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Played the Hard Rock Cafe last night... except it isn't!


warwickhunt
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My band (3 piece playing rock covers) played The Hard Rock Cafe in Newcastle last night.  Set up requires bands to bring their own desk and plug into the house PA (massive Bose speakers slung from the ceiling), the pub manager controls overall volume from his device.  Except he didn't!  Despite us going out front to listen (the benefit of radio gear), he said he couldn't get us louder and there was nothing coming out of their system... and I genuinely mean ZERO!  When he put the house background music on, we could hear it through their system, so it was working.  We played 2 sets with only our vocal monitors (pointing at us) to carry the vocals a very odd experience. 

 

This in itself was disappointing but the oddest thing was that today (next day) the band got a Facebook message from a punter to say that they were suffering from mild hearing loss and tinnitus; WTF?  We've no idea whether this will play out further but I do know that with 40 years gigging experience, there is categorically no way that we were loud.  Added to which, nobody forced the guy to stay and the room was massive so he could easily have moved; he certainly didn't complain to us or the management at the time.  We had friends at the gig and they were having normal conversations around the table without raising their voices.

 

Chalk this one down to experience at the (not so) Hard Rock Cafe.  

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Sounds like some real chancer, how loud are most gigs? I was at The offspring on Wednesday and the guy next to me was messing with a db meter on his phone that was showing 115-125 db through the set. I had my passive earplugs in for some of the set but not all and was fine. I have ever been in a pub gig that has come anywhere close to that (or many many other gigs at medium- large venues). I would imagine you would get loads of complaints before you came close to that level.

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Pretty much OT but I was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 for a Status Quo gig. They had the entire balcony jumping up and down in unison (deliberately) at one point, and I can clearly recall the 18-year-old me thinking, "Who's going to jail if that lot comes down?".

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17 hours ago, Supernaut said:

At least you wouldn't have suffered from the dreaded line that I once received:

 

"Can you turn it down, please? I'm trying to have a conversation here!" 

 

You're not the only one. I feel your pain.

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1 hour ago, uk_lefty said:

Sounds like theyre either trying to be funny or a chancer. Either way I'd ignore it and see if you can get the comment deleted.

 

It was a private message but if we  need to we can refer the gentleman to the corporation that is 'The Hard Rock Cafe' as we are sure they have a legal dept that can allay his fears that logged readings of negligible amounts can't/won't have caused him any serious harm.  

 

As it happens we do have public liability insurance but seeing as how we were using the venue's sound equipment and it is this that has 'allegedly' caused the damage, then I think they'd need to deal with it IF it came to it.

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40 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

And I'm sure HRC have their meters professionally calibrated every year to ensure they are accurate and admissible in court as evidence for the defence...

 

TBH their flying sound system was impressive but at no point during the whole evening (band and background music) did the levels get to a point where 8-10 folks sitting around a table had to raise their voices.  In fact at one point (while we were playing), I could hear the general topic of conversation around one table... the cost of affordable housing if you must know.  It was actually quiet off-putting playing my ar5e off and folks talking was drowning us out!  LOL

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1 hour ago, toneknob said:

I once had from a punter "can you turn down please? It's making me feel sick" (everyone else was ok)

 

I had that from our drummer a few years back at a gig. Venue had a hollow floored stage and apparently the rumble from my rig was making his insides move around unpleasantly. I spent the whole gig laughing at him looking like he was going to poop... 😂😂😂

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11 minutes ago, Mudpup said:

I had that from our drummer a few years back at a gig. Venue had a hollow floored stage and apparently the rumble from my rig was making his insides move around unpleasantly. I spent the whole gig laughing at him looking like he was going to poop... 😂😂😂

 

Ahhhh....the legendary 'Brown' note.

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12 minutes ago, Boodang said:

Was thinking recently that in this day and age it might be worth having a calibrated sound level meter so as a band you have an independent means of proving db levels during a gig. This incident shows that time might have arrived. 

Excellent… I can just imagine pointing a meter at the geetarist’s monster stack and telling him it’s too loud…

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12 minutes ago, Trueno said:

Excellent… I can just imagine pointing a meter at the geetarist’s monster stack and telling him it’s too loud…

A Marshall stack with only one speaker connected! Mind you, there's been a few guitarists where that's been a tempting option.

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6 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

Pretty much OT but I was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 for a Status Quo gig. They had the entire balcony jumping up and down in unison (deliberately) at one point, and I can clearly recall the 18-year-old me thinking, "Who's going to jail if that lot comes down?".

Oh yes, that wobbly balcony! Experienced that when 9 Below Zero played there in the very early 80s - scary, but an adrenaline buzz type scary!

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2 hours ago, Boodang said:

Was thinking recently that in this day and age it might be worth having a calibrated sound level meter so as a band you have an independent means of proving db levels during a gig. This incident shows that time might have arrived. 

Nah - if it's properly too loud then the venue will shut you down as they owe a duty to their staff as employers to provide a safe working environment. 

 

A dB meter will only tell you the volume at a particular location, which can vary depending on the layout of the room, so wouldn't be particularly helpful unless you followed the bloke around. 

 

If said punter decided it was too loud and continued to stay then it's non volenti fit injuria i.e. by realising the risk of harm, but doing nothing to avoid it, you can't then bring a claim against another party. 

 

If anyone is concerned about the risk of claims for hearing damage then the best thing to do would be to put a box of those foam earplugs on the bar for people to help themselves to. That demonstrates that you have identified a potential risk and taken reasonable steps to mitigate it. If no-one takes any, well, that's their choice. 

 

 

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