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redbandit599

Backdrops - worth it?

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Hi all

I find myself fancying a back drop (something else to occupy my mind rather than bass practice - yeah, I know :D..)

Never had one before in any of my bands and they aren't that common around my way, those that do are mostly originals bands (which makes sense.) So what do you guys think?

Pub/club covers band - we've got quite a decent logo worked up, but actually I kind of fancy something other than the band name. Maybe something a bit old school with UV paint and just as a proper backdrop/scene to make the Dog and Duck look a bit different. Work well with the lights etc.

So, anyone using one?

Are they worth the effort of lugging about?

What sort of size is popular/suitable?

How do you hang them (just pin them up and risk the landlords wrath or use some sort of frame?)

I have had a look at a few threads with recommendations of places to get normal type ones printed up already, but any ideas for something a bit different welcome. 

Cheers

Jason

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Advertising pull-ups work quite well, easy to transport, position onstage and no need for pinning stuff to the walls. Pretty cheap too- Vistaprint and the like do them. 

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IME the most important thing is that you have a way of being able to put it up that doesn't rely on being able to gaffa tape it to the wall behind the band. Also that it can be put up high enough to be completely visible over the drummer and backline.

 

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We bought one of these, 2m x 2m: https://www.rollerbannersuk.com/wide-premium-roller-banner/, thinking that 2m x 2m sounded quite big...

A 2m long aluminium cassette seems quite big when you’re trying to get it into the venue without smashing lightbulbs, knocking drinks out of punters' hands and so on, and 2m high seems quite big when you’re trying to put it up in places with low ceilings, lights, etc., but to be honest it looks possibly a little underwhelming when your drummer's sat in front of it.  However it is quick and simple to set up and take down, and I think the only viable and bigger alternative is a vinyl banner which will need to be attached to a frame that you have to assemble each time, and I can see that becoming old very quickly!

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As an aside, that photo reminds me perfectly of the gig - the hi hat stand was missing the bolt that locks the legs in place, so I spent the whole gig with my foot on one of the legs so the whole thing didn’t fall over!

Edited by Gottastopbuyinggear
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Probably essential kit for a working cover band to promote the band brand IMHO.

The cassette style one looks easier to rig than a separate vinyl & stands version? With the logo in the upper portion it can easily be seen above the drummer too. smart.

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back drop and drum logo.jpg

Essential I'd say along with a bass drum logo, and you need a stand of some sorts, pubs don't like you gaffa taping it to their walls

Edited by PaulWarning

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Very important tbh to have something,,not so much an issue with modern Led lighting, but backdrops should be fireproof and why not get a projector?  Can do all sorts then

 

Edited by Toddy17

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We spent about 80 quid on Ebay buying two pairs of photographic backdrop stands and a length of (lightweight) wide black cloth. We can now put up a backdrop right across the stage area (it is approximately the size of a football goal), pretty much wherever we play - if we need to. This was mainly done to play at a great club in Portsmouth that has a plain white wall behind the band and looked terrible in pictures/video.

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The Junkyard Dogs have a reasonably large logo banner on a lightweight stand, and the bass drum logo. We have been known to use gaffa tape to hang the banner on the wall, where space is too tight for the stand! :ph34r:

25311187_1923732814307112_28013147351049

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Hit and miss ,handy for punters to remember you if they stumble in by chance 

Not always space for one ,fold up reasonably small 

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3 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

The Junkyard Dogs have a reasonably large logo banner on a lightweight stand, and the bass drum logo. We have been known to use gaffa tape to hang the banner on the wall, where space is too tight for the stand! :ph34r:

25311187_1923732814307112_28013147351049

It's more about losing those windows etc with backdrops ,creating a stage .

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We've given up on that - most 'stages' are just a corner of a pub, and trying to create a decent background is usually impossible, so we concentrate on displaying the band's name for the punters to remember. We do use lights, however.

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4 minutes ago, jazzmanb said:

It's more about losing those windows etc with backdrops ,creating a stage .

Ah, now that's a whole noo thang.

If anyone in the Dogs suggested doing that I'd veto it like a shot. WAY too much work involved, WAY too many things that could go wrong, and at many venues simply not practical.

 

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17 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Ah, now that's a whole noo thang.

If anyone in the Dogs suggested doing that I'd veto it like a shot. WAY too much work involved, WAY too many things that could go wrong, and at many venues simply not practical.

 

? Get to gig ,look for spot ,across those windows for example ,put it up 

Not always doable of course but not a major hassle either way 

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I'm afraid I have to agree with jazzmanb here. All those windows back the background look cluttered and district from the band. Unfortunately that tiny backdrop only adds to the clutter. However I can also see the attraction of not having too many things to set up - especially things that don't contribute to the music/sound. IME if you simply want to get the band name about, putting out flyers on the tables is probably more effective than having a backdrop.

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We also have flyers on the tables! It's important to keep in mind that the Dogs are a pub rock cover band, and have no desire to look in their photos like they're playing Wembley Arena, when everybody knows most of the times it's the Dog and Duck (and that's how they like it!). :)

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10 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

We also have flyers on the tables! It's important to keep in mind that the Dogs are a pub rock cover band, and have no desire to look in their photos like they're playing Wembley Arena, when everybody knows most of the times it's the Dog and Duck (and that's how they like it!). :)

In which case I probably wouldn't bother with a backdrop at all.

Unless it goes up in seconds, takes negligible room in the band transport, and it's on-stage position doesn't compromise in any way the setting up of the band.

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I'm thinking more about something along the larger side to cover up the dartboard, meat raffle posters and other random pub stuff than trying to use it for promoting the band in particular.

I like the idea of a simple pattern on a black background that would look good under lights. Big enough to reach out either side of the drums and be behind myself  and the guitarist.

It's the rigging/ lugging  of it that makes me wonder if it is worth it.

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25 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

In which case I probably wouldn't bother with a backdrop at all.

Unless it goes up in seconds, takes negligible room in the band transport, and it's on-stage position doesn't compromise in any way the setting up of the band.

In fact, strictly speaking, that logo banner isn't a backdrop. And yes' it's easy and quick to put up. We do believe the band should be easily identifiable, so we try not to do without the banner. Showing the band for what it is, a pub rock band playing in pubs, in photos and videos is part of our marketing, for when we pitch to other pubs/small venues. So the logos are not just for the punters at that particular gig, but for future landlords and customers too.

8 minutes ago, redbandit599 said:

I'm thinking more about something along the larger side to cover up the dartboard, meat raffle posters and other random pub stuff than trying to use it for promoting the band in particular.

I like the idea of a simple pattern on a black background that would look good under lights. Big enough to reach out either side of the drums and be behind myself  and the guitarist.

It's the rigging/ lugging  of it that makes me wonder if it is worth it.

The immediate problem you hit in most pubs if you want to do that is that you'd have to use an awful lot of gaffa tape (which ruins the paint and/or the wallpaper etc.), move crockery and other decorative items to other places, interfere with curtains, aircon units, drop-down screens and projectors, you name it. The managers, while usually helpful, are not always as accommodating as you would need them to be in order to make the backdrop look perfect and be worth the hassle.

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We have one for The Wirebirds, but don't often use it as it is too much hassle! It is also too big for many venues but too small to be of much use.

 

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29 minutes ago, redbandit599 said:

I'm thinking more about something along the larger side to cover up the dartboard, meat raffle posters and other random pub stuff than trying to use it for promoting the band in particular.

I like the idea of a simple pattern on a black background that would look good under lights. Big enough to reach out either side of the drums and be behind myself  and the guitarist.

It's the rigging/ lugging  of it that makes me wonder if it is worth it.

In that case you are probably going to want  something large and modular so it can be adapted to fit venues of differing sizes.

The band I was in during the 90s had something like this made up of 3 panels each 9' x 9' black with the band logo/symbol (a stylised asterix/star) painted on in silver. This was supported on a home-made frame constructed out of tent poles. Depending on the size of the venue, we would put up the appropriate number of panels which would block out 90% of the clutter on the walls behind the band. The logo was positioned at the top of each panel and the frame was height adjustable so it would be visible no matter what the venue ceiling height was.

However it was a lot of hassle to set up and it had to go up before any of the other band equipment could be put in place, and consequently it didn't get used at half the gigs we played. Eventually several key components got left behind at a venue where there hadn't been time to put it up, and were lost forever. After that we had enough parts to put up a single panel, which did't really look that good so we stopped using it.

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I used them for a couple of bands in the 90s but haven't missed them over the last 20 years. In some venues they really lift the professionalism and as mentioned in other posts, they can look a little sad and cluttered. It wouldn't be my priority in 2018 but I don't have a problem with them.

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We use a vinyl banner which rolls up for transport.  The banner is fitted with brass eyeleys, and we have made some poles which are fitted with hooks.  The poles fit to the lighting stand and we hand the banner from them.  If we are putting up lights the banner takes seconds to put up.  The only issue is when we get squeezed into a corner rather than against a flat wall. 

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