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mcintyre

'muchty festival

After 29 years and lots of problems,e.g. floods,local arseholes causing mayhem, rave music on the campsites, and the closing of half of the available session venues,it's possible that the festival could struggle to continue. Just my opinion,but the action of the Forest Hill hotel this weekend was pretty shitty. They put on a young band playing rock music on Sat.evening, and today from 3pm till 10,they have 8 young bands and a charge of£7.50.The folkies boycotted the place[although they couuldn'thear themselves anyway] and that left only one pub to have sessions. Apart from the ceilidh in the square that was it,so it doesn't look good for 'muchty.
Rid Sonja

That sounds to me like a village that's fed up with the yearly festival and is deliberately putting obstructions in the way of Folkies in order to discourage their return next year.  I've never gone to Muchty - too traditional for me but I know people who set their calander for that weekend.  I think Andymac goes..or at least used to...
BigDavy

I have been going to Muchty for years and this was by far the worst that I have been to.

I was in the Cycle bar session and there was hardly enough people playing to be heard over the din. The festival was effectively empty compared to the usual attendance.

I wish I had gone to Innerliethan instead.

David
mcintyre

I've also been going to 'muchty for years,and in all honesty I've always found that the locals enjoyed the festival,I know some of them and no-one's ever given the slightest hint that there was a problem with the folkies.I spoke to one or two of them at the weekend, and they said they knew nothing of the intention of the Forest Hill to charge for, and put on young rock bands, it sounds like a decision by the hotel alone to cash in on the large numbers of people who attend this festival. As far as being too traditional goes, I personally find it's been a good mix, I like singing sessions myself and that's always been predominant. Big Davy, was it yourself that was in a session with us in the Westcliffe [Girvan]on the Sat. afternoon, I was with Frank McGuire.
BigDavy

Hi macintyre

Yes that was me, bodhran and all salute

David
Rid Sonja

Friends I've asked about 'Muchty has always said that it's too traditional in content for my tastes because I'm not that keen on songs about lassies running across the heather, or those women who wait faithfully about 40 years for their sweatheart (who has had a rerr auld time to himself in the interim) to return and marry her so that she can be fulfilled.  Or the songs which one woman introduced as 'a happy rape' because the man (Laird's son) decided to marry the girl after trying her out a few times first. violent2

Quite a few of them do go, though, and they seem to have a great time.

Whatever has happened this year though, added to what's happened in previous years (as per the original post) can only be detrimental to the festival in my view.
mcintyre

I'd never describe the musical content of 'muchty in those terms, I'd honestly say it's no different from other festivals in that respect,in that during a [singing]session you get some like that. I can assert that if that kind of stuff was what 'muchty was mainly about, I wouldn't have attended it all those years, and I doubt if Big Davy would either! I've heard more dreich keech in some sessions in Girvan and Newcastleton. You're almost certainly right about what happened being detrimental to the festival,a well-known person in the TMSA was saying that next year being a special anniversary,they'd want to get things sorted out,but getting people to come back could now be a problem.
Rid Sonja

I stopped going to Girvan for about 4 years until this year when I, and a few other pals were told that we couldn't hold a session in the back room of the Westcliffe if there were guitars involved. Considering that we had been in there all afternoon - with guitars- without any upset, we were all more than a little miffed at the sudden ban.  All the other sessions were wall-to-wall box and fiddle sessions which leave me cold after about 1.35 minutes, so we ended up returning to Glasgow early and having a session here.  We could have saved ourselves a fair bit of money if only we'd known.

I returned this year and had a very nice wee session in the Hamilton Arms in the afternoon, got to the Westcliffe late on but the session had basically finished.  Saw Davy and a few others.  But there was nothing going on so we went back down to  the pub on the corner (opp the Ham. Arms- can't remember its name) where there was a session going on in the back garder but which got too cold to play in.  Once again we left early.  At least we haven't heard of trouble in the campsite, or people 'drumming in the dawn' as happened the last time we camped there.
East Coaster

Sonia,

Sorry to hear about Muchty this year. It sounds as if it would have been a big disappointment for many.

Re the "too traditional" comment, I don't really have a complaint about that. Actually, that's what I prefer. Each to his/her own but a good festival ought to have a bit of everything for everyone.

I'm surprised you weren't "allowed" into The Westcliffe(Girvan) to play but I don't know the circumstances or what you meant by the "back room" there.
Was there already something else going on, ie fiddles etc? Who told you not to sing and play?  Unless there was specifically an organised event happening, I can't imagine you being turned away "officially"..
However, I do agree that the "session spaces" in Girvan and many other once great festivals have deteriorated over the years. Muchty is one of the worst in this respect.
Onny

Eastcoaster knows my view on the Westcliffe well. I understand the 'logic' re no guitars is that the guitar neck takes up a space which could be occupied by a drinker.
East Coaster

Well, I know what they are like too but I've never known them to ban guitars. Generally, there's loads of them...apart from bodhrans(Ban them if you wish!) and not much else although you can get the occasional set of tunes. However, it's generally a very mixed type of session in there.

As I say, I'm not aware of the circumstances and could only guess as to their reasoning.
Rid Sonja

East Coaster wrote:
Sonia,

Re the "too traditional" comment, I don't really have a complaint about that. Actually, that's what I prefer. Each to his/her own but a good festival ought to have a bit of everything for everyone.

By 'too traditional' I mean a particular kind of traditional song.  I don't like songs such as those I described earlier - I find them soppy and boring, and too much of them at a single sitting makes me want to poke my eye out with a blunt instrument.  I like trad songs that are not overly sentimentalised versions of love and living.  I don't like contempory songs of the same sort, to be honest.  As you say, to each their own and I would never want it to be any different.  The perfect session for me is one where not only traditional scottish songs are sung, but also other genres..country, blues - even bluegrass!  That mixing creates a variation and improvisation within the session to give everyone taking part a  real buzz in my experience.

I'm surprised you weren't "allowed" into The Westcliffe(Girvan) to play but I don't know the circumstances or what you meant by the "back room" there.
Was there already something else going on, ie fiddles etc? Who told you not to sing and play?  Unless there was specifically an organised event happening, I can't imagine you being turned away "officially"..

The person who turned us out of the room was the hotel owner whose name escapes me right now. Thinking on it, the room had a window at the front, but to access the room you had to go down a hall to the back of the building to gain access to the room (thus I'm thinking it was at the back).  There was the usual box and fiddle session going on in the bar area that afternoon so about 10/12 people found themselves in this room and we had a quiet but nice wee session for a couple of hours.  I think that the weather was nice, but cold outside (can't really remember).  Anyway, the session ended on a natural note so that everyone could go for something to eat.  While we were walking, we met some friends who were looking for a session to sing in.  They had had difficulty finding somewhere to sing all afternoon, so we invited them back to where we had been.  We had barely entered the room when the proprietor came in and said that unless it was an unaccompanied session, we couldn't use that room.  We told him that we had been in there for hours earlier - with guitars and without complaint - but to no avail.  He told us to leave.  We were pretty pissed off to say the least.

We tried to find another session that wasn't wall to wall box and fiddle but it wasn't to be.  I think that was also the year we asked a publican if we could start a session in his pub, to which he agreed - then a box and fiddle group turned up and just started to play over us.  Frustration took us to the train station...I think we may have ended up in Babbity Bowsters..



However, I do agree that the "session spaces" in Girvan and many other once great festivals have deteriorated over the years.

These past couple of years has taken me to English festivals.  That's a completely different experience.  Many of them don't cater for sessions at all, preferring to focus on the concerts.  When I've gone to them I've missed there not being sessions,but at least I know that the possibility is low before I go and its not nearly the same disappointment and frustration.   But then again, there's usually so much going on elsewhere that making space for a session could be problematic.  But that's another debate.

Muchty is one of the worst in this respect.

Perhaps what is wanted in these festivals is purely (or mainly) box and fiddle insturmental sessions?  I don't know.  But I do have a friend wh loves these kind of sessions and actively dislikes singers sessions.  She immerses herself while a tune in being played - the more interminable , the better - but as soon as a singer starts to sing she starts to talk and laugh loudly.  Soon lots of people are doing exactly the same thing.

One of the best sessions I've been to this year was down in Moniaive.  There was an instrumental session in one room and a singing session in another.  Each set respected the other, and people floated between the two spaces.  Best of both worlds, I think.


I know...far too many 'sessions' in that piece but I can't be arsed changing it now!! tongue2
East Coaster

"the room had a window at the front, but to access the room you had to go down a hall to the back of the building to gain access to the room "

I don't think this would have been one of the usual session areas but possibly the residents lounge. The two main session areas are the bar itself and the small (windowless) room on the right hand side as you enter the room. You'll sometimes also get something in the dining/breakfast area if there's not a concert happening.

That would have been Mr Jardine himself and he does have "an unfortunate manner" sometimes.
East Coaster

Agreed about Moniaive...
Rid Sonja

East Coaster wrote:
"the room had a window at the front, but to access the room you had to go down a hall to the back of the building to gain access to the room "

I don't think this would have been one of the usual session areas but possibly the residents lounge. The two main session areas are the bar itself and the small (windowless) room on the right hand side as you enter the room. You'll sometimes also get something in the dining/breakfast area if there's not a concert happening.

That would have been Mr Jardine himself and he does have "an unfortunate manner" sometimes.


I know both these areas and have had quite a nice, but airless time in the small room on a couple of occasions but never really liked the bar area due to it being over noisy and over busy.  If it was  Mr Jardine, his 'unfortunate manner' deserves a mass exodus!  He acted like an arse.
Rid Sonja

East Coaster wrote:
Agreed about Moniaive...


We might have linked up, even if we didn't know it... bom

I've been to about 5 Moniaive's and enjoyed every one of them!  This year was a particularly good year...maybe like fine wine, the thing is maturing?!
Onny

No question about it. Jardine is an arse. He has two interests. Money and money.
Ptarmigan

WOW! It sounds like Muchty has changed a lot since the last time I was there, which I think was back in the 70s ... or was it the 80s! compress

They try running wee local Fleadhs over here in Norn Iron, in one horse villages with only one pub & quite frankly, they just don't work!
One year, they even ran it in a 'one pub village', only to find that the Pub owner wouldn't allow diddly deein his pub!

I guess the hard fact is that these festivals, like Folk Clubs, may only have a certain shelf life & when the sell by date is reached, there's little sense in fighting the inevitable.

Maybe it's time for a fresh start folks ....... anything going on in Kinross these days? cyclops_ani

Cheers
Dick

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