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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:30 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
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(PS Sorry about my typo - I'm fixing it now.)

I saw it, but wasn't commenting on it.

I fixed it just in case. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:20 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Innocent Bystander wrote:
Here's one from Ryanair, where a passenger is asked to prove he can play the instrument he's carrying, by playing something Irish.

That happened to me going through airport security right after 9/11, on the very day flights had just resumed out of Houston. Of course I was most cooperative, but the agent triumphantly pounced on me as if he'd caught me red-handed at something. To read the following properly, bear in mind his overall tone was very unpleasant:..........That's the only time I was asked to play it, though.

Liam O' Flynn was going through a carry on check
and was asked to open the pipe case.
The inspector asked if it was a weapon
to which O' Flynn replied, " No, something much worse".

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:18 am 
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Fair enough. As I said, I'm a fan. I'm not trying to indict the man. But I am aware that not everything was as he claimed. He got aboard the folk train early, and worked hard to have stuff to say. But he wasn't, as he pretended, an "expert", whose folk experience preceded the folk boom. He's not a source musician; he's revival. Many of his contemporaries had much deeper roots, and at least one of them, Mike Waterson, was willing to go on record about the shallowness of McColl's understanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:27 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
Fair enough. As I said, I'm a fan. I'm not trying to indict the man. But I am aware that not everything was as he claimed. He got aboard the folk train early, and worked hard to have stuff to say. But he wasn't, as he pretended, an "expert", whose folk experience preceded the folk boom. He's not a source musician; he's revival. Many of his contemporaries had much deeper roots, and at least one of them, Mike Waterson, was willing to go on record about the shallowness of McColl's understanding.

And yet MacColl had at least as much of a claim to deep roots in the tradition (accepting that that's not Peter's term which led to this discussion) as the Watersons. But competitive "deep-rooting" seems pointless. I'm surprised when folk artists slag each other off for this sort of thing, if indeed that was what happened here, but since I know nothing of this particular case, I'll leave it there.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:55 am 
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I bought the collection CD with him singing 20 songs, almost all his own, because I liked most of them when other people sang them. Listened to it once and parked it on the shelf. After 20 tracks I was left thinking of him as an actor playing a part rather than a singer telling someone's story. I can see how that view might lead others to regard him as phoney. Adopting a stage name probably doesn't help.

Somewhere on the web there is a (very measured I thought) explanation by Peggy Seeger of the context and background to the 'rules' about what could be sung.


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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:56 am 
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david_h wrote:
I was left thinking of him as an actor playing a part rather than a singer telling someone's story.

I think he can be either... or both! (On which note see my earlier comment re. 'not always [being] convinced by folk singers essaying multiple accents like actors'.) But certainly capable of true storytelling when he's not trying too hard to be someone else.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
I think he can be either... or both!
Yes, but if I hear and actor playing a part I want to be set thinking of the character rather than the actor. That's probably a tall order for a performer doing a series of 5-minute songs with different characters (and a CD of 20 songs in succession exaggerates that). Maybe, for that reason, I prefer story telling to acting from a singer.

I dug the CD out. It's especially the first person songs that don't work for me. "Looking for a Job" particularly. It's a powerful monologue but I would appreciate it far more just as the text, or read by someone not pretending to be the character, than with MacColl's melodrama. So for me the 'comes over as slightly phony' is more to do with his style of borrowing other people's stories rather than any 'background in the tradition'.


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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:47 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
I think he can be either... or both!
Yes, but if I hear and actor playing a part I want to be set thinking of the character rather than the actor. That's probably a tall order for a performer doing a series of 5-minute songs with different characters (and a CD of 20 songs in succession exaggerates that). Maybe, for that reason, I prefer story telling to acting from a singer.

I dug the CD out. It's especially the first person songs that don't work for me. "Looking for a Job" particularly. It's a powerful monologue but I would appreciate it far more just as the text, or read by someone not pretending to be the character, than with MacColl's melodrama. So for me the 'comes over as slightly phony' is more to do with his style of borrowing other people's stories rather than any 'background in the tradition'.

Are you sure it's not just cultural norms having changed in the intervening time between then and now?

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:51 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Are you sure it's not just cultural norms having changed in the intervening time between then and now?
I am not sure I follow your meaning. When do you mean by then?

I only heard 'Shoals of Herring' in its original context in the Radio Ballads from the recent repeats (though as a kid I did see an apparently lost TV spin-off) and it works fine for me in the context of the interviews. But I prefer Luke Kelly's singing of it.

Apparently "Looking for a Job" was something where MacColl could draw on personal experience but I think his character is in 1980s Britain. I read an 'angry' character but hear an angry actor.

I guess its that for me others seem to deliver the 'social comment' of his lyrics better (and more persuasively) without his often aggressive style.

Edit: I didn't realise I had submitted the post in the form that Nano quotes from below. What you are seeing is an almost 100% re-write and i cant remember the original !! :oops: :oops:
(I had originally opeend by asking Ben if he meant the 'then' of the the 'angry young men' but decided it was getting too close to one of the 'house rules')


Last edited by david_h on Sat May 13, 2017 12:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:15 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Anyhow, I am told I am [in danger of] becoming a grumpy old man...

Embrace the tradition. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:35 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I'm surprised when folk artists slag each other off for this sort of thing...


That's not really fair. Waterson's comment (in fRoots mag) came long after McColl's death, and shortly before his own. Ewan McColl, in contrast, spent much of the sixties slagging off other musicians for being "inauthentic", in his eyes. He brooked no dissent from his own party line. He was a pretty good musician and a great songwriter, but he was also a bully.

And is it really slagging when you call somebody a genius?

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Last edited by s1m0n on Fri May 12, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:10 pm 
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david_h wrote:
I dug the CD out. It's especially the first person songs that don't work for me. "Looking for a Job" particularly. It's a powerful monologue but I would appreciate it far more just as the text, or read by someone not pretending to be the character, than with MacColl's melodrama.


I think "Looking for a Job" is much more about his father's experience as a blacklisted foundryman in the 30s than the Thatcher 80s. But yeah, McColl's an actor. That was his background and his go-to skill set. When it works - as it did when McColl channelled Sam Larner's life and distilled it into Shoals of Herring - it's genius at work. When it doesn't it's fairly risible. But Shoals is a really good song, and I can forgive him the rest for it's sake.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:33 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
I think "Looking for a Job" is much more about his father's experience as a blacklisted foundryman in the 30s than the Thatcher 80s.
Drawing on that experience probably, but its copyright date is 1986 and " I don't need some ... .. to tell me to get on my bike" seems to be contemporary political allusion.


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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:35 pm 
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I'm sure we're both right.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:59 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
I'm sure we're both right.

FWIW I think there's quite a lot of common ground in this discussion with several of us saying things that, while perhaps differently nuanced, really aren't poles apart.

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