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davie

Pub Gigs are they worth the hassle?

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Depends on the crowd and what the pay is. I’ve done a lot with various jazz ensembles, usually on a Sunday lunchtime. They’re usually nice affairs, abc generally pay OK.

 

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14 hours ago, steantval said:

Personally if you join a band you need to commit and not join with a half arsed attitude, I would not entertain anyone with the idea of trying a couple of gigs to see if they liked it.

A band is for life not just for Christmas 😂

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We have drifted from pubs to functions, which is better money, nicer venues and more space typically (not always) I don't miss setting up next to the toilet door or pool table. But I do miss being able being able to set up in the evening, playing what would now feel like straight away and get out straightaway. Functions can be a real bind setting up before lunch, playing at 9:30 then waiting for the 'disco' to finish at 1 or 2 in the morning. 

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23 hours ago, davie said:

Ladies and gents, I haven't played pub gigs for years. I was always wary of playing in pubs because of the hassle of loading in and out through a drunken crowd, people falling into you while playing and watching to see where the next fight was happening. 

I've now been offered a post- Covid job in a band. They are a friendly bunch, quite busy and have a set list I would really enjoy playing. However quite a lot of the gigs are in pubs. 

My question is, are pub gigs worth the hassle? I don't have any other offers on the table and if the gigs were all in clubs I wouldn't have any hesitation in accepting. 

What do you think?

 

It depends entirely on the type of pubs... and how much you enjoy playing in pubs, because there's always some degree of 'hassle' so the question is whether the amount of fun/cash offsets the hassles.

Back in 2017 I joined a band that was travelling around the UK playing all kinds of gigs. We were doing supporting slots in decent music venues one day, a festival the next, and a small pub another... Pubs were my least favourite, because in those places we used our own PA and we set up everything ourselves, and often it required waiting around for people finishing their dinner before you could set up... you don't always get enough room to dump your stuff so soemtimes we had to wait to even load in... But I enjoyed playing that music, I enjoyed being with my band mates, and the gigs themselves were great fun (ska/reggae band playing a mix of originals/classics). So, for me, it was ok. BUt everyone have different preferences. I would not turn it down just because the gigs are mostly pubs. Not all pubs are equal. Some are consistently bad, and some are consistently enjoyable... I am sure you can learn which ones to repeat and which ones to avoid as you go along.

Of course, all this is thinking of a pre-Covid19 world... the future may be a little different, depending on how much pubs suffer. I can see a decrease of live music available, so in that case perhaps I may even be grateful for not-so-nice pub gigs...

 

edit: while I've seen some bad situations... the vast majority of my pub gigs have seen nothing but a reasonable crowd. Fights, drunk punters falling on you/equipment is not the norm. Or maybe I am choosier, but I certainly don't associate those with pub gigs. One thing that I always try is to make some kind of physical barrier to deter drunks. Space is often limited, but it's not difficult to put some small stands or beer crates between monitors. A bit of plastic tape joining them create a 'stage area' that seems to psychologically stop all but the most persistent. 

Edited by mcnach
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Personally, I am convinced that even once this lockdown is over, pubs and gigs will be the last thing to get back to normal. Shops will open again under stricter social distancing rules but lets face it, pubs and gigs cannot by their very nature, allow social distancing. I think we will have to wait until a vaccine is readily available before they will allow pubs and gigs to go ahead. Even restaurants will be able to open before pubs unless there is a limit to the number of people allowed in, which will make for a poor atmosphere anyway.Very soon we will be pining for the pub gigs.

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17 minutes ago, ubit said:

Personally, I am convinced that even once this lockdown is over, pubs and gigs will be the last thing to get back to normal. Shops will open again under stricter social distancing rules but lets face it, pubs and gigs cannot by their very nature, allow social distancing. I think we will have to wait until a vaccine is readily available before they will allow pubs and gigs to go ahead. Even restaurants will be able to open before pubs unless there is a limit to the number of people allowed in, which will make for a poor atmosphere anyway.Very soon we will be pining for the pub gigs.

Will there be any pubs  left after this pandemic's passed? As for a vaccine the question is IF they ever find one. Covid-19 is not part of the influenza family and as such it can't be assumed a vaccine can be found as with swine flu, Asian flu and Hong Kong flu. No vaccine exists for the common cold so it could be with same for coronaviruses. For a start, experts estimate there are around thirty strains of covid-19 varying from relatively harmless to the nasty one affecting western European nations.

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I don't find pub gigs any hassle. They are usually a short drive away, use the minimum of gear, you can rock up less than an hour before start time. Most of the people I play pubs with are good guys and pro players, so it's just like hanging out with mates and having having a great jam.

As much as functions pay and as big stages make for good photos, there is something about the pub environment for me too. It's an over used word, perhaps, but the intimacy of small, relaxed spaces makes for a great atmosphere where band and audience feel much more like 'one'. I love any gig, but have a feeling that live music really lives in those kind of places.

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Thank you all very much for responding, it's given me a lot to consider.

It's funny reading your different experiences, especially those of you who say that they have seen more fights at weddings. I've played hundreds of weddings and only ever seen one fight. And that was between the singer and the guitarist in the band! The singer wanted to do a particular song and the guitarist strongly objected. So the drummer counted the song in and the guitarist played the intro to something completely different. There was a good going punch up onstage, which to be honest had been due to happen for a while given the huge egos on show between them.

Anyhoo, they were both sacked, the band got a new singer who brought a guitarist with him and we all lived happily ever after. 

Until we broke up a good few years later due to "work commitments"

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On 03/05/2020 at 18:26, ubit said:

There was one pub we used to play where you could guarantee a fight every weekend. We devised a plan to immediately slip into Survivors eye of the Tiger if we seen a fight kick off.

Yep, we have this in the back pocket, just in case...we've used it a couple of times, and it's lightened the mood really well...

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1 minute ago, Muzz said:

Yep, we have this in the back pocket, just in case...we've used it a couple of times, and it's lightened the mood really well...

Either that or Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting! 

We were playing one night when it kicked off in the smoking area, only the singer could see it and he apologised at the end of the song for missing some words out. Then offered commentary and giggled at the "action". He's a big lad, if he giggles at you while you're angry you'd just have to take the embarrassment! 

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23 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

Either that or Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting!

We were learning that and a fight kicked off at a working mens club (the only one of 2 in the last 170 gigs). Well, not much of a fight, the guy was so drunk he could barely stand up and people were just getting out of his way. In the end the drummers 80 year old dad calmed him down, but we were learning saturday night, so we gigged it. Wasn't quite ready but it was appreciated!

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We had two songs which we would play if someone in the crowd was overly boisterous, Riot snd Aggro. They were usually quite happy with the dedications.

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Pub gigs, are they worth the hassle? 

Hmm, if you enjoy doing them, yes. If not, no. 

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We had a Friday, Saturday and Sunday gig many years ago in a big Victorian pub called the Ladbroke, which was in an area of Ladbroke Grove that had been cleared for demolition. They hadn't knocked anything down and squatters had moved in (these would now be very posh multi million pound Victorian Villas!). At least once a weekend there was a fight that would have made a John Wayne western proud. Like the Beano, a cloud of dust with arms and legs poking out of it at all angles! We were OK, our stage was 5' high and we were told, "Never stop for any reason. Just play through it, till they're either exhausted or dead!!" I've hardly seen any fights in pubs since then, but these days I don't often gig to audiences that have that amount of energy any more!

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We had some fisties break out in front of us a few years ago as we were lining up to play the second half. Singist (who is a long time primary teacher) utterly nonchalantly grabs his mic, and with appropriate over-the-top-of-the-specs stare and expertly wielded forefinger..."Right, you two, sit down."

Halfway through the first verse I was trying not to overtly snigger, as it was dawning on them that they didn't quite know why or how they were sat down.

Edited by Vinny
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Pub gigs are the bread and butter of my work. Function gigs are better paid and dare I say more refined, but a good pub gig is where all the fun is at.

Plus they’re an evening out with your mates, unlike most functions which feel more like “work”. 

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1 hour ago, bassbiscuits said:

Pub gigs are the bread and butter of my work. Function gigs are better paid and dare I say more refined, but a good pub gig is where all the fun is at.

Plus they’re an evening out with your mates, unlike most functions which feel more like “work”. 

Exactly. Keeps the pennies coming in the set tight and my fingers working. Which means I'm still in business and ready when better paid stuff comes along 

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Pub gigs can sometimes be a right pain in the arris. But I would give anything to play one tonight. 😞

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59 minutes ago, Rich said:

Pub gigs can sometimes be a right pain in the arris. But I would give anything to play one tonight. 😞

Me too! My main band plays (or should that be 'used to play'...) mainly theatres and arts centres etc. Nice gig, with great people and no hassle. But it's the other gigs I play that make me feel more connected with what I do. I'm in an acoustic duo and we have (maybe 'had') a weekly Tuesday night residency in the back room of a local pub. Lovely crowd and atmosphere and a gig which I genuinely love and look forward to. Sure, we get the odd nutter / drunk in but they don't give us any grief. Already this seems like eons ago, and I really long for a return to a pre-lockdown scenario although fear / accept that this won't be for a long time, if at all. 🙁

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9 hours ago, Rich said:

Pub gigs can sometimes be a right pain in the arris. But I would give anything to play one tonight. 😞

Abso bloody lutely! 

I actually listened to some of our music yesterday and thought, that's not too bad. I've usually heard enough of it with gigging. 

Can't wait to get back with a band. 

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On 03/05/2020 at 20:37, Woodinblack said:

No, never played there But it seems pretty big compared to the half moon in stoke sub human

FTFY.

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