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When you're billed as "This weeks Star Turn" at a social Club.


skidder652003
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To paraphrase from The great movie Platoon "I gotta a real bad feeling about this one"

Turned up at a social club last night ( I know), huge cavernous hall with wooden floor, darts match going on at the other end by the bar.

Maybe 20 people in the place in total, all at the far end 

Average age, mid 70's.

Acts roster on the wall, all duo and solo "Turns" with 80's era mug shot posters.

Kick off 9pm (sharp). Led Zep, Free, sabbath, you get the idea...Disaster

Take a break, events "manager" legs it over

"Got to ask you lads to pack up, the members say you're not their cup of tea, they want the Jukebox back on.

Humiliation.

At least we got paid.

Probably won't be back.

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Not humiliating for you, just wrong venue. Sad when it happens but one of those. I help a mate run an open mic at a social club and it’s ridiculous, the main crowd sit as far away as possible and grumble all night but it brings in 40 or 50 people wanting to play/ listen so makes decent money on the bar. It always feels slightly awkward.

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Pretty much exact thing happened to me several bands ago.  Leigh Conservative Club.  Conservative was bang on.  We weren't even playing anything heavy, just middle of the road dad rock and some 80s pop.  The 'MC' came up to us half way through the first set and asked if we could play stuff people knew.  Seriously, actually used those words.  Then gave us some advice about how the lights works - perhaps we could consider some slow changes between colour washes instead of flashing to the music.  We ended up playing an unrehearsed interminable rock and roll medley then left after more advice received about song choices.

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I played a social club in Banbury with a band I sometimes dep for a few years ago. The band was blues and old rock n roll songs, good singer leading the band. Nobody took a blind bit of notice of us, just moved away and ignored us. But we got paid, and for some reason, re-booked. The second time was just the same. 

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Many years ago a band I was in had a gig booked, we turned up to find it was a different landlord, one who didn’t want live music but was honouring the few bookings that the pub still had. As such he’d done no promotion, and word had gotten round that the pub no longer did bands. Halfway through our set he came up to us and offered the immortal line “If I give you £100 will you stop playing”.

 

Yep! 
 

Up til then it was our biggest pay day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

About 5 or 6 years ago I put together a Journey tribute band.   It was a great band with a singer that could reach the Steve Perry range unbelievably well.   Our first gig was a working men’s club in Rotherham.   It’s a good venue, the size of an airplane hanger.   We sold tickets for the event and did very well, selling out this massive venue, mostly with friends and acquaintances.  We stormed the place. Great gig.   We hired a full PA and lights, and I still paid the band members £200 each even after all the expenses.  (Didn’t take anything myself)

The bar manager said they’d not had an audience like that in 25 years and that they’d taken more over the bar than since the 90’s.

Ok….  Roll forward a couple of months and we contact them again to book in at the venue.

They didn’t want us….  We went down to see then and ask what was wrong.  Turns out the ‘regulars’ didn’t like it, …they’d lost their usual seats, couldn’t get served at the bar easily, we were too loud and they just didn’t want us back.

Not a lot you can do about it, I guess.   However, I went back the following Saturday to see what the place was like on a regular weekend night.    There were about 15 people, all around 70 years old , rattling around in the hanger of a venue.  A very poor solo artist, lost on the massive stage could just about be heard singing the old club standards like Elvis etc.

Well at least there was no queue at the bar.     I genuinely dunno how a place like that functions.   It must cost more to just heat it than they take over the bar for 15 people (TAKINGS , not profit) 

And what’s odd, as far as I know, the place is still open.

 

Edited by GremlinAndy
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Oh and another thing which was funny/annoying…  they insisted on still running the bingo for those 15 regulars during the our gig.   Hundreds of people told to be quiet while the bingo was on.   Most of the audience not used to clubland bingo etiquette, so …understandably defiant of the dolt in the box reading numbers.

 

WMC clubs, love them or hate them, you HAVE to hate them.  😜

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It should pretty easy to know if your band is a good fit for a WMC gig.

 

It's usually top 40 covers from the 60's to the 90's. If they can sing along and dance, you'll go down well.

 

You're in their world, it's not their fault if you're not a good fit for the gig.

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