Had a gig last night at a pub we've played a few times in the past but is now under new management (the gig was booked through the previous landlady but management informed us they would honour the bookings) and when we'd finished our playing I, and our singer, approached the bar staff and asked to see the manageress about being paid and it went downhill from there.
We were left standing for about five minutes before I reminded the barman what we were waiting for, he told us to go to the other end of the bar where the manageress was standing, so off we trotted.
She asked us "who was it that booked you?" (knowing full well it was the previous landlady)
Then "well the booking wasn't made through me... I don't really know much about it..." - more head scratching and delaying.
We played along, showed sympathy, but in our minds thinking 'just f***ing pay us'!
She then told us our booking wasn't in the diary, as she did this she thumbed through said diary only to land on last nights date and there we were, in black and white, listed as entertainment.
So back to the 'I didn't book you' line of denial.
I then said that we had been booked last December, had contacted the pub three weeks earlier, had delivered posters, had contacted the pub to discuss fee - I always do this via text or email to have a record for this eventuality - and if she was unsure who had booked us or who was paying for us why had she not asked us when we arrived three hours earlier?
At this her partner/boyfriend/husband came up (a big fella standing a good 6ft 5" and probably 19st in weight) and asked her when the lady who booked us was coming in.
By this point I was ready to pick up a bar stool and introduce it to the optics and glasses in the bar, and if the police came, so be it.
So more head scratching, heavy sighing by our singer, dirty looks between me and the boyfriend, and then suddenly she resolved that she was going to pay the fee.
The whole conversation took 30mins from the moment we approached the bar.
I've since learnt that last night's manageress (and her co-manageress) left last night, it was their last night before a new landlord takes over today.
I wonder if our fee was her intended 'goldne handshake'...?
Needless to say we won't be playing there again, unless we get the fee upfront.