Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gareth

Playing for Nowt?

Recommended Posts

[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1471283778' post='3111838']
I want to come watch
[/quote]

£5.00 in advance / £6.50 on the door: tickets available from Catweazle Records in Ditchhampton, go round the back, ring the bell and ask for Nerys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1471289661' post='3111922']


For me it's a job. I won't play for free, I don't want to play for free and I can't afford to play for free.

Blue
[/quote]

If you were earning huge sums of money and living to a standard that required you to keep gigging then you would need to keep playing but from what you have said previously you could afford to work in a shop or a factory and pay your bills. I understand why you are better off playing because you enjoy it but you do have options at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1471293090' post='3111956']
Playing for nothing again this Friday :) really looking forward to it :)
[/quote][quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1471293090' post='3111956']
Playing for nothing again this Friday :) really looking forward to it :)
[/quote]I'm playing for measly pub money this Saturday - and equally looking forward to it , he he .

I reckon that the 'How was your gig last night' thread , needs to be split into 'How was your unpaid gig last night' , and 'How was your paid gig last night' .

What do you reckon Rob? He he

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='4stringslow' timestamp='1471213447' post='3111356']
Is this really so heinous?
[/quote]

Do what you want pal, I was replying to Blue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's simple supply and demand. Over-supply of bands, low demand for live music.

PRS research shows that a pub will add [i]at best[/i] about £250 to its takings if it hires a band. Some bands are so keen to play in front of an audience they'll be happy to get paid nothing. So if guv'nor can get a band for free then he's covered off his risk but he's not getting rich out of it. Basic economics, really and everybody's happy. Well, happy-ish.

Whether this leads to an overall lowering of standards to the detriment of the wider music scene is a matter of pure conjecture.

Edited by skankdelvar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. It's our constant need to pigeon hole and stereotype other people so that they fit into our nice cosy vision of the world.

We can all wax lyrical about how we would never play for money, or only play if we have a personal parking space right by the front door, or don't get in the car for less than £1k. But this is the Internet and I bet every single one of us has made an exception to our self imposed rules, if not, many exceptions.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1471251982' post='3111475']
If choosing to turn down a gig because the access is poor, the owner is a dick, the punters are keen on fighting and the vehicles are likely to be damaged during the gig makes me snooty I'll take snooty.
[/quote]
Word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1471295169' post='3111975']
It's simple supply and demand. Over-supply of bands, low demand for live music.

PRS research shows that a pub will add [i]at best[/i] about £250 to its takings if it hires a band. So if guv'nor can get a band for free then he's covered off his risk but he's not getting rich out of it. And if some bands are so desperate to play in front of an audience then they'll be happy to get paid nothing. Basic economics, really.

Whether this leads to an overall lowering of standards to the detriment of the wider music scene is a matter of pure conjecture.
[/quote]

Frankly, I'm not surprised the figure is as low as £250. That's probably why so many pubs are happy to give the gig to one-man-bands who will do 4 hours strumming and hollering for £60, a free Diet Coke, and a packet of Wotsits. Such gigs may be regarded as crappy, but to borrow a phrase from our friend Donald - I don't know, you tell me?

Anyway, in regards to how much trade is added by having a band play in your pub - £250 really wouldn't be worth the hassle, and I suspect it's more the case that their takings would be negatively affected by not having live entertainment, rather than a band propping up a poor week of sales.

Again it begs the question - Can you justify your prices? Because any landlord is going to have several objections, and you need to give good, hard-nosed responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='goingdownslow' timestamp='1471291952' post='3111944']


Yes, we get the picture, you are a professional rock bassman in Millwaukee
[/quote]

My band is not a professional band.

I don't consider myself a professional bass player.

I do play bass in a rock band in Milwaukee.

Blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[b]Professional[/b]
prəˈfɛʃ(ə)n(ə)l
adjective
1. engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as an amateur.
eg "a professional boxer"

You are a professional bassist. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1471295766' post='3111979']
No. It's our constant need to pigeon hole and stereotype other people so that they fit into our nice cosy vision of the world.

We can all wax lyrical about how we would never play for money, or only play if we have a personal parking space right by the front door, or don't get in the car for less than £1k. But this is the Internet and I bet every single one of us has made an exception to our self imposed rules, if not, many exceptions.
[/quote]

Agreed, there's always extenuating circumstances where I'll bend on some of my positions.

Blue

Edited by blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Rich' timestamp='1471296513' post='3111989']
[b]Professional[/b]
prəˈfɛʃ(ə)n(ə)l
adjective
1. engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as an amateur.
eg "a professional boxer"

You are a professional bassist. Sorry.
[/quote]

I think that's merely one element or possible criteria of the professional bass player.

Blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bassman7755

[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1471269929' post='3111679']
Do you not have a sense of what is right and wrong and fair?

People attending the festival are paying to watch bands. The bands aren't getting the money.

Is that fair? What do the people paying to watch the bands think of that?
[/quote]

I don't see how something can be "unfair" if all parties (band, event organises, staff, audience) knew the arrangements up front and agreed to take part on that basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parking is definitely an issue imo... As is the load in.
I don't fancy paying and parking my car 100 mts away.
Pretty much a deal breaker.. So the gig would need a lot of stuff going for it to do it. Having said that... Some make it worth it..

If the gig has the overall vibe of a hassle,, and then it is a pass.
My recent run of dep gigs make that point very clear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='bassman7755' timestamp='1471297419' post='3111996']


I don't see how something can be "unfair" if all parties (band, event organises, staff, audience) knew the arrangements up front and agreed to take part on that basis.
[/quote]

If they all know. Many people are surprised when they hear how little we get paid for a pub gig. Assuming we got at least £100 each. How many people at the festival actually know that the band isn't getting paid? Does the promoter stand up at the beginning and end and thank all the bands publicly for donating their time free of charge? I suspect this isn't always the case.

Transparency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1471298362' post='3112009']
If they all know. Many people are surprised when they hear how little we get paid for a pub gig. Assuming we got at least £100 each. How many people at the festival actually know that the band isn't getting paid? Does the promoter stand up at the beginning and end and thank all the bands publicly for donating their time free of charge? I suspect this isn't always the case.

Transparency.
[/quote]

Do you think they care?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1471296284' post='3111985']
That's probably why so many pubs are happy to give the gig to one-man-bands who will do 4 hours strumming and hollering for £60, a free Diet Coke, and a packet of Wotsits.
[/quote]

That was my business plan [i]last[/i] year. This year I'll do 5 hours hollering (no strumming, mind) for £50, a glass of water and some peanuts off the bar.

My opening number is 'Best Pal Ever':

[i]You. Hey you.[/i]
[i]Yeah, you.[/i]
[i]Look at my arm.[/i]
[i]Look at my fookin' arm[/i]
[i]Look at my arm.[/i]
[i]You're my best pal ever.[/i]
[i]Ever. My best pal.[/i]
[i]Fook off! Fook off! Fook off![/i]
[i]Gie us a fiver[/i]
[i]So I can get into the hostel[/i]
[i]Look at my fookin' arm[/i]
[i]You're my best pal ever.[/i]

Edited by skankdelvar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1471295169' post='3111975']
It's simple supply and demand. Over-supply of bands, low demand for live music.

PRS research shows that a pub will add [i]at best[/i] about £250 to its takings if it hires a band. Some bands are so keen to play in front of an audience they'll be happy to get paid nothing. So if guv'nor can get a band for free then he's covered off his risk but he's not getting rich out of it. Basic economics, really and everybody's happy. Well, happy-ish.

Whether this leads to an overall lowering of standards to the detriment of the wider music scene is a matter of pure conjecture.
[/quote]
Actually that is a bit of an over simplification and isn’t actually true.

Many landlords are happy to pay £250 for a decent pub band (even round here) that will keep the pub reasonably full, so presumably they are making money out of this arrangement. It seems that they can’t pay too much more and ensure that they turn a profit over a period of time (bearing in mind that they will get the occasional bad night due to crap weather or other competing local events, etc). However, the last thing the guv'nor wants is to put on awful bands that would play for free but then empty the pub - that's a sure way for him to lose money!

If anything, there is a shortage of bands good enough to play the better part of the pub circuit around here! One (pretty clued-up) landlord who manages an established and successful local live music pub has recently taken on another pub in the next town a couple of miles away and is trying to promote it as another music pub. Due to its proximity to his other pub, he did tell everyone that wanted to have a different roster of bands playing at his new venture. However, he just can’t find enough suitable bands, so he is now asking guys who play his other place if they want a gig there.

Edited by peteb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1471296904' post='3111993']
I think that's merely one element or possible criteria of the professional bass player.

Blue
[/quote]
I think that we have said before it is difficult these days to definitively define what makes a professional musician, but I would say that you are pretty much bordering on what I would call a pro player.

Edited by peteb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1471302019' post='3112047']
Actually that is a bit of an over simplification and isn’t actually true.

Many landlords are happy to pay £250 for a decent pub band (even round here) that will keep the pub reasonably full, so presumably they are making money out of this arrangement. It seems that they can’t pay too much more and ensure that they turn a profit over a period of time (bearing in mind that they will get the occasional bad night due to crap weather or other competing local events, etc). The last thing the guv'nor wants is to put on awful bands that would play for free but then empty the pub - that's a sure way for him to lose money!

If anything, there is a shortage of bands good enough to be a successful pub band around here! One (pretty clued-up) landlord who manages an established and successful live music pub around here has recently taken on another pub a couple of miles away and is trying to promote it as another music pub. Due to its proximity to his other pub, he was said that he was going to have a different roster of bands playing at his new venture. However, he can’t find enough suitable bands, so he is now asking everyone who play his other place if they want a gig there.
[/quote]
Thing is, Pete, few bands are operating at your level. Interesting story, though, and suggestive that there is a dearth of good bands in your area. Excellent news for you, though :)

As for landlords who 'wouldn't want to put on bad bands', over the years I think we've all known far too many landlords who were happy to put up with inexpensive but sub-optimal performances by amateur bands (I've been in some of them :lol:).

The reality is that if live music were as still popular as we like to think it is there'd be gigs seven nights a week and rammed boozers on every street. There aren't.

But by horrible coincidence it's never been easier to form a semi-competent outfit. Result, too many sub-pub-level bands chasing too few small pub gigs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1471304584' post='3112055']
Thing is, Pete, few bands are operating at your level. Interesting story, though, and suggestive that there is a dearth of good bands in your area. Excellent news for you, though :)

As for landlords who 'wouldn't want to put on bad bands', over the years I think we've all known far too many landlords who were happy to put up with inexpensive but sub-optimal performances by amateur bands (I've been in some of them :lol:).

The reality is that if live music were as still popular as we like to think it is there'd be gigs seven nights a week and rammed boozers on every street. There aren't.

But by horrible coincidence it's never been easier to form a semi-competent outfit. Result, too many sub-pub-level bands chasing too few small pub gigs.
[/quote]
The trouble is that virtually all of these landlords who are happy to put on poorer bands for less money are the ones that go out of business. Unsurprisingly, the guys who are prepared to do their homework and pay the going rate are the ones who do well.

Don't be too pessimistic about the live music scene. Decent live entertainment still holds an appeal for many punters and although there are not the audiences in pubs of ten or fifteen years ago, there is still room for decent bands to work regularly and pull good crowds...!

Edited by peteb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1471305361' post='3112058']
The trouble is that virtually all of these landlords who are happy to put on poorer bands for less money are the ones that go out of business. Unsurprisingly, the guys who are prepared to do their homework and pay the going rate are the ones who do well.

Don't be too pessimistic about the live music scene. Decent live entertainment still holds an appeal for many punters and although there are not the audiences in pubs of ten or fifteen years ago, there is still room for decent bands to work regularly and pull good crowds...!
[/quote]

:) I don't doubt for a moment there are decent bands and good crowds out there.

What I'm struggling to articulate (short of going into excruciating detail with multiple caveats and footnotes) is that at a certain level and in certain circumstances there are bands who would [i]like [/i]to be paid but end up gigging for free because some landlords and small promoters know they can get away with it.

The reason the promoters and guv'nors can get away with it is that (at a certain level and in certain circumstances) there are more bands than there are paying gigs. The reason there are generally fewer paying pub gigs is - as you say - [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]there are not the audiences in pubs of ten or fifteen years ago. [/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]The reality is that live music (well, live [i]rock band[/i] music) in neighbourhood pubs and small venues is a slowly declining sub-sector of the contracting 'hospitality' industry. If we want a glimpse of the future we might consider the small-medium venue circuit in Japan, specifically Tokyo. Almost every bar and club is 'pay to play'.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]If some or many of us place a higher value than money on playing to an audience (the experience, the 'exposure') there may come a time when playing for free will look like the cheapest option. [/font][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1471296904' post='3111993']
I think that's merely one element or possible criteria of the professional bass player.

Blue
[/quote]

it is only one element, but think it's one of the most important criteria.

by your own admission, you need to play music to pay your bills, and whilst you may enjoy it, it has become your profession... thus making you professional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1471312038' post='3112068']
If we want a glimpse of the future we might consider the small-medium venue circuit in Japan, specifically Tokyo. Almost every bar and club is 'pay to play'.
[/quote]

Most people already 'pay to play' their hobbies/pastimes/passion. Take golf (yes, take it right away please ;)), many of my friends pay very good money to play golf. They need all the gear and they need somewhere to play. It all has to be paid for and they're (presumably) happy to do so. Why is playing in a band different? We need all the gear and we need a venue and it all has to be paid for by someone. Perhaps the crucial difference is that we need an audience (well, it helps!) so the issue of who pays would seem to revolve around whether we need the audience more than the audience needs us. I suspect the poor rates of pay for pub bands is more to do with cheap supermarket booze than bands willing to pay for free because the audience is already being asked to pay a premium price for their beer, never mind the entertainment, and declining pub custom would suggest that people are increasingly unwilling to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='4stringslow' timestamp='1471335608' post='3112148']
the issue of who pays would seem to revolve around whether we need the audience more than the audience needs us.
[/quote]

I think you're on to something there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...