I had to share the nightmare that I had with a gig that my band played this Friday. We were approached about 6 weeks ago by the manager of a local community arts centre, who wants to establish a regular monthly live music night. The venue is in a pretty small town, which has a good number of pubs/bars which host cover bands and also has an annual music festival (billed as a folk festival, but has grown into more than that), but there isn't a regular scene for bands playing original material. We were booked with two other bands and were expecting to play second. Then, the trouble starts. Firstly, we ask about PA. In our band we admit that we do it for a hobby, but we like to do things properly. To us, that means a sound engineer, decent front of house, mic'ed amps and drums and good monitoring. The organiser had different ideas, thinking we could get by with his small five channel system and no engineer or monitors in a hall that holds 300+ people. It took us threatening to pull out to convince him that he needed to book someone (thanks to Percy from Pulse PA in Poole for stepping in and giving us great sound). Two weeks ago, we find out that the headline band has pulled out. With a bit of frantic scrabbling about, a friendly local band agreed to step in at the last minute (thanks to Craig and the rest of the guys in Mountain Feet). Then, five days before the gig, their drummer was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident (R.I.P. Nick). We enter crisis mode. Another band was booked with three days notice, their bass player, who had quit the week before stepping in to play. We moved up to the headline spot. We haven't even reached gig day yet... Gig day rolls around, and we arrive nice and early to give Percy a hand setting up the PA, dress the stage and get a proper sound check done. With all the bands soundchecked and ready, we open the doors and wait. And wait And wait some more. The first acts go on to an audience of 15 people (25 if you're generous and count bar staff and the other bands). By the time the band before us are playing the audience has grown to about 20, plus bands and bar staff (bear in mind that this in a hall that holds at least 300). When we go on, its getting late, some of the audience have had a few drinks too many and start to go home. By the end of our set there were literally 8 people left in the audience, and four of those were mine and our drummer's parents! Still, despite it all we played a decent set and got a free burger out of it!