Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


good music/wrong audience experiences?

jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,MMario 20 Aug 03 - 11:18 AM
Steve Parkes 20 Aug 03 - 11:20 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Aug 03 - 11:27 AM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 11:54 AM
Peterr 20 Aug 03 - 11:55 AM
Amos 20 Aug 03 - 12:01 PM
Bill D 20 Aug 03 - 12:12 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 03 - 12:19 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 12:20 PM
Steve-o 20 Aug 03 - 12:21 PM
treewind 20 Aug 03 - 12:56 PM
C-flat 20 Aug 03 - 01:14 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 01:55 PM
rodentred 20 Aug 03 - 02:02 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Aug 03 - 02:49 PM
greg stephens 20 Aug 03 - 02:51 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 02:56 PM
C-flat 20 Aug 03 - 03:18 PM
Vixen 20 Aug 03 - 03:26 PM
Amos 20 Aug 03 - 04:00 PM
jimmyt 20 Aug 03 - 04:07 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Aug 03 - 09:27 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 20 Aug 03 - 11:32 PM
Maryrrf 21 Aug 03 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Daisy 21 Aug 03 - 09:09 AM
greg stephens 21 Aug 03 - 09:13 AM
Art Thieme 21 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM
Mark Ross 21 Aug 03 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Sharon G 21 Aug 03 - 01:07 PM
jimmyt 21 Aug 03 - 01:41 PM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 22 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Aug 03 - 06:00 AM
Peterr 22 Aug 03 - 07:54 AM
Mark Dowding 22 Aug 03 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Russ 22 Aug 03 - 03:03 PM
jimmyt 22 Aug 03 - 03:44 PM
C-flat 22 Aug 03 - 04:49 PM
Deckman 22 Aug 03 - 05:34 PM
PoppaGator 22 Aug 03 - 06:01 PM
Art Thieme 22 Aug 03 - 07:43 PM
Mark Dowding 22 Aug 03 - 08:41 PM
C-flat 23 Aug 03 - 03:53 AM
Harry Basnett 23 Aug 03 - 09:03 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Aug 03 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,VrdPkr 23 Aug 03 - 12:42 PM
paulo 23 Aug 03 - 04:11 PM
jimmyt 23 Aug 03 - 04:23 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:11 AM

Anyone have experience playing for an unappreciative audience? my folk group has been together for a year, and mostly we play to very appreciative audiences.

Twice we have played for "different" audiences." Not necessarily bad, but not very attentive. Once it was a party and we were basically background for happy hour, last night we played an audition in an "Irish" pub. THere was a full bar, people laughing having a good time but seemingly ignoring the music. THe owner was very happy with us and wants to book us regularly, had several very positive comments, etc, but my group are older guys who played a lot of gigs back in the 60s when people listened to every word of the song, were quiet and attentive, etc.

My take on it is many people don't listen to music like they did 30-40 years ago, even though they probably are enjoying it at a different level. any similar experiences? thoughts? Suggestions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:18 AM

different types of gigs - not necessarily any less appreciative an audience - but it appears that in both the latter cases music *was* primarily background. You cannot expect the attention paid the music when it is background that you would get when it is a feature presentation - such as at a concert.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:20 AM

Awful question, but: can you afford to turn down a regular gig that you won't enjoy?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:27 AM

JimmyT,
where are you located? Some place in the US?

Living in Halifax, Canada, I'm used to seeing bands in pubs, particularly Irish pubs. Many evenings very few people pay attention to the band. They are there to drink and socialize. They couldn't care less about the music. The pub-owners pay for entertainment to try to keep the people there and drink more.

If the band spends a lot of time doing songs which make the patrons happy or nostalgic (both of which make people linger and drink), then the pub owners are VERY happy. Also if the band does a "Sociable" reminding the patrons to lift their glasses, it works well for the band.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:54 AM

Mario, you are correct, Steve, yes we can afford to turn it down. We play only for our fun. George, I am in Dalton Georgia, USA and we do a program of music that is very niche market.Old 60s folk music with a bit of Irish thrown in. Interestingly one of my favorite music pub experiences was in Halifax A group called Evans and Doherty, Very good time music and they seem to play with the perfect blend to keep the crowd in to the music. We do one of their songs, TOGETHER   Thanks for the input everyone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Peterr
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:55 AM

Your Irish pub audition sounds pretty typical. They enjoyed the music as background, and maybe would not have enjoyed loud 80s stuff. If you're paid for a pub gig I think you have to accept the wallpaper bit with the folding paper. Punters haven't paid, so they are less likely to listen. Tough on the older guys who, like me, played a lot in clubs rather than sessions or pub gigs when people did listen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:01 PM

I had a jolly time working up a collection of Irish tunes to play one Paddy Day with as new banjo player I had found. We worked together very well and really enjoyed the playing. In the actual event, the music was swamped by the Loud Green Beer crowd, and although we played our fingers off, the appreciation was pretty thin. We got paid for the job all right, which is why we were doing it. It is distressing though.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:12 PM

if you can find someplace...anyplace--a church basement, someone's backyard deck..etc.. that doesn't charge, maybe you can have a semi-regular session where people come just to hear the music...That might compentate a bit for the other type of gig (even if the audiences are smallish)...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:15 PM

I guess I pretty much expected the response we got, but the other three members of the group, having played a lot on the 60's when people really listened intently and actively, kind of got their feelings hurt.

2 weeks ago I played for another ill conceived music venue. I played jazz bass behind a couple of jazz guitarists in a loud raucous pool playing nascar watching Bar bunch who occasionally yelled "Freebird" when not just totally ignoring us.   Again, I think the music was fine, the bar folks were fine, it just wasn't a fit!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:19 PM

This reminded me of a quote from McGinn of the Calton by Matt McGinn.



It was not my scene, nor was the Clelland Bar in the Gorbals which specialised in Beat Groups. I sat terrified as I watched three beat groups do their stuff before I was due on stage. The third group was just leaving the stage as Andy nudged me. "On you go now."

"Are you no introducing me?" said I in horror.

"No, On you go yersel" said Andy and on I went to face an audience who thought I had just wandered in off the street. With great courage and fortitude I had croaked my way through the "Yo Yo", and "McPherson's Rant" and was on the first chorus of " Rosin the Bow" when I saw IT arise right at the back of the long hall and move menacingly, a brute of a man with a sunburst of Ireland face and shoulders which could have heaved down the Tron Steeple.
" I'm just finishing" says I.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:20 PM

You are right, Bill, and it is very gratifying when we do play for "our audience" Recently played for a banquet where the entire audience was between 45-60 and from the very beginning, we knew we were in the groove.

They were all transported to the days of being teenagers and young college students, and although the music was done about as well as we can perform, the nostalgia for the audience was pretty magical as well. Would gladly play those kinds of jobs for free!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Steve-o
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:21 PM

It goes with the territory of being a "bar band". My group always looked upon it as "being paid to practice", which is OK. In my experience, there are always at least a few people paying attention and obviously enjoying the music- focus on them and play to them. It also helps to choose some songs that everybody knows or somehow connects with, whether they're your favorites or not. I vote for playing over not playing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: treewind
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 12:56 PM

I'm used to playing informal sessions in pubs where there's no expectation that people will listen (though a lot do anyway). I'd be quite happy to sit there and play tunes and be ignored if the proprietor is happy with that too. If I was a singer I think I'd have to go though a bit more serious attitude rethinking to do the same thing, but I'm sure it can be done. At least you don't have to concentrate on getting it too perfect where they're not really listening anyway.

What really makes anyone uncomfortable is when you aren't what they expected - the people aren't happy with the kind of music you do and want you to do something else, so you have to keep saying no or possibly worse doing something badly and unrehearsed - quite a different affair.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: C-flat
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 01:14 PM

I've played plenty of "paid rehearsals" in my time and it takes a thick skin (and lots of experience) to remain unaffected bt it.
Happily, these days my band play for fun and any money we earn is a bonus, but we do try to avoid bookings where we know there isn't a "music crowd" simply because the best part of making music is making a connection with your audience.
I remember one night in a local club where a table at the front, consisting of burly drunks, kept requesting Elvis songs (not part of my repartiore). Nowadays I would have come up with a version of something to shut them up but at that time I was too frightened to stray from my well practised set list. The calls for "Elvis" broke into a chant as I fumbled onwards through a Jim Croce song until, thankfully, I finished the set.
Leaving the stage to a ripple of sympathetic applause, I was approached by one of the goons from the front table who proceeded to shake my hand and thank me for a great night! I was too stunned to even reply!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 01:55 PM

having read back over this thread, let me point out that I am also an older guy! What I meant was that the other three had performed together in the 60s to a different type of audience that at that time was really in to this music. I am a newcomer to this music, having only been playing it for a year.

If they read this thread, I am afraid they will take offense to my referring to them as older, and probably have me summarily executed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: rodentred
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 02:02 PM

Seeing this thread brought back a memory of when a group of us folkies played at an old peoples' home. We were in the middle of the second or third number of a 1 hour programme when the old dear in the front row yawned and said to her neighbour 'I'm tired', prompting the reply 'never mind, perhaps it's the last song'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 02:49 PM

Just to be cantankerous, if you're a paid performer (or group) the thread title is an oxymoron.If the music is wrong for the audience, it's no good. Period.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 02:51 PM

I was playing with the Salami Brothers in a very rowdy Edinburgh pub once, we weren't doing that well in getting through to the audience. At the end of one song,but in the middle of the set, a very scary looking man came lurching up to my end of the band. "who's in charge of you lot" he said: he looked a bit like the scary one in Trainspotting, only with tattoos as well. So me and Mike, with commendable sense,but no courage whatsoever, pointed along the line to Taffy Thomas. The guy walked along to Taffy, shoved his face very close and said "I want to buy yez all a drink".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 02:56 PM

Thanks Dick, for those words, but I totally disagree. That is like saying a Rembrandt is a piece of crap 'cause the person looking at it doesn't appreciate fine art. I think you are referring to the semantics of this perhaps. The consensus is that Rembrandt was a pretty decent artist, and the consensus is that most of the time, our audience really likes us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: C-flat
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 03:18 PM

I think I would have to disagree too, bearing in mind that in the case of pub gigs neither the audience or the artist have any idea of what to expect from each other.
Now if it was an advertised concert which stated what kind of entertainment you were provided and people bought tickets, then Dicks' statement would hold true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Vixen
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 03:26 PM

Reynaud and I had been invited to a "showcase" of various performers for Public Library children's programs. We rehearsed a mess of kids' songs, from Old McDonald to I'm My Own Grandpa. We always take the fiddle, guitar, pennywhistle, recorder, banjo, and mandolin, and kids from age 4 onward are usually fascinated by all the different sounds we can make. We had played this set in various configurations at a dozen different kiddie events, to rousing success, with the kids singing, clapping, and everyone--parents, kids, and us--generally having a great time.

So we arrived at the showcase, and realized the audience for this event, was 50 children's librarians, without a kid in sight.

We asked the librarians to agree to pretend that they were their own patrons. Lots of laughter. We did the set, and there was quite a bit of toe-tapping, singing along, and smiles. All in all, however, they didn't respond like the 6-to-12-year-olds who normally make up our audience.

At the end of the gig, the organizer came over and told us--"That was a nice set, but couldn't you have done children's music?" We were totally stunned. "Old McDonald," "Jenny Jenkins," "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain," "You Are My Sunshine," "This Old Man," and "Green Grass Grows All Around" are all, as far as I know, still considered kids songs. The kids we played (and still play) them for respond well.

We still haven't a clue what this woman thought we had (or hadn't)performed. When I pressed her for specifics, she looked at me as if I was totally strange and said "You know, songs that 6-year-olds sing."

Talk about a mis-match!

It's bugged us both ever since.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 04:00 PM

Jeeze, when I was a six-year old "Jimmy Crack Corn", "This Old Man", "Coming Round the Mountain" and such were about right!! I think she must have been a bit off...


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 04:07 PM

I agree, Cflat. If I was paying to see and hear an evening of, let's say, Irish music, and they substituted, let's say, Klezmer, or dixieland, I can see Dick's point. Otherwise, I do not feel that good music played for an unappreciative audience is bad.

Vixen, you must have been absolutely dumbfounded at the lady!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 09:27 PM

Re Rembrandt:
As I recall, he was never working as a commercial artist. Ge had patrons, and (presumably) his work was considered satisfactory to them.
If you're going to work pub gigs, it's a good idea to attend some such and see what's expected and accepted.

I could never see why "folk" acts deserved more consideration than "pop" acts or "saloon" acts or "pub" acts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:32 PM

You can't win 'em all, but best it is to try
With best foot forwards, all through the damp and dry
Some common ground is warranted, from the better half of sly
But singing like you mean it, can whip the whiner's why...

They call it entertainment, but who can really say?
When fickle are the fashions, and moods mock men at play
But somewhere in the crowdings, are folks who make your pay
By listening encouraging, and being glad to stay...
ttr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 08:10 AM

Jimmyt didn't say that he wasn't playing what was expected or accepted, nor was he asking for special consideration as opposed to "pop" or other acts. On the contrary, the owner liked what his band played and so did the patrons who commented on it - so it wasn't "wrong for the audience". It was more a matter of the audience not paying attention and not being openly appreciative. Even with research, its a rare performer who never ends up at a gig that isn't really a good match. I think that in general if you're playing in a pub or similar environment, no matter how good the band or the performer is its going to be hard to get the full attention of the audience. If there are people there whose primary purpose is to socialize they just won't listen. Even those who want to listen will be distracted by the talkers and laughers. And yes, it can get to you after a while. Mind you there are those performers who, through sheer force of personality, humour, etc. can command the audience's attention but that usually involves a lot of jokes, comedy songs and audience participation songs and takes a very special talent.

I agree that most people don't listen to music they way they did 30 years ago. There's something about people's attention span that seems to have altered - I'm not kidding, it's uncanny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,Daisy
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 09:09 AM

My friend and I went along to play at a Culture Vulture night, the aim of which was to showcase the talents of the medical students at Glasgow University (she was the student doc, not me). We practiced a set (complete with dirty song, Thw Widow's Moor) and lugged our accordions, whistles and bouzouki to the venue.

Problem 1 - when we arrived, we were the youngest people there, everyone seemed to be high-up-doctor types and to cap it all off, they were wearing tuxedos (we were smart casual).

Problem 2 - finding the program, we were a little anxious to find that it was apparently "A night of classical music" - and we were billed LAST!

Problem 3 - when the first people got up to play, we realised that we were surrounded by bloody virtuosos - I mean, I got to Grade 5 on the piano, but these guys were GOOD! Way better than us at playing...

So the evening progressed with us getting more and more nervous and when we eventually got up to play I was a shaking mass of nerves and my friend was convinced she would never work in this town (or in fact, be allowed to graduate!).

"Er, we'll start the set with a jolly folk tune - you'll recognise it becuase it's the one off the Tetris game on the Nintendo..."

Sullen silence.

Ah well, we thought, in for a penny... so off we went at a good lick - and you know what - they loved it! By the time we sang the rude song at the end, surgeons, gyneacologists and pschiatrists alike were falling off their chairs with laughter and we got a standing ovation.

So some people CAN be won over, as long as you stick to your guns (and sing a song about shagging)!

Daisy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 09:13 AM

Daisy: you couldnt go wrong at that do: as long as there is a bit of vulgarity in the act, medical audiences will love it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM

I opened the show once for The Charlie Daniels Band. THAT was a gig I should not've taken on.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 12:47 PM

I ended up doing a guest set one night at the old Cafe Au-Go-Go, right after 10 Wheel Drive! They were a large rock band with a powerful horn section. As they say in the hills of New York City, Oy Gevalt! Fred Neill took me aside later in the bar across the street(I think it was the Back Fence)and said that what I should have done was keep strumming for as long as it took for the audience to quiet down.

Mark Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,Sharon G
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 01:07 PM

We were asked to peform on St. Patrick's Day at a large sports bar in downtown Phoenix... that's right during the middle of March Madness- college basketball championships-- and no one in the bar was interested in Irish music. All had their backs to us watching the big-screen tvs around the room.   Great money - no fun. We all agreed we'd rather play for our friends at the local St. Patrick's day parade and festival for a trivial sum of money.

We did meet one of the members of the Moody Blues who was having a drink there during our sound check.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 01:41 PM

Sharon, That is how we feel. i am not downplaying the fact that some folks count on the money and sort of have to take the goosd with the bad, but when you are just doing it for the fun, I would much rather play a free gig with lots of appreciation than a well paid one with folks ignoring you!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM

Julie played a pub gig at the "Fox and Newt" in Leeds, UK not so long ago. Classic "problems" in a pub, lots of talking, pool games in constant progress, even a games machine which seemed to want to make it's own musical presence felt through most of the second set. Not the makings of a great time for a solo acoustic musician? Maybe not, but it was really successful.

We had some people from the mailing list travel reasonable distances to get to the gig, and several commented that Julie had increased in stature in their eyes because of the way she had overcome the difficulties. Even more importantly, many of the pub regulars came up to us at the end of the night to thank her for a great gig and to thank me for "getting the sound just right" - by which they meant that I hadn't tried to compete with their talking by upping the volume.

We also had the highest number of new additions to Julie's mailing list that we've had all year.   Those little paper slips just kept on coming in.

Conclusion? We learnt not to judge a venue by first impressions and that the fee isn't the only reason to continue with a venue that might not initially seem right for acoustic music. Add to that an enthusiatic and very helpful landlord - how many times have you been helped with the loading and unloading? - and you can guess we are going back (Friday 19 September 2003) !

Best regards
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 06:00 AM

Shine-it if you didn't like it. With that crowd you are "window dressing".... the real importance within the fourwalls is the face to face interaction with friends.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Peterr
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 07:54 AM

Thomas the Rhymer - a great few lines, and how true. There's often those one or two people who watch and listen and appreciate what you're doing. If you recognise them early enough in an otherwise unpromising gig you play for them and it makes your night.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 08:41 AM

I used to go to a club that's no longer going (not my fault!) that had the regular meetings in an upstairs room out of the way and free from extraneous noise. Great for singing and telling the audience about the songs, etc. One night they decided that it would be a good idea to have the club down in the bar for a week in order that the downstairs regulars could listen to what we were doing and would hopefully venture upstairs one night. Now I don't sing loud, raucous, throw-away, 'doesn't matter what you're singing because nobody's listening anyway' type of songs. I'm more the quiet, 'sing a song that tells a story', 'let me tell you a bit about it first so that you can listen to it in context', 'nice subtle bit of guitar work' type of performer. I never went to another night when they were in the bar. The songs I did - nobody could hear over the noise, my voice went, trying to 'shout' the song to get it heard and as for subtle guitar....

Did a gig at a British Legion once - God knows why - never again - all they wanted to do was play bingo.

Someone recently asked if I'd play at their silver wedding party. They'd seen me perform a few songs at a Music Hall evening at my parent's church where there was about a hundred people listening in silence to all the acts. After explaining why I didn't want to do their party - didn't even get as far as money being mentioned - I just don't like singing to people who don't listen and at a party there are plenty of those, they appreciated where I was coming from.
I'd sooner sit with two people all night who listen to the songs than do wallpaper music. Sitting with a crowd playing tunes - as Anahata mentioned earlier in the thread - is fine. It's better than the juke box.
Hope that makes sense. I'm sure other people have the same feelings.

Cheers
Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 03:03 PM

Same situation as Daisy, different ending.

Our group played for the annual meeting of the International Association of Veterinary Radiologists (honest). One of us is a member. I won't say he got us the gig because he didn't solicit it and actually tried to talk the program manager out of hiring us. His suspicions proved well justified.

We were either last or near the end.

The entertainment was essentially an amateur night held after a fancy dinner. Assorted members and groups of members of the organization got up and performed. I remember a group from Japan singing what sounded like a fight song and passing out headbands.

Anyway, we thought, hey, against that sort of competition we should look pretty good.

WRONG!

By the time it was our turn, the drinkers were completely sloshed (since it was in a hotel nobody had to drive home) and the nondrinkers were looking disbelievingly at their watches.

The best reactions we got were from the tables where nobody was paying any attention to us at all. Unfortunately there were a number of tables that took an active and vocal dislike to us.

We very quickly realized that we weren't going to make any converts. We ignored the audience, sang for ourselves, took the money, and ran.

And yes, we did learn a lesson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 03:44 PM

Russ, I did a do-wop "nostalgia" show with lots of dialogue, etc that was more of a theater piece with lots of good 4 part do-wop harmony. A member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors saw it and hired us for their annual banquet. Same thing. We were supposed to go on at 7;45 but long winded speakers let the drinkers get pretty wound up by 8:30 when we actually got started.

Lots of folks really loved the show but their were a couple of drunk hecklers that I actually had to deal with in midshow to quiet them We were paid very well, but again, not as much fun for us as an attentive audience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: C-flat
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 04:49 PM

Against my better judgement, I'm playing a "money gig" tomorrow night. I'd originally refused the gig but the money went up so steeply that I had to take it (we could buy a useful piece of equipment), the clincher was, "...and you can have free beer for the whole day..."!
Having the advance knowledge that we will be largely ignored during the first set and that our audience will be smashed by the second set isn't such a problem when it's expected and, who knows?, we might pick out a couple of people in the crowd to play to.
At least none of us are going to feel crushed if nobody talks to us as we are packing away!
I'd still rather play for nothing to a crowd of music lovers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 05:34 PM

This is an interesting thread. Many years ago, I completly blew a gig. It was my fault, I knew it, and I did it on purpose! I live in the working man's town of Everett, Washington, USA. This town has a strong heritage of workers, I.W.W., and the known history of the "Everett Massacre."

For this particuliar gig, I was invited to perform/entertain at the VERY exclusive golf and country club in town. Now, I'm not a country club kind of a guy. I've been to them, I know where they are, I've been invited to join, I done a lot of building and construction on them, but I generally don't like to hang out with country club kind members.

As I was preparing for this well paid gig, I started putting my program together. I realised that I would probably be singing to the sons and grandsons, and some daughters too, of the ruling class that domineered this town when the Everett massacre happened. For whatever reason, I decided to do a whole program of Wobbly songs!

I eased into it well, sang some traditional NorthWest ballads, told stories of the early settlers and brought in some early Everett history. I knew I was right on the mark because as I got more and more political, the audience grew quieter and quieter.

But my final three songs were pure Wobbly.

They never paid me my $250 bucks and I never complained. I figgured we were even!

I guess I do have a mean bone in my body after all! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 06:01 PM

I once had the experience of being paid NOT to play. Not something to be especially proud of, but an interesting story nevertheless.

One of my friends and classmates had been frontman for a very prominent local rock band, but the rest of the group had graduated and moved on. The proprietor of one local bar had booked Geoff's band for St. Patrick's Day each of the past couple of years, and at the last miniute (i.e., March 16, 1970) offered him the gig.

I was recruited to borrow and play an electric bass, a drummer and another guitar player were found, and we holed up in someone's dark and dirty basement to work up a few tunes overnight (with the help of some illegal stimulants).

Hours went by with no inspiration, until at about 3:30 am someone had the good sense to strike up "Johnny B. Goode." We immediately ran through the entire Chuck Berry songbook, and then though one easy classic three-chord rock song after another, until we had more than enough material to get through the following evening.

Went to the gig, in the back room of a restarant/bar, and NO ONE (except for our immediate circle of guest-list friends) was there! The owner had not advertised a St. Patrick's Night rock 'n' roll party, so of course none of the young crowd who had attended in past years knew to show up.

He did have a room full of middle-aged restaurant patrons, however, and they began to complain about the "noise" coming from the back room. So we gladly accepted our (substantial) pay, and went home to sleep it off.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 07:43 PM

Chicago----Lincoln Park Zoo lion house. Beastly experience. They roared their approval throughout. Not Nadia, but definitely a Cat-house. I had to quit playing. So just took out a book and read between the lions.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 08:41 PM

Just remembered another one:
This gig had filtered through a number of people until it arrived at me. I was told by a "friend" - "If you can't do it can you find someone who will?" Not knowing too many people (I'd not long moved into the area) and the ones I did know had already refused, I thought I'd take it - reasonable money and they wanted a folk singer. When I got there I found that it was a gentleman's Round Table type of do and what they actually wanted was someone like Mike Harding, Billy Connolly or Jasper Carrott. What they didn't want was me singing some gentle love songs, or songs about cotton mills, Whalermen on the ocean, or what steam railways were like to work on. After an awkward few minutes where people were looking at each other and wondering what was going on, I managed to get a few of the more humerous songs that I do together and carried on. The phrase "Take the money and run!" was never more appropriate.
Why does folk music have this image of rude songs and stories with some people?
I've done a few things in my local pub recently but I've made damn sure that the people sat around me were people who actually wanted to listen to me.

Cheers

Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:53 AM

I did once play to an audience of two! The landlord and his bar staff. This place was in the middle of nowhere, had never booked a band before and hadn't advertised the fact that it planned to!
The only trade this place could have would come from passing motorists, the nearest dwellings being some miles away.
Having unloaded the van, set-up and soundchecked, I started to get a little concerned at the lack of any signs of life and, as the time to start drew upon us, I went in search of the landlord.
"Don't worry about it! We've just opened and we're trying to get this place established as a music-pub" and despite the lack of any customers asked us to begin and said he would come through for a listen.
Fully appreciating his difficult position we played the first set while the landlord, along with the embarrassed-looking girl behind the bar applauded each song.
I then suggested that the landlord cut his losses and gave him the opportunity to "pay us off". (Basic expenses and no hard feelings.)
Not a chance! In his words,"No play, no pay!"
So we went on and finished the night, completely sending up the situation with lots of cries of "All-together-now!" and "Let-me-hear-you-sing!"
We even took "requests" from the floor, "Sounds of silence", "Silence is golden" and so on.
As we packed away the landlord paid up in full and asked if we could put another couple of dates in the diary.
We wished him well as we politely declined!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: Harry Basnett
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 09:03 AM

A few years ago when I was playing bass with the Sharp Practice Country Dance Band we got a gig through an agent at a golf club in Liverpool...upon our arrival we announce ourselves as the band...

"You'll want to get changed," said a gaudily dressed individual, eyeing us warily.

"No...we're all ready to go..we'll just bring the gear in."

The gaudily dressed individual had now aquired some equally colourfully attired friends who regarded us with expressions of mounting horror and disbelief as we paraded past them with drums, guitars, melodeons, fiddle and amplifiers of various sizes.

"You're not a steel band are you?" asked one of the more observant spectators whilst his friends gazed hopefully at the open door as if expecting a Carribean ensemble to come limboing through at any moment.

Apparently it was the Captain's special night and the theme was definitely not Country Dancing, Hoe-Down, Ceilidh or anything related.
There were grass skirts, floral shirts, garlands of flowers, pretty pink and blue drinks with umbrellas in 'em aplenty but not a straw bale to be seen. Checked shirts, fake pistols, amusing wanted posters and baked bean suppers were not on the agenda!!

"It'll be okay," we told Mr. Captain who appeared a broken man - - a man who had just seen the bluebird of happiness disappear through an open window after first covering his prize axminster in bluebird of happiness droppings.

" We've played at other golf clubs" we re-assured him. ( This was bending the truth slightly - - we meant two of us had played golf at other clubs.

" Ashton golf club.." (badly!)

" Romiley..." ( worse than Ashton!! )

Mr. Captain decided to make the best of a bad job because he would have had to have paid us anyway...either that or we'd have hung around, lowering the tone...and things went rather well. After the punters initial disappointment about getting all togged up as extras from 'Live and Let Die' for nothing they all mucked in and made Mr. Captain a very happy man.

We never did find out what happened to the steel band...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BLOODY ROTTEN AUDIENCE (Tony Miles)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 11:47 AM

BLOODY ROTTEN AUDIENCE
(Tony Miles)

Well, here's a song I've written specifically for you
Who sit in the audience and talk through all I do
I cannot understand it cause I'm pretty good, you see
So there must be something wrong with you, there's nothing wrong with me

Ch.: You're a bloody rotten audience whilst I am very good
If brains were made of oak and ash then you'd have balsa wood
I'm ethnic and authentic and I'm really full of class
While you're ignorant, you're cultureless, you're philistines
en masse.

I'm an artist and authority on music and what's more
I'm incredible informative on folksong and folklore
I'm a wonderful performer and so you all must be
So bloody thick and stupid not to like the like of me

I'm a folkie and that's obvious, you can tell it by me clothes
And when I sing traditional, I sing it through me nose
And if you insist on talking every time I sing a song
I'll fix you with 'Bold Robin Hood', that's eighty verses long.

And when I sing contemporary, my heart and soul is pure
I must be bloody brilliant, cause my writing's so obscure
My hero's Leonard Cohen, I dig him perfectly
But I must be so much better, 'cause no-one here digs me.

But now I'm going to leave you, cause I feel I'm wasting time
Couldn't possibly be wasting yours, so you must be wasting mine
And let me tell you now that I'm not out here for me health
So if you don't come and pull with me, I'll go and pull meself

Ch.: You're a bloody rotten audience whilst I am very good
If brains were made of oak and ash then you'd have balsa wood
I'm ethnic and authentic and I'm really full of class
But underneath it all I'm just a pain in the flipping ass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: GUEST,VrdPkr
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 12:42 PM

Its not easy, but the trick is to pick from your playlist what is appropriate for the crowd. We do Western music. Not Nashville coountry-rock. Western. We do old Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Stan Jones, 19th century trail songs, Stephen Foster. Most of our material is from 1850 to 1950. We do a pretty standard set that includes some poetry, and introductions about where and when the pieces come from. We do some work for the resorts around Sedona. Most of the time they are fine and fun. We are background while people gather and then try to talk more directly to the crowd after dinner. Usually it works . Once in a while we are faced with an audience of alpha type salesfolk who have made their quota and are rewarded with a trip to Sedona. They spend the evening networking like mad and drinking heavily. There is no point in reciting poetry to them as by the time you get to the end of the story they can't remember how it started. A clever finish is greeted with blank stares.
They just want head-banger stuff so we stick with swing tunes which are at least lively. There is always someone out there listening and enjoying, though. We have often gotten to the end of an evening of "paid practice" and had someone thank us profusely for playing some old tune their parents or grandparents sang. We love stirring up memories like that. Put your head down and give them your best effort.
I played in a rock and roll band in high school. We weren't very good but we were cheap and so we would get jobs in smokey bars out in the boonies. Once I had an old man tell me, "Everyone in this bar is here for one of two reasons. Neither one of those two reasons is to hear you make music."
Sometimes you are the show. Sometimes you are the soundtrack. We try to be good at both.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: paulo
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:11 PM

The thing is I still like the idea of doing sessions/sing-a-rounds in pub bars.   It takes the music to a different audience.

Having said that, I do see the difficulties.

A story: I went to the opening of an Irsih bar once were the "turn" was Tom Napper & Tony Wilson (two excellent musicians/singers from the northeast of England).
The audience was mainly drinkers.

The audience kept asking for requests - useually Pogues songs. (By the way I like the Pogues)

Tom kept giving these people slips of paper and telling them to write their requests down and they would go into a hat.   Every so often he would pull out a peice of paper an announce the next song.

Needless to say they didn't change one song on the set - but everyone was happy.

Paulo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: good music/wrong audience experiences?
From: jimmyt
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:23 PM

That is a good trick, Paulo!   I wish I had used it last week. The same drunk chick continued requests all set long, but they were not only not folk music, they were so completely random from one to the next it was kinda funny had it not been for the fact it took her 2 minutes to verbalize a one word title!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 May 5:17 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.