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Music: Pubs and music [uk]

the lemonade lady 04 Nov 09 - 01:17 PM
Mavis Enderby 04 Nov 09 - 02:21 PM
Leadfingers 04 Nov 09 - 02:22 PM
Tim Leaning 04 Nov 09 - 02:36 PM
the lemonade lady 05 Nov 09 - 04:32 AM
Gervase 05 Nov 09 - 04:46 AM
bubblyrat 05 Nov 09 - 04:47 AM
OlgaJ 05 Nov 09 - 05:26 AM
the lemonade lady 05 Nov 09 - 06:11 PM
Leadfingers 05 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM
kerry and Mandy 06 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM
Flash Company 06 Nov 09 - 05:15 AM
bubblyrat 06 Nov 09 - 06:54 AM
the lemonade lady 08 Nov 09 - 03:19 AM
Leadfingers 08 Nov 09 - 07:11 AM
Arnie 08 Nov 09 - 07:38 AM
Leadfingers 08 Nov 09 - 10:17 AM
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Subject: Music: Pubs and amplified music [uk]
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 01:17 PM

This is a quote from Sting...

"The music industry is this multi-million dollar business and the shop-floor is not the X Factor, its pubs and clubs up and down the country where you get in your van and you go up and down the M1 and you build an audience that way. That's how you build backbone... I think those clubs and pubs are closing down because of government legislation, because of the licensing laws which is ridiculous. They're losing an industry. [Playing live is]...the only way"

I agree with what he's saying but there is something else that's driving people out of pubs, in my opinion, and that's amplified performance from pub giggers. There are some really great performers in the pubs, some unsung (ahem) heros, but why the amplification? A pub can be a small room, and before amps came into being people used to be heard singing in them. If I owned/ran a pub I would have a couple of unplugged performers in the corner, so that diners and drinkers can hear themselves speak. What is this 21st centurary thing about ramming music down the ears?

This is a quote from a local pub gigger...
"The other week I was setting up in a pub with a couple of acoustic guitars and a small acoustic amp. As I leaned over to remove one of the guitars from its case, a whole table of people got up to leave. They looked towards me as if to say:
"We were quite happy here until you arrived but YOU are going to shatter our peaceful chat!".
"I don't play loud." I protested.
"Too loud for us!" they replied, and walked away grumbling to one another about the fact that their local pub had been ruined by people like me....."

We're finding that festivals are becoming too loud as in Shrewsbury, Bromyard and Warwick to name the few at which I have sold lemonade. Some people just want to go out for a drink, so some gentle but live music would be better than loud unknown and sometimes boring (my opinion again) earshattering 'music'

Grabbing coat, and creeping towards the door...

Sal


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:21 PM

I partially agree. In my 20's I'd be attracted to loud pub bands, mainly electric, blues-rock. Generally the pubs putting on these gigs were packed out, as they had a reputation as music pubs and people knew what they were getting.

What does annoy me (and more so as I'm getting older*) is over-amplified "acoustic" bands or performers. PA is often a necessary evil but is at it's best when it's invisible sound reinforcement, or used sensitively to as an extension of the instrument. Bob Brozman is in my opinion one of the best exponents of this - there's an example of what I mean here and some of his live sound hints here. But when PA is done badly, especially for acoustic performers, I'd agree that it could drive folks away.

Cheers,

Pete.



*which is better than the alternative


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:22 PM

That is a very good Point Sal - But if you are working solo , a whole evening of being Audible over basic bar Noise plays havoc with the voice . There are , though , FAR too many Pub Enbtertainers who ARE Too loud !
      When I was 'doing' pubs solo , I knew I'd got it right wnen someone came up after about twenty minutes saying " What we CAN hear sounds OK but we can barely hear you at the back "


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:36 PM

Ok you may need a little help sometimes but the ear bleeding stuff is a real turn off isn't it?
Some of the bands just cant leave the back line amps alone and seem to go deaf every five minutes and tweak it up a little.
Then the P.A driver boosts the vocal to balance it then the band......


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:32 AM

I was at an open mic this week in the foyer bar of the theatre in Hereford. There was a weedy PA , a monitor that wasn't working, 2 speakers placed in front of the stage and 2 mics. The sound was really nasty, toppy and unbalanced; as a performer I couldn't hear my self, a, because of the lack of monitor, b. because of the position of the speakers and c. People chattering at the bar. Oh and announcements over the theatre tanoy lol! I have a very powerful voice and when I came off stage someone said '' you don't need a mic''! Which brings me onto another thing; why don't people learn to project their voices? Because they can rely on mics, which means spontaneous performance is a nightmare to them. I was at an open mic where the mic failed half way through a teenager's performance but she kept going and was SO much better, but she was suddenly thrown with lack of confidence.


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Gervase
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:46 AM

A good point, Sal, and I have to agree.
One problem is that, although many people are great musicians, they don't know how to set up a PA (I know I don't). There seems to be a view that if it goes up to 11, then it should be turned up to 11!
The link to Bob Brozman's notes is an excellent tutorial, but I wonder how many groups and venues would take the trouble to absorb that information. It also assumes a fair bit of knowledge in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: bubblyrat
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:47 AM

The trouble with pubs is that people talk,play darts,tell jokes etc (very inconsiderate of them !),the noise becoming louder in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed.This can be very off-pissing for both the performer and those actually wanting to listen & enjoy.
    Having said that,we at MBAC played in a pub in High Wycombe last night, a venue where we usually set up all our "gear",but decided,on this occasion,not to.The result was probably the best evening we have ever had at that location,with people coming from other parts of the pub to listen,applaud,join in,and generally express enthusiasm for what we were playing-----most gratifying ! But yes,the dart-players nearby DID get VERY noisy toward the end !


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: OlgaJ
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:26 AM

Some of the problems might come with the sort of material you are performing as much as the amount of amplification (I'm not a fan of loads of speakers and monitors in pubs)though I appreciate the need for adequate levels of amplification if the venue is noisy. We were in our local last Friday and the act was a 16 year old lad with a really nice voice. He did all the stuff that everyone expects to hear and the pub was really noisy during the 60 to 80s covers. Then he did a request- Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables and you could hear a pin drop. After that he interspersed the covers with some jazzy/ bluesy stuff and show songs that he clearly enjoyed doing and people actually listened. You will never get complete attention in a pub, its the nature of the place.

I agree totally with the comment on people learning to project their voices. My son actually does this very well and quite often chooses not to use a microphone in open mic. sessions (!, or where he has a listening audience. I know very few people these days who can do this.


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:11 PM

So some education is needed in schools?
Which pub in high Wycombe?
Sal


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM

MBAC is a movable feast - Belle Vue in H W , Prince Albert in Frieth , check the Marlow Bottom Acoustic website to see where they are ! I hope to be at the Dog and Badger in Medmenham 25the November !


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: kerry and Mandy
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM

hi all
we run an acoustic music night 2nd Tuesday of every month. the music covers folk, blues, modern pop, maritime.
we don't use PA and it is all in a pub, there are solo acts and bands that come along and the atmosphere is fantastic. the audience is good and attentive and we regally have 12 to 15 performers and about 50 or 60 people come every month.
yes people do talk but at a level not to interfere with the music and if it gets a bit loud they are self governing and other people in their group ask them to be a bit quieter.
the only time we use PA is when we have a guest night may be 4 or 5 times a year and this is to make it a special night and to lift it above the back ground noise of the pub, which does get very busy on these nights and to make it easier for the artist. some of the guests we have had are Johnny Collins, Graeme Knights, Hughie Jones, Dick Miles, Ron Trueman-Border, Paul Sirman and all have commented on the atmosphere of the pub and really enjoyed playing there and we used the PA just enough to lift the sound and not blast out your ear drums.
we thats my ten pennth put in.
oh by the way we are at.
The Star Inn, St Mary in the Marsh, Romney Marsh, Kent.
http://www.thestarinn-themarsh.co.uk/

take care
Kerry and Mandy


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Flash Company
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 05:15 AM

As a retired singer, I can see both points of view here, I used to do a parody of 'When I first came to this land' which started:-

When I first began to sing, the audience couldn't hear a thing,
For all the talking at the back, so I did what I could,
And I sang up loud above the crowd,
For the songs are sweet and good, so I did what I could.

You then add layers of amplification at each verse until:-

But now when I begin to sing, The audience still can't hear a thing
The reason it's not changed today,
There's a bugger over there with his own PA........

However, I currently get my musical fix from a local Jazz Club, and I have frequently said that, given the level of actual listening to the music by the audience, I could have carried that room with very little in the way of amps. Ian Shaw, the pianist proved the point last year when he told the sound girl to switch everything off when he closed his set with 'If Love were All' and you could hear every word.
I think the key really is are the audience there for the music or the beer!

BrianQ


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: bubblyrat
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 06:54 AM

As Terry says, Sal----the Belle Vue, in High Wycombe (near the railway station). Once a month,sometimes more. MBAC are mostly at the Prince Albert in Frieth ( think Hambledon / Lane End area),probably at least twice a month ( we meet weekly),and soon,we hope to be using the Dog & Badger in Medmenham,half way between Henley / Marlow.....why not come to our inaugural night at that venue on Nov 25th? Information about MBAC and its regulars can be got from our website on Google ( "Marlow Bottom Acoustic Club")---I have written a few Blogs recently,which will give an idea of who sings what & by whom !!


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 03:19 AM

I'm in Wycombe tonight and again on Tuesday night, you don't mention above which nights those events are. sal


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 07:11 AM

Wednesdays Sal ! Always has been !


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Arnie
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 07:38 AM

I played in a folk band in the '80's and as we played generally noisy pubs and clubs, we had to use a PA system. However, one night we played a pub in Dover where the landlord had forgotten to turn off the fruit machine which was just to one side of us. Unbelievably, some young oik from the bar decided he'd like to play the fruit machine whilst our banjo player was performing a bluegrass solo just alongside the machine. The landlord was really apologetic afterwards and said that he usually turned off the fruit machine but forgot that night. I nearly witnessed a repeat performance this summer when I was watching a folk band perform at the Chequers in Ash - however I was sitting in front of the fruit machine and told the would-be user to wait until the band had finished their number, which he did. The mc then stepped in and asked him to wait until the band had finished their gig. Still difficult to believe that he would have started playing the machine if given the chance regardless of the nearby band and the audience.


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Subject: RE: Music: Pubs and music [uk]
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 10:17 AM

Only 'playing' the Fruit Machine ? When I played in a Dance Band we 'did' a club and the One armed Bandit wouldnt pay out ! A GANG were on it kicking and thumping it - The ONLY time anyone was actually on the Dance floor !!


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