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neilray

Am I the only one ?

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6 minutes ago, jazzmanb said:

I only ever do the pub band thing when I play and we draw a decent crowd.Even then i'm doing the maths on the ££ .I had a spell of dating and seeing a band most Fridays and I was surprised how average some where and how little a draw they were .These are bands doing the same circuit regular.That means big losses for pubs 

The bottom seemed to drop out of it back in 2008 when the banking crisis/recession hit.  A couple of regular venues that I played saw a huge drop in the number of regulars who would come in for their music nights, or come in at all.  Crowds dropped from being absolutely rammed to being a dozen, maybe a couple of dozen at the absolute most, and while paying £150/200 wasn't going to break the bank for a one off, if that was most nights of the week then they couldn't keep it up for very long.  One place tried everything, and were booking bigger bands in the hope that they'd get more people in...didn't work

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4 hours ago, Ed_S said:

Advertise it better, do the social media thing and hype it up, fill the place, drink the bar dry, make them some real money and keep the venue open with a better reputation for good bands as that's all to my advantage as well. It just seems to be that from talking to a few venue owners over the years, they offer very little because it's the amount that they can afford to lose if a band turns up having done no promotion, draws no punters and scares away half the regulars.

Maybe, but the venue should also be promoting the live music. How often do i go into a venue and see "Live music every Friday" but no mntion of the band, the genre or even whether this means a geezer with an acoustic or a full on soul band with a horn section?  At the end of the day its the LLs job to fill the pub, not the bands.

Pizza Epress doesn't expect the bloke cooking the pizzas to bring in people to eat.

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19 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Maybe, but the venue should also be promoting the live music. How often do i go into a venue and see "Live music every Friday" but no mntion of the band, the genre or even whether this means a geezer with an acoustic or a full on soul band with a horn section?  At the end of the day its the LLs job to fill the pub, not the bands.

Pizza Epress doesn't expect the bloke cooking the pizzas to bring in people to eat.

Exactly - some venues/promoters do not help themselves.  An old band of mine used to play locally, and we'd ring up pubs to get bookings, send them posters to be put up, do our bit to let our mates know that we had a gig on...and then quite often turn up to find that the pub hadn't even put up either our posters or anything else to alert people to the fact that there would be a band playing.  seemed to be a lot of "well, we're quiet on a Thursday so we've got nothing to lose by letting you play"

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7 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Maybe, but the venue should also be promoting the live music. How often do i go into a venue and see "Live music every Friday" but no mntion of the band, the genre or even whether this means a geezer with an acoustic or a full on soul band with a horn section?  At the end of the day its the LLs job to fill the pub, not the bands.

Pizza Epress doesn't expect the bloke cooking the pizzas to bring in people to eat.

I think you’re absolutely right - a lot of pubs and venues don’t promote as well as they could. You’ll have to forgive my originals-band-centric thought process when it comes to promotion as for us it’s very much a joint effort whereas I can understand that for a working and travelling covers or tribute band the division of responsibility could be different. That said, I see a lot of bands of that type using social media and friends-of-friends type connections to get the message out in the right areas of the country, and it boosts numbers and makes them more connections to use next time round. I guess my theory there was that if you want to command top money for your services, drumming up a markedly larger crowd than the owner would have managed on their own could only help you to stand out.

The pizza shop thing.. I know what you’re saying, but them selling pizza is like a pub selling beer; they were doing that anyway. If they had a celeb pizza chef in for the night to try and shift more pizza then I reckon they’d advertise the fact locally, but might expect that the visiting attraction would do likewise through their channels, otherwise you’re missing half the potential draw.

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17 hours ago, Ed_S said:

The pizza shop thing.. I know what you’re saying, but them selling pizza is like a pub selling beer; they were doing that anyway.

This is the reason pubs are shutting at an alarming rate.  The whole point is that the beer should be incidental to the pub experience. The LL has to provide something that brings the punters in to drink and keep them there rather than sitting at home with a 4 pack - whether that be a group of social regulars, food or live music.

IMHO the purpose of a band starting at 9 and finishing at 11.30 is to keep the punters that wander in at 7.30 there til closing. The longer they stay the higher the profit because he's already paid for the staff and his overheads for that day.

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I know many pro musicians. The thing that all of them have in common, is that their pay is pretty rubbish, and they have a wife/partner/significant other that works a proper 9 to 5 job and subsidies their meager income.

My brother in law has been a pro musician his whole life. He plays solo gigs, band gigs, bar gigs, international festival gigs and financially he'd be better of collecting trolleys in Asda.

We have to admit that musicians are not valued in our society.

This song says it all.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nicko said:

This is the reason pubs are shutting at an alarming rate.  The whole point is that the beer should be incidental to the pub experience. The LL has to provide something that brings the punters in to drink and keep them there rather than sitting at home with a 4 pack - whether that be a group of social regulars, food or live music.

IMHO the purpose of a band starting at 9 and finishing at 11.30 is to keep the punters that wander in at 7.30 there til closing. The longer they stay the higher the profit because he's already paid for the staff and his overheads for that day.

I broadly agree with you, but I’m a real ale drinking, beer-festival going type who will walk to a pub several miles away and call it my ‘local’ because they have a better selection of beers than the other pubs I pass on the way there, so for me the beer is absolutely not incidental to the pub experience - it’s central to it. Clean and welcoming premises with a good selection of well kept ale is what gets my sort to frequent a pub, not food or even live music. As ever, other opinions are available and mileage varies 🙂

Maybe that’s part of the perceived lack of value of music, though - when even putting bands on can’t save a pub that’s failing because it’s just an unpleasant place to be, and thus the old panacea fails to work, our value decreases in the estimation of the industry..?

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7 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

I broadly agree with you, but I’m a real ale drinking, beer-festival going type who will walk to a pub several miles away and call it my ‘local’ because they have a better selection of beers than the other pubs I pass on the way there, so for me the beer is absolutely not incidental to the pub experience - it’s central to it. Clean and welcoming premises with a good selection of well kept ale is what gets my sort to frequent a pub, not food or even live music. As ever, other opinions are available and mileage varies 🙂

You are my northern analogue AICMFP

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6 hours ago, Nicko said:

This is the reason pubs are shutting at an alarming rate.  The whole point is that the beer should be incidental to the pub experience. The LL has to provide something that brings the punters in to drink and keep them there rather than sitting at home with a 4 pack - whether that be a group of social regulars, food or live music.

IMHO the purpose of a band starting at 9 and finishing at 11.30 is to keep the punters that wander in at 7.30 there til closing. The longer they stay the higher the profit because he's already paid for the staff and his overheads for that day.

The reason pubs are shutting is down to economics. The properties are valuable, often extremely so. A large pub building, especially one in a desirable town centre location, can be converted into a large number of flats that will sell for a tidy sum. Add to that the fact that people go out less often nowadays and it's not surprising that pubs are closing.

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10 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

The reason pubs are shutting is down to economics. The properties are valuable, often extremely so. A large pub building, especially one in a desirable town centre location, can be converted into a large number of flats that will sell for a tidy sum. Add to that the fact that people go out less often nowadays and it's not surprising that pubs are closing.

Absolutely.  Thats the point I'm making - the LL needs to get people in, not complain people are going out less and that his margins are squeezed.

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19 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

The reason pubs are shutting is down to economics. The properties are valuable, often extremely so. A large pub building, especially one in a desirable town centre location, can be converted into a large number of flats that will sell for a tidy sum. Add to that the fact that people go out less often nowadays and it's not surprising that pubs are closing.

I once met a bloke who was making a tidy living being sent in to "rescue" failing pubs, with locals glad to see him come in and save their local tavern. All the while he would slowly (over a year or 18 months) run it into the ground so the investors could drive out regulars and tenants, then knock it down or turn it into flats.  All he had to do was shrug and say "I tried", then move on to the next one.

He was obviously loving the money he was making, but I could tell his conscience was eating at him.  I got the impression he had started with them with the best intentions of saving pubs, but soon found out the real nature of the beast.  Before doing that, he was genuinely saving pubs on a smaller scale on his own.

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5 hours ago, gjones said:

I know many pro musicians. The thing that all of them have in common, is that their pay is pretty rubbish, and they have a wife/partner/significant other that works a proper 9 to 5 job and subsidies their meager income.

My brother in law has been a pro musician his whole life. He plays solo gigs, band gigs, bar gigs, international festival gigs and financially he'd be better of collecting trolleys in Asda.

We have to admit that musicians are not valued in our society.

This song says it all.

 

 

Or it could simply be that there are too many of us for too small a market.

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Basically we're getting back to the model which pertained before the 1960's. Pubs didn't have bands. If they had any music at all, it was a local amateur piano player who knocked out requests and singalong favourites and did it for beer.

From the mid-19th century to the mid 1950's there was no commercial 'market' for amateur bands. Professional musicians played in the pit or onstage while amateurs formed choirs or colliery bands or scraped around the edge of the pro-scene. Read: Spike Milligan.

Prior to this, we're back in the 19th century and looking at the lost tradition of village bands where a bunch of old boys turn out for weddings, harvest dances and other communal events. Gear? A fiddle, a squeeze-box and (insert cheap instrument here). They'd play for beer until they fell down drunk and everyone went home or ended up shagging someone in a haystack. Further reading: Thomas Hardy.

Slightly different in the towns where it was more organised, the middle classes wanted light classics or something to gavotte to. The musicians were a bit more accomplished but still got paid a pittance. Read: Jane Austen.

Going back even further, we're basically talking about peasants tootling away on flutes or bagpipes and banging a drum while their in-bred relatives clod-hop around. View: Breughel

6933-004-CBC98485.jpg

Local gig circa 1568

So: amateur or semi-pro bands making decent money out of playing loud music at people in pubs is a lost world. Time to re-embed ourselves in our local communities and chop out stuff that punters want to hear - and more importantly - in which they wish to participate, i.e., dancing, singing along.

Upside? You might end up getting mullered for free and shagging someone in a haystack. That's got to be worth more than £30.00

Edited by skankdelvar
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1 hour ago, Nicko said:

Absolutely.  Thats the point I'm making - the LL needs to get people in, not complain people are going out less and that his margins are squeezed.

Not as simple as that. A pub landlord is very often a tenant/employee. The pub will be owned by a pubco (pub management company - they sprang up when breweries were made to divest themselves of pubs), which controls the purse-strings very tightly. There will be limited or no budget for entertainment and frills. He may well not even be on profit share, just a wage, for which he is expected to work 7 days a week, deal with all manner of awkward customers, employ staff, manage the accounts, etc, etc. He has no security, no property of his own and can easily be dispensed with if he displeases his employer. And if he loses his job, he loses his home - a similar situation to the one agricultural labourers in tied cottages were/are in. Not exactly a bed of roses.

As HH notes above, pubcos are often keen to sell their properties to developers - pubs are not the money spinners they once were - so are quite content for them to fail. The landlord has little or no control in that situation.

In the case of owned pubs and free houses, if a property developer offers a landlord/owner enough to retire on in comfort, enabling him to live a normal life and not work his @rse off every day, it's hardly surprising he will be tempted to accept. That has happened to several pubs round my way in North London in recent years.

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2 hours ago, skankdelvar said:

Slightly different in the towns where it was more organised, the middle classes wanted light classics or something to gavotte to.

What's wrong with me? I read that as "something to garrotte to".

I been watching too much Killing Wotserface and Game of Thingies

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39 minutes ago, Skinnyman said:

"something to garrotte to"

It's my fault for ending a sentence with a preposition. It should have read 'something to which to gavotte'.

AN00097828_001_l.jpg

Local gig circa 1790

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12 minutes ago, TimR said:

How much would you pay to watch a pub band? 

 

 

Fiver if I’m taking a punt on a complete unknown. Tenner-ish if they have a good reputation or it’s a tribute to a band I like so at least I’ll know the songs.

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11 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

Fiver if I’m taking a punt on a complete unknown. Tenner-ish if they have a good reputation or it’s a tribute to a band I like so at least I’ll know the songs.

Maybe we should take a leaf out of the American model and have a bucket go round. Forget the landlord paying the band, let the punters decide how much we’re worth. Maybe then we might get pub bands playing music punters want to hear at a listenable level instead of music the bands want to play at punters at 1,000,000 dB.

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1 hour ago, TimR said:

How much would you pay to watch a pub band? 

If it's bog standard covers, they're too loud, zero presence and the singer uses a music stand I'd expect them to pay me.

Tenner just to sit there and a score on top to fake some enthusiasm. 
 

Edited by skankdelvar
Revised rates due to forex issues
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23 minutes ago, TimR said:

Maybe we should take a leaf out of the American model and have a bucket go round. Forget the landlord paying the band, let the punters decide how much we’re worth. Maybe then we might get pub bands playing music punters want to hear at a listenable level instead of music the bands want to play at punters at 1,000,000 dB.

That would be very nice - I always wear earplugs on stage and when I’m going out to see gigs, but there have been times I’ve gone out with no expectation of encountering live music and no plugs, only to get forced out of a bar by a band tipping up and giving it the full beans. Some of them I would actually have liked to have stayed and watched, too, but just couldn’t.

If the bucket method was employed, would it then be reasonable for bands to ask publicans what kind of crowd they can guarantee to make sure it was worth their while? I have no idea how the system operates in the states - is it just that they’re culturally used to the tipping thing, and a ‘small’ crowd over there isn’t just the quite literal one-man-and-his-dog that we might experience, and hence enough to make a wage provided you aren’t terrible?

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12 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

If it's bog standard covers, they're too loud, zero presence and the singer uses a music stand I'd expect them to pay me.

Tenner just to sit there and a score on top to fake some enthusiasm. 
 

If this includes your sizeable entourage, then surely it's worth it for both the venue and the band? They're going to sell a lot of Bolly....

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1 hour ago, TimR said:

Maybe we should take a leaf out of the American model and have a bucket go round. Forget the landlord paying the band, let the punters decide how much we’re worth. Maybe then we might get pub bands playing music punters want to hear at a listenable level instead of music the bands want to play at punters at 1,000,000 dB.

That's exactly what we do. Except everything in the bucket goes to charity. 

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3 hours ago, Skinnyman said:

If this includes your sizeable entourage, then surely it's worth it for both the venue and the band? They're going to sell a lot of Bolly....

An entourage is something I have resolutely discouraged over the years. Too many good people have died as a result of getting too close to me - and not by my hand.

Not having any friends is the curse of my former profession but that's all going to change now I've retired from The Life. I've even joined a book club.

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