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Singers Musicians & Poets Nights should be:
0 None at all
21 Once per month
10 Twice per month
2 Weekly
0 None at all
21 In the Folk Bar
9 In the Bothal Suite
1 Other location
Singers Musicians & Poets Nights Comments Received:
1. Have P A System as close as possible to the audience (it works much better). [Come & show us how you mean. We're just learning about PA, and would appreciate your help... jiva]

2. AMPLIFICATION NOT NEEDED IN THIS SMALL ROOM - ONLY DISTORTS SOUND. [A difficult balance - we much prefer playing acoustically and, following a suggestion, March 2004 was an 'unplugged' experiment... on reflection, and based on audience and performer feedback, the Folk Bar room size and acoustics need a PA system to augment the sound. We try to keep the level low enough to avoid distortion and not be obtrusive, but just loud enough to enhance the sound. We'd like everyone's view on whether we've got it right, and would appreciate hints & tips (and a willing hand!) from those who understand it all... jiva]

3. They're friendly and accepting of all styles and standards which makes them thoroughly enjoyable.

4. Once per month, possibly increasing... but going really well at the moment, or wonder if impetus might be lost a bit if diluted.

5. Really enjoy them, thanks for all the hard work you do, wonder if starting at 8.00 would give either sl lengthy turns or allow JIVA to have a go! Also wonder if will get busier when Potters closes? [Would love to start at 8:00 pm. How can we encourage people to turn up earlier?... jiva]

6. Attendance is the governing factor. The intimate atmosphere in the Folk Bar is better, but numbers burgeoning OK otherwise will dictate.

7. It's great variety and much appreciated, especially your efforts in organising sound, etc., and internet coverage. Lots of work but worth it!

8. Keep it going!

9. Two numbers per artist is enough as so many (but good variety!)

10. The room should be the one where the audience makes it feel full.

11. Twice a month plus guest once a month.

12. You need to get as broad a cross section of styles as possible in that way it caters for a broad age-range audience. It is essential to attract younger people into the club if it is to flourish in the future, by encouraging a diverse range of styles it will encourage younger people to perform and in doing so attract a new following. Folk music like any other art form should not be stuck in the past but should constantly be moving forward reflecting the hopes and aspirations of its performers.

13. 8 o'clock start? [See 5 above... jiva]

14. Twice per month alternating with Spotlight Nights

15. I think weekly is best as people find other things to do on the Thursdays it's not on and get out of the way of coming I notice you take photo's of the performers. What about taking a snap of the audience?

16. While I often enjoy local artistes as support and have no objection to SMP nights for those who enjoy them, I have no interest in attending them myself.

17. Move to other venues around the district [Any suggestions... jiva]

Spotlight Nights should be:
0 None at all
29 Once per month
2 Twice per month
1 Occasionally
0 None at all
7 In the Folk Bar
19 In the Bothal Suite
1 Other location
Spotlight Nights Comments Received:
1. If it's 40 minutes, make it 2 x 20 minutes with others in between (better for everyone). [Agree - we've been toying with that idea... jiva]

2. A good idea to give performers a chance. Not enough time otherwise as the club is so popular.

3. We have been away and are confused! Is there a monthly 'quality' professional performance these days or has this been abandoned? [When Tommy handed over to jiva - start of 2004 - the decision had already been made to abandon regular professional guest nights, with just an occasional big headline name concert to be organised by Doug. The club is now thriving - should we be looking to promote local performers or revert to booking professionals (which is catered for elsewhere, eg Washington, Cramlington, South Shields, The Bridge etc)?... jiva]

4. Sorry - haven't actually been to one yet but intend to. Probably in the Folk Bar - but haven't been yet - folk bar has atmosphere - shame there isn't somewhere in-between sizes with a bar! [100% AGREED!!! We think the Folk Bar is uncomfortably small with the increased numbers we now enjoy, but the Bothal Suite can look cold and empty if it's not filled. Any suggestions for a middle-sized venue?... jiva]

5. Sorry - haven't been yet but seems a good idea, giving regulars a longer turn.

6. Sparse attendance at the moment but the Winter could see improvement.

7. Would it be possible to see if the Bothal Suite could be heated when we are using it.

8. Excellent idea. Most turns needs 2 to 3 songs to going.

9. Good venue. Could be 2 or 3 intro acts then the spotlight act and finish with 2 or 3 others if time allows.

10. Good idea keep it going.

11. Haven't been to any.

12. Again, where the audience makes the room feel full.

13. Once a month, plus guest once a month plus singers nights twice a month.

14. A good opportunity to hear the breadth of individual repertoire.

15. I've only been to one spotlight night and saw Ann Sessoms, but was a bit disappointed as I thought she would be performing for most of the night in a similar manner to a guest night ! Enjoyed the night though!

16. If by this, you mean gigs by artistes with an established reputation, I would welcome their return. [The policy of having regular/monthly professional guests was discontinued in late 2003 - we were told when we agreed to run the Club that there was no money available, and no plans to re-instate the previous policy. As we do not charge entry it is unlikely that regular guests will be seen at Ashington for sometime... jiva]

17. Other venues around the district [Any suggestions... jiva]

Your Suggestions For Improvement Received:
1. Keep advertising it to bring as many new singers/musicians as possible as this is the key (apart from the organisation which is second to none).

2. Really appreciate no-smoking policy, I attend more as a result! Thanks again for the hard work and effort you both put in - having been a member/intermittent attender since 1986 nice to see thriving once again.

3. Keep up the good work.

4. Keep up the good work

5. Happy with things to continue as they are at the moment.

6. Thanks to Jim and Val for keeping it going.

7. Keep it up - enjoy the rest in January.

8. Time for the odd Guest night? [Funds don't permit payment for 'named' guests - Raffle proceeds currently go on improving equipment/publicity etc... jiva] The rest of the mix is going very well. P.S. Whatever happened to the Folk Roundabout we used to get.

9. What's happened to the big names the Club used to get? [see 8 above... jiva] Is there no money for them? I think we should  pay 1.00 for singers nights for the funds. [We are pondering on this - what does everyone else think... jiva]

10. Folk Bar nice size for small numbers. Bothal Suite can be too large. I've seen the large room halved with room dividers and a portable stage, worked well.. Appreciate the "no smoking" -  thank you.

11. Two nights a month would probably work out well. Once is not enough.

12. You are doing a great job - keep up the good work. I cannot make it often, but that is pressure of other activities, not your club. I'll try harder next year, in the meantime have a very festive time.

13. jiva should have the opportunity to perform.

14. Bothal Suite is better for audience than Folk Bar

15. As an ex-attender, I enjoyed the previous policy of periodic "name" artistes with local support. I feel little motivation for attending the present SMP Nights and now get my fix of live music elsewhere. Sorry, you have lost my support. [See point 16 in Spotlight Nights above - the Club seems to be flourishing as a venue for local players, but we are sad to have lost you... jiva]

Total votes counted: 33

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