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Bad experiences at gigs

wysiwyg 01 Apr 16 - 12:05 PM
leeneia 01 Apr 16 - 11:11 AM
Phil Cooper 01 Apr 16 - 08:02 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Apr 16 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Musket 14 Mar 16 - 01:04 PM
The Sandman 14 Mar 16 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Musket 14 Mar 16 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,wysiwyg minus cookie 13 Mar 16 - 11:55 AM
Brian Peters 13 Mar 16 - 08:35 AM
James Fryer 12 Mar 16 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 19 Jul 13 - 05:44 AM
GUEST 19 Jul 13 - 05:43 AM
The Sandman 28 Jun 13 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Allen in Oz 28 Jun 13 - 06:53 PM
Rumncoke 28 Jun 13 - 05:37 PM
Vic Smith 28 Jun 13 - 09:11 AM
Bert 28 Jun 13 - 06:46 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Jun 13 - 06:34 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Jun 13 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,kendall 27 Jun 13 - 07:25 PM
Don Firth 27 Jun 13 - 07:01 PM
The Sandman 27 Jun 13 - 04:55 PM
Vic Smith 27 Jun 13 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Grishka 27 Jun 13 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 27 Jun 13 - 04:52 AM
Mooh 24 Jul 12 - 10:23 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 16 Jul 12 - 07:26 PM
ollaimh 16 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jul 12 - 10:22 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Jul 12 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 16 Jul 12 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 16 Jul 12 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 15 Jul 12 - 08:18 PM
Rockhen 15 Jul 12 - 01:50 PM
gnu 15 Jul 12 - 12:58 PM
Mooh 15 Jul 12 - 10:14 AM
Mooh 15 Jul 12 - 10:08 AM
Leadfingers 15 Jul 12 - 09:19 AM
Vic Smith 15 Jul 12 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Suart Reed 14 Jul 12 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,A. Pseudonym 14 Jul 12 - 07:16 AM
Leadfingers 14 Jul 12 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 13 Jul 12 - 04:40 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Jul 12 - 10:46 AM
Vic Smith 13 Jul 12 - 09:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Jul 12 - 09:18 AM
Vic Smith 13 Jul 12 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 13 Jul 12 - 06:02 AM
Leadfingers 13 Jul 12 - 05:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 12:05 PM

Phil, I'd have loved to be at that mtg where they bemoaned "whatever happened to...." and decided on a better approach!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 11:11 AM

You both have my sympathy.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 08:02 AM

Two summers ago, Susan and I were playing at a local farmers market. A lot of the vendors liked us and we had a good time and made some money (we were doing the market to practice newer stuff in a setting where no one was paying a lot of attention). One week another musician showed up and started to play. We had been letting the managers know when we were coming and getting official approval for being there. This other fellow had not done any of that. Then he started complaining because we had sound gear and he didn't. I talked to him after we were packing up and said we would be willing to trade off days when we were there and he was there. He seemed willing to do that. The next week we were not going to be there, so we told the managers to tell the other guy that we would not be there that week, but would be there the next. The next time we were there and set up, he showed up, stoned and started yelling at the market manager. No one had passed on the message. Then another fellow showed up and said they had told him he could play that week. At this point, we decided that since the managers couldn't find their ass with both hands, and that we didn't see playing music as a blood sport, that we would pack up and leave, letting the other two guys figure out what they were going to do. We offered to help coordinate a schedule of performers with the site manager, but no one got in touch with us. The next summer, we got contacted and they came up with a system of approving musicians. The other guy showed up unannounced and was told he couldn't play there. Anyway, we haven't had anything that bad happen since.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 04:51 AM

Classical gig disaster: I was playing timpani, and used to use an adjustable spanner for tuning the one tensioning nut that didn't have a turnable tap on it. Right in one of the quietest and most lyrical bits of the piece, I dropped that spanner: it didn't just land on the floor but bounced down into the audience with a horrible clatter! The conductor's eyes were casting murderous looks in my direction and I just wanted the earth to open up.

And during a production of "The Mikado", the director decided it would be fun to have Koko arrive on stage on a skateboard. He successfully jumped off it, but the skateboard carried on into the orchestra pit, narrowly missing the oboeist!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 01:04 PM

Aye but can your audience say that with a straight face? 😇


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 12:28 PM

I have never had any bad experiences at any gig, that i can recall.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 09:43 AM

Back in the day, our drummer tried to fart whilst playing an energetic solo.

His dexterity not being his strong point, he followed through.

No names no pack drill, but Retford Porterhouse circa 1982, opening for a big name new wave band.

Oh, and we shared a dressing room with them. Shared the joy too as it were...


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,wysiwyg minus cookie
Date: 13 Mar 16 - 11:55 AM

That time we show3d up on time as usual for sound check in prep for a thoroughly prepared acoustic set.... an influential member of the organisation coming into the rehearsal/sound check from behind us, bellowing "What the hell are YOU doing here!?!?" (As booking boss, I calmly and briefly replied with the facts and got band members back into the tune).

Then the first audience member arriving loudly launched into, "Why can't we get an organist in this place!" (Because your busted effing antique organ has been deemed unplayable by all the local professionals-- and everyone here is toxic, we all managed not to reply.)

But my favorite 'bad gig' experience turned out well.... arrived to find the building locked up tight upon our confirmed arrival time for setup/sound check. Luckily we had a plucky and tall, very thin guitar player with us that time, who quickly found the barely-open window to shinny thru, and who then let us in the front door. That was so funny that we didn't care when only 4 people came to the 'community-building' concert we'd been asked to play-- we just used it as a rehearsal, after welcoming the dude whose place we'd broken into, when he arrived with the other 3. ;-)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 13 Mar 16 - 08:35 AM

Not perhaps the worst gig, but possibly the Great Escape...

It's 1990, a Sunday afternoon gig at a bikers' pub in Ashton-under-Lyne. The usual fare here consists of blues bands, but I'm with a band that plays old-time, country, and rockabilly on acoustic instruments, albeit with a small PA system. The crowd - a pretty intimidating bunch with plenty of ale inside them - are looking suspiciously at our banjos, fiddles, and stand-up bass.

We play the first song. Someone shouts out "IT'S NOT FUCKING LOUD ENOUGH!", to noisy expressions of agreement from across the room. We turn up the PA to the edge of feedback, and announce the next number: "We're gonna do a bluegrass song for you now..."

"BLUEGRASS?!!" For a few moments the air around us is bluer than the grass of Kentucky. We could hardly have got a more furious reaction had we announced 'The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'. This is not what they came to hear.

I'm losing my nerve. I'm a folkie, accustomed to audiences who nod enthusiastically when I tell them that the next song is Child 243, and sit in rapt attention throughout. This lot are a GBH case waiting to happen. Fortunately my bandmates are veterans of many a working-men's club, and remain inexplicably unfazed by the situation: "Don't worry, we'll be fine."

We soldier on. Somehow, the atmosphere of hostility and violence begins to ebb away. Surely they can't be enjoying this? By the end of the set, loud cries of "MORE BLUEGRASS!" go up. We get an encore.

As we're packing away our gear, the punters link arms and shoulders, forming the kind of huddle used by footballers during penalty shoot-outs, and begin their own sing-song. They belt out 'Delilah', apparently unconcerned by the misogynistic violence of the lyric. After that comes the big finish: 'Two Little Boys'. They roar out the first couple of verses, then arrive at verse three, in which Jack breaks ranks to ride back to his comrade Joe, lying mortally wounded on the battle field. Usually at this point Jack utters the heart-warming words, "Do you think I would leave you dying, when there's room on my horse for two?" The bikers, however, bellow:

"Then came a voice he knew...

GET UP, YOU SOFT BASTARD!!"

The publican comes over to pay us our thirty quid. "You've gone down well today, lads: they usually do the sing-song while the band is playing."

Thanks to all who contributed the entertaining tales above.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: James Fryer
Date: 12 Mar 16 - 12:45 PM

Back in the early 1980s I was in a (not terribly good) guitar rock band based in London. We were either 10 years behind, or 10 years ahead of our time, depending on how you look at it.

We did some dreadful gigs at youth clubs in the Home Counties where there were maybe 5 or 6 in the audience, and one at Brighton Poly where there was no audience at all, and even the barman left, and we all cracked up into hysterical giggles.

Oh yes and the one at the Corn Exchange in Brighton supporting a rock guitarist gone solo. We'd stayed at a huge squat in Seaford the night before, where there was an all-night party with someone handing out acid tabs which some of the band (not me!) indulged in. I don't remember much about that gig but it was not good.

However the worst gig we did was at Newhaven Fort. We'd booked a coach to bring our fans down from Muswell Hill. Our manager had booked a local act as support.

We and our fans were inclined to long hair, soft drugs and a late hippie vibe. Unfortunately the support turned out to be the town's skinhead band and their music, attitude and fans were not compatible with ours.

Our fans were terrorised by the skins, although luckily our roadie and a couple of our followers were robust enough to stare them down. The feeling was that a fight was close but it never happened.

We had to play our set because we had bussed 30 people down to see us but it was difficult in a hail of gob and shouts of "go home, hippies!"

With much relief we ended the set and left. I had crusty hair from dried phlegm the next day.

I can say for sure that was the worst gig I ever played but it was character forming. Whatever happens at a gig now, as long as there is an audience and they are not spitting at me, I can play on.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 05:44 AM

Sorry - that was me.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 05:43 AM

'I used to think that from the strange reaction in some faces at weddings when we played our introductory number, but now I think that the problem goes deeper than that, Chris.'

Not exactly what I was getting at, Vic (if I've understood you correctly). My point is that weddings give you a chance to introduce traditional music (or whatever your own take on it is) to people who aren't particularly familiar with it. This, in my view, gives you both an opportunity and a responsibility.

The opportunity is to do with making people aware of you who wouldn't come across what you do otherwise. The responsibility comes with not being arrogant, precious or greedy (the band I mentioned earlier not only ignored the guests but also went back for second helpings of the buffet during their break when people wanted to get back to dancing) and putting people off booking traditional musicians for further events.

I've been really embarrassed sometimes by the behaviour of some bands at weddings. An old mate of mine had a 'Ceili' band at his wedding whe were mates of the bride's dad. Again, scruffy, arrogant and unrehearsed. I was so bloody angry, especially as I was playing at the time in a terrific Cajun band that could have ripped the place up.

I sometimes feel that a lot of traditional musicians who have a regular following (however small) forget that no-one at a wedding gives a toss about how good 'Folk Roots' or whatever it's called now thinks they are. It's all about your performance and your attitude on the night. Wedding gigs can be tricky to get right but they're a piece of piss to get wrong.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 08:14 PM

I am afraid any bad gigs i might have experienced, I have forgotten.
however I do remember that i was the artist that was booked the most times in 50 years at Stockton folk club., and i have the t shirt to prove it.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Allen in Oz
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 06:53 PM

1 Playing in a bush band to an audience of "young people" in Bondi. It turned out to be a group of pre school kids. Halfway through a fast jig set, one little boy started pulling at my guitar asking me to do up his shoe laces !

2. Playing all night to a hedge while everybody was sitting behind it around a pool

3. Driving 30 miles to a pub gig and forgetting our music when the piano player couldn't play a note without it

Allen in Oz

ps ..Some of the bad gigs in this thread are far worse than ours ( it is all pretty gentle out here in Australia )

AD


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Rumncoke
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 05:37 PM

When I lived in the English Midlands I was asked to go along to sing with a couple I'd met a few times in the area and share the fee - they picked me up, we sang well together and later on they collected the money and departed, leaving me with no way to get home.

I felt rather dismal for a half an hour, then spotted a familiar face, someone I could get a lift from, and they even bought me a drink to cheer me up. Then the mc came over and said
'your friends left their mandolin, can you take it?'

I almost smiled, but not quite.

It is still on top of the wardrobe, in its nice hard case.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 09:11 AM

Re-reading these old posts including some from Brendan B. reminds me of an incident - again many years ago - when we used to play with Bren & Chrissie that ruined an otherwise excellent dance.....

It was near Christmas, an 18th birthday party for a young woman organised by her parents. Things were going well to a large mixed age family party when the dad came up to us and asked us to take a break because the surprise that he had arranged for his daughter had arrived.

In walked Father Christmas with a big sack over his shoulder. There were looks of delight on the faces of the many children there. The band was still on the stage and quickly went into Jingle Bells. This was not well received by this version of St. Nicholas. "F**king shut up. F**king shut up" he said to us in a loud stage whisper... so we did. He then proceeded to take a battery cassette player out of his sack and switched it on. The tinny speaker produced some sleazy music as Father Christmas took off all his clothes off leaving just a very small posing pouch as he wobbled around showing his considerable rolls of fat.

He gathered up his clothes and left but not before several families with rather confused young children had made their exit.

After this it was not possible to regain the lovely atmosphere that had prevailed earlier in the evening.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Bert
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 06:46 AM

Does this qualify? The Espresso Machine


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Jun 13 - 06:34 AM

Ah, yes: the payment thing.

When I ran a folk club back in the early 70s, I would book an act, agree a fee in advance, sign a contract, and have the agreed amount waiting in an envelope, to pay them before they went on. If I subsequently didn't cover that fee on the door, that was my problem, not theirs. No reason for them to go short.

But the number of clubs where I played, where the organiser tried to pay me short of the agreed fee because he hadn't taken enough on the door to cover it, and would often really seem quite aggrieved when, producing my copy of the contract that he had signed, I would point out that that was his problem not mine, and he shouldn't have agreed a fee if he wasn't able to guarantee the ability to pay it...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 07:57 PM

From good to rough to bad and back to good.

Got a one day triple gig in the West Midlands (I live in Kent)

1. Morning 10.30am. Playing to children in the library. Started with two, and one hour later about 40 kids and parents and rapturous applause. Great!

2. Singing to diners in a local cafe. PA packed in and the accompaniment of cutlery on crockery was rough to deal with. But four or five of the nearest diners listened and commented favourably.

3. Afternoon outside the music shop in the local mall. Started fine with the music shop output silenced by agreement, until his volume started to rise because I was distracting some thirty potential customers.

After ten minutes or so, by which time I couldn't hold a tune or make my voice heard (really bad), a very large gentleman who was trying to listen went into the shop. There was a thump and a crash, and he reappeared saying "Carry on son". No further interuptions ensued.

Can't for the life of me figure out why, but it made my day.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 07:25 PM

I did two birthday GIGS. Never again.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 07:01 PM

When Bob (Deckman) Nelson and I formed a duo in 1959, we sang regularly three evenings a week at "The Place Next Door," the nicest coffee house in Seattle, and were asked frequently to sing college concerts and various other gigs by people who heard us at "The Place Next Door."

The Kingston Trio and the Gateway Singers got their start in San Francisco, and we were told that, if we wanted to really make it big, we should go to San Francisco. So, full of ambition, we packed up the car and headed down the road.

We "barnstormed" for a couple of months in San Francisco, auditioned at a number of the big clubs such as The Purple Onion, and quickly learned that, actually, they didn't really want folk singers, they wanted comedy acts that used folk music as their "shtick." And they didn't want duos, they wanted Kingston Trio clones.

Both Bob and I got interested folk music because we considered it serious music. We loved the songs, and the fact that most of the songs had some kind of historical significance. We weren't about to take a four-hundred-year-old ballad and turn it into a cheap joke just to get a few laughs!

It was no coincidence that we saw the Smothers Brothers in their first professional gig at the Purple Onion. They were a trio at the time, but they dropped the non-speaking banjo player soon after. Now, the Smothers Brothers were hilarious! But that wasn't our thing!

We soon realized that for what WE wanted to do, we'd been better off in Seattle.

But while we were in the Bay Area, we took what we could get to pick up a dime or two. We often got booked into some dingy little club, sang for the evening, and then when the time came to get paid, the manager or owner of the place simply wasn't to be found, and no one else knew anything about it. We sometimes had to chase the guy who hired us down a back alley, tackle him, and if he didn't have the cash on him to pay us what he'd promise, we were graciously willing to take his gold fillings in lieu of cash.

We got offered a gig at a place in San Francisco called "Ann's 440." We didn't find out until we got there that it was a strip club. They sent us back to the dressing room to tune up and found ourselves surrounded by naked and half-naked young females. "My God!" said Bob, "I don't know where I'm supposed to look!!"

Anyway, we got tuned up, then went out when the guy called us to sing our set.

The crowd let us know in no uncertain terms that they were there to watch voluptuous young women prance naked around the stage, NOT listen to a couple of furshlugginer folk singers, fer Chrissake!!

I don't remember if we got paid or not!

=======

We had been told that San Francisco was the place that a couple of young folk singers could make it big. We had a lot of fun there and met a lot of really nice people, had some great experiences, and swapped a lot of songs with some terrific singers, mostly in Berkeley and Sausalito.

But (to scramble a few metaphors) as far as Bagdad By The Bay being the Mecca for singers of folk songs, we soon learned that we were much better off back in Seattle, where we sang in clean coffee houses (your elbows didn't stick to the tables), where the customers were not all boozed up and had actually come there to hear us.
And where we got paid regularly.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 04:55 PM

I played at Vic Smiths club once, but I dont recall it being a bad gig, i think it was at the laughing fish at isfield, i always thought it was an extraordinary name for a club, i wondered if it was named after michael fish the weather forecaster.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 08:56 AM

I've taken nearly a year to respond, but .....GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) wrote:-
"One reason I like to play weddings is that you are invariably playing for people who aren't familiar with traditional music"


I used to think that from the strange reaction in some faces at weddings when we played our introductory number, but now I think that the problem goes deeper than that, Chris. I now think that there are huge numbers of people out there who don't have any live music in their lives and don't know how to react when they experience it.
It took decades for me - a live music junkie who needs a fix several times a week - to work that one out.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 06:52 AM

Sandy (16 Jul 12 - 07:26 PM), I know singers who would easily win a chainsaw competition, these should have been hired for that event.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 04:52 AM

Worst experience I remember was at a Labour party fundraiser for the National Union of Seamen, who were on strike at the time. This was early in 1989.

Graham Larkbey kicked off and he was great. Then a couple of arty-farty lefty women decided to do a one-hour, two-woman sketch about the evils of Thatcherism - using masks. Poor Robb Johnson, who was also playing, got roped into it at one point.

At one point in this skit, one of the women was addressing the audience saying 'What can I do to protect myself from the oppression of Thatcher?' A mate of mine, a scouse woman living in Ealing at the time, had had a few by then and piped up, 'Kick her in the c***!'. Awkward silence all round, especially from the 'sisters'.

By the end of that, the punters had pretty much all lost the will to live but the best was yet to come. A speaker from the Union (who was also completely pissed by this time) came up and told the audience that he was glad about the 'Herald of Free Enterprise' sinking a couple of years before because it showed how greedy the bosses were. Then he bragged that the Union were going to buy their own ferries and put P&O out of business (and probably use them to ram the royal yacht Britannia, no doubt).

We eventually got to play for about 20 minutes and then we were offski as fast as our little legs could carry us. I knew there and then the Tories were going to win the next election and guess what - that's exactly what happened. Why? Because the Labour Party deserved to lose.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 10:23 AM

Played in front of a big screen TV, in the early days of such things, where the bar patrons were much more interested in the hockey playoff game being played than the band. I have come to discover that this scenerio is fairly common in this part of the world. It was a short set/long break night. All that and being upstaged by Don Cherry pretty much sucks.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 07:26 PM

I don't play gigs but a friend once played in a bar with a pool table directly in front of the stage, and of course, some ignorant people insisted on playing a game while he performed. Another time he played at a fair while a chainsaw competition was held next to the stage.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: ollaimh
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM

i agree about the weddings. you are not the star. just make people happy as best you can and chose appropriate music. love and forever stuff and o'carolan tunes and the like. i do like playing the batchelors lament before the women come in, but only at irish weddings. the men all lined up at the front laugh and when the bride and her maids come in the men are all still smiling and the women think they are smiling at them. this works especially well when the men have been drinking and are hitting the wall, or the groom is having cold feet.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:22 AM

Whoa, Richard, that's a spine-chilling story! Your guardian angel must have been working overtime.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 06:06 AM

Do disasters on the way to gigs count? Loaded recently rebuilt trailer with small PA rig, loaded Volvo up with band and instruments, heading off to 7 Stars to play and do PA.

Got to the roundabout between the A228 and the A289 and the wheel nuts that I had obviously not properly tightened came off. MAJOR problem getting enough PA to the gig in the car with us - but a nice man looked after the trailer while we went and even found us some spare correct wheelnuts so we went, played, came back, and collected the trailer from him at about 1 am!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 05:01 AM

Taking up the dead instrument option...............

We played for the saturday evening ceilidh at a Barnsley Festival years and years ago. The gig was great- most,if not all, of Silly Wizard insisted on sitting in with us so the collective sound must have been something to hear.
    However...after the gig we decided we'd leave the gear on the stage since we'd all be there again on the following day. The caretaker turned off the lighting in the hall and on the stage and prepared to lock up. At this point, a Silly Wizard realised he'd left his smokes or whatever on the stage. So,with only the emergency lighting from the exit signs to guide him, he headed across the stage to where he'd been sitting. Unfortunately, on the way he trod on my guitar and broke the neck at the nut..........So the next day I unwittingly pulled a broken guitar out of it's soft case, which rather scuppered whatever I'd been intending to do.
    Somebody, whose name I can't remember,from Kiveton Park Folk Club glued it back together. I don't what he put in his glue but 40 years later I'm still playing that guitar!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 03:35 AM

I once had a gig where the local morris side, who were hosting the ceilidh, insisted on practising their set during the sound check.

That was just one of a series of disasters that evening involving filthy weather and broken down vehicles resulting in missing PA (and potentially missing musicians, although eventually they all turned up), added to the tension caused by one band member having to phone home frequently to check that his wife hadn't gone into labour. Too long a story to relate in full here, but cumulatively it all addeed up to my worst gig ever - although the ceilidh itself went fine.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 08:18 PM

> From: Mooh
>
> During some tender ballad my fretless semi-hollow Godin bass, in a stand, fell over on its face on a concrete folk festival stage ... Broken machine head and cracked spruce top.

Ah! Dead instrument stories ... not quite on topic but anyway ...

At a small local festival, a singer from some distance away, IIRC not originally slated to do a spot during the evening, was jumped on by the MC and asked to perform, perhaps because A N Other hadn't turned up. He hadn't brought his own guitar, so he borrowed one off another performer. They were both sitting at the same table as myself. It being a mostly accoustic evening, there was just a bar stool on the stage for those performers who wished to sit down. As this guy got down from it, its legs shot out behind him, and he went down on the borrowed guitar, stoving its front in. I tried, perhaps with some success, to bring them together by buying them both drinks, but the atmosphere was distinctly subdued for the rest of the evening.

I had a brief fling with a girl who played the fiddle. At a festival, someone I knew from a famous band, who was well-known for having a drink problem, borrowed her fiddle, and dropped it. Fortunately, it didn't seem to be much, if at all, damaged, but she, of course, was absolutely outraged.

A local squeezebox player, melodeon IIRC, was once playing so energetically that he ripped the bellows in two and was left looking aghast from one half to the other!

But to return to topic, there was another, much bigger and well-known, local festival where always the singarounds and even the main concert marquee were subject to devasting extraneous noise, the latter from the ceilidh marquee close by, so it's not as though the problem was essentially unpredictable. One year, I got so pissed off that I complained bitterly to the organisers about this. They mumbled all sorts of excuses which didn't really add up to anything very much compared with the scale of the problem, and, sure enough, next year nothing had changed. In a singaround there was a girl singing very quietly and very beautifully when a morris-team with a big bass drum started up right outside the window. She had to stop, because she couldn't even hear herself, let alone anyone else hear her. I've only ever once gone to that festival again, and then only because my ex-wife wanted to go.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Rockhen
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Al! ;-) Your eyesight got worse, then?! Not sure what you mean about the plastercast but my mind is boggling quite sufficiently without you explaining. Reading the above makes you wonder why we all put ourselves through the experience of gigging! :-)


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 12:58 PM

Great (some tragic) stories!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 10:14 AM

There have been many, but here's another that sprang to mind.

During some tender ballad my fretless semi-hollow Godin bass, in a stand, fell over on its face on a concrete folk festival stage. Stage crew were pulling cables when the stand which was perched on one, flipped. The bass was plugged in and still turned up enough to create a huge boom in the p.a., almost enough to stop the song. Broken machine head and cracked spruce top.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 10:08 AM

A completely unadvertised Collingwood Celtic Continuum. We played to vendors and a few family members but no paying customers through the gate. No chairs on the field. A completely supplied and staffed beer tent where some piper and myself got wasted.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 09:19 AM

Stuart - Never got to the Folk Club , as I was 'entertaining' the customers at The Robin Hood Tuesday to Sunday Nights, but this should not be in here as that Six Months was the BEST Gig I had had til then
Never recall seeing ANY US Forces during my time there .


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 08:19 AM

On the other hand.....



What a great wedding gig last night at the Regency Suite of the Hotel Metropole in Brighton. A lovely and numerous crowd that wanted to dance all night and were good dancers, a super large dance floor, really tasty food and the band on top form. The only complaint that I would have was that Ian Kearey's bass guitar lines were so interesting and innovative that I just wanted to listen to them and found it difficult to concentrate on calling and playing.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Suart Reed
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 07:49 AM

Leadfingers - re: Bermuda.
The US Navy Air Station was across the Causeway in St David's from WWII until 1995.
Did you ever play at the island's folk club at Spanish Point?


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,A. Pseudonym
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 07:16 AM

We were playing a folk music gig at a local bar/restaurant. No publicity, no nothing. We were just starting out, so we were playing for tips. One of our group decided it would relax him if he were to have several large cocktails on an empty stomach. During the parts of the gig he wasn't singing, he wandered off the stage, turned his back on the rest of the band and loudly attempted to flirt/ pick-up women attempting to listen to us.
Problem was he knew that those women were the wives or girl friends of the other band members. To this day, I don't understand why we didn't beat him up during a break.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 06:21 AM

Stuart Reed - Where was the American Base in Bermuda ? When I was there there was a Royal Navy Dockyard (Very Small) and a Civilian Airport at the other end . , but NO US Forces That was 1973/4


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 04:40 PM

US Naval Air Station, Bermuda, Other Ranks Mess (AKA The Animal House)
"Hello. I'm from England and going to play some..."
General derision, along the lines of, "Well f*** off home Limey, we're puttin' the juke box on."
Later, the duty officer tells me, "Well, you're still in one piece, which ain't bad considering your average Seaman's idea of a good night out is topless waitresses serving free beer & burgers followed by a heavy metal band."


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 10:46 AM

A pub gig with 6 of us struggling against a wall of noisy talk: about 10pm the bar emptied: we apologised to the bar staff for maybe driving their customers away: "Oh no", he said, "you did really well - they usually go off to the karaoke bar at 9pm!"


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:55 AM

I earned my way through university as a DJ. You just play records. Honest. You are NOT an artist!

Things have changed, Richard. With the whole club/dance scene some of them think they are the bees knees these days.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM

Has anyone ever been to a wedding where the disco wasn't too sodding loud?

Strangely enough I think I only ever did one wedding. People were polite enough, but basically I was just wall paper music. People who hadn't seen each other for ages just wanted to chat.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:18 AM

I earned my way through university as a DJ. You just play records. Honest. You are NOT an artist!


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:10 AM

What a lot of folk musicians seem to forget about playing for weddings is that the day is about the couple and their families and friends - not about the 'artists'. If you go in with the right attitude you can do yourself a lot of good.

A really important comment that everyone who plays any sort of wedding needs to remember. I would say this particularly applies to the DJs who think their "set" and the way they present it is the be all and end all; it isn't, it is a family celebration. If you have an egotistical attitude to your performance, then weddings are not for you.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 06:02 AM

I would like to emphasise that the overwhelming majority of weddings turn out to be good, even excellent, gigs. As Chris B points out, it's important to remember why you're there, and I think the musicians have an even greater responsibility than usual. When other gigs go wrong you can perhaps shrug it off and hope it goes better next time, but these are one-off events of immense significance to the people concerned. Usually they go well, and we've had many messages of thanks from couples who've told us that the ceilidh was one of the high points of their day - as indeed it should be.

However, when they go wrong weddings have the potential to go wrong more badly and in many more varied and exciting ways, than most other gigs.


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Subject: RE: Bad experiences at gigs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:40 AM

iggest problem we have found with weddings is if the gig has come through an agent - Too often the expectations of one party are NOT conveyed to the band !


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