An old question with a new twist

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by AndyII, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014

    The question of "what songs should I play in my cover band" is a well-beaten dead horse.

    In one of the threads, however, someone correctly observed that the question itself is incomplete: geographically, demographically, temporally, etc. etc. As an American playing Poland, I agree 100%. Some absolute classics seem to lack effect.

    My question then, are there some cover songs (preferably among classics we all love in states) that would work unexpectedly well Poland?

    Our genre is mostly classic rock extending into the 90s with RHCP, Oasis, etc.

    Dziękuję i powodzenia
  2. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    Try asking @pklima

    Living in the UK a lot of songs that are standards in the USA are almost unknown here , I expect that the reverse applies also.

    This is particularly true of Country, there are probably Country bands around but I have never heard or heard of one. They are certainly not mainstream as they appear to be in the USA.
    Jhengsman and AztecViking like this.
  3. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Well, I'm not a rock guy, but... People from work who are putting a band together for the office Christmas party did stuff like "Seven Nation Army" and Blur's "Song No 2" (or whatever the number is), which I was really surprised people were into, but apparently the Blur song was in a car commercial. This year they want to do "Killing In The Name Of", "Paranoid" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit", FWIW. If you want to stick to classic rock, songs I remember people requesting when I DJed would include RHCP's "Otherside" and some other song, some Nirvana, "London Calling", and, well the occasional Slayer or Marylin Manson that I just told them I don't have... Also a few really old songs, like "Rock Around The Clock", "Let's Twist Again", "Hound Dog" etc. And "Sugar Sugar".

    But 60s-80s Western rock in general, I'd avoid most of that. We didn't really have access to Western records back then, so what people here know from that is kind of iffy. For example, I used to play with a Brazilian guy who did a few CCR covers (that's Creedence Clearwater Revival, not Cross Canadian Ragweed) - don't think anybody really knew them, though a lot of our audience was from other places. 80s Polish rock like Maanam or Lady Pank is pretty safe, but of course you'd have to sing in Polish - some songs had awkward Engrish versions, but you probably want to avoid those.

    Walk The Moon's "Shut Up And Dance" and that DNCE's "Cake By The Ocean" were also pretty big a few years ago and kinda sorta rock, and might be kind of nostalgic now. "Wagon Wheel" did well with crowds long before the Hootie cover, and people also seem to dig some random things like Guy Clark's "Homegrown Tomatoes" a lot.

    More funk/pop/disco stuff would do well - from Boney M (definitely known better here than in the States) to Michael Jackson for the classics, and newer stuff like Bruno Mars. Personally I'd do tons of Eurodance, reggaeton, dancehall, Latin and hip-hop covers, but, well, you might not want to, haha.
    delta7fred likes this.
  4. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    Yes, anything that has been used in a TV commercial or a popular film usually goes down well.

    (IMO) People like to hear songs they know despite what some TBers (and our guitarist) might say.
    Kun2112 likes this.
  5. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014
    Awesome. Thanks guys.

    Interesting you mentioned 7 Nation Army and Paranoid. We did both of those a couple months ago and they both were great--we're definitely keeping them. They make a good pair, 7 Nation Army ending, leading right into Paranoid. They're both in the same key.

    Our lead singer is British and doesn't speak a lick of Polish, but our backup/co-vocalist might be able to cover some Lady Pank or Dzem or something. That would be pretty cool.

    Thanks again. I'll post our set list when we get it finalized.

  6. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Dżem is a bit on the "music musicians like" side, not very dance-oriented, but you can probably hear that, heh.

    Oh, and "Come On Eileen" can surprisingly fill dance floors, and enough people also seem to know some bigger new wavey hits like "Call Me", "I Ran", or "Take On Me". But for some reason, Duran Duran or INXS don't seem popular.
  7. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Footloose because of the movies.

    Euro dance like DJ otzi? He has such hits as "Hey baby" and his niche smash "Hey! Baby" . My Acadian bandmate say people love one song of his back home in new Brunswick.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  8. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Specific Eurodance tracks I've played: "No Limit" by 2 Unlimited, "Be My Lover" by La Bouche, and "Coco Jambo" by Mr President. Probably all stuff the OP wants to avoid, but people sure dug it, even in acoustic versions.

    Songs from movies like "Footloose", "Dirty Dancing", or that "You're The One That I Want" song with John Travolta, are actually a really good tip. As far as country goes, Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" got quite a bit of mainstream radio airplay, and I used to do it with one band, too. And you could do some Billy Idol, too - if nothing else, some people will remember "Rebel Yell" from the Scooter cover. (Scooter, now there's some very European music, ha!)
    design likes this.
  9. madbass6

    madbass6 Inactive

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    as long as its not mustang sally you'll be fine!
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Anything by Bobby Vinton.


    But seriously, I think that's a lot more of a question for your Polish compatriots than us, no?
    Jhengsman and AztecViking like this.
  11. Maybe check the previous Polish charts for the period/demographic of your audience? Maybe Eurovision entries that did well on the charts?
    AztecViking likes this.
  12. AztecViking

    AztecViking Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    EndlessSummerVille, CA
    When I lived in Denmark the bands that played American Classic Rock were very popular and they did a great job of it. Better than most American cover bands! :laugh: But that was the late 90's in Copenhagen. And you're in Poland in the late 2010's. Have you seen a lot of other cover bands play there? Not that you should copy them but you can at least see what goes over well with a Polish club going audience that way.

    PS. Does the average person on the street there know of Wojtec Pilichowski or do only bass players know of that guy?
    JimmyM likes this.
  13. tubestuff


    Aug 14, 2013
    San Pedro, CA
    Just a thought. When my band was playing Pennsylvania in the late 70's, we'd rock hard on polka classics that were popular at polish and Italian weddings. Beer barrel and such. They went for it big time. YMMV
  14. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    My opinion is that trying to figure out what music your audience wants to hear makes about as much sense as shooting arrows into a cloud and wondering if you hit your mark. People like music. Play what music the band likes and attract a like-minded audience.

    Also listen to what other successful bands are playing in your area and play something completely different. Carve your own niche in the music scene.
  15. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I was in France this August. We went to market in this little town in the Bordeaux region. The place was bustling. In the middle of it were a group of country line dancers, all in their matching western getups. That was strange enough. But the thing that got me was that they were dancing to Hewey Lewis's Workin For A Livin'.
    makaspar likes this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Depends on geography and venue. I would ask the people who come watch you (and other bands in venues you want to play) what THEY want to hear.
  17. Mustang Sally
    Brown eyed Girl
    Rock n Roll (Led Zep).
    Have them.
  18. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    How about some Czerwone Gitary?
  19. You might as well be asking "Is Poland a magical wonderland where average people on the street can identify bass players?"
  20. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Some very nice songs, and a big deal with my parents' generation. Curiously, I've never played any in any context, or gotten a request, but I think I've heard buskers play a couple of songs here and there. Generally their more serious songs aged better than the more bubblegummy ones, which (to oversimplify) kind of have a "how do you do, fellow kids" vibe sometimes.
    jive1 likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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