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Stylon Pilson

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About Stylon Pilson

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    Berkshire

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  1. I'll be seeing Two Door Cinema Club at the Dome (yes, I know it's not technically called that, but the real name makes me cringe) on Friday night. I've actually never been to the venue before - I'm expecting the acoustics to be somewhere in the range between "unpleasantly boomy" and "inaudible mush". S.P.
  2. Aw, that must have been really frustrating after all the effort you put into preparing. I hope you got paid well, at least. S.P.
  3. Last night we were back at the same pub where I played my first gig with this band, just over a year ago. It was another great night, with a numerous and very vocal audience by the end of the night. Load-in wasn't quite as good as last time - there were no parking spaces on the road out front, so I had to park round the back which meant carrying all my equipment through the whole pub. Fortunately it wasn't too full at 7:30 and there weren't too many obstructions. Hollow wooden stage wasn't as punishing as last time, now that I have a little camping table to put my bass amp on. As always, I EQ'd for the room primarily. I suspect that my bandmates have a tendency to get louder during the course of the evening, as I had a guy come up to me at the end of the night saying that he thought my bass should have been a bit louder. What can I say, everything sounded nicely balanced when I was stood out front during soundcheck. I can also recommend this pub (the Maiden's Head, in Maidenhead) for those seeking alcohol free beer options. They stock Nanny State, Erdinger Alkoholfrei and Beck's Blue. S.P.
  4. I wonder whether it would be beneficial to have an "on hold pending sale" status as well. Then potential buyers know that it's, to all intents and purposes, no longer available, but it's easy to make it available again if the sale falls through. S.P.
  5. Microphone stands are a bastard and will do everything they can to ruin your day. Both in terms of visual composition, and pulling the attention of your auto-focus. Turn off the auto-focus assist lamp on your camera. It won't help at that distance, and will just annoy other concertgoers. When something interesting happens, mash the shutter button like crazy. You can pick out the best moment when you get home. Use full-manual mode. Lighting at gigs has a tendency to bounce about all over the shop, and if you're in aperture or shutter priority mode then your camera will be constantly playing catch-up. S.P.
  6. Here's ours: There's a telescoping tripod stand at each end, a horizontal bar along the top (which breaks down into four sections for transportation and storage), and then the backdrop fabric itself is in three sections, each of which is folded over and secured into a loop at the top so that the horizontal bar threads through it. S.P.
  7. Yeah, I once read someone say that when they were being paid for a gig, they adopted the mentality that the actual performance was free, and the cash covered everything up to the start of the first song and after the end of the last one (ie the transport, lugging gear, setting up and tearing down). Can't remember the exact source, but it's stuck with me, and it's an ethos that I've tried to hold to. S.P.
  8. With my current band, the responsiveness of the crowd can vary - most nights they're great, but occasionally we get a duff gig where they just don't get into it. The amount I get paid is generally the same from gig to gig. On the occasions where we have a bad night, I consider: I got paid Last week's gig was great, and I got paid for that one too I like the music we play I like my bandmates I only had to travel half an hour each way (we stay fairly local) If I didn't have all of these factors in play, then I can imagine that I'd take the bad gigs fairly hard. But with all of them combined, it's not too hard to take the rough with the smooth. S.P.
  9. Had a great gig last night at a venue that we were last at back in May, with an audience who were really up for it, with people dancing from the third song in the first set! This makes a nice change to the lacklustre audience last week. As I was setting up, I was initially worried that my new wireless kit was dodgy, as I was getting a huge amount of white noise coming through it. Eventually I figured out that I just hadn't plugged the patch cable in all the way! Doh! We had some technical issues during the first set, with sudden and terrifying feedback. I'm quite disappointed by my keyboard player, who was stood closest to the mixer, but seemed in no hurry to pull the faders down, rather standing there like some sort of dazed aquatic animal. The rest of us scrambled to diagnose it - I gave the lead singer my spare mic, as the feedback seemed to be being triggered when he spoke into his. Problem continued. I then gave him my spare mic lead - same. Tried a different channel on the PA - same. Eventually turning down the monitor volume fixed it. My suspicion is that the volume knob on his floor monitor got bumped and turned up a bit. The numbers in the room had (unsurprisingly) dwindled somewhat during the feedback incident, but we won them back in over the course of the next half hour. It was quite difficult to get a satisfactory sound in that venue. It's a fairly large room, and there's no PA support for the bass. I did what I always do, which is to go out during the room during the soundcheck (hooray for wireless) and dial in a decent tone for the audience. When I got back to the stage, it suddenly felt overly trebly, with every little string noise unbearable. I turned down the treble a bit for my own (and my bandmates') sanity, and had to accept that the bass sound would be a little suboptimal in the room. Interestingly, during the soundcheck, I also observed that the vocals initially sounded a bit muddy out front, but fine on stage, so I guess that there is something about that room that means that all the high end gets gathered on the stage and doesn't radiate well into the room. Meh. Our rehearsal on Tuesday was clearly very productive, as a lot of the songs that previously sounded a little concerning are now much tighter. I'm still greatly worried about our performance of Don't Stop Me Now though - it's lacking some crucial energy, and I can't for the life of me put my finger on what's to blame. S.P.
  10. Check all of your equipment. Check that it all works, and make sure you have everything packed and ready to go well in advance. Have some sort of a system, so that when you're gathering all your stuff up at the end of the night, you'll notice if something is missing. Make sure you're well hydrated and fed (but nothing too greasy or heavy). Know where you're going, where you're planning to park, that sort of thing. Have "cheat sheets" with you, but hopefully you won't need to use them. Most importantly, smile and have a good time. S.P.
  11. Samson do a (now discontinued) wireless system. The "guitar" version uses the AP1 receiver, the "bass" version uses the AP1B. As far as I can see, the only difference between the two is that the AP1B has an additional "shape" option on the power switch. The specs in the manual are identical for both. Most other manufacturers' wireless systems don't seem to discriminate between bass and guitar. I posit that there is no reason not to use the AP1 (ie the non-bass variant) with bass. Can anyone think of any objection to this? S.P.
  12. Picking up on @rushbo's post about his sports holdall, I just want to share a little tip - it's good to keep your spares separate from the stuff you always use. I also have a sports holdall, and I subdivide the main space using "really useful boxes". The bottom layer contain my spares, and generally don't need to get touched. The top layer contains the things I do use, and get emptied out at every gig. S.P.
  13. To me, Ben Folds Five will always be the quintessential guitarless three-piece rock band. S.P.
  14. Well, if they didn't notice any difference when your faux-guitar came in, then that suggests that adding a guitarist wouldn't have any noticeable effect upon what your band sounds like. Maybe you can put this theory to them? S.P.
  15. Yeah, sounds the the band leader of the covers band doesn't want to be doing it any more. It may be that even if you were to suggest rebooting the band with only eager musicians, he wouldn't go for it. It may be that he wants to just play and let someone else handle the leadership role. In which case, perhaps he'd be willing to pass the leadership mantle to you, and continue in his current capacity as performer and gig-getter. Would you be interested in that? This is a really toxic situation. Normally, in an originals band, you expect most of the drive to come from the person writing the songs. I say, if the songwriter can't be bothered, then you shouldn't either. Whether you tell them or not, I think it would be most healthy for you to no longer think of yourself as being a member of this band. To be honest, it's likely that at least one of your bandmates is already in this mindset. S.P.
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