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Author Topic: Your own amp for border morris dance outs  (Read 2557 times)

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GPS

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2018, 11:47:35 AM »

A few years back we were asked by the Morris Federation to organise the Joint Morris Organisation's Day of Dance in Exeter, where morris of all descriptions from any of the 3 organisations ( Fed, Ring and Open ) could come, meet and dance.
Our worry was regarding the licence restrictions over using amplified music, in fact the then Fed President made the point when we took on the venture and warned us about allowing amplified music in the street.
My friends who I dance with chatted about this last Saturday when we ( me and Greg ) were at a day of dance locally and some were using amps. My friend who helped me organise the JMO Day of Dance said the licence regulations are now relaxed.

Greg - Regardless of choice of what amp etc. it might be worth clarifying the situation regarding amplified music as I've heard it's changed but only through hearsay.
Not sure if you're Open or Fed but someone there will know.
cheers
Q

I'm sure the regulations in Cyprus are different from those in the UK, but when we're out on the streets in Limassol or Nicosia we're fine with unamplified music but if there's a single onboard mic or instrument pickup through an ever-so-modest portable PA, then we HAVE to apply for a music licence. Not usually a problem getting one, but we are obliged to have it.

Graham
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Howard Jones

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2018, 12:43:29 PM »

Some very general guidance here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/entertainment-licensing-changes-under-the-live-music-act#do-i-need-a-licence-for-music-entertainment

The original requirements of the Licensing Act, which were fairly onerous, have been relaxed but mainly for unamplified music.  It gets more complicated where amplification is used.  I don't know whether a pub car park counts as on-licenced premises. 

I've no idea how strictly this is enforced, bearing in mind the number of amplified buskers I see.  It probably varies from place to place, and possibly only if it's loud enough to cause complaints. On the other hand it only takes one jobsworth to be passing by.

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george garside

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2018, 01:05:28 PM »

In all the time I played for morris  I never used amplification   and  its use can sometimes just make the 'audience'  make more noise  whereas as John et al have said playing/singing quieter cabn actually quieten noisy punters!

a morris 'band' considting of box(s) fiddle(s) drum or whatever is well capable of making more than enough noise unamplified  and I have played solo on small DG box for rapper  without any problems. 

The essential ingredeints of unamplified playing are to get close to the dancers and if outdoors make sure the wind is blowing from you to them to carry the sound.

There is also the question of whether or not amplification detracts from the ''authenticity''  of a historic form of entertainment??

george >:E ;)
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2018, 01:09:36 PM »

I suspect the various morris organisations have digested the new licenses regs. and have a point of view and can advise.
The Fed was quite firm when the old regs were valid, and had a firm view on how to interpret.
Whether you need/want/should have amplified music is another valid discussion. Best to find out if it's actually allowed.

From Howard's link
" Exemptions: incidental music - music that is incidental to other activities that aren’t classed as regulated entertainment  ...."
It is arguable whether morris is regulated entertainment.
In most cases I'd say 'not'  ;D
Q
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t-tone

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2018, 01:37:10 PM »

"Live Music Act 2012 Exemptions from the Licensing Act 2003

Morris dancing and other similar forms of dance

Morris dancing and any other similar forms of dance, such as maypole dancing, are exempt under the Licensing Act 2003, however, historically only un-amplified, live music that accompanied the dance was exempt. The exemption has now been extended to include amplified, live music and recorded music when used to accompany Morris dancing or anything similar."
---------------------------------------------
There are plenty of border sides using amps to good effect. Morris is evolving, although in the Cotswolds perhaps not so fast!
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2018, 01:46:09 PM »

In all the time I played for morris  I never used amplification   and  its use can sometimes just make the 'audience'  make more noise  whereas as John et al have said playing/singing quieter cabn actually quieten noisy punters!

a morris 'band' considting of box(s) fiddle(s) drum or whatever is well capable of making more than enough noise unamplified  and I have played solo on small DG box for rapper  without any problems. 

The essential ingredeints of unamplified playing are to get close to the dancers and if outdoors make sure the wind is blowing from you to them to carry the sound.

There is also the question of whether or not amplification detracts from the ''authenticity''  of a historic form of entertainment??

george >:E ;)

I completely understand where you are coming from on this, George but this has been extensively discussed by the side and, in the context of what we do we, as a side, are 100% happy that, having seen many, many sides in action and having tried amplification for the the last couple of years, this is how we want to do things, especially for bigger events. There are two outstanding issues. 1. Balancing the sound, this is exacerbated by the fact that our most competent soundman is still on his way back from China and 2.The logistics of carting stuff around. The solution of individual sound systems will address the second but may maka the first worse.

Interestingly, so far as I can tell, all the border morris sides in SE Cornwall and SW Devon are electrified to some extent for the big occasions and we think the approach is very successful.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2018, 01:49:07 PM »

"Live Music Act 2012 Exemptions from the Licensing Act 2003

Morris dancing and other similar forms of dance

Morris dancing and any other similar forms of dance, such as maypole dancing, are exempt under the Licensing Act 2003, however, historically only un-amplified, live music that accompanied the dance was exempt. The exemption has now been extended to include amplified, live music and recorded music when used to accompany Morris dancing or anything similar."
---------------------------------------------
There are plenty of border sides using amps to good effect. Morris is evolving, although in the Cotswolds perhaps not so fast!

Thank you T-Tone. Maybe Cotswold doesn't need to evolve in this sense but it is certain that other morris types are. It's the living tradition at work.
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Greg Smith
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2018, 01:54:38 PM »

One might point out that amplified music doesn't just travel a bit further than un-amplified, it normally carries a LOT further. Playing acoustic (two/three box players) at festivals, the only thing worse than having a stand next to an amplified side is having a stand between two amplified sides.

It seems to be normally sides with bands that feel the need for amplification. Often somebody has an instrument that really isn't suitable for outdoor use, mandolin, guitar or electric fiddle seem common. So they are mic'd up, and everyone seems also to feel the need to get an amp - maybe for the sound balancing described earlier. 

Maybe making the sound more directional rather than just louder for outdoor use might be a way to go.

BTW, making it difficult for other sides to perform - or simply reducing the number of sides who can perform at a festival because you need more separation (or are effectively hogging more street space) is not what I'd describe as evolution.

Different if you're on your own. 
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2018, 02:55:16 PM »

One might point out that amplified music doesn't just travel a bit further than un-amplified, it normally carries a LOT further. Playing acoustic (two/three box players) at festivals, the only thing worse than having a stand next to an amplified side is having a stand between two amplified sides.

It seems to be normally sides with bands that feel the need for amplification. Often somebody has an instrument that really isn't suitable for outdoor use, mandolin, guitar or electric fiddle seem common. So they are mic'd up, and everyone seems also to feel the need to get an amp - maybe for the sound balancing described earlier. 

Maybe making the sound more directional rather than just louder for outdoor use might be a way to go.

Edit: The ability to include instruments with less natural volume is one of the great benefits not a drawback.
BTW, making it difficult for other sides to perform - or simply reducing the number of sides who can perform at a festival because you need more separation (or are effectively hogging more street space) is not what I'd describe as evolution.

Different if you're on your own.

As far as I can tell, these are pretty non-issues at the events we are involved with.

I would be interested in what Q has to say, as a Cotswold musician. Last weekends Bovey Tracey Green Man Day is one of the ones I have in mind and we were both there. I may be wrong but, I think every border side had at least a bit of amplification, The only issue I found was competition from the "main stage" and we worked around that by moving 50yds, or so.

Among events we fancy miking (micing?) up  for are the Royal Cornwall show, Looe Music Festival, Polperro Festival and Widecome Fair.  I
can't see it being a problem at any of these. They are all amp heavy already.

Edit: The ability to include instruments with less natural volume is one of the great benefits not a drawback.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 03:03:04 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2018, 03:14:04 PM »

It’s mic, short for microphone, not mikrophone. 
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2018, 03:36:02 PM »

It’s mic, short for microphone, not mikrophone.

It looked like acting like a small rodent when I wrote micing (:)
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Greg Smith
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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2018, 03:39:55 PM »

wouldn't that me miceing?
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GPS

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2018, 03:52:45 PM »


Among events we fancy miking (micing?) up  for are the Royal Cornwall show, Looe Music Festival, Polperro Festival and Widecome Fair.  I
can't see it being a problem at any of these. They are all amp heavy already.


Polperro Festival must have changed a lot since I last danced/played there, then. Mind you, that was a fair few years back.

Graham
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2018, 05:42:54 PM »

Greg, I dance and don't play believe it or not!
I'm always viewing morris musician comments from the consumer angle  (:)

If you're at an event then I wouldn't think it's too much of a problem. If we're at a festival our music is often on stage and mic'd up.
I doubt it'd be much of a problem at the evening dance outs at a local pub. The only time anyone might get shirty is if, for instance, you dance at somewhere like Exeter where there are lots of shopping precincts. These are managed, we have to ask permission and they often have a security person hovering. Sometimes these people get 'over enthusiastic' and we have to know exactly where we can or cannot dance as they often try and push us on from areas that they have no jurisdiction over. In these situations  you might find a jobsworth demanding you turn off an amp..... therefore knowing your rights is a worthwhile thing.
Q
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2018, 06:43:45 PM »

Greg, I dance and don't play believe it or not!

... If we're at a festival our music is often on stage and mic'd up...
Ah, didn't realise.

21 Century Cotswold Morris Man

Over the years, I have noticed an increase in the number of Cotswold sides with bands and also those with amplifiers (generally the same). Seems good to be. I don't see what the problem is as long as it's all in "the best possible taste".

There are skills to learn, of course. Like the best way to spell mic'd
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Greg Smith
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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2018, 07:46:14 PM »

I'm speaking in my native tongue, don't forget you're across the border  ;)
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2018, 09:13:15 PM »

I'm speaking in my native tongue, don't forget you're across the border  ;)

Forgiven   ;D
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Greg Smith
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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2018, 09:29:53 PM »

 ;D
Thank you kind sir!
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Thrupenny Bit

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Rob2Hook

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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2018, 02:37:01 PM »

Not a problem for Border but I remember playing for North West during the ceilidh interval and our band was mic'd up on stage.  I was layer told that it sounded really good to the audience, but the dancers couldn't hear us at all as they were wearing clogs on a wooden floor!

We did do a French festival with the Border side and we were again mic'd up - almost entirely a Pokerwork band.  Other acts included Arab dancers, African dancers and various French styles.  I'm sure the audience were never expecting anything like English Border, it made quite a contrast and the band ensured the bar made a profit.

Rob.
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Re: Your own amp for border morris dance outs
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »

I'm speaking in my native tongue, don't forget you're across the border  ;)

Forgiven   ;D
And I'm across the border t'other way so I don't understand either of you!  >:E
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