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The role of folk clubs today

Big Al Whittle 05 Dec 07 - 09:19 AM
Girl Friday 05 Dec 07 - 09:04 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Dec 04 - 02:46 PM
Strollin' Johnny 29 Mar 04 - 05:21 AM
Dave Hanson 29 Mar 04 - 04:11 AM
Strollin' Johnny 29 Mar 04 - 03:39 AM
The Villan 28 Mar 04 - 03:01 PM
Sooz 28 Mar 04 - 02:43 PM
Strollin' Johnny 28 Mar 04 - 02:20 PM
The Villan 28 Mar 04 - 08:45 AM
George Papavgeris 28 Mar 04 - 06:37 AM
Sooz 28 Mar 04 - 06:02 AM
Dave Hanson 28 Mar 04 - 05:18 AM
The Villan 28 Mar 04 - 02:49 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Mar 04 - 11:22 PM
Strollin' Johnny 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 PM
Strollin' Johnny 27 Mar 04 - 05:37 PM
The Villan 27 Mar 04 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Old man 27 Mar 04 - 06:06 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 AM
The Villan 27 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM
Strollin' Johnny 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM
The Villan 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM
Sooz 27 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,Old man 27 Mar 04 - 01:18 AM
Penny Price 26 Mar 04 - 08:29 PM
wigan 21 Mar 04 - 09:42 AM
treewind 21 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM
The Villan 21 Mar 04 - 05:23 AM
Strollin' Johnny 21 Mar 04 - 04:56 AM
Sooz 21 Mar 04 - 04:48 AM
Strollin' Johnny 21 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM
Penny Price 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 PM
Strollin' Johnny 20 Mar 04 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,guest 19 Mar 04 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 19 Mar 04 - 03:14 PM
The Villan 19 Mar 04 - 12:25 PM
Strollin' Johnny 19 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM
The Villan 19 Mar 04 - 08:31 AM
VIN 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Sooz(at work) 19 Mar 04 - 07:58 AM
Strollin' Johnny 19 Mar 04 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,guest 19 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,John at Studio 18 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM
Strollin' Johnny 03 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM
treewind 03 Mar 04 - 11:48 AM
The Villan 03 Mar 04 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Gato 02 Mar 04 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Gato 02 Mar 04 - 09:16 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 09:19 AM

not much changes, does it?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Girl Friday
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 09:04 AM

Check out the thread for the Fox and Hounds Folk Club near Farningham Kent. It's pretty new, and has guests and open mic. sessions. The organisers tend to play American stuff, but there is always a good sprinkling of English. It is a long narrow pub, so p.a. is set up. Occasionally, though,we have a session format, depending on how many turn up. We(TDL) are running the evening next Monday, December 10th, so American stuff may not feature too heavily.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 02:46 PM

Thirty seven years ago, with borrowed guitar in hand, I went to the Nags Head in Battersea, South London, and asked for a floor spot. I still cringe when I remember how I massacred the two songs they allowed me to sing. The organisers were so supportive, and encouraging that I went away and spent the next six weeks really learning several new songs. Since that time I have run four successful clubs, and established myself, locally at least, as a good all round performer, writing much of my own material, with the emphasis on humour. I thank God that I did not run into one of those who bleat about crap floor singers on that first night. We should all remember that even Martin Carthy started as a floor singer. When a new performer walks through the door of my club, I remember, and greet him or her as the one thing needed to make my day. If the performer is truly bad, I follow the line that worked for me.

When I have too many singers the first person dropped is myself, followed by residents as necessary, and no new performer leaves without being heard. If you are one of those who won't put up with one or two novices, in an evening of good entertainers, keep your £2, and go elsewhere.

Incidentally, We do have four or five stunning performers in the 20 - 25 age group, and a couple of sixteen year old occasional performers.

In a few years now, I shall be the old fart sat in the back corner, while they run an evolution of what is now a folk club. I don't know what it will be like, but I hope to spend many evenings enjoying it, before joining all those celts playing harps on a cumulous.

Keep on folking
Don T


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:21 AM

Thanks for that Eric, I appreciate and respect your opinion. I get concerned though when I hear people coming out with the kind of "It's my garden and you can't play in it" kind of stuff that some people DO come out with.

I'm not so sure that the 'perpetual motion' that's sustained Folk Music in the past will work in the future world. Sooz hit the nail on the head when she touched on the huge number of distractions that just didn't exist "When ah were a lad", and certainly not in the 19th century and before. We need to compete with these distractions, and we need to show the kids that we can give them the kind of respect that we expect from them. You're abso-bloody-lutely right - there's a lot of young talent out there, and an even greater amount that's yet to be uncovered and shown that there's much more to music than Gareth Sodding Gates, Beyonce and Westlife.

So, here in the Cowboy Country that is Lincolnshire, we're not running a CAMPAIGN to reach young people, that sounds like a short-term kind of thing. But we ARE working with a long-established and on-going POLICY to encourage youngsters into the fold and help their tastes to mature and evolve.

But I'm pontificating again! Sorry.

Cheers M'Dears,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 04:11 AM

Hi Strollin' I sure know where you are coming from and I have lots of optimism for the future of the music we all love, and lots of optimism that it is in safe hands with so many good young musicians
about today.
Last year there was a tea time session in a pub called the Fleece in Haworth, Yorkshire, we used to get lots of young people there playing- fiddles, flutes, whistles, you name it , ages from pr- teens to late teens, all playing traditional [ mainly ] music. So all is not lost.
eric


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 03:39 AM

Sooz, sadly it's been done before. It's an idea though, there have been lots of 'Road' songs, why not another 'Conversion' song? Mmmmmm.......................................!

Ah'll si'thee toneet.
JB


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 03:01 PM

Had an e-mail from a woman in Market rasen, who I think sings ot plays.
She asked me if it was possible for the general public to come along together with their children.
She has an 8 and a 6 year old who are both learning to play instruments and are both interested in listening to the folk music.
Obviously I have welcomed her with open arms.

Those are the sort of people I want in the club, together of course with all other like minded artist.
I already have 3 younger listeners comin to the club.
If Lucy and Paul come to the 23 April session, then I am guaranteed together with my own 2 children, 4 children under 16 and two teenagers.
My 12 year old daughter went last Friday night for the first time, and enjoyed the music. So what does that say.
Whoopee


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:43 PM

You should write a song about that John!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:20 PM

El Greko, (may I call you George?!) - Yo de man!! If I can just take a few more lines to relate a true story for the benefit of Eric and Old Man:-

Once upon a time a very young man, a guitarist and singer in a small-time Rock and Roll band, fell in love with the music of a few scruffy upstarts from Liverpool who called themselves by the daft name of the Beatles. In due course he also fell in love with the music of some even scruffier buggers from the London area who called themselves The Rolling Stones. The young man then read interviews given by his heroes, John lennon and Mick Jagger, in which they both raved about an Ameican 'Folk-Singer' called Dylan. "Bloody Hell", the young man thought, "He must be good if Lennon and Jagger rate him!", so seeking further enlightenment and hoping to hear people playing covers of songs by this Dylan guy, he started going to his local 'Folk Club', where he fell in love with the music of a number of other 'Folk-Singers', mostly from across the pond - names like Paxton, Taylor, Lightfoot and Mitchell. Soon, he began to play the songs he heard which had been written by these people, but there were others at his local 'Folk-Club' who sang and played something called 'Traditional' and as time progressed the young man began to realise that, good as these 'Contemporary' singers were, there was a wonderful legacy of songs from our own British Tradition, and he found himself enjoying and joining in with the 'Traditional' songs. Thirty-odd years later he's still singing and playing both contemporary and traditional material, and he thanks God for those older people at the Folk Club who, despite their allegiance to traditional music, allowed him in to play his Paxton and Lightfoot songs and learn his craft, and encouraged him to assimilate and learn to love the songs of his own country at the same time.

And friends, this story is true. I know. I was that soldier. (With apologies to Wink Martindale).

Thanks to Les and Sooz, and also to you Eric for accepting my reasoning - you may not be 100% converted but at least you understand where I'm coming from.   

Cheers guys, I'm outta here.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 08:45 AM

It sure is when you hear youngsters such as Lucy and Paul.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:37 AM

Ouch - good point, Sooz!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:02 AM

Was that nearly an agreement Eric?!:-)
We're all on the right lines you know - the more people who are doing something in their own way to keep the music alive the better. One thing we have to remember is that young people today have really opened Pandora's box- there is more going on than ever before and if we want some of them to chose folk music we have to share it with them. That necessitates a two way process! (Lets hear it for Metallica)
One more thought occurs - are we all prepared for the competition?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 05:18 AM

I must confess that I agree with you Strollin' IE if younger people are enticed into folk clubs and a few of them go on to get more deeply involved then it is a job well done.
Folk music HAS done very nicely by itself for a few hundred years WITHOUT needing any campaigns to attract young people. Young people will always do what they want to do regardless, and who knows ? the next great revival might be just around the corner.
eric the old fart


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:49 AM

El Greko

What a shame you are not near enough to Market Rasen and Gainsborough.

Unfortunately Penny is in a similar situation.

That is such a shame, becuase people like yourselves with children who are also playing, are exactly what I and I am sure gainsborough are looking for.

If my club gets off the ground OK, and if there is enough support, I promise a youth festival next year at Market Rasen. Hopefully a weekend one. This would also include like minded "Old Fogies" :-), who are willing to listen help and encourage youth.

Any Clubs around Market Rasen or elsewher, willing to help me in such a venture, would be very welcome.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 11:22 PM

Such a good thread...I last looked in 2 weeks ago and much good stuff has been written since. I still stand by Harvey Andrews' original statements, but there's been a sprinkling (flood?) of additional ideas also.

I too want to see the young'uns in the clubs and I applaud the efforts of the (mainly northern) clubs and places like Barnsley, who actually get off their butts and do something about it. Penny Price, do go to Market Rasen. I would too, if I was within 100 miles from it.

Never mind Beatles and Paul Simon, who are slowly coming into their own "old contemporary" category (as if we need categories!). Would I mind hearing REM, Green Day etc in a club? Of course not! Good acoustic music is good acoustic music, full stop. You should hear some of the Metallica (yes, Metallica!) ballads that my 18-year old daughter and her bloke play: sweet music, intelligent lyrics, worthy of an outing anywhere.

Though I confess to a really warm feeling when I heard her (through the door, she wouldn't do it in front of me) practicing "Bedlam Boys", Stan Rogers (Mary Ellen Carter & Lies) and Bogle (As if he knows). I know she's played them to her friends.

Can I get her to our clubs? Only 3-4 times on an "educational basis", cashing in all my credits with her, to hear certain special performers, to help broaden her experience.

But ...IF we can make the young'uns feel not just "accepted" in our clubs but free to be themselves...
AND that includes playing the music they relate to (why, some of us may relate to it also)...
AND it also includes providing a social environment for youngsters (chance to "score" comes into it too, light hearted or not, it did for many of us back then after all)...
AND it also includes allowing them a say in the running of the clubs eventually...
THEN perhaps, just perhaps, one day my daughter might hear her own offspring through the door practicing "Bedlam Boys" too.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 PM

And yes, both Mike Harding and I understand that one way of ensuring the survival of the clubs is to get a lot of people listening. That way some, maybe only a minority but enough, will get interested and involved.

And pubs serve up a lot more than just beer - like the kind of Clubs you seek to promote, they too would be boring and half-empty if they only sold one type of drink.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:37 PM

Well, Eric and Old Man, when you and your elitist cronies peg out, who will continue to perform and promote the 'traditional music that's done very well for the past few hundred years thank you very much'? Your Sad Old Ghosts? Are you trying to tell me that youngsters are flocking to your clubs in their thousands because of their congenital love of traditional music and their admiration for your determination to keep those clubs 'pure'? In your bloody dreams pally.

If it were so simple no-one would be more delighted than me, but it ain't. As your FN-ism seems to have rendered you incapable of understanding a simple premise, I'll try it again in simple phrases and without using any joined-up writing:-

1. One day, you and I are going to die
2. When we die we won't be around to sing the songs and play the tunes any more.
3. That means someone else who hasn't died yet will have to sing and play them, otherwise they will be forgotten and the tradition will dia as well.
4. Young people probably won't die as soon as old people.
5. Therefore the young people will have to start singing and playing the songs and tunes.
6. But it's not easy to get young people into Folk Clubs because they think Folk Music's boring and the old people who like it are sad old bastards.
7. So we have to show them it's not like that.
8. How?
9. By allowing them to come to our clubs, letting them show us what they can do and showing them and their music a little respect.
10. At the same time we show them what nice people us sad old bastards are, and let them hear what we do and what effing good stuff it is.
11. Then, although some of them will still regard Folk Clubs as boring, and us as sad old bastards, some - maybe just a talented few - will respect what we do and want to become a part of it.
12. Then when we die, they will be around to sing the old songs and play the old tunes.
13. That's how traditional music has survived and evolved 'for the past few hundred years and done very well thank you very much'. Each generation has brought young people in and, if we had the means to look back over those years, we'd almost certainly find that those young people have put their stamp on the music.

There - simple enough for even a Folk-Nazi to understand. And what you also need to understand is that it's your miserable, intransigent and arrogant attitudes that are proving to the kids that they're right and driving them away. Without them Folk Music and the clubs WILL die, so if you've got a realistic, workable and fool-proof proposal for ensuring a continuing healthy influx of young people whilst sustaining your pure, musically 'ethnically-cleansed' clubs, lets hear it.

I'm waiting with great interest - I bet this will be real good!

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 07:45 AM

Eric
All may be welcome, but trying to get the youngsters into a folk club is very difficult.

My approach is to get the youngsters in to sing and hopefully they will get mates and maybe parents along as well. In such a case tradition flies out the door in my book. The traditional singers will hopefully help and support these youngsters.

Strollin' played at my club last night and was very good and was liked by everybody. He doesn't sing pop songs, he sing folk songs. He is a very talented artist with his feet firmly on the ground. As to getting a lot of people to listen, that is absolute rubbish. He regularly plays to audiences of 20 - 30 poeple at small folk clubs. He is also very supportive of young artists. So I personally think that your comments about him are definately way off the mark. I for one value his support and influence very much.

Old Man - You go on believing what you want, but personally I think you are living in the past, and possibly one of the reasons, why folk clubs are having such problems getting yougsters in.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Old man
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 06:06 AM

I think Strollin' Johnny is one of the faction that puts forward the opinion ' folk must progress or die ' quite frankly this is total bollocks, whilst new songs and tunes will ALWAYS be written and very welcome too, traditional music and song has done very well on it's own for a few hundred years thank you very much for your concern.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:54 AM

Strollin, you sound like Mike Harding IE willing to forsake the integrity of the music as long as you get a lot of people to listen to it. And by the way I'm 57 also, I play in at least three sessions every week and all are welcome no matter what they sing or play, be it folk. country, jazz or pop, folk clubs are a different thing. You don't go to the dairy for beer so you don't go to a folk club to hear pop songs.
eric


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:32 AM

Strollin'
I endorse your comments completely, and I am 58, so there, I am older than you :-)

Market Rasen Folk Club is a club I want to be seen as embracing the young and old, and giving youth a chance. They are the future. In all walks of life, it needs experienced people to help and develop young poeple, and folk is no different.

Gainsborough Folk Club, I beleive has the same concept. I applaud how they nurtured Lucy and Paul into the scene. Last night was a glowing example of what Gainsborough has done to develop these two youngsters.

Another glowing example of young artists, was Liam Robinson.

What better example could they have had last night, than to work with the likes of more experienced folk singers such as CARA, Stitherum, Karen and Colin Thompson, John Blanks, Mick Pierce, Mike Wray and last but not least Diathi and Laurie. Thank you all for such a wonderful night.

It needs the older more experienced Folk Singers to embrace youngsters, support them and help them through. Without that Folk will die as we know it.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Penny - "My daughters can sing these songs only accompanied by acoustic guitar. But would they be welcomed to sing them at a folk club?". Yes they certainly would at Gainsborough, where we are very open, tolerant and accepting of different musical styles. I know the FN's will stick red-hot needles in the eyes of a small figurines made in my image (well, they'd actually have to be small, overweight figurines) for saying this but here goes - Traditional Folk Songs are the 'Pop' music of the past, of a time when there was no PRS, no big music publishers, no easy transport, no money for the hoi-polloi like us, and when there were no recordings or Radio or TV, so the songs HAD to be sung LIVE! There, do your worst, FN's!

We have to get young people INTERESTED, and old farts like me telling them Folk's great won't do the job - we have to get them INTO the clubs to HEAR the music. Many will fall by the wayside (it's not everyone's cup of tea after all), but some will stick and their tastes will develop. At our club we currently have a young couple (in their first year at Uni) who intitially 'stuck their heads through the door' for maybe half-an-hour, listened, whispered to one another and went. Less than a year later, and with huge encouragement from the old duffers, I can tell you they are the STARS of our local performing fraternity, looking to start their own club at the University they attend, and very probably on the brink of a highly successful Folk career.

It's got bugger-all to do with Ewan MacColl or politics or boring old farts and sad old hippies in rose-tinted spectacles who've never moved on from the bloody sixties - it's about BRINGING youngsters into the fold, HEARING what they can do, SHOWING them what we've got and ENCOURAGING them to know that they've got a talent that's worth working on. We have to get 'em through the door in the first place, and if that means listening to one more young and eager kid's rendition of a Coldplay/REM/Oasis/Any-Other-Damn-Indie-Band song, I for one can hack that. The results, as I've demonstrated, can be worth it - do the job right and they'll soon be regaling you with 'Banks of Sweet Primroses'.

And before the FN's start moaning on about dilution of the Tradition by allowing modern-day material, think on this - the Folk scene (that's us, folks) should be robust enough to handle it without wobbling. If it isn't it's not the kids' fault, it's ours.

And I'm 57, before anyone asks.

IMHO. :0)

Johnny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:09 AM

Penny
I you can ever get to the new Market Rasen Folk Club, with your daughters, then I promise you that they and you would get floor spots.
Last night was the first time for me, runnning such a club.
I had a young lady who is 18 and her partner play at the club and they went down a storm. They have a big future in front of them. Their names are Lucy Wright (vocals + fiddle) and Paul Young (Guitar0. Thye did a floor spot of about 15-20 mins. The also finished off the evening with a jamming session with Liam Robinson (Button Accordeon)who is part of the Little Band and Oakley (fiddle) who is part of CARA. It was great.

I also managed to get Lucy and Paul a 15 minute live session on Radio Lincolnshire last wednesday. They went down a storm.

9 artists did floor spots last night, and they were all very good.
I am so impressed with the quality of folk singers in Lincolnshire.

I am also hoping to have more youth singers on the next evening which is Friday April 23rd 2003.

So I am saying this to all folkies who know of talented youngsters, that if they would like to have a floor spot at my club then PM me and I will fit them in on a night that suits them.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM

Penny - you missed a good weekend at the American Old Time Festival keep a look-out for next year!
Your daughters would be welcome at our club. In some ways, "Folk" is about the presentation rather than the content. Some of the songs in our repertoire come from Buddy Holly and the Boomtown rats (and we love REM!)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Old man
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 01:18 AM

I started going to folk clubs in the late 1960s it was very exciting and vibrant with a strong political awareness. I stoped going to folk clubs in the late 1980s when they [ all ? ] seemed to start booking pop singers in a vain attempt to attract more young people in, this failed but the damage was done. Ewan MacColl once said that the folk club movement lost it's way when it lost it's political content I think this suns it up for me. It was always more than just songs and singing, we talked and discussed other things as well as politics, the young people today don't seem to care.
sad old man


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Penny Price
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 08:29 PM

Hello,

Well thanks about the advice on nerves - it's helpful to hear that other people get them and not just me. I thought maybe I should start a new thread on this because I find it helps to have a couple of beers to help the nervousness - but then that has its own problems which I will explain in the new thread.

My two daughters are aged 21 and 17 and they hear their mother playing all sorts of old folk songs on banjo. BUT they don't want to go along to the folk club. I'm trying to work out why, when I was their age, the folk club was the in thing and great, but they view it now as a load of old farts and don't want to know.

To me, folk music is about people. Its about how they live and their experiences. For instance, we don't want to kill whales now - and if we sing a song about the people who did kill whales (Blow ye winds in the morning) we are hearing from the sailors who actually did it that they didn't like it one bit! So it has its relevance now, even though its of centuries ago. It wasn't a pleasant job. It shouldn't have been done. And they knew it.

And a lot of the modern songs are also protesting about things people don't like. But they have to say it now in the loudest possible way. It would seem you have to be plugged into amps as loud as possible to get your message across. But yet......Kurt Cobain (the idol of my daughters) actually sang unplugged "In the pines" by Leadbelly.....and groups like GreenDay, R.E.M and other groups that I can't remember the name of, are actually singing folk songs but they produce them in a rock and noisy format.

My daughters can sing these songs only accompanied by acoustic guitar. But would they be welcomed to sing them at a folk club?

It seems to be that folk clubs must, in a way, fill the role of a museum - to keep the old songs of experience ongoing so that people are aware of historical hardships and exploitation of the working class. But they must also look forward to what problems people are experiencing today...whatever that may be.

Young people today have their own protest songs. Folk singing must surely keep evolving to take in the present as well as the past. Can we encourage them to come along and sing to us about what they don't like now? It seems to me that, if we can't, then when you and I are no longer able to go along to a folk club..............well, there won't be anyone else interested.

Anyway, you guys up in Gainsborough sound cool - I should have gone there a few weeks ago for a banjo festival but couldn't get the transport. Sounds like you've got a good scene going.

Regards.
Penny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: wigan
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 09:42 AM

good thread this. Don't expect too many young people to attend. they a diet of manufactured pop thrown at them To admit to liking folk is not considered cool. If they do turn up encourage them. Talk to them' if they want to perform make space for them. A good folk club will combine music and song. will allow for those who want to perform solo and those who want the audience to join in. It is up to the organisers to know the different people who attend and cater for them all. I personally do not like many of the unaccompanied songs despite going to folk clubs when I was 16 back in '66, but like the others that run our club I accept that others do. We also accept newer approaches to folk and trad and try to encourage everyone that wants to perform. AND new attendees are allways welcomed. Our "inner circle" of 5 do not try to dominate proceedings and we do not allow a situation in which others may want to. I help to run the club at the Globe at Guisborough and attend the folk club at the Rugby club.Both are run on the same approach and both are thriving


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 08:44 AM

Not just performers, there are clubs that like to sing choruses and others that just seem to want to sit back and be entertained.

I suspect the more popular songwriters around the clubs are the ones that write songs with choruses.

As for nerves, I've been more nervous at a small singaround in a pub than I have been sometimes in a concert with a stage, PA and paying audience. There's no logic to it!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 05:23 AM

Get on with yer Sooz, you know ye just loooove it! :-)

Joking apart, there is a lot of work that goes on in the background to keep a succesful club running. And I would think a lot of money. And unselfish devotion to duty.

I am trying to do the Cinderella spoonism with my 8 year old, but I can't seem to get it right. I think she's a bit young the way I cock it up :-)

Anybody got the words?


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 04:56 AM

Yeah Sooz, it's tough attending all these Festivals, listening to brilliant artistes and swigging gallons of Real Ale - you're a heroine (and Mr. Sooz is a hero too)!
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Sooz
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 04:48 AM

Keep at it Penny - the adrenalin is a necessary part of the performance. It flows even stronger when the audience joins in with the chorus, it is an amazing feeling. We have great harmony singers here in Gainsborough - you should hear us when Johnny sings "Pleasant and delightful".
Tony - you have obviously had some bad experiences with professionals! We are all off to see Jez Lowe tonight at the Turks Head in Lincoln and it will be excellent I'm sure. We only book a few guests for our club, but they are always artists we have seen elsewhere so we are sure they will fit in. The research is a swine but somebody has to do it!


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 03:54 AM

Thanks Penny. The chorus songs are still there, and some performers specialise in them but some don't. I think maybe the songs have changed since the days you're thinking of, but there are still a lot of songs with good choruses being sung out there (in our region at least). We have a pretty good balance of chorus/non-chorus songs at our club and I personally try to drop in a chorus song every third-or-so song. I don't think performers of non-chorus songs would regard themselves as arrogant, it's just a fact of life that some people like performing chorus songs while others don't. I hope that us good folks in the Folk World are open-minded and fair enough to go along with any style, even once in a flood, at the risk of inflaming the FNs, the odd Beatles song! But I do agree, the 'feel' of a club is helped by a generous dose of punters singing their heads off :0)

Regarding your nerves, hold on to this thought - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! I've been peforming for forty-plus years, amateur and semi-pro, and I still get the flutters before I sing/play, even in a singaround at my local club. It's an adrenalin thing, and I reckon without it you can't perform at your best.

All the Best,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Penny Price
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 07:51 PM

Like a lot of other people on this thread, I also used to go to folk clubs when I was young - there were lots of them about. And they were good fun even if you didn't like all the singers and their songs - or maybe even if they weren't all professionals! But the thing I remember most was all the chorus songs......usually folk audiences have good voices, they like folk songs (otherwise they wouldn't be there) and they want to join in! There's a wonderful feeling when eveyone's singing a chorus at the tops of their voices and really enjoying it.

Anyway, three kids and many years later......I was trying to find a folk club to go to. The local ones have all closed years ago. Found one a bit further afield and have been there a few times.....BUT whatever happened to the chorus songs? I have heard so many performers, rather full of themselves shall we say, performing songs that nobody seems to know and which certainly don't have any chorus. I found it all rather arrogant and felt that I was expected to sit and be "entertained" rather than feeling part of it. That, to me, is the main difference of folk music to other sorts.

As to floor singers, I agree with the previous message entirely. I get really nervous singing in front of an audience and it's not the easiest thing to do! Apparently it gets better the more you do it.....so that's why floor singers have got to be encouraged. And, it seems to me, they ain't being paid and they're filling in time while the ones that are can have a beer break or whatever.

Regards
Penny


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 05:32 PM

GUEST, Guest - AAAAAAAAAAY-MEN to that!

GUEST (anon) - come to the Gainsborough Folk Club at the Eight Jolly Brewers (Lincs.-Notts. border). We don't charge for entrance (except when we have a paid Guest Performer), the performers are, at worst, competent and, at best, excellent. The beer is Real Ale (8 different ones). The people are fine and the welcome is warm. Join in and sing/play yourself, or just listen. Our only club rule is 'Show respect for those who have the balls to put their heads above the parapet to sing or play who and who provide a soft target for the amateur critics who haven't the balls to identify themselves'. 'Nuff said?

Johnny :0(


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 06:45 PM

Thanks Sooz and strollin johnny,My name is Tony from South Wales. Why are amateur performers referred to as crap floor singers? It,s the floor singers which are the heart and soul of folk clubs and are responsible for keeping folk clubs and the tradition alive.
            Many of the clubs that I,ve been to only charge a fee on guest evenings.I would rather spend an evening in the company of a group of so called "floor singers" than some of the so called professional performers I,ve seen. I maintain my point that a folk club should be a place where we can learn from, support and encourage each other.Folk songs are songs about everyday folk sung by everyday folk.
    The worst thing that can happen to a folk song is for it not to be sung.Whether you feel that a singer is good or bad,they are keeping the tradition alive."APPLAUD THEM".


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 03:14 PM

Folk Nazis? A change from the Folk Communists who expect the audience to pay through the nose to listen to crap.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:25 PM

Yep got the green light :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM

It's for everyone who's interested enough to attend IMHO. There's room for give and take, as there's also room for different styles. Occasionally you'll get a dog performer, but that's OK - I bet 200 years ago when the old boys were singing the old songs in their parlours or in thge local they had crap singers too, but the music survived OK.

Everyone who performs had to start somewhere - they were all crap at the beginning (I dare any performer to claim they've always been fantastic). Folk-club attendees are, in the main, amazingly tolerant and will forgive the odd bummer.

If you get a performer who's, shall we say, of limited ability, and the listeners take umbrage, it's more a comment on the listeners than on the performer.

Just my view.

See you toneet,
JB :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:31 AM

Is a folk club there purely for the artists?

or

Is a folk club there purely for the listeners?

or

Is it there for both?

If it is there for the artists only, then it doesn't really matter who performs.

If it is their purely for the Listeners, then they are only interested in hearing good quality folk, with artists able to sing well and play their instruments well.

If it is for both, then its quite a headache. Where do you draw the line.

I have to say that the support for the Market Rasen Folk Club from the Artist side is just amazing. I just coudn't have dreamt of a better line up.
Having said that, I would like to think that anybody that comes along to listen, enjoy it enough to keep on coming back. I would really like that to happen.

If I allowed somebody to perform, who quite clearly was awful, what is that going to do to the Listeners?

With that in mind, does that make me a Folk Nazi? :-)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: VIN
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 AM

I CONCUR


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:58 AM

Well said guest - why not come along and reveal your identity at our club? (I typed reveal yourself the first time....)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:52 AM

Hear Hear GUEST Guest. You've hit the nail on the head (several times). It's the Folk Nazis, not the enthusastic amateurs, who will kill Folk.
Well spoken mate.
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:35 AM

I maintain that the role of a folk club is to provide an environment that will give support and encouragement to anybody wishing to play a part in keeping the Tradition alive through music and song.
             I,ve been to folk cubs where there were no more than 6 people, but had a good evening.I,ve been to folk clube that advertise "Singers/musicians welcome,friendly atmosphere" only to find the the resident group or inner circle making it very obvious to me that that outsiders were welcome as long as they sit outside of the circle and listen and not take part in the evenings activities.
             Some folk clubs are very good but I,ve known really good singers who have come to a local folk club and have not been invited to sing and after a while have not returned because the resident singers/musicians feel it,s their club for their own use.
             If club organisers fail to encourage and support people wishing to be a part of the Tradition and fail to allow them to practice and perform their songs/music then the future of so called folk clubs will remain in decline.
             Folk clubs should promote a Pro Social almosphere instead of the Anti-Social atmosphere I,ve encountered at many clubs. A vast majority of professional performers learnt and practised their art at folk clubs. The folk club should provide a place of learning and entertainment
                My final comment is aimed at those who blame the decline on bad floor singers/musicians.The first folk club I ever attended was made up of a number of people who wanted to learn to sing or play an instrument.None of us were particularly good,but with the support and cameradery that we instilled in the club,many of us became confident enough to perform outside of our "safe" environment.It was as a result of this support and encouragement that some of us became accomplished singers and musicians. I,m not that bothered in whether or not someone is a good or bad singer,we all have to learn somewhere and as long as the singer does justice to the song,then I,m happy to listen to them. Thanks for your time folks.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,John at Studio
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM

Apologies for the cross posting (this has appeared elsewhere in Mudcat and other places) but it has relevance to the discussion on the folk clubs vs folk music outside of folk clubs - plus I was so excited by the potential of the events that I willingly volunteered to shout about them from the rooftops:

Folk Events at the Blah Bar, Barnsley
=====================================

I had the pleasure of being the sound man at the second of these events, which was headlined by my partner Julie Ellison.

We experience so many different venues across the UK - pubs, folk clubs, arts centres - but I can honestly say that this event is a breath of fresh air which promises a great deal for the folk/acoustic scene in South Yorkshire.

Much discussion has been had here and on other forums about the role of folk clubs in the current day. Whilst the established clubs (both the singers and concert variety) continue to have an important role to play, it is encouraging to see this music being showcased, in a concert setting, in the main space of a modern, town centre bar. The bar is glass walled, making the event highly visible to "Joe public" and several people commented that the whole event had a real "city feel" to it.

The diversity of audience members was especially encouraging, illustrated if nothing else by the presence of hairstyles which rarely make an appearance in folk clubs (unless John McCusker is playing that is!)

The event attracted interest from the local "idie-band" magazine who were extremely positive to the "virtuoso performance" (their words not mine) and the publishing of a review of the events in a magazine perhaps more usually associated with death metal and punk will further broaden the reach of the events.

Audience members included Dave Burland, the headline at the first event, who commented that the gigs could be seen as part of a worthwhile attempt to "reclaim" the town centre, and after the dispersing scenes of drunkenness shown in TV news programmes recently - amen to that

Barnsley is buzzing with folk activity at the moment, with a significant youth oriented event taking place this weekend.

I've never felt more positive about the future! To all the supporting performers and to Tony Heald, the man behind the initiative, a heartfelt thanks.


All the best
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 12:33 PM

Gato - "We left after about 20 minutes". How many pints did you have to leave the room for in 20 minutes? One? How many people did you listen to? One, two? Couldn't have been any more in 20 minutes. Sore throats? Not an unknown phenomenon in the UK. You didn't give it a chance pal - the next guy on might have blown you away.

If you don't like what you see in Folk Clubs the answer's simple - stop moaning about it, start one of your own and run it your own way. You never know, it may be the flagship of a new tradition. (And you may find that pleasing all of your customers isn't as simple as you think).

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: treewind
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 11:48 AM

Eeek! Gato - We've got a GIG at the Turk's head next month. I hope we have a better evening than you and your friend did.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Mar 04 - 03:12 AM

CR
Barnsley Youth Folk Festival

That is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Gato
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 10:16 PM

I couldn't agree more with very first guest and pied piper. To cut a long story short, I used to sing in folk clubs in the early 80's, but got lured into 'country music'..could earn more money out of it. When I finally lost interest, but still fancied singing again. I thought about folk clubs again. Went to what was advertised as singers night in the Turks Head, in B'ham(UK). What a joke! A non musical pal came with me. I got in free cos I had the guitar, he had to pay. We were viewed with suspicion by the regulars,who got up to sing,complaining of sore throats, forgetting their words halfway,and the organiser stood at the back of the room booming out of tune bass harmonies to anyone who sang, paying no attention to their timing. There was no bar. You were only allowed out of the room to get a drink at the end of each sorry performance.We left after about 20 mins. My pal commented that he felt he had narrowly missed being sucked into some strange cult. I had to agree.
But I came home..and listened to Travis' exquisite version of Joni Mitchells 'River'..and realised that there is hope for folk music..even though 'herself' hasnt been folkie for years. An old song introduced to new people..Boy have I strayed of the thread!
Gato


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: GUEST,Gato
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 09:16 PM


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Subject: RE: The role of folk clubs today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:42 PM

I'd like to refer Guest Jane (and the rest of you) to this thread on the Barnsley Youth Folk Festival. It's just one example of how young performers, driven out of the time-warped ghettoes you call 'folk clubs' really are doing it for themselves.


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