This page is for information which applies to all our Singarounds.
Our popular Singarounds are moving in March 2016 to the refectory in The Ivy House. This is the room next to the ballroom and can be reached either via the ballroom or from the pub garden. There is a bar in the room.
Unlike our ticketed events, the Singarounds continue throughout the year, including in December (when we have a Seasonal Singaround!) and during the Summer.
People often ask us what a Singaround actually is – or else they confuse it with a Singalong (hey, we’re not Chas and Dave ….) or an Open Mic evening (There is no mic! There is no audience! It is NOT NOT NOT Open Mic!)
So, read on ……
What Is a Singaround?
In short, a Singaround – well, ours anyway – consists of people – or sometimes small groups of people – taking it in turns to sing a song. Don’t stop reading there!! You don’t have to sing if you don’t want to!!
Our Singaround is very informal and participative – no mics, no lights, no audience, we sing for ourselves. And we don’t sit in a circle!
We don’t yet know how we’ll arrange the room at The Ivy House, where there will be tables and some chairs which can’t be moved. However, we doubt circles will be involved
What Can I Sing, Though?
You can sing whatever you like, but as we’re a folk club many people do sing folk or folk-influenced songs. If your song has a chorus or people can join in with it, all the better!
We do however ask that you don’t sing very long songs, unless you are Mike Waterson singing Tam Lin, which we can say with absolute certainty that you won’t be.
If you would rather people didn’t join in when it’s “your” turn, please say so before you start, we (probably) won’t be offended …..
Songs from any country or culture are welcome! We’ve had songs in French, German, Welsh, Hebrew, Norwegian, Gaelic, Hungarian, Japanese and many other languages.
We have also had everything from hard-core traditional folk/beautiful self-penned songs to Status Quo (sorry, afraid that was Nyge and Sue doing a rather poor version of Down The Dustpipe) via jazz standards, so feel free to let loose – within reason …..
We do prefer it if people don’t sing really hackneyed songs (we actually half-seriously banned Scarborough Fair for a bit ) but hey we are not the Singaround police. Well not usually. We did wince a bit at Where Have All The Flowers Gone We don’t think it was meant to be ironic …..
Every Singaround is different, depending on who turns up on any particular evening ! Because we don’t vet anyone – or what they are going to sing – this does mean that on some evenings you may not personally enjoy some of the singers or the songs.
We feel this is a small price to pay for having an inclusive Singaround where we hope that everybody feels welcome. It also means that the evenings are usually, let’s say, varied!
How Do I Know When It’s My Turn To Sing?
You put your name on the list when you arrive. The list used to be at the door of the room, however this may change at our new venue, who knows? We certainly don’t. Yet
The order of the names is the order of singing, unless the person has gone to the bar or the loo! We will call your name when it’s your turn.
If you want to sing later in the evening, please wait and put your name on the list later. It confuses everybody if you leave a big blank space on the list with your name at the bottom of the space!
We give people one song each until we reach the end of the list, then we start again, so if you are early you are more likely to get more than one song. If there are a lot of people, though, we usually only go through once. Confusing? Nah!
If you are using an instrument (see below) and that instrument is in a case, it is very helpful if you could make sure it is a) out of its case and b) tuned if necessary before your name is called
Can I Sing With Someone Else, or with a Group of People?
Yes, of course! If there is more than one person singing together, it counts as one song per group. However the people in the group can also sing a solo song if they want, but they also have to put their names on the list separately in that case.
Hope that’s clear, it certainly hasn’t been in the past
Can I use an Instrument?
You are welcome to accompany yourself on an instrument, but this is a Singaround, so not the place for solely instrumental tunes. Nor is it a session!
If you’re looking for a session, the Goose now supports a monthly beginner’s session, and if you’re more experienced, The Ivy House often has an Irish session on Tuesday nights and a French/Breton session on Wednesday nights. But I digress.
Can I use Words (Written, that is )?
Yes of course! Thought it’s always impressive when people don’t have to refer to words ……
When Does The Singaround Start and Finish? Is There a Break?
The evening will now start at 7pm PROMPT (see below!) We have decided to start earlier at The Ivy House so that if there are any under-age people who want to sing, they will have an hour before having to leave the pub. It will also mean that there’s an earlier finish for people who have work the next day.
The finish time will depend on how many people there are who want to sing.
We have a short break in the middle. But of course you are welcome to come and go to the bar as you please during the course of the Singaround!
Please try to arrive for 7pm. We found that people were turning up later and later, which meant we were starting later and later, and so it went on.
We are now going to start at 7pm whether there are only a few people there or not. Otherwise it is not fair on the people who make an effort to be there on time.
I’m Worried Everybody Else Will Be Better Than Me
Yeh, you and most of us! Really, don’t worry. Some people who come have been singing for years and are very experienced. Others have never sung in public before. Others have but are still terrified every time. Some people hide it better than others ….. It’s like anything, it gets easier the more you do it. You’ve got to start somewhere …..
I’d Really Like To Sing at a “Proper” Goose Gig in Front of an Audience!
Well, you can always come and do a floorspot at one of our club nights.
We don’t vet our floorsingers, but we do ask that you feel that you are ready for and capable of singing in front of a paying audience, and that you can do it without referring to words – on paper or a phone!
A number of people have gone on to get “proper” booked gigs with the Goose after first coming to our Singarounds or doing a floorspot – we’re always on the lookout for talent!
In fact, you are more likely to get a gig quickly this way, as we usually have a massive backlog of demo CDs to wade through. Please don’t be offended if you don’t, though. We only run nine club nights and nine concerts a year (with occasionally an extra one-off event), and we can’t book everybody!
I Don’t Want To Sing At All!
If you want to come and just listen, of course that’s absolutely fine too – we don’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable, or feel that they have to sing. You don’t! Though we hope if you’re a bit shy that at some stage you’ll give it a go! And of course we hope that you’ll join in the choruses (though you don’t have to, obviously!).
Do I Have To Pay To Get In?
There is no entry charge for the Singaround, and we take no money on the door. For a long time, our Singarounds were completely free. However we do now pass a hat (actually a bag!) round at the break.
We have a suggested donation of £2 to cover our expenses and to help keep ticket costs down at our ticketed events. More is welcome, of course 😀
We do not want to exclude anybody who genuinely cannot afford to donate, so please feel free to give whatever you can afford – or nothing. All we ask is that you don’t take money out of the bag as it’s going round 😀 Oh, and we don’t appreciate foreign coins, either, mostly because we never go abroad and it makes us jealous
We have put together some songs which we and others have sometimes sung at the Singarounds and which we think are good tunes, and here they are if you want to print them out – first the titles and then the songs!
We haven’t included page numbers in case we want to add any more in the future – but they are all in alphabetical order, so you should be able to find them easily once you have the titles – we hope!
They’re in Word document form (.doc) at the moment but when we get a minute we will try to turn them into pdfs in case that is easier for people to download.
The Ivy House is fully accessible and now has a disabled loo (ask us for details if you can’t find it).
The Ivy House does not serve food on Sunday nights.
We may occasionally have cake (thanks, Jane!) or mince pies (thanks, Hannah!), for example at Christmas or birthdays, but they will be distributed at a suitable point such as a break!
Sadly we can’t believe we have to say this to our lovely Goose people, but hey unfortunately it seems that we must …..
If you bring your own drink into our venues, not only is it extremely rude to the pub who is providing the room but it may cause them to lose their licence – and us to lose another venue.
Anybody who we or the bar staff find drinking drinks (or possessing drinks which in our opinion they intend to drink at the Singaround) which have not been bought at the bar will be asked to leave, and will be permanently banned from all Goose events