Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

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Stephen Whiteside
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Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm

I joined the Victorian Folk Music Club at historic Gulf Station at Dixon's Creek last weekend. The focus is very much on music, but poetry is always welcome. I was invited to perform a poem. In the end, though, I sang a song, too!
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Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
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Heather

Re: Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

Post by Heather » Fri May 30, 2014 9:27 am

Woo hoo Stephen....branching out! :)

Neville Briggs
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Re: Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

Post by Neville Briggs » Fri May 30, 2014 9:41 am

Folk music and folk poetry belong together like tomatoes and basil, strawberries and cream........gin and tonic :lol:
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:05 am

You're quite right, Neville. I attended folk clubs for quite a while in the mid 80s, but very little since then - until last year. The clubs took a major hammering when the festivals took off, but there are still a few that have hung in there. I mostly go to Ringwood (Victorian Folk Music Club), which holds its meetings on Tuesday evenings. Occasionally I go to Newport on Friday evenings. Then there are Selby, Berwick and Frankston, all of which I'd like to get to at some stage.

I've always felt that at poetry-only events you are mostly performing to other poets and their friends and families, but at music events you really do have the general public in the audience. The folk musicians are great the way they embrace poetry. Once a month at Ringwood they have their concert nights, with guest artists. This is when the crowd really builds, with anywhere between 50 - 100 people in attendance. The first hour of these evenings is given over to floor spots. It's a real buzz to perform a poem or two to a crowd that size.

One of the members of the VFMC, Maggie Somerville, wrote a melody for my poem, "The Sash", earlier in the year. She sang it at the launch of my book, accompanying herself on guitar, while another member, Marie Butler, accompanied her on accordion. It gave the launch a real lift, I thought. It wouldn't have happened if I hadn't started attending the Tuesday evening Ringwood folk nights.

The same principle applies with poetry at folk festivals. Stand-alone poetry festivals are always going to struggle. Whether it be Tamworth or the National Folk Festival, poets will always attach themselves to music festivals, and prosper from the relationship. Even at Toolangi, we encourage a bit of music. It's like having a glass of water to wash your bread down.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Bob Pacey
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Re: Victorian Folk Music Club at Gulf Station

Post by Bob Pacey » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:35 am

I find that at festivals when there is a changeover of musos they take a long time to set up and that is a good time to slip on stage and do a couple of poems Stephen, it also has the added benefit that they do not lose a lot of the gathered crowd and the next group can set up behind if you use a mobile mike.


However you can get it out there is good.

Bob
The purpose in life is to have fun.
After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

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