Bar Band at the Country Club

clarkram

Member
Messages
3,050
Last night we played a gig at a country club and it sure wasn't the same as playing bars.

We are a bar band, been together over 6 years and we stay busy. we play one or two weddings a year and three or four private parties. Booked about 30 weeks/ year otherwise. We are not a wedding band by any stretch. A lot of blues based rock, southern rock, blues.

So we get this gig from gigmasters, there are videos, audios etc of the band so you know what you are hiring.

I arrive at the club and it felt like I was entering the place from Caddyshack. It was made clear we were the hired entertainment, just do our job. The management was helpful but there were no perks offered. We asked if we could put out a tip jar and that was ok.

So, first set about halfway thru we figure this is going to be a crap gig. The crowd demographics a few 30 s, a few 40s, most 50s and 60s. Btw, I'm 64. The audience looked a little confused at this point.
By the end of the first set people were listening and starting to enjoy.

Second set was a blast, party time hit the crowd. Fun. Same for third set. Turned out to be great gig with several people wanting us for parties and the club wanting us back for the holidays.

Btw, we all bought new gig shirts for the gig and I guess it paid off. The kitchen staff fixed up nice go boxes for the band. Made over $300 From the tip jar, gotta like that.

You never know, what we thought was a crap gig turned out to be a great gig.
 

stratocat63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,476
I like those gigs, the trophy wives are trying to outdress each other, and when they get liquored up and hit the dance floor.... good times.

We never put tip jars out at those gigs though. So I am jealous.
 

clarkram

Member
Messages
3,050
We don't usually put a tip jar out anywhere, but these people low balled us on our normal scale, we decided to take the gig to get some feedback on gigmasters.
After the shooters started going they were very generous.
 

stratotastic

Member
Messages
7,243
We don't usually put a tip jar out anywhere, but these people low balled us on our normal scale, we decided to take the gig to get some feedback on gigmasters.
After the shooters started going they were very generous.
Don't you list your minimum price on gig masters?
 

clarkram

Member
Messages
3,050
Yes, we post our rates on gigmasters. That doesn't mean someone can't offer less, like in the emporium.
 

drewl

Member
Messages
8,562
My last band hooked up with the manager of a club that did formal parties and weddings etc.

We did a few great paying gigs there. Nice atmosphere, people there are ready to party, home early and great food if you wanted.

I miss those gigs!
 

hobbes1

Member
Messages
3,214
country clubs are nice gigs, in general, IME. the start/end times are much better, money is usually a good bit more than the typical bar scene pays, working conditions are nicer/upscale and there are times when the CC staff will hook you up with drinks/food as the night goes on. I would much rather play a CC any time over a bar gig.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,084
You definitely can't always read a gig from the location, attendees, etc. It's best to go into every set with a great attitude and hope it becomes infectious. You never know.
 

Bo Faulkner

Member
Messages
3,825
Beats the hell out of my Saturday night gig.. left house @ 6 pm.. got home at 4am.. had to hoof all of our gear 100 yards across and parking lot that owner insisted we NOT use because it is gated. (even though you can access it around the side.) Mind you I didn't want to park there but only off load and load gear afterwards. Nasty college dive bar. Done with that craphole. Singer and I do acoustic poolside at a local CC and it is always fun.. (and home by 9:30pm!)
 

Ogre

Member
Messages
4,616
It is bad form to put out a tip jar at a private event. You will be perceived as having more class without it. It will also prevent any other well-wishers from tipping you at the end of the evening.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,471
My last band played a ton of those gigs. Always got treated like the help. That is just the way it is.

The key is to play really low volume to start with and ease into it. If you start out too loud, they won't have time to socialize/networkk and drink, which is why they come to events like that. At some point in the evening, they have had a few and it takes off. It is usually the wives who get it going. The men are usually more into the networking aspects. At that point, you can loosen up and start to turn up. The key is to enthusiastically play the first set when nobody is paying attention and the volume is low.
 

TheoDog

Supporting Member
Messages
19,727
It is bad form to put out a tip jar at a private event. You will be perceived as having more class without it. It will also prevent any other well-wishers from tipping you at the end of the evening.
OP said it was a CC gig, not a private affair. Also asked, probably tastefully, for approval from management.

The CC lifestyle is somewhat driven by gratuities. Even Judge Smails tipped Noonan .25¢
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,385
Even in known hard rock clubs our cover band started out the night with what we referred to as our dinner set, doing the complete B side of Abbey Road and finished the set, 40 minutes on the nose with Suite Judy Blue Eyes. Those songs were pretty much universally appealing and demonstrated the band's vocals and ability to play and that even with a big powerful PA our sound was very well balanced.
2nd set almost always started out with The Cars Let's Go!
 

edgewound

Member
Messages
5,644
If you stop to think about the CC demographic these days, BabyBoomers rule the roost in the 50-70 age bracket. They grew up on classic rock. Big Band music...which I love BTW, and the Lawrence Welk crowd are fading away, although the occasional 80-90 year old will still be at the CC having some fun with the 70 year old youngsters.

And yes...CCers love to party for the most part. They can be really fun gigs. If you're doing the crowd well, they will ask if you have a tip jar. Nothing wrong with that. Makes tipping less awkward oftentimes, because they know where to drop it. The VERY generous type will deliver in person or let everyone else know there is a tip jar.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
35,350
During the Rodeo(big deal) last year, my old rock band got booked for a rodeo themed birthday party for twin 4 year olds. During the day, on a weekday, crazy money at a tiny renovated '20's amusement park. They wanted country music, so my old band called on me and my current bass player. I'm the first one there, and it was nothing like I've seen before(I had been there many times) It was set up like a $100k wedding. Multiple bars, catered by 2 high end restaurants, decorated to the nines…it was badass, all for a couple of 4 year olds. It was a local real estate mogul's step kids? Grandkids? And his wife booked us. She'd seen the band at a bar gig, and had a history with our singer. There were maybe 20 people in attendance, and they were ALL pretty annoyed by our music/presence. Stepford moms, pushing strollers sround, no men except for local celebrity types doing minimal appearance walk throughs, Joel Olstean even made an appearance.

On top of the lack of response to us, we were doing everything "wrong" in the book. Went on late, singer got wasted, we mingled on breaks, played too loud…our singer was acting WAY too comfortable with the lady that booked us. "We'll go back on when we go on", and making a crack at the hosts name (Dick Tipps) on stage at every opportunity.

I thought for sure there was no way we would get paid, but our singer is a stand up dude and would pay us out of pocket…sure enough she paid, and booked him for 2 more parties! WTF?!
 
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