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Why Play Bad Venues?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GK Growl, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    It went exactly as my OP said it would. Smoky, lots of really drunk (falling down, knocking stuff over, fighting, being sexually inappropriate), and a constant struggle all night with volume. That got on my nerves more than anything. Drummer behind a plexi shield all night, barely hitting and us playing to match his volume with no instruments through the PA, just amps carrying the room and vocals and we were told to turn down 3 times. this place is such a contradiction. with people behaving like that you would think that they would have wanted a little more volume. Let's put it this way, while we were playing I could actually hear the acoustic sound of the strings on my bass like playing a bass in the room by yourself which is way to quiet for a rock band IMHO. For those that keep asking I said that I was in South Carolina (yes, not proud to live here at all for other reasons, not just smoking in bars).
  2. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Have you thought about installing chicken wire?
  3. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I really wish I could have been there to document... this would have made a really awesome gig report, especially with pics (ala Mad magazine)... granted, it may have been an anti- @BassCliff report, but nonetheless entertaining...
  4. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I’m so sorry dude. I have to ask though, are your sentiments shared by the rest of your band?
  5. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Around our parts, pubs and bars included, unless it is a cigar bar, there is no smoking inside. I haven’t seen a good drunken brawl in over 40 years.
  6. mikeyjm2

    mikeyjm2 Keepin' it simple.

    Dec 31, 2014
    Houston, TX
    Wow! :bored:

    I said yesterday eve that I was going to play a gig which was relatively quiet. Nothing compared to what you described though. Playing that quietly would work my nerves too.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  7. tminus10

    tminus10 Supporting Member

    May 1, 2011
    Then why are you doing it? It can't possibly be zero sum or else you wouldn't do it.
  8. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Everyone but the singer feels this way. Singer and guitarist sometimes do acoustic gigs there as well. Don't get me wrong, money is money. The places in which I earn it are just really questionable sometimes.
  9. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
  10. A decent singer could drown you out without a mic if you are really that quiet.
  11. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Yes and that's what it sounded like to me out in the room. All vocal. Onstage it was hilarious, especially for the drummer. Looked like Dave Grohl during MTV Unplugged.
  12. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Sounds like this venue just sucks. You should talk to your band about not booking there in the future, since it seems to be such a pain.
  13. The volume restriction has to suck. Not something we have to deal with anywhere we play. As for playing dives in general. I’ve noticed over the years that the fans we pick up in those types of venues tend to become more loyal fans. There are some places I get tired of playing but I try to think positively. You know like thinking of it as a paid rehearsal. Sometimes we even just say to hell with it and make it a giant party. My band doesn’t drink much if at all at big shows but for dives we’re a lot more laid back/unprofessional lol or however you want to put it.

    The problem we tend to have with people who see us play nicer venues is they don’t want to go to shows at the dives where the people who go to see bands play in dives are more willing to also go see us in other venues.

    I also think the dives often create the need for nicer venues. If no one is supporting live music at these places it doesn’t encourage people to open a nicer venue in the area.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    mikeyjm2 likes this.
  14. RadioactiveGuy4

    RadioactiveGuy4 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    New Orleans
    Do you remember the Venue's name?
  15. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    because its a place to play, to get tighter, to make a little cash, and hopefully a stepping stool to move up and out. it's not playing the crummy places that is bad - it's never graduating from a crummy bar is what makes a band a loser
    TheBear likes this.
  16. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    The smoke wouldn't bother me (it can't be worse than our rehearsal space) but playing that quietly would be miserable. I have to question the venue's commitment to having live music if that's their deal.
  17. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Just think if you only played decent venues... you wouldn't have any tales to tell about all the awful gigs and venues you've played in. :D
    Greg Waldon likes this.
  18. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    i play bad venues because i am a bad musician
    sinewave likes this.
  19. I'd say playing bad venues is a choice. Seems to me it's that simple. If for whatever reason you don't like a place don't book it. Over the years there have been quite a few places I've refused to book a second time.
  20. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Ahhh, the Bad Old Days. I used to come home stinking of smoke, my girlfriend wouldn't let me touch her until I'd taken a shower. Then I'd open the case, and the stink would start all over again. I've posted elsewhere about the joy of having smoke get into your sweat, and the sweat getting into your eyes and making them burn. Fortunately, I cannot remember the last time I played in a place that allowed smoking, but it was almost certainly in North Carolina, which finally got around to a smoking ban in 2010. By then, of course, nobody had to tell me to get in the shower, and I had an actual garage where I could leave my smelly equipment. :D

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