This post was going to be entitled just ‘Fresh From Filey Folk Festival’, but due to the vagaries/quirks/annoyances/really, really frustrating, & stupid things that happen online (yell, scream at computer, tear hair out – & there’s not much of that left!), the internet DIDN’T deliver!! I’ve been about three days without it, & further more (& even more-annoying, if that were possible?), I haven’t been able to login to my own website or blog. Disaster! However, we’re all back to normal here, for now. So here’s the original blog that should have appeared some days ago (get it while it’s there, here or wherever…):
Fresh from Filey Folk Festival – a lot of ‘f’s there, & I’m sure there were a lot of ‘f-words’ being muttered in the audience, when I played my solo set, on the 4th May, at the aforementioned folk festival!
Traditional folk music, & after all, that was what this festival was based on, will always be ‘traditional’. You can’t sway a determined audience with ‘modern technology’ (& I was only using a 1988 keyboard!). Perhaps it was the integrated drum machine that put people off. Perhaps it was my less-than-traditional songs, or the way I presented them. Perhaps it was my not-too-serious approach to playing at such a festival.
I’ve nothing against traditional folk – I quite like some of it. Without it, music wouldn’t be where it was today. Then again, without trad. jazz, rock ‘n roll, 1960’s pop, disco, punk, new wave, techno etc. etc. (I realise I’ve missed out quite a few genres here), music still wouldn’t be where it is today. If I can be tolerant towards all musical styles, then why can’t the purists? It’s a bit like the ‘Classical crowd’ who always shun/dismiss anything beyond early 1900 as being too radical. Perhaps folkies are still in shock over Bob Dylan taking up the electric guitar. Well, it makes you wonder.
When I played a short set the other night (post-festival) in Hull, the barman said that my songs reminded him of Jake Thackery – which is ironic, since he was a folk singer, popular in the 1960’s & 70’s, & toured around the folk club circuit at the time!!
I suppose with me starting off my set at Filey F. F. by saying, “Look. I know this is a folk festival, so I might as well be honest with you, I don’t play folk music. But if you pretend I’m playing ‘folk’, you might quite like it?!” With this endearing statement, a few members of the audience left. Several more left after a couple of numbers. However, to their credit, numerous people stayed, & were really appreciative – particularly the younger audience (several even tapped their feet!). But unfortunately, it doesn’t sell albums – at least, not my new solo album….’A Bathful Of Nasturtiums’, if you’re interested (available from my website – plug, plug!)…at: http://www.graham-graham-beck.co.uk/buy-online-graham-beck-store.php#!/~/product/category=4013858&id=23572351
Two phrases came to mind when I was in the middle of my set: ‘Folk isn’t necessarily a four-letter word’, & ‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’. Luckily, I said neither. I know honesty is the best policy, but at times, I do wonder….
I’ll be back at the festival again next year, determined to play, but maybe take along my piano instead & ‘folkify’ my songs instead. I rise to the challenge!