If you listened to yesterday’s Dollop including the phone conversation with my friend about plumbs, I want to point out that I don’t normally record my phone conversations and archive them, the recording only existed because I was recording the Dollop when she called. I don’t record every conversation I have just in case it comes in handy for a Dollop. If I did do that then it would be a bit tragic that in the space of 240 days, I have only deemed a single three minute conversation about plumbs worthy of inclusion in these Dollops, although, let’s be honest, it was a quality three minutes.
Most of the time I am not recording, including right now, unless you’re listening to the audio version in which case obviously I am recording, but only the sound of my own voice reading this out, which doesn’t count. What I mean is that I’m not recording what is going on as I write this Dollop, which is a discussion about van insurance. I am in The Young’uns van, and we need to renew the insurance in a couple of weeks. Sorry, I’ve reeled you in and got you all interested, haven’t I? But alas, you shall never get to hear the conversation, because I’m not recording it. Anyway, I won’t cruelly keep you in suspense any longer; we are going to renew it with the same insurance company we’re currently using. You can rest easy now.
Tomorrow we play Towersey Festival. I am looking forward to finding out whether they published my contribution to their festival programme. If you remember from Dollop 188 a couple of months ago (what am I saying? of course you remember) I was asked by the person putting the written programme together for Towersey festival to write something “quirky” for the programme. So I wrote them a very lengthy and elaborate pun laden joke about computer fonts, which I included in Dollop 188. For some unfathomable reason, I did not receive an email back from them. If they haven’t included it in the programme, then I have a good mind to get my own back on the festival by taking up a considerable amount of our performance delivering an extra long version of the joke. If, for some incomprehensible reason, the font routine fails to get the hysterical reaction it warrants, then I can just read out Ben’s text about plumbs on top of the fridge which seems to be a sure-fire hit.
Last week, I received another unusual request from a folk festival. The person responsible for compiling the written programme for Bromyard festival emailed some questions for me to answer. Normally, questions are along the lines of “how did you meet?” “How did you get into folk music?” questions about our festival appearance, upcoming tour or album, or they try to be quirky, “if you could be any animal, what animal would you be?” although they don’t like it when I out-quirk them with a lengthy and elaborate joke about computer fonts. I’m coming to you, Towersey festival, and there will be repercussions if my amazing font joke isn’t in your programme.
The person compiling the programme for Bromyard festival however has managed to enter uncharted territory with his line of questioning. Although he’s putting his questions to The Young’uns, I don’t think he’s particularly bothered about us; I think he’d much rather be interviewing Mumford And Sons. Here are the list of questions he’s sent me to answer for the programme.
1. Between 2012-14, the likes of Mumford and Sons brought folk stylings right into the middle of popular culture. Why do you think that this happened, and what was the impression among traditional folk musicians and fans?
2. Do you like the Mumfords?
3. Did you notice a change in the people who were interested in your music, due to the rise of the Mumfords?
4. The mumfords seemed to assume the role of pop/rock poster boys during that period on both sides of the Atlantic. Their 2015 follow-up seemed to fall flat, but pop music seemed to have moved on as quickly as it had adopted them and pop folk. Why do you think this happened? And why do you think it happened so quickly?
5. Do you look back on that time as a period that you miss? Or one that was always destined to come and go?
6. What has that brief window of popularity had on the folk scene?
7. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?
Obviously that last question wasn’t genuine; it was yet another example of my amazing comedy skills. Their last question was actually: “what’s next for folk music?”
I don’t know who this person thinks I am. It’s as if he really wanted to get an interview with Mumford and Sons but wasn’t able to, so he just asked us the Mumford and Sons’ questions instead.
Or it’s as if he thinks I’m some kind of musicologist or cultural soothsayer, asking such broad questions as “what’s next for folk music.” He also seems to be under the impression that I owe my folk music career to Mumford and Sons, as it’s clearly thanks to them that I have an audience.
He also seems to imagine that me, and all the other folk artists on the scene, all look back wistfully at 2012 to 2014, nostalgically remembering those glory years of folk, where we all got helicoptered into gigs, and every folk artist had at least three groupies each every gig; before the Mumfords, we generally had to settle with just one groupy a night. But, even while we were in the middle of it all – eating caviar, having sex with beautiful fans who, let’s face it, only slept with us because they thought it might bring them closer to Mr Mumford or one of his sexy sons – we knew that it could never last. When we heard the Mumfords follow-up album, we knew the fun was over. The fans began to lose interest in the Mumfords and consequently us, the caviar ran out, the helicopters stopped coming and we had to go back to travel around in vans,, and we were back where we started, playing to old men with beards once again. Oh, how we yearn for those years.
Something tells me that I’m probably not going to be in the Bromyard festival programme either.