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Gigging folks - sharing bills with terrible bands

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by sosomething, May 18, 2011.

  1. sosomething

    sosomething Supporting Member

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    If you gig at all, you have to know what I'm talking about.

    Sharing bills with bands that suck is the WORST.

    It's something we actively avoid by being selective about which shows we book or accept in our local market. I'm also usually the kind of person who can find the appeal or something to appreciate even in less-polished supporting acts.

    But still, sometimes it's out of your control. Sometimes there is no excuse. Sometimes people should honestly have never left the basement... and you know their friends and family have to be giving them woefully inaccurate feedback, because there is no way what they're doing should ever be done in front of a paying audience...

    How do you guys deal with sharing the bill with horrible bands?
     
  2. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I'll ask the other bands how they feel about it ;)


    On a more serious note - it can be awoided in the cases where we're part of the planning, or even hire the other band. Then you can check out their music online etc. Otoh my covers band is sharing a bill at a local market day and we have no influence at all. In that case you just do your best and let the other bands mind their own
     
  3. sosomething

    sosomething Supporting Member

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    So true.

    But what about a bill that was supposed to be yours to fill, which due to a mix-up with the venue, was booked around you with .... you know...
     
  4. prsflame

    prsflame Member

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    It is a hard thing to avoid when doing mostly "originals" shows. There were times when a club was full, and we were 2nd or 3rd on the bill. Then a terrible opener goes on for the first 45 mins..... I'm talking out of tune playing, Mics feeding back, singer with no presence, and then that nice crowd empties out one by one.
    I'm out of the originals scene now, but one thing my band used to do was organize our own shows/put a bill together with bands we liked, played well, and had a following. We would pool our audiences, and it worked out fine.
     
  5. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been there and it can be painful. Luckily, we don't really share the bill anymore unless it's a nationally touring act or large festival. Very rarely we do a benefit or something (which is a different issue entirely that burns me to no end. Caterers/sound guys/lease holders and everyone else always seem to get paid at a "benefit" but they always want the musicians to play for free. I don't get that...)

    sorry. that was a tangent rant.
     
  6. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Listen to their music and to the kind of reputation they have as a live band. In a town like mine (about a million strong) it's well known which singers will be fall down drunk, which guitarists will throw hissy fits on stage etc. Lots can be learned by asking around. If it's a big enough show I'd ask for references
     
  7. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    Guess I'm different.. I don't want to "run the venues business" so if they book someone awful.. that's on them.. I just want to play my set, do the best I can do and worry about me not about 1000 other things.
     
  8. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

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    For all you know, they see you guys as the horrid band. It's all relative...
     
  9. sosomething

    sosomething Supporting Member

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    I'm not in a position to ask for references. It's a small show.

    That said, I did go out and google the other bands to listen to what they were doing, and that's what prompted this thread.

    I don't want to run the venue business either, but as an original band located in a smaller market, it pays to try to put together a night of solid entertainment so that the people who come to see you have a good time and bring friends the next time, right?

    If you go spend all night at a bar show and three bands out of four are nigh unlistenable, you're not gonna be having much fun no matter how well that 4th band does.

    Until it isn't.

    The middle of the barrel is full of subjective this and that, but there is a bottom.
     
  10. robare99

    robare99 Senior Member

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    No kidding hey. That pisses me off, especially when I don't know anything about the event.

    :facepalm
     
  11. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Member

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    Doesn't it make you look better when you share the bill with someone who is "terrible"?
     
  12. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    this +1
     
  13. sosomething

    sosomething Supporting Member

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    See post #9

    I don't need someone to tell me "you guys were the best band of the night!"

    I need them sticking around and buying drinks, a CD, maybe a T-shirt.. and going home thinking "That show was great. I'd go see those bands again."
     
  14. teleharmonium

    teleharmonium Member

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    I'm not really seeing the options here - when you have due diligence to avoid it but it happens sometimes anyway, you just deal with it.

    All I can say is that it's better to avoid mentioning them in your on stage patter - some unintentional honesty or faint praise can easily backfire far beyond the potential dividends of mentioning them. And if you can't stand them, just disappear during their set. It's better than sitting there looking uncomfortable and getting mad for 45 min before you play.

    After it's over you can look at how it happened and try to plug any holes in the communication for next time, or just write off the venue or give another person the booking responsibility if you can't trust them and it was that bad.
     
  15. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    No one said you did. From my experience I like playing with subpar bands.

    They'll still say..
    "That band was great. I'd go see that band again."
     
  16. Bob Maximus

    Bob Maximus Silver Supporting Member

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    As long as they bring a great light show, it's ok! :)




    It's all about the light show.
     
  17. silentbob

    silentbob Member

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    There is a vibe or energy that comes from one band kicking ass after another that you don't get when terrible bands are involved. It's infectious and the bands all benefit from it.
     
  18. Agitator

    Agitator Member

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    Just smile and remember these helpful phrases:

    "Great set!"

    "Good luck!"
     
  19. sosomething

    sosomething Supporting Member

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    :agree Great advice to anyone in my situation.

    I hadn't considered this because I was focusing on the "night as a package" concept, which was the motivation for setting up the show in the first place, but you're probably correct here.

    Oh well.

    Maybe the recordings of those other bands were old and they'll just kill it live. That'd be cool too.
     
  20. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Or my fave:

    "You've never sounded better!"
     

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