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The Gig From Hell

SINSULL 11 Oct 10 - 08:38 AM
greg stephens 11 Oct 10 - 08:46 AM
Will Fly 11 Oct 10 - 08:49 AM
maeve 11 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM
Charley Noble 11 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
Little Hawk 11 Oct 10 - 09:08 AM
C-flat 11 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM
olddude 11 Oct 10 - 10:29 AM
stallion 11 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
DebC 11 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM
meself 11 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM
frogprince 11 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM
Zen 11 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM
Acorn4 11 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
Dan Schatz 11 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM
KT 11 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM
Leadfingers 11 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,VaTam phone 11 Oct 10 - 12:00 PM
ClaireBear 11 Oct 10 - 12:31 PM
The Sandman 11 Oct 10 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM
Dan Schatz 11 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM
maeve 11 Oct 10 - 02:16 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Oct 10 - 02:31 PM
MikeL2 11 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM
Hamish 11 Oct 10 - 03:09 PM
jacqui.c 11 Oct 10 - 03:14 PM
Phil Cooper 11 Oct 10 - 03:48 PM
Don Firth 11 Oct 10 - 03:55 PM
Sarah the flute 11 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM
gnu 11 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM
Midchuck 11 Oct 10 - 04:38 PM
Anne Lister 11 Oct 10 - 05:24 PM
Midchuck 11 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM
Midchuck 11 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Ray roy 11 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Oct 10 - 06:06 PM
John P 11 Oct 10 - 06:18 PM
gnu 11 Oct 10 - 06:49 PM
Leadfingers 11 Oct 10 - 07:18 PM
Wesley S 11 Oct 10 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Betsy 11 Oct 10 - 07:38 PM
SINSULL 11 Oct 10 - 07:56 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Oct 10 - 08:19 PM
Leadfingers 11 Oct 10 - 08:26 PM
Bobert 11 Oct 10 - 09:15 PM
SINSULL 11 Oct 10 - 09:34 PM
AgingRS 11 Oct 10 - 09:56 PM
Bobert 11 Oct 10 - 10:36 PM
open mike 12 Oct 10 - 12:07 AM
Hamish 12 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM
MikeL2 12 Oct 10 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,buddhuu at work 12 Oct 10 - 04:34 AM
Acorn4 12 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM
banjoman 12 Oct 10 - 05:37 AM
Arnie 12 Oct 10 - 06:29 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 12 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM
Maryrrf 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM
jacqui.c 12 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM
Don Firth 12 Oct 10 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 12 Oct 10 - 05:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Oct 10 - 06:45 PM
howbe on 13 Oct 10 - 05:44 AM
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Subject: The Gig From Hell
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:38 AM

Jacqui won't mention it so I will. Friday night she provided background music for a ChowderFest in Portland. A couple of hundred people slopping up chowder with chunks of bread and yacking the whole time. I suggested she sing Serafina just to see if anyone was paying attention. LOL
One lady did like Wiscasset Schooners and Don't Take the Heroes. The rest just meandered by as if she was a post.
Allison of Roll N Go did sound and described it as "Wallpaper Singing". JWB (did I get that right?) alternated with Mrs. Morse. His banjo and concertina stood a better chance against the wall of noise.
So here's to Baptism By Fire. No one threw anything at her so I guess it went well.
What a nightmare.
SINS


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:46 AM

Training for life! These gigs are very educational. I get loads of emails offering me courses, on which f(on payument of substantial sums of money) I will acquire various skills and undergo "Continuous Professional Development". Think yourself lucky:on a gig from hell you're getting educated and getting paid. Brilliant!
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:49 AM

Oh lord - been there - done that - and it really is NO fun! I do wonder why these events have singers along. No-one ever listens - you might just as well have piped music, or nothing at all, for all the difference it makes to the proceedings.

Consolations to you, Jacqui - it can only get better...


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: maeve
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:58 AM

Hmmm...Well Jacqui, if one person spoke her appreciation to you there were at least ten who shared her appreciation (Wallpaper Music audiences being as elusive as house mice). Never mind, you had a chance to try out your good singing on a new crowd, improving breath control and concentration at the same time. You did very well indeed for anyone to have heard you at all!

Maeve


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

Probably my worst gig was when my Black Diamond String Band was invited to play for a railroaders convention. We worked up our set of songs, polishing harmonies and endings, and then sang to a massive cocktail party in a huge room. We had expected that some would want to listen and sing along but no one "jumped aboard."

The money was useful, as ever!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:08 AM

My sympathy goes out to Jacqui.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: C-flat
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM

Been there myself a few times!
It's not so bad when you know beforehand that you're there just to provide "background". The whole approach is different. No need to "connect" with the audience, just get on with getting paid to play and no feeling of dissapointment at the lack of applause etc.
100 times worse when you're under the illusion that the audience wants to be entertained, and you pull out all the stops until it dawns on you that you wouldn't draw a glance if you set fire to yourself!!
Even knowing what to expect, I hate doing those "wallpaper" gigs. I'd rather play for nothing to an audience that wants to listen.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: olddude
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 10:29 AM

Oh yea, I been there recently myself. I was asked to perform at an outdoor festival here in town this summer. Well the firemen had beer and lots thereof ... you can figure out how a great old ballad goes over in that one. Kinda like a fart in a spacesuit ... won't do that again next year. I will stick to the concerts in the park series, people come there just for the music .. not for beer and BBQ


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: stallion
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

It happened to us a couple of times, The Postcard at Holmfirth springs immediatly to mind, we succeeded eventually with the help of the Shellbacks. The other one was a private party the louder we were the louder the talking got, eventually had a breakthrough with the hunting songs, there were a few of the "country set" in and got all nostalgic with our hunting songs, not a sentiment the three of us shared but hey ho we had a small audience!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: DebC
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM

About 25 years ago, I used to sing in bars in a small town in No. California. No one listened to anything I did, but I just kept singing songs in a noisy atmosphere with no one listening because I realised that that was the reality of the situation.

One night I just thought I'd try something and after one song said into the mic, "I am going to take all of my clothes off now".

No one stopped talking and the buzz of conversations continued.

There is a time and place for wallpaper music and I have certainly done my share.

My sympathies also go out to Jacqui and Jerry.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: meself
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:12 AM

Nobody threw anything? What you describe is a mere gig from Purgatory - if you ever do find yourself in a gig from hell, you'll long for the peaceful humiliation of a 'wallpaper' gig.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: frogprince
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:25 AM

Jacquie, maybe I can get ya booked for spaghetti night at the Methodist Church a few miles from us. It might be a little bit the same for a while while most people are eating, but a good share of the crowd actually stays awhile and listens to the music. : )

If I could perform at all, I'm afraid I would be sorely tempted to ramble through some of the worst songs I know, whether or not I could really remember half of them. Maybe wing some rap versions of old ballads. Kudos Jacquie, for carrying on and doing stuff that at least somebody enjoyed and expressed appreciation for.

Did you take along that guy who does guitar backup for you sometimes?


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Zen
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM

I expect we've all been to Hell and back a few times!

I think my worst two were about 30 years ago when 1) our traditional Irish band were booked at Wandsworth Prison only to find out on starting up that the inmates were expecting C&W and 2) when our singer got totally stocious and fell fast asleep at the bar before a gig in a rough London pub which resulted in all of us being thrown out on our ears with the instruments and equipment.

Ah... those were the days!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

I did a Christmas one for the staff of a roofing company, where basically the people just wanted to chat and wind down. It was in a downstairs cellar type restaurant in the days before the smoking ban.

The piece de resistance was when one rather secretarial looking lady mistook the metal tin I keep my plectrums and capos in for an ashtray, and stubbed her cigarette out in it.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

Kate Wolf once told the story of a regular gig like that, and was feeling very depressed until someone came up to her and said, "There's nothing wrong with your music; you're just in the wrong place." It encouraged her no end, and I hear she went on to make something fo herself.

I try to avoid restaurant and party gigs for that reason. It's music more suited to a string band than a single musician, especially one for whom the lyrics are important. The piddly amount you get paid for something like that, if you get paid at all, doesn't even cover the cost of therapy.

Dan


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: KT
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:49 AM

All is not lost on those gigs. Great experience in front of an audience, and can present opportunities to learn how to read an audience and choose songs which may appeal to them. Easy chorus songs may get their attention/interest long enough to win them over. If you can't win them over, makes for great practice time.

Restaurant gigs can be really difficult because folks typically want to chat while sharing a meal. I have been surprised at times, though, when I thought I was practicing the fine art of wallpaper singing, to have folks come up later to say how much they enjoyed a particular song or lyric, and want to know more about it.

Good onya, Jacqui, and I hope y'all got some o' that chowder!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM

Being Musical Wall paper is par for the course when you do Pub Gigs in UK ! But for me the Gig From Hell was a Six Month contract in Hong Kong working for the only man I have mt who I would certainly describe as Evil !! One night a druken customer decided he wanted to sing along , so grabbed my Guitar Mic , which meant NO ONE could hear what I was playing , and then sang out of tune VERY LOUDLY !!
The Evil One thought it was funny !


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,VaTam phone
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:00 PM

Simpathies. Precisely why i am afraid to sing in public.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: ClaireBear
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:31 PM

My band does these every so often. Our tactic is to play a full instrumental after each and every verse we sing. It's easier on our voices, it's easier for folks to talk over us, and "Adiew Sweet Lovely Nancy" takes about 20 minutes, so we don't have to have nearly as many songs in our setbag. We hate 'em -- wallp[aper gigs that is -- but as Charley points out, the money is appreciated.

My sympathies to Jacqui.

C


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:43 PM

well LEAD FINGERS was there when I had mine,What did i tell them to do Terry?,


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:45 PM

We thought we were being ignored at a wedding reception, but then our guitarist bent way down and said, "There are feet tapping all over the room."

My worst story is when two of us were playing in a nursing home lobby and an employee came out and vacuumed the carpet. We had a small, but appreciative audience, too.

We never went back.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM

CaireBear, I think you have it exactly right. heavy emphasis on the instrumentals, and a band works better than a solo act.

Dan


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM

Absolutely no sympathy at all, Jacqui.
You've now gone through what all professionals have gone through and you're now one of us. Welcome!

Oh, and it will happen again. More than once.
So lie back and think of the queen.
(Or at least her portrait on currency.)


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: maeve
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 02:16 PM

This particular gig was a Necessary Evil. Jacqui has no trouble getting people to listen in a normal, music-appreciative situation. One of these days she'll even enjoy the performance as she sings.

V-Tam- I'm certain you also are appreciated when you sing in a venue that's a good fit. Like Jacqui, you have the stuff; it's a matter of singing often enough in the friendly places to not mind so much about the others.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 02:31 PM

One of the big challenges is the temptation to push your voice a bit harder to make them listen - and if you do that sure as eggs is eggs by somewhat before the end of the evening you will be voiceless.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM

hi

Been there and like many here I have experienced many such gigs.

But as has been pointed out, it all brings experience and learning how to cope and deal with the situations as you progress.

Most of the time I worked in bands and groups and that was not quite so bad. If no-one appeared to be interested we just played to each other. We even used to use the time to learn and rehearse new material.

We used to even get people who would ask us to turn down the volume so they could hear themselves speak!! We just used to nod and turn it up a notch.

Working solo was more difficult and took a bit longer to get used to the way to interest the "opposition".

Sometimes it needs a thick skin but it is all part of the game.

All the best

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 03:09 PM

Treating it as a paid rehearsal is the best self defence. Even in the worst situations, there's usually someone paying attention. I try to find them and sing to them. Preserves my world renowned sanity. Boing.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: jacqui.c
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 03:14 PM

Thanks all.

This was a charity event - we were performing for gas money and we knew that it would be 'wallpaper' music. Kendall was supposed to be accompanying me, which would have made it a lot easier, as we could have spun out the music a bit, but was not well enough to go, so I had to do my first solo act.

Luckily, Jerry Bryant, the other performer, is a lovely man who was quite happy to do turn and turn about, rather than the 45 minutes sets originally envisaged, because I was well aware that 45 minutes of unaccompanied singing was going to be a no no - purely from the point of view of interest. Jerry's music was better suited to the event, lots of upbeat sea shanties and the like, and I really had to dig to come up with songs that I knew I could sing acapella. Allison was great - very encouraging, which I needed!

It was good experience - I was, to quote Kendall, as nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, but finally decided just to sing for myself and to hell with the room. That made it a little easier.

However, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite as welcoming as Mary, walking up the room with a glass of wine in each hand!

By the way, I don't like chowder so the food was wasted on me - Mary and I went out for a meal and another glass of wine after the event - a good end to an interesting day!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 03:48 PM

I, too, look at wall paper gigs as paid rehearsals. If I know what it is upfront, I charge a good buck and figure I'll stay home if they can't come up with it. Susan and I did a couple St. patrick's day gigs for a pub, where they paid well, but no paid attention. We did get compliments from some people. However, when they didn't ask us this year, we weren't heartbroken.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 03:55 PM

Bob Gibson blew through Seattle and did a concert here back in the late 1950s. He was in town for a couple of weeks (had a brother who lived here) and I had a chance to chat with him some. He said that when he first started out, he wanted to be sure he could grab the audience, so he put himself through a fairly grueling piece of training. He'd walk into some beer joint with his banjo, then after getting the bartender's permission, he would start to sing. Sometimes he'd suddenly have an attentive audience. But many times they turned into a bunch of hostile hecklers. He'd keep pluggin' away, and give up only if they got physically hostile. He said that over a period of time, he learned some bits of patter, funny comebacks to hecklers, and was soon usually able to grab even the more hostile audiences. When he could do that consistently, he decided he was "ready for prime time."

Tough apprenticeship!

But I think the best piece of advice I got was from Juanita, an older woman who played the guitar and sang Mexican folk songs, and had been a night club singer for many years. She was retired, but she kept her hand in by singing two evenings a week in a local tavern (in Sausalito, California).

She said, "No matter how much the audience ignores you, if one person in that audience is listening to you, sing for them. And even if you don't see anyone who's listening, there might be someone who is not totally ignoring you. Sing for whoever that person might be."

Tough situation, but I think Juanita's advice was well worth heeding.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 04:01 PM

A well known band (not mine) were invited to play in what is now the 02 arena around the time of the millenium. After playing for about 30mins a man, who turned out to be a cleaner, asked the lead musician how long they were intending to play for because he wanted to go home. It transpired that the guests at the party had all been bussed out to another venue just 5 minutes after the band started playing but because of the bright stage lights the band had been unable to see this exodus!!!

Sarah


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: gnu
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 04:22 PM

Sarah... oh my!

jac... "By the way, I don't like chowder..." Whaaaaa? I hope you haven't told his nibs. >;-)


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 04:38 PM

Have to go along with those prior posters who point out that this kind of thing is NOT The Gig From Hell. When you're simply ignored, it's The Gig From Limbo. The Gig From Hell is when the audience is actively antagonistic. Rock musicians are more willing than folk musicians to play bars, in part because a solid body electric can be used as a defensive weapon more effectively, and with much less chance of damage to the instrument, than an acoustic. That's also one good argument for having a banjo player in your group.

The advice above, to find one person really watching and listening, and play at that person, is also very useful.

Sometimes you can turn it around. It's good to have a few songs that EVERYBODY knows, with singable choruses. Kris and I played a month or so ago for a bus tour group while they were eating dinner. We were completely ignored, as they talked among themselves with their mouths full. As they were finishing up, I did "Home on the Range," and got them all singing. For the rest of the gig, they listened intently, and applauded with enthusiasm, for every song. Of course, it might have been just that they were finished eating. I don't know.

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Anne Lister
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:24 PM

Ooohh ... where do I start ... the gig at a folk club in a long, thin bar where the sound man was one end and we the other, and the audience largely made up of tired, drunk and emotional clowns on the Sunday night of a Clowns' Convention? (No, really, they were clowns, with the noses and feet and everything ...we ended up giving one of them a lift back to London and it was hard getting his feet into the back of the car). Or the St Pat's night when Mary was singing a traditional song at her most soulful in Irish and a man came up to the mic and asked us aggressively to sing something really Irish, like "Molly Malone"? We all have our tales to tell. Someone once advised me to treat them all as JAFGE ... Just Another F**&^* Growth Experience. Or simply a Bad Day at the Office.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM

Who was it who did a song called "Another Magic Moment in Show Biz?"

A lady singer, as I recall.

The only specific line I remember is "Do you get the shakes when someone mentions Shriners?"

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM

Aha! I found the lyrics.

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,Ray roy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM

I've always found that slipping in a few obscene lyrics is helpful.
I've actually seen audience members stop & take notice/ register shock-horror or burst out laughing.
Otherwise, as you say, they wouldn't notice if you set yourself on fire!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 06:06 PM

A couple of years ago, I got a very well-paying Christmas party gig from a prestigious law firm in town, to be held in a local Irish Pub-in-a-Box with horrible acoustics - stone walls, huge glass windows, tin ceiling, tiled floor, etc.

I set up my little Bose system and went to work, keeping the volume low to avoid echo and reverb.

I used my tried-and-true audience grabbing tricks to get their attention but to no avail. I couldn't establish eye contact with anyone; they were just there to nosh and schmooze.

Then they started talking louder as if trying to drown me out.
Well, I finished the first hour and on my break I called a buddy living locally who is a fine piper and asked him if he'd come down and do the second half of the afternoon with me. He asked me "Do you want the small pipes, the border pipes, the uilleann pipes or the big lads?"
"Bring the big lads," I said.

Ten minutes later he was beside me on stage. We started with Scotland The Brave and the Bonnie Lass of Fyvie.
By golly, that got their attention!
We had people coming up and asking him to turn the pipes down.
I explained that hey weren't amplified.
"Can you play them more quietly, then?"

"Sorry. What you hear is the way they sound."
After about 10 more minutes of pipe-tunes, the boss came up and said "You guys are really great, but we'd like to converse. Here's your check for the full amount. You don't have to play anymore. Thanks."

We packed up, went to a non-Pub-in-a-Box down the street and had a couple of celebratory pints.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: John P
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 06:18 PM

A gig from hell from the other direction: we were booked for what was supposed to be background music at a party, and brought instruments and a set list for playing in the background. When we arrived we found a stage in front of a dinner party with a PA system. Everyone hung on every note and word.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: gnu
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 06:49 PM

Seamus... hahahahaa. Ya don't wanna hang with liars anyway eh?


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 07:18 PM

Dick - That gig in Brentford could have been a LOT worse - The few who had tourned up for the Folk Evening WERE Listeneing - It was the rest of the Art Centre crowd who were just there for the Bar !


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 07:33 PM

When I've had gigs like the one you described I find myself making really silly introductions like - "Here's a song from my Live at the Madison Square Garden CD - or Here's a number I wrote with Micheal Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. It's not professional but I've done it anyway.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 07:38 PM

No problem, we've all been there - in case of Performer(s) and Audience mismatch, Performers) try your very best to see what would go down well, when failure is obvious - treat it all as a full-scaled(PAID) practice.
There's no job satisfaction or fulfillment but at least you are putting "bread on the table".
Please believe me, one or two souls will be listening to your set - so do your best at all times for them .
Otherwise - just accept it as part of the (eternal)learning curve. Big names STILL come up against duff gigs - not as many as we - mere mortals - but it happens all the time - to them also .


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 07:56 PM

You could have put Gordon Bok, the Boarding Party and Bob Dylan in front of this crowd and the response would have been the same. Jerry and Jacqui held their own.
I am glad I started this thread. I would hate for the old bag to pack it in because of a bunch of silly quasi-nautical types in khakis and blue blazers. They were there to support the museum, eat chowder and win the raffle.
Wonder why they didn't just put on a few CDs and let it go at that?
Mind you, the museum has partnered with another and these are the people who will determine the fate of the Annual Maritime Festival.
Stay tuned for updates.
SINS


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:19 PM

Once saw someone solo do a room like that (the 'folk club' at a restaurant) - he started to play loudly, then gradually drifted softer - the volume of conversation gradually dropped with him. Then he hit it loud - and they all shut up! :-)

That's "Professional!" :-)

But seriously, if you think just an audience who is not listening is bad, then enter an Eisteddfod (large one - took days to get thru the programme) when you are in primary school. And your music teacher tells you not to worry, you are not really all that good, (not as good as her other students) so don't expect to win, but just relax and enjoy it, it'll be a good 'life experience'. And the winner in your section emotes all over the keyboard like a lovesick storm at sea. So you sit there quietly, and just do your stuff, then you get second prize .... at least you get a nice certificate .... :-) oh, and a few bob prize money .... and an embarrassed music teacher, cause you actually did better than most of her 'prize' students (that obviously could do well for her in a quiet room, but fell to pieces in front of an audience!)...

That's 'educational' ... in more ways than one ...

:0


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:26 PM

Looking for the Foot tapping in time (Or even the Fingers tapping on the table) is a good one . And having 'Hook' songs that you can throw in every third song - One time for me it was tha Hoary Old Chestnut 'Streets of London' that got just one table singing along -
Jacqui - I KNOW what you can do and admire your resilience in the situation !


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:15 PM

Gigs from Hell seem to be coming more often than not these days... Hmmmmm???

Last Friday night my resonator crapped out during a performance... Somethin' in the 'lectrics so I borrowed a Fender electric from Clarence Turner who I was opening for and the sound guy didn't get anything coming thru the monitor so I didn't realize that everyone was hearing me just fine ('cept me, of course) so I just played little harder... Got thru the set okay until the last song when his band joined me and I couldn't hear anything but them so I played harder and broke both the B and A strings... Had to pick around to flopping strings...

never again will I not have a backup guitar... But right now I'm trying to cut down to 4 stringed instruments and only took the one with me...

Never again...

B~


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:34 PM

Bobert - I am sorry I missed that. LOL Live and learn.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: AgingRS
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 09:56 PM

I think most of us have had our fair share of gigs from hell - we once got asked to turn down the music a bit in a club because some of the oldies couldn't hear their poker machines.
However just when!!! while playing in a pub i thought right nobody's listening so said to the other guys i'm going to mumble the whole song - well a guy comes up to the sound tech and says can you do something to the sound we can't understand the words?

You never know!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 10:36 PM

Wish I had missed it it, too, Sins...LOL... But at this stage of my life (and playing career), hey??? At least I have enough experience to know how to cover bad stuff happenin'... People came up afterwards and said, That was really nice"... Oh, how little did they know...

B~


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: open mike
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 12:07 AM

Ha! some people assumed you actually got paid, Jacqui...

gas money...i hate it when my vehicle gets paid for my being there but i don't! (how much will it cost me to play this gig??!!) oh and don't get me started about "benefits" and how the main benefit the performer will recieve is "exposure" many a musician has died from over exposure.

Where I live most gigs require 60 - 80 miles round trip travel. Most
businesses re-imburse you for business related travel expenses at 50¢
per mile..that makes it $30 - $40 just for travel expenses...

sometimes there is food available, but woe be to the vegetarian to
find something edible on most menus!

and of course you must answer to the wedding co-ordinator all evening
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2hRApdLADA


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Hamish
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM

I used to get stroppy with the audience... but that really doesn't help! a) it doesn't work and b) it only gets yourself wound up. Much better to stay relaxed...


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: MikeL2
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:15 AM

hi don

Juanita made a lot of sense. I used to play with a guy a lot like her. he had been around the block a few times too.

And like Juanita he always said if you have got one person there you have got an audience ....so play !!!

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,buddhuu at work
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:34 AM

Not had many bad gigs.

Worst one I can recall was at a bar in St Albans, Herts. Not mentioning names but it is called "Bar" and a number...

Place was empty, and the management had the lighting low and a glitterball going. It was like playing in an abandoned disco. Horrible place.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 04:41 AM

If the audience is one man and his dog you can always treat it as a practice!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: banjoman
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:37 AM

A couple of gigs spring to mind. One where we were booked to play for a silver wedding anniversary to find we were sharing the stage with a disco. We were then told only to play for dances where people stood in circles and held hands. After going through Circassian Circle a couple of times they decided to pay us off and get the disco going, at which point the dance floor filled to capacity.
Another was being booked to play at a now famous stately home for the wedding of a military chaplain. Arriving on time, we were ushered into a side room and told that the main reception was still ongoing but to help ourselves to the bits of food in that room. About 1 hour later, we were called to set up (under the main staircase.) We played for one dance and nobody got up except a couple of drunken clerical gentlemen who proceeded to knock over bits of furniture and to collide with each other. The Groom then came out of the bar and accused us of damaging property belonging to a prominent member of the Royal Family, and to being only interested in drinking the bar dry. Despite our protestations that at least 3 of the band were teetotal. we were then escorted off the premises by security guards. We never got paid but I do remember the name of the Git whose wedding it was, and hope someday I will meet up with him again. (is the Rev John Tee a member of Mudcat??)
Now that was a real "Gig from Hell"


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Arnie
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:29 AM

I recall our folk group being booked to play in a Kentish pub in the '80's which was on a rough estate. My wife was a teacher and spotted some of her excluded special needs kids in the pub, which wasn't the best start. Unfortunately the landlord had forgotten to unplug the fruit machine which was just in front and to one side of the band. Naturally enough, in the middle of one of our numbers some scrote decided that he would stand in front of our banjo player and spend the next half hour pulling the handle of the fruit machine. The landlord didn't dare intervene and looking at the specimen playing the fruit machine, we decided it was best just to carry on singing and playing. Quite amusing when we got paid as the landlord said he thought the gig had gone down well and would we like to come back? It's not often we declined a paid gig but we never did get back to that particular pub.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:35 AM

Anyone else ever had a gig at the opening of a shopping Mall?

Busking with full amplification.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Maryrrf
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:03 AM

Jacqui - don't get discouraged. That happens with some frequency and the best thing to do, once you've figured out that the audience hasn't come to listen to music and is there to eat, socialize and booze, is just treat it as a practice session. It isn't your fault - "casting pearls before swine" comes to mind. Sometimes you can salvage a little bit of the gig by getting the attention of a few music lovers, and sometimes you will be surprised by people coming up afterwards and telling you how much they enjoyed your music, even though you thought nobody was listening. But I agree with those who have said it's a rite of passage when you start taking on official "gigs". It will probably happen again, but then there will also be those magical moments when the audience is obviously enjoying and appreciating what you're doing.


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: jacqui.c
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 10:48 AM

Maryrrf - thanks for that - I wasn't really discouraged, just very nervous about doing the first solo gig.

Actually, it was quite a good one, really, as I did make mistakes and was aware that my nerves were coming through but, with that audience, it did end up being a practice for me and will hopefully stand me in good stead if I ever get offered a proper gig!

The one thing that did amuse me was that one of the organisers came sweeping over to the area after the event, totally ignored me and told Jerry how much she had enjoyed his music. I hope she's not the one writing the cheques!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 03:20 PM

In fall of 1959, Bob Nelson (Deckman) and I went from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay area to seek fame and fortune, because we kept hearing that's the place to be. So we decided to give it a shot. We met a lot of neat people (including Juanita, whom I mention above, who often advised us two barefoot pilgrims, and fed us frequently, bless her heart!) such as Rolf Cahn (from whom I learned a lot). We also met a lot of strange and bizarre folks. This was, after all, the Bay Area.

Bob and I had heard of a whole bunch of places down there that were supposed to be Meccas for folk-type singers, so we checked them out. It turned out that most of these famous places were pits compared to places we had sung in Seattle. Often "basket houses" (no pay from the management—just a tip basket). And we auditioned at some of the famous clubs, e.g., The Purple Onion, et al. Turned out they were more interested in comedy acts than they were with anything having to do with folk music.

We got a lot of tips about places that would pay itinerant folk-type singers for single appearances, so Bob and I tried to earn a bit of pocket money at these places. More often than not, when we finished the gig, the manager or whoever was supposed to pay us was nowhere to be found. More than once, we had to chase some Bozo out the back door, down the alley, and tackle him to get him to pay us what he had promised.

One place that—for some strange reason—wanted to hire us for one evening was Ann's 440. We didn't know anything about the place—until we got there. It turned out to be a strip club!!

They sent us back to the dressing room to stash our guitar cases and tune up. The "dressing (?) room" was packed with young (more or less) women in various states of nudity. As we're tuning up and preparing to go on, Bob, his eyes pinwheeling a bit, whispered to me "My Gawd! I don't know where I'm supposed to look!"

I mean, wot the hell! We had just come out of the Deep Woods and the moss hadn't even fallen off our north sides yet!

Well, we did the gig. Not our finest hour!

The audience made it abundantly clear that they had not come to Ann's 440 to listen to a couple of guys sing folk songs!

Someplace along the line, Bob and I decided that for all of the Bay Area being touted as "the place to be" if you were a folk singer (sort of "Greenwich Village West"), we decided that we had been much better off in Seattle, so we came back. And we were!

Back to places where audiences actually came to hear you, the management paid regularly, and your elbows didn't stick to the tables!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:12 PM

" Black belt caterpillar wrestler" asks

Anyone else ever had a gig at the opening of a shopping Mall?"

Wow - a whole shopping mall? That's pretty big time. In high school our band played for the opening of a Maryland Fried Chicken that was owned by our lead singers father. Does that count?


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 06:45 PM

The Gig from Hell as the audience sees it!


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Subject: RE: The Gig From Hell
From: howbe on
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 05:44 AM

If Black Belt Caterpiller Wrestler and I are thinking of the same gig
then we should explain that this was a UK shopping mall. So think USA less 99.5% of the stores.Anyway we have still got the option of playing the gig when the Mall closes down. Ah,Happy Days


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