Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

My reason for posting this, is that with all the tolerance and liberal thinking my later years have afforded me, I struggle to see were the lady in question here, has an argument…I read her facebook post, a young Sligo fiddle player, and she reckoned her income had been damaged by the pub closures on her 3 weekly sessions, yet she wasn’t recognized as qualifying for the Covid payment…Artistist discrimination, she argued……?????

To say she vehemently argued her position was an understatement, but for me she portrayed everything that is wrong with Irish music and sessions today, entitlement, expectation and dare I say arrogance..

When informed that she would have needed to previously declare herself with revenue as a self employed musician or is the case professionally in a group, a PAYE employee, her argument was that the revenue generated by playing in pubs was not sufficient to afford this or the administration associated with it… Now
in fairness this has some merit , however, she further argued that a realistic sustainable living fee be paid by these pubs to its players , and furthermore that some type of union should be created to protect their rights and conditions. At this stage, I was falling of the seat with laughter…

Young people like this, not only have taken over and dominated many sessions these days, many now obviously believe they have employment rights, mind you, fail to declare 2d from any of their pub earnings. This is the knock on effect of sessions being hijacked by these players and a general rise in cockiness. In the past playing for a few pints and an all inclusive ‘musicians welcome’ attitude allowed sessions all over the country to flourish without such nonsense.

So what has happened here, is this young lady was obviously dependent on the few bob from the sessions, (a very foolish dependence ) and is now suffering financial loss due to Covid…However for her to argue she is entitled to a Covid as an artist who has seen her income decline is wrong. The bottom line is that any payment to musicians by pubs, is actually illegal if not declared by the musician, and the pubs are just as at fault here…furthermore it suggests that this young lady holds a false perception of entitlement and as I said arrogance , which seems to have changed public performance of Irish Traditional music in a negative way these days…….I wonder what the great players of the past such as Johnny Doran would say today ?

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Any chance you could post a link to the Facebook please? cheers

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Here in California AFAIK it’s clear-cut: if you have a regular job with income which you have been declaring to the State for Income Tax purposes you can claim and receive COVID compensation if your work hours are reduced.

So here a paid trad session leader would qualify if she had been declaring and paying taxes on that income all along.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

> I wonder what the great players of the past such as Johnny Doran would say today ?

Johnny Doran, the man who had the same "foolish dependence" on playing music for a living as this young woman? I’d also be fairly surprised if he paid income tax, although I don’t know of any documentation on that one way or the other.

> In the past playing for a few pints and an all inclusive ‘musicians welcome’ attitude allowed sessions all over the country to flourish without such nonsense.

The issue is that an inclusive "musicians welcome" attitude may not bring what the barman wants. Many sessions in Ireland are essentially paid for by tourists; a pub has a trad session on to entice them in with the "authentic Irish" experience, and is able to sell pints of Guinness to them. Bar owners aren’t running a charity, they’re running a business, and anything they can do to increase business is worth it to them. Paying a session leader or two guarantees that every week you’ll get a good player to show up and play, which won’t necessarily happen if it’s "anything goes." If you think that you can sell that many extra pints, it’s a business decision to pay some musicians.

Yes, some publicans do just love trad and have sessions for the craic. That’s all well and good, and it’s great that such inclusive sessions have a home. But if the session is set up as a draw for business, as many sessions are (especially in a town with a rich history in trad like Sligo), there’s no reason the leaders of the session shouldn’t be paid. I don’t see that as "entitlement," I see it as someone getting paid for skilled work.

Now, the fact that many musicians don’t pay tax on their earnings is definitely an issue. After all, if you’re not paying into the system when times are good, should you get the benefit when times are bad? If she hasn’t been paying tax all along, I can see why it would be annoying to a taxpayer for her to want a piece of the pie now. It’s worth noting that artists are exempted from income tax to a certain point in Ireland, although I don’t believe that extends to performing musicians (just visual artists, writers, and composers). Tax issues aside, though, the idea that a musician makes their living off of making music is no more laughable than an engineer making money off of engineering.

> this young lady holds a false perception of entitlement and as I said arrogance , which seems to have changed public performance of Irish Traditional music in a negative way these days

What do you mean by this? There have always been professional players like Doran who made all or much of their money from playing trad. Yes, it’s annoying that many "sessions" are in fact essentially paid gigs closed to other players, but that’s almost always a marketing issue on the part of the pubs. Are you annoyed that people get paid to play trad? Are you annoyed that they don’t foster an inclusive environment in the sessions they run? Are you annoyed that there’s been a shift in the kinds of tunes, or the style, or something musical about the sessions? I’m legitimately wondering what this "cocky" new attitude you’re describing is.

Ultimately, I think you’re going to get your way anyway. Pubs have been slammed by COVID, and many will end up closing or significantly curtailing any kind of events or expenditures beyond the absolute necessities. Musicians have and will continue to see gigs dry up, and sessions will be fewer and further between than they were before this all happened. Maybe you see this as a good thing, a return to the roots or something. I don’t.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"and furthermore that some type of union should be created to protect their rights and conditions."
There is a musicians’ union (of Ireland). Are there no trad players who are members?

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

> I wonder what the great players of the past such as Johnny Doran would say today ?

Given some of the reports of what Doran could earn in a day’s playing at a fair, well.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Bigscotia..you make a lot of assumptions there….but to put you straight from the outset on a fundamental, Irish Traditional music does NOT revolve around selling pints of Guinness and what a barman want’s or wishes and it also doesn’t revolve around the likes of competitions, which I know you didn’t mention, but unfortunately these are three issues that many younger players fail to realize …Irish Trad has a lot more depth of tradition and culture contained within it, rather than just a focus on playing to the tourist…

Not one line in my post questioned or asserted an ‘entitlement’ that payment should not be made..It did point out that the payment MUST and should be declared..This is as much your barmans issue as it is the paid player. Obviously this young girl didn’t declare anything, yet expected to be treated the same as other artists and self employed people..That Bigscotia is what was meant by ‘entitlement’….pretty straight forward in it’s assertion. Moreover, and once again, the post does not question why a musician should not earn money in a similar way to your engineer .. You seem to assume it does, so perhaps you could cut and paste those areas from my post that portray this…You assume and question if I’m annoyed, you assume issue with non inclusiveness, you assume issue with tunes , style etc.. Just because you assume tomorrow is christmas doesn’t make it christmas..NO ELEMENT OF THE POST INDICATES ANY OF THIS !

…Irish Trad will never go back to what it used to be in Johnny Dorans time, I doubt no one would want it, but that ‘foolish dependent’ you describe so negatively, is a person many of us have a lot of respect and admiration for, your classification of him is unsurprising given modern attitudes and is a good reflection of were your response is coming from.

Ultimately..Im not going to get my way with on anything’, as you express in your last paragraph, I am not looking to….another of your groundless assumptions..Perhpas let me assume something…you see my post as an attack rather than a reflection of the reality which it sets out….You jump to a lot of assumptions and conclusions that have no substance in the post..and you seem the angry or annoyed one…not me !

It’s an accepted fact that many younger players have took over sessions with their well rehearsed and practice routines and frozen out other musicians, unfortunately that is just the way things have gone in Ireland today, GAA has went similar, personally , it’s no loss to me, I gig live myself, however it stifles and redirects the music, leading people like yourself to lose direction and start focusing on issues like pints of Guinness and tourists ..which is far from what our tradition is about and quite disrespectful both to it and people playing it,

Johnny Doran played music for himself, and i’m sure he didn’t fill in tax clearance forms…. But times change, and if these young people wish to dominate public performance for the benefit of the tourist, the barman and their pockets, well in good….but declare it like any other worker and don’t gripe when things go wrong. As for the Union issue , I’m sorry, I’m still laughing, and as for your response in general, it’s indicative of the harsh and cold attitude that has changed the music "Johnny Doran, the man who had the same "foolish dependence" on playing music" ..need I say more.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Leitrim Lad, I really was asking because to be honest, I didn’t quite understand your original post. The tone it gave off (calling depending on session pay a "foolish dependence" for one) and talking about the days in which players played "for a few pints" gave the impression that you did not like musicians being paid. As I said, if it’s about the tax, I can see your issue, it’s more than a bit cheeky to not pay tax on income then look for taxpayers’ protection when that income falters.

My point about Johnny Doran wasn’t that his dependence on music was foolish, it was that he had a dependence on music for his livelihood, just like this young woman whose dependence you described as foolish. I just wanted to point out that he may not have been the best choice for a "what would _____ think?" comparison. He did not play "for himself," he was part of a long line of pipers for whom music was a profession.

Trad, like any music, can be about what you want it to be. For a lot of us, it’s about love of music, shared music-making in a session, or just the joy of playing an instrument. For a lot of bar owners and professional musicians, it’s about €, or in many cases $, since there’s a large tourist market looking for the "authentic traditional Irish experience." That’s fine, plenty of greats like the travelling pipers and fiddle masters of old were professionals who were looking for their next gig. I don’t think it really "stifles the music" (that’s Comhaltas’ job! Kidding, kind of…), but I can see where you’re coming from. I just don’t think it’s an issue with the "younger generation," since that sort of dynamic has been going on for centuries in all kinds of musical genres, including trad.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Peterwsll…. In terms of a closed facebook group, and in terms of the young girl herself and without her permission, that perhaps might be a bit daft on the legal side of things..

Richard D Cook..Correct, which is why I questioned her mindset on the issue..

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Fair enough Leitrim Lad, Thanks for your reply I do get it about FB and the possible legalities, just thought it would be interesting for people to read for themselves what you are talking about.

I find this interesting because I have lost loads of gig work this year due to Covid but I did receive some gov. compo because I have been declaring my musical earnings for many years now, It didn’t cover all my losses but I was glad to receive it. I am a self employed musician who plays Trad (though not exclusively)

Interesting that someone who hadn’t declared or paid tax should feel they deserve recompense from the taxpayer.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Bigsciotia.. I for one am fully up for Trad musicians getting full pay and full respect for their work.. I certainly dont gig for free….IMRO has at least achieved a limited degree of respect in terms of that, but turn to that last word I used ‘Respect’ ……Irish traditional music has been poisoned by ignorance and attitude and many good players simply stay at home these days because of that alone. It seems it has become survival of the fittest ..and taking this young lady’s comments on board , stated naively or not, she seemed to think she should be entitled to loss of earnings…..Now, to derive at that mindset, given her non declaration of earnings and her calls for union protection , only suggests to me that she views her musicianship as something that requires privledged protection..to me it simply reflects the poison and ignorance and dare I say again, arrogance that is seen to often in Irish Trad these days..it certainly doesn’t offer any form of respect…

..Reading many comments these days disheartens me , as does the gripes and complaints of that young girl…At 55 I have seen sizemic shifts in Irish trad music over 50 years..I remember when playing it wasn’t greeted with much respect at, I remember small crowds of dedicated players following the fleadhs and indifference at sessions..Now you couldn’t get near the all ireland for the ‘in buzz’ crowds getting there first, or take a flute out and play comfortably with a lot of players… everything is competition based, attitudes have changed beyond belief and opinions like this young girl holds, seem to be the norm.

..As for Johhny Doran and his brother Felix I will always have full respect..Johnny lived and died in a caravan..he certainly didn’t ends his days a wealthy man when the wall blew over on him in Cornmarket , to which he later died …It’s people like that who are the real fundamental of the music and require the real version of that word ‘Respect’.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Someone who doesn’t declare their income to the state should not expect to get unemployment compensation from the state, full stop.

Also, she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer pointing this out to the government: "Hey Mr. Government, I’ve not reported my income to you for a long time. Would you please send me some free money now that I can’t continue my lucrative tax evasion scheme because of COVID-19?".

Now, if there are other welfare programs she legitimately qualifies for as a result of not having any income, like food assistance, or subsidized housing, that’s fine, but specifically unemployment insurance compensation is tied to actually being employed and declaring your income to the state, not taking money under the table.

I’m sure many of us don’t declare the tips or free beer or food we might get playing at a pub, I guess technically, that might be considered "income" by the state, but I don’t think we’d expect to get unemployment compensation because the free beer stopped.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Let’s hope she eats -

It’s certainly difficult times for musicians among others.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"..Reading many comments these days disheartens me ," - It wasn’t very long ago that there were no comments to read. Nobody got disheartened reading comments ……

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Thanks for responding to my question about the Musicians’ Union of Ireland, Leitrim Lad.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"I struggle to see were the lady in question here, has an argument"…. Yeah, me too, but that’s because we haven’t actually seen it for ourselves and therefore shouldn’t judge (not that I greatly care one way or the other).

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

One of the features of the whole folk music world, not just ITM, is that there are a large number of semi-professional players earning money from music alongside a day job. Some may be well-known on the scene and perform alongside professionals. That means there are many people, myself included, who receive (or used to) a nice regular supplement to our income from music, but who don’t depend on it for a living.

From the OP’s summary, it sounds as if this young lady falls into this category. If she were a full-time professional musician relying on it for a living, she should surely be earning enough to declare it for tax purposes, and in that case she may well have been eligible for state support. It seems more likely to me that this was a side-hustle and not her principal source of income. Even if she is feeling the loss of her income from music, that doesn’t mean the state should recompense her for what is a paying hobby, not a profession.

If she is making her living from playing music and not declaring her income, or a proportion of it, then she is lining herself up for trouble from the tax authorities, especially by drawing attention to it.

Even as a semi-pro, she should still be declaring it as this would be on top of her other taxable income, although she could offset expenses, and may not actually end up paying any tax.

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Very well put, Howard.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

The UK "Trading Allowance" of £1000 will have reduced the number of musicians who aren’t declaring income that they should have done in the past.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Howard Jones..Agreed….my only comfort to her is that she is only doing what other’s are doing…Many session musicians in my day, drank the pot..be it right or wrong, it was the most even way to dispose of it.. My feeling is that this young lady was earning more doing sessions and perhaps a little bit of teaching or something else on the side, that was more than what social welfare whould pay and had no adherence for her in terms of social welfare availability for work..

However the argument opens up and asks more questions in relation to our music.. Is it correct or fair that across Ireland our sessions have become business or tourist money spinners for people like herself, whilst many young up and coming players, many good players and many senior players, who may not hold such business acumen, or simply just want to play a tune the odd night are left out. To try enter into one of these sessions, as I watched an older man in Doolin last Christmas and have seen umpteen times, met with pure unabated ignorance from the other younger musicians.. Thats the first question..

The second question, where is the music going, what direction is it taking..? Is the direction it’s being led in today by people like this young woman correct…? The same well rehearsed tunes played week in week out, no crowd participation, just stern looking musicians playing tune after tune looking up for admiration after sets, collecting their money and going home..many haven’t even purchased so much as a coke behind the bar..I watched one open her banjo case, pull out the instrument and a bottle of Aldi water rather than allow the bar a little profit..

Third question..is the way these new players are being taught, is that particular musical development correct ?. We are certainly producing excellent players..but in over 40 years of my playing I am very aware that musical technicality is not everything. Interaction, good social skills, patience and diplomacy far exceeds the social awkwardness , rudeness and stern unapproachable attitudes many of these younger players exhibit these days .
When I read this ladies original post, she came across as arrogant and expectant…which are not very nice human attributes..When you take what is happening with many sessions today and what many people feel has become a closed elitist world in terms of playing at many sessions, and then apply this young ladies attitude to the formula it simply portrays Irish Trad in an awful light…Thats the bit that angers me…That young woman seen no wrong posting up her grievances ..which are in fact illegal in terms of tax or prsi duty… she feels she is not being treated fairly ….a feeling that many excluded musicians share.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

As a registered self-employed person on low income, a significant part of which comes from playing music (not paid sessions - such things are unheard of round these parts - but busking, ceilidhs and small gigs), I feel I am fairly well looked after by the UK government. Although my earnings have to be declared for tax purposes, I don’t earn enough to pay income tax (only National Insurance contributions of ~£150/year) - and my low earnings are made up to an amount I can live on in the form of Tax Credit; futhermore, I have been eligible for the ‘Covid payments’ (not their official title) sent out to those whose income has been adversely affected by the pandemic. Whilst I won’t be buying a Porsche any time soon, I cannot say that I have struggled financially at any time since March. Were I not registered as a ‘taxpayer’, I might save myself the £150/year but would not be eligible for any such help; and if I were to earn over the threshold (currently £12,500), I would, by my own standards, be a rich man, so I could afford to sacrifice 20% of the excess (I realise that as a habitually frugal, single person with no dependants, I have it easy…). I don’t know much about the Irish welfare system but I assume there are similar schemes in place.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Just focusing on the ‘What direction is this taking’ aspect of Leitrim Lads’s post for a moment…re session behaviour etc..

Maybe it reflects a change in values, pushy parenting? the ‘Me’ generation etc etc, maybe it’s not just present in trad music either…perhaps it’s a wider thing? Has there somehow has been spawned a whole generation of ignorant narcissists? I dunno.

I have seen the pushy parent thing now and then and it’s vile . One of the good things about trad sessions used to be ( and still is to a large extent, I don’t want to over generalise) the lack of all this ‘X Factor’ stuff. the multi generational aspect and importantly the generous inclusivity of the older more experienced players from whom learners absorbed, by a kind of subtle osmosis, hugely different values from those which underlie the kind of behaviour Leitrim Lad describes.

Maybe people like that will catch on to thenselves a bit more as they develop as human beings, I hope so.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"we haven’t actually seen it for ourselves and therefore shouldn’t judge."
Yes, Gobby. I would say we cannot fairly judge what someone else is saying when we have not seen what they said.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Peter wlls …’a whole generation of ignorant narcissists’ …I wouldn’t go that far, but when you talk of pushy parents, which is known as the Canadian Helicopter Mums Theory, producing players that are very technically proficient, have a raft of tunes and county and all Ireland titles under their belts, yet are totally socially awkward , egotistic and blatantly ignorant , you are in fact hitting the nail on the head as to were much of this all generated from..

There is very few other regular or weekly stages for these XFactor / Helicopter Mum hereo’s, or the egotistic players in general except the pub, and what was normally the local open session…When they enter that pub, they are dealing with many external factors outside the remit of their own well practiced music, and are forced into a different social setting that many are blatantly uncomfortable with..or perhaps , simply to young or immature to respect . They will encounter other players of different standards, some better than them and some lessor, they hear different tunes or different tuning to what they are used to, maybe singers, somebody drunk or the general crowd or TV talking over their playing or people sitting to close to them. They get upset if they are not being able to play their full rehearsed set from the pre arranged list and their show boat tunes to show how good they are..so the only way to play in that pub is to assert control over that situation, over the pub, over the session, and reject with ignorant force anyone or anything that interferes with their performance..Then they have their own stage to feed their ego and in turn grown another level of arrogance in relation to their playing. No prisoners are are taken in the maintenance of that ego

If unchallenged, that produces somebody who thinks he or she has an entitlement to be treated special, and put on a pedstal….So it’s not surprising to come across ego’s that think they have a right to a Covid payment as an artist, because of loss of earnings, yet hasn’t declared any previous revenue beforehand, a person who thinks she is being discriminated against as an artist and feels she should be afforded some type of union/organizational protection, and further, should be afford a basic living wage from the pub/ session payments she receives……

That to me is a jaw dropper, it’s arrogant, self centered and egotistic and is what is driving Irish traditional session music in the completely wrong direction.. But it is also not surprising when you go out on the circuit and meet some of these people…Many, and I mean many good players don’t bother going out for a tune anymore because of it….When in Doolin these days on route to Inis Oirr for a few tunes, we dont go into Gus O’Connors pub anymore for a warm up, as a musician you are as welcome as a fart in a space suit by certain ‘family’s and certain players, who close circle once they spy a banjo case or fiddle case come through the bar ! Yet over on the Island you are free to play, as is anyone else until all hours …no ego, no ignorance, good players, bad players, young, old, singers, sean nos, story’s , craic and dancing the lot !… Do that in a session with helicopter mum hereo’s and you are out the door..

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

In the early 80’s I played in a pub rock and and we averaged about 3 jobs a week. The money was good and went straight into my pocket. I also had a very well paid day job as the employment officer foe a large mining company. I declared it ALL in my tax, but not one cent was taken from my music earnings. That’s because for three years I kept all my receipts and claimed on all my equipment and transport costs etc. Had the government accepted my claim I would have come out in front tax wise, but they rejected it, saying that my music was considered a hobby. I kept the letters from three years and never bothered telling them again. How much do you actually earn after you take off the cost of (say) a $5ooo fiddle and the rest of it? Ask the tax office.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I haven’y had my morning coffee yet but the level of judgmentalism and generalization in this thread is doing my head in. I like young people!

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I agree, Gobby, and I’m not going to psychoanalyze the players or suggest helicopter parenting may be at fault, but I have a lot of empathy for Leitrim Lad’s frustrations. Depending on where you live, it can be a real ballache to find a session where the dynamic he describes isn’t a thing. In certain places, it has become noticeably more prevalent in the past six or seven years.

Your theory for why is as good as mine.

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I like young people too.
And, if my memory allows me to I think back to when I was young, I seem to remember being socially awkward and pretty ignorant (I don’t think I was ever really egotistical) compared to what I am now. My brain may not be as sharp in general and musically I’m probably not any more technically proficient than I was back then, but I like to think I’m a lot more musical.
Yes, young people can be annoying but it’s not their fault. It’s just part of being young.

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> "When I read this ladies original post, she came across as arrogant and expectant…" You may have hit the root of the issue right there. You read this girl’s post on the internet, and to you, she came across as arrogant… In the same way that you came across as not liking musicians getting paid in your first post…

Having not seen the original Facebook post, or knowing anything else about the woman who posted, it’s really difficult to know what her intention was. For all I know, she might have been being facetious or sarcastic, or she might have been serious about it. I think there’s room for discussing the direction that sessions in particular are going in many parts of Ireland. But everybody needs to remember that it’s really easy to misunderstand the meanings behind written words posted on the internet, which tends to amplify negativity since we don’t have the luxury of all the other communication clues we get from body language, facial expressions, etc.

To which I will add a winky face so that you realize that I’m not angry 😉

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I’ve been taking Skype lessons from a couple of individuals in Ireland and Northern Ireland. They’re scraping by unsupported so if you want to take a stance on this whole mess - pay for some lessons. Both parties will benefit.

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Reverand… The fact you misread my initial post makes somewhat light reading of your response. Your statement ..’it’s really easy to misunderstand the meanings behind written words posted on the internet’ doesn’t hold much defense, sorry….we all read and write in English and the fact we are posting on the internet is testament to our level of literal intelligence. ..or to coin a phrase..’it’s there in black & white’ !

Firstly, if you take the time to read further down the posts, you will find I was also a gigging musician and have absolutely NO difficulty with musicians being paid, on the contrary, we pushed for years for IMRO ….but the difference was I, like most , paid my taxes and stamps and did not gripe, demand or cry for better treatment or back up…better still, and this leads into into my second issue, the expectancy …

My post, simply took this ladies reaction and how she felt she was being ill treated in terms of Covid, Union/Organisation support and the actual amount she was being paid, and paralleled it with the general negative, arrogant and elitist attitude that surrounds many session players in Ireland today… And questioned the connection …Is there a connection between both, is there a similarity..?

Well…on the face of it she says that the sessions don’t pay her enough to register for tax or stamp and as such they should pay her an appropriate ‘living fee’ , she argues she has been left at a severe financial loss due to Covid and the Govt refuses to recognize her claim..she says she is being discriminated against and should have union or some other type of organizational backing…

You say it’s really easy to misunderstand the meanings behind written words posted, seems pretty straight forward to me Reverend, and I dont think it counts as ‘Fake News’ or anything else you may throw at it either..it is what it is….and what it is, is a spat because the sessions are not giving her want she wants, and better still have let her down with Covid…..Its very very easy, in the climate of negative and arrogant attitudes in sessions to marry both together.

And that Reverend, is the Crux of the post..no more, no less…..plain basic understandable internet English !

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Callison..by all means, but not all of us need lessons, especially after 50 years playing…tell me, why are they unsupported ? ….Look at post above from CreadurMawnOrganig who also lives in the UK….he reckons he has been looked after well… Are they not prepared to apply for the support and if so why not..? The lady in question in this post, can’t apply for obvious reasons, but that’s her own fault..she didn’t declare her earnings over the past several years…

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"the fact we are posting on the internet is testament to our level of literal intelligence". I wouldn’t argue with that given that there is so much rubbish posted. "plain basic understandable internet English " ….Don’t make me laugh!

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…ahhhh now Gobby……When you got raised and educated by the Christian Brothers, they taught you four things in life… 1) How to run 2) How to fight 3) How to read 4) How to write ….Thats the butt of their education skills, so after suffering them for 12 years I would say ‘Plain Basic Understandable English’ was the only thing we came out qualified in …..I was a good handball player to, mind you, you had to time your games between the fights in the handball alleys….great character building !

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Yeah, well I must admit that I’ve never met or argued with an Irishman who lacked character.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

@Leitrim lad: I’m not familiar with Irish taxes or anything so I’m likely to blather on in ignorance. Musicians that tour or perform in public surely suffer when all of their venues close like they have for the Chinese Curse. Anticipated income disappears and apparently, artists are not considered as contributing to the economy in the same fashion as a laborer so they don’t get support at the government level - or at least that’s how it’s been related to me by one of my instructors.

FWIW - pretty much zero - I’ve been playing guitar for better than 60 years, I’ve probably grazed about .1% of what there is to learn on that instrument. There is always something new to be learned, it just may be in an unexpected context.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

It’s not cool to refer to Covid-19 or Coronavirus by associating it with China.

It’s against CDC guidelines as it stigmatizes a location and a people, while also obfuscating where and how it would be liable to contracted.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Good on ya Vechey.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Spot on, Reverend. Sorry, LL.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Slightly off-topic …

Vechey :

//It’s not cool to refer to Covid-19 or Coronavirus by associating it with China.
It’s against CDC guidelines as it stigmatizes a location and a people, while also obfuscating where and how it would be liable to contracted.//

Not quite true, but I know what you mean, and I agree with your reasoning.

It’s fine to say that Covid-19 originated in China (that’s a fact), but calling it "Chinavirus" or the "Chinese Curse" (or similar) does break some rules, doesn’t it?

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I think the focus on Covid should stay on Covid not China, just like the focus on this post should stay on Irish Trad and not Covid…or what is cool and not cool…to easy folks to walk into a minefield…stick with the music..

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

coronavirus is just a new version of the "English Sweat" so it would be more appropriate to call it the "English Curse". Sarcasm….. but some genetic similarities there


I suggest the young Sligonian ask for privy council with the house of lords to apply for a mustard buyout policy. I heard they are offering early retirement for young millennial musicians without a falcon to call their own. if that doesn’t work, she could always get a flippin job or steal her mother’s helicopter……

Has anyone had the English Sweat?

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Leitrim lad : //I think the focus on Covid should stay on Covid not China, just like the focus on this post should stay on Irish Trad and not Covid//

Fair comment, and I get your sentiment, but to be fair, the OP makes them strongly linked.

Anyway, let’s hope it’s all over soon.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Are you referring to the virus or this thread in that last sentence Jim?

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Gobby

//Are you referring to the virus or this thread in that last sentence Jim?//

I meant the virus.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Just as well one is a gentleman amateur these days…

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I thought it was unseemly for gentlemen to be anything else.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

When did ‘gentlemen’ come into this conversation? I am (officially) paranoid so… You surely don’t mean me do you, Kenny and Yhaal? (i’m only paranoid, by the way, because everybody is out to get me). I’m. worried you are referring to me, because you are two of the people on this site that I look up to.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

@ Gobby, I think they are referring to another right honorable gentleman.

People have paid me to stop playing a few times but I never claimed taxes on the thing. I was keeping the smoke from rising Barney.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Thanks for that clarification Beid. I would hate to think that anybody thought me either honorable or a gentleman, especially those people I respect.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

All: I apologize for the reference.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"I suggest the young Sligonian ask for privy council with the house of lords to apply for a mustard buyout policy."
Good idea, but about 83 years too late! (or maybe 98 years.)

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

@callison. Well done mate. Respect!

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

peter wsll ー"Any chance you could post a link to the Facebook please? cheers"

Leitrim lad ー"In terms of a closed facebook group, and in terms of the young girl herself and without her permission, that perhaps might be a bit daft on the legal side of things.."

If you removed the personal information from the post, legalities wouldn’t be an issue. Since you didn’t ask permission from the young woman to discuss her affairs outside of the group(which is a closed group, by your own admission), or give her an opportunity to plead her case or defend herself; The least you could do is post the young woman’s actual comments so that she could be scrutinized fairly.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I think the whole OP is in bad taste. It’s ill-mannered to use one person’s comments in a private conversation as a start of a public discussion without generalizing the point.

If something is said that the OP thinks raises something to discuss then it’s up to the OP to present the point in his own words, as in "I was having a conversation with some people and the view was expressed that … … I think this, what do you think?"

How was your response in the closed facebook group received Leitrim Lad, assuming you made one?

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I agree with David50.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"Gobby" - not sure why you’re bringing me into this [ see post above ] - I’ve stayed out of this discussion, and intend to stay out of it. Is it not "DonaldK" you were referring to ? Just to clarify things.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Gobby, I’m not sure why you thought Yhaal House was referring to you in his "gentleman amateur" comment. I assumed he was speaking of himself.
For my part I carried on with his train of thought with the Victorian idea that (in sport, for example) a gentleman would always be amateur whereas a man (i.e., working class) could be professional.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I had promised myself that I’d stop chipping in to contentious threads when I didn’t have something useful or informative to offer - just another opinion. I should know better, but in for penny … .

This one started with a critical account of a Facebook post submitted by an unidentified person. Since I haven’t seen the FB post referred to, I can’t really know whether the account accurately reflects what was written in it, or judge whether I would share the critical approach taken. I’m with Wittgenstein on this: ‘Whereof we cannot speak, thereof must we remain silent’. Heavens, if people start to believe other people’s interpretations of what unknown other people write in social media posts, well … just imagine what that could do to, say, political election campaigns.

But, as often happens in long threads, the theme moves on, and has turned to the unpleasant dynamics of sessions that are dominated by a clique of self-absorbed prima donnas. (I don’t know a gender-neutral term for these but would include primo senores, if that’s what it is). Perhaps I’m fortunate in never having found myself trying to take part in a session with such an exclusive vibe, but if it should happen I think I’d give it up as a bad job and seek out more congenial musical company. There’s plenty around.

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Re:…Serious!

Callison, I appreciate your apology. I respect you and it was a good to see your most recent reply.
David50, very well said, your most recent reply.
Leitrim lad, speak your mind, but consider other’s theirs.
Cheers!

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Callison: Thanks for speaking up and bringing closure.

While it seems complaining about this community is a hobby for the community, it sure is great. That people will work to keep it an open an inclusive community is part of what makes it so.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

The last time I went to something advertised as a ‘session’, it was six or seven musicians playing sets of, clearly, arranged and rehearsed songs and tunes, into a sound system - the only difference from a conventional concert being that the performers were sitting in a tight circle around a table, half of them with their backs to the audience. I was known to at least one of them as - perhaps I flatter myself - being capable of getting through a few tunes without doing too much damage, and I had my instrument in hand - but there was no invitation forthcoming to ‘sit in’, such as I’ve often received at bona fide gigs. I don’t get too excited now when I see a ‘session’ advertised.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I agree it’s all about respect, when it comes to publishing other people’s comments (and/or identifying them personally). There’s no guarantee of privacy on the internet - whatever you say, no matter where, is potentially viewable by anyone, although few people bear that in mind when posting on any platform.

I recall a funny comment by ex-member Michael Gill (Llig) [who always spoke his mind] who said something like "why both telling me to think before I post? I post what I think!"

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Donald K: Correct, one considers oneself a gentleman amateur.
It would be common or course to mention money.
The professionals are the oiks, the working class.
It’s a shame the understandings of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ have become so corrupted.
One can be an exceptional musician without the burden of having to make a living from it and all the hassle that brings. One can also do wotteffah one wants and not have to prostitute one’s talents like playing Mustang Sally or Hotel California for the millionth time at a dreadful wedding gig.
In the same way one doesn’t drive motor cars, own a tool box, clutter my mind with all manner of workmen’s knowledge, round up the sheep flock or bother myself with money matters et cetera. Leave it to the professionals one employs.
If one chooses to indulge in cooking, sport (unlikely!), playing music, painting pictures or whatever, it is on a purely entertainment pastime status and at one’s own terms. No necessity to compromise or live up to a professional reputation.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Yhaal House - Mustang Sally? Hotel California? Try doing "Jambalaya" for the millionth time!!

Amateur!! lol

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

The original post is not done in bad-taste, and certainly not intentional. It can be construed as such now looking back but it has always been practiced and acceptable behavior in this bottle of mustard we call the session. In fact, the behavior was probably learned on this site by watching all of you mustard-splaining past selves in heated rigamarole. Now that you are enlightened we still have to give room for growth by trial and error.

Leitrim Lad probably has had enough of the pure-pitch nonsense and is going through the terrible withdrawals that all of us are experiencing and then to top it off with now, he has to pay taxes to support the nonsense. He has been quiet about the subject probably longer than most of you were alive and has a right to come in here, in a cloak of anonymous pen, and poke holes in all your mustard theories.

Maybe someone can set me straight, but I’m sure Johnny Doran would take an odd job now and then out of necessity or interest. For ye to be painting him as someone that was too good for work seems way off. I’ve never known an Irishman to turn down a good days hard work, don’t get me wrong. Most travelers worked their asses off to get an odd bob or two.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

I don’t see how he’s poking holes "all our mustard theories" - more like taking a gripe about a particular person and, rightly or wrongly, extending it to an entire generation. In fact, come to think of it - do we really have a bunch of "mustard theories"? But maybe I missed something.

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Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Controversial topic, lots of opinions, most of them with some good and honest truth in them I think. A proper discussion folks.

Not having seen the young lady’s post, nor knowing her personal working circumstances, and whether she’s declaring income - it’s a moot point of course - I know that some students who haven’t worked PAYE jobs won’t be registered for tax and won’t have ever earned over the threshold to declare income (something like e9000 in the year or something if you’ve no PAYE job), but the rest should be declaring income of course.

Bottom line is that the gig economy for young musicians very much does include running sessions for bars all over the country, and it is something they are and should be reimbursed for, the same as it is for anyone who turns up for work at 9am. And it would be terrible to think of a musician like this going hungry over something like this … except of course there is unemployment benefit of €203 per week in this country or half that in under-25s that should keep the wolf from the door for most, especially given that nobody can be evicted at this time. So, whoever she is, she shouldn’t be going hungry, end of.

Whether that should happen - trad musician being paid to run sessions - I don’t see how trad would survive in tourist-heavy parts of the country without it, but it’s clearly not the idyllic weekly session we imagine. I don’t know one long-term session running in Dublin that hasn’t got at least someone being paid or reimbursed in some way to be there every week and keep the show on the road, with the exception of the college sessions and the Comhaltas ones - I’m sure they do exist, but they are vanishingly rare in my experience. The good ones run their sessions as being open and inclusive and welcoming, and try and keep the ethos and tone of a trad session going, in my experience, and it can work very well at times.

I’m pretty sure that in areas of the country where the music is strong, or in parts of the world where trad is in the minority, the weekly sessions happen without the need for people being paid, and that to me is the ideal, but when the session is weekly and commercially a draw for a bar, there is inevitably someone being paid to keep the music going, in my experience. That’s the reality of it. But they are never contracted employees of a bar.

It could be easy to blame this young lady for her attitude and her entitlement, if that’s how you want to view it. But in reality, there’s a facade at play here - the bar and the musician pretends it’s a natural session, the bar doesn’t register the musician as an employee, and the musician doesn’t pay tax. And this is very common the country over. And I’m sure the same structure applies to some small-town trad gigs also. Ultimately, the Emperor of Irish pub trad sessions has no clothes when it comes to being above-board, and that’s the reality here, and funnily enough, it’s the young musician who is out of pocket, as usual.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Also, the idea that the purists of the past played music only for the love of it is utter garbage, by the way - straight out of De Valera’s idea of a modern Ireland. Musicians in Ireland since time immemorial, from the travelling harpists to Johnny Doherty to the modern day trad musicians have made money and living off playing music, and today is no different, and attempts to pretend that Irish trad is a completely non-commercial amateur entity ignores the reality, sadly. In my opinion, there’s nothing quite like a good amateur trad session, but music has always made money, and will always do, I think

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

Some of us travel to play at sessions for fun and at concerts for charity and we play at a loss and are saving ourselves a fortune in expenses because of Covid. It has only just occurred to me that we should be sending the money to charities we would otherwise have been supporting. It’s tempting to put it towards new instruments and gadgets to make zoom sessions bearable. There’s a lot of complications to all this.

Re: Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?

"Bottom line is that the gig economy for young musicians very much does include running sessions for bars all over the country,…"

There’s the rub ~ "The Gig Economy". This thread may or may not have been intended as a discussion about
what is happening to sessions in Sligo, or Irish sessions across the island which is a fair discussion worthy of delving deeper into that subject. I’m all for hearing what it’s currently like for trad musicians playing in Ireland.
It would be negligent to ignore relevant subjects surrounding the current conditions in Ireland.

Fluther brings more detail to the big picture ~ "I’m pretty sure that in areas of the country where the music is strong, or in parts of the world where trad is in the minority, the weekly sessions happen without the need for people being paid, and that to me is the ideal, but when the session is weekly and commercially a draw for a bar, there is inevitably someone being paid to keep the music going, in my experience. That’s the reality of it.
But they are never contracted employees of a bar."

The times they are a changing. It’s good to know where the music has come from. But the only way to make for better sessions in the future is to come at this from every angle and get down to the nitty-gritty; not just vague references to some, "young girl (on a) closed facebook group and without her permission".

Much appreciation, fluther, for filling in some of the blank spots. It helps me at least to relate to what it is like to be playing this music in Ireland now. Which is my bottom line ~ ‘What is it like…’.

AB ;

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