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Will folk clubs survive

The Sandman 11 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 03:39 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Apr 20 - 04:33 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 04:53 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 20 - 05:11 AM
Johnny J 11 Apr 20 - 05:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 05:16 AM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM
Johnny J 11 Apr 20 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 05:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM
Jack Campin 11 Apr 20 - 06:15 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,akenaton 11 Apr 20 - 06:59 AM
Johnny J 11 Apr 20 - 07:01 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 07:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 07:35 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 07:47 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 07:52 AM
The Sandman 11 Apr 20 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 11 Apr 20 - 08:15 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 08:22 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 11 Apr 20 - 08:42 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 09:09 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 10:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 11:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 12:10 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 12:26 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 12:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 01:04 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 01:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 02:07 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 20 - 03:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 11 Apr 20 - 07:42 PM
SPB-Cooperator 11 Apr 20 - 08:35 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 20 - 03:22 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Apr 20 - 05:23 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM
Jack Campin 12 Apr 20 - 06:29 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM
Waddon Pete 12 Apr 20 - 07:27 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM
Johnny J 12 Apr 20 - 07:55 AM
Johnny J 12 Apr 20 - 07:59 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 20 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Peter 12 Apr 20 - 08:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM

Drastic change is inevitable.
your opinion,based on the claim that technological improvement will be more important than accustomed social interaction, you might be right you might be wrong ,lets wait and see, but i think old habits will die harder than you think, your predicted change, if it happens, is likely in my opinion to be more gradual than you think
since you have a crystal ball can you tell me the winning numbers of the lotto


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:39 AM

"We have given you numerous examples of this happening in Britain. You just dismiss them."
I don't dismiss anything out of hand
I have ad description from a few sating "it's all right in our area" - that doesn't tie up with the fact that the club scene has reduced from thousands of clubs to less than two hundred and that a fraction of those have rejected folk song and adopted the 'singing horse' definition   
My concern is for the songs Steve - yours should be as a researcher
Non folk folk clubs, crib sheets and indifferent singing has not only become a major problem but has been argued for using terms like 'elitism'
Whenever it is suggested that folk clubs should live up to their chosen description we are deafened by hysterical shrieks of "folk police"
Folk song will not survive that treatment - it is not surviving it
I have no intention of taking up Observers somewhat snide attack on the Irish and I hope nobody else does - I hate national jealousy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 04:33 AM

Jim, whilst there is a modicum of truth in what you say, please take it from one who is in the thick of it, the music will survive and thrive. Your position is very extreme and doom-laden. The situation does not warrant this.

BTW have you got the Irish versions of Lord Robert, Child 87? (Lord Abore).

For once I find myself siding with Dick. Jack, you are not taking into account the social interaction and the desire to sit amongst those you are singing with. I'm in a 6-piece group. We all love performing and all sing and play instruments. I can't see anything changing there. We are also bringing in younger members who like what we do and want to be part of it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 04:53 AM

No guarantee Steve and survival like the frigging virus - has t be worked for
You are talking about you - I'm in a position where I ahve to take an overview and believe me, I have friends from the Gorbals to Glastonbury who say different
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:11 AM

Everyone has responded to the "Subject" title, but I don't think that anyone has actually answered the initial question, which was :
"Once the pandemic subsides and it is safe for people to gather again, how many venues have made a commitment to welcome the folk clubs back".
There's no doubt that some clubs will come back, but how many won't ? And will any new ones start up ?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:15 AM

Jack:   "older generations who ignored music on the web in the past will now be driven to use it willy-nilly."

There will no doubt be some changes and more interest in the possibilities for doing things online but most people will still want to "meet up" when all this is over.

I'm quite "au fait" with technology and the various possibilities but I don't feel "driven" to use them all as a matter of course. I still like to think I have a choice and I'll use technology as I see fit.
Even at this moment, I don't intend to embrace everything which is on offer. I still like to be selective and there's plenty of ways to enjoy music and the online experience is only part of it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:16 AM

Neither hearsay not anecdotal evidence would sway a critical judge. Only true and verifiable facts or the testimony of an expert witness will do. We have to ask ourselves who can provide those facts and expertise. I am not arguing for or against any claims but, given the evidence, I know where my money goes!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:17 AM

I did have the social interaction aspect in mind - acts that involve interaction with the audience are doing something that you can't get in the same way mediated by the Internet, and people will still want that experience (though getting together with a small group of friends also does it, no club or professionals involved). But there are more acts that do exactly the same thing in every show on their tour, playing off the same setlist with the same jokes in the same places. They don't have what it takes to get bookings after this is over.

But in the long run, live performance will have to interact with online world, not simply provide something separate and different. I can't imagine what forms that kind of interaction will take but I expect it's already developing.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:31 AM

I agree that some of those performers who do exactly the same act every night will be "found out" much more quickly especially as there are now already many live streams available.

The Edinburgh Folk Club has been broadcasting some of their gigs for some time time and other clubs too. However, the videos don't quite convey the same atmosphere as you experience at the actual gig and, in many cases, can even make things look quite amateurish. The "raffle" is even more tedious than normal, for instance. :-))


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:35 AM

"Only true and verifiable facts or the testimony of an expert witness will
do"
With respect Dave - that's unbelievably stupid
I have no evidence that our politicians are charlatans and thieves but it hasn't stopped us discussing these traits elsewhere
We have to rely on what we are told by people we trust - we can't be everywhere at the same time
I know for a fact that singers who were once household names won't go to clubs any more because of "the shitholes that many of the clubs have become" - to quote a recent communication
I keep finding singers who I thought must be dead are still alive and healthy - and well able to sing, but can't be arsed any more because of the indifferent and often hostile reception their songs have met with
You were the one who put a number on the present clubs

"Remote singing"
Singing folk songs has always been a form of human contact - electrionic contact is a form of alienation in my opinion - for the reasons I ahve given
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

You were the one who put a number on the present clubs

No I wasnt, Jim. I simply linked a Wiki artcle. It is not known who put that number on or how they arrived at it. I know I said I am not arguing with you but when you purposely misrepresent the facts I feel you should be corrected.

But rather than keep dredging up the past how about moving on to folk clubs surviving the crisis? As I said earlier, the folk club of the 50s and 60s is dead and buried anyway. Maybe if the idea of that Folk club doesn't survive this crisis, that may not be a bad thing. The music will survive and thrive as it did before the viral onset of folk clubs. Maybe it is time for something else and this virus will be a catalyst to make that happen. I don't know what clubs will survive and in what format but folk music will live on regardless.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:15 AM

The Edinburgh Folk Club has been broadcasting some of their gigs for some time time and other clubs too. However, the videos don't quite convey the same atmosphere as you experience at the actual gig and, in many cases, can even make things look quite amateurish. The "raffle" is even more tedious than normal, for instance. :-))

Folk club raffle videos would be a really obscure niche for YouTube.   Though you could easily do them for real on Zoom. I wonder when the gambling regulators would step in?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:31 AM

"No I wasnt, Jim. I simply linked a Wiki article."
You put it up as an argument of how well folk clubs were doing Dave
If you didn'y belive it you wouldn't have put it up
There's no point in arguing- it's a done deal
Why confine it to clubs surviving the crisis when it appears that they have their own exusive crisis
It seems an ideal time to discuss their future as purveyors of folk clubs - as far as I can see, there's little point in working to retun them to what they were any more thnan there's little point in working to give Britain back to Boris and his Breeders if there is a chance of using the crisis as a new broom for the improvement of all, including the lesser well off
They learned that as far back as The Fire of London - a better life rising from the ashes

If always been aware of the decline in the club scene - coming to Mudcat persuaded me that I wasn't the only one when I read reports of unn accompanied singers being shown hostility at some clubs, or not finding what they were looking for at folk clubs any more, or having to sit through bad singing to hear an occasionally well sung song.... it's all been raised here at one time or anotherer, and it's anecdotal evidence like this you would have us dismiss out of hand
Te evidence comes in a reversed form too - as a defence for some of the above - do't discourage crib shets or don't put bad singers off from singing in public...
Tere are remedies for all these things but it should never be inflicting it on an audience

I believe most people can sing - if they put in the work they can improve their singing - if they reall work at it they can become bloody good singers
It lay within the abilities of most clubs I have been involved with to assist in this - and it happened
It is to all our advantages - and to the music itself that it happens again
If someone wants to sing something else I wouldn't wish to stop them - but they sould find somewhere other than folk club to sing it - we owe that to ourselves, those who turn up to listen to folk songs, and to the future of the music itself
I wouldxpct that someone who wished to sing pop songs at a fok club should be made welcome as I would be turning up to a local amature opera society and blasting out thirty verses of Young Hunting in open voiced traditional style
Why should folk be treated as a poor and embarrassing relation ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 06:59 AM

Why don't we forget the clubs and start putting an emphasis on "street music".....The Irish have made it work and trad Jazz in New Orleans is gaining in popularity through groups like Tuba Skinny and others taking the music directly to the people and incorporating dance in the mix.
It brings life back to the music. The historical aspect will always be there for those with the will to look for it.
Dance was always a large part of traditional music, in Scotland, Ireland , England and Wales. I has been written out of history.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:01 AM

I'm a little wary about commenting here, Jim, as I don't wish to offend.

However, you say

"I believe most people can sing - if they put in the work they can improve their singing - if they reall work at it they can become bloody good singers "

This is true but there are other possibilities outwith the folk club scene whereby budding singers can hone their skills and gain confidence. e.g. community groups, courses, and workshops. Many of these also organise concerts, sessions, small get togethers which aren't too dissimilar to what many folk clubs do.

Several years ago, the Scots Music Group started up in Edinburgh and many people became interested in traditional music via this route and gained enough confidence to sing and play. They wouldn't have considered doing this via the folk club route which was considered to be very "cliquey" by many unless your were a part of it. Even many club regulars would be reluctant to have a go in case they upset the long term club performers or their input wasn't welcome. Also, if you are naturally shy, doing a floor spot for the first time can be a very daunting step.

There are many similar organisations to SMG up and down the country and plenty of other opportunities to get involved in folk music and song. Of course, they all imperfect and have their flaws just as folk clubs do. However, I think there's a place for everything.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:23 AM

"budding singers can hone their skills and gain confidence"
Why should folk club audiences be invited to sit and watch singers practice in public when it's not necessary ?
Would you expect that from any other music scene - idf not, what is there about folksong that makes it acceptable ?
I've been involved is singing workshops all the time I've been involved in folk song and I've benefitted in numerous ways
I get a buzz out of watching singers improve and become butterflies
I have seen club nights improve with the addition of new singers who have been at the workshops
And, from a purely selfish point of view, I have never been in a weokeshop and not learned something about my own singing from working with others
That's how the Critics Group was set up - mutual help that we were all benefiting from simply by being forced to think about the problems in order to solve them - a win-win situation all around - for the newbie, for those helping him/her and for the audiences at your club
MacColl was constantly saying that he learned more from working with the Critics Group than he ever did anywhere else - he said that tight up to his death - even after the Acting Group broke up as acrimoniously as it did
This is why I hammer on as much as I do to at least look at and discuss the work we did before you bin it
Please don't worry about offending me Johnny - I have far too short a fuse and I'll let you now when you have

The clubs are where you go, not just to listen to music, but to associate with people who share your interests and possibly work together
I came away with a wife - hope her husband never comes looking for her:-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:35 AM

You put it up as an argument of how well folk clubs were doing Dave
If you didn'y belive it you wouldn't have put it up
There's no point in arguing- it's a done deal


Yet again you are misrepresenting the facts Jim. You argued that clubs were failing because they no longer presented folk music. I put up the article because it said

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends.

The numbers are mentioned elsewhere but only you fixated on them. The numbers are disputed anyway and my link to the article had sweet Fanny Adams to do with them.

I agree that there is no point in arguing but as long as you keep getting it wrong I shall keep correcting you. I have the patience of a saint:-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:47 AM

Sorry Dave - let's leave it
I've put upi the evidence (and where to find more) of why the clubs declined
If you're not prepered even to discuss that it's pissing in the wind to expect you would consider more
I didn't quote what you said b=ecause I belived it - that number knocked my sideways in fact
I put it up because it wa given as proof that the cene was healthy
If you don't accept that I suggest you revisit it as I have
I'm too old for Balck Holes
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:52 AM

Can I just add to allt this that some time ago (thanks to a suggestion here) I purchased a limp of PCloud in order to distribute our archive in the hope people would make use of it - sing some of it maybe
I'm more than a little cffed at the sccess to date - from Ireland, from the US - from Australia
Not nearly enough from the UK
It's a permanent feature for whoever wants to use it and I'm open to requests to add stuff if we have it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:11 AM

The number of guest booking clubs has declined much more in the 21century compared to how many there were in the 80s,
i agree with a fair bit that jim says, we have now many competent guests but 50 percent of them in my opinion play nothing that resembles folk music as i knew it, and i first went in to a folkblues club in 1966, if they were playing blues which is the roots of american folk music,i wouldnt mind, but no what i sometimes hear is competent soulless drivel about their love life its worse thatn dylans ballad in plain d,
Iwas booked at chippenham folk festival in 2019, the best performers in my opinion were nic dow,jack rutter, the wilsons, john bowden and vic shepherd, what a proprtion of some of the others were doing at a folk festival i have no feckin idea.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:15 AM

Billy Connolly visited the Arran Folk Festival, and the organisers asked him if he would draw the raffle.

Billy was happy to oblige. The raffle took over an hour, and many people said it was the best act that they had seen.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:22 AM

Would love to hve ben there Henry - wouldn't have minded listening to the banjo or drinking pissy Scots beer :-)
Loved Arran though
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:42 AM

Might I ask what "purchased a limp of PCloud" was intended to mean? Any source of words, airs, or even songs, is always welcome. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 09:09 AM

Will be in touch An
There's more than your heart could possibly desire
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 10:24 AM

AnBu
If you PM me an email address I'll link you to my PCloud
There's a permanent selection of stuff which I leave in until I think there will be no more takers - probably indefinitely
Help yourself
Anything specific, I'll have a look and let you know and if you give me some idea of yor tastes I'll make suggestions
I've recently put i a pile of US material (non-available albums mainly) by request - there are a lot of them and there will probably be more when the two American friends get their act together
Help yourself to that, but that will not be permanent - too big
E-mail address and I'll let you have mine so the children can't listen in :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 11:30 AM

I put it up because it wa given as proof that the cene was healthy


I'm not sure there is any different way of putting this

NOT BY ME IT WASN'T! STOP MISREPRESENTING WHAT I SAID


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 11:36 AM

Why did you put it up Dave ?
In the end, it doesn't matter anyway - that many clubs makes my case perfectly
I may be mistaking what you say Dave BUT I NEVER DELIBERATELY MISINTERPRET ANYTHING ANYBODY SAYS - IT'S NOT WHO I AM
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:10 PM

Why did you put it up Dave ?

I refer you to my list of 07:35 AM today.

You may well be mistaking what I said but when I told you precisely why I put it up less than 4 hours ago I begin to wonder...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:26 PM

List=post


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 12:44 PM

That was not the argument at the time Dave - you were claiming the clubs hadn't declined
Around that tim you actually invited to stay with me and visit your clubs
I ahve pointed out consistently what I believe the reason to be for their decline and have quoted the 'Crap begets Crap' correspondence
Thow "musical tastes" of those who walked away - myself included was exactly the opposite - because our musical tastes hadn't changed but the clubs no longer catered for why we'd siigned up in the first place - along with declining standards, noisy clubs and poor administration
Prior to this plummet, the scene had neverreally been so healthy, plenty of our own magazines (we were thinking of starting another), a few record labels, folk shops...
Not me who's misinter
preting - deliberate or otherwise
You have never put up a shred of evidence to back up your..... guess maybe?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 01:04 PM

That was not the argument at the time Dave

It was the argument I was making. If someone else was making another one take it up with them. Just stop assigning things I have not said to me and I will be happy.

Now, how about looking forward instead of back?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 01:18 PM

Sorry Dave did you not claim the clubs where in fine fettle and invite me over to prove it ?
must have gone to bed on a bad pint to have imagined that
Let's leave it at that - I hav e no desire to either retrace old ground nor fall out with you
The figure show what a shitty level the scene has fallen to
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 02:07 PM

I claimed the clubs I go to were in "fine fettle" and did invite you to see. I have no idea about clubs elsewhere other than what people say on here. The people that attend other clubs tell me that they are also in fine fettle. You tell me they are not. I made my choice as to what to believe when these arguments first started so, yes, there is little point continuing. But I will still correct you whenever you misrepresent me. The saintly patience is still intact :-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:02 PM

Sorry Dave - you are wriggling like a landed eel
We are wasting space
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:25 PM

Ok,Jim. Whatever. You have reminded me why having this discussion with you is pointless. I'll resume when you misrepresent me again.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 07:42 PM

Jim - I printed out your last post that mentioned me with the intention of giving you and the world a potted history of my background and my involvement in folk music.

I have just ploughed through 50 or so posts mostly involving yourself and have decided not to bother.

I will carry on organising events that people enjoy and which are primarily concerned with traditional dance, music and song.

I also hope, once the current problems are over to continue attending events to support others with similar aims.

All the best

Malcolm and, yes, we have met.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 08:35 PM

There is some interesting discussion about the state of the folk club scene over the last decade or so, but personally I am still not sure if folk clubs as we know, and sometime love, them will whether the storm. Nearly every folk club I went to in London has closed either mainly due to the fickleness of pub venues.

What we don't know is how many existing venues will still be in business when the lockdown finally ends, how many of us will be around or will have the will to organise or even attend clubs. There will always be performers, but if we lose the intimacy of small/medium size clubs in favour of concert venues, folk as an inclusive entertainment will get harder to find.

I have no worries for the future of folk song and music. For as long as we have collections preserved, that reference point will always be there. I believe their will continue to be new waves of technically brilliant professional, but without the continuity of clubs, that understanding of 'community in performance' could be lost.

I know that I am doing nowhere near enough to support folk clubs, with so many other distractions in my everyday life.

Anyway - gone off on a tangent - I read suggestions that 'clubs' could continue but go underground, a bit like Czech Theatre did under commmunism, for example Havel producing living room performances. Maybe this is something that folk needs to do, but I can't see it re-emerging later as this isn't the same as countering cultural suppression. With pop-up micro pubs - there are a few near me but they are very small. One I go to is smaller than my living room!

I guess we need to wait and see what happens.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 03:22 AM

Wasn't a potted history Malcolm of your history - just a recollection of having met you briefly - I really don't know why people paint an impression of me that is inaccurate - I try to be fair and open with others
Ah well - never mind eh ?

Of course the music will survives in somebody's cupboard somewhere if that's what people want - maybe someone will find it like The Dead Sea Scrolls if the world survives its present misuse
I'd much rather it was giving others the same pleasure it gave us while I'm still around to be part of it and I'd rather that happened face to face than as disembodied sounds or back to the "me performer - you bum on chair" music industry ethos we all ran to escape from
It happened with a little effort for a large part of my life and I'm now lucky enough watching Irish youngsters in their thousands making the same discovery and use of their heritage just as well and in many cases, far better than we ever did
Clare County Library put our Clare song collection on line a few years ago and now we're hearing those songs sung back at us wherever we go - better thn winning The Lotto anyday
I can't for the life of me see why that can't happen again in England - I really can't

At least these discussions seem to have moved on from "our folk club scene is fine and you are out of touch" to "We don't need folk clubs anymore" - progress of sorts I suppose, but I'm not sure in which direction

I argued with MacColl during an interview we did with him when he predicted that there was a possibility that folk would die "if it fell into the hands of those who didn't like or appreciate or understand it" - I wish he was still around so I can apologise
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 05:23 AM

You seem to be suggesting that all of us who have spent our lives being obsessed by folk music will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over. A very negative and doom laden attitude! There are enough of us obsessives in every part of the UK to ensure that this will continue in whatever form; concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools.

Just before the lockdown struck we managed to fit in a free 4-hour concert in the local Minster that had footfall of near 800, and just before that we had a packed-out chanty night. Had the lockdown not struck our 6-piece group were booked to go into a secondary school to start up a once a week folk club. This has merely been postponed. Whilst in lock-down we are continuing to work on our 4th album. 2 of us are also working on digitised recordings of 60s folk club recordings to go into the local Folk Archive followed by setting up a website to publicise this, all funded by ourselves. I am just finishing off another book whilst working on two book chapters to be published next year.

What more do you want?


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 05:52 AM

"will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over"
Where did I do that Steve ?
I've been pointing out the poor state of things since long before all this was still being written about by Science Fiction writers
I've been 'arguing with those who dedicated their lives to it like you' that things have gone radically wrong to the point of no return and being told to mid my own business - I don't now what I am talking about
As far as I can see, many who should know better have become a part of the problem rather than a solution
Some things have continued, but nowhere near enough and the confusion that has been deliberately created around the term 'folk' is likely to kick many o them into touch before too long
One you remove the foundation - the building collapses
Groups are fine as a diversion but our fol songs are solo animals that require solitude to make them work - whoever wrote them they are single thoughts put into verse
In the main, I find most groups sound rather than narration - try imagining The Illiad or Tess read by four-five-six voices
Your a little behind with your digitied live performances - I've been distributing them for years and have had little luck (if some) trying to do just that on this forum
I sent a load of the Singers Club to Callum MacColl, who intends to use selections for a four- CD set of Ewan's live performances

Whatever we (you, I and your friends) do - unless others regain what appears a lost confidence in and understanding of folk song, it isn't goig to be near enough and complacency ain't gonna help
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 06:29 AM

You seem to be suggesting that all of us who have spent our lives being obsessed by folk music will somehow drift off in other directions once this is over. A very negative and doom laden attitude! There are enough of us obsessives in every part of the UK to ensure that this will continue in whatever form; concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools.

It's obvious from what you see on the web that huge numbers of people are furiously woodshedding away at the moment and will emerge from this with new material better performed. They'll find some way to show it all off - but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges. Some traditional performers experienced a step change in power after they retired and could spend more time at home practicing - Billy Pigg is an example. We may see many more like that.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM

"but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges"
Not very rational - it's hard to think were else
I know that I will screaming for the company of the singing circles when this lot is over as will many of my friends
The clubs guaranteed that th music was kept grass roots and not an elitist stairway to the stars - lose them and you lose that
I also know that people are busy learning or working on songs - our on-line archive has never been so active and our list of volunteers to sing Irish Child ballads is getting impressive
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:09 AM

"but folk clubs are irrelevant to the improvement and probably won't be the venue where it emerges"
Not very rational - it's hard to think were else
I know that I will screaming for the company of the singing circles when this lot is over as will many of my friends
The clubs guaranteed that th music was kept grass roots and not an elitist stairway to the stars - lose them and you lose that
I also know that people are busy learning or working on songs - our on-line archive has never been so active and our list of volunteers to sing Irish Child ballads is getting impressive
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:27 AM

To get back to the thread title.....the answer is.....yes of course!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM

'As far as I can see,' Not very far, from the west of Ireland!

As an organiser in Yorkshire I know for a fact that similar things are/were going on in many other parts of the country, just a few examples of where things continue to flourish--York, Sheffield, Ripponden area, Teesside, Newcastle, Sussex, North Lincs. Please feel free to add to this list.

London obviously is a very different case. They have one massive advantage and one massive disadvantage--advantage, a large population In a relatively small area to draw upon--disadvantage, a multiplicity of competing entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM

'As far as I can see, many who should know better have become a part of the problem rather than a solution' Jim

perhaps you could elaborate on that serious accusation for us, Jim, perhaps name a few names...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:55 AM

"Not very rational - it's hard to think where else"

Jack has already given a few examples

"concerts in museums, churches, village halls, etc.; singarounds, sessions, grass-roots festivals like ours, taking the music into other areas like schools."

but there are more.

There will always be a place for people gathering together to sing and play although the traditional folk club format of a "booked guest" along with resident floor spots may or not persist.
However, the more informal arrangements will and also small concerts in village halls, arts centres and so on will continue. Of course, these won't soley focus on folk concerts but they will likely always be part of the local programme.

I should also say that the term "folk club" these days covers a multitude of sins. It can be anything from a a slightly more organised session or singaround to an actual concert. In many cases, regulars and members don't get a chance to participate and the support spots are "hand picked" or are visiting acts who wish to gain some extra exposure and volunteer to play.
Also, the music and song may or may not be traditional or even "folky" at all. I'm not saying if this is good or bad but just how things are.

Of course, there are all sorts or arrangements in between but not all folk clubs match the "ideal" which Jim and some others advocate.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 07:59 AM

Oops, sorry. Jack was quoting what Steve had said. Anyway, my points still stand.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 08:31 AM

"perhaps you could elaborate on that serious accusation for us, Jim,"
Of course I refuse to name names - they should be self evident to those concerned
Those who have helped create the fog around the term "folk", removing the right of those wishing to hear folk songs when they turn up at clubs are the leading culprits as far as I'm concerned - that includes both club and event organisers and some researchers/academics
'Folk' has become a little like 'antisemitism' - once it meant something definite, now it has been manipulated into meaning something else to the detriment of its/their real meaning
The success that has taken place in Ireland has been achieved by returning to the music's roots and persuading young people of its worth - I can be reminded of that fact most nights of the week by switching on television or the radio

Most of Johnny's list are bums on seats events - festivals are too one-off to be of lasting value unless you can afford the time and fare and accommodation money to visit enough of them - if there enough within reach
As far as I can see, the difference in singarounds and clubs is in removing booked guests, featuring your best singers and creating the possibility of having a permanent opportunity to assist and bring forward inexperienced singers
'Shooting the scene in the foot' springs to mind

"yes of course!"
Not if the voices screaming "folk clubs have had their day" have their way they won't
Curiouser and curiouser
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 08:40 AM

A good summary there from @JohnnyJ.

The guest plus floorspot format seems to be on the decline with a tend to move either to a full concert format or a more informal singaround. Having said that there are still plenty of clubs running the classic format successfully but the smaller clubs that I know have gradually been cutting back on booked guests.

Post CV19 we really don't know. Every club and concert series will need to relaunch as if it is totally new and there may be issues in scheduling reopening events timed to relaxation of restrictions if notice is short.

Apart from the risk that many venues will not reopen at all I suspect that the trend towards a split between regular singarounds and ad hoc concerts will increase.


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