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Playing songs in a covers band you dont always like.?


bubinga5

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2 hours ago, Paul S said:

@hiram.k.hackenbacker not sure how 'laughing is an appropriate response tbh.  Please explain what is so funny?

 

It wasn't meant to cause any distress mate and I apologise if it did. It's just all this talk of 'hate' and throwing the toys out of the pram if asked to play something one doesn't like. I just find it ridiculous....laughable in fact.

There are few things I actually hate in this world and none of them are pieces of music.

It could be that I'm just lucky to be in bands that don't tie themselves up in knots over what not to do.

I do remember having a disagreement over a song called 'Cake By The Ocean' some years ago when I was in a function band that has since folded. That had more to do with the person suggesting it than the actual song itself in all honesty. Looking back at it, I should have handled that differently, but he was the band leader and in my view looking for an easy add-on of a song that his kids liked that had (IMHO) a limited lifespan.

Life's too short to worry about these things.

I'm trying to think of some songs that would provoke the sort of reaction that you have described. I can't. Sure there are plenty of songs that I would question whether they would fit in the sets of the bands I'm part of, but refusing to play something that would fit doesn't really compute with me. Steve H and I regularly have a laugh every single 80's gig about 'Walking On Sunshine'. We would both drop it in a heartbeat, but it's not our call and even it was, it always goes down so well it would almost be criminal to do so. I wasn't really a fan of 'Relax' but have played it for years until it was recently replaced with 'Two Tribes' which I was over the moon about.

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The question of playing is probably the first: do you want to play?

Our band plays lots of songs that are not on my home play list. But when the crowd is jumping and singing along and having a good time, I know we've managed to talk with the language of music to the people.

Sometimes there are parts of the language, i.e. the songs, that may be less interesting, but it is the complete offering than a single sentence that matters. I often forget songs (not notes) while I play, because the feel means so much. Music is more than a single song.

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If you're playing in an out and out covers band, it is usually to get paid gigs first and foremost - parties, weddings, etc, etc. So satisfying one's soul has to take second place to giving audiences what they want/like. With that in mind, if I don't particularly care for a song, I just suck it up and play it. It's only a few minutes out of my life and, so long as the experience overall is satisfying/enjoyable/lucrative, I'm good with that.

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4 hours ago, TimR said:

Could be worse, could be in an originals band where even the audience don't like the songs. 😁

*although to be fair it was after a big football match with a charity raffle draw at the end. But very demoralising when you think you have a big ready made crowd.  

We had that at Ewood Park (Blackburn Rovers). Big corporate five a side tournament on during the day. Bar was packed as we set up but the moment we started everyone buggered off home. By the time we played 'I think we're alone now' it was true!

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14 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

If you're playing in an out and out covers band, it is usually to get paid gigs first and foremost ...

I've played in lots of covers bands and never because of the money and likewise for most of the other people playing in those bands.

Edited by bassman7755
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No distress, Warren - just mystified why you felt the need to score points off me in public when you could have just ignored it.  Hey Ho.:(

 

I don't 'throw my toys out of the pram' about songs I don't like.  As I said in my post... I often have and no doubt will continue to play sings I don't like.  Ask the chaps about 'Mr Brightside' and a smiley mask.  I have also, in past bands, played 'Walking on Sunshine' and, God help me, 'Sit Down' - both of which I dislike.  And a whole raft of others.


But not hate.  I simply refuse to play songs I hate - a gain in level. As I recall I only ever point blank refused to play something once, long ago in band far away.  If you don't find songs you hate, that's all the better for you.  There are some I do hate.  As a general principle of Life being forced to do something I hate doing is a subject I do feel strongly about - again, as I said.   And if you find that laughable, I guess we just have different values and tolerances.

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

It wasn't meant to cause any distress mate and I apologise if it did. It's just all this talk of 'hate' and throwing the toys out of the pram if asked to play something one doesn't like. I just find it ridiculous....laughable in fact.

There are few things I actually hate in this world and none of them are pieces of music.

It could be that I'm just lucky to be in bands that don't tie themselves up in knots over what not to do.

I do remember having a disagreement over a song called 'Cake By The Ocean' some years ago when I was in a function band that has since folded. That had more to do with the person suggesting it than the actual song itself in all honesty. Looking back at it, I should have handled that differently, but he was the band leader and in my view looking for an easy add-on of a song that his kids liked that had (IMHO) a limited lifespan.

Life's too short to worry about these things.

I'm trying to think of some songs that would provoke the sort of reaction that you have described. I can't. Sure there are plenty of songs that I would question whether they would fit in the sets of the bands I'm part of, but refusing to play something that would fit doesn't really compute with me. Steve H and I regularly have a laugh every single 80's gig about 'Walking On Sunshine'. We would both drop it in a heartbeat, but it's not our call and even it was, it always goes down so well it would almost be criminal to do so. I wasn't really a fan of 'Relax' but have played it for years until it was recently replaced with 'Two Tribes' which I was over the moon about.

 

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Think there are always songs in a set i dont particulary enjoy or even like but its got to be a balance between what the band likes and what an audience might enjoy.

My background has always been rock and prog. Its what i listen to and what i've played most over the years in covers bands. 

My current band is a 70's Glam covers band and it turns out i really love playing those songs from the 72-76 era.

I was recently asked to join a 70's classic punk band and having never really listened to punk much i was sceptical about it but said i would give it a go. Turns out i really enjoy playing them as well and several of the songs are simply good ol' pop rock songs.

Seems i just love songs from the 70's 😂

I've been in covers bands where i didn't think the songs would suit the band or audience but i played them anyways but didn't stay long in those kind of bands.

Audience needs to enjoy what the band are doing or it could turn out to be a poor gig for everyone including the band. If the songs dont get an audience moving, applauding or appreciative in some way then the gigs a flop for me.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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13 minutes ago, Paul S said:

No distress, Warren - just mystified why you felt the need to score points off me in public when you could have just ignored it.  Hey Ho.:(

 

I don't 'throw my toys out of the pram' about songs I don't like.  As I said in my post... I often have and no doubt will continue to play sings I don't like.  Ask the chaps about 'Mr Brightside' and a smiley mask.  I have also, in past bands, played 'Walking on Sunshine' and, God help me, 'Sit Down' - both of which I dislike.  And a whole raft of others.


But not hate.  I simply refuse to play songs I hate - a gain in level. As I recall I only ever point blank refused to play something once, long ago in band far away.  If you don't find songs you hate, that's all the better for you.  There are some I do hate.  As a general principle of Life being forced to do something I hate doing is a subject I do feel strongly about - again, as I said.   And if you find that laughable, I guess we just have different values and tolerances.

 

I think you're taking this all a bit too seriously Paul, so I'll say no more on the subject.

'Sit Down' has just been suggested by my rock covers band 🙄. My only thought on that will be (when we get together tomorrow) is that yes, let's try it (I've never played it) and see what the response is like.

I think the only reason we don't do Mr.Brightside and Sex On Fire is that they have been done to death and even the punters are a bit 🙄 with them now. Love playing and listening to both though.

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3 hours ago, ubit said:

 

 

It's not just for different reasons. Its down to geographical areas too. Up here there isn't the amount of people to form a scene where bands could get a following doing originals. It's not like in cities where there is a scene for that kind of thing. You have bands that throw in a couple of their own but they usually get told to "play something we know".

 

If you want to be in a band where I come from you are more or less forced into the cover band area. I wish I had the talent to write decent original music but I don't. I also don't jam with people who come up with decent original material. If our guitarist was able to write superb original music I would be delighted to do it. These days with social media you can showcase your own music so at least reach people that way.

 

As I say, the flavour at the moment is this Scottish trad. with a rock edge. The kids love it up here. I detest it but had to play it  if I wanted to be in a gigging band.

Have to say Skerryvore did ok with the island scene. Bit of Scottish Trad rock going on there. I think it all stems from that other trad rock foot-stomping band from Scotland Runrig but they are probably the exceptions to the rule. Capercaillie another great trad rock band.

I know what you mean about the local scene in Oban or even Highlands for that matter. Inverness probably an exception there too.

You'll just have to travel down to the big City. 

How unlucky am i that our first gig in 18mths with the Glam band is the night they shut off all the streets in Glasgow for the COP thing.

Dave

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14 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

I think you're taking this all a bit too seriously Paul, so I'll say no more on the subject.

 

And here is the problem; you think it doesn’t really matter. But to some people (Paul S obviously, and certainly others) it obviously does matter. And mocking somebody because what matters to them just doesn’t matter to you seems, well, “ridiculous…..laughable”. 😉

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2 hours ago, 4000 said:


I’m not in a city. And I’ve had the same problem with past originals bands as anyone in the provinces or any other musical backwater. For us, we simply happened to come across a band format that people seem to like, whilst writing songs that people also seem to like. We’ve been gigging regularly - and occasionally but not often in cities - since 2012 and have never once been told to “play something we know” (although someone did once ask if we knew any Johnny Cash - we didn’t 😂). Usually people are surprised that the material we’re playing was actually written by us.😉
 

FWIW, everyone I’ve ever played with has been involved in writing to a greater or lesser degree, and I’ve written since the day I started playing (it never occurred to me that I couldn’t!), so maybe I’m lucky in that respect. 

What kind of music are you palying ?

Dave

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1 minute ago, dmccombe7 said:

What kind of music are you palying ?

Dave

Original. 😉😂 Seriously, difficult to say, other than apart from me everything is acoustic instruments, with a cajon instead of drums. For that reason we get thrown in with folk but we’re really not folk, although we do dip our toes in that direction occasionally. It’s fairly eclectic, with the main constant being harmony vocals. The acoustic thing has made such a difference, opened so many doors for us. I’m not entirely sure I’d ever want to be in a full blown all-electric band again. 

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I play whatever is fun to play, whatever I like to play and some songs that are neither fun or I particulary like that the crowd like (like sex on fire). The ones I normally don't like are the ones we play badly, in that I would rather not play something at all than play it badly. There are a few things that I wont play and that is fine because we have no real style, so we have all the songs the whole of the last 60 years to pick from so there is no real issue apart from drunk people in pubs calling for some of them, but then they can just blame me and we carry on.

 

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1 hour ago, 4000 said:

Original. 😉😂 Seriously, difficult to say, other than apart from me everything is acoustic instruments, with a cajon instead of drums. For that reason we get thrown in with folk but we’re really not folk, although we do dip our toes in that direction occasionally. It’s fairly eclectic, with the main constant being harmony vocals. The acoustic thing has made such a difference, opened so many doors for us. I’m not entirely sure I’d ever want to be in a full blown all-electric band again. 

I quite enjoy that kind of acoustic / "folk" style music. I auditioned for a Celtic folk band once. Its the only audition i've ever failed but i wasn't really sure and probably didnt put enough effort into it. Oddly enough they approached me a year later when the guy they picked left. I said no and that i wasn't too impressed with the girls in the band saying to me that the guy in before me was perfect for the band. Kind of put a damper on it right away. LOL

Dave

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2 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

I quite enjoy that kind of acoustic / "folk" style music. I auditioned for a Celtic folk band once. Its the only audition i've ever failed but i wasn't really sure and probably didnt put enough effort into it. Oddly enough they approached me a year later when the guy they picked left. I said no and that i wasn't too impressed with the girls in the band saying to me that the guy in before me was perfect for the band. Kind of put a damper on it right away. LOL

 

There is a lot of acoustic stuff round here at the moment, I know quite a lot of people in those sort of groups now. Its not for me but probably good for people who like that kind of thing.

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For us the acoustic thing wasn’t a conscious decision, it just kind of fell into place. However the nice thing is, based on our experience at least, that it seems to be far less polarising for the audience than many full band situations can be. Whatever the reason it’s certainly worked for us so far, fingers crossed. 

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I have been recently contacted by a local band whose bass player left. I requested a setlist and received it along with a link to their videos. As the OP says: Some songs are great and some im not a fan of. Songs that I like , the type of the music I listen , would come naturally, but the rest would be a chore. I turned down the offer politely. 

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Interesting thread.

 

I'd be amazed if you could assemble say 4 people and a 25 song set list where everybody likes every song, and even more amazed if all the liked songs were suitable for actually getting a decent covers gig.

 

To me it comes down to the numbers. In a 25 song set list I would expect to really love maybe 5 of them. Enjoy another 10. Tolerate 5, and hate the rest.

And I'd expect the rest of the band to have similar feelings.

 

And if we are all mates, then I'll gladly play my mate's favourite tune that I hate if I get to play my favourite.

 

 

And if regular Friday night gigs are the priority - then all that still goes out the window if the punters don't want to hear the songs I love.

 

 

Now if you don't mind - I have to go and practice some Mariah for this years Xmas show..... [/urgh]

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On 16/10/2021 at 16:07, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:
On 16/10/2021 at 16:07, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I do remember having a disagreement over a song called 'Cake By The Ocean' some years ago when I was in a function band that has since folded. That had more to do with the person suggesting it than the actual song itself in all honesty. Looking back at it, I should have handled that differently, but he was the band leader and in my view looking for an easy add-on of a song that his kids liked that had (IMHO) a limited lifespan

 

 

 

You should have done it, its a great song when done right!

 

 

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On 16/10/2021 at 17:13, dmccombe7 said:

Have to say Skerryvore did ok with the island scene. Bit of Scottish Trad rock going on there. I think it all stems from that other trad rock foot-stomping band from Scotland Runrig but they are probably the exceptions to the rule. Capercaillie another great trad rock band.

I know what you mean about the local scene in Oban or even Highlands for that matter. Inverness probably an exception there too.

You'll just have to travel down to the big City. 

How unlucky am i that our first gig in 18mths with the Glam band is the night they shut off all the streets in Glasgow for the COP thing.

Dave

 

 

Yeah mate, I hear ya about the bands mentioned. No doubt they have made money out of this genre. I just hated that that's all everyone wants. There are fans of other genres but we just found that on the whole that kind of music got people dancing and if we wanted gigs we gradually had to develop our own take on it. Its when our accordion player started jamming with the rock stuff that I got cheesed off.

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10 minutes ago, ubit said:

 

 

You should have done it, its a great song when done right!

 

 


Ha ha, yes that is rather good. Not sure that level of heaviness would have fit in our band though. My reaction at the time had more to do with the person suggesting it than the song itself. It just seemed like an easy route to take (which was a recurring theme) rather than doing something a little more challenging. Definitely should have had a go at it though. A chorus that everyone would have been singing along to.

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From a covers band perspective, I think there has to be a degree of give and take.  Utimately it's all about what the audience want, and I do find myself playing a couple of songs I find pretty boring, but when the audience dance and/or sing along it makes up for it.  In our band we do have a veto system but everyone's up for at least giving people's suggestions a go - the only flat out vetos occur when it's too difficult to distill it down for a single guitarist or something's beyond one of us to be able to play it well enough.  We cull songs from the set if they don't get a good reaction from the audience rather than because we like/don't like them - although our guitarist will do almost anything to get out of playing an Oasis track ;) I grumble about playing "Don't Stop Believin'" (effing boring song that doesn't go anywhere) and the rest of the lads poke a bit of fun at me as a consequence but it's all good natured.

 

Ultimately, we're there to entertain people not pander to my tastes or preferences, so we try to give the people what they want first and have a private grumble about the ones we'd rather not play in rehearsals.

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