Drum machines, soundchecks, doors and crowds

Hello dear readers!

Firstly, as you can see, I'm back. Yep, that's right. After quite a significant wait I now have a working computer. In all fairness, I have had for two weeks now, but you know. University and stuff.

If you've been to this blog before, chances are you know I'm in a band. If you don't, that's okay. Let me kindly point you in the right direction - https://www.facebook.com/theempiresband1

We had a gig on Monday, and it was great! I just have a few thoughts that I thought I'd share, in case anybody was interested.

Look at us go!
So we played at The Maze in Nottingham, which we have done a few times now. It's a decent little venue, albeit a bit dingy giving you a sense you're playing in some basement somewhere. Maybe that's the idea... Anyway, it's a pretty good night out, you get to see 5 acts in one night all for £3. Having said that, you're taking somewhat of a chance if you've never heard of any of the others acts on the bill. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised by what was on offer, so all in all, a good night.

Having said that, there are some niggles I have. And it's not the venues fault, because some of these have happened at just about every gig that we've ever played.

Number one:

Drum machines. Now, I've encountered these before and I'm sorry, but they don't work. Every time we've done a gig, or I've been to watch one and a drum machine has been in use, it's been a bit of a flop in one way or another. They skip, they sound pretty bad, and you can only make the "well at least our drummer is always on time" joke so many times. Please. Get a real drummer. They don't have to be perfect, and they don't have to own hundred
s of squids worth of kit, but you just can't beat live drums. That's not to say that drum machines can't work smoothly. I'm just yet to witness that happen.

Number two:

'twas fun! Hot, but fun!
Soundchecks. They're important! I've been pretty vocal about this before. There's nothing more annoying than when the guy running the sound on the night decides to not bother giving you one. Simple because when you get up on stage, unless they're very very good at what they do, they're going to spend the first 2-3 songs of your set adjusting the levels. And when you only get half an hour of stage time, having a third of that effectively taken away from you is incredibly annoying. Don't get me wrong, I get that it can be a bit of a nightmare when you've got 5 acts on and only an hour to get them all checked, but it takes no more than ten minutes. You can fit it in, so there's no excuse for not doing it. Especially when the bands get there on time, with the intention of having a soundcheck. The whole night should and could run much smoother if each band didn't have to mess about getting set up between their sets. Please. Do a soundcheck for everyone.

Still with me? Good.

Number three:

Doors. I'm of the belief that they ought to be locked once you're inside. Okay, so not so you're trapped from six all the way through to eleven, but it is so so so so so rude when a band, and anybody who's with them ups and leaves after their set. That's not how these gigs work. Alright, so you're well within to leave whenever you want, but why be so disrespectful to the other bands who've just sat through your set, and clapped and cheered and danced or whatever interaction they've had. Surely they deserve that in return? This happens a lot at these types of gigs, and it needs to stop. We're never going to maintain a strong, and positive music scene if nobody supports one another. Don't be rude, yeah? Thankfully, I don't think this actually happened at Monday's gig. Which was great, because when we're on stage, we thrive off of that support. Whether they're actually paying attention or not isn't relevant if they at least clap when we're done. So stick around. Don't just do your bit and leave, or only show up when it's your turn. That's not what gigging is about.


Number four:

Pro tip: Don't mix Vocalzone and Beer!
Crowds. Kind of the same as the bit above, but it's aimed more at the people who come to the gigs off of their own back. And I don't mean the people who just tag along with the members of the band, as much as I'm sure we all appreciate it, but those people who actually bother to go and check out these small clubs or bars or cave-like venues. It means the world to us when we look out under the lights and see faces we don't recognise. People are listening to us. Which, when you're in a band is surely the end goal, is it not? So thank you to anybody who ever comes to see my band play. Thank you to anybody who ever goes to a gig on the off chance you might hear something that makes it worth your while. Without that support live music would be almost pointless for people like me in a small-time band. One with very few genuine fans. We give our absolute best at every gig we do, whether there are three people watching or fifty times as many, it's just knowing that there's someone out there is absolutely amazing.

So thank you for reading. I'm glad to be back. Things are a little hectic at the moment, so please bear with me, but I really am going to try and post here more often! Honest!

Until next time,
- Anthony.


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