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At the close of Friday's gig at a Southampton pub.


I played two poor (clumsy frankly!) solos. Felt embarrassed about it. Before leaving I got 2 complements about my playing.

Someone wanted my phone number to give to another band who need a guitarist. What were they hearing? :huh:


We did however have a great final set. Pub was full, lots of enthusiasm, lots of dancing. Our singer in particular worked his *ss off and put on a real 'show'. Then the landlord tried to talk us down on the agreed fee, because we weren't as good as last time. That's not the way to handle things. If he is unhappy in any way, he can cancel further engagements.


After we first played there, he was insistent we do 3 further gigs before the end of the year. We recommended we just did one, so-as not to 'wear out' in front of the locals. We only reluctantly agreed.


As a result of this, some of us don't want to return there. It left a nasty taste and spoiled an otherwise good evening. Should we carry on even though the Landlord is a jerk? At the present moment I don't think so.





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A buddy of mine was playing the one man band circuit for many years.  I worked in a restaurant within a holiday inn at the time.  He had it in writing and when he arrived for a gig, They double booked.  Then sent him away because they got the other act for cheaper.  He turned around and took the biz to small claims court. 


The most honest bar owner I ever met told me.  I don't care if you are good or you are great or if you suck. I only care how much everyone is drinking. If you keep the crowd drinking you'll keep the gig.  I used to play hard drinking music (the blues) but I was earning a quarter of what suburban pop bands were making.

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Well TBH, money has never been an issue with us. We have played a lot of charities; sometimes without expenses. A 7 piece outfit is never going to make money locally. We play because we want to play.

As a 7 piece band we would fit the club scene better than pubs. They would have a proper stage and pay better.


But we gave up clubs because they are less fun. We didnt all agree about that in the early days. We were an 8 piece then; and the fellow who wanted the higher paying gigs quit.


So the issue for us is not the money itself, but the fact that the landlord made an issue of it at all. We went down well, the place was packed and yet he tried to stint on the fee.

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I would play one more gig. But I would also try to get another gig set up for a date in the future if possible. At the present gig, right when things are going good, pass out flyers promoting your next gig at the different location and mention the current location doesn't want you or your fans there any longer. If nothing else, it would separate those that come to see you guys, and those that only go to THAT particular bar for other reasons. Plus, it'd be fun listening to the current owner bitch up a storm. 


But I don't know present bar/band scene around there. It could also be suicide to do that. But it sounds fun.



Edited by Just1L
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As rare as they are during winter.  Our festivals etc pay more then most regular bar gigs across the board.  Major sponsors contribute heavily as a form of advertising.  About the only ones where musicians don't get paid is when they are performing as a school of music.


With regards to venues and flyers....Small table tents are more effective then full size flyers  It's smaller then a big piece of paper and less likely for someone to throw it out.  It's bigger then a credit card.



Are you selling hats and t-shirts at your shows?


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Guest Rob Ash
14 hours ago, Rudi said:

So the issue for us is not the money itself, but the fact that the landlord made an issue of it at all. We went down well, the place was packed and yet he tried to stint on the fee.


The amount of the agreed upon fee does not matter. It also seems clear from the commentary you received from the departing crowd that they, at least, were happy with the night's entertainment. Seems abundantly clear to me that you were dealing with another asshole club owner who was trying to stiff you out of an agreed upon fee.


Rudi, it isn't always the band that causes bar sales to be off. A couple of floor waitresses, or a main bar tender fails to show up on a Saturday night and sales could be down. Run out of a common well brand and it could throw off sales. A delivery truck for a favored beer or ale brand throws an axle and... you get the idea. Hell, I've seen sales in a hot club on a crankin' Saturday night die like that because a guy, drunk off his ass, hurled his dinner right in front of the main bar. That smell does go away easily.


What is for sure is that the fracking owner is NOT going to accept the blame himself if he has an intangible, like the band, to blame the poor night on. Another thing you need to remember if that if a club owner knows that sales are tied heavily to the band, he will often charge a door fee and tie the band's take to the door fee, even if only partially. This will scare off bad bands, and encourage good bands to self advertise and then to kick ass at the gig. The guy you were talking about didn't do anything like that.


He made an agreement. Straight up. If he has any balls he'll pony up. If not, I suggest you tell him he's seen your band haul in for the last time. I'd also suggest to you that there is a good reason he requested that you guys play 4 gigs in two and a half months... it could very well be he's having trouble booking in bands... maybe because he's a first class prick who tries to stiff bands.


During my glory days in the 80's, we had local A.B.A.T.E. bikers act as our roadies and management. This was not so much a thing we requested as it was a service they supplied out of affection. We had sort of been unofficially adopted by our local A.B.A.T.E. chapter. They called us all... "little" brothers...


If a club manager or owner tried to stiff us on a preset fee, we just told them to take it up with our "manager"... Our manager was usually 6 foot 4, 6 foot 6 maybe... 270-300 lbs., smelly, hairy, dressed head to toe in black leather and carrying an untold number of concealed weapons.


It was a rare club that didn't pay in full.


Of course, if you come back and tell me you know the guy, and play poker with him every Tuesday, then it's all on you, Rudi. You would then know the guy in a way we can't... is he a heal, or is it possible that he really didn't do well, and that he legitimately considers it to be the band's fault? You alone would then have to decide if you think he's trying to simply stiff you.



Edited by Rob Ash
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Some nice ideas fellers. Thanks.


We did get paid the agreed amount. So he didn't get his way. Oddly enough, another guitarist in another band told me of a similar tactic at pub only about a mile away last month. His band was completely peed off about it as well. That pub was The Dolphin in Osborne Rd South. Ours was the South Western Arms in Adalaide Rd, both in Southampton.


That's the thing about it. The bad feeling overcoming what should be (and was) a good feeling. I don't think their takings at the bar were suffering at all. The Landlord is a brash in-your-face type who is full of his own self importance. I am convinced he tried this on as an exercise to prove/demonstrate his force of will.


T-Shirts & hats? Us? ....no! We have nothing like that.

Edited by Rudi
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