Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Do you gig alone or with other bands?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by rabid_granny, May 17, 2002.


  1. I'm trying to resurrect my old high school band and I want to play some gigs around town (Vancouver, BC). It's a big city but the live music scene is pretty dead.

    My idea is to stage mini-concerts with several other bands (I'll try to find them later). I figure it's better to have several bands playing short sets (max. 30 minutes each with fast set-up and tear-down). My theory is that:

    - To fill the venue, each band needs to bring only a fraction of the venue capacity instead of the whole place...

    - Unknown bands shouldn't bore the crowd with long sets - short sets are easier on the band and on the unfamiliar crowd...

    - Bands can showcase to fans of the other bands - obviously people who are interested in live music, to a degree...

    - It would impress the venue owner. Better to have 4 bands fill the joint on one night rather than partially filling the place over four nights on their own.


    Has anyone tried this? Can anyone add some tips, advice or comments before I try this out?
     
  2. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    "We're putting the band back together!"
     
  3. Ummm. Thank you for the constructive comment.

    Anyone else?
     
  4. JoelEoM

    JoelEoM

    Mar 11, 2002
    Lancaster, PA
    i usually gig alone, alone meaning the band im playing with, although i do do solo acoustic guitar(am i allowed to say that??:D) gigs on occasion. mostly because all im doing right now is smaller coffeehouse gigs, like the one tonight(any TBers near e-town PA? come the grateful bean around 8)
    i agree with all of your thoughts on this, it makes a lot of sense, as far as filling a venue, and promoting yourselves, because people who see you may book you later, and you'l most likely get more show with the bands you play with. only downside i can see is that when you get paid at the end of the night, your cut is generally smaller. good luck, i hope everything works out for you:)
     
  5. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Where I'm from that's the ONLY way to do live shows. There are usually 4-7 bands with a $3-5 admission. Most of the time there will be mostly local bands with one or two out of towners. I've been involved in the local music scene for a few years now and it takes hard work but it's worth it.
     
  6. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    On Monday my band took part in a similar event. see here http://www.angelfire.com/indie/slacker44/13may.htm for full details. Short version is that a group of people involved in art and bands persuaded a local venue to stage the events, display paintings etc. The bands have supported each other and there have been about 30-50 people at each gig with two bands on. Changeover was 20 mins with about 45-1hr from each band. All were/are originals bands. One of the organisers owns a PA and did it for free (every night:eek: ) Most of the bands didnt get paid and some used it as a warm up gig or like my band as a foot in the door for gigging in local bars.

    My advice is to talk to some local bands and a local venue owner. Find a few and casually mention this if the owner is not too keen. Convince him that he will sell more drink for little (if any) outlay.

    If you do originals you will have to do the odd freebie. At the moment I look at it like this-it costs me £20 to rehearse...
     
  7. Is there anything I should look out for during this project? How to deal with problems?

    Has anyone ever ran into legal problems? Fighting over money? Difficulty attracting or scheduling bands? No-show bands?

    Jaybo, do you have any problems scheduling 7(!!!) bands? Does the crowd get bored? I'm thinking 3-4 bands max. (I went to an all-day mega concert once featuring Our Lady Peace, Collective Soul, I Mother Earth, Silverchair, other big-name bands - great bands but TOO MUCH at one time)


    ...BTW, good idea, CS, to put maps on the website. I'm thinking about setting up a website for my band and another for my concert idea.
     
  8. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    Most of my gigs are never solo gigs. For my band at least it's always been easier to get gigs when there are two or three bands playing. We're friends with a couple other bands so finding bands to play with is never a problem for us.
     
  9. Phat Ham, do you have a problem filling venues if the bands know one another? If they all have the same friends, then you don't really get a chance to showcase to new potential fans. Am I right? Or have you had other experiences?
     
  10. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Thanks, feel free to nick any idea from my site BTW it's very basic.
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I couldn't resist. ;)
     
  12. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    I'm not sure how many people you mean by filling a venue. We typically have between 80 to 150 people at most shows, sometimes more sometimes less. It's really not a problem organizing 7 or more bands. We have a 'community' message board much like this one that pretty much everyone in a band is involved in so that helps a lot. Of course there have been a few problems (mostly with bands not liking the spot they're supposed to play) but I can't recall there ever being a problem about money. It's pretty much understood that bands don't get more than $20-30 unless you're an out of towner and people who can't understand that don't get the oppurtunity to be a problem because they simply aren't asked to play anymore.
    Sometimes the crowd seems to get bored, it really depends on the band playing though. It should be noted that mostly metal, punk, emo type bands play and the crowds are always predominately high school/college aged. Certainly no bar bands, just ole teenager rock haha. I'd say that makes somewhat of a difference.
     
  13. Well, the venues (bars, clubs and lounges, for now) around town vary from dinky (20-30) to larger (100+).

    I'm not too sure what kind of bands are available. If it were a teenage crowd, would that be better or worse? It would be more difficult because most venues serve alcohol.
     
  14. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    It's hard to say. A lot of times it doesn't matter how good the band(s) are people just won't show up. Other times you could have the crappiest band and the place will be packed (mainly frat parties).

    As far as having the same friends, we don't. The bands all know each other because we happen to all live across the street from each other.
     
  15. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Finding a venue is always difficult. Luckily there is a local radio station that owns a vacant building that lets us have shows there and there are a few buildings at parks and such where we have them.
     
  16. This is a good idea, but there are some drawbacks. I've noticed that when another band has a good following, sometimes their crowd splits right after they finish. If that band plays before you, half the crowd might be gone when you come on.

    Maybe if you could work out a deal where you share the gig with one fairly established band, and you each play two or more alternating sets, you could keep the crowd hanging around longer, and hopefully find some new fans of your own in the process.
     
  17. Would you have a problem with too much set-up time if you had alternating sets? I noticed that bands are terribly inefficient and slow when they tear down and set-up. As a spectator, that stuff really bores me and spoils the atmosphere.
     
  18. Maybe you could work out an equipment-sharing arrangement as well. The amps are fairly simple to switch out if you have to, but the tough one is always the drum kit. I don't know how particular drummers are about other people playing their stuff, though. If you can do it with a band you know, it might work out okay.