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Next step for my band?..gigs etc.

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Next step for my band?..gigs etc.

Postby Humphreysbogort » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:54 am

Hello...sorry bout the essay.

My band have been together for about 4 years now. We are an adult orientated folk pop act who play mostly our own material. Our songs are from the Springsteen school and are all about life as it's lived in the real world, our heroes and our Villains and the nothing man. We are very tight, well rehearsed and put on a good live show. This year we have recorded an album of material that will be released in march next year.

Up until last year, we kind of mucked about a lot. Not through choice, but more to do with band members coming and going 'managers' coming on board and promising the earth and delivering didely squat.

Last year we finally got our act together. We have an appropriate image, professional publicity/posters , websites facebook etc. The band is now completely solid. We also got a 'manager' on board who doesn't have much experience, and could be considered more of an enthusiastic friend. However it turns out he is brilliant. He is one of those nattering types who doesn't take no for an answer and keeps pestering till he gets a yes. As a result we now play at least once a week, (more often two-three times a week) and are booked up till June next year. He has also managed to secure us sponsorship from a local business for £500 for our album launch. There are plans to approach radio etc in the new year.

We are kind of stuck on what to do next. Our Bass player says that we should think of ourselves a six month old band as in reality that is true as we had so many false starts. And as such we should play anywhere and everywhere we can regardless of pay and just push to get ourselves out there as much as possible and put on a few big gigs a year ourselves that we heavily promote. I kind of agree with him. However me and the Drummer are also thinking that we should be a slightly more choosey about where we play. For example last week we played at a local pub in town and quite honestly I was concerned about my safety as it was dog rough. Some folks came to see us, but left at half time as they didn't like the venue. Clearly we don't want to be turning folks off who have made the effort to come out and watch us. However the manager says that if they pay us then we should just do it and he would get quite annoyed if we started turning down paying gigs as they are difficult to get. On the other hand we played at a local band evening (unpaid) to a mature audience (bistro style - kind of sit down and listen with a glass of wine) and went down extremely well as this afforded us the opportunity to connect with the audience, explain some of the songs and what they were about. I think this is where we 'fit in' However these places are few and far between and are often reluctant to have a 'band on' due to perceptions of earthshaking volume (we can play extremely sensitively if required)

Gigs are more often than not poorly attended as we have exhausted the friends and family goodwill and are now out there on our own playing to the dozen or so 'real fans' that we have got on board in the last 6 months of 'proper work'

Most gigs we get at least someone new on board. Its slow going and like pushing water uphill at times, but I do feel we have made some progress.

We have no illusions of superstardom, however we do want to give it our all and push it as far as it can go. We just are not sure what to do next...

Here is our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AlexQuinnAndTheManInTheStreet

Here is our website: On the music page there are some demos of our upcoming album tracks, however they are now old mixes as we are waiting on the updated mixes to come back from mastering before they go up on the site.

There is a video of us here (pre image makeover): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tor7Pdf88WA

Thanks for any advice...
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Re: Next step for my band?..gigs etc.

Postby Emmet » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:12 pm

The best thing you need to do is ask yourself what do you want to achieve regarding achievemnents in the next 12 months, 3 years and 5 years. Me? I'd hang on releasing the album. You're going to spend a lot of effort/money releasing it to by your own admission a very small fanbase. Release 'singles' every 8-12 weeks and at the end of the year you've hopefully got a bigger audience to seel the full thing to.

If you're enthusiastic by all means play each and every gig. I think you know yourself that doing every gig is often counter productive. Use the time saved for online work (videos, creating content).

Best of luck.
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Re: Next step for my band?..gigs etc.

Postby Beat Poet » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:42 am

narpin99 wrote:However the manager says that if they pay us then we should just do it and he would get quite annoyed if we started turning down paying gigs as they are difficult to get.

It depends where the money from the paying gigs is going. Not every paying gig will be in a rough place obviously, but if the money from paid gigs is going into the band fund then I'd side with the manager, don't sacrifice paid gigs unless you stand to come out of it only breaking even, or if the venue/anticipated turnout is so poor that it will affect morale.
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Re: Next step for my band?..gigs etc.

Postby redwood » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:41 pm

narpin99 wrote:
We have no illusions of superstardom, however we do want to give it our all and push it as far as it can go. We just are not sure what to do next...



I agree with Emmet. To me the number one reason that band falter and people start losing interest is that there isn't a clearly defined goal that everyone's aligned with. If you don't have clear and agreed goals, things might seem Ok now, but sooner or later you'll run into problems (that's been my experience and observation).

Saying that you want to 'go as far as it can go' isn't a clearly defined goal....that could mean anything.

You need to define really specifically what it is you're trying to achieve, even if it's just for the next 12 month period e.g. we want to perform to 'x' number of people, we want to increase our mailing list by 'x', we want to record 'x' tracks and release a single/EP/Album, we want to earn x pounds of revenue through gigs/merchandise etc. etc. Whatever it is, you need to make it clearly defined. And then you need to discuss it with everyone else in the band and get agreement.

It's actually quite hard to do this, but it's critical. Take for example your dilemma about which gigs to play. If the objective you've all agreed on is to earn x amount of money through playing live, and that's your primary goal, then the decision on whether to take a paid gig is fairly straightforward. However if your goal is to increase your fan-base, then playing to an empty pub, or a pub that's not likely to contain people who will buy into your style of music, could be pointless...you'd be better doing fewer high-quality and better promoted gigs that lead to more people signing up to your mailing list or facebook page.

It's hard to keep just yourself motivated without clear goals. To try and keep a group of people motivated without clear goals is almost impossible.
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