A breach of etiquette

A breach of etiquette

While I was in Manchester a couple of weeks ago I went to a couple of great sessions at the Dancing Jig and Jolly Angler. I had a great time and the people there were really friendly. It was at the first of these I heard what must be one of the more unambiguous put downs.

There were maybe 5 - 6 fiddlers, all reeling away with madolin, concertina, whistle and banjo accompaniment. Towards the end of the evening things were winding down, a couple of the musicians had packed up and gone and only the hard core was left.

The fiddlers began a set and each took turns starting a reel and when it got round to the banjo (the player who was the official host for the session I might add) he fumbled the start and then got into his stride, but no one else was joining in. After half a minute or so, with the banjo gallantly picking on, the fiddle player next to him turned around and in a loud incredulous voice said … "What the f**k is that?"

I never did find out because everyone burst out laughing.

Any similar stories out there?

Re: A breach of etiquette

Seems like a case of Musical Snobbery

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Re: A breach of etiquette

The fiddle player deserved a kick in the h*le. Especially so, if the banjo player was a youngster.

Re: A breach of etiquette

You should have said, "duh? It’s a banjo".

Re: A breach of etiquette

ah .thats xad………the fidddlers dont understand that good craic is inclusive, not exclusionary…..

hey folks…i have stories about sessions……i have learned SO MUCH these last 3 weks of travelling……. can i tell you stuff? group hug? should i start a thread?

Re: A breach of etiquette

It wasn’t a breach of etiquette. That is the Manchester sense of humour. The Fiddle player was obviously a good friend of the banjo player and was joking about the fumbled start. That sort of joking happens all the time in that part of the world. I’m sure the banjo player fell about laughing too.

Re: A breach of etiquette

He was asking him what the tune was.
Maybe he will go away and learn it now. If a friend of mine played something unusual (or messed up a tune so I didn’t recognise it) I might say the same thing. All in good humour of course. As you say, it was the hard core, they obviously know each other, and the banjo player was the host, so he will be best known of all. Just a bit of "crack".

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Re: A breach of etiquette

It’s hard to tell from just a description whether it was humour or not. It would depend on whether they knew each other, facial expressions, tone of voice, context of previous interaction, etc. Whether it’s humour or not, a good response from you would be (deadpan) "duh? It’s a banjo", cuz then if they laugh you know they were joking. If they remonstrate with you, then you can tell them that you were joking and say "I thought you English were supposed to understand irony".

Re: A breach of etiquette

The banjo player should have started something they knew. It was not a good time to try something unfamiliar. The point of a session is to play TOGETHER, not to have a succession of half-assed solo performances. It was by no means snobbery, they were taking the p*ss because this banjo player was trying to show off with some exotic POS tune.

As for the fumbled transition, that should be no big deal, it happens after a long night of tunes and pints.

Re: A breach of etiquette

I can’t comment on this specific incident, but I do know the players in question and nothing would surprise me about their ignorant behaviour to outsiders at "their" sessions.
In fact they are known by participants in the more (how shall I say) liberal, sessions as the "Exclusive Brethren"

TTFN
PP

Re: A breach of etiquette

I agree with Bernie an Bren.

Re: A breach of etiquette

How did the banjo player respond/react to the WTF question?
You said that "everyone" burst out laughing…

I’ve seen very similar things. If taken in good humor by all, it’s just good humor…

stv

Re: A breach of etiquette

I know the banjo player concerned and rest assured, it was all part of the craic.