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DoubleOhStephan

How does your cover band choose the set list?

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3 hours ago, redbandit599 said:

We all chip in and just decide what we fancy doing next every now and then at rehearsal - just happens when we realize we haven't got anything new to learn.

Helps that we can get stuff to a 'jam it out' stage quickly and at that point we decide if it's worth gigging or not - all songs are liable to getting dropped if they don't deliver and no-one gets too precious about 'their songs.'

Same with us. We all have a 'Good God no' style veto as well. However in the past we've played a vetoed song as a request and it's been ace, so we've learned to give most suggestions some rehearsal time regardless of first impressions.

One of my sneaky tricks is to add potential newbies to the playlist that I put through the PA before & after gigs. It gives us a decent idea of crowd reaction to the tune.

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Hahahaaa...the 'Good God No' veto...I used to cherish this, until the 47th time the BL proved me wrong...and two of those were Radiohead songs. Still not my favourite songs, but at least I get to relax and have a rest...

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It took me nearly three years to persuade guitarist & drummer that we should play Hot Love. It instantly became one of our biggest crowd-pleasers.

Cheese is good. The runnier, the better.

 

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Everybody in our band can choose 2 songs each whether the others like them or not.

As its a classic rock covers band they are usually within the genre.

When it gets to rehearsal though, we often discover that some of the songs we cant carry off and they are dropped.

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17 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Cheese is good. The runnier, the better.

We're an 80s band. Cheese is selection criteria #1.

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32 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Hahahaaa...the 'Good God No' veto...I used to cherish this, until the 47th time the BL proved me wrong...and two of those were Radiohead songs. Still not my favourite songs, but at least I get to relax and have a rest...

We have a 'good god no' veto, and then a 'absolutely no Oasis under any circumstances' veto. Every so often try to push against that but its not moving anywhere!

Edited by Woodinblack

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2 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

We have a 'good god no' veto, and then a 'absolutely no Oasis under any circumstances' veto. Every so often try to push against that but its not moving anywhere!

Oasis sends our singer into an instant rage, in fact anything involving the Gallaghers - I have the same reaction to Mr Brightside - fortunately this merde is easily avoided 😎

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36 minutes ago, redbandit599 said:

Oasis sends our singer into an instant rage, in fact anything involving the Gallaghers - I have the same reaction to Mr Brightside - fortunately this merde is easily avoided 😎

I am not bothered either way by brightside. There are some songs we do I dislike but have come to accept as the public love them (inc sex on fire - no idea why people like that), but oasis is just one bit too far for me, so it isn't going to happen on my watch!

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The band leader in my last and longest cover band chose many of the songs and was up for suggestions from all of us. Any song that had been in the Top 20 at any point from the 1950's to today was eligible. We tried to steer away from the usual suspects. Any song that got a good reaction remained on the list and any song that didn't was "rested". Songs from the 80's seemed to be most popular with audiences.

 

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It's a democracy - everyone pitches in ideas and we give them a go. Everyone has a veto but no one uses it selfishly. I would be delighted if I never play Don't Stop Believing ever again - but by golly people seem to love singing along to it so I take the "what's best for the band" stance and smile through the boredom :D

I suggested something to the band super early on in my tenure (second or third rehearsal, hadn't even played a gig yet) and it's been in the set ever since. 

All going well so far. Apart from the guitarist's pathological hatred of Oasis which leads him to "forget" that we know Some Might Say. If it gets requested he grudgingly complies though, customer is king! 

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22 hours ago, DoubleOhStephan said:

Interested in hearing how everyone chooses their set list.

Is it a general consensus thing? Do you vote? Do you have a BL who had final say? What if someone really hates a particular song? 

Edit: I should say, I'm in the process of setting up a band so am looking for options. 

Cheers

 

Well this depends on the audience.

Suggestions from all about material.

Pub gigs - Pretty much anything goes. ABBA to Zeppelin but we try and pace the set so it builds, when we start its opportunity to play some slower stuff to ready the audience for what's to come - people tend to dance more when they've had a drink.

We put setlist on Spotify (if it's on Spotify) and have a listen

Functions: Cater for the audience - but other influences apply like speeches, eating etc. and this is generally music that people can dance to should they choose

If its material that i don't like - I learn it as well as I can and try to play it as if its a session that I'm being paid for 

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I'm a member of one band with no say as regards song choices, and MD in another band with full control.  In both situations however, everyone has a veto if there's a song that one member absolutely hates for example!  Generally, the set is dictated not by what the band wants to play, but the band needs to play to be getting well paid gigs.  Crowd enjoyment is 100% to the forefront of cover choices.

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We started off with the 4 off us making a list each and when we sat down at first band meet we looked at the common songs.

Doing a specific era in music it was quite limiting. After that someone suggests a song and if we all agree we have a go at it. If it works we keep it. 

We don't have a band leader. Its a group decision and if someone hates doing a song then its best dropped. I'm lucky that we all share the same taste in songs with very few songs that we don't agree on.

Some songs i've not been too sure about but once we try it i find its actually a great wee song to play.

Dave

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On 16/02/2020 at 13:49, Len_derby said:

We all chip in with ideas but the singer (female) has the final say.

Everyone seems happy with that.

Same here. Although she does come up with a few un popular choices sometimes. As she is my partner i cant be too negative though.

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We have a different set list for every gig, and it is usually proposed by the lead guitarist and then fine-tuned by email discussion. We try to get a rehearsal in before a gig, so have a chance to run through the material and make sure things fit together well. As the newest member of the band (in my third year with them now) I don't really play an active role in set selection, but defer to those who know the music better than I do.

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1 hour ago, FinnDave said:

We have a different set list for every gig, and it is usually proposed by the lead guitarist and then fine-tuned by email discussion.

We have a different set list for every gig. It is usually thrown together at the last minute by the singer and occasionally guitarist, and then completely ignored by the end of the gig.

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Every cover band I've been involved in has basically had the strategy of 'play everything we know then repeat a few when the punters are too p!ssed to notice'.  🤭

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On 16/02/2020 at 18:31, DoubleOhStephan said:

Does anyone set up and share a Spotify or YouTube play list for version control? 

I've been known to share a YouTube link, more in hope than expectation...

On 16/02/2020 at 18:44, Woodinblack said:

We have a 'good god no' veto

We seem to have learnt 40 to 50 songs so many that a veto makes sense, but i'm not sure anyone's used it.

One thing we've done is agree that we will play some crowd pleasers because our main objective is to please the punters while enjoying ourselves.

We're doing a Battle of the bands on Saturday for our first gig as proper lineup, and got our 25 minutes down to a seven song list we have been rehearsing a few times a week. A few of them are challenging, but they spread the load so we have all stretched ourselves a bit. I was fairly passive when we drew up the list mainly because others know the audience better than I do having played at the event before.

Our secret weapon is 'I'll Be There' because no-one ever plays it, but Friends is a bit of an obsession with the expected audience. Rest of the set is quite punchy, but the backline will be the kit we use in the rehearsal room so we are confident we can get the big sound we need.

So I suppose our answer is we are being pretty forensic about setlists, trying lots, being happy to abandon things that don't work and try things that we find challenging but not worrying about being populist (OK no Brightside or Oasis yet...)

 

In the longer term, we are now likely to be calling ourselves Brute Force and Ignorance which means that becomes out 'theme song' and we will have to add two or three other Rory Gallagher songs.

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Pretty much my band my rules but that said none of us want to play the super obvious cheesy dad rock/over played stuff so although we play tracks by AC/DC, G 'n' R, Bon Jovi etc we play If You Want Blood not Highway To Hell or Whole Lotta Rosie, You Could Be Mine not Sweet Child o zzzzzzzz, Sleep When I'm Dead not Living On A Prayer.  We also drag up some great covers such as Thunder's version of Play That Funky Music, Gotthards take on Hush, The Atari'c cover of Boys of Summer, Nickelback's Saturday Night's Alright and so on.  HAving a female vocalist means we can chuck in tracks by P!nk, Republica and Hole too.

We stay within the rock genre, but really try to avoid too many over played tracks and definitely avoid the 'dad rock' label at all costs

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18 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Our secret weapon is 'I'll Be There' because no-one ever plays it, but Friends is a bit of an obsession with the expected audience.

I remember this being in a setlist for a band I was in when it was in the charts...IIRC, it was before the TV show aired in the UK, too: it was just a catchy pop song...

...maaan, I'm old... 😕

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1 hour ago, DaytonaRik said:

 HAving a female vocalist means we can chuck in tracks by P!nk, Republica and Hole too.

We don't have a female singer, but we still do P!nk.

 

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We don't have a female singer, but we still get asked for Tina Turner songs...😕

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What we used to do in my ex-covers band was, unless anyone had the strongest of objections against a suggestion, rehearse and gig the song.  Some didn't make it past rehearsal, some fell by the wayside early on, some we gigged.  We would have a band curry night around xmas/new year and score points for everything on the set list and whatever was in the pipeline from 1-5, keep the highest scoring tunes, ditch the lowest.  Seemed to work quite well.

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