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Bluewine

We Don't Play There Anymore

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Are there any venues ( clubs & pubs ) your band has decided not to play anymore.

If yes, please share your story and why the band decided not to play a specific venue or venues.

You don't have to reveal the venue name.

I think it will be valuable to some, to learn why we pull the plug on some places.

Blue

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I'll start.

First of all there are not many places we've pulled out of and decided not to play.

I can only think of 2 over the last 7 years..

1. Jimmy's, we stopped playing Jimmy's because of the distance. Too far to drive  ( an hour one way ) for what what we charge.

2. The Goose & Hog, we stopped playing there for several reasons.

   A. The hours, 9:30 - 1:30.

  B. We raised our rate and the owner could no longer afford us.

  C. To be honest the place was in a bad area. The neighborhood and clientele scared the hell out of me. Definitely not the kind of neighborhood you'd want your vehicle to break down in.

 

Blue

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We decided not to play a venue in Leicester again because the sound guy insisted that the PA must be run at 110% volume on all occasions, last time we played there we were forced to sit well away from the stage because it was painful to sit any closer....strangely the venue lost it's music licence a couple of months back following....yep, you guessed it....noise complaints from local residents!! 

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The W******y. When the owner says he can only pay you with burger and chips you know that it's time to say no thanks.

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There are a few venues but for us it`s more of a case of the types of events - the ones where there are 10 bands on an all-day bill, but where there`s nowhere to store your gear, so in effect the audience is 9 other bands and their guitars/drums as no other punters can get in. Other than that there`s nowhere that we`ve categorically said we won`t play again.

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We used to play a regular haunt that went through three management changes in 6 months , each time it went worse , to the extent that the clientele were all off there heads on substance that wasn't alcohol and the toilets were blocked and swimming in pi55 . 

It feels dirty when you know your pedals will be stomped on by my pi55 soaked shoes 

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A place that's now closed down but where we used to play a lot. 

Originally it was a good gig, with a decent reputation for live music and always pretty rammed. Over the years it changed hands, went downmarket and gained a reputation for dwindling audiences and messing bands around - wanted you to start earlier, finish later and play for less. 

On more than one occasion I turned up to find I'd been double booked with some cheap n nasty karaoke or disco.

I stopped booking gigs there and didn't play there for about five years, when out of the blue got asked to play a work Christmas party for a firm which had booked a room there.

It hadn't improved over the years at all. Still half full of sozzled all-day drinkers, and toilets you'd expect to see in Trainspotting. 

Never went back. It's since been sold, gutted and turned into a restaurant. 

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We used to have a regular place 25 miles away (I know a lot of you travel a long way but we don't). We had agreed pay with them, which was a little more than they paid the other bands by £60. Then one day we went to get paid after a gig and they had decided that we would get the same as everyone else, without telling us beforehand. So we argued but they wouldn't have it.

Then they asked us if they could book us for a few more gigs in the year. 

Other than that, the only other places that we dont' play any more are places where there is no audience. 

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One or two - we are a new-ish band so we don't exactly get the pick of the "good" places. But we're also all quite experienced so we're not going to keep digging a hole. We played a Chinese restaurant that was also a bar with live music. The average age must have been about 15. No point going back. 

A couple of others playing to two people. That sort of thing....

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6 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

We used to have a regular place 25 miles away (I know a lot of you travel a long way but we don't). We had agreed pay with them, which was a little more than they paid the other bands by £60. Then one day we went to get paid after a gig and they had decided that we would get the same as everyone else, without telling us beforehand. So we argued but they wouldn't have it.

Then they asked us if they could book us for a few more gigs in the year. 

Other than that, the only other places that we dont' play any more are places where there is no audience. 

Yeah, the no audience thing is a big one. First of all,  it's no fun.

 

We're so lucky, we don't have on stage talent collecting are fee.

We have a young lady that does marketing stuff, sells merch, and manages our web site. She also collects and distributes the money. She is very business like and a little intimidating. She doesn't mess around.

Blue

Edited by Bluewine

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6 hours ago, thepurpleblob said:

One or two - we are a new-ish band so we don't exactly get the pick of the "good" places. 

Neither do we. We still play some bad places, we just don't play the really bad places anymore.

Blue

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4 hours ago, Bluewine said:

Neither do we. We still play some bad places, we just don't play the really bad places anymore.

Blue

This - life is too short 😄

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One venue we wont play in again due to long and late hours (10pm -1am) low pay. When its busy/er its yobs on marching powder or its depressingly quiet due to yobs on marching powder.

Place i just played this saturday night.. considering not playing here again because....some silly billy of a neighbour buys house near to (not even next to) this pub and complains about the noise from bands. So the landlord, who without bands, hasn't got a buoyant business, wants it all kept turned down to the point its completely useless. Due to the amount of people screaming and shouting we end up at normal volume anyway by which time the levels are all over the place but doable. He has the best night of the year so far in takings, people in and out side the pub all night. At the end of the night the punters are making more noise than the band.  I just think, make a decision.... have bands on or dont. flip the silly billy thats complaining. Its not like we or any of the other bands are Ampeg 8x10 wielding metal bands. What used to be a great gig I looked forward to playing I now dread to the point I just dont want to play there anymore. He took 4k over the bar apparently. Bought us all one drink each at the end of the night. Which he announced after all but two band members left.  Was not happy about the fag butts in his garden he now has to sweep up though. Poor bloke.

Edited by bassjim

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A good music pub had a 'refurb', ending up with lots of shiny hard surfaces. Even without music the sound was piercing and unpleasant.

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There's a wedding venue up in t'th'hills round these parts that we're not going back to: it's a big wooden barn conversion with gaps in the walls you can see through, and 'actively negative' neighbours on the volume front* - none of them are particularly close, but it's quiet up there and I guess the sound carries.

Anyway, they have the most aggressive sound limiter I've ever encountered - our dep drummer at the time set her kit up, hit her snare once, not too hard, and off it went. We found it actually onstage. She then tried a rimshot...ping, off it went again. I walked up to it and clapped my hands...it went off. So we moved the kit to the far side of the makeshift stage, and started off at suuuuper low volume. There's nothing more depressing than being able to hear everyone's feet shuffling on the dancefloor, and people coughing, over the music. Still wasn't enough for the woman running the show - she was constantly on our case. The couple who'd booked us were desperately disappointed; ultimately, it's not a venue that can cope with amplified music, and really shouldn't have been advertised (or sold) as such.

To add insult to injury, it was early in the year, and the wind was blowing through the walls (see 'gaps you could see through', above) - there were four of those big tube heat blowers going full blast, but it was still freezing anywhere not in a direct line with them.

All in all, a nightmare of a venue...


* Can't really blame them, as they've been there long before the owners decided to make it a music venue.
 

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About a year ago, my old band played the St Moritz on Wardour Street, Landaan.  Our singer said it would look good on our CV.  Hmm.

Journey up was fine, got parked north of Oxford Street, half-mile walk to the venue (locked on arrival), easyish load in.  The venue is a basement (a warren of rooms) under a cheese/fondue restaurant.  It reeked of cheese, old beer, old sweat, old smoke and god knows whatever else.  It was like an oven in there.  Stage was maybe eight feet square - barely wide enough for a small drum kit, our amps were set up angled as there was no space and seven feet high (of course our singer insisted on standing on the stage).  There was an air conditioner (off, I mean why would it be on?) attached to the ceiling in the middle of the stage (cue head bumpage).  The venue didn't promote it, we didn't get paid (nor even offered a beer) but they asked us back.  Err, no.

I remember me and the drummer stopped at a McDonalds on the way home and for some reason I sniffed the upper arm of the shirt that I was wearing and it stank of cheese. 

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17 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

About a year ago, my old band played the St Moritz on Wardour Street, Landaan.  Our singer said it would look good on our CV.  Hmm.

Journey up was fine, got parked north of Oxford Street, half-mile walk to the venue (locked on arrival), easyish load in.  The venue is a basement (a warren of rooms) under a cheese/fondue restaurant.  It reeked of cheese, old beer, old sweat, old smoke and god knows whatever else.  It was like an oven in there.  Stage was maybe eight feet square - barely wide enough for a small drum kit, our amps were set up angled as there was no space and seven feet high (of course our singer insisted on standing on the stage).  There was an air conditioner (off, I mean why would it be on?) attached to the ceiling in the middle of the stage (cue head bumpage).  The venue didn't promote it, we didn't get paid (nor even offered a beer) but they asked us back.  Err, no.

I remember me and the drummer stopped at a McDonalds on the way home and for some reason I sniffed the upper arm of the shirt that I was wearing and it stank of cheese. 

I've been there! I went to see a friend's band play, and I was amazed that said friend didn't knock himself out while onstage, as he's about 6'4 and must have been chafing his head on the low ceiling. It's basically a smelly cave with overpriced beer.

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There's a venue we've played at a few times, a very small room above a pub. They always promise there will be a sound engineer and a PA but every time we turn up there's 2 knackered old speakers, a 4 channel desk, and one mic, stand and cable. We have to do the sound ourselves. If people turn up it's actually not a bad gig, but we really have to keep volume down so that you can hear the vocals which is very frustrating for me on drums. We all agreed we'd never do it again but I notice it's on the gigs list again for next year :(

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45 minutes ago, EliasMooseblaster said:

I've been there! I went to see a friend's band play, and I was amazed that said friend didn't knock himself out while onstage, as he's about 6'4 and must have been chafing his head on the low ceiling. It's basically a smelly cave with overpriced beer.

From memory, they had a couple of very bright LED lights on stage; the one on my side was under six feet from my face and if you looked forward you just got a face of red light.

This was one of the worst gigs I've ever played.

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Venue booked us for a Saturday night show. We're a slightly-harder-than-average pub rock band, think Queen and Greenday through to RATM, Sabbath, ACDC, that kind of thing. We show up and it's clearly a proper night club in a very wannabe geordie shore area. The 4 bouncers on the door are very courteous and nice, until I hear them telling a couple at the door that "it's ok until 9pm, then the bands are always stinky poo, but come back for 11:30 and it's always great". As we're setting up it's pop and chart music, everyone's dancing. We play the first set to silence and ambivalence, then the set break DJ has everyone up dancing again, followed by a second set of us being actively heckled, followed by the DJ and a dancefloor so full of people we have trouble loading the cars.

 

The bar owner said we were great, paid us £20 extra and tried to book us again. Miraculously, we couldn't agree and future dates. A mate of mine who works the doors around here says that apparently the owner is just insistent that he'll have the bands HE wants to hear regardless of the clientele.

Edited by Jack
Heh, profanity filter.
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The St Moritz restaurant is great for the lactose tolerant though. Eat yourself into a fondue coma!

I have fond (not really) memories of the Attic at bloody Accrington (who they etc). Third story venue with no lift - the load in was fine because you could come up the nice wide staircase, but after they opened the doors to punters you had to load out down the awful rickety fire escape covered with ice and god knows what else. 

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Social clubs. Although we can get them, and they pay well, we have decided to try and do some pub gigs. The money might be rubbish but the atmosphere cant be any worse than a half (or less) empty Social club on a Sat night.

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Don't forget the constant talking until the Bingo comes on... 😕

 

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1 minute ago, Muzz said:

Don't forget the constant talking until the Bingo comes on... 😕

 

Love the bingo, gives you a chance to get your dabber out!

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