GUEST,Rafflesbear on leave
Musicians Quiting and Venues Dying
RE: Musicians Quiting and Venues Dying
18 Mar 09
Hi Greg - and anyone else who might fancy a trip to Stone tonight to support 'Folk music in the Wild' (I like that)
No I am not a member of the band although their progress and success is dear to me. Really glad you will be checking them out tonight that's the first barrier down :-) - I don't think I can say this without sounding corny but they really do appeal to folk of all ages - children to pensioners and most importantly all the ages in between
I shall be wearing the Norcsalordie tee-shirt - black with a large red N and the slogan "Folk for the Living" - that should upset a few more :-)
This week has been busy but unfortunately they have had a couple of late cancellations phoned through to them - the Crown and Anchor is putting back their gig and the White Hart is struggling for custom. On the bright side they were rebooked by the Six Bells, the Nobody Inn booked them for St Georges weekend this year and St Patrick's weekend 2010, the Seven Stars gave them three more dates for this year and last night Brennan's Bar asked them to play again for St Patrick's day 2010
Following this band you really get to see the health or otherwise of the pubs around the country - they have played to as few as two people and at other times it has been vitually impossible to get to the bar.
Normally they have to pay for their own drinks although they drink as much tap water as anything but a few pubs will stand them the first round - others are more generous and one gave them a meal before the start. Unfortunately they no longer appear at that one through intimidation from a very small section of the audience who did not recognise their own musical heritage and accused them of being Irish sympathisers although they had not sung a single Irish song all night!
On a very few occasions they have received a bonus payment at the end of the gig and a couple of times landlords have renaged on the previously agreed fee thereby putting themselves on the blacklist - verbal contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on. At times when negotiating fees it has become apparent that the pub is simply after entertainment on the cheap but their days of playing for a pie and a pint are long gone
At the moment it is becoming more difficult to sell CDs which is probably a recession thing as in the past they have sold up to seven cds in a night - and the occasional Folk for the Living tee-shirt
SatNav is a blessing when visiting so many different venues and the arrival time prediction facility is a godsend
Very rarely do they get the rapt attention of the audience - normally the life of the pub continues around them so a PA is essential and the volume depends on the venue really - up for pubs that normally host rock music and down for the quieter pubs. It is of course largely possible for the audience to select their own preferred volume by where they position themselves in the pub as the sound reduces rapidly the more bodies it passes
As for the audience reception there are occasions when you really think that nobody is paying the slightest attention and you are flogging the proverbial dead horse - songs finish and nobody claps all evening until they say thank you and goodnight and the cries of 'more' start up and they won't let them go
Following the band has been a real treat and I feel privileged to have been along for the ride