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Why don't you go to folk clubs?

Shimbo Darktree 16 Apr 04 - 12:55 PM
Mr Happy 16 Apr 04 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND 16 Apr 04 - 11:18 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Apr 04 - 07:42 PM
breezy 15 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 15 Apr 04 - 06:08 PM
The Villan 15 Apr 04 - 08:31 AM
VIN 15 Apr 04 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,KB 15 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM
treewind 15 Apr 04 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,KB 14 Apr 04 - 12:08 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 07:08 PM
The Villan 12 Apr 04 - 05:18 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 05:11 PM
The Villan 12 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 04:34 PM
Gareth 12 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM
George Papavgeris 12 Apr 04 - 11:50 AM
chouxfleur 12 Apr 04 - 10:46 AM
Penny S. 12 Apr 04 - 09:05 AM
The Villan 12 Apr 04 - 08:27 AM
treewind 12 Apr 04 - 07:50 AM
Sooz 12 Apr 04 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Folk clubs YUK !!!!! 12 Apr 04 - 06:00 AM
The Villan 12 Apr 04 - 05:55 AM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 05:22 AM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 05:19 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 12 Apr 04 - 05:17 AM
The Villan 12 Apr 04 - 05:08 AM
chouxfleur 12 Apr 04 - 04:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 04 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM
kendall 11 Apr 04 - 10:39 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 04 - 09:16 PM
RichardP 11 Apr 04 - 08:19 PM
RichardP 11 Apr 04 - 07:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Apr 04 - 04:10 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Apr 04 - 09:18 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Apr 04 - 03:54 PM
jacqui.c 10 Apr 04 - 03:51 PM
steve in ottawa 10 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM
kendall 10 Apr 04 - 03:27 PM
Scoville 10 Apr 04 - 02:51 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Apr 04 - 02:43 PM
Dave of Mawkin 10 Apr 04 - 02:22 PM
Ed. 10 Apr 04 - 02:12 PM
steve in ottawa 10 Apr 04 - 01:54 PM
kendall 09 Apr 04 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 09 Apr 04 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 12:55 PM

People, what happened to democracy? I assume that some of you, at least, live in democratic countries! If you don't like the club, don't bloody go! If you suffer withdrawal symptoms, start your own - at least then, you can set your own rules without nagging others to live the way you do. I use cheat sheets (mentioned before), and shall continue to do so. I am a willnevabe (i.e. a wannabe who is too old to make it). I will continue singing in clubs that will have me, and I don't give a monkey's what you bloody professionals (are you really, or are you having us on?) think.

You do it your way ... I'll do it mine. And everyone will go where they wish, and avoid where they wish.

Q.E.D.

Shimbo


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 12:41 PM

cos there's too much 'folk' of the narrow kind & at lots of clubs anything contemporary is frowned upon.

I, like others above, prefer the sinaround/session event, where songs & tunes include ones everybody knows,including non-folky customers- not just the sometimes exclusive folk ones.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES`S BAND
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 11:18 AM

Come on all you posters. If the places are as duff as you describe they deserve to be named and shamed. This will give the organizers a chance to defend their corner or improve if necessary. Only by openly offering criticism can one expect improvemnt.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:42 PM

Actually, there is at least one club I go to but rarely - because it is non-smoking. I don't smoke, but my late wife did, and I prefer to go to a club without that piety.

Another club I never went to (it has closed) made a big thing about how good the performers there were, and wanted you to ring in advance to book your spot (if they approved of you). This was no use as getting my wife anywhere on time was tricky, and anyway if her breathing problems were bad that night we would have to cancel.

Another club I don't go to, the organisers disappear to the bar (elsewhere) while anyone but a paid guest is on. And the audience sit there quietly during chorusses.

Another club I don't go to much calls itself a folk club but the majority of the stuff heard there is country or close to country.

Another club I don't go to has pretty much only paid guests (mostly doing American material), and the residents fill up most of the floor slot(s). Even when there is no guest they still do so. Joining in on chorusses gets you stared at.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: breezy
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM

So we have 2 clubs in St Albans where punters pay and performers do just that , peform.

Non-smoking-walking-talking-mobile-phone-ringing-crisp-crunching-in-yer-face-folk-clubs

Weekly, when in season!!

Its so dark on sundays that you cant read anything, so thats something to think about S-J, you'll be fine

go to www.folk4all.net


then there are sessions!!!!! but as Anahata already said


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 06:08 PM

The only time the audience is aware of "paperwork" is when the singer is using it as a substitute for rehearsal. What is acceptable will vary according to the nature of the club. Where customers are paying for a staged performance then a higher artistic standard is expected from floor singers than at a singaround or song circle.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 08:31 AM

Anahata
I agree with you on "paperwork"

Strollin' Johnny is very good and the audience warm to him. As he has said, he takes the paperwork with him as a form of backup. That makes sense to me. I haven't heard any mistakes from him, although I guess only he would know that.

In the past I used to go into big companies and teach people, how to use Word and Excel at advance level. I knew my subject inside out, but I still took notes with me, incase I had a mental blackout. Can't remember using them very often, but when I did, nobody was really aware.

If you are professional and know your business, you put into place backup procedures just in case.

Its a bit like doing a presentation, you have bullet points to jog your mind.

Unfortunately some people write out their speech in full and read from it through the whole of their speech. This is awful and to me shows lack of knowledge/preparation of their topic or their inabilty to do presentations.

Isn't this a bit similar to a folk artist? The latter paragragh is the one that bothers me.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: VIN
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 08:16 AM

As for using 'bits of paper' or guide notes, well what the hell so long as the end result i.e. the song/tune sounds good? Ok, so some won't, but not using crib sheets or notes does'nt mean a good or professional performance, whereas i've heard some great performances from folks using notes/crib sheets/music - and as has already been said poeple like Pavarotti (and most 'professional' symphony orchestras) do just that! So stroll on Johnny, use notes/guides/crib sheets where you have to and to those who won't book you, well sod em, its probably there loss eh?


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM

But ChouxFleur is not looking for people who are making the effort to do their best however good or bad - he (sorry - originally thought was female before cos of name) is looking for performers who meet his particular quality thresholds. So its a criterion, not a red herring.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: treewind
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:53 AM

If you follow the link to Chouxfleur's web site I think you'll find "she's" a "he"!

As for the "paperwork" issue, this is a red herring. Any club organizer worth his/her salt should be able to tell whether a performer is really making the effort to do their best, however good or bad that is.

The audience can tell too, and they also know when the club organizer is or isn't making an effort to put on a good show.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:08 PM

I think Chouxfleur is absolutely right in sticking to her defined rules. Once you start to make exceptions you are lost.
For example, I used to go to a "Country" open mike some years ago - the premise was that there was no other local open mike for Country music & so it was a niche evening. It was a great idea - but very quickly it became "Country/Folk" and ended up including the whole spectrum of performances exactly as seen at other local nights (with all the usual suspects). It lost its differential, and pretty much descended into mush. I think that if he had stuck to his guns he would have built something really interesting.
Then the organiser tried to implement "songwriter nights" where you were supposed to perform self-penned numbers. Great idea - and a great motivation for polishing some new songs. Too bad that he then allowed people to get away with singing songs written by close friends, then songs written by people they knew, and then songs written by famous people they had vaguely heard of - ie we were back to a mishmash of mush again.
I certainly applaud Chouxfleur's clear vision of what she wants, and her firmness in sticking to that.
Obviously it isn't true that ALL paper-readers are amateur (rank or otherwise) - but I can see that allowing one high-quality act to use paperwork as a safety net would open the floodgates for performers who use paperwork as a substitute for rehearsal.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:08 PM

Fun this time. Hope to find a folk club in Southampton or Portsmouth to inflict my Rank Amateurism on though! :0)
Johnny :;)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:18 PM

ok
Not working I hope?


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:11 PM

Chouxfleur will never know!
Les - I'm away until the weekend - I'll get back to you re the Rasen gig when I'm home (thanks BTW!).
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM

Strollin'
I have to say, that if you go to the last night of the proms, dont all the musicians read the music as they play.
So why can't you.
Anyway, the less people wanting your very helpful service, the more I see you at Market Rasen Folk Club.
I woudn't offer you a 45 minute floorspot if I didn't think you were up to it. And you are up to it.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 04:34 PM

OK Chouxfleur, I wish you and your club the very best, I'm sure you'll be very successful without me. In the meantime I'll go on playing at clubs where Rank Amateurs like me are made to feel welcome.

Incidentally, I've been playing semi-pro for 34 years in other musical fields - made a fair amount of money at it too. I've only ever played free at Folk Clubs, where I happily give my time and effort gratis for the financial benefit of the club rather than my own.

And presumably you regard Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo et al as Rank Amateurs too, seeing as they're too idle/mentally feeble to learn the words and frequently have them on a music stand when they perform in a concert setting? Good job they're not looking for a gig at your elite establishment!

Bye now.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Gareth
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM

These days ? Simple -

(1)I now suffer fron Tintintus, visiting a folk club can be litterally painfull.

(2) Transport - There are some good clubs within South Wales. All of which require me to drive to get to and from. I can not enjoy a Folk Club without a beer or two. And I do not drink and drive.

It was far easier when I lived in Kent, as last Trains ran at Civilized times, ie after closing time.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 11:50 AM

Oh dear... that ogre the lyrics sheet again... It has been flogged to death without a conclusive outcome on so many threads, but chouxfleur, I think you are new to Mudcat, and may therefore not be aware of that.

You are right to set the rules for your club, and abide by them, I would not deny that. But please don't term use of a lyrics sheet as "rank amateurism" (your words). Rather than restart the conversation and clutter this thread, I will PM you separately with some of the arguments against this.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: chouxfleur
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 10:46 AM

Strollin....to answer your question 'am I unworthy?' I dont know cos I aint seen ya, but if you came along to the club and asked for a floor spot and we didnt know you, you would get one song (number). If you got your bit of paper out you would, no matter how good you were only get that one number. Sorry, but thats the way it is chez nous.
When one looks around at the average age of audiences (and performers) we are much older and, I suspect, more critical and more selective and not prepared to tolerate stuff that we did when in our teens or twenties. Audiences are far more sophisticated now.
When people walking through the door are asked to stump up money for a seat in the club they should not be expected to sit through rank amateurism.....and they dont, hence the reason so many clubs have only a handful of people sitting in the audience.....hence the question 'Why dont you go to folk clubs?'.
Can you imagine going to a jazz club and the support artist/singer getting a bit of paper out with the words/chords written on. It simply wouldnt happen! It doesnt happen at blues clubs, country & western music clubs (not that I've been to many of those)....Its not just about those who cant/wont learn their stuff, its the general belief that you can stand up in a folk club and get away with anything, and its something that seems to be peculiar only to folk clubs, in that for too long we have tolerated too many mediocre performers. Its one thing in a session in a bar, or an open mic, but the minute we ask paople to cough up money to get in then we gotta be professional.
The club I started is The Harbour Sessions in Southwick, West Sussex. Have a look at some of the pics on www.harboursessions.co.uk
We have a lot of fun, a lot of great music and the audience keep coming back and they bring their pals with them. The next three guests are Steve Tilston, John Renbourn and then Hans Theessink. All top line guests. Anyone paying to come along to one of these evenings will expect good, solid performences, whether it be from the hosts, the residents or the floor guests.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:05 AM

Lack of energy, and didn't get enough back when I went - not much audience participation, and you were only allowed to sing if they already knew what you were like, and the mike was only open in the summer, when I was away, and I went alone, and no-one tried to draw me in (apart from pointing out that they knew where I taught). They had good guests, and the house musicians were good, too, but it wasn't the way I remembered from the 60's. I've seen a few nearish events mentioned here, but they all seem to happen when I can't go.

Does anyone know anything happening in the next couple of weeks in the vicinity of Cirencester?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 08:27 AM

I would ceratinly support you there Anahata.
I am a listener, so I will try to keep the standards up for the people that come into my club.
The opening night was very enjoyable, because everybody waa able to sing well or play there instruments well.
No doubt we will see you there sometime :-)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: treewind
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:50 AM

Chouxfleur, well said - your venture sounds so like one or two of my favourite clubs that I wonder about your identity!

SJ - as others have said, having notes to remind you in case you forget the words is a million miles from what I've sometimes seen, where the singer faltered on the words even where they were right in front of him because the light wasn't good - he quite clearly hadn't learned a single syllable of it!

Sessions are another thing (well, they are a thousand different things) but a folk club is in the entertainment business and the club organisers and the floor singers need to make an effort in the ways chouxfleur described.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Sooz
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 06:02 AM

Mike and I have been to clubs like that, Guest but never twice!


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,Folk clubs YUK !!!!!
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 06:00 AM

Arent folk clubs and open mikes all too often dragged down by their own narcism of being places where wannabe so called performers go along to be heard by other wannabe so called performers. Some who have any friends left (given the diabolical racket they make) manage to persuade their own "Rent a crowd" to turn up, and as soon as they have finished raising Bedlam ie performing their torturous act that has about all the charm of a cat being strangled "Rent a crowd" duly get up enmass and leave usualy whilst the next dreadful act atttempts to belt out their racket vainly against the noise of a stampede of geeks hoofs walking out..

Does that sound familiar to anybody...

If a performer is good enough to listen to they should subject themselves to the reality check of a real audience. Busking is probably a great litnus test of whether somebody is upto the standard neccesary of public performance. A few strangers listening because they think you sound good in the street for an audience is worth a stadium full of narcisic ninnies slapping you on the back because you sound as bad as they do...

Yuk


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:55 AM

Strollin'
I have seen you now on a number of occasions, once doing a 20 minute session at my club and your talent far outwieghs you using sheet music to support you.
I think the reference was made to artists who are still not sure of themselves.

I think they would enjoy having you on at their club.

Incidentally I am starting a 45 minute floor spot so that one artist per night can show us what they are made of, so get back to me about a night when you can make it at Market Rasen Folk Club. I wouldn't let you do it, if I didn't think you were capable of entertaining the audience.
Les


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:22 AM

There Chouxfleur, proof in the final sentence of my last post! 'Therefore' twice! Forgot I'd already typed it once!
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:19 AM

Chouxfleur - not being big-headed here (honestly!) - just using a personal anecdote to re-inforce a point. I've been told by a lot of people in clubs I play at (frequently, sometimes FOC, sometimes paid) that I'm a good guitar player, have a good voice, and I'm a good 'performer' of a song (whatever those three things are). I have the words to my songs available because, at 57, my memory's not what it was and I've developed a tendency to 'dry'. It's not that I 'can't be bothered', it's simply the case that I have difficulty remembering (I have the same problem with names and place-names, it's an age thang!). I don't read them word-by-word, just use the 'bits of paper' as a safety net. Seems preferable to do four full songs using my safety-net than four half-songs without it (and less embarrassing for me and the listeners too - nothing makes an audience more uneasy than an artist who dries).

Am I therefore therefore, by your above-declared standards, unworthy?

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:17 AM

sounds like a good club chouxfleur, where is it?


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 05:08 AM

Interesting post there chouxfleur.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: chouxfleur
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 04:54 AM

OK, I'm gonna upset a few people here, but here goes. I cut my teeth in the Brighton Folk clubs of the late sixties. It was fun and exciting with what seemed like, but probably wasnt, great music. What was good was the solid performances, good songs with choruses, the camaradery, the social feel, the atmosphere.
Then I got married, had kids and forsook the clubs in the early 80's till I revisited the existing clubs in the mid 90's. What I found were cliquey gatherings, in rooms with no soul or atmosphere ( and clearly no attempt to create any), and talentless performers strutting their stuff. Another thing became obvious, which was that the less talent, the longer the song or tune was.
I sat there week after week watching the audience with their heads bowed into their laps, not sure if they were asleep or dead as someone crucified Sir Patrick Spens, or gave a 10 minute preamble about why 'Jenny McSporran' had written this song about twig whittling on the Isle of Ulay (or wherever). I thought 'this is not entertaining, what am I doing here?.....and worse, we are being charged money to witness this.
So I decided to start a club that was based on the premise that if we charge an entrance fee then we are in the entertainment business and thats what we have to do and not put on dross! We will put on good guests who entertain and not lecture. We will not put on floor spots who have to use bits of paper cos they've not bothered to learn the words or chords to their songs, but we do welcome good local talent. We will not give new performers more than one song till we know they are good enough. The club starts on time. We discourage audience talking during perfomances. BUT we do encourage banter between songs with the perfomers. We try to get to know our audience and newcomers, and encourage them to meet and know each other so the club isnt a clique. We try to ensure that the audience see that it is their club, and that we organisers are just the custodains if you like. We encourage the members to tell us who they would like us to put on as guests.
Maybe this all sounds dictatorial, but why should audiences paying 4 or 5 quid suffer mediocraty when there is so much talent out there.

After three and a half years the club is full every month, we have a healthy bank balance that enables us to book top line guests, and most noticeable is that we no longer get visits from talentless performers who only come to do their thing then push off up to the bar.
OK, it may not suit everyone, and I know there are those who feel that forums should exist where new, just starting out, confidence lacking performers can perform in public. Fine, but eventually the discerning audience will vote with their feet and all that remains is a gathering for those wanting to sing the full version of Matty Groves or Sir Patrick Spens, with a bit of paper in front of them cos they couldnt be bothered to learn the words.
Polish up the whole act (that includes clubs) and make folk clubs places that audiences WANT to go to.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 04:00 AM

Well, actually, Kendall, I wouldn't say no to a whole evening of jiggity jigging --- oh, sorry, you meant music... ;-O

Robin


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM

Not enough FREE drugs.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

But delivering pizza in a college town....John you have surely had your fair/fare share.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: kendall
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 10:39 PM

I guess it all depends on what we like to hear, and what we like to do. I like words, so I sing, and I like to hear others sing. Secondly, I do very little picking, but I also like to hear good instrumentals, but not a whole evening of jiggity jigging


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 09:16 PM

There are different types of "folk clubs" around here. The "Paid Club" thingie I don't go to cause I don't have the money. And basically I'm a performer (participant), not a spectator - nowadays, if I'm not going to get a chance to contribute - I have to ration my finances, so I'd sooner watch TV. It's cheaper :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: RichardP
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:19 PM

Having posted the above about how many clubs I find well worth visiting, I suggest that the thread should aslo look at attitudes to instrumental sessions.

I fully recognise that instrumentl sessions fulfil a very real need for many folk music lovers, and indeed it has been hinted above that they some people can only get satisfaction from sessions. On the other hand they leave me cold and I never attend.

Fundamentally, we fall into three categories. There are many of us who are primarily interested in songs; sometimes accompanied sometimes unaccompanied. We can appreciate instrumentals and can enjoy listening to them occassionally and for limited periods particuarly when the instrumentalist is an absolute master of his instrument. There are others who get their enjoyment from playing instruments and consider an unaccompanied song or even an instrumental solo as playing time that has been wasted. There is a lucky third category which can find full enjoyment in both environments.

Conequently we need both a thriving club scene and a parallel session scene. Some of the comments above are from people who only fit into the session scene - good luck to them but their comments are not evidence of weaknesses in the club scene. On the other had some of the clubs that have been described if described accurately can only be contributing to the problems of getting the strengths and improtance of folk music recognised. May they soon come under more worthwhile leadership.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: RichardP
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 07:46 PM

How do so many of the previous posters to this thread manage to miss the many clubs that are around and demonstrate none of the anti-social caharteristics that they list. Over the last two or three years we have visited a very considerable number of folk clubs in variouis parts of England. I have only been to one that had a large crowd of noisy anti-social clients who stood around the bar and did their best to drown both floor singers and the guest. A few lave certainly left my clothes smelling of tobacco smoke, but even then the smoke was very little and was unintrusive during the evening.

On the whole the clubs have been varied, eclectic in what was appreciated, singing and playing has been predominantly of a high stnadard. People have been welcoming and a thoroughly good time has been had by nearly all. My advise is to spread your horizons beyond the local club if it is a dud and you will almost always find several nearby that are sufficiently busy and provide a pleasant evening.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 04:10 AM

looking back on what I wrote last night.
I think the first folk clubs - run by people like Ewan, were one of the positive spin-offs of their creative endeavours in left wing politics. They were communists in a good sense - trying to forge a music that was of our community.
It still requires a certain amount of idealism and self discipline to sit through through some truly awful but well meaning singer - rather like sitting through a Quaker meeting and tolerating someones tedious strivings towards spirituality. As I get older and my time is running out, I'm not sure my time in creative terms was well spent.
Nowadays people believe in themselves more - you're worth more than that, they say on all the chat shows - however apart from themselves I don't think they believe in anything else.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 PM

Folk clubs or coffee houses always seem to wax and wane. I remember places in Seattle that came and went because of the kind of trends weelittledrummer discusses. That may be the norm with this kind of business.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 09:18 PM

I go to a lot of folk clubs. I suppose a lot of the reasons why they aren't as popular as they once were, are pretty self evident.
Smoking isn't as popular as it was, and people are less tolerant of smokers. The breathalyser laws are more strictly enforced nowadays. if you are a non drinker there are no low cafeinne drinks available in pubs, rarely coffee available and never de-caff coffee. The pubs simply haven't kept up with public tastes which have changed a lot.
The real damage came of course during the 1970's, when the factionalism of traddy versus contemporary made some evenings an utter misery - you had to watch really great artists being abused and ignored by loudmouths of either faction who saw it as their duty to persecute music they didn't approve of.
It was a pity. I think it all started when Ewan MacColl gave that interview to NME when he said he didn't think Donovan was folk music and some of his followers took it on themselves to become cultural watchdogs over us all. Then it snowballed from there, with like I say, nasty stuff from both sides. Most of the contemporary songwriters ended up spending as much time as possible on the continent - where the money was better.
You can't blame anybody really though - Ewan was a great guy and I'm certainly not blaming him.
Nowadays so many people come to folk music without ever having been to a folk club. A great recording artist is not necessarilly a great folk club act.
Bottom line - it's a less tolerant age and the shabby chaos of the folk club just isn't for a lot of the health conscious, designer clad folks of today.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 03:54 PM

I don't go to folk clubs the because there are (or I know of) none in the Indianapolis area.

There is an acoustic music series here, with about six concerts a year, of which two are open mikes. It's held at a local church, with tables, candles, snacks, soft drinks, and wine. $8.00 admission, and donation baskets for the refreshments. I attend maybe two thirds of the concerts. I sing in the open mikes.

There is a new open mike (so I'm told) on Sunday nights at a local restaurant. I have not attended only because it's new (2 weeks) and I've had other commitments. Soon, though.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 03:51 PM

In general pubs and clubs make more out of soft drinks than they do from alcohol so it beats me why non drinkers are unpopular. Becaise I drive I tend to stick to mineral water and I know what you mean.

I think that I would have said that I didn't wish to move and see what she'd have done next - used force? If you get to a venue late then you must accept that you won't get the best seats - it's a bloody cheek to expect anything else.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM

>>Queen's We Will Rock You sounds horrible when played softly
>It's even worse played loudly....

Sure, it's a satisfying kind of horrible, like Irish pipes, or coffee.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 03:27 PM

So, why did you move?


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Scoville
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 02:51 PM

I don't go much because I don't have time, don't have the money, and I have to drive a long way to get there; I'd go more often if I could. I've just learned to be selective about what clubs and performers I go to see. I know that a lot of places downtown tend to draw a yuppie crowd (even when featuring decidedly un-yuppie music), and I find it extremely irritating to try to hear over the noisy camaraderie of a bunch of people who don't know or care anything about the music.

I also don't have a lot of money to spend and have to drive myself home, and I find that waitresses are a lot less friendly when you aren't blowing a week's wages on alcohol. A friend of mine and I arrived early, paid admission, bought Cokes, and ended up getting asked to give our table to two people who had came late but "wanted to sit next to each other". There were tables available towards the back but the people complained they couldn't see from there. I'm pretty sure the waitress wouldn't have ousted us if we'd been drinking. (We moved to the front and stood up the whole time to get even; the people who took our table left before the show was over, anyway).


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 02:43 PM

Awwww, Ed, you stole my line I was going to post!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Dave of Mawkin
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 02:22 PM

I dont usually do this sort of thing,however I think its important people support young folk musicians as much as the old ones, and also local folk clubs, so if anyone isnt doing anything on the 19th of april, and they fancy a good night out with lots of energetic,punchy english,irish,scottish and french folk music then please try to get to Waltham Abbey Folk Club.Would be good to see a nice crowd.By the way, we dont sing, well we do, but you wouldnt want to hear it!


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: Ed.
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 02:12 PM

Queen's We Will Rock You sounds horrible when played softly

It's even worse played loudly....


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 01:54 PM

Some music has to be loud to be good.

Queen's We Will Rock You sounds horrible when played softly. Bagpipe music sounds best at a distance of only a few hundred feet (still pretty loud). Inflicting either upon unappreciative ears should be minimized...but not done away with entirely.

As for folk clubs: my worst gripe with the best local club is its sight lines -- about 25% of the seats have poor sight lines to the stage and it's uncomfortable always craning your neck around, or being nearby the uncomfortable people. My second trouble is financial; I don't feel I'm doing my share unless I'm buying enough beverages and snacks and...they add up. I like local folk concerts (200-300 people) better; better performers, everyone has a good sight-line, and even with a snack at intermission and doubled or tripled ticket prices, it still costs less than a club evening.


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 08:07 PM

I raise hell about it everywhere I go. I'm sure they think I'm just an old pain in the ass, but I don't care what they think. Remember those tee shirts that said IF IT'S TOO LOUD, YOUR'E TOO OLD?
Mine says, IF IT'S TOO LOUD......IT'S TOO FUCKING LOUD


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Subject: RE: Why don't you go to folk clubs?
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 12:13 PM

You're not alone, Kendall. I feel the same way. In particular, most of the music played in malls and public places really grates on me. Silence would be a heck of a lot better.


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