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Harder for the ladies to get gigs???

BB 26 Nov 08 - 02:24 PM
Mrs Banjiman 26 Nov 08 - 03:14 PM
Banjiman 26 Nov 08 - 03:18 PM
The Villan 26 Nov 08 - 05:04 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Nov 08 - 05:05 PM
The Villan 26 Nov 08 - 05:06 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Nov 08 - 05:10 PM
BB 26 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM
Banjiman 26 Nov 08 - 05:21 PM
The Villan 26 Nov 08 - 05:40 PM
The Villan 26 Nov 08 - 05:55 PM
Banjiman 26 Nov 08 - 05:55 PM
BusyBee Paul 26 Nov 08 - 06:09 PM
The Villan 26 Nov 08 - 06:14 PM
The Sandman 26 Nov 08 - 06:40 PM
Rockhen 26 Nov 08 - 07:54 PM
Genie 26 Nov 08 - 08:30 PM
Banjiman 27 Nov 08 - 04:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Nov 08 - 05:05 AM
greg stephens 27 Nov 08 - 05:14 AM
Mrs Scarecrow 27 Nov 08 - 05:33 AM
Anne Lister 27 Nov 08 - 11:56 AM
BB 27 Nov 08 - 12:47 PM
Banjiman 27 Nov 08 - 02:20 PM
Banjiman 27 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM
Tim Leaning 27 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM
Anne Lister 27 Nov 08 - 06:24 PM
meself 27 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM
Tim Leaning 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 AM
Anne Lister 28 Nov 08 - 02:42 AM
GUEST 28 Nov 08 - 11:39 AM
GUEST 28 Nov 08 - 11:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: BB
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 02:24 PM

Of the ten full guest nights we put on this year, of the nineteen guest performers, six were women. Next year it works out to sixteen guest performers of whom eight are women. But we really don't look at it terms of gender, but in terms of quality and variety.

Certainly there are less solo female than male performers, so perhaps women do find it harder to tour alone. I certainly wouldn't want to do so. Of all our booked artists, only one woman is a soloist, and she's travelling with her partner.

So, in answer to the title of the thread, I don't think it's harder for women to get gigs, but there do seem to be less around that would suit our club for a full guest night - or that we can afford to pay (as in the Eliza Carthys of this world)!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Mrs Banjiman
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 03:14 PM

Barbara says "there do seem to be less around that would suit our club for a full guest night"

Given the extensive list of female performers that the likes of The Villain came up with, I'm interested to know what it is that the female performers seem to lack that makes them unsuitable for a full guest night?

I would echo several comments posted on this thread, e.g. Dulci says "it has been my experience that men seem to self promote and problem solve more regarding gigs". This would echo the widely held view that men typically apply for a job even if they can only fulfil 60% of the criteria, whereas women will be reluctant to apply until they can fulfil around 90%.

Therefore, if Capt Birdseye can do it, then so can I!
My Website!!!!!


So...come on girls...we are just as good as (and some considerably better!) than the male acts that dominate the folk club circuit. (I'll sit back now having lit the blue touch paper with that last comment!!! Tee hee!)


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 03:18 PM

.....obviously I'd just like to distance myself from the comments made by my wife!

She's such a stirrer!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:04 PM

Sounds like you have been banjoed Paul LOL :-)


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:05 PM

Don't you mean "plucked"?


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:06 PM

No LOL


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:10 PM

If female performers do find it harder to get gigs
Its shame on us time.
But then maybe its just
Traditional.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: BB
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM

Wendy, I didn't say ALL female performers. If that was so, we wouldn't have booked as many as we have. I was referring to SOLO performers (the vast majority that Les came up with were parts of duos or bands), and that there aren't as many around that would suit our particular club as there happen to be males, although, I repeat, we don't really look at it in terms of gender - it's just the way things have gone so far, and it may be that we just haven't come across some of them, or that they haven't approached us. Could be all sorts of reasons, but please don't get on your high horse about it!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:21 PM

Well said Barbara!

Like I said, she's such a stirrer......








Guess I'll be in spare room tonight!


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:40 PM

You can always take your banjo in bed with you Paul :-)


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:55 PM

I would imagine that it must be quite daunting for a female to go and perform on her own at a club that may be all men. Unless of course the female is pretty outward going.
The other problem is who puts a female up, if it is required. It needs to be either a safe house that the organiser trusts implicitally or B&B
I still think it is pretty difficult for a female to go anywhere on her own, without blokes thinking that she is fair game.
I don't think men on there own have the same problems.

Maybe I am wrong in what I think above, but I think its very important for club organisers to make sure that the female performer is as much as possible in a safe and freindly environment at all times.

OK now I suppose I will get flack from all the women who say they can look after them selves and don't need blokes being a gentleman.

Les gets his tin hat on and bullet proof vest and waits for the flack


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 05:55 PM

Thanks Les.......

Barbara,

All joking aside, I think there is an important point here..... there are plenty of solo female acts around, what are they failing to do which means you don't end up booking them? Is it that they don't contact you (I guess this is the "driven" bit that Richard Bridge refers to) or is it a style thing (not trad enough/ too traddy etc)?

There does seem to be a bit of an issue here which is worth some exploration.

Thanks

Paul


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 06:09 PM

Les,

Do you reckon I can look after myself?!

Deirdre with ack-ack gun


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 06:14 PM

Deirdre
Whatever I say, I will be in trouble :-)

However in your case, you can more than look after yourself.

Les


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 06:40 PM

I agree you are much better musically than me,so is BB,
you are both much better looking and brainier,your punctuation is better,your spelling is better and so is your grammar.
I try not to apply for any jobs at all.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Rockhen
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 07:54 PM

Re Villan's comment "I would imagine that it must be quite daunting for a female to go and perform on her own at a club that may be all men." I find it daunting to even visit a club that may be all men, IF I don't know how safe it is re car parking etc. Maybe solo blokes feel the same, I am not sure, but I suspect it would be less of a consideration when deciding whether to go somewhere. Faldingworth Live is one club that I know for a fact makes you feel safe, and welcome, so credit to Villan and those others involved in running things there.
At the wide variety of music events that I attend, sometimes alone and sometimes with others, I find that there are generally far fewer women there, either playing, or listening. I have often been the only woman in the room. Come on ladies, redress the balance a little, get out there...I am sad to say that many of my female friends, who play music, do not seem to go out very often,to music, or other events, even those who have grown up families. Their partners, however, do. I am not criticising, just saying that is my personal observation of many of my friends!


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Genie
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 08:30 PM

One thing I've heard fairly often (over the past few decades), both from people who book music acts and just in casual conversation is that "people generally tend to prefer male voices to female voices (other things being equal)."   Perhaps that reflects a general preference for lower-pitched voices, perhaps men tend to have more powerful voices. DK. But I've heard that opinion expressed a number of times.

It's also been mentioned that live audiences and video audiences tend to accept male musicians as entertainers no matter what they look like but often expect the females to be younger, slimmer, and/or prettier.   

Even in the assisted living and retirement communities where I often do music, more male entertainers than females are hired, and activity directors are often quite up-front about saying "Our residents [who are about 80% female, on average] prefer male voices."

With senior populations, the preference for lower voices may partly be attributable to age-related hearing loss as well as to how hearing aids may distort sounds. It's probably also partly that when you have a lot of widows together an adult male presence is valued whether he can sing/play or not. *g*

But I wonder whether men or women are generally more inclined to be audiences for live music.   And is there any tendency for one sex or the other to prefer watching/listening to a performer of the opposite sex vs. one of their own?


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 04:06 AM

Captain Birdseye said:

"I agree you are much better musically than me,so is BB,
you are both much better looking and brainier,your punctuation is better,your spelling is better and so is your grammar.
I try not to apply for any jobs at all. "

....and I've got no idea what he is on about! The only bit I would agree with is better looking! LOL.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 05:05 AM

In the harsh competitive world of selling fish fingers flashy folk personas counts for very little. You need a beard and a concertina.

I'm sure when it comes to a packet of twenty covered in golden breadcrumbs I'd go with the Captain every time.   

Kate Rusby is nothing in the world of codballs.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 05:14 AM

We do a totally acoustic gig in our local pub once a month, and encourage anybody to stand up and sing a song if they want. It's not at all a folky occasion(though we play traditional folk), it's just a sing song in the bar. But I would say(apropos of my comments earlier about the Boat Band having Kate Barfield up front)that it was noticable there were more women in the music part of the bar than men(though more men lurking rouind the corner listening). And, by a factor of three to one, more women actually got up and sang solo songs when we went round the room after half time.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Mrs Scarecrow
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 05:33 AM

I think pushiness is how gigs are got and most women (myself   included) dont like to seem pushy. I also think looks are an issue for women where they are not for men and age may well be as well.
As a female performer, both on my own and as part of a dua I am often conscious that there seem to be far fewer women around. I am also aware that there are a number of women out there sitting in audiences singing along with perfectly lovely voices,(I for one do particulary love to hear other women sing), but they hate the very idea of getting up in front of an audience to sing. I dont know why this is but it seems to be far more prevelant amongst women whereas men who quite frankly do not sing very well do not seem to let that stop them.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Anne Lister
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 11:56 AM

Speaking only for myself - I've never been intimidated by a sea of male faces, nor have I ever worried unduly about my personal safety on the folk circuit. I don't think I'm particularly naive or brave - I'm just happy that this is, after all, the 21st century and most of the cavemen have stopped going to folk clubs (if they ever went). However there is a question of willingness to travel away from home, and many more men take that as a matter of course for work than women (partly, at least, because of family factors). I admit I'm less happy to be away for a number of nights in a row now that I'm happily married and miss my husband when we're apart. That's without considering the cat, who pines.

I think the issue of pushiness is rather more important, and I know I have a lower "profile" than I might have because I'm useless at contacting organisers and asking for gigs. It doesn't take much of a slight hint of rejection and I stop. I'm not sure it's a straightforward male/female thing, because I know there are heaps of sensitive men out there (I'm married to one!) but I also know women are more readily labelled as pushy than men, possibly because it's such an unusual behaviour.

I don't think it's a question of attractiveness or age, any more than it is with male performers in this particular genre. It'd be different altogether if I was remotely contemplating the X Factor or something similar, or expecting a career in the wider pop world. Not many of us who have been working professionally over the years would count as cute (or hunky, for the men) and I do like to think (misguidedly, possibly) that people are attending folk clubs for the quality of the music rather than the eye candy.

As to the tone of the voice ...ah, it all comes down to taste, doesn't it? But on my mailing list of people who want to hear about what I'm up to, and on my list of "angels" for the new album I have pretty much equal numbers of men and women, so it can't be a simple divide there.

If anyone is interested in setting up an agency to "sell" women like me to the clubs please let me know!   I'm just thinking that at WOMEX, where I was recently, all the solo female acts I came across were being marketed by men, and all the solo male acts I came across were also being marketed by men.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: BB
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 12:47 PM

Don't really know, Paul. To some extent, it might be about presentation, it might be about voice quality (we have one staunch member of the club who can't bear high women's voices - and Tom nor I are keen on them either), but it may be, as I've already said, that we just haven't come across many or that they haven't got in touch. It is not a deliberate policy in any way.

I agree that women touting for gigs can be perceived as somewhat pushy - and I don't subscribe to that view, in case anyone's about to jump on it - in the same way that women are perceived as 'arrogant', and men as 'assertive'. Infuriating, isn't it girls?

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:20 PM

Barbara, strange thing taste isn't it?

I can't think of a man I would put into my top 10 singers...... this doesn't stop me booking them for other reasons though (great musicians, great songs, great "entertainers" etc, etc). I'm trying hard to resist the pushy ones though!!

Just wouldn't be any fun if we were all the same though.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Banjiman
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM

Tabster says: "I'm useless at contacting organisers and asking for gigs. It doesn't take much of a slight hint of rejection and I stop. I'm not sure it's a straightforward male/female thing,"

It may not be a straight forward male/ female thing but as a club organiser it's overwhelmingly the men who you have to be really (completely and utterly) straight with if you don't want to book them just now.....and who sometimes don't seem to quite believe the club will survive without them! I've never had this attitude from a female act.

By the way, I'm in no way anti-men (I am one, obviously) or male acts. Just observing human behaviour.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM

Re females being less pushy....
Ha!
They are just not so obvious and go about getting exactly their own way just as much as any man.
I wonder if any sociologists have comments on this and the difference between the classes in this respect.


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Anne Lister
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 06:24 PM

Tim - and in terms of getting gigs this manifests as ....what, exactly? Not much good fluttering my lashes or turning on the tears in a phone conversation or email exchange! But what else were you thinking, in this precise context?

Anne


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: meself
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM

"Not much good fluttering my lashes or turning on the tears in a phone conversation or email exchange!"

Come on - we've all seen those cutesy, big-eyed, winking, smiley-faces ...!


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 AM

Anne...... I mean that females tend to have different ways of aproaching problems and if the playing field be a level one they are just as capable of getting whatever it is they have set as the target they wish to achieve.
Vive la difference(imagine a grave at this point)
Re gigs I dunno what the usual method is for either sex.
I would however be disgusted if the reason you may be rejected is because you are a woman.
When you mention being sensititve did you mean to the other persons reaction,or protective of your own feeling regarding rejection?


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 02:42 AM

Sensitive both ways .. picking up on nuances, possibly (and quite possibly getting it wrong) and aware of my own feelings about rejection.

I don't know how often the rejection is based on gender or how often it might be a rejection of my music, although in my experience it's more likely to be because the person doing the rejecting is unfamiliar with my music (that probably sounds more conceited than I intended ...but it comes back to me not having done a good enough job at self-promotion).   What I do know is that club organisers and festival organisers generally feel they need to justify their rejections to performers and the reasons for these rejections are many and various. So I'm never totally convinced that it's a simple question of my being female (apart from the anecdote told above). But I have been told "our audiences don't listen to solo female singers" or words to that effect, which is a new one to me as (apart from some difficult adolescents) I have never had a problem engaging with an audience and getting them to listen.

So overall I don't know if it is really harder for women to get gigs but I do think it's probably harder for a solo woman to do a lot of work in the folk clubs because of many factors. Sexist reactions among the men is not top of my list of factors. Family commitments, reluctance to drive long distances on a regular basis and the very nature of having to keep the sales pitch going are probably far more significant issues.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:39 AM

There does seem to be a lot of being "nice" or very sickly networking involved in my very limited experience.
I understand re family and work commitments,and even if I reached a high enough standard to play for pay,I would find it difficult to find the time.
The lonely walk through the strange dark car park is crappy for me and I am 6 foot three and outhouseish,so I understand it must be a bit more daunting for a lone woman.
Have you considered getting someone a bit more pushy and thick skinned to be your agent for bookings?


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Subject: RE: Harder for the ladies to get gigs???
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:41 AM

Sorry I logged in but me cookie dotn like me just now ,hence the guest Anon above.
Tim Leaning


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