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Bungle1



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 235
Pubs changing to cover band only policy
      #1017116 - 05/11/12 11:38 AM
As a relatively new, original band we're pretty much up for playing anywhere; we don't make much money doing it and we don't particularly mind.

Unfortunately more and more pubs around Suffolk / Essex that were well known and in some cases award winning for their live music policy towards new bands have changed to a 'cover band only' policy, have substandard PA facilities or worse; have had to close due to lack of support making it even harder for original bands to get out and play to people.

I think there has to be a way of pubs putting on unsigned / original acts while still getting people through the door and making money but I'll be damned if I can think of what that is but it's really concerning how quickly this seems to be escalating around here...

Has anyone come across anything innovative / unique that addresses this?

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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5842
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017118 - 05/11/12 11:53 AM
Not easy, is it? You either service an existing market - which seems to be for cover bands or for a quiet night out :-) Or you try to create your own market - hire the back room of a pub, prove how you consistently fill it.

But even when a global act plays the O2, they'd get booed off if they only played new, unknown material. "Covers" of their familiar back-catalogue are what the punters want.


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tex
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Joined: 01/04/03
Posts: 1126
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017156 - 05/11/12 01:13 PM
They supply sub standard PAs?! Luxury. Here on Merseyside we have rare facilities like that.
Why do "originals" bands have to insist on doing ALL originals. I made a bit of a killing out of mixing it when my band were in the same position ie: doing originals and getting no money.
One: You can't make an audience bend to you without giving them something first. Do you give them anything? And I mean more than the five to ten people you bus around to the gigs.
Cover bands are pretty much consistent, the pub owner knows what he's getting 100% Original bands are a pretty mixed bag of arrogance and inexperienced youths who expect the same considerations as the cover bands without having invested time in equipment and skills to do the job and cater adequately for any emergencies so a broken stick or string will not halt the show.

If you want gigs and they want covers it's the one with the money callng the shots so I'd ease off on the pride in doing originals and adapt.
Most of the great artists of the last 50 years didn't start out doing covers. The Beatles only started writing their own material because they had run out of covers doing long sets in Hamburg.

Sorry about that bad news. It's not personal. It's real life. Gets in the way of plans.

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Success is round the corner. It's also round the bend.


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zenguitarAdministrator
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Joined: 05/12/02
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Loc: Devon
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017164 - 05/11/12 02:00 PM
Playing covers isn't intrinsically bad, and I'm the guy who abhors Tribute bands.

When I was starting out you needed covers to keep the audience happy. As has already been mentioned, people like to hear things they know. The secret is to pick a good selection of songs from a number of very different acts and, instead of copying them slavishly, work out arrangements that work for your line up. You will rarely have the same instruments or line ups as the originals, and you might even be working in a different genre, so you have to put in some work to pick out which hooks are important to keep in and which ones can be suggested or implied in other ways. But that is always good practice for your own writing anyway. And avoid the obvious. Every pub crowd loves Wonderwall, but once you play it, that's all they'll want to hear you play. Try Hey Now! from the same album instead, not many people will know what it's called, but they've all heard it loads of times and will recognise it.

Then get well rehearsed, keep your gear in good order, carry spares, be professional, and start gigging those covers. Then start slipping in your original songs. Maybe have one or two when you start out, slipped into the middle of the set, and be self critical. It's good to learn the hard way how well your own songs stand up when played side by side with proven songs. So don't be afraid to go back and rework them so that they go down better with your audience.

And here's a trick I've used a lot in the past to sneak original songs into a set. Introduce it as an 'old Bob Dylan album track', or the Kinks, or Traffic, or U2, The Police, Joe Jackson, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Neil Young, Lou Reed, Bowie ... you get the idea. Then once you've finished, admit you told a little lie and it was one of your own. Yes, it's cheating, but think of it like this; people just need an excuse to give it a listen.

So, if the only way to get gigs is to play covers. PLAY COVERS. But do them your way, pick good songs that you like, and do them well. It's OK to slip in one or two songs of your own, but you need to be very critical and make sure that they really do stand up to the rest of the set. And when you finish your set try this... 'OK, time for one more song, is there anything you want to hear again?' Ask the audience what they want, and then give it to them again.

Andy

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When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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bugiolacchi



Joined: 01/10/09
Posts: 448
Loc: London
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: tex]
      #1017187 - 05/11/12 04:53 PM
Well, this is wholly depressing for original music, isn't it? First, we can't take examples from the Beatles era when everyone was expected to do covers, since the vast majority of acts did not write their own music.

But this is grim. Original music, as it has been debated thousands of times here, is now nearly impossible to promote and nurture efficiently since the 'demise' of most major (and minor) A&R offices. The few left are only paying any kind of attention to semi-established acts with exposure and media coverage-ready, such as from The X-Factor, AND fully produced, chart-sounding ready 'demos'.

Throwing new material on the internet, including maybe through a professional looking website, is pointless, unless people know of it, i.e. you are receiving massive exposure from other sources, typical catch-22. Selling it... sure...

In previous posts the mantra was "get your *rse out there and gig, gig, gig your material, sell T-shirts" etc. etc. But no longer!! If you must go live, then do Oasis covers and sneak some of your best song when people are drunk and pretend they are 'Coldplay' "B-sides".

So, you spend your time and energy getting a new band together, with a cool singer, skilled musicians, and lots of carefully crafted songs. What next? Is there a next anything?

I am not talking about me, not in the 'game' any longer, but really, is it really that grim out there?
In my humblest of opinion what has happened in the last few years is the disappearing of the initial new-act help framework, i.e., small-time music managers, agents and promotors. Studios willing to let one record at 'cost'. Major labels dishing out 'development' deals... Then, and only when you had proved to be worth it (or lucky!), the 'major' would fork out the necessary large funds (well, lend the money, as 'advance') to pay for name producers, studios, promotion, videos, etc.

In a sense, little has changed, apart from this 'legal aid' (music aid?) of minimum chance of exposure/help. Yet, if you have £50,000+ to spend on your project, you can still at least play with the boys on the roulette of the music biz table... Certain genres such as dance, hip-hop, acoustic solo acts, etc., can be recorded on a shoestring budget... but still, how do you place it on the market? A life of "open mic" evenings? Chattin' at your local's Saturday disco-night evening?

--------------------
www.bugiolacchi.com
Songwriter/guitarist


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5842
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: bugiolacchi]
      #1017193 - 05/11/12 05:25 PM
Well, has original material EVER drawn the crowds? Professional musicians find out what the punters want and give it to them. And stop playing jazz in the slow waltzes, Herbert!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2398
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017205 - 05/11/12 06:23 PM
I had a band years ago doing mainly originals..but we ended up doing covers...Hit me with your rhythm stick, Sweet Jane, Come up and see me and Sir Duke. There are covers and then there are covers. Dave

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My head hurts!


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Stuarto



Joined: 21/05/07
Posts: 38
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: turbodave]
      #1017214 - 05/11/12 06:56 PM
One of the pubs where my old band used to play is about to be turned into a McDonalds. You're lucky to have a pub with beer these days, let alone one that has bands on, let alone one with bands that play original songs. I wonder what the live music policy at the new McDonalds is going to be. Maybe I should write an ode to the Big Tasty (tm) and put it on youtube - could be my big break.

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When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed.


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
Posts: 7799
Loc: UK France & USA depending on t...
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017226 - 05/11/12 08:20 PM
Frankly there really hasnt ever been a broad pub market for "original material" bands in the UK.

Outside of the larger cities, of course.

Back in the day even when the band I was involved in at the time was hitting Melody Makers front page and pulling decent crowds into the lower echelons of the London toilet circuit, we couldnt get a gig in our (provincial) home town.

This is nothing new.
The only way to get recognition with an "originals" band is to be great at what you do and write GOOD material. Not fairly good, GOOD good.
And to be brutally frank I dont see many fledgeling bands doing that.

Next step of course is to attract as many friends and relatives as you can to your facebook page and get them involved in bigging the band up at their local venues and supporting the gigs you DO get.

Until you are a mega selling act, you are BEER SELLERS.

The vast majority of people going to a pub at the weekend are there for the booze and social elements first and foremost. Very few are there primarily to hear the music.

FWIW I am now an old fart, retired off the road and play in a band that used to be the backing group of a Dead Famous Singer from the sixties. We get a lot of work with relatively little effort purely because of the name recognition factor. But we are very good at what we do, as well.

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Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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Stuarto



Joined: 21/05/07
Posts: 38
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017246 - 05/11/12 09:32 PM
Just in case you thought I was joking: Save the Tumbledown Dick

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When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed.


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artzmusic



Joined: 20/05/11
Posts: 186
Loc: usa
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017270 - 06/11/12 01:55 AM
I've seen that Zen can really give a good shellacking when he wants to!

To add my plug nickel...I don't play the pub scene any longer but am able to sense how the people are reacting where I play. As has been said, people want to hear songs they are familiar with. It makes them comfortable. What applies musically regarding tension/release also applies in the set selection. Unfamiliar songs may build tension, whereas covers of familiar songs provide release.

I've seen this in the venues that I play. Though I play original tunes with good success, every third tune had better be a cover of an easily recognizable hit in order to really hold onto the audience. I play a 4 hour/50 song set - 15 are covers (renditions of popular hits in a smooth jazz format)easily recognized.

(I also play venues which have no music licence, so need lots of original stuff.)

There is a club which caters to original music only here, and maybe 12 people show up, most related to the band. In another similar venue, several original material bands play on a given night, each one paying for the time slot to play! Pay to play!!! Of course their parents come and so they're famous. At least the establishment is still open because the bands pay the house, and pay for food and drink!

Rick


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10826
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017312 - 06/11/12 10:28 AM
I've been in a few bands that have successfully played pubs that normally have a covers only policy. The secret is to be entertaining yet different. All the bands had a singer who didn't just stand there and sing - they were moving around and engaging with the audience.

Even if the pub only had 10 people in it the first time we played, chances are it would be much fuller the next time.

If you are bringing in the punters, the covers only policy usually goes out of the window.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: artzmusic]
      #1017319 - 06/11/12 11:54 AM
Quote artzmusic:

I also play venues which have no music licence, so need lots of original stuff.




Can you explain this a bit more? There are venues which insist that NOTHING played can come under the PRS system? A quite seperate matter to having a music licence for the premises, which is all about fire exits and the like, nothing to do with musical content.


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Scramble
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1017342 - 06/11/12 12:50 PM
Most pubs that had originals bands on were run as an indulgence by a boss or manager who was a music fan. They rarely made money (except for the odd one which was run really well and made a virtue out of it). Since the recession and the smoking ban has hit pubs badly most of those indulgences have been cut back, which is why the number of pubs with original music has definitely declined in recent years. Most originals bands in my area that I know don't play pubs any more. But even the small venues are closing down too, or are in trouble; for example:

Has The Maze Hit a Dead End?


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artzmusic



Joined: 20/05/11
Posts: 186
Loc: usa
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1017419 - 06/11/12 09:49 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Quote artzmusic:

I also play venues which have no music licence, so need lots of original stuff.




Can you explain this a bit more?




Yes, here in the States a business, pub or restaurant license doesn't come with a license to feature copyrighted music (though in certain counties they might very well be combined). That's dealt with seperately. 1. CDs only 2. CDs and Karaoke 3. CDs, Karaoke and live music. Priced accordingly.

However, if only original music is allowed then the establishment can get by without any music licensing at all.

Rick

ps Sports bars seem to be the busiest establishments here of late and no license is required for television.


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017500 - 07/11/12 10:31 AM
IME most originals bands struggle to get gigs because they are simply not entertaining enough, and are incapable of seeing it.

Most musicians think it's all about the song and the quality of the musicianship, but they are wrong. Musicianship, unless you are patently incompetent or wildly overplay is for the most part irrelevant and good songs need to be backed up by a great performance. Too many times have I gone to see a band whose songs sounded interesting on-line only to find that they are unable to project beyond the front of the stage (area) and spend most of their time huddled in a rehearsal room like circle staring at their instruments. Audiences want to be entertained - whether thats through familiarity with the songs or because the band playing are being entertaining and giving them something worth watching.

Also in order to get the gigs you think you deserve whether you play covers or originals you need to work hard at it. This is something that I find most musicians and bands seem reluctant to do. They tend to think that it's enough to just be in a band and that everything should automatically follow on from that without having to put in any extra effort. Again they are wrong.

I play in a covers band and an originals band.

My covers band is a bit of fun. A chance to play some of my favourite songs from my youth and get paid for it. We don't do very many gigs and originally I though it was because we were a bit average really, but having seen some of the other bands on the same circuit as us, we're no less average than they are, so it more likely because we simply don't try hard enough. And ultimately it's a fairly thankless task. Most of the time we're regarded as being a small step up from having a DJ - in fact IMO most of the pubs/venues that put us on would be better off with a video juke-box containing a decent selection of songs attached to a big screen than messing about with live music. We have to get in stupidly early to set everything up (generally including lights and PA) and are still there packing up long after the last punter has gone home. The audience is a mixture of friends and family of the band and random punters who'll should all night for songs that we don't know how to play. We get paid what looks like a decent amount, but when you split it 5 ways and count up the hours spent on the gig it doesn't even make minimum wage.

My originals band is A LOT OF FUN. For the last 2 years we have had on average a gig every week and nearly all of them have been paying ones. We are up and down the country (in the last month we've had gigs in London, Newcastle and Coventry) playing to enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. We've worked with some fantastic promoters who know how to put on a great gig and look after the bands they have booked. Our gig fees and merchandise sales cover all the running costs (transport, rehearsal rooms etc) of the band and what's left ever goes towards recording and promotion. We've got to this stage by working hard to get gigs and then once we've got them by giving a performance that will be remembered! Most gigs we do result in a rebooking by either the venue or promoter and often lead to yet another gig through someone in the audience who is either a promoter or who knows someone who is, and recommends us.

We know that the gig is more than simply getting up on stage and playing the songs. We look and act like a band and not like some random people who've wandered in off the street and picked up the instruments. We interact with the audience - especially our singer who likes to get up close and personal and the playing is well rehearsed and tight. The music might be essentially a noisy racket with shouting and theremin but it's a highly entertaining noisy racket with shouting and theremin. It's our intention to give the audience something worth leaving the comfort of their homes for (where the beer is probably better and they are less likely to stick to the floor), something more than what can be captured in just an audio file. It's all about realising that you have to give more than just the music.

And as a result we get re-bookings, we sell a decent amount of CDs T-shirts and other merchandise. We're already pretty much booked every week between now and Easter of 2013. Playing originals at regular paid gigs is possible. You do have to work a bit harder to get your foot in the door, but if you can deliver on your promises then there's no reason why you can't make a go of it.

Dick Venom & The Terrortones videos

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RockinRollin' VampireMan


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GlynB



Joined: 26/09/03
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Loc: Lancashire, UK.
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: IvanSC]
      #1017515 - 07/11/12 12:02 PM
Quote IvanSC:



The vast majority of people going to a pub at the weekend are there for the booze and social elements first and foremost. Very few are there primarily to hear the music.





Exactly right. As music fans/musicians WE might go somewhere just for the quality of the band on offer, but for most people it's all about socialising with music as a backdrop to that. The band help to create an atmosphere that people might want to be a part of.

I've been in a covers band and enjoyed it for a while, but grew tired of the fact that people are only really enjoying those classic songs, regardless of who's up there playing them. they'll be enjoying the same songs from a different covers band next week.

if the only way I could play live was to do a set of covers, i wouldn't bother, but that's just me, I fully appreciate for most musicians just playing their instrument is what it's mostly about.

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Scramble
active member


Joined: 11/09/02
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1017523 - 07/11/12 12:22 PM
What you say, BRX, is right, but notice that you talk about 'venues' and 'promoters'. That's the point. The old-style pub gigs where you get a gig via some guy behind the bar are disappearing, and many originals bands have realized that and aren't bothering with those any more, and are only going through venues and promoters.

The good news at least is that modern comms have made being a promoter easier, so there are more of them around these days, and they do offer certain advantages over trying to book every gig yourself with the guy behind the bar.


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mpostor
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1017530 - 07/11/12 12:32 PM
Quote GlynB:



I've been in a covers band and enjoyed it for a while, but grew tired of the fact that people are only really enjoying those classic songs, regardless of who's up there playing them. they'll be enjoying the same songs from a different covers band next week.





Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl...


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chew_rocket



Joined: 21/10/09
Posts: 452
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017538 - 07/11/12 01:05 PM
Equally as depressing is how difficult it is to get people to listen to your records, when you know full well they're just sat there browsing facebook, listening to a record they've heard a million times before. But when you post a video of you playing a popular cover on youtube the hits come flying in!

Maybe I'm biased, but I think our original songs are as good as the covers we play and they usually go down a storm in the middle of a covers set, so why don't people who see our gigs go home and give our EP a listen online?


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artzmusic



Joined: 20/05/11
Posts: 186
Loc: usa
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1017540 - 07/11/12 01:14 PM
Quote BigRedX:

IME most originals bands struggle to get gigs because they are simply not entertaining enough, and are incapable of seeing it.




Spot on.

Don't you find it refreshing when, as a musician, you are really entertained by another act? And when that happens, isn't it compelling to say a good word about them to the management?

But,as said, this doesn't happen by accident. The biggest hurrdle may be for the performer to realize that ultimately it's not about him, it's about the audience. How can you reach them, pull them in, keep them? That's when good things happen for a band.


Rick


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: artzmusic]
      #1017564 - 07/11/12 03:06 PM
Quote artzmusic:

Yes, here in the States a business, pub or restaurant license doesn't come with a license to feature copyrighted music (though in certain counties they might very well be combined). That's dealt with seperately. 1. CDs only 2. CDs and Karaoke 3. CDs, Karaoke and live music. Priced accordingly.

However, if only original music is allowed then the establishment can get by without any music licensing at all.

Rick

ps Sports bars seem to be the busiest establishments here of late and no license is required for television.




Not that different then. We have a licensing system that is all about number of people on the premises, fire exits, etc. And a completely separate one for licensing performances, live or recorded, of copyright music. But I don't think I've ever come across a venue which wriggled out of MCPS or PRS licences on the excuse that all jukebox tracks were self-recorded and live musicians played solely unpublished original material! Is that common where you are?


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artzmusic



Joined: 20/05/11
Posts: 186
Loc: usa
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017625 - 07/11/12 08:57 PM
Don't know anything about PRS but here the big three (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) represent performing rights for their signed artists. They don't like establishments which feature artists playing only original material not paying for a license because they think that, for sure, someone in the audience will request a song which is copyrighted by another artist, and the performer will therefore ablige.

Restaurants are often loathe to pay the licenses and so will make up their own "happy birthday" jingle to avoid copyright infringment on the commonly sung one!

If a place advertises live music, then they can expect a visit from a performance rights society and they will count the chairs and square footage and hand them a bill on the spot, which I think is presumptuous BTW.

Rick


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tex
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017665 - 08/11/12 03:07 AM
I'm with the BigredX. It's all about entertainment. Most original bands are pretty self-indulgent and for the most part I've been hearing the same beat and riff for decades out of many "original" bands and it gets old really quickly and yes, it usually drives me somewhere else.
And, I've said this before, most will play for free because they believe that next week their prince will come along and make them millionaires. Most will fail after three gigs because they haven't thought much further than how to entertain mummy and daddy and a coachload of old school friends and a couple of cousins.
And they don't give a toss about the venue because they think they're doing the nasty capitalists a huge favour.
That's why they have a cover band only policy.
Sorry if that's not all tickety-boo and comfy for anyone but that's the way life is.

--------------------
Success is round the corner. It's also round the bend.


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Scramble
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: tex]
      #1017691 - 08/11/12 10:06 AM
Again that's all true, but has always been true, and doesn't explain what changed in the last few years. What's changed, I think, is that times are very hard for most pubs now and subsidizing originals bands who don't draw punters is no longer an option for many pubs.

I don't think there is much of a *general* market for unsigned originals bands in the pub arena (or elsewhere). There are plenty of venues who do nothing but that and they generally have very few people ever turning up, except for the bigger acts they have on.

What there is a market for in regards to pubs is (i) music pubs that are exceptionally well-run and which really do a good job of promoting themselves as the best place in the area to see great new music, and who never fail to entertain the crowd with good music; (ii) energetic young promotors who are part of a scene or genre and can attract a crowd who like that genre (and they will often work with the best music pubs or venues); (iii) as some people above have said, *particular* originals bands who are entertaining and exciting for punters, and who work hard to get a good name as a live act. But just because people want to see BigRedX's band doesn't mean they also want to see your Silent Shoegazer Band who are on the next night. You have to work hard at promoting yourself. As has been said, pub gigs are all about selling beer, and that means getting punters in, so somewhere along the line you need to have someone working hard and cleverly at promotion (and there needs to be something worth promoting to pub patrons).

In other words, it's harder now for a new originals band to start off with a few gigs at local pubs to get going. But then, that isn't such a big deal really, because any decent band outgrows those pubs soon anyway.


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Trebor Flow



Joined: 29/11/05
Posts: 248
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017694 - 08/11/12 10:08 AM
None of this is new. As they say "there's nothing new in rock 'n' roll"

I remember when I was gigging back in the late 1980's early 90's, the promoters would make is clear it was ALL about selling beer. One told me "if your girlfriend got up and juggled whilst dancing in her underwear but filled the place with punters all drinking my beer, then I'd book her instead of a band" .... it's been this attitude on the UK scene for a long time now.

Just go read the story of The Police, failed single releases, got to the point were nobody would give them a gig in the UK, so they got on a plane and went to the USA and the rest as they say is history.

Same for Genesis, originally failed here in the UK but were saved by the Italian music fans ....

You might hate those artists ..... but they're not cr*p entertainers, they're two of the biggest selling acts/artists in the history of UK musicians. But even back in the 1970's the UK music scene was not a market where they were able to find success.

As I said, none of this is new, Pop Music rules the UK .... Rock 'n' Roll has always had it very, very tough - the fact it's getting tougher isn't anything new, just more of the same.

tf


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Scramble]
      #1017712 - 08/11/12 12:46 PM
Quote Scramble:

What you say, BRX, is right, but notice that you talk about 'venues' and 'promoters'. That's the point. The old-style pub gigs where you get a gig via some guy behind the bar are disappearing, and many originals bands have realized that and aren't bothering with those any more, and are only going through venues and promoters.

The good news at least is that modern comms have made being a promoter easier, so there are more of them around these days, and they do offer certain advantages over trying to book every gig yourself with the guy behind the bar.




AFAIAC a pub gig is simply that - a gig in a pub. Whether it's booked by seeing someone behind the bar or through a promoter on Facebook makes no difference to me. Most of the gigs that I nowadays do are still in pubs, the only difference between these gigs and the ones that I was playing 30 years ago is that most of our bookings come through a promotor, and in many ways for originals bands this arrangement is better since a lot of landlords didn't really know what they were doing when it came to picking bands whereas most good promoters these days know their music and what the potential audience in the area is.

Not every pub/venue is suitable for every band. We spend our time picking out the suitable venues and promoters for the style of music that we play. That way our success rate of approaches that lead to gigs is high, and haven't wasted our time a resources trying to get gigs in places that wouldn't put a band like ours on.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: artzmusic]
      #1017714 - 08/11/12 12:51 PM
Quote artzmusic:

Don't know anything about PRS but here the big three (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) represent performing rights for their signed artists. They don't like establishments which feature artists playing only original material not paying for a license because they think that, for sure, someone in the audience will request a song which is copyrighted by another artist, and the performer will therefore ablige.

Restaurants are often loathe to pay the licenses and so will make up their own "happy birthday" jingle to avoid copyright infringment on the commonly sung one!

If a place advertises live music, then they can expect a visit from a performance rights society and they will count the chairs and square footage and hand them a bill on the spot, which I think is presumptuous BTW.

Rick




Things are obviously very different in the US. Here in the UK every public place that uses music whether it is recorded or live, originals or covers in the case of bands needs a PRS licence.

It's good for originals bands too. It's cheap and simple as a songwriter to join the PRS. My (unsigned) band registers every song that we perform live with the PRS and submit a set list for every gig that we play. The performance royalties from the last 18 months of gigs are pretty much paying for the recording costs of our next single.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5842
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: artzmusic]
      #1017723 - 08/11/12 01:36 PM
Quote artzmusic:

If a place advertises live music, then they can expect a visit from a performance rights society and they will count the chairs and square footage and hand them a bill on the spot, which I think is presumptuous BTW.





"Presumptious" as in assuming copyright music will be played? I suppose they could return by appointment to a carefully-orchestrated "originals only" gig :-)


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Phil O
active member


Joined: 03/09/03
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Loc: Scotland
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1017732 - 08/11/12 02:19 PM
Quote BigRedX:

Quote artzmusic:

Don't know anything about PRS but here the big three (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) represent performing rights for their signed artists. They don't like establishments which feature artists playing only original material not paying for a license because they think that, for sure, someone in the audience will request a song which is copyrighted by another artist, and the performer will therefore ablige.

Restaurants are often loathe to pay the licenses and so will make up their own "happy birthday" jingle to avoid copyright infringment on the commonly sung one!

If a place advertises live music, then they can expect a visit from a performance rights society and they will count the chairs and square footage and hand them a bill on the spot, which I think is presumptuous BTW.

Rick




Things are obviously very different in the US. Here in the UK every public place that uses music whether it is recorded or live, originals or covers in the case of bands needs a PRS licence.





Not strictly true. A license is required only if some of the music has PRS affiliated writers and/or publishers.In practice it's wise for a pub to get one as this is likely to be the case at some stage.


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sheggs



Joined: 16/12/08
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Loc: Bradford, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1017740 - 08/11/12 03:34 PM


I was also in a band that toured the UK for 7 years and ultimately what people want is entertainment. We only played original (well except for the Shake N Vac ad and Do Re Me) material but did well out of it It can be difficult getting those first few gigs which is why putting on your own nights came be a good way to establish yourself.
Once you gain a reputation then word does spread but bands need to entertain the audiences, they are the reason you are there anyway

--------------------
David Shevyn General Manager GIK Acoustics Europe
www.gikacoustics.co.uk

Edited by sheggs (08/11/12 03:35 PM)


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Scramble
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: sheggs]
      #1017879 - 09/11/12 01:55 PM
What is big in the pub world at the moment is Open Mic nights. They're spreading everywhere in my neck of the woods. It makes financial sense for the pub. It costs them about £30-40 to pay some local muso to organize it (someone I know does one), more if a crappy PA has to be brought in every time, but they're never paying more than about £80 a week, usually a lot less. Much cheaper than a band.

If they don't already have the other required gear like a drum kit and mics, they will buy the cheapest, most clapped-out old gear on Fleabay they can find.

Then dozens of would-be musos will turn up every week on what is normally a quiet night. Guaranteed money spinner. Especially in the Midlands where every street seems to contain half-a-dozen middle-aged guitarists who play the blues (usually quite badly, but sometimes surprisingly well, at least as far as basic blues goes).

It's fun for the local dreamers but pretty much useless for proper bands. Many of these pubs will let established local bands, or wannabee bands who can give the impression that they're up-and-coming, do a half-hour slot beforehand as a kind of advertisement, although having done a few of these years ago they're a waste of time unless you pick the very best Open Mic nights (ie. decent gear, decent-sized stage, and a crowd who are genuinely into music, and not just blues).


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The_BPP
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017919 - 09/11/12 04:07 PM
I'm in a covers band, and in my opinion, there's nothing stopping you being creative with covers, to avoid bruising your lofty "artistic integrity" pretensions.

Pick slightly more unusual covers (What's the opposite of "Mustang Sally?"). Perhaps, do covers in a different style. You could pretend your Bon Jovi cover is in some way "ironic", if you wish. My Reggae version of "I Will Survive" is the talk of Lincoln Town.

Hey, the original artist isn't watching, why not do a cover, and add your own, completely different middle 8? I won't tell anyone if you don't.

There's tons of creative things you could do as a covers band. Always think of your audience, 'cause there's more of them than there is of you. (unless you're in a "Craig David" Tribute act).

--------------------
Touch & Go


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: The_BPP]
      #1017930 - 09/11/12 04:53 PM
Quote The_Big_Piano_Player:

What's the opposite of "Mustang Sally?"




Geronimo's Cadillac



--------------------
ScanProAudio & 3XS Audio Systems
ScanProAudio Blog


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dubbmann
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Loc: 3rd stone from the sun.
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1017982 - 09/11/12 11:55 PM
hi,

to the OP: i'd suggest two thoughts. first, things are what they are, and now you know the lay of the land, you can either take the hard(er?) way and try to go all originals or you can bend and do some covers as well as your originals. both scenarios are likely to be difficult if not dismal (see the ghost towns of the american west for the true fate of most pioneers =:-O)

personally, i'm sympathetic to anyone who plays originals and would encourage you to keep writing and performing them. that said, here's my second thought: can you and your band mates find some well known songs (maybe not even from your genre) and re-work them into unique re-makes on the original versions. i'm thinking of devo's version of the stones' "satisfaction", the talking heads' version of "take me to the river" by al green, the flying lizards' version of eddie cochran's 'summertime blues': covers that totally re-imagined the original songs and in some ways became as iconic and identifiable as the originals.

FWIW, i've been mulling over the same idea for myself for some time and will put online the results when they're finished. but i'm not telling ya the songs i have in mind ;-)

d

--------------------
http://www.thinkbluecounttwo.com/
http://www.phichibe.com


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RitchieM



Joined: 18/06/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Skelmersdale, Lancashire
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1018067 - 10/11/12 05:37 PM
Funny, I write something like this for a blog this morning! Similar conclusions drawn, so glad it's not just me.

We only do covers (apart from the odd original from our last band) AND use backings because of logistical reasons, but the only way we coped was by changing arrangements, adding dynamics and doing the unexpected.

Have you really EVER seen a 6'2" teacher, built like a brick s&1t house singing "Kiss" in full Prince falsetto then segue into Perfect 10, where he does the woman's part with our other guitarist/vocalist singing the Paul Heaton part, playing funky wah chords on an Epi Zakk Wylde? If you see us playing tonight you would. And it keeps us fresh, the audience entertained and the pub packed. Oh, and in Pretty Vegas, I get to play a Metallica solo at EVERY wedding! Subversive? Yes. Fun? Hell yeah!!!

--------------------
Engineering Surveyor and Musician Pretty Vegas Northwest Function and Wedding Band
Wedding Band Blog


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Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
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Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1018963 - 16/11/12 11:34 PM
I haven't played in an originals band, based outside London, for over four years. It's a wasted game really, people in pubs only want to hear stuff they know and even then, the main reason they're there is to drink. The small gaggle of sub-toilet circuit venues (where people would go principally to check out bands) are almost extinct. My solution after my last originals band split in 2010 was to take a couple of years away from it and come back playing covers! Getting paid to play somewhere, no matter how bad it is or how many turn up, wow.

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Beat Poet]
      #1018989 - 17/11/12 09:31 AM
Really? As I said in my first post in this thread that's not been my experience at all.

In fact in the 35 years that I've been gigging, I've never had as many regular paying gigs playing originals as I do right now. We have at least one gig a week booked from now until well into the new year (including a very well paying NYE gig). In fact we've had to turn some gig offers down recently as we wanted to spend more time writing new songs and recording our second EP.

Good gigs for bands playing originals are there provided that your band is prepared to put the work in getting them and then back that up by providing an entertaining and kick-ass live performance.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5842
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1019026 - 17/11/12 01:32 PM
Really and truly, pubs (and all venues) have just one policy - book bands who bring in customers. What they're really doing is not booking YOUR originals band.


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tex
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Joined: 01/04/03
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Beat Poet]
      #1019039 - 17/11/12 04:26 PM
Quote Beat Poet:

I haven't played in an originals band, based outside London, for over four years. It's a wasted game really, people in pubs only want to hear stuff they know and even then, the main reason they're there is to drink. The small gaggle of sub-toilet circuit venues (where people would go principally to check out bands) are almost extinct. My solution after my last originals band split in 2010 was to take a couple of years away from it and come back playing covers! Getting paid to play somewhere, no matter how bad it is or how many turn up, wow.




People in pubs don't only want to hear stuff they know. Tosh! They'll listen to anything that has put in a bit of work to entertain them and not just the band.
Like actors in TV soaps quite a lot don't realise that it is a career and not just a part of their career.
If you've got to work out what your job is maybe you're in the wrong job?

--------------------
Success is round the corner. It's also round the bend.


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Scramble
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: tex]
      #1019047 - 17/11/12 05:19 PM
The fact remains that there are a lot of places that have shut down recently, much more than the normal shut-down rate.

On the other hand, there are new places opening up, or pubs that never used to be much cop with original music who have started getting into that, and, as I said earlier, there are now lots of promoters trying their hand at promoting. Anyone trying to gig now needs to do some research and find the new places. One way of doing that is to look at where similar bands are playing. Or by becoming part of a genre, and getting on that circuit. And just doing lots of internet searches to find places with live music and seeing which ones look suitable for your band. (And yeah, by being entertaining, afraid there's no getting away from that).


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Wease



Joined: 17/07/03
Posts: 2239
Loc: Sunny Walsall
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1019055 - 17/11/12 06:01 PM
as an addition to scramble's post

in brum there is a healthier scene than say 5 years ago - with a definate 'gig' circuit (rainbow, miners arms, actress and bishop, flapper etc) and a spreading of venues willing to put original music on in the surrounding areas.
minor venues....entrance for free, or promotors running the 'live' aspect
then there are the bigger venues like the institute and carling academy
then the nec's and nia's

we've seen a shedload of pubs closing - but those staying open are moving towards music.

as always, it's easier if you find like-minded bands...but there is a good scene re-developing...honest!

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes


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Scramble
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Wease]
      #1021118 - 27/11/12 08:00 PM
Article about the Forum in Tunbridge Wells in The Guardian recently.


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
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Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1021141 - 27/11/12 10:40 PM
well it's definitely not my scene, but it's great to see there are still people out there doing this kind of grass-roots stuff, and genuinely doing it for the music and not for money.

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
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Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Scramble]
      #1021206 - 28/11/12 01:14 PM
Quote Scramble:

Article about the Forum in Tunbridge Wells in The Guardian recently.




Good to hear that place is still going, bad to hear what a desperate situation they're in. Near me, the Hertford Marquee and Chelmsford Army & Navy are gone and nobody notable passes through the Harlow Square anymore.

--------------------
Do you need real drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Wease]
      #1021243 - 28/11/12 06:06 PM
Quote Wease:

as an addition to scramble's post

in brum there is a healthier scene than say 5 years ago - with a definate 'gig' circuit (rainbow, miners arms, actress and bishop, flapper etc) and a spreading of venues willing to put original music on in the surrounding areas.
minor venues....entrance for free, or promotors running the 'live' aspect
then there are the bigger venues like the institute and carling academy
then the nec's and nia's

we've seen a shedload of pubs closing - but those staying open are moving towards music.

as always, it's easier if you find like-minded bands...but there is a good scene re-developing...honest!




Watching the trends since the mid 70's (for many the 'golden age' for live pub music) one of the things I've noticed was that live music was a loser to the late 80's/early 90's trend for big screens and sports broadcasts. Which became all powerful. Perhaps music audiences had mostly disappeared to the all night raves and clubs by then, to drop 'E' and dance to House. So for the pubs it became cheaper and easier to do sport, and they sold more beer that way. It was also more blameless because if the game was not particularly entertaining nobody was going to point their finger at the pub! But of course now so many people have that facility in their own home, so for the pub operators its lost much of its luster. Music has regained some of its competitive edge as a result and Amen to that.

However, the economics of the whole thing are fragile to say the least. For many going out to the pub at all is a very expensive proposition compared to what it used to be. More like a treat these days. Outside urban areas there is also the complication of logistics (not least because of the change in culture towards drinking and driving since the 70's). Venues everywhere still provide platforms for bands/artists that sill perform for audiences that remain passionate about music. But its mostly done for love, which doesn't pay the rent. And the pubs still have to pay the rent etc. which is why most are more concerned with getting their food right.

Even the Rolling Stones have to 'cover' their back catalog to sell out their shows and know they would get booed off stage if they subjected their audience to more than only a few of their recent 'experiments'. A good friend does LV, rhythm guitar and writes all the original material for the band he is in. They can make any wedding rock for £1000 with their extensive covers set or they can play their OM to their small but dedicated fan base for more like £300 between them if they are very, very lucky. Its good stuff, respected by seasoned industry people. Bob Harris recently played their current single on his Radio 2 show. Mostly they do pub gigs and they try to combine a few of their own songs in between the covers. Say about two thirds covers/one third OM. "Some for you, some for us" he tells the audience at the top of the show "we'll all have a great time". Everybody usually does. The pub doesn't mind provided its full of happy people getting loaded.

--------------------
Strictly project and just for fun


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fletcher



Joined: 01/05/05
Posts: 1219
Loc: london
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1021264 - 28/11/12 07:48 PM
I hate playing pubs anyway....


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3737
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: fletcher]
      #1021283 - 28/11/12 09:58 PM
Quote fletcher:

I hate playing pubs anyway....



Never tried it myself. Keyboards, Whistles, Accordion, Guitar, Harmonica, but a pub? How do you do that?

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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fletcher



Joined: 01/05/05
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Loc: london
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Folderol]
      #1021305 - 28/11/12 11:37 PM


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5842
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: fletcher]
      #1021383 - 29/11/12 02:09 PM
Quote fletcher:

I hate playing pubs anyway....




All-day opening killed one sort of pub gig. You used to load in through a reasonably fresh audience. Now it's into a crowd who've been drinking since lunchtime.


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balvenie



Joined: 28/03/11
Posts: 73
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1021623 - 30/11/12 06:18 PM
Sorrry Frisonic, the one rule of internet posts is, do not make it so long that everyone needs a top up...

The one group who are making so much money they don't know where to hide it are the DJ's/Producers.

I have watched a load of bands who are so good they should have been on Jools Holland but they don't get there. Once again I would subscribe to Bob Leftsetz who really tells it as it is.


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KuRu



Joined: 21/11/12
Posts: 41
Loc: uk liverpool
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1021650 - 30/11/12 08:42 PM
im in a North West based band we do all originals and have never had a problem getting gigs, we have one every week up until christmas and several booked for next year. I have noticed a lot of the younger bands coming through having a real prima donna type of attitude or not bringing the correct equipment and expecting other bands to let them use theres!! a short list off the top of my head of venues we have played.

lomax in liverpool, maximes in wigan, mello mello in liverpool, central station in wrexham, Brookers bar in chester, the zanzibar in liverpool, the swinging arm in birkenhead, revolver in birkenhead, the picket in liverpool, the guzzling goose in ashton under lyme, theres heaps more just got to look further afield for instance we are booked to play preston on tuesday with a possible southport gig as well. back in the day i played a lot in london really struggled there i think because every night of the week there is something bigger and better going on i.e. some major signed act


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 3789
Loc: London, United Kingdom
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: balvenie]
      #1021652 - 30/11/12 08:51 PM
Quote balvenie:

the one rule of internet posts is, do not make it so long that everyone needs a top up...




Really? Maybe ten years ago, and even today I'd agree as far as texts, tweets and 56K steam modems are concerned. If such things exist anymore. But three short paragraphs dealing with three separate, relevant issues (technology, economics and audience expectations)? Sorry if that was too much for you but it was just a few sips for me.

--------------------
Strictly project and just for fun


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Bungle1]
      #1021704 - 01/12/12 10:47 AM
For balvenie's sake I'll try and keep this short ;-)

IME bands which musicians moan about not "making it" almost always have something fundamentally wrong with them which results in them being in their unsuccessful state. More often than not I find that while they might have "mad technical skills" as musicians they are incapable of writing a tune that the average audience member can relate to, or they simply have no idea how to perform in a way that is entertaining and worth watching.

Otherwise there is something wrong "behind the scenes". Maybe they are obnoxious people, but not in the way that will make for entertaining voyeuristic press publicity, just in a way that just makes everyone want to avoid them. Alternatively they may be simply to dumb or lazy to realise that there's more to being a successful band than getting up on stage and playing your songs.

You might moan that this is obviously "style over substance", but over 60 years of rock and pop have shown us that you need both style and substance to have any chance. With that much historical evidence why do bands still think that they can be the exception to this rule?

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1022042 - 03/12/12 02:53 PM
Quote BigRedX:

You might moan that this is obviously "style over substance", but over 60 years of rock and pop have shown us that you need both style and substance to have any chance. With that much historical evidence why do bands still think that they can be the exception to this rule?




I think I saw on another forum a post about a band who thought they were destined for bigger and better things, and they ended up getting in touch manager. The manager asked "who would you market your music to?" and they couldn't answer, so that was the end of that.

Alot of bands also like to play the "we all listen to different music, so our style is a coming-together of that" card. Approaching things with the melting pot approach is a total lottery, you end up with about a one in a thousand shot of the music in the pot forming a cohesive style.

--------------------
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GlynB



Joined: 26/09/03
Posts: 4014
Loc: Lancashire, UK.
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Beat Poet]
      #1022286 - 04/12/12 12:54 PM
Quote Beat Poet:

Quote BigRedX:

You might moan that this is obviously "style over substance", but over 60 years of rock and pop have shown us that you need both style and substance to have any chance. With that much historical evidence why do bands still think that they can be the exception to this rule?




I think I saw on another forum a post about a band who thought they were destined for bigger and better things, and they ended up getting in touch manager. The manager asked "who would you market your music to?" and they couldn't answer, so that was the end of that.





Is that it though?
Isn't it better for the artist to create their art in the best way they can, and for the businessman to recognise the opportunity to exploit that art for (mutual?) profit. They are, or should be, different jobs/considerations (although connected obviously). A band/musician that starts to shape itself in order to supply a particular market is no longer making art, but supplying product.

The music comes first, the marketing of that music to an audience comes afterwards...otherwise you risk ending up with crap music IMHO.

Quote Beat Poet:


Alot of bands also like to play the "we all listen to different music, so our style is a coming-together of that" card. Approaching things with the melting pot approach is a total lottery, you end up with about a one in a thousand shot of the music in the pot forming a cohesive style.



And approaching music purely with the 'marketing to a sector' approach stick to a formula kills the art, though it might be perfectly good business sense and lucrative (so-called manufactured boy bands, etc etc).

Just depends why they enter the game in the first place eh? There has to be some compromise, but the music shouldn't be shaped purely by commercial considerations.


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 3789
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1022290 - 04/12/12 01:28 PM
Quote GlynB:

[ A band/musician that starts to shape itself in order to supply a particular market is no longer making art, but supplying product.




Someone wiser than myself once said art you make for yourself. Craft is what you do for other people.

--------------------
Strictly project and just for fun


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Beat Poet



Joined: 21/01/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1022291 - 04/12/12 01:32 PM
Quote GlynB:

Is that it though?
Isn't it better for the artist to create their art in the best way they can, and for the businessman to recognise the opportunity to exploit that art for (mutual?) profit. They are, or should be, different jobs/considerations (although connected obviously). A band/musician that starts to shape itself in order to supply a particular market is no longer making art, but supplying product.

The music comes first, the marketing of that music to an audience comes afterwards...otherwise you risk ending up with crap music IMHO.

And approaching music purely with the 'marketing to a sector' approach stick to a formula kills the art, though it might be perfectly good business sense and lucrative (so-called manufactured boy bands, etc etc).

Just depends why they enter the game in the first place eh? There has to be some compromise, but the music shouldn't be shaped purely by commercial considerations.




I'm not coming at this from an uber-commercial angle (even a producer can help a band find a more cohesive sound), let me explain what I meant about the melting pot approach...a few years back I was in a "pop/punk" band, which did loads of gigs, released EPs and had some very minor local success, but basically did nothing. At the time I thought we had great songs. Now I listen back and can hear all the flaws, like for example:

- the songs weren't catchy enough to be pop/punk.
- there was a bit of screaming, but not enough to be screamo.
- there was some guitar chugging and beatdowns, but not enough to be metalcore.

That's what I'm getting at, if someone had asked us who we would market our music to (as in, who would want to listen to it), there just isn't a clear answer.

--------------------
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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1022332 - 04/12/12 04:48 PM
Quote GlynB:

Is that it though?
Isn't it better for the artist to create their art in the best way they can, and for the businessman to recognise the opportunity to exploit that art for (mutual?) profit. They are, or should be, different jobs/considerations (although connected obviously). A band/musician that starts to shape itself in order to supply a particular market is no longer making art, but supplying product.

The music comes first, the marketing of that music to an audience comes afterwards...otherwise you risk ending up with crap music IMHO.




IME artists who don't also recognise the importance of style, generally don't have enough substance to make them interesting enough to be able to "graft" style on in any believable way.

Marketing is all about focusing what is already there. Accentuating what is already there. If all an artist has is the music it makes it very difficult to effectively market it - no matter how good it is.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Beat Poet]
      #1022335 - 04/12/12 04:57 PM
Quote Beat Poet:

I'm not coming at this from an uber-commercial angle (even a producer can help a band find a more cohesive sound), let me explain what I meant about the melting pot approach...a few years back I was in a "pop/punk" band, which did loads of gigs, released EPs and had some very minor local success, but basically did nothing. At the time I thought we had great songs. Now I listen back and can hear all the flaws, like for example:

- the songs weren't catchy enough to be pop/punk.
- there was a bit of screaming, but not enough to be screamo.
- there was some guitar chugging and beatdowns, but not enough to be metalcore.

That's what I'm getting at, if someone had asked us who we would market our music to (as in, who would want to listen to it), there just isn't a clear answer.




OTOH my band isn't really hardcore Psychobilly, Garage Punk or Goth, but we have enough in common with each of those genres to appeal to their audiences and consequently get gigs and sell CDs and other merchandise to people who like that kind of music. We market ourselves as all three genres, accentuating whichever one is most likely to appeal. We were support for Demented Are Go at the weekend which was a fantastic gig and we went down really well. A recurring comment afterwards was that people liked us because the music and image wasn't strictly Psychobilly but had enough elements in there for the audience to latch onto while being something at bit different.

We're not afraid to be pigeon-holed, and we make it work for us despite the fact that in reality we don't really fit.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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GlynB



Joined: 26/09/03
Posts: 4014
Loc: Lancashire, UK.
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: Frisonic]
      #1022732 - 06/12/12 01:06 PM
Quote Frisonic:

Quote GlynB:

[ A band/musician that starts to shape itself in order to supply a particular market is no longer making art, but supplying product.




Someone wiser than myself once said art you make for yourself. Craft is what you do for other people.




Totally. And the role of business is to exploit/market both for a profit.

--------------------



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GlynB



Joined: 26/09/03
Posts: 4014
Loc: Lancashire, UK.
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: BigRedX]
      #1022734 - 06/12/12 01:16 PM
Quote BigRedX:

If all an artist has is the music it makes it very difficult to effectively market it - no matter how good it is.




Not sure about that. Artists like, for example, Nick Drake - all they have is their music, no particularly strong image,...and yet they are/were still marketed on the strength of their music alone. 'No image' is also an image. There are loads of examples. Depends what genre you're working in. In some (Metal/Punk?) having strong image is essential, in another genre an ugly bloke with a beer belly, beard, jeans and T Shirt can be marketed as 'real' 'earthy' etc. providing his music is amazing enough.

--------------------



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BigRedX



Joined: 03/09/04
Posts: 296
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1022752 - 06/12/12 01:45 PM
Quote GlynB:

Quote BigRedX:

If all an artist has is the music it makes it very difficult to effectively market it - no matter how good it is.




Not sure about that. Artists like, for example, Nick Drake - all they have is their music, no particularly strong image,...and yet they are/were still marketed on the strength of their music alone. 'No image' is also an image. There are loads of examples. Depends what genre you're working in. In some (Metal/Punk?) having strong image is essential, in another genre an ugly bloke with a beer belly, beard, jeans and T Shirt can be marketed as 'real' 'earthy' etc. providing his music is amazing enough.




I would suggest that most of Nick Drake's real "success" came after his death - that's nearly always a strong marketing tool - and the fact that subsequently his songs have been covered by others who do have more of an "image".

As for the "real" and "earthy" fat ugly bloke with a beard - that's just as much an image is any glammed-up pretty boy rocker.

--------------------
RockinRollin' VampireMan


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Frisonic



Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 3789
Loc: London, United Kingdom
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: GlynB]
      #1022754 - 06/12/12 01:52 PM
Quote GlynB:

...for example, Nick Drake... still marketed on the strength of.. music alone... 'No image'




Died by (effectively) his own hand (intended or not) in 1974. Almost 40 years ago. Yet he has an active MySpace page with thousands of 'friends' - such is the power of his legendary work. I think we have to acknowledge that he was exceptional. He dropped off the master tapes for his final work at his record company before he died, unrecognized by the receptionist. Truly the invisible man. They weren't even discovered until some months after his death. Some of those songs were released posthumously. He never promoted them personally. But then he never did. He suffered from serious depression, didn't feel comfortable with audiences or interviewers. His records were 'art' and its almost as if he chose to share them with everybody else as an afterthought. That he remains so highly revered today defies conventional wisdom but obviously it has nothing to do with promoting himself in pubs. Although much of his work has since been covered by others performing in pubs and still is today.

--------------------
Strictly project and just for fun


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redwood



Joined: 20/12/12
Posts: 11
Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy new [Re: artzmusic]
      #1025332 - 20/12/12 05:16 PM
Quote artzmusic:

The biggest hurdle may be for the performer to realize that ultimately it's not about him, it's about the audience. How can you reach them, pull them in, keep them? That's when good things happen for a band.





Spot on.


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