Awful Gig Offers

Quai34

Junior Member
Here in Winnipeg, a DJ for the night is 400/500$, if it's through a wedding planner r a DJ company, the "kids" got 200/250$ for the 4/5 hours...The bar band are more 50/100$ per musicians when it's not 5 to 20$ at the door for the band.... I have never accepted this type payment, it's ridiculous!!!! There is 2 11/12 musicians wedding band and th charge 6000/7000$ ... At 4500$, you get the 4 musicians, bass plus guitar plus drums plus keys...one singer 500$, one more, another 500$, a brass 500$ etc....
Wel, they have their clientele but all the musicians have other projects/teachers/studio/etc.... Because they don't have that kind of show every week-end....
I stopped the bars/legions, classic rock/alt rock, we were not moving a finger if it was less than 200$/1500$ for 5 musicians... But we were renting the PA at first but bringing the PA after the guitarist bought a full 4 15" powered EV speakers and two 15" sub plus two 18" sub... But the singer's brother was the rep for EV... So it was between 200 to 250$, for 3 sets of 12 songs....correct...
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Maybe try divorce party gigs.
I know an opera singer and who changed from ‘Wedding Singer’ to ‘Funeral Singer’. Two or three gigs a day, all week, all year ‘round. Only needed a few songs (Ave Maria, Amazing Grace, Abide with Me, etc) and no PA needed. After a couple of years she got bored and gave it away, but it was a lucrative gig for a while.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I’ve been playing off and on for more than 40 years, mostly in bar bands.

One constant is the bickering between Bar, wedding, and praise bands about whose job requires more talent and more skill. There’s not all that much room at the top of the game, and there are a lot of really talented musicians that decided not to choose music as their way of making a living.

With all the arguments, it’s nice that we can all agree DJ’s suck!😉
Talent and skill plays no part in how much money you make between praise/bar/weddings - see djs ;). It's an argument that pops up on here all too often.

It's about being able to play Brown Eyed Girl for the 9 gozillianth time and play the pants off it and not give away that you're dying inside. That's the sacrifice you make to earn the extra few quid.

There's a lot to be said for playing for fun and not give a hoot what anyone else thinks. When my mortgage is paid off the Spinal Tap Jazz Oddysey will become reality!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I know an opera singer and who changed from ‘Wedding Singer’ to ‘Funeral Singer’. Two or three gigs a day, all week, all year ‘round. Only needed a few songs (Ave Maria, Amazing Grace, Abide with Me, etc) and no PA needed. After a couple of years she got bored and gave it away, but it was a lucrative gig for a while.
I did the annual conference for Undertakers and Funeral Directors last year. Good night.

They had a raffle with the grimmest prize I've ever seen. A Reconstruction Course. I'll let you make your own minds up on that one!
 

trickg

Silver Member
I’ve been playing off and on for more than 40 years, mostly in bar bands.

One constant is the bickering between Bar, wedding, and praise bands about whose job requires more talent and more skill. There’s not all that much room at the top of the game, and there are a lot of really talented musicians that decided not to choose music as their way of making a living.

With all the arguments, it’s nice that we can all agree DJ’s suck!😉
I didn't realize that there's was a constant bicker between the three. Interesting. Having been a part of all three, I'd say that ALL of them take the same kind of ability if you're going to be good. With that said, each gig (or at least it seems this way to me) falls into its own little niche, and different things are pushed. If anything, I think that the wedding band probably requires LESS skill and ability musically speaking than a good bar band, and that's because at a wedding, people will hear with their eyes.

We've had a few different female lead singers over the years, and in the case of two of them, one of them just looked the part - she had the dancer's legs, was always dressed sexy, and knew how to work it and put on a show - she was very very successful with the group. The other singer, as a singer, was far superior to the other gal, but she was self-conscious about her weight (and keep in mind, she still looked good) and as a result, she wanted to stand behind a keyboard and just sing. IMO we never got the same kind of crowd response with her, simply because she wasn't giving the crowd the same kind of a show.

Don't get me wrong - you still need to be able to put on a show in a bar, but I think that musicianship is actually appreciated MORE in that setting than at a wedding. Weddings bands are more for entertaining, where a bar band is more about performing. Does that make sense? That's just how I see it anyway.

Praise teams - there's a whole other situation. I've been in groups where certain people suck, but "their heart is in the right place."
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Of course. I do think the price of your DJ is very steep, but it's possible there's a good reason for this.

Not all DJ's are the same. A little more than 10 years ago, when my sister married her audio engineer husband in LA, he hired his friend, who was a big name on the techno scene at the time, to DJ the reception. I have never heard/seen a more perfect execution of the craft than on that night. Every song faded smoothly, and cleverly, into the next. Drum breaks became platforms for elements of other songs. Songs seemed to change about 3 seconds before I got bored of listening. Any song that had more than 3 or 4 people start to leave the floor, was swiftly replaced by a better choice. They say nobody dances at weddings in LA, but everyone did.

I walked up to the booth, and my jaw dropped. He had done it ALL on vinyl. Two turntables, a mixer, and few crates of LPs. No CDs, or iPods.
Now that’s SKILL. My hat is off him.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Praise teams - there's a whole other situation. I've been in groups where certain people suck, but "their heart is in the right place."
Off topic:
Years ago, the background/choir singers I worshipped with were terrible. But I had never noticed until the church installed an Axiom monitor system. Thank God for the MUTE switch.

I wasn’t perfect either but my heart was in the right place.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Off topic:
Years ago, the background/choir singers I worshipped with were terrible. But I had never noticed until the church installed an Axiom monitor system. Thank God for the MUTE switch.

I wasn’t perfect either but my heart was in the right place.
For me it's less a matter of how good someone is or isn't, and more a matter of whether or not they are putting in the effort to be as good as they can be.

Case in point, one week we were setting up, doing the church-in-a-box thing where we'd unloaded everything from the trailer and were setting up in the cafeteria/auditorium of the school, and there was a discrepancy about where the mics should go on the drum kit, i.e., which mic went to which drum - that kind of thing. It was a set of Audix drum mics, so it's pretty straightforward. I said something to the guy who was putting the mics on, and his response was to the effect of, "I don't know any of this stuff..." That kind of thing. The guy is a general contractor by day, so he's used to laying tile, framing walls, doing electrical, flooring, drywall, etc. Ok - I get it. It wasn't his bag, but that's where he volunteered....4 years prior to that. Apparently, after 4 years of helping with the sound, he still didn't understand which mic went where and why.

I also got quite irritated with people who would perpetually show up to rehearsal unprepared, and then waste my time trying to figure out their part during the rehearsal.

I suppose I shouldn't judge though - not everyone came through the same kind of experience I did being an active duty military musician. There, it was just expected that you do your own due diligence to be prepared for rehearsals, and if you didn't, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble in a hurry.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
Let's not pretend that every band you see in a bar, club, or festival, can kill it at a wedding.
We're a good bar band - die a death at weddings. Usually the bride or groom see us in our usual bar setting with a good crowd,drinking and singing along and book us for their wedding not realizing Great Aunt Ethel isn't gonna appreciate crazy train in quite the same way!!
We hate playing weddings and only do them for a premium - if they're willing to pay the increased fee then we're willing to suck it up and get it done.
 

Jasta 11

Active member
We play a gig that pays our normal rate for 3 hours but always advertises that we are playing 4 and a half hours. Needless to say, we stop at 3, leave them wanting more and are always asked back. who would play for 4 and a half hours at a bar?
 

Timmy

Member
I suppose I shouldn't judge though - not everyone came through the same kind of experience I did being an active duty military musician. There, it was just expected that you do your own due diligence to be prepared for rehearsals, and if you didn't, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble in a hurry.
It was like that in drum and bugle corps many years ago. In the off season they would have monthly rehearsals. If you came unprepared, it was not pretty. You were sent home to Mommy and replaced. Or, demoted to cymbals. I say "was" because I don't know how it is in this current PC world we live in. I'm surprised @ DCI Finals everyone isn't given a hug and a trophy, "Everyone's a winner, yay!"
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
We're a good bar band - die a death at weddings. Usually the bride or groom see us in our usual bar setting with a good crowd,drinking and singing along and book us for their wedding not realizing Great Aunt Ethel isn't gonna appreciate crazy train in quite the same way!!
We hate playing weddings and only do them for a premium - if they're willing to pay the increased fee then we're willing to suck it up and get it done.
I do weddings and have the same ethos as you, if they're willing to pay me the insult money of having to play Sweet Home Alabama, Brown Eyed Girl etc I'm there :)

Mad thing is a wedding band can die at a wedding and I've done it several times and I'll never understand why a happy occasion can be so miserable, a gig is only as good as the crowd that you're playing to and man there's some dry shites out there. I have played weddings where everyone went home after the first dance and we played to an empty room.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
We're a good bar band - die a death at weddings. Usually the bride or groom see us in our usual bar setting with a good crowd,drinking and singing along and book us for their wedding not realizing Great Aunt Ethel isn't gonna appreciate crazy train in quite the same way!!
We hate playing weddings and only do them for a premium - if they're willing to pay the increased fee then we're willing to suck it up and get it done.
Great point: bars and weddings have different crowds and expectations, so the same repertoire won't work. At weddings, my bar band plays a drastically different set list. We also add horns, keys, and female vocals. And the pay is a bit more than triple, per musician.

In the same way, a wedding band at a bar, isn't likely to go over well, without changing up the set list quite a bit.

I have played weddings where everyone went home after the first dance and we played to an empty room.
Oof. Nothing to be done about a crowd like that.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
Great point: bars and weddings have different crowds and expectations, so the same repertoire won't work. At weddings, my bar band plays a drastically different set list. We also add horns, keys, and female vocals. And the pay is a bit more than triple, per musician.

In the same way, a wedding band at a bar, isn't likely to go over well, without changing up the set list quite a bit.
We've done this in the past only to have the B+G complain we didn't play all the songs they liked that were the reason they booked us in the first place!!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Praise teams - there's a whole other situation. I've been in groups where certain people suck, but "their heart is in the right place."
This only works at small churches (I've been there, believe me). Once a church reaches a certain size, there's a level that any musician and singer must be at in order to play in front of the congregation...at least that's how it works at my church.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
For bad gigs, there is only one truly legendary venue and that's Leo's Red Lion in Gravesend. It's spectacularly bad but also fantastic and a rite of passage for anyone living around that part of the World.

Back in about 2007, I was in a metal band with some mates of mine (who I'm still mates with, despite everything) and we were playing a gig there. They'd just got a new stage, which was a huge improvement on the old one. Now this is the kind of place that back when I was a teenager was so thick with cigarette smoke that at times you felt like you were struggling to see the stage - and it's not a big venue. Village-hall sized. They used to let me in (drunk) when I was about 15/16 - which wasn't that unusual, especially seeing as I've always been somewhat large. I would then continue to drink heavily until I staggered home in the early hours of the morning. Then there was a Police raid and the landlady lost her alcohol licence and all the teenagers went to the off-licence and started drinking in the old docks just down the road instead of inside. After the smoking ban came in, it changed from smelling of cigarette smoke to smelling of beer, urine and vomit. On a good evening.

One gig I did there consisted of the landlady (on speed probably, and certainly dealing) heckling the rhythm guitarist to strip down. He slings it low. He has a long strap on his guitar, too. Over the course of a couple of songs, I'm watching in horror as he starts to undress and by the third song of our set, he's stark bollock naked (apart from white socks of course) on stage, bare-backsided right in front of me. This continues for several songs. Fortunately we had a nice-looking female lead singer, which was enough of a distraction from this raging peach in front of me.

I think that was probably a quiet night, as they didn't have the act that liked to staple things to themselves there. After the band broke up, the bassist joined that lot instead...
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
For bad gigs, there is only one truly legendary venue and that's Leo's Red Lion in Gravesend. It's spectacularly bad but also fantastic and a rite of passage for anyone living around that part of the World.

Back in about 2007, I was in a metal band with some mates of mine (who I'm still mates with, despite everything) and we were playing a gig there. They'd just got a new stage, which was a huge improvement on the old one. Now this is the kind of place that back when I was a teenager was so thick with cigarette smoke that at times you felt like you were struggling to see the stage - and it's not a big venue. Village-hall sized. They used to let me in (drunk) when I was about 15/16 - which wasn't that unusual, especially seeing as I've always been somewhat large. I would then continue to drink heavily until I staggered home in the early hours of the morning. Then there was a Police raid and the landlady lost her alcohol licence and all the teenagers went to the off-licence and started drinking in the old docks just down the road instead of inside. After the smoking ban came in, it changed from smelling of cigarette smoke to smelling of beer, urine and vomit. On a good evening.

One gig I did there consisted of the landlady (on speed probably, and certainly dealing) heckling the rhythm guitarist to strip down. He slings it low. He has a long strap on his guitar, too. Over the course of a couple of songs, I'm watching in horror as he starts to undress and by the third song of our set, he's stark bollock naked (apart from white socks of course) on stage, bare-backsided right in front of me. This continues for several songs. Fortunately we had a nice-looking female lead singer, which was enough of a distraction from this raging peach in front of me.

I think that was probably a quiet night, as they didn't have the act that liked to staple things to themselves there. After the band broke up, the bassist joined that lot instead...
Ummm....just....wow lol. That’s a heck of a story
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
For bad gigs, there is only one truly legendary venue and that's Leo's Red Lion in Gravesend. It's spectacularly bad but also fantastic and a rite of passage for anyone living around that part of the World.

Back in about 2007, I was in a metal band with some mates of mine (who I'm still mates with, despite everything) and we were playing a gig there. They'd just got a new stage, which was a huge improvement on the old one. Now this is the kind of place that back when I was a teenager was so thick with cigarette smoke that at times you felt like you were struggling to see the stage - and it's not a big venue. Village-hall sized. They used to let me in (drunk) when I was about 15/16 - which wasn't that unusual, especially seeing as I've always been somewhat large. I would then continue to drink heavily until I staggered home in the early hours of the morning. Then there was a Police raid and the landlady lost her alcohol licence and all the teenagers went to the off-licence and started drinking in the old docks just down the road instead of inside. After the smoking ban came in, it changed from smelling of cigarette smoke to smelling of beer, urine and vomit. On a good evening.

One gig I did there consisted of the landlady (on speed probably, and certainly dealing) heckling the rhythm guitarist to strip down. He slings it low. He has a long strap on his guitar, too. Over the course of a couple of songs, I'm watching in horror as he starts to undress and by the third song of our set, he's stark bollock naked (apart from white socks of course) on stage, bare-backsided right in front of me. This continues for several songs. Fortunately we had a nice-looking female lead singer, which was enough of a distraction from this raging peach in front of me.

I think that was probably a quiet night, as they didn't have the act that liked to staple things to themselves there. After the band broke up, the bassist joined that lot instead...
That place sounds like JBs in Dudley. Robert Plant used to play there all the time until it closed in 2011 as well as guys like The Wildhearts, Malmsteen, MSG and loads of other acts as it was the oldest rock club in the country. Dream Theater played there on the Images and Words tour (before my time) as well as all the britpop acts in the 90s.

The dance floor collapsed when the Wonderstuff or Terrorvision (can't remember which one) played there as their gig at Dudley Castle got rained off and they didn't think that 2500 might not fit in there. It never quite got repaired properly.

They used to to a nightclub on Thursday night which consisted of students, dole dossers, wreck heads and general footpads and vagabonds of the Black Country. It was our shithole though and it's sorely missed.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I know an opera singer and who changed from ‘Wedding Singer’ to ‘Funeral Singer’. Two or three gigs a day, all week, all year ‘round. Only needed a few songs (Ave Maria, Amazing Grace, Abide with Me, etc) and no PA needed. After a couple of years she got bored and gave it away, but it was a lucrative gig for a while.
I have a veteran in my neighborhood whose sole musical purpose is to play Taps. Apparently, it's really hard to find a trumpet player with a military history.
 
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