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StephenYork

How many songs?

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Hi all,

I think my band play far too many songs.

Doing some research with local cover bands recently and notice that some do very few songs on an evening and the same situation with a couple of bands I dep for. I find myself coming off stage and waiting for the other half of the set list.

My band put about 40 songs into an evening, this was cut down from about 50, bear in mind that we are not a function band and this is just local pub gigs. The band that I played for a couple weeks back played about 20 songs for the whole evening but still filled the same amount of time.

So my question to the people is, how long do you play for and how many songs do you do?

Edited by StephenYork

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45 mins then 1hr (ish , + or - 10 mins). That's enough - beer doesn't drink itself , you know ! Nowt wrong with having 100 songs , that way you can swap them about. I reckon we do something approaching 20 most nights from a hard core of about 30 and another 20 we could draw on. To be honest we often have a go at something just because we fancy it or hear it in the car on the way so it doesn't have to be something from a rehearsed list.I often tell folk we're the band that rehearses by listening to a car radio and that's the truth.

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Pub gig - 20 max, and that depends on the song lengths.

Proper function band... that's different. If you are playing from 7pm to midnight you'll need about 60 and some spares that people request, and so you can adjust the set as you see how the punters react.

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Two x 50 minute sets plus a three song encore = 31 songs (2 x 14 plus 1 x 3) in our current set. Goes from about 9 or 9.30 to 11 or 11.30 in most places we play. We have about 70 to choose from and tailor the set to what we expect the audience will like in that venue.

I wonder if anyone would be interested in listening to a band for longer than that?

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20-25 for a typical pub gig, like Dave said that usually equates to a first set of 45 mins and the second set around 1 hour. If we get a particularly unresponsive crowd and the money's rubbish we've played just 2x45 on occasion but that's rare.

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Most places would expect 2 x 45 as standard if you are the only act on

Sometimes landlords can be a bit demanding though so always best to confirm first.
We have a gig this Saturday and I have confirmed we do 2 x 45 mins plus about 10 mins of encores. The landlord said that's fine as long as we start at 9pm and finish at 12.30!!! That's one huge break in the middle

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11 first set, 12 second set. Up to 3 encores, but usually 2 at most.
We play for about 50 minutes and then an hour upwards. This is quite usual on the circuit we play.

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I feel the same.

We (The Hoots) are a covers band and we've added more and taken less out as we've gone on, and now we are up to Set 1 - 20 Songs, Set 2 - 21 + 3 encore songs. We do rattle through with little time between songs. We try to get people to dance and keep them dancing, especially in Set 2. This is in Set 1 about 60 mins and Set 2 about 80-90 mins. Pop & rock so all fairly short.

I suppose we give good value - but, to me, it feels rushed at times.

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Thanks for the replies.

I think we must be cramming them in then. We usually kick off about 9:30 and are finished about 12 with a 10-15min break.

About having spares, we have about another 40 songs in our back catalogue that we could call upon as we are constantly updating and developing the set. Usually with songs that we feel will go well or we fancy having a go at.

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Wasn't it the Ramones that said they knew they were getting better because the set that usually took them 45 mins was now only taking them half an hour.

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I guess it depends on the length of the songs you are playing. If you're doing covers of 2 min punk songs then you're gonna need a shed load more. We typically do 15 - 20 per set. From 2 x 1 hour sets in a pub gig up to 4 x 1 hour sets at after-ski parties. It sounds like you've got enough songs in your repertoire so it's simply up to your frontman to pace the gig to match the mood of the audience. If you think you're rattling through the songs too fast then maybe it's this skill that (s)he needs to look at?

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I think he has got a good feel for the crowd, It is probably more the case that we like to keep the gaps between songs to a minimum. Also we do a lot of songs that mash into one another without stopping.

I don't think the songs we are doing are particularly short, it's very 80s pop rock stuff.

I don't have a problem with it, just wanted to see what other people do.

Also what do you do if the pub is saying "more" but you have already played from 9 to 12, sometimes we give them a song or two but in other cases the landlord is telling us to play another half hour with no extra finacial offering. What do you do when this happens?

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We 're finding our gigs are running for nearly 2 hours. Normally take a break after the first 50 minutes or so but recently we've played straight through especially if the punters seem to be enjoying it.

There's about 30 songs in our 'squad' at the moment so i gues we end up playing 25 or so. It's nice to be able to rotate a bit. I think we'll probably stick with that number but introduce new ones regularly and drop ones we've got fed up with.

Any more than 30 and there's a lot to remember ;)

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In my cover band I have charts for over 100 numbers. We've done more if you include the rock and roll 12 bar type stuff.

We put about 12 numbers in each regular 45 min set and add on at the end if we need to.

Last Saturday we ran over by about 15 mins but we're seeing more gigs with a curfew (11 o'clock mostly) for the music. I guess that's down to complaints about late night noise.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1386070736' post='2295190']
Last Saturday we ran over by about 15 mins but we're seeing more gigs with a curfew (11 o'clock mostly) for the music. I guess that's down to complaints about late night noise.
[/quote]

We have seen more of this around, a lot of places must be getting complaints.
We also had the council show up to a gig on Saturday, had to run through the noise limiter, it cut us out because some guys were shouting to each other at the bar. We weren't even playing at this point!

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I think that one of my bands has not enough material, with about 28 songs (even though one of them is Comfortably Numb). The other band is rather better equipped with about 40, though I'd like to get that up to 50 for both bands.

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As alluded to in other posts it's not how many so much as how long you play for. A band doing lots of short snappy 60's or punk, rock'n'roll stuff are going to play more songs in 45 minutes than a band doing involved longer format prog or classic rock. Some songs get artificially lengthened if it turns into a crowd singalong etc.

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Just checking the Mrs sets she has just done for this Saturday and set 1 = 29 set 2 = 36
some will get dropped depending on the mood and who's dancing, But I do agree it is difficult maintaining a large number of songs. I have often envied (is that a word) bands that do the same numbers regularly and get really tight.
We have over two hundred listed on our website which results in some panic practise and a few bum notes when a booker lists what they would like on their night.
I now have two hours left tonight to re learn 7 Christmas songs :mellow:

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In my punk covers band we do a 45min set followed by an 60min set, so usually do about 42 songs. On New Years Eve we`ve been asked to do 3 x 45min sets so looking at about 55 songs.

I think it`s more about the time played than amount of songs though - we`re a punk band so 3min songs are the order of the day. i`m sure if we were prog-rock we could fit in 3 or 4 songs in the 1hr45 :rolleyes:

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We have about 40 to choose from depending on the drummer we use on any given night, but play no more than 25 ever...as 2 x 1 hrs is our
max set....

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As for overruns..this is why we are picky with the pubs we do.
We do a max of an 1 hr second set inc encores..give or take, so 30 mins on from that is just not an option.
If it isn't agreed beforehand, it isn't something we will do.

We aren't bothered about loosing a pub that would insist on that.

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