Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Relieving the babysitter

So the biggest problem I have come across since becoming involved in this promoting lark is getting bands to agree to play last on the bill. This is usually around 10:30-10:45. No bugger wants to play at this time.

I remember the days when this was the ultimate goal. The thing is, in a showcase situation with every band playing 30 minutes, the last on the bill isn't what it used to be. There's not the prestige. The importance. The band's name isn't any bigger on the gig-flyer. The room isn't fuller. The crowd aren't gagging to hear you any more than they were to hear the previous band. They're more likely gagging for some quietude and fresh air, or the opposite, some quiet and a fag. It's simply the short-straw.

The problem seems to arise for two main reasons:

1) the necessity to get home and relieve the babysitter, and

2) not playing to an empty room because the audience has gone home... to relieve the babysitter.

Every gig I book creates this problem.

The question is how to overcome it? Should we start earlier in the evening, say at 8pm. This would mean soundchecking half an hour earlier. Early sound checks though are also a problem. 6-6:30 seems to be the preferred time for this. Though I have to say, soundchecks are generally very swift when they involve mature musicians. This is mature musicians at their most mature. And polite(to the soundman). And sharing (with the other bands).

Suggestions please, on a comment board....


Furtheron said...

To hell with that... where can I book that babysitter... ;-)

I have little right to comment being purely a bedroom warrior who despite going on about it I doubt I will ever play live again... lack of talent, lack of time, but mostly fear which i used to deal with in a certain way and now my head associates bad things with it...

Ignoring that - the early soundcheck is an issue if it's a work day surely for many. I work at the arse end of the UK - East Kent, it's unlikely I'm home before 6:00 at the earliest. I've got to load up and get to the venue etc. Another reason for not being last on... I have to be up at 6:00am the next morning to start the whole process again

Col said...

Never bothers me. When we play the Halfmoon, Putney we have to soundcheck as early as 4.00pm!!! If you are worried about what time you have to get up the next morning you sahouldn't be gigging. It's all part of the deal as far as I am concerned. But I have been playing and wondered why half the room is exiting before the set is over. That's the problem. The trouble with bands and gigs is that the scene hasn't moved on since the 60's and 70's etc. Unlike pubs which have now becoem 'family' orientated. Try putting on some Sunday afternon gigs and see what happens when you tell people they can bring the kids?

Online Music Promotion said...

That's bad Furtheron. Well, at least you did try your best to be one. Maybe its not really for you.