COVERING THE BASSES
MIKE BROOKS EXAM INES
THE PLEASU RES AND
PITFALLS OF A PUB GIG
i, low -end groo ve fans!
Pu b s and functions
are totally different
scen ario s, like chalk
and ch e e se : fro m the
booking p ro ce ss to the
actual gig, the financial rew ards
and w hat is expected of you.
Yet m any bands m ake co m m o n
m ista ke s w h en they first enter
the w orld of private functions,
corporate eve n ts and w ed d in g s.
H igher fe e s create a high level
of expectation from the client,
as they e xp e ct you to entertain
their g u e sts and give them a
m em o rable night for the right
reaso n s. A ssu m in g you can
turn up in your ripped je an s and
gru b b y T-shirt and stroll through
your standard pub se t really isn't
Pu b s are w here you learn your
craft, fro m dealing w ith drunks,
gear breaking dow n, co ping
w ith problem s, firefigh ting (not
literally!) on the spo t, playing
as a band and being as tight as
p o ssib le. H o w m any players
have sp e n t hours program m ing
m u lti-FX units at hom e and
in rehearsal, only to u se their
m agically crafted p rese ts on a gig
and realise they need to go back
to the draw ing board.
Th e bottom line for the
landlord is h o w m uch m o n ey he
take s over the bar, so the longer
you keep the au dien ce in his bar sp e n d in g m o n ey is the prim e co nsideration. R ep eat b o o kin gs throughout
the year form the sp in e of your g ig g in g diary and can be your 'bread and butter' w ork. M o st landlords (or
bo okers if they leave it to a m em b er of staff) appreciate that they need good bands to keep their bar busy,
and on the w ho le m o st play fair - but exp e rie n ce has taugh t m e to be prepared for late can cellatio n s and
the w ell-w orn "I've double booked you w ith another band" line, so sta y in regular co ntact w ith the ve n u e s
you play in.
Eve ry ven u e is different, so a lw a ys be on your toes. S o m e v e n u e s provide a PA and sou ndm an and so m e
don't, so ch e ck w hen m aking the booking. So u n d ch e ck s can vary from a five-m inute line ch e ck to a one-
hour setu p and ch eck. O ccasio n ally, you m ay receive a rider (drinks and food) but again, this varie s from
ven u e to venue.
S w itch to a function, w e d d in g or private event, and any ragged e d g e s are expected to have been
replaced w ith a s lic k polished perform ance. W ith any private booking, ensure that you have a sign ed
co n tract and do n't feel hesitan t about askin g for a depo sit. In the current e co n o m ic clim ate it e n su re s the
clien t's intention to bo ok you and a cts a s a deterrent sho uld they ch a n g e their m ind a s the e ven t nears.
A lth o u gh fu n ctio n s involve high er fe e s, you have to b e co m p etitive to gu aran tee the w o rk - but a s s e s s
to w hat exten t yo u 're w illing to co m p ete. C o n sid e r the se rvice you are providing, the hours involved and
the m ileage: the m arket n o w is very different to 10 ye ars ago. N e ve rth e less, the band is e xp ected to be
on the ball and prepared for any eventuality, including equipm ent breakdo w n s. Be professio nal, punctual,
polite and acco m m o d atin g to the clien t's requ irem ents at all tim e s, w hich in itself can involve m uch tongue
biting. R em em ber, yo u 're there to keep people dancing, so plan your se ts accordingly. T h is is w h e re having
a size ab le repertoire p a ys dividends.
Until next time!
5 trin g s for B ass
Driven by Perfection.
Developed by Bassists.
Players tell us that
Strings for Bass with NANOWEB' Coating:
Oner a smooth, natural real, wilt' enhanced grip'
- Provide greater durability and response, even during
- Retain their tone longer than any other bass string,
uncoated or coated.
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