Sunday, September 28, 2008

When gigs go wrong

This is just me moaning about how rubbish it can be being the king of acoustic protest and the rest…

You get in touch with someone via t’internet or myspace or whatever about a gig. They like you and they suggest some dates and you accept one, taking on board all the stuff there might be about playing on unsuitable days of the week with unsuitable fellow performers and often not getting paid and anything else that generally isn’t ideal. You bounce some emails and / or messages back and forth to confirm the date, you email your mailing list, put the details on myspace, update the website, send a message out on Facebook, get the press person on to it and book trains and lifts and buses and stay-overs - and generally badger people you know weeks in advance to try and get people to go to the gig and gets lots of publicity. You re-arrange things and generally put out family and friends and put off other stuff that needs doing. You then start rehearsing songs that you don’t tend to play every day because it’d just get boring. You get a new flyer together to advertise yourself and work out where all the stuff you need for the gig is going to be. You print stuff out and copy things. You ask favours. Often you try to fit other gigs in at around the same time (see the process above). Some of this is months in advance but sometimes just a few days before the gig.

Then, at some point not long before the gig when there’s nothing left to do but turn up and play you get a message saying it’s off or it’s postponed. To be fair this is very often not the fault of the person who organises their local acoustic night. It’s the pub chain deciding on re-development or more likely some other smaller re-arrangement the pub has decided to do. Or they could be making it up and its just an excuse. Whatever, the gig is off.

So, then you find the instructions again and update the website. Update the myspace. Send out another email to the mailing list. Do the Facebook thing again. Apologise to the PR man (who you’ve promised to pay anyway), take the losses on non refundable tickets and accommodation after trawling through the websites again to try to claim refunds - or apologise to friends who’ve put themselves out to fit around your plans.

But, hey…good news! The organiser really does like you and has an alternative date. Time to change the website, add the new gig to myspace and make sure everyone knows and…and don't forget those other gigs in the area...

…and this is why it’s often so much easier not to bother. Why don’t I just play in the bedroom or just around Leeds? I dunno. Maybe it’s my massive ego and I deserve no better. Maybe I’m just an idiot. Maybe things are just too difficult. Maybe I should just carry on doing it and realise that this doesn’t happen for every gig. Sometimes though it’s enough to bring on my morose melancholy mood for days on end. Or maybe I just need caffeine again.

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