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Canalside Folk Music / Festivals 2013


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Hi

 

I like folk music and would like to plan a 2013 trip around a folk music festival. I've read reviews of "folk on the water" who performed at a number of Warwickshire canalside pubs in 2012.

 

Does anyone have any other reccomendations in the midlands area for 2013

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Cropredy. Adjacent to the South Oxford canal. Run by Fairport Convention, not just folk, has rock, pop and occasional reggae too. Wonderful atmosphere, and not too big (15,000 is I believe the audience limit). "Fringe" festival gigs in the two village pubs. Second weekend in August.

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Hi

 

I like folk music and would like to plan a 2013 trip around a folk music festival. I've read reviews of "folk on the water" who performed at a number of Warwickshire canalside pubs in 2012.

 

Does anyone have any other reccomendations in the midlands area for 2013

Middlewich folk & boat festival is in July, I think.

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Can someone tell me what "Folk music" has to do with canals and boat? also Morris dancing. All the proper boat people I knew and know all just liked the music of the day, ie pop music, Elvis, etc, no one was into "folk music" and many find it very odd that its associated with boating today as there is no historical connection at all, same for Morris dancing.

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Can someone tell me what "Folk music" has to do with canals and boat? also Morris dancing. All the proper boat people I knew and know all just liked the music of the day, ie pop music, Elvis, etc, no one was into "folk music" and many find it very odd that its associated with boating today as there is no historical connection at all, same for Morris dancing.

 

A very easy one to answer. I have no idea what you consider a " PROPER " boat person. My Father was a working boatman during the 1930s on the Rivers Trent and Ouse and Goole docks and later a Bosun in the merchant Navy. I started my " Boating " in the Royal Navy and have owned/lived on the uk canal system since 1989 on mainly narrowboats. Folk music is music of the day and you will find has a massive following by other real boaters who own/liveaboard. If you call " Real boaters " people with old wooden once upon a time working narrowboats and no one else then many of us " Real " boaters do not qualify. I skipper a passenger vessel on the Trent but dont consider narrowboaters inferior or " Unreal " they are just one of the many forms of uk boaters. History naturaly changes that change then becomes part of history. :cheers:

 

Tim

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Can someone tell me what "Folk music" has to do with canals and boat? also Morris dancing. All the proper boat people I knew and know all just liked the music of the day, ie pop music, Elvis, etc, no one was into "folk music" and many find it very odd that its associated with boating today as there is no historical connection at all, same for Morris dancing.

 

Maybe its the other way around and people who like folk music and Morris are getting into boating

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Maybe its the other way around and people who like folk music and Morris are getting into boating

 

My first 2 or 3 canal holidays were with a group of Morris Dancers in the 80's. People who like folk often like out doorsy, country ish, and not 'run of the mill' activities too. (Not all admittedly). I am a self employed ceilidh caller, and I own a boat. Another ceilidh caller I know is a share boat owner, a ceilidh band member form Coventry is a serial boat owner and I have met numerous other folky people on the cut. 'Fraid it's quite widespread......

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Can someone tell me what "Folk music" has to do with canals and boat? also Morris dancing.

 

People with Serious Beards. Baby Boomers. Real Ale. Narrowboats. Plotting all those groups in a venn diagram definitely has some overlaps. Couldn't say why, but I'm not a proper boat person either.

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People with Serious Beards. Baby Boomers. Real Ale. Narrowboats. Plotting all those groups in a venn diagram definitely has some overlaps. Couldn't say why, but I'm not a proper boat person either.

Folk music might not be a long standing boater tradition, but, perhaps because of interest in both boats and folk music in those who are interested in an 'alternative' life style there does seem to be an increasing overlap.

 

I've recently started to learn the melodeon. Surprised at how many of the people I've met through that have links to boats/ canals. A lot of serious beards and real ale, too.

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Interesting amswers, the "proper" boat people I refer to are Midlands and North West & Sothern narrow boat people.

 

Hi Laurence

 

Good to know what you term as " Proper " boaters but I would have thought that to be just a tiny minority of " Proper " boaters of whom there are many, many different types using very many varied type of boats in the uk. Try going to Middlewich you will love the festival :cheers:

 

Tim

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I suppose "proper" boat people who are into music, by their choice of lifestyle are restricted in what sort of music they can participate in.

Folk music being played largely on acoustic instruments and in ad-hoc groups lends itself to the life style more than orchestral or electric music.

I'm sure their are one or two boaters who play the church organ but opportunities to do so are few and far between on the cuts.

 

But, as many have already commented, it is the music of folk which is why in an informal gathering of musicians just about any style and type of music will be played.

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The Moseley Folk festival in Birmingham is a short bus ride (or long walk) from the canal if you moor somewhere in the centre My link

 

Last year there was a spin-off festival called the Lunar Festival which was pretty close to Hockley Heath on the North Stratford. I've been to both and can highly recommend. My link

 

In response to Laurence, what does it matter what kind of music other people like? For many people, Folk is the music of today. There's a huge contemporary folk scene going on worldwide at the moment, although it doesn't always fit the mould of the hey-nonny-no 'trad folk' of yesteryear.

 

I suspect that there's many reasons why folk and canals go to together.

 

For example:

 

The 40 odd years that Cropredy has been running has encouraged many folkies to get into boating.

Folk is predominantly acoustic which suits boating perfectly (I've had a number of impromptu boat jam sessions).

Folkies are fond of big bushy beards which keeps you nice and warm when cruising on a bitterly cold winter's morning :P

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Can someone tell me what "Folk music" has to do with canals and boat? also Morris dancing. All the proper boat people I knew and know all just liked the music of the day, ie pop music, Elvis, etc, no one was into "folk music" and many find it very odd that its associated with boating today as there is no historical connection at all, same for Morris dancing.

Now Laurence, you knew Jack James and I know you would say he was a "proper boat person"!

What sort of music did he play on his accordian? Jailhouse Rock?

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There are very few (perhaps two?) traditional (folk?) songs which have been collected from the working boatmen of the past. I believe these working boatmen were more likely to be singing songs from the popular culture of the time (music hall or whatever) when gathered in pubs at the end of the day. If we were to ignore the 'beamed in' entertainment in hostelries these day, would we actually expect to find a gathering of truck drivers singing songs about their work?

 

Nevertheless, since the 1960s and the growing interest in saving the canal network, there have been canal enthusiasts writing and singing songs about canals and boating (in the 'folk tradition' - whatever that is, another debate which won't actually get anywhere). David Blagrove was perhaps one of the first to do so. These songs were generally written by boaters for other boaters to enjoy and not for commercial purposes. If they are labelled as 'folk songs' sung by 'folk singers' then this is just a lazy attempt to categorise them by applying a label which most people think they understand. Unfortunately, the folk label brings Pavlovian derision from many quarters.

 

In the belief that these songs about canals deserve to survive no matter what their merit, the lyrics and some recordings have been archived on the web-site Songs of the Inland Waterways.

 

Long may canal songs and canal-side festivals survive. Those who don't enjoy this sort of music can always go to a pub where there's karaoke!

Edited by Bugsworth Tippler
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Cropredy. Adjacent to the South Oxford canal. Run by Fairport Convention, not just folk, has rock, pop and occasional reggae too. Wonderful atmosphere, and not too big (15,000 is I believe the audience limit). "Fringe" festival gigs in the two village pubs. Second weekend in August.

My experience of Cropredy in 2011 is that a chair is a requirement - most of the people there seemed to have one. Not exactly rock and roll - more like hip replacement waiting list!! :lol::blink:

Edited by PiRSqwared
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There are still musicians out there writing 'folk songs' - as has been said, all music is folk music. Did the singers and musicians of the past reject new songs? I doubt it, it was something new to perform.

was written in the 1970s by a Breton band as the title tune for a French soap opera - and has now passed into British folk music as a session tune (although it goes under several titles). Crossroads theme anyone?
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Folk music is not easy to define!

My favourite boat/Folk festival was the one at Saul Junction, now sadly defunct.

I went to the last one and both the Oyster Band and Show of Hands were there (At least I think they were because there was a beer tent too).

I remember a group of boaters having a good moan about the music, they wanted "proper folk music like at the other boaters festivals". I assumed they meant a bloke in a Stetson doing bad country and western!

 

...........Dave

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My experience of Cropredy in 2011 is that a chair is a requirement - most of the people there seemed to have one. Not exactly rock and roll - more like hip replacement waiting list!! :lol::blink:

Cropredy is the Fairport Convention festival and if you like that folk-rock style has to be one of if not the best of its kind, as PIR says the the audience tends to reflect that, songs like Hippy hippy replacement and Stanier stairlift to heaven if you know what I mean.

Last bank holiday in August is Cream Fields weekend, just off the canal about a mile north of the Preston Brook tunnel just onto the Bridgewater is good, mind you it's easily possible to hear if from your boat it's that loud.

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