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My band takes allot of criticism because we bring full pa and lights into our bar/club gigs. We are a 70s style hard rock band with some blues as well.

We employ a full pa because we feel we have better control over our sound especially vocal spikes.

Many bands come into bar/clubs and have no more than guitar amps for vocals and don't mic anything and do just fine.

What are your thoughts?

blue

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Criticism from whom..? :huh: In a tiny bar, as a solo singer/guitarist, or if some idiot has let the PA amp slide out of its sleeve and smash on the floor (no, you don't want to know how I know this... :blush: ), I can imagine at a stretch getting by with an instrument amp, but to prefer that to a PA (there are many compact, simple to set up, models these days...) seems more than odd to me. To choose that route is odd enough, but to criticise those that do things properly is perversion. I can only assume, therefore, that it's a Yankee thing..? :lol: :P

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We use an LD soundsystems pa, it could be mistaken for a guitar amp but it has a tall stack of speakers on top, the other bands arent using something similar are they? its great for pub gigs but we pair it up with some mackie tops and a 1600 watt amp when needed.

Edited by stingrayPete1977
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Well, we get allot of the [i]"you don't need it"[/i] thing, which I understand. But they don't get the whole concept of control. And then some of it comes from a cost perspective. We are at that top of the scale for bar gigs, $500.00 bucks for a 4 piece.

Blue

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1405964491' post='2507035']
[i]"you don't need it"[/i]
[/quote]
It's not a case of need, is a case of [i]want[/i]

It sounds like they have a case of the green eyed monster.

Edited by r16ktx
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Most of the local pub/club gigs that I've been to have had a full PA with mixing desk and sound engineer (probably varying between 16 channel minimum up to 32 channels) and bands usually mix/share backline and we're talking about venues that accommodate a few hundred people. As far as I can see providing your own PA and lights included in the fee is a sign of professionalism and should be welcomed, unless of course the venue has its own decent in-house system.

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We quite often get the 'have you got enough gear' or 'how much more is there to come in' or " this isn't Wembley Stadium you know" type comments. It gets boring after a while but we have sussed out why they say it. We all turn up in the van at the same time and carry the gear in and although it can look like a lot of gear in reality we have no more than anyone else, as we're a 3 piece there's probably less.Most other bands turn up in their cars individually and carry in their gear over a period of time so it doesn't look as much.

We also use our own PA and lights, we know the system, we know how to get a good sound out of it and put on a good show and we don't trust anyone else to do it right. We also play at a volume suitable to the venue and in agreement with the promoter / landlord / social secretary, that's one of the reasons for a sound check isn't it?

Edited by bertbass
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I get the control thing, I've just never understood ridiculous volume. Infact I f***ing hate it. It ain't to do with getting old either. In my 30's..hated it when i was 17. If you are intelligent in a small room you can control your sound without massive PA. With eq and different channels on your amp etc......as long as there are no pricks in your band!....which is rare!

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I get pretty pissed off that a 3 piece Blues bands turn up with a couple of amps..the gtr twiddles all night
whilst the other two just do their thing...there is a nominal P.A which just about does the job and they
walk away with £70 each...for playing crap blues ...
Lights are things from another planet.

So, yes minimum effort .... and you wont ever find them playing anything bar a pub.. No wonder..!!

So yes... good that you try and make an effort to sound good..and lights never did anyone any harm.

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[quote name='HowieBass' timestamp='1405967395' post='2507077']
Most of the local pub/club gigs that I've been to have had a full PA with mixing desk and sound engineer (probably varying between 16 channel minimum up to 32 channels) and bands usually mix/share backline and we're talking about venues that accommodate a few hundred people. As far as I can see providing your own PA and lights included in the fee is a sign of professionalism and should be welcomed, unless of course the venue has its own decent in-house system.
[/quote]

Good point.

Interesting how there are these cultural differences. In Milwaukee only the clubs that cater to originals only have in-house PAs.

Blue

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1405969305' post='2507112']
I'm not saying this is the case here but most times I hear "we like to control our own sound" it translates to "we like to deafen the whole pub, probably empty it and make everyone drink in the pub a few doors up" :)
[/quote]

No not at all, we employ very low stage volume and one of the reason we use a full pa was to control the volume so that were not too loud.I see where your coming from, but for us it's the oposite.

Blue

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1405976581' post='2507228']
I get pretty pissed off that a 3 piece Blues bands turn up with a couple of amps..the gtr twiddles all night
whilst the other two just do their thing...there is a nominal P.A which just about does the job and they
walk away with £70 each...for playing crap blues ...
Lights are things from another planet.

So, yes minimum effort .... and you wont ever find them playing anything bar a pub.. No wonder..!!

[/quote]
Depends on how good they are mate…

A couple of years ago I played in a trio that pretty much answers your description above and had a great time. We were constantly busy, playing blues clubs and quite a few main stages at festivals, etc all over the country (from the South east to the Orkneys) – not that many pubs in fact! The guitar player has another trio now playing clubs all over northern Europe.

A pretty easy gig in that we had hardly any PA to lug around, the (few) rehearsals were easy with next to no harmony vocals to work out, etc. We just played our hearts out with no song every the same twice – real seat of the pants stuff but great fun! A three way split (along with loads of work) meant that we made a decent amount of cash, so what’s not to like?

Of course there is no hiding place in a band like that so you have to be able to hack it. Obviously it all stands and falls on n the guitar player, who is usually the singer and whose name is generally on the door / posters! It also helps if they have the personality and the stagecraft to be a good front man as it is very much them who carries the show...

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A couple of things... no one will lose money playing a blues gig round here, it is popular..or the bands can work very cheap..
but apart from the gtr who has to be..and generally is, very good, he and the band can't make it interesting enough beyond 20 mins
as he has done his beans on solos by then.
Quite afew Gtrs have decent CV's... and it still counts for a boring gig, IMO.
... if only they added keys or SOMETHING..

There aren't bands like The Hamsters around....

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1406014879' post='2507415']
A couple of things... no one will lose money playing a blues gig round here, it is popular..or the bands can work very cheap..
but apart from the gtr who has to be..and generally is, very good, he and the band can't make it interesting enough beyond 20 mins
as he has done his beans on solos by then.
Quite afew Gtrs have decent CV's... and it still counts for a boring gig, IMO.
... if only they added keys or SOMETHING..

There aren't bands like The Hamsters around....
[/quote]
As you say, it is popular in your neck of the woods so there must be plenty of people who don't find it a boring gig, even if it is not to your taste!

My main point is that it's nonsense to say that these type of bands will never get out of the pubs. You can play this type of music all over the world and there are loads of good gigs throughout Europe...

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There is plenty of work for the very good ones... so many towns across europe will have 'Blues festivals' but what I am saying is that 3 guys and no show generally aren't it.
But yes, you are right, not really my thing to play or watch if they don't get much beyond a 12 bar and a shuffle and the standard fare all night.
Had many a conversation with LL/venue who will say they love them even though they'll make no money on most..??
and it may even be a shame when compared to the 80's rock bands who can do no wrong.

Any band doing the Soul revue/Committments or a Ska band plus all the 80's classics don't have to work very hard either round here...

But. yes, the appeal/draw dynamic is an interesting one.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1406019214' post='2507474']
There is plenty of work for the very good ones... so many towns across europe will have 'Blues festivals' but what I am saying is that 3 guys and no show generally aren't it.

[/quote]
Three pieces do just fine at those gigs if they are good enough. An awful lot of SRV/ Rory fans over there (and over here)!

As far as what bands draw at what venues is just market forces at work. There are lots of 30/40 something rock fans who grew up on live music who don't bother with clubs anymore. Their idea of a good night out is a few beers and watching a band in a pub, hence the popularity of 80s rock bands in boozers. Likewise people will always want to dance and sing along to Commitments type bands or pop music from their formative years...

Edited by peteb
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