Jump to content
uk_lefty

What would you do...?

Recommended Posts

So, during the break in lockdowns last autumn I advertised to start up an 80s band and recruited a drummer and a guitarist all bought in to the idea. We tried with me doing lead vocals but it's not my strong point and it restricts what songs can be played bass wise as they need to be playable and singable. Guitarist knows a singer so we agree to give her a go and then lockdown happens. 

We met up, and it went well, except we are now suddenly in the position of too many competing opinions. It's disappointing because there's an overriding movement to move away from 80s ranging from doing disco to mostly 80s but include some more recent songs. They're good songs but it's going off script somewhat and while I'm usually willing to try most things I've got my reservations, here's why:

1. A band that plays bits of this and bits of that is hard to market. I know because I've been in a few and am in one now and I can't succinctly describe it. Whereas "we play 80s pop" is easy for everyone to get their heads around and makes you a potential go to "get that 80s band back!" is better than "get that good band back... Can't remember which one they were" 

2. I just think it's a bit sad when the band members are aged 37 to 50 and they're playing recent songs, it's like "here's one our kids enjoyed before they left for uni!" 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'd make a set-list of songs that everyone agrees to playing; a unanimous choice. No need to justify one's vote, just have all on board when choosing songs. Simple enough, I'd say. :friends:

Edited by Dad3353

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

I'd make a set-list of songs that everyone agrees to playing; a unanimous choice. No need to justify one's vote, just have all on board when choosing songs. Simple enough, I'd say. :friends:

Yep, tried that including voting, looks like collusion on the voting plus the problem with democracy is everyone has a say 😜. Point is its straying from the original concept, I'm just not a fan of "bit o this, bit o that" covers, it makes it hard to market the band and can be a bit naff. Also, I'm already in one like that! Really wanted to nail a concept and style with this band, the players are right, just got to get on the same hymn sheet so to speak! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you’re adamant that you want an 80s band you may have to put your foot down as band leader. After all, that’s what you advertised for. Alternatively, if you’re willing to accept mission-creep a solution along the lines of Dad’s suggestion might be best.

Just how much potential has this lineup got? Do you have any other bands existing or in the pipeline? My experience is that it’s almost always better to be in an imperfect band than no band.

Good luck!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

..., just got to get on the same hymn sheet so to speak! 

As long as you veto any and all suggestions that don't meet your criteria, that's exactly what will happen, until one or other of the band members decides they'd rather not be in the project. It's very simple, I'd say, and doesn't need overthinking. B|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

So, during the break in lockdowns last autumn I advertised to start up an 80s band and recruited a drummer and a guitarist all bought in to the idea. We tried with me doing lead vocals but it's not my strong point and it restricts what songs can be played bass wise as they need to be playable and singable. Guitarist knows a singer so we agree to give her a go and then lockdown happens. 

We met up, and it went well, except we are now suddenly in the position of too many competing opinions. It's disappointing because there's an overriding movement to move away from 80s ranging from doing disco to mostly 80s but include some more recent songs. They're good songs but it's going off script somewhat and while I'm usually willing to try most things I've got my reservations, here's why:

1. A band that plays bits of this and bits of that is hard to market. I know because I've been in a few and am in one now and I can't succinctly describe it. Whereas "we play 80s pop" is easy for everyone to get their heads around and makes you a potential go to "get that 80s band back!" is better than "get that good band back... Can't remember which one they were" 

2. I just think it's a bit sad when the band members are aged 37 to 50 and they're playing recent songs, it's like "here's one our kids enjoyed before they left for uni!" 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

If you’re adamant that you want an 80s band you may have to put your foot down as band leader. After all, that’s what you advertised for. Alternatively, if you’re willing to accept mission-creep a solution along the lines of Dad’s suggestion might be best.

Just how much potential has this lineup got? Do you have any other bands existing or in the pipeline? My experience is that it’s almost always better to be in an imperfect band than no band.

Good luck!

Yes, have been in a good quality covers band for 5 years now. We describe it as "rock and soul" but really it's an Irish stew of all sorts of songs with no real theme and some really bizarre ones creeping in more and more. Due to personal circumstances for a handful of the group the enthusiasm is waning, we are all good mates but there are flaws in the thinking behind the band. Health issues also might force the singer to quit which would be awful.

Regardless, I've had my eye on doing something a bit different for a while. When I got the 80s band started the guitarist was very different, not a "blues w*nker" but someone who can really play and loves a bit of electro synth stuff to the point he's probably just as good a synth player as guitarist. His view is "nobody wants to hear another flipping guitar solo, they just want to dance" and he plays great big delay and chorus sounding stuff that sounds fantastic. The drummer is rock solid and a really nice easy going chap (odd, I know). The problem has been bringing in the singer the guitarist knows from an old band. She's very good, she's gigged a lot, if we stuck to a theme and styled it right (I mean dress the part, create the right visuals for online advertising, the right band name) I think it could be a solid band that could pick and choose its local gigs. I just fear being another "three middle aged blokes and a girl singer do random songs off Radio 2" which you see everywhere and are usually disappointing. Whereas "three middle aged blokes dressed like Miami Vice with an awesome girl singer play 80s sing and dance along songs" is a much more appealing proposition for an audience and for someone booking gigs. That's my view at least. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you’re right, have a theme and stick to it, offer something a bit different to the regular mix & match of the same songs in a different order. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, TJ1 said:

1. A band that plays bits of this and bits of that is hard to market. I know because I've been in a few and am in one now and I can't succinctly describe it. Whereas "we play 80s pop" is easy for everyone to get their heads around and makes you a potential go to "get that 80s band back!" is better than "get that good band back... Can't remember which one they were" 

I think you are being realistic about this, and if commercial consideration is everyone's priority then maybe it would be good for you to begin your venture with a recognizable classification. If things go well you can always bet on trying to be different later on.

But not probably not every person in the audience is going to like 80's music, and you have implied that some of your members would find just churning it out soul destroying.

Maybe you could  choose just  one more modern song that is not 1980's, that is possibly very different from the style of the songs in the rest of the set, that may appeal to the audiences offspring and crucially that all of you enjoy playing.

That might solve the problem - just an idea - good luck!.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd knock the idea of "democracy" on head - it's your band and your vision. You want a benevolent dictatorship, where others are encouraged to make suggestions, but you're making the final decisions. One of the problems with democracy is that people don't always know what they want. There's often a difference between "music I like to listen to" and "music I like to perform" - until they're asked to learn it, folks don't necessarily realise that a song actually has some really fun guitar parts etc. And some songs just come alive the first time you try them out as a band, even though the original's nothing special.

I can't stand most 80s music, but I'd still rather see an 80s cover band with a coherent setlist and who've obviously put some effort in, instead of a generic "bit of everything" act!

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TJ1 said:

I think you are being realistic about this, and if commercial consideration is everyone's priority then maybe it would be good for you to begin your venture with a recognizable classification. If things go well you can always bet on trying to be different later on.

But not probably not every person in the audience is going to like 80's music, and you have implied that some of your members would find just churning it out soul destroying.

Maybe you could  choose just  one more modern song that is not 1980's, that is possibly very different from the style of the songs in the rest of the set, that may appeal to the audiences offspring and crucially that all of you enjoy playing.

That might solve the problem - just an idea - good luck!.

I think you're right. Maybe just get one or two of these other songs in as long as they aren't difficult ones to help us all gel as a band and maybe for live use in future, maybe not... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don’t know, to me it’s like deciding to be a classic rock/metal band doing stuff like AC/DC, Anvil, Maiden etc, dressing and performing the part and then sticking Rio or Karma Chameleon in the set to keep a band member happy. Once they get their way on one song it will snowball, within a year the original idea will seem as long ago as the 80s themselves.

Edited by Lozz196
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did similarly - got together leading up to and during lockdown with a bunch of other players, all in our 60s, to start a soul/rhythm and blues band, with the idea of playing stuff from the halogen days of our yoof.

It's fun to re-live the good old days and there are (or will be hopefully) plenty of places we can play once life returns to some kind of normality. Loads of people out there of our age who like the music we play and have some money to spend on enjoying themselves, with the kids long grown up, mortgages paid off and so on.

We have had to be careful about what is known as "mission creep". If anyone wishes to include material that falls outside the agreed aim of the band, our policy is "it may be a good song and we may well enjoy playing it, but it isn't appropriate for this outfit".

That way, everyone understands and nobody gets offended when their suggestions are declined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeh, stick to the 80s.

Be confident in what you do.

A mixed up set is fine, as long as it's really mixed up. Ie something of everything throughout the full set.

A set of 90% 80s and some random 3 new songs, doesnt make any sense. Itll also attract the people who like the random 3 new songs asking for more new stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A guitarist I played with 10 years ago wanted to start a mod band. It was his vision so they stuck to that and they were doing ok on the mod scene up here.

If the 80`s band was the original plan you should stick to it and surround yourself with people on the same page as you. No point in playing stuff that you don`t want to, stick to your guns!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As it's your project, I'd say you should be prepared to take control and assume the bandleader role. Pick the set yourself and give it to the rest of the band to learn. You can take suggestions from the other members, but you have the final say.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think a band can - or should - be a democracy. You put it together, you know what you want & have a particular vision for the band - and you are able to very clearly articulate in this thread what that is, how it will work & why trying to change it weakens it & makes the band less marketable. I think you need to explain it to your bandmates in the same way & remind them (diplomatically is probably best!) whose idea the band was in the first place!

Not sure, but it sounds like it's predominantly the singer trying to pull it  away from your original concept - if so & she can't be talked round, you might have to accept that she's not the right singer, no matter how good/experienced she is.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there's anything malicious going on, I think the guitarist is one of those people who has a million ideas at once and as he's worked with the singer before it's easy for them to dig out their old set. It's a tough one as I think there's potential for a good band there, will keep trying to persuade! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Ask yourself, what would Steve Harris do? 

Run to the hills? 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

...playing stuff from the halogen days of our yoof...

A light repertoire, then..? -_-

...

xD :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

will keep trying to persuade

1 polite persuader vs 3 people already doing what they want to do.... Away win.

If you say, "this is an 80s band; we will be playing 80s music and 80s music only; who's in and who's out?" then even if they all hop it and you're once again recruiting from scratch, your vision is still intact.

So, which do you put as yr top priority, your new musical friends (in which case, get used to their wishes) or yr artistic vision (in which case, dont get too attached to anyone)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

1 polite persuader vs 3 people already doing what they want to do.... Away win.

Not quite. Drummer has stayed on the fence so far but I sensed he was uncomfortable with some of the discussion. He is yet to vote on possible set list/ what to learn next so I'd be interested to see what that does once he chips in. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell them that any songs that don't fit the remit can only be included if you arrange them in an Eighties style.   Don't take no for an answer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...