The first time I went to a folk gig I was amazed to find that just as things were about to start a bloke got up on stage, said hello, told me who I was going to see, told me how long they’d play for, rambled on for a bit and then finished (eventually) with an unfunny story about the opening act. After the act had finished he got up again, asked me to clap and told me there would be an interval. He then repeated the trick before and after the headliner.
This experience has been replicated at any number of folk gigs since and I have still to see exactly what the point of it is. I know who I’m there to see, I clap as and when I feel it appropriate, not on demand, and I really don’t want to hear anybody’s unfunny and uninteresting anecdotes. In fact I’d go further. Comperes are not merely unnecessary, they’re an annoyance that detracts from the evening. And that’s just the so-so ones. Bad ones (and there are a lot) destroy atmosphere, drone on forever and often (at festivals) have done zero research about who they’re introducing in exchange for their free ticket. Rock bands don’t need this, never have. And nor do folk acts.