Cover Band Flops

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by BigBadOrange, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Telejester

    Telejester Member

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    I would love to come out on a bar gig and say

    " Hey are you all ok, tonight we are going to be doing improvised jazz and rush tunes all night "

    The looks on the crowd faces would be priceless
     
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  2. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Crowds are weird, and much varied.

    My band, we don’t play mustang sally, or a stream of hits. I know this can piss off a lot of other musicians, but I don’t care.

    We play songs we think are good, adjust our song list of available songs by our intuition and by crowd response. We try and include a number of songs that “everyone knows” but mixed in with songs we feel we can do well and are very cool songs.

    So far our response has always been positive. Usually after a gig someone (often someone kind of drunk but here in Norway that would describe about 85% of the audience) come up and says they really liked what we did up there, that it was different but was kind of an experience. We aren’t master musicians any of us, and we do have a few songs that are “iffy” or not known but that we think are so cool it will win them over.

    We tend to bunch some of the more well known songs towards the last set (usually the third set) and build up momentum.

    We adjust what we play by feedback, by what we think they want at any given time based on how they react. But we get great feedback often playing songs we are pretty sure nobody knows th song, it is just a very cool song. I feel lucky that this works out so well, or seems to.

    Just my experience.
     
    gigs likes this.
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Personally I have picked up on some great songs, that I have missed, by hearing other bands do them.
    In fact this is a proven formula for commercially successful songs i.e. doing a cover of a great song that simply did not get major recognition, esp if you 'make it your own.':D
    It can work. I have no clue how to ensure that it works, however.
     
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  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Yeah, I dont have any good insight or answer. I DO (like I think you are saying here) notice a lot when someone does a cover where they change the style, tempo, whatever.

    It’s hit and miss for us. We have some songs that we tried and needed to change. Sometimes it works and sometimes not.

    Also “stolen” a song here or there after hearing a band do it where I thought “hell yeah...we ought to be doing that song!”
     
  5. Mwoodbro

    Mwoodbro Silver Supporting Member

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    Some years back we worked out a really tight, nice band arrangement of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse".
    Really lots of fun for us, apparently less so for the audience.
    It was worth it.
     
  6. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    How do you play a Beatles song and get no response.

    We are an instrumental surf music band. We worked an early Beatles instrumental song "Cry For A Shadow" into our set list. We announced it as the only Beatles song written by George and John, one of only two instrumental songs they recorded, and it was written as a tribute to another British group, The Shadows...(all factual). Its a cool little song and danceable. Nada... We followed it by a song by the Shadows, "Theme For Young Lovers", which got a favorable reaction...
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. Jason UP

    Jason UP Supporting Member

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    We used to play a pretty awesome version of Ten Years Gone by Zep, and yeah it was expectedly a snoozer from the crowd....but we liked playing it so we kept doing it. Also played Out On The Tiles by Zep, and that for some reason always worked and it's more of a deeper cut so even less ladies would've known that one.
     
  8. brainman

    brainman Member

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    Yeah, like the time our singer declared that Hit Me With Your Best Shot was WAY too hard rock and that we must do Stone In Love instead. All while ignoring the country songs that had people on the dance floor.
     
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  9. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    Yeah, they would have probably wanted to hear Mustang Sally :eek:
     
  10. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    We did Motley Crue's 'Too young to fall in love' at the Rawhide saloon in Jamestown Ca. sound country? It is. But there was a wedding crowd there and drunk people dance to anything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  11. Kennybeeinfl

    Kennybeeinfl Member

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    Yeah it's funny but l have no problem playing just about any cover as long as its done well. It is deflating though when you work up something that YOU think is really cool and it lays an egg.
     
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  12. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    Yes. I was in a band and we busted our tails learning Tell The Truth from Derek and The Dominoes. It went over like a fart in church :(
     
  13. Kennybeeinfl

    Kennybeeinfl Member

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    Great tune and a blast to play. Sometimes you have to please yourself. I learned the hard way that if you give the people what they want 90% of the time you can get away with pleasing yourself the other 10. Kinda like a marriage lol!
     
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  14. Ravindave_3600

    Ravindave_3600 Member

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    People like Mustang Sally because it grooves like crazy. Most bands suck at it because they play it as rock and roll, man.... Love that song when it's well done (which is rare).
     
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  15. mvd18969

    mvd18969 Member

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    Played in a band about 10 years ago and the band leader thought we needed more 90s music in our sets to appeal to the younger crowd.
    2 turds that immediately come to mind are Sister Hazel "all for you" and Dishwalla "counting blue cars".
    Just awful and no response at all
     
  16. B Money

    B Money Member

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    You can add "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to the '90s flop list.
     
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  17. stratotastic

    stratotastic Member

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    One of the missing elements in this topic (unless I just missed it) is band charisma. All we really seem to be talking about here is the songs themselves, but if you have fun people in your band, you're going to get a lot more mileage out of any song than a bunch of lumps that stand there staring at their shoes. One band I was in recently did some objectively terrible songs, but the front man would use props and wear Elton John costumes and dance on the bar. The songs were basically secondary to his freak show. Great following and people loved it. If you up your stagecraft, you can really broaden the song list, whereas the more boring you are, the harder you have to work at curating an ideal song list to hold the crowd's interest.
     
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  18. Doode

    Doode Member

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    And this is exactly why pop music is the greatest music in the world. :p
     
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  19. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    Is this where we bring the music stand/iPad debate into the discussion? God I hope so!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  20. gigs

    gigs Member

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    Them Bones - Alice in Chains.

    Every time we practiced it, we all had different syncopation. But that didn't stop us from playing it out once... was a disaster, our sound man walked away from the board during that one. Good times.
     

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