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Pubs changing to cover band only policy

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Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Bungle1 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Nov 05, 2012 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby tex » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:13 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby zenguitar » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:00 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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby VOLOVIA » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:53 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?
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:25 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby turbodave » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:23 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Stuarto » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:56 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby IvanSC » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:20 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Stuarto » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Just in case you thought I was joking: Save the Tumbledown Dick
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby artzmusic » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:55 am

I've seen that Zen can really give a good shellacking when he wants to! :D

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!

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 06, 2012 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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:54 am

artzmusic wrote: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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Scramble » Tue Nov 06, 2012 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:

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby artzmusic » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:49 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
artzmusic wrote: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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby BigRedX » Wed Nov 07, 2012 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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby GlynB » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:02 pm

IvanSC wrote:

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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Scramble » Wed Nov 07, 2012 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby mpostor » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:32 pm

GlynB wrote:

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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby chew_rocket » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:05 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby artzmusic » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:14 pm

BigRedX wrote: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.


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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:06 pm

artzmusic wrote: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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby artzmusic » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:57 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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby tex » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:07 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.
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Scramble » Thu Nov 08, 2012 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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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Trebor Flow » Thu Nov 08, 2012 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.

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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby BigRedX » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:46 pm

Scramble wrote: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.
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby BigRedX » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:51 pm

artzmusic wrote: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.
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Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:36 pm

artzmusic wrote: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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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Pubs changing to cover band only policy

Postby Phil O » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:19 pm

BigRedX wrote:
artzmusic wrote: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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