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Club organisers - advice needed

alex s 26 Mar 11 - 07:00 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 07:01 AM
alex s 26 Mar 11 - 07:41 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 07:43 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 08:08 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:10 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 08:11 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 11 - 08:18 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:21 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:25 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 08:27 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 08:51 AM
evansakes 26 Mar 11 - 08:53 AM
billybob 26 Mar 11 - 08:53 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 09:29 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 11 - 09:35 AM
Silas 26 Mar 11 - 09:38 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 11 - 09:54 AM
Girl Friday 26 Mar 11 - 10:42 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Mar 11 - 11:07 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 11 - 12:48 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM
FloraG 27 Mar 11 - 05:06 AM
Valmai Goodyear 27 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM
alex s 27 Mar 11 - 08:33 AM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Mar 11 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,lively 27 Mar 11 - 09:27 AM
jennyr 28 Mar 11 - 06:20 AM
Vic Smith 28 Mar 11 - 06:56 AM
Vic Smith 28 Mar 11 - 07:05 AM
Silas 28 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM
Vic Smith 28 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Mar 11 - 08:41 AM
MikeL2 28 Mar 11 - 10:31 AM
jennyr 28 Mar 11 - 11:54 AM
Silas 28 Mar 11 - 11:56 AM
alex s 28 Mar 11 - 12:44 PM
Arthur_itus 28 Mar 11 - 01:00 PM
AmandaLynne Music 28 Mar 11 - 01:29 PM
Bernard 28 Mar 11 - 05:15 PM
alex s 29 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM
breezy 30 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 30 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM
Arthur_itus 30 Mar 11 - 03:15 PM
Bernard 30 Mar 11 - 03:39 PM
Bernard 30 Mar 11 - 06:57 PM
The Sandman 30 Mar 11 - 07:06 PM
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Subject: Club organisers - advice needed
From: alex s
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:00 AM

We've all been here, when someone visits your folk club, does a competent, but not terrific, floor spot and then wants a full, paid, gig?

"Sorry, YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!" is what we think but don't say.

So what DO you say?


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:01 AM

"Sorry, you are not good enough" is what you say.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: alex s
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:41 AM

Thanks, Silas


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:43 AM

No, seriously, it is really important, particularly with a new club, to set the ground rules right at the beginning. It can be hard to tell people that thay are not good enough, but it is the only honest and fair thing to do.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:08 AM

It's not always that they are not good enough. It can be a case that they may not be what you want to put on as a full paid gig. Maybe their style, their stage presence etc etc.

You can always tell them,that unfortunately, you have all your acts booked or planned ahead and they will not be part of that.

You do not need to explain your decision.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:10 AM

Bit cowardly though Arthur, and they will only keep pestering. Tell the truth, its better for everyone in the end.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:11 AM

I do tell the truth and yes we do know exactly who we want.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:18 AM

no, not good enough is not necessary, after all in time they may be. ARTHURITIS IS RIGHT,decisions do not need to be explained, but if the organiser decides to they can be explained diplomatically.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:21 AM

Sorry, I disagree. If you have an act that you don't want, or feel is not up to standard, and they kep asking for a booking, you HAVE to tell tghem why you will not book them, it is only fair to them.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:25 AM


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:27 AM

It is tough as an organiser as you only have so many paid gigs per year and you have to decide, who you want.

To give somebody a full gig that is paid, you need to see them live doing a full gig. That's the only way you can really judge if that person or act will suit your venue.
As an organiser I always feel that it is your decision who you put on and have got to the point where an act is invited to perform, rather than the act wanting you to put them on.

Lets face it ther are hundreds of people all plying to get booked. You can't please them all. You need a thick skin as well.

Sometimes an act can go down very well at one venue, becuase it's the style of music they like. However at another venue it could go horribly wrong becuase it's not the right sort of booking for that venue. The organsiser needs to make sure as much as possible that who they put on will work.

Silas, you could say "Sorry, but that is not possible"


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM

I am not saying that you should be deliberatly creul or hurtful, but if an act is too guitar heavy, or its entire repertoir is from a Bob Fox CD, or the lead singer can't hold a note, is it not better to tell them, diplomatically if you can, rather than allowing them to live in hope?


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:51 AM

Why should the organiser have to take that responsibilty. I think that is unfair. Their freinds should tell them or the club they sing at.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: evansakes
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:53 AM

We always tell people who want gigs that...
1. We need to like what they do
2. We need to think that it fits in with what we do
3. We need to be confident that we can draw a crowd to make it worth their while AND our while.

The third one is the most crucial. If they agree to play on the basis of a door split and only 10 people turn up it doesn't do anyone's reputation any favours. If an unknown act promises to bring thirty friends along we simply say "sorry, we don't arrange private parties". It's tough....we reckon a potential guest needs to be able to attract people they don't already know.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: billybob
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:53 AM

ask them to come back to do more floor spots and when the time is right( if they improve?) you can book them, there is a well known artist on this thread who used to do floor spots at our club, and he tells everyone that I knew him when he couldnt sing!!You know who you are xx
wendy


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM

Arthur, its not really a question of whos responsibility it is, its more a question of integrity respect and honesty.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 09:29 AM

Sorry Silas. I don't agree, so let's agree to disagree.

Organisers make enough enemies as it is without making it worse. And most organisers do it all for now't.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 09:35 AM

Paul Simon was famously turned down for a booking at the Rising Sun in Catford, went back to America and within a short time had a hit with one of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 09:38 AM

Well there you go. The organiser probably told him to stop pratting around with rearrangemets of traditional english folk songs and go and write his own material - he never looked back!


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 09:54 AM

I am extremely grateful for the encouragement I got when I was floor singing 40 years ago, from people like Wendy, Dartford , Gravesend, Groom bridge, Farningham, Catford, Croydon folk clubs, I have had 40years of pleasure from playing and singing in folk clubs, AND without their encouragement, I would have missed out.
no, the organiser who turned down paul simon [as I remember it and i maybe wrong] had had enough of singer song writers who were rather introspective, that was his opinion and he was entitled to it because at the end of the evening it is the organiser who puts his hand in his own pocket to make up any financial loss, AND IT IS THE ORGANISERS PREROGATIVE TO DECIDE WHO IS SUITABLE FOR THE CLUB.
Diplomacy IS [IMo] the best way of dealing with these situations.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 10:42 AM

I can't remember the last time a floor singer asked for a gig at my club, but I know that it's happened. I have had mutual friends asking me why so -and - so did not get booked. I have had to turn down really good artists who have just asked for a gig, as the venue was not suitable for what they do. Crayside is a pub gig, so silence is a no go there..... as to Orpington Friday.... it may not last beyond May 2012.

Regarding Paul Simon.... Orpington Folk Club(Thursday) turned him down because he asked for £8.00 !!


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 11:07 AM

£8! The bounder :-)


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 12:48 PM

Well, 8 pounds in the late nineteen sixties, and before he had made it in the pop charts


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM

How about -

"Ask me again after you have had more practice. Maybe in about 12 months"

?

DeG


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: FloraG
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:06 AM

I think all this makes me think what a tough time folk club organisers have, and mostly done as a voluntary activity.

I think if we want folk clubs to survive the existing generation then performers, agents and audiences need to consider suitable behaviour. All credit to the organisers who have kept the clubs running this long.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM

As a member of a folk club committee, I heartily agree with Arthur and the Good Soldier. Diplomacy is essential and doesn't require dishonesty. There's no point in being hurtful; one day you may need these people's help, and you'll always want them in your audience.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: alex s
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 08:33 AM

Thank you, FloraG and Valmai - voices of reason. Arthuritis, your suggestion is the one for me - thanks.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 09:17 AM

my club has a singing audience & is run by a team of singers, performers & chorus singers, so you can guess the kind of acts that go down well. We had Martyn Wyndham-Read a few weeks ago, & George Papavgeris & his Los Marbles will be appearing next month.

We normally have a 30 min support & 30 + 60 min main act, or 2 x 60 min acts.

I recently told a classically-based string trio that I don't have an audience for 60 or 90 mins of music. They thanked me for telling them that. As they are professional musos (musicians?) they naturally didn't want a 30 min support which would have worked at our club. They have been booked in 2 other clubs.

I also sometimes don't answer requests, especially those that are bcc requests. I also didn't answer the one that started off "Dear Barry" & listed the major festivals they have played, then continued, "Barry, I seem to remember you run the ..." I could have passed it to Barry for consideration at his club, but as the club mentioned in subject line & body of email was mine, I just filed it in Reject/No Further Action folder.

One of our local festivals has a note on their website saying what genres they book (folk/world) & strongly advising artists in other genres not to apply as they can get more than enough applications. Our website also says we are mainly a singing club.

I'm a bit of a people pleaser, so am always pleased when I'm totally booked & someone outside our genre asks for a gig.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 09:27 AM

sounds a bit like the Agony Aunt's perennial "How do I let him/her down? Gently or honestly?"

Letting a wannabe 'suitor' down gently can result in telling white lies (like "I'm just not ready for a relationship right now." or "I really don't want to damage our friendship, it's too important to me.") that result in instilling false hope and inciting more dogged attempts to overcome 'the barriers between you', for those who refuse to hear the implied "No, I don't fancy you at all and never will!"


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: jennyr
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:20 AM

If there's a reason why a performer isn't appropriate (eg their style of music doesn't suit the club's audience), I think it's fine to tell them that. If they're just not good enough, and have only asked once, I see no reason not to be gentle - surely something along the lines of 'sorry, we've got all our acts booked for this year' is fine (if it's true!). If they kept asking, or asked for a reason, then yes, give them some feedback - ideally, something that can help them to improve.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Vic Smith
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:56 AM

I usually say that as well as seeing them do a floor spot, I need to convince all the organisers that they are worth booking so could they email me details of .mp3/website/MySpace/YouTube etc. where we could all hear/see them and this would help us to make a decision.

Then when any email comes, I give my standard saved reply - whether we are going to book them or not - which reads:-

Thank you for your suggestion of a booking for the artist(s) concerned. They will be considered alongside all the others by those responsible for our programme. We will only get back to you if we have a positive response.
best wishes
Vic


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Vic Smith
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:05 AM

I wrote:-
"I usually say that as well as seeing them do a floor spot, I need to convince all the organisers.....


...at which point I usually add, "Not all the organising committee are here tonight...."


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM

Just why you guys can't be straight with people is byond me.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Vic Smith
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM

Silas said:-
"Just why you guys can't be straight with people is byond me. "


It is not just a matter of being straight; there are a number of factors at play here:-
* Performers - solo, duo, groups - often improve, sometimes out of all recognition and acts that you might not want to book at first hearing might develop into ones that you can be quite enthusiastic about. If you have replied to an booking enquiry with a Sorry - not good enough type reply then you will look silly when you then go back and change your mind. Keeping your own counsel has a lot to recommend itself.
* One distinguishing factor of the folk scene has always been its strong friendliness (at least publicly). It is true that audiences and comperes on the folk scene are at times too tolerant of mediocre performances, but the alternative of public nasty disproval hasn't got much going for it either.
* A few years back, I was interviewing the wonderful Bruce Molsky for a magazine article. Bruce had been a highly successful manager of an engineering firm before giving it up become a professional musician. One question I asked was Did he bring anything from his business background that was useful to him as a musician? He looked a bit puzzled and asked for time to think about it before answering, Never take a bad attitude with people and keep your thoughts to youself. Bad attitudes to others can come back to haunt you.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:41 AM

Well if they're pro performers already doing paid gigs and don't go down well, best to say "sorry but I don't think our members are into your kind of thing, why not try...etc. If it's someone thinks they're good enough for paid gigs, really is best to be honest and say not good enough, add some constructive advice too would be good. A good performer will appreciate honesty, if not well, some people just don't get it. By the way we usually offer prospective paid giggers to do an unpaid showcase spot, which may or my not lead to future bookings. We have a twice weekly free newsletter with a readership of a few hundred and growing that is read in the UK, Ireland, even a few in the U.S, to subscribe free of charge just mail me below

Desi C
Co host
The Circle Folk Club
Every Wed night open mic
Coseley West Midlands UK
crc778@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 10:31 AM

Hi

I have not been involved with running clubs for some years now but back then we did get this situation regularly.

I guess I kind of ducked the situation by saying that all our paid acts were booked many months ahead ( true by the way).

So I used to say that I would consider thinking about them in the future.

We only had one person ( no names here !!!) who did keep asking and eventually I just had to square up and say thay I didn't think that he was suitable for our particular club.

cheers

Mikel2


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: jennyr
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 11:54 AM

Silas: There's a difference between being straight and being brutal. Personally, I wouldn't tell someone that we would consider booking them if I had no intention of doing so. But neither do I think that 'you're not good enough' is a necessary or helpful response - unless, as I say, they actually asked.

To use lively's analogy, there's a big difference between 'you're not my type/I don't fancy you' (//'not right for this club's audience') and 'you're not nice/not attractive'.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Silas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 11:56 AM

I have never suggested being brutal, so wind your neck in. I have said quite clearly that you have to be diplomatic.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: alex s
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 12:44 PM

"...so wind your neck in" says Silas the Diplomat!!
A career in the Foreign Office beckons, me lad...


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 01:00 PM

te he it's started :-)


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: AmandaLynne Music
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 01:29 PM

I have heard 'sorry we dont book Celtic music' 'sorry we are booked up for the next 2 years' 'sorry we only book BIG names' 'sorry we only book people who visit us first to do a floor spot and if we like them.(just same old locals then )' 'we can only afford to pay the band £100 to travel from Scotland to the south coast,(10 hours + loss of 3 days pay)... would that be all right ?' 'what a voice! would he play support for free(travel 150 miles)? We have a 200 seater venue.'

Just be diplomatically honest and they can work on improvement...., recommend a publicist etc


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Bernard
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:15 PM

I simply tell them that we have a 'wish list', and to get a gig at our club they first have to get themselves on to that wish list. To qualify for the wish list, at least one of our regulars has to suggest they should be booked.

I conveniently avoid mentioning that I can put anyone I like on the wish list!!

This satisfies the 'diplomatically honest' criterion without risking a potentially confrontational situation.

I should point out that our regulars are quite discerning, and are festival goers... nett result, our wish list reads like a 'who's who' of folk!


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: alex s
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM

An interesting idea, Bernard. I may try that. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: breezy
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM

Your club , your philosophy, your money, your choice

unless

its a committee

I once turned down Richard Digance, that was an error but he got his gig and I wasnt responsible for any loss.

and

I enjoyed the evening too

Now to upset a few by saying , I once was the recipient of the following advice from an old successful popular folk pro.
'Avoid the traddies, they'll kill yer club'

name with-held as an act of kindness

Do as you want, your the organiser, you'll make some mistakes but will learn.

btw where is your club? - roughly


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 11:15 AM

As someone with a foot i both camps (well a wife in the artist camp!) I think diplomatic honesty is best. I see the highs and lows of aspiring artists gig hunting at first hand, it's not always pretty!

Wendy has heard them all..... you're not traditional enough (at least half of her usual set is trad), you're too traditional (gets frustrating!)....... we only book those who we've seen, come and do a floorspot (Cornwall is not handy from North Yorks!) etc, etc. It's sometimes really obvious that organisers don't listen to what she has sent .... but comment as if they have.

The one's you can't argue with or feel bad about are the orgainsers who honestly say "you're not for us" or "you're not for us at the moment". She will follow up the latter and won't follow up the former .... but can't really complain about a subjective judgement put in those terms.

I think the worst experience she went through was where she did a round trip of over 350 miles to do a booked, unpaid support on the basis that if she went down well she would get a booking. She went down very well, outsold the main act on the CD front by a wide margin (a very well established and popular act)..... and was told when she followed up that she had done a brilliant set but the club wouldn't be booking her as she wasn't well known enough and wouldn't bring in enough punters.

She felt extremely used. The credibility of that organiser is nil in our household!


As an organiser I just try and be honest and give the real reason for not booking an act, gently but firmly if I'm never likely to book them. Or I encourage those who I might book in the future to get back to me in an appropriate timescale.

Paul

p.s. Wendy does get plenty of bookings btw!


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:15 PM

Richard Digance at Faldingworth Live on Saturday September the 24th 2011. Charlie Barker is support act. Can't be bad.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Bernard
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:39 PM

Banjiman's missus (Wendy) is appearing at Lymm in April!

Note: This file is updated weekly, so if you look after April 21st 2011 you'll wonder what I'm wittering about!


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: Bernard
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 06:57 PM

Regarding 'feeling used'... I ran a club in the mid 80s and had an agreement with an artiste who is still doing the rounds... they'd do my club for a reduced fee in exchange for me doing the same for theirs.

I was away on business when their gig happened, and they had the cheek to brazen it out with those who were running the club in my absence for the full fee.

Not only did the gig at their club never materialise, but it was one of the final mails in the club's coffin. People who know me are aware of who that unspeakable character is...

To be honest, I find the hassle of touting for gigs not to be worth the effort any more, so I only do gigs when asked nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Club organisers - advice needed
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 07:06 PM

"To be honest, I find the hassle of touting for gigs not to be worth the effort any more, so I only do gigs when asked nowadays."


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