Playing a gig you don't want to play...


Gold Member
How do you guys square things in your head when you have to play a gig which you don't want to play.
Not just don't want to play...actually object to playing....and see little point in playing.
We're about to sack our singer for not turning up to a gig last week.
Our gig tonight was already booked. We feel we 'need' to play it so as to not let people down coming to see us, not let our promotor down, and not let the band down whom we're supporting.
Obviously I'm finding it hard to 'get up' for this gig because a) things are likely to be said post gig, b), the band in it's current format has no future, and c) I don't like the band we are supporting (friends of the singer who I also don't like).

Struggling with this one....with 5 hours until kickoff

I want to play it well despite all the above....but....again....struggling
What a great opportunity to be a PRO

You never know who may be in the audience, and how you conduct
yourself could gain the attention of a decision-maker.

Even if this band is a lost cause afterwards, you come away
as reliable, solid, and attractive to future employers/musicians/producers/etc.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
In this situation, you just grin & bear it, play your best, and move on with a new singer, or a whole new band.

Based on the topic, I thought you were discussing playing gigs in general that we don't want to do. My answer to that is, I won't play a gig that I don't want to play, however I want to play all gigs because I love playing drums.

I suspect you love playing drums enough to get through tonight. :)


Anthony Amodeo

honor you obligations

be professional and while you are there make it look like you are enjoying yourself

I definitely don't want to do every gig that I am hired for .....but it is my duty as a musician , husband, and father to take work offered to me and provide

I know too many guys that are starving for work to ever turn something down, or cancel a gig just because I don't feel like doing it

so as tough as this one will be......grin and bear it

as soon as you step in that venue pretend it is the place to be and play your absolute best

you will be a better man for it brother

I hope everything works out with your band


Gold Member
I had a very similar experience recently, playing a bands final gig due to personality differences.

It actually turned out to be a great gig for me. I just had fun and played for me. I tried some different fills and just stayed in the moment, Turned out to be a lot of fun. All of the drama that was coming afterwards was put on hold for an hour or so and I just played the drums.

Don't forget why you play. And just enjoy yourself.


As others said before....It is a situation that you HAVE to get through when you are playing profesionally. And..... if you have to do it... Do it right

gaz farrimond

Senior Member
There are plenty gigs I didn't want to play.

Tired, clashed with something interesting on TV, missing a night out with mates, general apathy...

But I did play the gigs, for two real reasons:

1. I love playing live.
2. I wouldn't use any of the above reasons to have a day off in a 'real world day job'.

Good luck with the gig.


Platinum Member
Don't let the audience have any hint of you not wanting to be there. Do your job, do it well, and move forward when you're done, whether that means getting a new lead singer or quitting the band yourself. Now is not the time to talk the gig down in your head. That time was a week ago, when you still could have bowed out of the gig.

Think happy thoughts. :)


Gold Member
Thanks for the advice everyone, which I took on board.

It was an unpaid gig...a very big one one (sold out music venue). We haven't played a paid gig yet....but know what, we're not bothered about that...we're literally ONLY in this for the enjoyment it gives us. went ok.

Singer made three fuck ups in the first song then got a little better later on. But then you tend to make fuck ups when you've missed the previous two rehearsals and didn't turn up (at 3 hours notice) for a gig last Saturday.

Music seemed to go down quite well with an unknown audience of a completely different genre, so we felt ok about it after.

The problem in question has now turned on the waterworks to persuade the guitarist who formed the band to give him another (yet another) chance with us, promptly forgotting that the problem guy has told us to "fuck the band" twice now, pulled endless diva fits, is clearly mentally unstable, and has a life and relationship with a fiance which seems ruled by alcoholic excess.

Still no apology from him for not turning up last Saturday...says he was ill with a sore throat. Hard to believe, given that our guitarist went round his house to persuade him to at least turn up last Saturday and he was round his neighbours with beer in hand...

All seemed forgotten though after the gig last night which the guitarist thinks went really well (it didn' went ok...just ok...I was listening for a change rather than enjoying myself on drums...and watching out for singer mistakes...there were too many....bad ones to).

So...I calmly told my two friends, guitars and bass, that they make their mind up with all the facts in hand (failed to make two planned rehearsals....he has a diary in hand when we plan these things...things THEN crop up and he has dropped us twice....failed to make a gig...didn't even turn up to support us when we tried to scrape through the gig...had a better offer, drinks with a neighbour and football...grrreat).

Told them I'm happy to put a vote on it and whatever the decision is, is the decision.

Have not told them yet that if they decide he's still back in then I'm walking on it (with our friendships intact....except the singer who is an absolute twat). They'll get another drummer easily. I just can't be arsed with wankers. Never have been able to be. I'm not diplomatic enough to fight my way through something that is meant to be enjoyable but that, last night at least, was a complete chore.

I'm very irritable right now and will probably sell the drums I've invested in on rather than find another band...I really am tired of fking bands acting like fking bands act right now.

I apologise for my over-indulgent post. But feel better for typing it.

Did I say I absolutely hate singers ??


The Old Hyde

Im glad I came accross this thread. I have a gig coming up at a large venue and long story short we are on the second stage not the main stage and until i read this, I was being a baby about the whole thing. Now im going to kick serious ass at this gig! I am actually looking forward to playing there now all because of the advice on this thread, thanks guys!