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I Hate Gigging!


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41 minutes ago, ubit said:

Every pub would have live music still if they didn't have to pay the band. If the band were handing round a hat for their only income pubs would be falling over themselves to allow you to play. It's the fact that pubs are expected to pay that means they won't hire bands. They just think it's not worth it and if they are making a decent amount in bar meals alls good.

I don't know if I completely agree about bands not being worth it as long as they can sell meals. I've been putting a Jazz trio in to a few restaurants and bars, and everytime we play, the place is rammed and they make more money than they normally would on that day, despite me charging more than the average pub band. The last one I did was fully booked within a day of the gig being advertised.

These places know that it's worth it to have live music.

 

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Our problem isn't pubs not knowing we can pull people in, our problem is the number of pubs shutting.

I live in a small town, two of our regular (ie, places we were playing once a month) pubs have now shut down, one permentantly, and another 2 every 3/4 month places have shut. So we are travelling further out.

On the plus side, another pub that closed ages ago has just opened again, bucking the trend and we have a gig there soon.

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

We've just lost 20 or so gigs after a falling out with the venue which had us booked through to the end of the year and I'm gutted. IME with the band I've done most gigs with in the last decade, the poor gigs are few and far between, even reading some of the grim stories above I'd still persevere, tho as I say, some notable car crashes aside*, that's not been my experience with this band...

 

 

* And mostly due to external factors, like the agent that mis-booked us (a guitar/acoustic trio) as a 7-piece soul band for a NYE gig once...

Awww that is gutting - feel for you! A residency at a decent venue for decent pay is worth its weight. What happened? 

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3 hours ago, leroydiamond said:

Pretty much agree with your comment. Do you still pick up the bass at all?

Yes. I'm writing / rehearsing most weeks with my new (actually about 2 years old now minus interruptions) originals band. Now that Covid is settling down a bit, we should actually be able to get out and test the waters. First "gig" which is actually a small Festival in my garden with another couple of bands (or in my barn in the weather's bad)  is in 9th April. 

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I haven't gigged for a long time now, but definitely went through the same cycle a few times:

 

1. bored playing solo, miss playing with others

2. find a band

3. have great fun jamming/rehearsing

4. gigging, dealing with huge amount of time spent in cars, setting up/tearing down, uninterested crowds/venues, poor sound, tiredness at work next day, etc.

5. getting fed up with it all and thinking I'd rather spend 6 hours playing/practicing than 5h30m dealing with all of the above just for a 30m set

6. go to step 1

 

I think I'd honestly be happy stopping at step 3 and just find some nice people to play with, with no intention of gigging. But that never seems to be very easy, most ads/social sites seems to be full of people super eager to rush out and gig ASAP. 🤷‍♂️

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There's good gigs and bad gigs.

 

I've played a Blues set in a bar full of numpties and gone down like cold sick.

 

I've played the same songs at a Blues festival (where people have paid to see the band) and received a standing ovation.

 

There's two reason why a gig is bad, either your band is rubbish, or you're playing to the wrong audience.

 

If your band is rubbish, it's probably time to call it a day.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, gjones said:

There's two reason why a gig is bad, either your band is rubbish, or you're playing to the wrong audience.

 

 

Back in the 90's we played at a party. We were very popular on the scene at the time and this is why the girl  booked us. There were about 40 people at this party including about a dozen little kids. The whole gig was these little kids sliding  across on the wooden floor of this hall that we were playing in. The girl was very slow in paying us and I later found out she said we didn't do enough to get people up dancing.

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12 minutes ago, ubit said:

 

 

Back in the 90's we played at a party. We were very popular on the scene at the time and this is why the girl  booked us. There were about 40 people at this party including about a dozen little kids. The whole gig was these little kids sliding  across on the wooden floor of this hall that we were playing in. The girl was very slow in paying us and I later found out she said we didn't do enough to get people up dancing.

Sounds like my last gig. Booked on for someone's birthday at a family friendly do in the afternoon. Kids running around everywhere. We got asked to announce could parents please get kids off the dancefloor so the adults can dance. It didn't really work, it just emptied the dancefloor for ten minutes. Birthday boy showed up for the last two songs and for us to sing happy birthday to him.

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That all goes with the territory. Problem is if you only do two gigs and one is rubbish then 50% of your gigs are rubbish. The more gigs you do, the more you'll understand whether what your playing is what people want to hear and you're just getting the odd duff audience, or whether it's the other way round. 

 

As I wrote earlier, if you're playing Dad Rock, all you'll get is Dads standing at the bar watching and drinking. 

 

If you play modern pop, you'll get a younger, keener more energetic audience. 

 

If you are dead set on only playing music you enjoy, the only person who will enjoy the music is you. 

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7 minutes ago, TimR said:

If you are dead set on only playing music you enjoy, the only person who will enjoy the music is you. 

 

If you play music that you don't enjoy, then you will be incredibly unconvincing onstage and will be mediocre at best. 

 

There is an audience out there for most types of music (if you're good enough). It's your job to find your audience. 

 

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33 minutes ago, ubit said:

The whole gig was these little kids sliding  across on the wooden floor of this hall that we were playing in.

 

My last group was killed by a gig like that. Community centre, barbeque outside, shiney floored room inside, bar further back. Did a set to a load of kids sliding across the floor, and one woman who kept asking for ZZ Top as it was her wedding song. When we decided to ask her what so we could busk ZZ Top, she couldn't remember what the song was, so we did sharp dressed man and she wandered off.

Did a few more gigs but the guitarist was thinking about doing his own stuff, and that tipped him over the edge

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5 minutes ago, peteb said:

 

If you play music that you don't enjoy, then you will be incredibly unconvincing onstage and will be mediocre at best. 

 

There is an audience out there for most types of music (if you're good enough). It's your job to find your audience. 

 

 

That's obviously not true at all.

 

Playing music only you enjoy, by definition isn't going to appeal to a whole audience. And is completely  different to enjoying the music you are playing. 

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1 minute ago, TimR said:

 

That's not true at all.

 

Of course it is.

 

I've been doing precisely that all of my gigging life and I'm not the one play lowest common denominator stuff I don't like, nor am I playing to disinterested audiences. 

 

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1 minute ago, peteb said:

 

Of course it is.

 

I've been doing precisely that all of my gigging life and I'm not the one play lowest common denominator stuff I don't like, nor am I playing to disinterested audiences. 

 

 

You're playing music no one else enjoys listening to? But people are enjoying listening to it?

 

I think that you are missing something there.

 

Either you are playing music other people do enjoy listening to, or your audience are faking enjoyment. 

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30 minutes ago, TimR said:

If you are dead set on only playing music you enjoy, the only person who will enjoy the music is you. 

I wouldn't go that far as I'm sure some other people broadly share my musical tastes, but I agree with the point that you've got to think about what your audience wants.

 

An over 50s dinner dance isn't going to want to the same set as a packed sweaty city centre pub on a weekend. I've done both sorts of gigs with the same band, and you just adjust your setlist accordingly.

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26 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

You're playing music no one else enjoys listening to? But people are enjoying listening to it?

 

I think that you are missing something there.

 

Either you are playing music other people do enjoy listening to, or your audience are faking enjoyment. 

 

Are you doing this on purpose?? 

 

There is nothing to say that no one enjoys listening to the music you want to play, providing you are reasonable and tailor your set to an existing audience and don't go out of your way to find something that no one apart from you likes. However, if you are not playing Mustang Sally, Sweet Child O'Mine, the Killers or the sexy fire song you may find that your audience is not going to be in the chain pub on the main street of a city centre and you may have to search out suitable venues further afield. You may also find that there are a number of very good bands playing the same sort of music, are competing for these gigs in those venues appealing to a relatively smaller audience. 

 

Edited by peteb
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I think there's some confusion here between "ONLY playing music you enjoy," versus "playing music ONLY YOU enjoy."

 

Clearly a different point.

 

Every gigging muso has probably got songs in the set they don't enjoy playing but which go down well (which is itself enjoyable anyway).

 

That's not the same as solely playing something so obscure or inaccessible that you are literally the only person able to enjoy it. That would be daft.

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2 minutes ago, bassbiscuits said:

That's not the same as solely playing something so obscure or inaccessible that you are literally the only person able to enjoy it. That would be daft.

 

Metallica...! 

 

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The point being that Metallica started out playing something completely obscure and inaccessible (at the time) that had no audience. Then they and a few like-minded bands inspired by them, went out and created an audience. 

 

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I Have played songs I don't like and as long as people were dancing and enjoying themselves I enjoyed it too. The fact that they were dancing proving that we were playing the song/songs well.

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2 minutes ago, peteb said:

The point being that Metallica started out playing something completely obscure and inaccessible (at the time) that had no audience. Then they and a few like-minded bands inspired by them, went out and created an audience. 

 

I guess for us mere mortals who aren't at the white hot core of a new wave of music, it depends then if you're looking at getting regular paid work doing songs you can tolerate, or playing largely for free doing obscure original material.

 

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6 minutes ago, bassbiscuits said:

I guess for us mere mortals who aren't at the white hot core of a new wave of music, it depends then if you're looking at getting regular paid work doing songs you can tolerate, or playing largely for free doing obscure original material.

 

 

Pretty much. 

 

Or you can play genre specific covers that you like, appealing to an audience who also like that type of music. Or you can play in a tribute band (something that I seem to be doing a lot these days). 

 

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7 minutes ago, peteb said:

 

Pretty much. 

 

Or you can play genre specific covers that you like, appealing to an audience who also like that type of music. Or you can play in a tribute band (something that I seem to be doing a lot these days). 

 

True but even playing genre specific covers and / or tribute band material involves playing some tunes you don’t like, but they are there for the audience’s benefit. 
 

I think everyone has some music they don’t like but as long as you can tolerate it in an otherwise enjoyable and lucrative band it’s ok. 
 

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36 minutes ago, bassbiscuits said:

True but even playing genre specific covers and / or tribute band material involves playing some tunes you don’t like, but they are there for the audience’s benefit. 
 

I think everyone has some music they don’t like but as long as you can tolerate it in an otherwise enjoyable and lucrative band it’s ok. 
 

 

That goes without saying. To be frank, I think its worse with bands playing original material - I have never been in an originals band where I liked all the songs! 

 

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