM

Sorry if my posts are a little too centered on Billy Connolly but I was just listening to his 1974 LP "Cop Yer Whack for This" recorded at the King's Theatre, Glasgow.

The minute he steps on stage punters in the crowd start shouting and bawling. The Big Yin handles it well but it got me thinking, did he have to face this kind of reception at Folk Clubs?

Was heckling permitted in most Folk venues? Or did some performers go out of their way to encourage banter between them and the audience.

Be really interested to hear your experiences of this sort of behavior.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 12:55 PM

I'm more familiar with heckling from the MC- Jim Irvine at the Marsden Inn folk club in the sixties was a master of this- with fellow residents often the victims.

heckling from the audience was always a feature of Birtley as well- always good natured and part of the night's fun- is fun still a feature of folk clubs in 2018?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:33 PM

I know some people who even got heckled in the audience.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:45 PM

Billy Connolly never got much heckling when I saw him because he was so good - and fairly brutal [ usually verbally ] -at dealing with it. There was a story which he told himself about a guy repeatedly shouting for "Needle Of Death" from the audience at Dundee Folk Club. This guy wouldn't take the hint, so the Big Yin ended up smacking him one.
Billy was good at dealing with hecklers, but Danny Kyle was the absolute master !
I remember Michael Marra getting heckled once at Forfar Folk Club. He was telling a joke about the Lone Ranger, and got to the point where "300 Indians came over the ridge..." A voice comes from the audience... "What were their names and addresses ?" :)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM

The Woodman Folk Club in Kingswinford has pages of very entertaining quotes and heckles on their website:

Quotes

LFF


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:49 PM

Not to forget that some bands have members who heckle each other.

I have never come across abusive heckling in folk clubs. Banter and back chat normally seems to be confined to situations where both parties know each other. At best it enhances the atmosphere at worse it becomes a tiresome series of in-jokes.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 01:56 PM

Don't know about heckling but Peggy Seeger who would only drink pints of water when she was performing was asked by a somewhat inebriated Scot in the audience, pointing at her nearly empty pint glass "D'ye want anither gin in that lassie?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: doc.tom
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 02:28 PM

Did that happen twice, Jim?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 04:53 PM

The situation when this can happen is when the session is in an open bar and you get the loud drunken idiots.

A friend of ours did a great putdown once:-

"I didn't realise this place had two village idiots - are you on a jobshare?"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:15 PM

Roy Chubby Brown: Did you watch Playschool when you were a kid?
Heckler: Er ... yeah?
RCB: Which F****** window do you want to go through?

(Sorry -- only funny in the UK!)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM

I enjoy a bit of banter with the audience. Trouble is, being rather deaf, I can never hear what the hecklers say! I usually tell them, if you want to heckle I don't mind, but remember I'm mutt'n'jeff, so face me, speak clearly, and bear in mind that when I've asked you to repeat what you said three times, nobody will think it's funny!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 05:18 PM

Maybe there's a difference in understanding of the word "heckling." In the US, "heckling" almost always has a negative connotation - heckling is mean-spirited. If the same thing is done in a friendly, light-hearted manner among friends, it's called "banter."
"Banter" happens frequently in U.S. folk performances and singarounds, and it's a very nice thing. "Heckling" is rare.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 06:09 PM

Heckling can be either over here in the UK, Joe. I've been heckled several times in Working Men's clubs, rarely in folk clubs. Folk clubs usually have good banter.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 08:10 PM

We used to have a "resident heckler" in our local folk club (sadly no longer with us): he always sat in the front row, so as a performer, you COULD usually hear what he was saying, and hopefully come up with some brilliant repartee.he was, on the whole, very funny.
Some 15 years ago, I wrote a song about being married for 30 years, and challenged the audience to say "what 30 years of marriage meant" hoping for the answer "Pearl Anniversary" - quick as flash comes back from yon resident heckler - "AGONY!!!!"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 04:57 AM

Surely there is a difference between heckling from those sat watching you and those at the rowdily back propping up the bar. In your immediate audience the friendly banter is more audience participation, poisitvely contributing to the entertainment, whereas drunken interjections from the back tends to be negative contributions from those who are just in the wrong venue on the wrong night.

Rightly or wrongly though, we have a long established culture of tolerance and equality in UK clubs and sessions, where we patiently listen and warmly applaud acts even when they are frankly not very good, or clearly can’t sing to save their life. I suppose there is always the hope, or fear, that one day they might be famous, and we can always say we saw them when they were just starting out. Cue anecdotes about Paul Simon.....


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 05:08 AM

Not a heckle as such but a well known local character used to frequent our club sometimes and insist on singing along with every song. Not bad, you may think, but when it was a song she did not know it often had unusual consequences :-)


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:16 PM

At the Player's Theatre, audience repartee was an integral part of the evening's entertainment, sometimes to the bemusement of those who had never been there before.

As with all participation it can either be done well or badly. Done badly, it detracts from the performance.

In my view, good repartee involves:

Clear, controlled, measured delivery.
Knowing when not to start and when to stop (less is more).
Delivered in the context of the performance.
Not interrupting or talking over the performer.
Ensuring that it good natured and humerous.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:35 PM

I often tell people I like to sit near the front in case I have to heckle. So far, nobody's picked me up on it.
I usually try to give the performer a 'feed' they can make a witty response to, so they get a laugh from the audience. If they don't seem to find it helpful, I don't persist; and if they look nervous I keep quiet.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 01:52 PM

Heckling as in witty two way banter has always been common in folk clubs.
Heckling with malice tends to be in more theatre styled concerts, usually if the performer uses humour.

Two heckles I recall, both by “friends..”.

Hey Ian! Sing us that one you sang at your mother’s wedding!

Did you write that song? No? Who wrote it? Really? Did he write it before or after he died?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:03 PM

Many years ago Brian Dewhurst was playing in my local club. Through the night he was constantly heckled by one guy which started to detract from the proceedings.

After one heckle too many he turned round opened his guitar case took out a starting pistol (loaded with blanks, for our American friends) pointed it at the miscreant pulled the trigger and shouted F**K OFF!!!

Brilliant, shut the bugger up as well!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Andy7
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:53 PM

In my mumming days, performing in bizarre costumes round packed pubs in the festive season, we naturally got quite a bit of heckling, most of it very good natured. And often, those that heckled most would donate generously to the charity we were collecting for.

But occasionally, there would appear a nasty, aggressive heckler. It was always best to just totally ignore those as much as possible; no 'witty riposte' would ever have any positive effect.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 07:08 PM

A certain Scots performer, very fond of the drink decided to belt a heckler. Walked to the back of the room and hit the wrong bloke. He took him out for a drink the following lunchtime, to apologise. Got drunk again slipped over and knocked the bloke off his bar stool breaking the mans arm on the way down. Surprisingly he never sent him a Christmas Card that year.
Quite surprised to find myself on the above link for the Woodman Folk Club, can't remember saying it!
By the way the Nolan sisters (Yes them!!) have got a brother who works the clubs as a comedian. He's got the best put down I ever heard. After constant interruptions from an unfunny Heckler, he paused and related the following story.

" Do you know I was bought up upon a farm, I was driving a tractor when I was eight. One day I managed to drive over my Grand mothers prize pig! She was furious, she said 'You've done a terrible thing son! That pig will haunt you for the rest of your life'
(Turning to the Heckler)... 'Well she was right! Look it's bloody well here!"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 08:44 AM

Was this one of Connolly's?

"When they gave you a set of teeth they ruined a perfectly good arsehole."


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 04:21 PM

Raggytash, blank bullets can be dangerous.

Also, pulling a gun out can lead another person to pull HIS out. And that gun will not be loaded with blanks.

It's best to leave guns locked in a cabinet.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 07:06 PM

We had a lovely old lady, once a music teacher who taught both my kids, and a stalwart on Burns Nights when she'd do the poem over the haggis in her inimitable Scots accent (despite her being solid English), who often came to our pub sessions (she'd always sing a song or two, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye and Wha Wadna' Fecht for Charlie? being two of her party pieces) and heckled us after every set, shouting out "Less! Less!" rather mercilessly! Good times, good times. She died two or three years ago, well into her eighties. Many moons ago we went to her 70th birthday party, at which there was mucho great music from us folkie and bluegrass types. It was so good that I went up to her afterwards and told her that I'd enjoyed it so much that I couldn't WAIT for her 90th party. That could explain that subsequent heckling!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 04:42 AM

"Raggytash, blank bullets can be dangerous. "

Demo on firearms when I was in the air cadets many decades ago The instructor used a blank round to blow the bottom out of a tin can at close range. As leeneia says blanks are still dangerous.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: alex s
Date: 18 Oct 18 - 10:17 AM

In defence of heckling!
A local performer was notorious for picking on members of the audience and giving them a hard time, bolstered by the fact that he had the mic and could shout down any opposition.
3 of us had had enough so we went to a gig of his, sat in the front row and gave him some stick for the entire first set.
During the break he said to us "If you leave me alone, lads I'll buy you a bottle of whisky"!
Offer accepted...


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Oct 18 - 09:29 AM

I have occasionally been known to heckle, but only peeps I know. Years ago when I was a resident performer at a club in Kingston upon Thames, I could always rely on one particular chap (Ian somebody?) to try winding me up from the floor. Once and only once I managed to shut him up, when he shouted out, "Is that your mouth, or are you running it in for an idiot" Where it came from I don't know, but I immediately responded, "Yes, when do you want it?". Well that sort of floored him, and he bought me a drink at the interval, and admitted defeat. I really enjoyed that drink.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 18 - 04:43 PM

John Mackenzie,, I remember the fighting cocks at kingston very well was a guest performer there many times, from about 1974 onwards, i dont remember you or were you resident at the surbiton club run by derek serjeant?
In my opinion heckling is an intrusion. i think performers should be allowed to build up a rapport with an audience without attention seekers from an audience trying to disrupt proceedings


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Oct 18 - 04:48 PM

i do rember a oneliner that i heard once, directed to a heckler "when they circumsised you, !they threw away the wrong bit¬"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Oct 18 - 04:22 AM

It was the Assembly Rooms Dick.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 21 Oct 18 - 02:21 PM

I remember you well, John- at Whitby of course--- how are things in Lairg! FC was a great club & all credit to Rod & Danny for setting it up & booking such as Maggie Barry, Fred Jordan & the Stewarts- in fact I had my first wedding night hooly in the clubroom 25 July 1970.

In the mid sixties there were also sessions in the bar on Saturday night- I first met Terry Vosper there- great character. Also often a Sunday noon in the clubroom- huddled round the potbelly stove in winter & in summer continuing on the adjacent green with quart bottles of Courage (yuk) or saiing down to Hampton Court....

The Assembly Rooms was a big venue -first place I met Bob Davenport & the Rakes- heckling story there but won't repeat it- too dangerous!!
- still hear from regular Doug Dwyer- now settled in Bergerac... happy days...


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 03:20 AM

Terry Vosper!! There's a name from the past. Is he still around? He had some amazing songs.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 04:08 AM

I was told a story years ago about a contributor to this thread,it was probably a myth anyway, someone in the audience was makiung rude noises during this mans song, so said performer[ no names no pck drill] marched down the aisle and thumpred the offendor, it occurred somewhere in the home counties


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 09:26 AM

Can tell you it wasn't Bob Davenport, Dick- a much-discussed incident in the Assembly Rooms but he didn't go that far!!- nufsed?
   Terry was a good pal of mine, but sadly died quite a few years ago- saw him most recently at the King & Queen- 10 years plus.... yes he had some great songs!
   He came & stayed with us in Durham & we took him to the Miners' Gala- we went to the Cathedral for the blessing of the banners & the Dean's address was quite unsympathetic to the miners (early 70s- time of the two strikes the miners won!) & Terry was quite shocked by this.
   I told him of a previous Dean of Durham, who had been similarly critical in the 30s.
   The miners found him on Gala day & chucked him off Elvet bridge into the River Wear- now that's a form of extreme heckling, so back to the thread now!


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 11:29 AM

One of the most ill-mannered examples of heckling I have ever encountered was when two Irish women singers were booked to perform at a West End of London Club
One of the singers, an Irish-speaker from The Aran Islands, began by giving a short explanation of her Irish-language song
We were, unfortunately, sitting two rows in front of a 'veteran' folkie, who proceeded to talk, loudly and very pointedly, over her introduction.
When it happened again on another song, my partner turned around and asked him to stop, to which he replied, "I came here to listen to singing, not talking - I thought we'd got rid of all that shit in the '60s"
Someone came up to Pat in the interval and said, "I'm glad somebody had the courage to do that"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 11:41 AM

BOB DAVENPORT, no this was someone else entirely,


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 02:38 PM

he's off again


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 03:13 PM

yes indeed


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 04:17 AM

Bob Davenport he seems to get the blame for eveything,


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 06:01 AM

"V" and someone is excusing the bad behaviour of a folki superstar because he ia a superstar
Why should these louts be untouchable ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 06:17 AM

Incidentally, I carefully avoided naming the culprit
It took a couple of acolytes to do that - well done lads
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 10:25 AM

just leave him to it Dick, what a pain in the arse


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 11:31 AM

What a pair of hypocrites
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 12:22 PM

Both of you
It is a little difficult understanding what you have difficulty with here
The subject is heckling at folk clubs - I gave an example
What exactly to you find wrong with that
Do you think I'm making it up or do you think there are some people exempt from criticism ?
We really have been here before - last time I named names, this time I didn't
What on earth can be "pai in the arse" about that ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 02:05 PM

You have a campaign for many years which is that Ewan Mac Coll was some kind of saviour of the tradition and Bob D is the opposite.
My opinion is that both have/had a lot to offer I am not interested in your vitriolic crap about Bob.
I made an effort to avoid you getting involved in this thread but it didn't work, you wangled your warped prejudices into it despite that- the thread title was just a further opportunity to ramble on about this prejudice- THAT'S WHY YOU ARE A PAIN IN THE ARSE - OK?


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 02:43 PM

I have done neither - I have said what know to be true of both of them because of personal experience
I have never known MacColl slag a fellow performer off in public as I described Bob having done to a young woman singer making an effort to explain her songs toa non-Irish-speaking audience
That you are not interested in behavior such as that is your own choice - you nbeed to stay away from threads like this one
I asked if you believed I made it up - apparently you don't which says all that needs to be said
I do hope your "vitriolic" outpourings don't get this worthwhile thread closed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nemesis
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 02:50 PM

For the person who doesn't know the differencg between bad manners and heckling

heckle
/'h?k(?)l/
verb
gerund or present participle: heckling
1.
interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse.
"he was booed and heckled when he tried to address the demonstrators"
synonyms:
jeer, taunt, jibe at, shout down, shout at, boo, hiss, disrupt, interrupt, harass; shout catcalls at; barrack; informalgive someone a hard time
"he was booed and heckled when he tried to address the demonstrators"


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 02:53 PM

May I suggest that Mr Carroll and Mr Bainbridge desist from this peurile bickering and challenge each other to a duel.
Keyboards at dawn perhaps.
And yes I do know what the word peurile means.
What was an interesting and memory boosting thread for me has now just become a battle between egos.
Roger.


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Subject: RE: Heckling at Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 06:17 PM

May I suggest that you read what has been posted
I didn't "bicker" - I posted an opinion
I would have liked an apology for your accusation, but I doubt if one is forthcoming
I'm getting more than a little pissed off with the way people fling out uncorroborated accusations
Jim Carroll


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