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Complaining On Stage


cheddatom

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There are loads of things we can complain about after playing a set. Bad sound, faulty equipment, out of tune singing, drunken guitarists... sh*t happens, and it can make for a sh*t gig. It's worth talking about this stuff after the set, or better yet, at the next rehearsal, but one way to guarantee I have a bad night is to complain while we're still on stage. I'm busy trying to perform to the audience and look like I'm enjoying myself, like the whole band should be, and that's pretty difficult if you're b*tching loud enough to hear you over the monitors.

 

Hopefully no-one on basschat is guilty of this, but if you are, give it a rest ay?

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Very unprofessional - I don't do it and no-one in either of my bands does it, because it ruins the gig for all.  We had a pretty lousy gig a few months back.  The drummer looked at me like he wanted to decapitate me when I asked him where a bag was, but it was during post gig tidy up so no worries :D

Edited by neepheid
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Few things ruin the crowd buzz quite as effectively as the band beaching and complaining all the time.

 

The exception, of course, is if you're looking at The Jesus and Mary Chain, in which case you haven't really seen them if the show passes without some kind of tantrum and meltdown.

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We used to rehearse on a weekly basis, even if we had 2 gigs that same weekend. Why am I saying this, well it’s so that if we got dodgy monitor mixed instead of that “can I have more upper mids from the hi-hat in my monitor” rubbish that I see many bands do, we’d be rehearsed enough to do the gig with no beaching & whining. I hate seeing bands, after every song complain about the monitors. I used to give the sound people a mic-chart detailing the line-up and what each of us wanted in our monitors as well to try and combat this.

 

The other thing that really annoys me is bands complaining “why don’t you all move forwards/come down the front of the stage”. They would, except you’re shyte. Rehearse a bit more and focus on the songs rather than the backstage beers.

Edited by Lozz196
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19 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I hate seeing bands, after every song complain about the monitors. I used to give the sound people a mic-chart detailing the line-up and what each of us wanted in our monitors as well to try and combat this.

Me too, it's like a nervous twitch thing. Like guitarists always tuning between every song, or having a quick bash of the main riff of a song before the whole band is ready to play. If you're well rehearsed to just don't do that [email protected] 

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Yeah agreed. Unprofessional.

I have to admit to issuing a terse exclamation of ‘NO’ from my side of the stage the weekend before last as one of the band members managed to skip a song on the large print set list right in front of them and started playing the intro (only one chord) of the song after it. Only lasted a couple of seconds and I wouldn’t have done it if I was confident everyone would have followed him, but I wasn’t.

 

Funny enough, almost the same thing happened again on Saturday. Singer announced it was the last song of the first set and happened to look to his right to see me doing a very subtle head shake and he caught on immediately.

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8 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Yeah agreed. Unprofessional.

I have to admit to issuing a terse exclamation of ‘NO’ from my side of the stage the weekend before last as one of the band members managed to skip a song on the large print set list right in front of them and started playing the intro (only one chord) of the song after it. Only lasted a couple of seconds and I wouldn’t have done it if I was confident everyone would have followed him, but I wasn’t.

 

This is normal for us, but me and the singer have got very good verbal comminication so we don't have an issue. We do have arguments on stage but on the ones that are played to the audience, ie, not actual arguments.

And we also vary the setlist in the process of the gig depending on the audience so there is some flexibilty there.

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I remember seeing Stiff Little Fingers in Leamington Spa some years back, Ian McCallum managed to pink torpedo up his guitar part during the song.....Jake looked over at him and gave the dreaded death stare....at the end of the song he announced "that was called .......... well it was for those of us that could f**king remember the song!"

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Years ago we got a late gig, 40 minute punky set supporting someone.  Free rehearsal.

 

Vocalist had the start of a cold, but said it wouldn't affect things.  He spent an hour before our slot drinking Guinness and eating several bars of chocolate.  Voice gave out after a couple of songs.  

 

He just did the old knife across the throat thing to say he couldn't go on, so I stepped up, apologised to the 40-50 people watching and said we'd be continuing as a three piece (singer was already off stage at that point).  He lumbered back on, pushed me and said, 'We need to talk.'

 

We played for about another 25 minutes, instrumental versions peppered with incoherent vocals and jamming.  Went down surprisingly well.  

 

When we finished, he'd already left the venue.  We did indeed speak and he never sang for us again.

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Drummer recently complained of the ''dirty looks'' I give him when he messes up. I explained I am only looking for visual cues ( for me to determine the path of least resistance to reestablishing time with the band )

 

I can't help it if my panicking bass face looks a bit dirty and it's probably best the audience don't see it!

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22 hours ago, cheddatom said:

There are loads of things we can complain about after playing a set. Bad sound, faulty equipment, out of tune singing, drunken guitarists... sh*t happens, and it can make for a sh*t gig. It's worth talking about this stuff after the set, or better yet, at the next rehearsal, but one way to guarantee I have a bad night is to complain while we're still on stage. I'm busy trying to perform to the audience and look like I'm enjoying myself, like the whole band should be, and that's pretty difficult if you're b*tching loud enough to hear you over the monitors.

 

Hopefully no-one on basschat is guilty of this, but if you are, give it a rest ay?

 

I was briefly in a band where the main guy (it was clearly HIS band, there was no doubt about it) was a bit like that. Not so much just complaining, but would spend the first 3-4 songs asking for changes to the monitors several times per song, and not precisely with a nice tone of voice (I don't think he meant to sound like an adult male chicken, I think he just gets very tense onstage wanting everything perfect)... That was not very nice, but what annoyed me the most was that he never wanted to show up early for soundchecks... which brought the issues he would complain about. If we had a soundcheck, even a short one, things would run much more smoothly.

Great music (originals, fusion of funk and hip hop), I loved that, but he sucked the joy out of it and I quit after a few weeks during a rehearsal. He started giving us a lecture and complaining about the backing vocalist having missed a cue about a part where she'd take over the lead... but the rest of the band kept it going, we repeated the section smoothly and she picked it up correctly the second time around. She had been saying from the start that she could not hear the main vocals or the guitar and she was struggling. That was the last drop for me and I packed and left for good. The only band I quit when I was sad to quit, as musically it was very good.

 

The guy is now a solo act. I wonder why.

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21 minutes ago, mcnach said:

 That was not very nice, but what annoyed me the most was that he never wanted to show up early for soundchecks... which brought the issues he would complain about. If we had a soundcheck, even a short one, things would run much more smoothly.

 

Yeh, I had a keyboard player having a fit during a gig (very noticably to the audience) because he wasn't loud enough. I had spent a considerable amount of time before hand trying to get him to join in wiht the sound check but he said it would be fine. Then he kept trying to interrupt while I was playing to change teh volume. I had little sympathy.

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We had a prima donna vocalist once… always complaining about his gear. The industry standard SM57 mic wasn’t enough… he went through a whole range of mics. Then he couldn’t hear himself and ended up with in-ears… I swear the only reason he got these was so he could pull them out and have them draped around his neck… like when Tom Jones undid his bow tie.

 

His best complaint was when we were playing the annual farmers’ ball. He claimed that some rum-looking agricultural type jumped onto the stage and threatened to punch his pretty-boy face in… he complained that none of us leapt to his defence. It was hard not to laugh.

 

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1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

I once had to yell "It's not a f***ing shuffle!" at the drummer, about 24 bars into a song.

That reminds me of an onstage episode I witnessed with The Troggs.

In the late 80s I was in a band that played quite regularly with The Troggs.

During one show, a short way into a song, Reg (singer) turned to Ronnie (drummer) and bellowed for all the crowd to hear, "Why are you playing those drums so f***in' slow?"😳

Those BCers of a certain age will be aware of The Troggs Tapes. Let me tell you it wasn't an act.

 

Edited by SteveK
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I joined a band, about 20 years ago, where the singer and the guitarist were married.

 

The screaming matches on stage were so extreme, that the audience thought it was part of the act.

 

Many times the singer would storm off stage, head into the street, hail a taxi and head off home.

 

The guitarist (her husband), myself and the drummer were then left on stage and would have to make up a set as we went along.

 

We got so good at making it up as we went along, that we formed a separate band, without the singer.

 

The strange thing is, they never argue in real life, only on stage, they're still together and still in the same band (and so am I ).

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1 hour ago, Trueno said:

agricultural type jumped onto the stage and threatened to punch his pretty-boy face in… he complained that none of us leapt to his defence

Reminds me of old Les Dawson joke, paraphrased below:

Bass Player 1: At our last gig three blokes from the audience jumped on stage and beat up our lead singer.

Bass Player 2: Didn't you help?

Bass Player 1: No, I thought three would be enough!

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2 hours ago, mcnach said:

not precisely with a nice tone of voice

I was already half way out of my last band but then some minor incident happened that stuck in the memory. I had put in the band calendar I was away from a Thursday to Saturday "at wedding". I wasn't asked if I would be back in time and willing to do a gig on the Saturday night, the words were "pretty long f*cking Wedding". Same question, very different effect.

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