‘Floorsinging for Beginners’ update

Update to a tipsheet from the 90s that some aspiring singers might still find useful.

‘Floorsinging for Beginners’ is a slightly modified version of the document that has been available for some time from one of my personal blog sites and more recently on Sabrinaflu and this site. (And originally from another site – or probably sites – that I no longer have.) A version also appeared many moons ago in fRoots (at that time called Folk Roots: it was the issue from July 1998, No. 181).

At the time it was entirely focused on advice to floor singers in folk clubs, but some of it may helpful to people performing at open mics and such, too.

Version 1.1b incorporates an information update kindly forwarded by Paul Clarke of focsle.org. The last section is reproduced here so you don’t have to read the entire document, if you don’t want to. 🙂


[Thanks to Paul Clarke of focsle.org for his update on the Brian Hooper booklet and Folk On Tap.]

Another area which seems to interest people is running clubs, especially in terms of MC-ing. Apparently Brian Hooper of Southampton published a booklet a while ago called “So you want to be a Folk Club MC”.

Paul Clarke tells me that “Brian Hooper’s book on MC-ing is still available, and I’m sure he’d post a copy in exchange for a small fee to anyone who asks … Brian is our longest-standing club member (about 45 years) and is the nearest thing we have to a “Mr Focsle” (or a Mr Central-South-Coast-Folk-Music, for that matter).  He was our immediate predecessor in running the club.” You can contact Brian via:

By George Publications
44 Janson Road
SO15 5GJ

Paul also tells me that Folk on Tap, formerly referenced here, is “long defunct, and won’t ever get resurrected, given the dominance of the Net as a resource for much of its material.”

Folk on Tap was published by SCoFF, the Southern Counties Folk Federation, a confederation of clubs from Somerset to East Sussex/Kent and from Bucks/Oxon/Berks to the Channel Islands including Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, and Surrey. Sam Satyanadhan, 3 Cranbury Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 2HZ. tel/fax 023 80 570082. Paul says that “the Satyanadhans run the Woolston and Bursledon Folk Club, across town from us, and they must still have a lot of connections with others in the folk world.  They may have back copies available, of archival interest to some.”

I’ve retained this  information regarding ScOFF – slightly edited in the light of what Paul has told me – as a courtesy, but I won’t be adding contact information regarding other folk-related organizations and publications to this article unless it’s of direct relevance to the topics addressed here. However, I’ve also added the SCoFF contact info to the Links page here and to the Events Listings/Resources page, where it should feel more at home. 🙂 

David Harley

Jim Causley & Charles Causley

[Slightly  amended from a post on Sabrinaflu, since not many people in this region are likely to travel to Shropshire for a gig.]

Last night I caught up with our recording of Cornwall’s Native Poet: Charles Causley, screened a little while ago on BBC4.  It’s actually a cut-down (60 minutes) version of a 90-minute film produced by Jane Darke, and my wife recorded it for me, knowing of my long-standing interest in Causley’s verse. (No, it isn’t only Housman’s verse I read…)

I wasn’t aware of Jim Causley until I moved here to Cornwall, and learned that apart from being a highly-rated interpreter of traditional songs, he had set some of Charles Causley’s verse to music. So for me, one of the highlights of the documentary was hearing Jim’s musical settings: it turns out he is indeed a really good singer (and a sympathetic setter of other people’s words to music as well as his own). So now I need to get to one of his live performances.

[This is the bit I’ve changed slightly from the post for Sabrinaflu.] Since I don’t live in Ludlow any more, it’s unlikely that I’ll get to his appearance at The Song House at the Blue Boar on December 15th 2017, and if you’re reading this article, you probably won’t either, but if you do happen to be in the area and aren’t familiar with his work, I recommend that you give him a try. [End of amended bit.]

Meanwhile, I have his CD Cyprus Well on order. 🙂 And if you want to check out the documentary, it’s available on iPlayer until 31st October 2017.

David Harley

Review for folking.com

My first review for Folking.com looks at a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray set by Andrew John & Lissa.

Here’s a link to my first music review for folking.com (a great site with excellent reviews and much more), of a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray set from Denmark: ANDREW JOHN & LISSA – At Home (Last Resort Records LRCD010).

There are some older album reviews (by no means necessarily of new releases or re-releases) on Sabrinaflu (mostly mine, but one by Fliss), though any future reviews that don’t fit Folking.com’s brief will probably be posted first here.

There’s now a review page on this site, with links to the Folking.com and Sabrinaflu reviews cited above.

David Harley