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I'm in a quiet spot at the moment between bands. Touring with Stray kicks off in September, last gig with pub covers band was end of May I think - I have two deps in August. I thought I'd be crawling the walls by now but I'm absolutely not. Loving going to bed at a reasonable time on fridays and saturdays and not having a big chunk of my weekend taken up. Not missing mixing with steaming coked up drunks or trying to convince the best man's misses that we don't allow punters up to sing!! I'm really lucky to be stepping my game up soon and really looking forward to playing to people who are paying to see us and will hopefully treat us with some respect!

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I love it, and yeah, it’s why I play...always has been. The downsides can weigh a bit heavier now I’m older, but they can be addressed.

While avoiding the drunks can be hit and miss (despite vetting bookings), with some thought (and expenditure), we’ve got the lugging down to very, very little (three trips to the car for the three of us and we’re done), so the heavy lifting’s gone, and we’re 30 mins to set up and soundcheck, and less to break it down and get it packed away.  That helps a lot, especially on a three gig weekend like this one, followed by a 6am alarm for work tomorrow morning...

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Posted (edited)

I am an introvert too and I'm sure I would feel stupid to play in front of people. Moreover I hate all the "promotion/networking" part of being in a band. I find all this stuff awkward and somewhat grotesque. 

If I will ever happen to gig (grudgingly) it will only be my drummer's desire, because he worked hard and he deserves it.

Edited by oZZma
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2 hours ago, chris_b said:

Pretty early on I realised that the gig is the only reason I play bass.

It's not why I picked up the instrument. After that first gig I was traumatised, but after the second gig I was hooked. The bigger the audience the bigger the buzz when you get it right. Trying to be a better musician and come together and excel as a band is the challenge and when you get it right there is no better feeling. When an audience is enjoying itself and you know that's because of you, it just brings a smile to your face.

The journey, the idiots you meet, the miles you have to travel, unsocial hours, the years of practice,  getting ripped off, cheated and treated badly by agents, managers, promoters and other band members etc. . . all fades away if you get those few hours on stage right.

Same for me Chris, I can take or leave the rest of it but would find it difficult to give up gigging.

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2 hours ago, chris_b said:

Pretty early on I realised that the gig is the only reason I play bass.

It's not why I picked up the instrument. After that first gig I was traumatised, but after the second gig I was hooked. The bigger the audience the bigger the buzz when you get it right. Trying to be a better musician and come together and excel as a band is the challenge and when you get it right there is no better feeling. When an audience is enjoying itself and you know that's because of you, it just brings a smile to your face.

The journey, the idiots you meet, the miles you have to travel, unsocial hours, the years of practice,  getting ripped off, cheated and treated badly by agents, managers, promoters and other band members etc. . . all fades away if you get those few hours on stage right.

Yay! We may have differed over the years on our view on gear, although I suspect we've ended up a lot closer on that score, than either of us would care to admit - lol! But on this point I'm 110% with you, Chris.

For me that feeling of being most 'alive' is when I'm playing bass to an appreciative audience with great band mates. 

2 hours ago, chris_b said:

Depends why you picked up a bass in the first place. Maybe people should have played golf instead.

... and it certainly beats golf 😂

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Personally I love gigging. I was getting a little jaded around 1999 / 2000 so I stopped, took a 4 year break and came back to it with a vengeance. I love it now more than ever before.

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

and it certainly beats golf 

Everything beats golf...

Apart from a colonoscopy with a red hot poker!

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Comparing the actual pa and back line to what is was years ago it’s a doddle nowadays.

PA is lightweight gear/powered 2 x tops, 1 x sub, passive desk verses 2 x tops, 2 x large bass bins, power amps, crossover, desk.

Personally my back line is Markbass verses a large stack of really heavy Trace Elliot stuff a few years ago.

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10 hours ago, BassBus said:

It wasn't intended as a plug, honest Gov. 😄 

 

Oh well, if you insist...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4vFv6-gg4sDK0K8YK770sA?view_as=subscriber

That'll be an even bigger audience that's not really interested. Now back on topic.

Well I've subscribed too. I'd rather listen to someone else play than myself. 😂

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9 hours ago, TimR said:

Over the years we have reduced the amount of gear we take to gigs and always set up the same way. If it takes longer than 45mins to get in and 45 to get out then something is wrong. 

We all carry the gear in, amps go straight into place and guitarist and I set up PA and lights while drums are set up.

One secret is to have multi-way extension leads of varying lengths laid out first thing and know how many sockets you need where. Nothing worse than everyone asking if they can use this socket or where can they plug in and trying to rearrange cable runs. 

Cheers TimR

Good advice there. 

We're a new band and still finding out feet and I must admit that setting up really stresses me out. In fact the whole apprehension of gigging stresses me out. I find I'm like a bear with a sore derriere before a gig. 

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I don't hate gigging per se. I gig in a 70's/80's disco-funk, a staus Quo tribute band( we were a question on the chase) and a trad Irish band. Love it all until!

  1. I'm so busy at work I cant prepare properly
  2. The venue ( even though we have a checklist) lie about the capacity and quality of the venue
  3. some tw*t of a sound guy tells me stupid excuses for their lack of knowledge e.g. " Yeah the subs are under the stage and like it resonates and like that's why I push more mids through your wedge"
  4. Punters get twisted and start thinking they own you.
  5. lack of respect from gaffers, they take ages to pay or you have to chase them around the venue.
  6. Basically, there's a Fu**in huge chasm between being pro and a weekend warrior. 

It's still my choice to put myself through this sh*t. I just hope I recognise the time to knock it on the head.

 

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Having read some of the responses I now feel like a bit of an imposter and maybe realize how lucky I am / we are. 

A bit of background. 

Our band are all UK expats now living in Bulgaria. We don't earn any money from gigging. A monthly salary here in Bulgaria is about one sheckle, three grotes, and a salted peanut if you do plenty of overtime. So we're definitely not in it for the money. In fact any money we earn from gigging is given to charity. We also don't have the hassle of getting gigs. We have a manager who does all that for us. When I say manager, I mean a drinking pal who doesn't play an instrument but wanted to be involved in the band. The biggest problem is he's probably too good at it. We're in a position that I suspect many bands would envy. We've got gigs coming out of our ears. We've gone from playing our first ever gig about 4 weeks ago, to being booked up every weekend until a fortnight after I die. Including 2 festivals coming up in the next 3 weeks, having never even played on a "professional" stage in my life. We also have the possibility of a newspaper interview and a radio spot coming up in the next few weeks. 

I suppose most band's would kill for an opportunity like this. 

The problem for me is, it was just supposed to be a few mates larking about and doing the occasional gig for a laugh and it's all gone a bit too full on. 

I might have wanted to be a rock star at 16 but those days are long gone. 

Maybe I'm just a miserable stinky poo. 

The other problem is, I still need to earn a living, where the rest of the band have a passive income, so I just can't afford to give up so much time. I think part of the reason I don't / can't enjoy it is because for me it's just not sustainable on the long term. So I'm just waiting for it all to implode. 

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Yeah fair do's. 

But my simple view is that life's too short - if you're not loving it and in fact it's become a chore, is it worth the grief?

In my books bass, bandmates and indeed Basschat are all supposed to be fun and when they cease to be, move on. 

As Chris profoundly said, there's always golf... 😄 

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Posted (edited)

I'd quite happily settle for the fee paid into my bank account and cut out all that tiresome nonsense too! Roadies that's the answer. Years ago, it would have been groupies but these days having my equipment lifted for me has a far different meaning!  😂😂😂😂

Edited by itsmedunc
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5 minutes ago, itsmedunc said:

I'd quite happily settle for the fee paid into my bank account and cut out all that tiresome nonsense too! Roadies that's the answer. Years ago, it would have been groupies but these days having my equipment lifted for me has a far different meaning!  😂😂😂😂

Groupies would be great, except my wife is the lead singer. 😂

Roadies would definitely be better, but as we don't even earn anything I can't see anyone doing that for free. 

Unless they're working at Edinburgh Tattoo. 😜

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29 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

We don't earn any money from gigging.

That would be a show stopper for me right there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in it for the money, but I do believe what both my bands set out to achieve, they succeed. For that, I do expect to be paid. By that I mean paid a lot more than just to cover my costs.

No wonder you have a full calendar if you're not getting paid. I know the situation is probably different in Bulgaria, but seriously, don't any bands get paid?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

That would be a show stopper for me right there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in it for the money, but I do believe what both my bands set out to achieve, they succeed. For that, I do expect to be paid. By that I mean paid a lot more than just to cover my costs.

No wonder you have a full calendar if you're not getting paid. I know the situation is probably different in Bulgaria, but seriously, don't any bands get paid?

Yes we could probably earn as much as any other other bar band in our area, maybe even more with a few more gigs under our belt as we're already building up a bit of a flowing. But it's usually just the takings from a small door charge. With 6 band members to split it between it's not even worth worrying about. To be honest, it's probably only the charity aspect that keeps me going. If we were doing it to earn a few quid I don't think I'd even bother. I could put my time to far more prosperous use than being a musician if I was in it for the money. 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom

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11 hours ago, andytoad said:

I don’t really do it for the music.

i love the loading, lifting, sweating, unloading, driving and small stages.

oh, and give me some uneven stairs too, lots of them! 😀

 

Would sir like the last few drunken idiots that won't leave to stand outside smoking in the doorway right in the way? 

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2 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

That would be a show stopper for me right there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in it for the money, but I do believe what both my bands set out to achieve, they succeed. For that, I do expect to be paid. By that I mean paid a lot more than just to cover my costs.

 

I give up a lot of weekends to gig and it has to be worth it for me - I don't expect a huge wage for every gig but there's a value attached to giving up my weekends, especially like a lot of us who also work full time jobs during the week.

I can understand why some people prefer to be in the studio or recording at home but personally I love gigging. It's where I get my enjoyment from and still a huge buzz after 30 years to get on stage and play.

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4 hours ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

Would sir like the last few drunken idiots that won't leave to stand outside smoking in the doorway right in the way? 

That is the biggest pain, right there.   I generally "accidentally" [email protected] them with the corner of a cab......;)

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9 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

The problem for me is, it was just supposed to be a few mates larking about and doing the occasional gig for a laugh and it's all gone a bit too full on

Sounds like you need "the talk" with the bandmates and manager. "It's not you, it's me" is a good line... Seriously, if you don't say something you'll end up with midweek gigs too at this rate and everyone else will assume you're ok with that. 

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1 hour ago, uk_lefty said:

Sounds like you need "the talk" with the bandmates and manager. "It's not you, it's me" is a good line... Seriously, if you don't say something you'll end up with midweek gigs too at this rate and everyone else will assume you're ok with that. 

Already done. As we're primarily all good friends and the band is secondary to that (at least as far as I'm concerned) there's no real communication problems as we regularly socialize outside the band. 

I've agreed to stick it out for the time being as we're pretty much booked every weekend for the next couple of months and it will be good practice / experience. As I said, we're a new band so this will help settle us in. 

Then I'm hoping with the onset of winter things are going to slow down naturally. If not I'm going to have to put my foot down. 

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There are gigs and gigs. One, the more it is "pub" and the more it is "uk" the crap it will be. The audience abroad is more appreciative. That may partly be because "a prophet isn't worth anything in his home country", so playing afar may generally be a better idea than the home gig where everyone goes like "I can listen to these guys any second weekend for free so why give a toss". - And then again, playing pubs for drunks is different than playing say, restaurants - where you get good food instead of free booze and the audience is not whizzed. Of course, a music venue - where people actually come to hear you play - is what you want, not to prostitute yourself in the corner for drunks as in pubs. 

As for me, I'd much more consider inviting my true fans to my studio or organise a gig in a shed myself than playing in any pub, after all those experiences. And that counts in many so-called "music venues" which are, effectively, pubs.

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I only ever liked playing outdoors at festivals n' ting but hated pub gigs. For starters I don't like pubs. I like pub gardens but still never go inside other than to buy beverages. The types of band I used to play in tended to be upbeat, with a party vibe, lots of movement, a fair bit of badinage and sometimes gimmicks. That didn't really work when stuck between the ladies toilet and the dart board

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