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Will folk clubs survive

Dave the Gnome 16 Apr 20 - 06:44 AM
The Sandman 16 Apr 20 - 07:14 AM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 20 - 07:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Apr 20 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 16 Apr 20 - 08:06 AM
The Sandman 16 Apr 20 - 08:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Apr 20 - 08:14 AM
Johnny J 16 Apr 20 - 08:20 AM
Johnny J 16 Apr 20 - 08:25 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Apr 20 - 08:30 AM
Johnny J 16 Apr 20 - 08:38 AM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 20 - 08:54 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Apr 20 - 09:04 AM
Johnny J 16 Apr 20 - 09:15 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 AM
Brian Peters 16 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM
Johnny J 16 Apr 20 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Apr 20 - 11:44 AM
r.padgett 16 Apr 20 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,akenaton 16 Apr 20 - 02:42 PM
JHW 16 Apr 20 - 03:17 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Apr 20 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Observer 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Apr 20 - 02:40 AM
The Sandman 17 Apr 20 - 02:45 AM
The Sandman 17 Apr 20 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,Observer 17 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM
SussexCarole 17 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Starship 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 20 - 03:50 AM
SPB-Cooperator 18 Apr 20 - 05:40 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 05:55 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 06:00 AM
Joe G 18 Apr 20 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 18 Apr 20 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 18 Apr 20 - 07:25 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 20 - 08:47 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 09:16 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 20 - 09:46 AM
Joe G 18 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 20 - 09:54 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 20 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Starship 18 Apr 20 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,big al whittle 18 Apr 20 - 11:55 AM
SPB-Cooperator 18 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Apr 20 - 01:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 06:44 AM

Thanks, Johnny J. Your last line pretty much sums up what I have been trying to get across.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:14 AM

i have not dismissed you ,yet.
you made a comment about dragging people in to the 21st century, well since some of the venue sin the 21st century are open mics, i am making it clear that i do not want you to drag me to an open mic to hear folk music being treated like wall paper music. this is what you said
Folk music has moved into the 21st century very well. It's about time some people did.
well since folk music has moved in to open mics, you must think since you say it is moved very well, that open mics are good. i do not think that my conclusion is unreasonable, if you did not mean that why did you make the comment. you do agree where are in the 21st century and open mics are one of the venues where it is played and you have said that it has moved in to the 21st century very well, if you dont mean this make yourself feckin clearer


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:26 AM

However much you might like folk clubs, there are two awkward realities.

Firstly, on present trends, no gathering of that sort is likely to be feasible for a year or more - not just folk clubs, but weddings, Pilates classes, church services, Masonic rituals, the Womens Institute or big screen football. This will be a more drastic hiatus than has ever happened in wartime. It isn't just the clubs and their venues that will have a problem getting started again, many professional performers (and probably all the older ones) will call it a day.

Secondly, unlike wartime, there is an alternative that does provide a sustainable medium for many kinds of music, and which is particularly well suited to folk, given a bit of adjustment by performers and listeners. The internet wasn't around for people living through the London Blitz or the siege of Sarajevo, but it is now. For the foreseeable future it's all we've got, and it's going to change our expectations; we will get used to listening and performing alone, and we will learn to do without the performers who fall silent. Whatever happens when this is over will be shaped by what we are about to go through.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 07:44 AM

Dick, your reasoning makes no sense. How you get from "Some people need to move into the 21st century" to me wanting you to perform at open mic nights is beyond me. Nothing is further from the truth. Only you had mentioned open mic nights. FWIW I went to a few more than 10 years back and I never equated them with folk music then. I have not been to one since. There are dozens of outlets for folk music available to us. Folk clubs are still probably the best places to perform and listen to folk music but they are far from the only ones. As the current Covid19 crisis has proved. Which is what started this thread.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:06 AM

Jack I think you are being a bit pessimistic when you say a year I would say about six months at the most. People love travelling to festivals seeing and singing with old friends. Professional performers will not so much 'call it a day' as simply go back to how they started by singing folk songs for the love of it. I've been singing for 45 years and have played most clubs and festivals in the UK, but I am just as happy in a sing around. That said I think you have a point about regular internet appearances. That will not do any harm to the music, and may spark some interest.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:07 AM

stop wriggling Dave,
you wished to drag people[ presumably jim and me] into the 21st century ,open mics are a recnt phenomenon and part of the 21st century folk revival, how else do you think i came to that conclusion, if you did not mean it, be specific as to what you fucking well meant, what did you mean with this snide comment, come on tell us.
Dave i do not need to to be dragged by you into the 21st century i recently [feb] had two very good gigs at stoke and stockton where people listened and participated and sang choruses, i received a complimentary message from one of the organisers
stop wasting everyones time and when you make these remarks explain yourself clearly.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:14 AM

No wriggling Dick. If you can find where I said I wanted people to go to open mic nights, other than in your head, please provide the link to it. Sorry if you misunderstood but that is not really my problem is it. If you want to waste your time finding hidden meanings and agendas in my posts that's up to you but I, for one, will not waste any more effort on it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:20 AM

I don't like the Open Mic format either but some folk clubs and festivals have actually encouraged this over the years.

Of course, in the above cases, it was intended to encourage performers of "our kind of music" but an unfortunate consequence was that more singer songwriters, poets, and other "experimental" artists were also attracted.

It's more of a phenomenon at festivals and the like.. e.g. Danny Kyle's Open Stage at Celtic Connections and so on but this also happens at many other festivals over the years. In fact, it was a regular feauture at Edinburgh Folk Festival and some smaller Scottish festivals as far back as the early eighties.

More recently, Edinburgh Folk Club has been trying to revive the non guest night format but, unfortunately, was sending out "mixed messages" as to what was involved or expected. Sometimes it was advertised as an Open Mic format when it was intended to be a Singaround or, on occasions, a "residents' night". It wasn't clear if the latter meant the regular floor performers/supports or for members generally!
I'm sure many clubs are guilty of perpetuating this confusion.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:25 AM

As someone used to say "I agree with Nick" :-))

I also think we'll be able to do something by six months time. Perhaps not large concerts nor sports events but certainly informal gatherings and smaller events which would include folk clubs could be feasible.

There may be still be some restrictions on numbers and spacing, of course.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:30 AM

"There are dozens of outlets for folk music available to us."
Not to guarantee to keep it either folk and certainly not grass root
Stating this without putting facts behind it and refusing to respond is Iainism writ large

Some of what Johnny says make s sense with one exception
"much of the above was almost lost in the modern world and folk clubs"
By the time the clubs arrived what Johnny describes had disappeared - to a degree, some clubs reintroduces it, but as it came from a different world, it was neither possible nor desirable to aim to bring it bak - that would have been as artificial coming to the clubs in straw hats and crinolines
The clubs were largely a n urban phenomenon - the significant rural communities had largely vanished if they hadn't been eaten up
As far as I can judge, you were never guaranteed an audience for say big ballads ot shanties, in the rural venues - in some areas ritual songs would have been not only odd but downright unlucky in the places where the customs still prevailed - that remained the case in parts of rural Ireland where even a bodhran was a taboo instrument (instead of the pain in the arse it now is)

Folk song proper is as 21st century as Shakespeare and Johnson - and if respected (in very short supply nowadays there is no reason for it remaining so -
THe only difference between The Bard and Folk Song is that one works as a grass-roots art - the other is bums-on-seats - long may that continue to be the case
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:38 AM

"much of the above was almost lost in the modern world and folk clubs"

Sorry Jim. I should have constructed the sentence better as the excerpt you've quoted now conveys a different meaning from what I intended.

Perhaps something like

"Of course, much of the above was almost lost in the modern world. Folk clubs and the work done by many performers, activists, academics and so on in preserving same and keeping the music alive was very important."

would be better.

I hadn't intended "modern world" and "folk clubs" to be in the same box, in this instance. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 08:54 AM

A folk club needs to get a lot of ducks in a row to reopen.

The performers have to be able to get there. The audience has to be able and willing to put up with the risks of getting there and sitting there, and willing to pay. The venue has to be solvent enough to pay its bills, which will include an unknown amount of liability insurance.

No projection puts a vaccine closer than months away. If the UK leaves the EMA it'll be more than a year for regulatory reasons. Drug treaments may come quicker but probably won't stop the pandemic any faster, if experience with TB (the most successful medical intervention yet for a highly contagious disease) is anything to go by. So I'm going with the currently more conservative estimates for how long social distancing needs to go on for. And the relatively old folk club audience is likely be more cautious than most (also more likely to be dead or permanently disabled by the virus, which won't help put bums on seats)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:04 AM

Among many other interests I have a two-pronged cause.

1) For people who have never experienced or shown an interest in folk music to be given the opportunity to sample good quality versions, albeit it at grass-roots level.

2) Those who are already interested in 'folk music' in its wider sense, to give them the opportunity to come further into the fold, by making available good quality traditional folk music along with that which follows on from this tradition, i.e., revival music in the same vein.

As an organiser and performer those are my main goals and I know there are many others doing the same all around the country.

Those who deny this is happening are an insult to this and the music.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:15 AM

Jack,

I agree that the "touring circuit" will take quite a while to recover but more local artists might find it easier to do bookings.

Smaller clubs like Nitten(in Scotland) and similar which tend to focus more on singaround/resident nights might fare better at the start. They also have guests but these usually tend to be smaller names with a few exceptions and only happen on a monthly basis.

If the venues are open for other purposes then it should be possible to hold such events with care.

Again, it's over pessimistic to assume that most of us over a certain age(Includes both of us) will die. Even among the older age group, a majority of people should recover.
Besides, I'd certainly feel much safer sitting in a folk club albeit a safe distance from everybody than visiting the supermarket.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 AM

Rather conversely it will be the grass-roots music scenes that are more likely to survive and thrive. It is the more commercial genres that will suffer the more the longer the lockdown goes on.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:47 AM

I'm afraid I share Jack's pessimism about 'getting back to normal'. Even for the smaller informal events which some of you think may be able to re-open before the larger concerts, it may still be difficult to persuade people - many of them in the most vulnerable age group - that it's OK to get together in a confined space. Has anyone yet mentioned the droplets that we spray around the room when we sing? And that's before we consider the likelihood of many more pubs closing.

I have come across one or two older pros who are already thinking it may be the end of the road. Like Nick, I've been performing a long time and could probably get by without the gigs, but it would really grieve me to see communal music-making impossible for months or years - and just when we were seeing quite a few young people discovering the joys of the singaround. I have taken part in a couple of virtual song sessions but, although enjoyable, the experience is nothing like sharing songs, chat and laughter in the same room. Let's hope I'm proved wrong, and bring on that vaccine...


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 10:09 AM

It will depend on much of a risk we perceive there to be from the virus. That's why testing is important and we need more localised information as to how prevalent it might be locally.

At present, we get the figures for Lothian, for example, which are quite high at over 1000(of course, they'll be much higher)but not for individual towns. I presume most cases are in Edinburgh but we don't know for sure.

If it falls back to a similar level at the beginning of March and appeared to be under control, a lot of people might be fairly relaxed with that as long they had enough information to decide.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 11:44 AM

"Perhaps something like"
I agree qith that 100%
I'd buy you a drink if they were open
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 11:46 AM

On risk factors I do hope that "we" do not try to return to normal too soon ~Trump of course wishes to do just that ~ the overriding consideration is that the virus will return even stronger and in areas not affected before ~ not helpful to the economy also but!!

It will all take time and strange happening will happen ~ god 'elp us!

I do think it important that established venues and sessions are maintained ~ people may think that also, having suffered this lockdown effect for a period

Ray


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 02:42 PM

I've been away for a few days, but on reading most of the later posts I see that the work of the Corries is spoken of with derision by some of the contributors. Perhaps this will give these gendarmes pause for thought   
Highland Lament


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: JHW
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 03:17 PM

Will folk clubs survive (the pandemic?)
Tonight the word is we may have to maintain social distanceing until there's a vaccine.
So 2m apart and maybe facemasks for a year or two.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 05:00 PM

If the lockdown goes on for 5 years, at least the grass roots will survive. Plenty of young people I know have already invested a lot of time and energy in that. I'm not worried about that. I feel sorry for Brian and Nick and I'm hopeful they will be able to resume once that is possible.

As a researcher and performer not needing to put bread on the table I am simply getting on with a lot of research and playing a bit of music and learning some new songs now and then for a break.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 09:20 PM

"it is more important to have suitable places to sing the music , "
That's the truest thing anybody can say about folk song and the snide comment about your being professional certainly sorts the white hats from the black hats in this difference of opinion"


No truer word ever spoken!!

I will now make it a personal goal to actually to travel to and go and listen to Dick Miles perform. I am sure that I will thoroughly enjoy the experience.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:40 AM

"So 2m apart and maybe facemasks for a year or two."
Time for people to have a think and maybe plan ahead - I hope that timeline is a pessimistic one though

We had a wonderful confirmation of what is happening here in Ireland yesterday
For some time now there have been signs of more and more young people following the lead of musicians and taking up the traditional songs; we have met some of them
We have been asked permission to use of some of our recordings for a new project - they are planning to issue an album of source singers as an example of where they are learning their songs from - we couldn't reply quickly enough
It seems some people aren't suffering from cultural amnesia
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:45 AM

well since folk clubs often are smaller gatherings, social distancing might be easier i think it very possible they will survive ,it may take longer for festivals to return. to quote Stanley Baldwin lets wait and see


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 03:17 AM

I too have lost a considerable amount of gigs[ thankyou for your kind thoughts Steve] ,however i now have 3quarters of a uk sate pension 95 sterling a week],so of course i have no worries
But I feel most sorry for younger performers, my advice to them would be as soon as this is over, get out and organise, start a folk event[ A HOUSE PARTY, A CLUB, A ONE DAY FESTIVAL, but not an open mic [as soon as this is over]
the uk folk revival needs to look back to its early days when many performers were involved in organising events clubs.gigs dont just happen, without organisers


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 04:55 AM

Until more is known for definite about Coronavirus and an effective vaccine is produced, proven and readily available. I would say that things such as "House Concerts" will be exceptionally rare occurrences.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 06:06 AM

Too true, Dick. The organisers of all ages are out there and we need to give them as much encouragement as possible. No negativity!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SussexCarole
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 06:50 AM

Swansea Copper Folk will be running again on our (sort of) monthly basis just as soon as it is safe to do so. Maybe we have to wait for a well tested vaccine to keep us all safe.

Traditional song/music session while we sail on the River Tawe with no mics/amps and no featured performer.

Perhaps we have to wait until 2021 or further ahead, but our outlook is positive.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 02:52 PM

Folk clubs will survive if people support them. When people don't support them then they die slow deaths, or fast ones if the owners see the writing on the wall. In one form or other things have to be paid for. When those things aren't, the business goes TU. It's mostly always been that way.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 02:18 AM

"Folk clubs will survive if people support them."
In a way this sums up the problem for me, I'm afraid, just as does laims that our folk songs will "survive"
I lived through a long period when this would never have to be said because there was no question of them not "surviving" because they were thriving
I came to these arguments in the first place being told that there was nothing wrong with the club scene - I was given lists to be persuaded that was the case - it obviously wasn't if we have to talk about it "surviving"
It needs to do far, far more than that - it needs to be enjoyed at least as much as it once was - not just by listeners but by performers and potential performers
That has to be more tan wished for - it has to be worked for
That should be the topic of any communication that takes place - how is that going to be achieved ?

I'm not enjoying this long period of isolation - is anybody ?
Yet that is what is being proposed as the future of our folk song - over my dead body, I hope
I sneak into towen (I shouldn't) for my newspaper and each time I realise how much I am missing talking to the people whose houses I pass
I could call them, we regularly speak th them this way now because we check up on each other
Is that really how people want our songs and music to "survive" ?
How Orwellian
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 03:50 AM

Folk clubs will survive if people support them. When people don't support them then they die slow deaths, or fast ones if the owners see the writing on the wall.

Most clubs would be ecstatic to have slow decline as their worst problem right now.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 05:40 AM

A bit of a tangent, what can we do to get emerging talented singers and musicians to use this hiatus to get to know our rich folk tradition, look and learn from source material and recordings, and the best revival ambassadors living and passed on and spend time developing their craft to be the next vanguard.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 05:55 AM

Might be a better time for some of out crib sheet merchants to actually learn the songs they sing
I've never thought of our (sometimes far-from) "better" singers as ambassadors I'm afraid - just occasional breaks we relly don't have to rely on
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:00 AM

Shortly after we moved to Ireland National TV put on one of e best analyses I can ever remember on professionalism in traditional song - it was entitled "Has folk music sold out ?"
One of Ireland's finest musicians, Paddy Glackin, summed the situation up perfectly
He said, "Once you become professional you cannot survive without becoming a member of a group - you have sacrificed the choice of what and how you play"
I acn accept that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:10 AM

There are many, many professional folk musicians who are not part of a group. Not that there is anything wrong with groups of course


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 06:34 AM

I really don't get that at all. Before I open my gob, could somebody explain Paddy Glackins' point of view.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:11 AM

Paddy explined the situation he found himself in at the time -
In those days Irish music was at an ebb and the media only selected those who they believed would sell to a general audience - things are very different now that traditional music has come into its own - they call the shots
Britain was exactly the same during the folk and jazz booms - groups, funny uniforms, singing pullovers, even restrictions on the length of song that could be sung
When flok ceased to sell, the media and music industry walked away - that's when the folk revival and the jazz clubs streamlined themselves and returned to what they wanted to play
Unfortunately there have always been those among us who confuse excellence with popularity and fame
Some people found the experimantal period with groups like Bothy Band and Steeleye attractive - never rang any of my bells
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:25 AM

Got it, especially the confusion with popularity.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 07:42 AM

To be fair to Dick Sean (just wrote "Sick Dean" - nearly left it in :-) )
I thing if I were in his position I think I'd find myself under siege as things are


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 08:47 AM

Irrelevant.
If you are in a group or perform individually there are advantages and disadvantages to both. People like Cohen get the best of both worlds and many on the scene have done this to great advantage over the years. Martin Carthy springs to mind but there are many others. All 3 are options and you choose what works for you. I enjoy performing solo about the same amount as I enjoy being in a group. I don't think this has much bearing on the survival of folk clubs, except perhaps solo artists are cheaper for the organisers.

I would dearly love the crib-sheet merchants to learn their songs, but as they are very much in a minority I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:16 AM

"Irrelevant."
Not really, as far as sining is concerned
Our songs were expressions of individuality - how an individual reacted to the world around him/her
Thet is sacrificed when you perform in a group
It may be different if you perform as a family like The Coppers and, of course, rituals and shanties were a always a group activity, but these are very much a small part of our tradition
Carthy was in the position to do both, (Glackin was for a while) but most aren't -nd in both cases, the group side came with a shelf life - solo singing is ageless
How long did 'the singing pullover's' approach last - not long overall ?

Crib sheets became a subject for much argument at one time so it was certainly an issue then - last tie I was in The Cellar at C# Sharp House there were about 4 singers using them
I've noticed them being used on several on-line performances of late - they are unnecessary for most people and therefore largely not acceptable in most cases
Sorry - we disagree again
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:46 AM

'Our songs were expressions of individuality - how an individual reacted to the world around him/her'

Well if you mean they were written by one person, nobody can deny that except people like Gummere who are long-gone.

Many things are different in the modern world to what they were before WWII. You seriously believe we should only be performing in the same way as those people who helped preserve the songs for us? No instruments, no duets, no choirs, no pub sings with wonderful harmony? If not what exactly are you suggesting?

The majority of the songs were written in third person, only a few first person. The majority are impersonal.

Next you will be telling us that people accompanying songs and singing in duets closed our folk clubs down!


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:52 AM

Don't tempt Jim, Steve ;-)


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 09:54 AM

A bit of a tangent, what can we do to get emerging talented singers and musicians to use this hiatus to get to know our rich folk tradition, look and learn from source material and recordings, and the best revival ambassadors living and passed on and spend time developing their craft to be the next vanguard.

People like Tobar an Dualchais and ITMA have already put a tremendous amount of material online and it's already being used heavily by younger performers - they don't need lessons in how to apply it. About all there is for older generations to do is upload what they've got.

Right now there is NO shortage of people offering on-line teaching in anything you could want - this is the obvious recourse for pros whose diaries have suddenly gone blank. But the notion of "best revival ambassadors" can go - performers starting out can bypass them and go back to their sources if they want. The best teachers and the best performers have always been largely separate groups of people in the art music world and there's no reason why folk should be any different in the present situation.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 10:04 AM

"Well if you mean they were written by one person, "
You should know by now I don't - nobody knows who or how many made the songs
That are largely structured as 'one person' narratives and have remained largely the domain of the solo voice apart from choruses
Group singing is largely experimental
Folk songs ceased to be made in 'the modern world' apart from isolated communities, like the Travellers who still maintained an oral tradition, and they were still solo songs
Even the revival song-makers using the tradition as inspiration, recognised that when they composed their songs
That the songs weer written in 'the third person' (not sure about "the majority" is immaterial - a song-maker usually expressed from community experience in order for his/her songs to be of interest to those around him - they are far from beimng 'impersonal'
The broadsides weer a different kettle of dingbats
Navel-gazing introspection of personal angst is very much a revival thing - expressed rather harshly once by Tom Munnelly who told a modern singer of his own songs "I sometimes want to tap you on the shoulder to ask you fer permission to come in"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 10:15 AM

I think all of us have seen clubs come and go over the years/decades. What are the commonalities of successful clubs? What are the commonalities of those that folded? Inevitably (I think) it comes down to bums on seats. If one were to open a jazz club in a place where jazz is appreciated by 1 in a 1000 people, and if the town only has 5000 people, chances are things won't work out. Christaller's 'Central Place Theory' is somewhat dated, but it's also still true. There is a limit to how far people will travel to hear singers/musicians or groups. These days, people really need to do feasibility studies to determine the potential viability of their respective businesses, whatever those businesses may be. It is also important to gauge both what the audience--read customer--likes and what it doesn't, and that should be an ongoing process. The customer may not always be right, but the customer does pay the bills, and regardless what one wants, first and last the bills have to be paid. I have seen clubs that have continued success because they cater to specific types of music. If you as a customer have continued going to a club on a regular basis because you know the club will be presenting the kind of music you enjoy, then the easiest way to screw that up for the customer is to start presenting a different kind of music. Doesn't matter how good the new music being presented is. As a customer, if I have been going because the performers sing unaccompanied, and I then get three weeks of electric rock, chances are I won't be back. The converse holds true also. The old adage that "I may not know what's good, but I do know what I like" is important for club owners to realize. It is a truth whether one likes it or not.

A problem that does occur--I gather more in the UK--is ownership of the facility in which the music is held. As a pub/bar owner, my main interest would be selling beer, food, etc. The music aspect would be relegated to nights that were slow. However, when I saw a chance to earn more income by turning that night into a karaoke evening, well, do the math, because as an owner that's what I'd have done. When the arts meet the banks, the arts seldom win.

That said, I think the way forward is not necessarily a gloomy one. COVID-19 has changed much in society (as Jack alluded to), but in chaos is opportunity, and as we see the interrelationships of tradition(s), art/music, economics and livelihood, we can perhaps solidify our strengths and shore-up our weaknesses. I think it was Socrates who said that he unexamined life is not worth living, Maybe he was right.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 11:55 AM

I'm quite looking forward to the Weymouth Sailors Return Folk Club, on Zoom, next Wednesday. A new experience for me.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM

Steve G, Not sure if I am addressing your point but I wouldn't say that everyone who wants to sing folk songs need to do so in the style and manner of source singers, but we do have a responsibility to refer back to sources.

As another aside(ish)....

In my days with the Shanty Crew we spent a considerable amount of time in rehearsals making sure that what members proposed to bring to the group repertoire had some semblance to written sources as opposed to revival recordings. In doing so, what we brought to performance may have been less pretty, but understanding how the shanty worked brought its own life to them.

At maritime festivals when we listened to other performers we could often tell who they got their versions form, and pin it down to which track on which record.

Learning from records, in my view, often simplifies the detachment from collected sources. Back in the 80s I was equally guilty, and lately I've pruned a vast chunks from my repertoire.

Not sure if that has anything whatsoever to do with my original question though.


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Subject: RE: Will folk clubs survive
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 01:00 PM

Not really, as far as sining is concerned

I would love to find this folk sinning club. I presume it was the extra "n" that was dropped?


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