by Carole Garland ~ Bookings and Publicity Officer
I’ve been reflecting on the popularity of House Concerts recently and it prompted me to comment.
Going back a long way in my history, we had a 17th Century barn in England, for similar events, but we wouldn’t be able to do that now due to the dreaded Public Liability Insurance – which on a plus side, as a folk club we can provide for our members, thanks to much detailed hard work by our behind scenes workers.
Not only that, but you can’t afford to do House Concerts regularly. They are a lot of work for one or two people. As a folk club with our loyal volunteers, we can spread the workload –also, our neighbours don’t get upset.
There are many ways to promote small scale folk/acoustic music, all necessary if we are to bring new performers into being, but the heart-stopping moment when you are alone on the stage in the spotlight, is the proving ground most would aspire to. We have to be here to provide that next step.
Our club has been going, in one form or another, since 1967 (approx) and I wonder if familiarity has not bred just a touch of contempt. Please take a moment, Newcastle, to Count Your Blessings!!
- This is a hall without a liquor licence. If it had one we wouldn’t be able to afford it, and it would always be in demand for weddings, and what-have-you, so bye-bye Saturdays, also never a certainty of dates.
- It is BIG, but the acoustics are good-ish. With lighting, (when we get the time) and sound it can work for us.
- We can stage important folk events without running foul of Councils, local by-laws and the like.
- If enough of us turn up, we don’t have to charge each person a huge sum to make it worthwhile for our beautiful and trusting performers.
Really, the key to what I am trying to say is that WE (most of us) on the committee maybe aren’t all that pretty and trendy, hoary, may be a better descriptor, but we LOVE our music enough to do something about it. “Committee” is a horrible word – we are unpaid, we are friends, we are a co-operative, and WE ARE YOU.
Please take the time to feel glad and PROUD that we are one of the few places in the country that still has a full scale working folk club. Volunteer! Support! Attend! And I promise you that the passion I feel in bringing you the very best in music that is on offer, will rub off on you. It is the glow that stays in the heart, shining like a “good deed in a naughty world”.
There’s an awful lot of “naughty world” about – take music for your antidote, and just maybe, say thank you once or twice.
Bookings and Publicity, for Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club Inc. (and bloody grateful for the privilege).