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Swim with the big fish? Or not?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Funkateer, Jul 29, 2004.


  1. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    My jazz group consists of a bunch of enthusiastic grey hairs with no serious delusions about our greatness, or lack thereof. We've done two gigs. One as the only jazz group in a night filled of rock and blues, and another at a low-key neighborhood bar/grill, where we will be returning at the end of the month. So far so good.

    Not long ago, I responded to a bulletin board posting seeking bands, and got some interest from the booker. It turns out that this club is (or was) hallowed ground. Several of my bandmates feel that we are unworthy to take the stage. I'm not so certain. The guy doing bookings was looking for weekend acts to bring in 30-40 people. I told him that might be high for us, how about weeknights? We are both now looking at Weds or Sundays at the end of August.

    My view is that you should never turn down a gig because 'you feel unworthy' relative to bands or players that sometimes play there. As long as you haven't misrepresented yourself and your following to the venue, everybody should be happy. If the venue is happy filling the place with 20 or 30 of our friends on a weeknight, should our own artistic quality control nix the deal?
     
  2. HiFi

    HiFi

    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    If you do end up stinking the place up, you will learn more as a musician and band then you would if the show went completely smooth.

    Something to consider.
     
  3. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Originally posted by Funkateer
    We are both now looking at Weds or Sundays at the end of August.

    With the right musicians that is ample time to have your stuff together to play a gig.

    My view is that you should never turn down a gig because 'you feel unworthy' relative to bands or players that sometimes play there. As long as you haven't misrepresented yourself and your following to the venue, everybody should be happy. If the venue is happy filling the place with 20 or 30 of our friends on a weeknight, should our own artistic quality control nix the deal?[/QUOTE]

    Sometimes it is better to decline a gig. If you arent up to par with what the club is used to, you could very well not be asked back to that club and your bands reputation could suffer. All it takes is one club that didnt think your band was to snuff to start keeping your band from working at other clubs.
     
  4. HiFi

    HiFi

    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Another thing to consider.
     
  5. Eyescream

    Eyescream

    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Just play the gig. They're not gonna kill you if they don't dig on the noise you're making.
     
  6. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    A few thoughts here:

    First, there are certain clubs that I would stay away from AT FIRST until I was confident that my band would be able to draw a crowd. As Cass already mentioned, booking a show, and then having nobody show up could be very bad. There are always smaller venues that you can build a fan base from, and then you can book the big clubs.

    Second, are you referring to bands who excel in musicanship, or bands who are more popular? Here in Central PA, we have a band that's been around (in a few different incarnations) that's pretty much a household word. They're almost guaranteed to draw a crowd, and have been close to being signed numerous times. But when it comes to raw musicianship, they are not better than the guys in my band; they have just been more fortunate with their success. (and they've worked their asses off)
     
  7. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    A gig is a gig. I play in a jazz funk group and we play lots of more rock centered clubs. You would be surpised sometimes how people actually will stop and pay attention b/c your not a super loud rock group that they are use to hearing at the club.

    Actually that just happen to me last night at a gig...about 20-30 folks in small bar. We started playing and the room went pretty damn silent. Doesn't happen often but when it does you had better be ready to play.

    Also, I find that the group...if they can play, will always rise to the challenge.

    Don't be overly concerned who is playing that night as well or who else plays there. You got your 50 minute set, can bring in some bodies, and can play. Then I say just play.

    Matt
     
  8. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    It seems to me that as long as the venue is happy, you should be happy. Happiness to a venue is measured in terms of attendance and bar tabs, not artistic value. I am being up front with the club, and going for nights when their expectations are in line with us bringing all our friends in, and not leading them on with promises of huge Saturday night crowds. The other guys are intimidated by the fact that they have seen some of the greats (musically) on that stage, and feel like it would be 'dishonest' to 'pretend' that we belong there. Or maybe they're just chicken :)
     
  9. leanne

    leanne

    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    The dude was browsing an internet bulletin board to find bands to book. Don't forget that fact. He contacted you, right? I guess he thinks you belong there. It is his risk, not yours.

    Don't sell yourselves short. If it really is as big of a deal as your bandmates think, I'd welcome the opportunity, not question it. But what do I know, I'm just a bass player.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can appreciate your fellow band members position - so, I go along to Brighton Jazz club regularly and see great players every Friday night who are way beyond me and are the guys who I go to lessons for. I would be mortified to appear at that slot and effectively be taking it away from someone far more "deserving"! :meh:

    However, my Latin Jazz band has played on other nights at the same venue (as well as much bigger ones) and packed out the house with cheering fans, calling for more....?
     
  11. I just want to say that you live in one of the most beautiful places in America. I miss those Mts. so much...:bawl: :bawl: