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East Coaster

Music of the people..Don't make me laugh

I have just started off this discussion thread

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=124936&messages=4

on Mudcat.

I'm sure you West Coasters have your feet much more on the ground compared to some of us through here. Nevertheless, I'd be interested in what you think.  Smilie_PDT
Jim King

My experience includes involvement in the running of a club (and helping out with a couple of others) as well as performing at many across the UK.

I wouldn't entirely disagree with you EC, but I think there is another factor which is less 'class' bound. That is the nature/character of the principal organiser(s). Where this is someone with a dominating and forceful personality, they may be unchallenged in their attitude and behaviour so the 'club' runs on their terms. This can, of course, be good or bad but in my limited experience it seems to lead to a generally narrow view of what is acceptable regarding booking acts and tolerating support/floor spots.

Commonly heard expressions like "...we never book anyone we haven't seen." and "...welcome to our club, and I'll see if I can fit you in for a song/tune once I see how many of the regulars turn up." demonstrate a cliquishness (not always conscious or declared) that can stifle success and exclude potential audience members.

The other point I think worth noting is that volunteers organising a club for themselves (particularly with the stereotyped demographic you used) rarely have the experience, time or interest to effectively promote their enterprise.

Obviously it would be unfair of me to pick out any individual venues. However, I won't let that stop me, and allowing for limited experience on my part, Edinburgh FC seems to have a good balance and consequently thriving support (although difficult to get a booking without either a recognised agent/management or an address within ten miles of the Pleasance  tongue  ). The Wee FC at the Royal Oak obviously doesn't have a problem attracting an audience, as it seems full with only half a dozen.
Catskinner

Quote:
I wouldn't entirely disagree with you EC, but I think there is another factor which is less 'class' bound. That is the nature/character of the principal organiser(s). Where this is someone with a dominating and forceful personality, they may be unchallenged in their attitude and behaviour so the 'club' runs on their terms. This can, of course, be good or bad but in my limited experience it seems to lead to a generally narrow view of what is acceptable regarding booking acts and tolerating support/floor spots.


Haha. I fucking hate bluegrass and avoided booking blugrass bands like the plague when I was running the folk club. That was entirely down to my own personal prejudice and unwillingness to sit through two forty fives of banjo. I know there are some who love that.

Not me.

On the other side of the coin, as you know Jim, I regarded floor spots especially as an absolutely essential part of the development of new artistes, and I also went out of my way to book lesser known, especially good local acts to give them the platform I thought they deserved.

I took a chance on a lot of people and most of them were worth the risk.

Having said that you do get some truly pushy and often also talentless people pushing themselves around the scene, hustling for floorspots and then claiming they've played a gig at your club. Quite often they'll list appearances at open stages as a gig t give them some sort of false cred, even if they've emptied the room.

That's the sort of bullshit marketing that club organisers need to watch out for.

Anyway, I'm just waiting for the day when club bookers get it into their heads that a guitar doesn't need to be hollow and synthesisers are not the instuments of the devil.

The day that happens I'll buy a bluegrass cd.
Jim King

You were (are), of course, a distinct exception, Catskinner. I think you know that you were in a minority as regards club organisers and we know many 'well kent' folkies that enjoy a high profile today in part because of the opportunity that you provided.

Having come back to this thread I do recall a time when I got a call from a folk singer I'd never heard of who pretty much demanded that I book him (even specified his 'usual'  exorbitant fee) on the basis that his brother was well known (as a journalist wtf) and that he played a Martin Dreadnought.
Onny

Catskinner wrote:
                   ................
Having said that you do get some truly pushy and often also talentless people pushing themselves around the scene, hustling for floorspots and then claiming they've played a gig at your club. Quite often they'll list appearances at open stages as a gig t give them some sort of false cred, even if they've emptied the room.

................................


What kinda egotistical dog-bothering ex-West End cunt wi' an obese wife wid dae that?
Catskinner

Jim King wrote:

Having come back to this thread I do recall a time when I got a call from a folk singer I'd never heard of who pretty much demanded that I book him (even specified his 'usual'  exorbitant fee) on the basis that his brother was well known (as a journalist wtf) and that he played a Martin Dreadnought.


Oh I've been there. (from a long tine ago )

"Did you get our publicity?"

"Yes"

"Well how about a booking?"

"I've never heard of you, and you didn't send me a demo so I don't know what you sound like."

"It says in the publicity we do traditional folk."

"I don't know what you sound like. Why not come into the club and do a spot some night? Get a feel for the place and the kind of music the audience likes."

"We don't do floor spots."

They didn't get a gig.

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