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Getting a gig

GUEST,New girl 31 Mar 12 - 02:41 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Mar 12 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Old boy 31 Mar 12 - 02:48 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 03:15 AM
Dave Hanson 31 Mar 12 - 03:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Bitter old fool 31 Mar 12 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,alex s (no cookie) 31 Mar 12 - 05:53 AM
Leadfingers 31 Mar 12 - 06:17 AM
matt milton 31 Mar 12 - 06:18 AM
johncharles 31 Mar 12 - 06:28 AM
Leadfingers 31 Mar 12 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 31 Mar 12 - 06:52 AM
Nick 31 Mar 12 - 06:59 AM
Nick 31 Mar 12 - 07:09 AM
Nick 31 Mar 12 - 07:10 AM
Bobert 31 Mar 12 - 08:48 AM
BobKnight 31 Mar 12 - 08:56 AM
Midchuck 31 Mar 12 - 08:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Mar 12 - 09:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 12 - 09:27 AM
GUEST, Al Key 31 Mar 12 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Old boy 31 Mar 12 - 10:22 AM
Midchuck 31 Mar 12 - 10:27 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Mar 12 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Mar 12 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Old Boy 31 Mar 12 - 10:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 11:18 AM
Megan L 31 Mar 12 - 11:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 11:48 AM
SunrayFC 31 Mar 12 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Old boy 31 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM
Maryrrf 31 Mar 12 - 12:31 PM
DebC 31 Mar 12 - 01:01 PM
Nick 31 Mar 12 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Mar 12 - 01:35 PM
DebC 31 Mar 12 - 03:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 12 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 01 Apr 12 - 06:48 AM
matt milton 01 Apr 12 - 07:03 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 12 - 07:09 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Apr 12 - 07:11 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Apr 12 - 07:13 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 12 - 07:39 AM
Maryrrf 01 Apr 12 - 10:08 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 12 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Banjiman away from home 01 Apr 12 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Old boy 01 Apr 12 - 01:23 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Apr 12 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Old boy 01 Apr 12 - 02:31 PM
Leadfingers 01 Apr 12 - 02:57 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 12 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Guest TF 01 Apr 12 - 07:48 PM
Ross Campbell 01 Apr 12 - 08:24 PM
stallion 01 Apr 12 - 09:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Apr 12 - 09:37 PM
theleveller 02 Apr 12 - 04:02 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Apr 12 - 04:25 AM
TheSnail 02 Apr 12 - 05:12 AM
Megan L 02 Apr 12 - 05:16 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Apr 12 - 05:42 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Apr 12 - 06:07 AM
The Sandman 02 Apr 12 - 06:30 AM
BobKnight 02 Apr 12 - 06:35 AM
Young Buchan 02 Apr 12 - 07:34 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 12 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Old boy 02 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Apr 12 - 10:12 AM
TheSnail 02 Apr 12 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Old Boy 02 Apr 12 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Old Boy 02 Apr 12 - 10:43 AM
Snuffy 02 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Old boy 02 Apr 12 - 12:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Apr 12 - 01:12 PM
GUEST, Tony Rath aka Tonyteach 03 Apr 12 - 06:57 AM
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Subject: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,New girl
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 02:41 AM

As a newcomer to the folk scene I just don't get how I break into the folk club circuit. I ring organisers and they say they don't book people they've not heard. When I suggest places that they might hear me they often say things like, Oh I don't go to festivals!
Why are clubs run by people who seem to only go to their own club? People on this list often talk about the clubs dying. Maybe this is one reason why?


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 02:48 AM

So go to a club and pay for admisson. Ask for a floor spot. Sing. Then at least the organiser of that one won't be able to say he hasn't heard you. Take it from there.

Anyhow, that was how it was when I organised a club 40 years ago. Don't expect it's changed much, has it?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 02:48 AM

They all want you to go to their local club and perform a few songs over several weeks
before they will even consider if they like you enough to book you for a n unpaid solo spot 'gig'...

..allegedly..


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 03:15 AM

Your best bet is to marry a Waterson or somebody important like that.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 03:46 AM

Send a demo tape [ or disc ]

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 03:52 AM

No honestly.... a marriage into a family that was active and famous on the folkscene pre-1975 is a much quicker option than sending the demo tapes.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Bitter old fool
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 04:18 AM

Yes, marry someone who's dad is famous, or spend the rest of your life groaning and whinnying about the folk music scene. Eventually you'll become a caricature on an obscure folk & blues music site and people who have never even met you or heard your music will know you only as That Moaning Old Moo.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,alex s (no cookie)
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 05:53 AM

If you've got good audio for me to listen to or some YouTube vids I can watch I may book you. Just booked a duo after they sent some promo material including YouTube links.
Or as Michael says, do floor spots.

This -

"They all want you to go to their local club and perform a few songs over several weeks before they will even consider if they like you enough to book you for an unpaid solo spot 'gig'..."

is not the case here in Burnley. If we like you you'll get a paid gig.

Persevere.....


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:17 AM

Get out to as many clubs as you can , leave handouts , and send demos to clubs you cant get to to do a spot - BUT make sure the demo is what YOU do , NOT what you can do with heavy production and backing musicians/singers . And as Alex said , You Tube is as good a way to be 'heard' as any !


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: matt milton
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:18 AM

do some recording. set up a BandPage on Facebook, or reverbnation or Bandcamp.

Or the easiest thing of all (these days): film yourself singing a song and stick it on youtube.
(That's assuming you have a mobile phone, digital camera or laptop)

Getting a gig's never been easier.

Though personally, I think if you're serious about getting decent gigs - maybe even paid ones - it's worth shelling out for a day or two's recording studio time.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: johncharles
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:28 AM

I agree you need to get a webpage of some sort with demos on it. Getting out and about doing spots is good practice and helps to raise your profile. The club I go to gets many more approaches from artists then we have spots available so some are bound to be disappointed.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:45 AM

A LOT of clubs cant afford a guest every week and run Theme Nights and singers nights to boost income for people who are worth more than 'The Door' . And even with a 'Not Book Back for at least two years' policy , there are a LOT more people looking for gigs than there are clubs available . Good Luck .


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:52 AM

Get a web page of some description - photos, blurb, sounds, images, etc.

Get your material recorded - put it on Soundcloud or similar.

Get a demo CD/DVD done.

Get yourself filmed - put it on YouTube or similar.

Get some print flyers with all your info on them.

Get round the clubs and do a floor spot - take in the style and audience of the club - if you think you might be Ok there, leave your promo stuff with them.

Eventually, and it might take time - if you're any good - you'll get a booking.

Be patient, and be organised without being over-pushy.

And don't be put off by the cynics who say you need to be one of a 'family' or some 'in-crowd'. I know several club owners who are willing to take a punt on a new face - some small clubs can't afford huge name acts and may give a relative unknown a trial. But you have to be able to put over what you do. So make sure your act is as good as you can make it.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Nick
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 06:59 AM

Another option if you want to perform is to set something up yourself. Years ago when we looked to find a pub to play in everything was just food, food and more food and it was very hard to find a space to play in. I think now many bubs would welcome someone who comes along to offer entertainment - I can think of at least half a dozen local pubs who have done this over the last six months.

If you find a group of like minded people the worst that can happen is you enjoy yourselves. You tend to also attract lots of people who are looking for gigs and can share their experiences.

Might not get paid a fortune in the process.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Nick
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 07:09 AM

There's a chap called Roger Davis (I think) who is a singer from Huddersfield who I saw doing a fair share of playing a few songs at singarounds and he progressed to playing at all sorts of things. Stan Graham I think started at local places and has since toured to New Zealand with Vin Garbutt who also recorded one of his songs. Hissyfit started singing in local places and have progressed on to playing at Perthshire Amber, festivals etc (I think we gave them their first paid gig at our local pub!) David Swann plays everywhere in Yorkshire some free some not. Wendy Arrowsmith (who might chip in if she weren't on holiday) would probably be able to give you lots of advice and she is now establishing herself at folk clubs around the country.

Most of them still do a fair amount of singing in very informal free singarounds etc becaus ethey dearly love singing and playing

So it is both possible. It depends what you want.

I even remember, I think, one of the Unthanks singing in our local pub the best part of 9 years ago in an interval when Last Night's Fun came and played to an incredibly small but very appreciative crowd.

I think it's what used to be called 'paying your dues'. My son is doing the same playing electric guitar down in London which is equally hard!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Nick
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 07:10 AM

And perhaps having a name helps :)


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 08:48 AM

Most folk clubs have open mic night... Do it...

B~


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: BobKnight
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 08:56 AM

OK - I can relate to this. The amount of clubs and festival I've e-mailed again and again, who then just ignore you completely is unbelievable.

Being from a famous folk family doesn't help that much either - I'm related through my mother to Jeannie Robertson,Lizzie Higgins, Stanley Robertson, Elizabeth Stewart, and the Stewarts of Blair. I've even considered changing my name and using my mother's maiden name - Stewart.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Midchuck
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 08:57 AM

There's a famous but very hard to find issue of Sing Out magazine, from '65, I believe, that has a letter to the editor from a young girl in Maryland with the same problem - Emmylou someone, I think.

Plus ca change...

Peter


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 09:06 AM

Well its funny isn't it how the people who deny my obvious truths are always GUESTS.

Yes use the open mic nights. they will increase your ability and confidence. I'd say - do amateur dramatics. Learn to perform.

When you have got that together - you can make a living. Then try some proper professional gigs. It the route I took. Eventually you will write music that gets published and maybe even a hit song. Then you can make a living performing your hit song.

Because I had an ill wife to take care of - I couldn't tour doing my hit song. But apart from that i can tell it works.

However - don't look to the folkscene. Its full of sneering bastards like bitter old fool who won't reveal their names, and when push comes to shove wouldn't give you the steam off their piss.

If you can perform - you CAN make it work. Learn - no one is out there doing you favours though.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 09:19 AM

Find a local club you like and start helping. There is usually a shortage of people to put away the chairs and collect the glasses at the end of the evening. You are likely to progress to regular floor spots and MCing. They may even ask you to join committee. learn the difference between playing a festival and a folk club.
Find a sing around you like and join in. Be a good audience. Sing appropriate stuff. There is too much self penned teenage angst songs for most audiences.
Join a barn dance band and really learn how to play for others.
Have a repetoire of at least 20 that include 1/3 that others will know. Offer at least 5 variations. eg. With / without instrument etc.
Then you are ready to go on You tube etc.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 09:21 AM

Poor sod will draw her old age pension before she's done all that....


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 09:27 AM

Well, the best way is by being REALLY good. Border Crossing (Wee Jock of this parish) and Dean Tanio teamed up together not long ago, they do go to clubs and play for fun, and they are getting some nice gigs. They also wander into pubs and ask for gigs. You don't often go from unknown to famous over night though and not many people can make a full-time job out of doing folk and stuff that sounds like folk.

If you are a singer or singer-instrumentalist I think you can probably promote yourself on Youtube with simply a webcam. Take this smashing delivery of Sir Patrick Spens for example - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAxDaHe3V0U

Look at the performer's other stuff too - all well done (although this is my favourite by a country mile). At least one other lovely guitar. If I were still running a club and he sent me links to that quality of stuff I'd book him like a shot so long as he was not a silly price.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST, Al Key
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 09:43 AM

I don't want to blow my own trumpet or self promote, unlike some, so if any really clued up mod can decode my real IP address, please don't.

My band and I went to a local club - sang a couple of floor spots, and they first asked us to do a support and then a headliner. We went to another - a bit grander, elsewhere - did one song and they asked us to do a support (for a prestige artist) and a later headliner. I rang a local festival organiser and asked for a slot during the festy and he offered two (but the rest of the band balked one of them).

I think that's the way to do it.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 10:22 AM

Another tried and tested and relatively accelerated way to gigs
is to have been born to parents well off enough to send you to a good public school
so you could be handed a lifelong network of usable contacts in the media and entertainment industry.

Attending a top University is an added advantage.

Being related to an old titled aristocratic family even better.

From complete ambitious unknown to prestige venue gigging performer should then only require
a mere few weekends of profile raising glowing reviews and puff pieces
in the key Newspaper Culture & Lifestyle supplement magazines.

Radio 2 interest and a record label signing should follow swiftly afterwards.

This has been proven to work a treat for a privileged caste of now well known performers.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Midchuck
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 10:27 AM

Another tried and tested and relatively accelerated way to gigs
is to have been born to parents well off enough to send you to a good public school..


NB: "Public school (British) = "Private School" ('Murican).

I don't understand it either.

P.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 10:49 AM

Seems like a post for some reason intended to stir up class envy and hatred. With what purpose I cannot imagine: but it does regrettably seem to be one of those Mudcatty sorts of things that some visitors to the threads choose to do.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 10:57 AM

Thinking about this, clubs differ so much in how they atttract paying customers. Some clubs will only get people through the door if they know and like the performer. Other clubs could almost put on performing monkies and the same people will turn up. If its the former, you have to get yourself known in the area. You can't blame the club organiser for not booking you at a loss.
Try to take paying friends along to each gig.
Establish a data base
be prepared to do some of your own publicity.
Big Al - the current youngsters won't be collecting their pension till they are 90. Shes got plenty of time.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old Boy
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 10:58 AM

Hate our posh upper class folk performers ???

NO !!!

We the great unwashed mass of plebian herberts absolutely adores 'em and dreams to be just like 'em !!!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:18 AM

However you draw it - being a folksinger isn't what you'd call the most stable form of income.

Even really good successful blokes like Bernard Wrigley use their performing expertise in other things like acting.

You run the danger of the purists saying that you're not really a folksinger if you work in other arenas tha folk music, but really you have to look out for number one - if you want to be an artist.

If, as it seems you are experiencing problems with being accepted as one of the chosen few of folk aristocracy - then you reallly have to shift for yourself. look at what you have to offer as a artist and sell it girl.

Some folksingers work in education - taking folksong to school kids. I think Brian peters does this. Some work as session musicians. Phil Beer used to do this. Isla St Clair was a TV presenter.

If you pick up the balls and bravery to be showbiz footsoldier in folk clubs - take it wherever you can.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Megan L
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:22 AM

What a load of grumpy auld farts welcome to the charming world of folk music and for mercy sake DO NOT ask what it is.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:48 AM

No its not being grumpy - just realistic.

Expecting a break from the upper echelons in the folk world is a bit like expecting a fiver from a milllionaire. The reason they are millionaires is that they don't give out fivers. A fiver to another millionaire .....just maybe!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: SunrayFC
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 11:58 AM

Folk Music.....no thanx

I write my own songs....no thanx

I often sing for free.....no thanx

I can send you my CD.....no thanx


========================================

It ain't easy looking for gigs. We try to give as many "unknowns" a gig as we can, but I am not sure it does us any favours.

BUT...do not give up!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 12:16 PM

An alternative way for 'ordinary folks' to promote their singing and audition for potential gigs...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fqymcJRSbxI


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Maryrrf
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 12:31 PM

It's very difficult for an "unknown" performer to get a gig. A big problem is that it's hard to get people to turn up for someone they haven't heard of. Also if you have no track record, a club is taking a chance on whether your performance will be any good - there are plenty of people who can sing and play an instrument well, but who don't connect well with the audience. And let's not forget that there are more performers than gigs, so they will be receiving booking requests from a large number of people, many of whom do have fans who will turn up to see them.

It can be done, but it will take persistence and if you really are just at the point of trying to break in, a lot of floor spots and supporting slots. Some good advice has been given here.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: DebC
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 01:01 PM

I started a full-time performing career in 1998. I based myself in New England (Massachusetts) and for three years, I went to every open mic within 100 mile radius of where I lived. That meant driving 5-6 nights a week to play one, two, maybe three songs. My days were spent doing research on venues to see where I might get a chance to perform and contacting those venues.

In 2003, I went over to the UK and did a couple of gigs, but the majority of my four weeks over there were floor spots. From those I got a couple more bookings for the following year.

It's really A LOT of work outside of the playing and singing and a willingness to as someone said above "not give up".

I still occasionally do an open mic here near to my home in New England and I'll turn up for a floor spot or singer's night on night off in the UK.

You can be successful. You may not get rich, but I am quite happy with the way things have turned out for me.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Nick
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 01:34 PM

Debra, I see you are in York next March - if you are staying round York the night before you'd be welcome to come and join us for a sing - I'm afraid we aren't a paying gig - we have a weekly get together about 10 miles north of there.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 01:35 PM

Never mind. When you do make it big in the uk you will only have to pay 45p in the £ on your earnings instead of 50. Look on the bright side.   
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: DebC
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 03:41 PM

Thanks, Nick. It's all down to logistics and the schedule. Send me a PM or an email with the details and if I can I'll try to make it.

Cheers,
Deb


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM

when you get a gig - its sometimes not all its cracked up to be.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 06:15 AM

Well, all of the above advice is valid and good. But I believe it all starts with one's own attitude. Getting a gig is not a right - it is a privilege to be earned, through a combination of being good, adaptable and humble, and of course loads of exposure via floorspots, youTube, flyers, demos etc.

Any event organiser will be put off by an artist - even successful ones - who comes across as expecting to have earned the right to a gig. Even if the have earned it.

So start by being humble. Which is not to say that you should not have belief in what you can do, only that you should not automatically expect others to share it.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 06:48 AM

The following is a tale of gig chasing by a band I know:-

Band enquires for a booking by e-mail with sample mp3 attachments.
Club says they do not book unknown bands without sufficient examples of music.
Band sends recently issued 60/70 minute cd.
Club says they thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the music but they regret no booking can be offered, even through 2013.
Band considering selling roast chestnuts in London instead!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: matt milton
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:03 AM

a lot of the above posts seem to be rather overcomplicating things. Some posts seem to suggest there's an almost feudal/Masonic system of supplication towards getting a gig! As if folk club organisers were Olympian deities who can only be approached via an arcane process of worship.

It's really not that difficult. Make recordings. Play recordings to people who put on gigs. If you're good, well, people will book you.

The only slightly different thing in the folk scene - or at least the UK folk scene, can't speak for elsewhere - is that clubs tend to book gigs a surprisingly long way in advance. An awful lot of clubs will probably already be firming up their 2013 programme now!

Which, if you grew up used to playing rock gigs comes as a bit of a shock: you're used to contacting a promoter and being offered a gig in a month's time, sometimes even a couple of weeks' time. It's quite strange to be in an environment where you might be looking at a support slot in 15 months' time!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:09 AM

If you want to perform in public and get paid - do covers of popular stuff and sing in pubs and at weddings and functions Getting publicity organised is part of your business as is getting paid. Sounds soul destroying fine but thats what the public want and will sometimes pay for This is based on pupils playing and working in the London music scene


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:11 AM

Read, save, and take to heart the excellent advice on this page* - particularly the first link ("Getting Gigs"). Jacey's been in the biz for years and really knows what she's talking about. (Then check out the rest of the website.)

*
http://britfolk.co.uk/helpfiles.html


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:13 AM

Assume you are talking about the UK? Or do you mean the States? Where are you?


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:39 AM

FWIW it is the same in any other performing sector Took me two years to get established and paid in extra and TV work Ditto in writing you need to invest heavily in marketing and promotion as well


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Maryrrf
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 10:08 AM

Very good info in the link Bonnie posted above.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 12:37 PM

It also helps if you are EVEN BETTER than Jacey. Warning. Very few even come close. But did have to laugh on reading her page about how you need to be professional and organised - and noting that the page header (the url) read "getting gugs". I haven't had a good gug in ages.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Banjiman away from home
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 01:11 PM

Nick mentioned Wendy Arrowsmith aove.I'm her husband ...... as he knows we're on Skye this weekend.

I think thethe most important thing is to immerse yourself in the folk world...... understand what is going on and where he opportunities for gigs really are. Andthen do what is equired o et them. For some clubs that means doing a floor spot, for others sending a CD or getting the organiser to watch you on You Tube is enogh.

Though Wendy is establishing herself she will generally add a cople of nights onto any tour/ gigs in other parts of the country to do floorspots/ join in singarounds etc. I think you have to enjoy the hunt as much as playing the gig. There are some places where she has been trying for 5 years to get a gig, if they've left the door open at all.

There are other places that just don't like what she does....... you just have to accept that but if it to many clus/ venues/ estivals you probably have to accept that it won't happen for you without a major re-hin of material, presentation or personnel.

The other thing we found that helped was beingprepared to put gigs on for other people. It really helps with networking.

...... and George P. is absolutely correct. Being asked to do a gig is a priviledge not a right.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 01:23 PM

On a serious note...

For new unknown Folk performers born outside the caste of silver spoon fed 'old school tie' social & business network contacts,

are pro Managers/Agents/PR a positive benefit and worthwhile expense,
or a costly liability ?


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 02:03 PM

Once again, click my link above and scroll down a few headings and read Jacey (who is an agent as well as a performer) on the topic of when you do/don't need an agent, what agents do, etc.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 02:31 PM

Yes thanks, I know, but just thought it might be interesting to broaden the point out
for general relaxed exchange of opinions and experience here at mudcat..


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 02:57 PM

Agents are a mixed blessing ! Most have NO knowledge of the Folk scene at all , and a lot of the rest have Tunnel Vision - I work in a loose conglomeration that does Costume Them shows - An agent that has booked us for a Medieval seems to be oblivious (Despite it being on the webSite AND our Paper publicity) of the fact that we do Pirate and Victorian among other things as well .


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 05:30 PM

Try Jacey Bedford.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 07:48 PM

Bob Knight. My advice would be " don't change your name to Bob Stewart. People will think you're Bob Stewart from Alyth who, if my guess is right, you're probably distantly related to."


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 08:24 PM

Or they might think you were this Bob Stewart -

Bob Stewart - where is he now? , writer of "Where Is Saint George? - A Search for the Pagan Imagery in British Folk Song".


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: stallion
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 09:26 PM

When the late and great Barry Finn came over to the UK with Ken Schatz in 2009 he sent a cd to one folk club looking for a gig and got the reply "I am sick and tired of people who think they can sing sending me cd's and asking for a gig"


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 09:37 PM

whoa stallion! that sounds like the English folk scene that I know and love....


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:02 AM

New Girl, let me get this right - you're new to the folk scene (so presumable few people have heard of you or know your music), you know nothing about folkclubs and how they work, you've contacted a few club organisers out of the blue and suggested that they should got out of their way to festivals to see you, and because they haven't fallen over themselves to give you a paid gig you come on here and slag them off.

My advice would be, don't give up the day job, and get a little humility. Or try X Factor - you've more chance there.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 04:25 AM

> When I suggest places that they might hear me they often say things like, Oh I don't go to festivals!

I'm a little baffled by the fact that if she can be seen at festivals (where presumably she's booked), it suggests that she must have some gig experience...? You don't just waltz into a festival booking. Unless it's some other type of fest?


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:12 AM

Interesting to note that GUEST,New girl hasn't been back to post on this thread and has never posted anywhere else. GUEST,Old boy, on the other hand has posted here several times and has only otherwise dropped a couple of bon mots into the Galloway thread.

I wonder who they are really.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Megan L
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:16 AM

You beat me to it Snail I think we either scared of a genuine newby or fed a troll.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 05:42 AM

Yes ~~ specially so with Old Boy's peculiar view of the Scene as a sort of playground for the more idle elements of the Upper Classes --

"Folk performers born outside the caste of silver spoon fed 'old school tie' social & business network"


What's going on there, exactly?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 06:07 AM

> I think we either scared off a genuine newby or fed a troll

*Sigh* Bet you're right. Just in time for April Fool's Day :-/

But still, there's a wealth of great advice in this thread. Bound to be helpful to somebody else who looks in, genuinely wanting to know. No harm, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 06:30 AM

I think it was easier 40 years ago, there were more guest booking clubs.
yes, do floor spots, get good publicity etc,develop your own style, try to have a good mix of repertoire, when you do spots and gigs, make sure you have variety of keys tempo subject matter, and to some extent accompaniment, try and communicate with an audience rather than to an audience.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: BobKnight
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 06:35 AM

Guest TF and Ross Campbell. I thought about the name change a few years back, but dismissed it. They can take me as I am, and if there's no interest, well, I'll have to live with that.

If the Bob Stewart in Alyth is related to Sheila, then he's probably a distant cousin, but I've never met him. Maybe on of these days. :) Thanks guys.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Young Buchan
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:34 AM

"What a load of grumpy auld farts"

I seem to recognise myself from the description, and I haven't even contributed to the discussion yet! But here goes.

NewGirl, everyone is giving you the advice 'Don't give up trying to make a living out of Folk.' I want to suggest the opposite. Please understand, I don't want to suggest your giving up because I want to see you starving on the Embankment. And since I have no idea who you are, you will understand that in no sense is this advice a judgement on your ability.

I want you to give up aiming for bookings because I want you to experience the pleasure you can get from mixing with people (grumpy auld farts and all)who inhabit folk clubs. If you go into a folk club fighting to get a booking 20% of us will resent you because we don't like that sort of thing; 75% will resent you because you are now a rival to their their own ambitions.

Give up the idea of bookings; give up the idea of publicity and promotion. Find a folk club you like. Perform there regularly for the sheer pleasure of sharing your music with people. Learn everything you can about folk music; that will take about 4 lifetimes, but don't worry about that. The more you learn, the more you will improve. Eventually, if you are any good (or at least, if what you do suits a lot of people), someone one day may ask you to sing somewhere else. They may or may not offer you money; you may or may not choose to take it. Either way you will have made a lot of friends.

And either way I will commend you.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 07:54 AM

New girl, post some music on youtube. let us know who you are and I am sure you will get more specific feedback than the generalisations we are bound to have to give with so little knowledge of your abilities. john


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM

Got to chuckle out loud sometimes..

For the benefit of conservative [small & big 'c'] minded conspiracy theorists..

Nope I'm not "New girl" or have the slightest clue who she is, where she's gone, or if she is even genuine.

But, yes, my latest new mudcat name for this weekend is a hastily concocted daft jokey sounding ID
that is here consistent thread specific..

Obviously I couldn't be bothered thinking up a new one for anywhere else I've posted in the past 3 days.


Next weekend I'll probably be just as bored & restless and reinvent as a new someone else for all our 'mutual amusement'.

Or might even drag one of my comfortable familar old personas out the 'dressing up' costume box.

Fear not good folks, I always try to abide by a personal rule of only being one persona at a time,
none of that multiple identity disorder malarkey
indulged in by some of you regular mischief making miscreants.

Happier now ?.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:12 AM

I see you're a bit like Zorro. You wear a mask, skewer us with your erudite bon mots. The aristos shout who was that masked man - you do one more verbal somersault, scratch your initial on a hapless victims chest and ride off into the night - leaving us gasping with amazement at your daring and cleverness!

Got it!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:25 AM

He's still talking bollocks though.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old Boy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:31 AM

Z !!!!!!



...errrmm.. anyone seen where I parked my horse ?


oh bugger...




Taxi !!!


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old Boy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:43 AM

Fair play Snail, you can dismiss me and my daft ID games as much as you like.

But truly unblinkered spectators cannot deny the objective fundamental social analysis informing my posts....


Z zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 12:25 PM

Perhaps it could be denied in the same way that Dr Johnson refuted Bishop Berkeley's proof of the nonexistence of matter.


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST,Old boy
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 12:36 PM

.. and perhaps folks with that level of education and understanding
might already be blessed with 'a few steps up the rungs of the social ladder's' advantage
in getting booked for paying gigs..???


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 01:12 PM

We're all talking bollocks some of us looking up at the stars (like Seth lakeman, and The watersons)

I think Oscar Wilde said that


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Subject: RE: Getting a gig
From: GUEST, Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 06:57 AM

Some excellent advice here. I started in the 70s as an aspiring singer in Music Hall and was booked by a geezer called Horace Mashford at the Ally Pally Two spots for five quid in 1978 my first paying job. I did the gig - they said I was rubbish but could I come back next week and do some more By strenuous marketing and some talent I managed to get work every week after two - three years on the circuit doing old peoples homes - shows - panto and the like It takes time and effort to establish your self in any field. People have to know you -trust you and LIKE you enough to pay you

Its true in any creative or performing endeavour
my website www.tonymusicteach.co.uk


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