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Why I hate restaurant gigs ...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by nosuch, May 1, 2013.

  1. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Went to a restaurant for Valentines, musician played a gold stratocaster through a tweed champ or princeton type amp. Volume and treble on the guitar turned down. He played and sang a number of Sam Cooke songs, it was great. Very even dynamics. A little loud, but it is a really loud place most days. I guess the sound bounces around.
     
  2. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    I've been playing restaurant gigs since I was 15. I'm not offended at being background music - in fact, I kinda like it - no pressure. At the same time, I like playing in front of 10,000 people...after all, this whole music thing is what I wanted to do from the time I was a kid. Not gonna ***** about the fact that I get asked to do so.
     
  3. bendecaster

    bendecaster Friend of Leo's

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    I like those gigs, but it seems more appropriate for an acoustic duo/trio...

    We do a gig that we do the acoustic trio downstairs in the restaurant during dinner hours and at 9pm, the whole band plays upstairs in the pub. I really enjoy a double paid gig.
     
  4. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    How do you get a musician to complain?

    Pay him.
     
  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    How 'bout taking a gang of thugs with you, locking the doors, and doing Phil-X style Demos for two solid hours or until they give you all their money.
     
  6. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

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    It goes both ways...some bands are appropriate for restaurants, some not. And restaurant management should know not to book a "high energy" rock band. It's just going to invite conflict. I can tell you that no amplified band would work in any of the restaurants in my town. The minute the amps are switched on...you're too loud.

    Doesn't involve a restaurant, but I remember doing a school prom with a top notch, top 40 cover band in the early '80s. We were lugging our equipment in and a school staff member who didn't even identify herself started chewing us out for being too loud ("You guys are going to be way too loud!")...we hadn't even started playing, LOL!!! We went on to play the gig and the kids loved it. Had a great time. Never saw that staff member the rest of the night.

    It also depends on what kind of music you play. Soft rock may very well work in some restaurant settings. High energy rock is obviously much more likely to draw complaints in a restaurant environment. I currently play in a bluegrass group...works great in restaurant venues.


    Tom
     
  7. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

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    ^^^this^^^
     
  8. jglenn

    jglenn Tele-Afflicted

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    My old six piece band used to play a small restraunt gig every few months.Crappy small stage,they would leave two tables onstage to sell a few more meals,so I had to dodge diners as I played.I found that after we got our sound dialed in for that small room that it became one of our fav gigs.It was so easy to get a great consistent sound at that low volume with a small tube amp,and a blues driver pedal,that I had a great time every time.And the diners all stayed to listen to us till closing,and sang along to our old Motown tunes,great fun! Oh, the pay sucked and no discounts or freebees,but still fun.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'm sorry, did I miss the part where you were kidnapped, dragged into a van by MIB, hooded and driven around aimlessly for hours, until you and your band were extraordinary renditioned to an Idaho IHOP where you forced to play top-40 tunes at conversational levels and then humiliated by having American currency shoved into your cargo shorts at the end of the evening?

    Someone hand me a petition, I wanna sign.
     
  10. adamkavanagh

    adamkavanagh Tele-Holic

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    I know the feeling. I specifically hate when there is a soundcheck and no one says anything.
    Then when you start your set, in the middle of the first few songs they start coming to the front of the stage " can you turn the drums down" lol

    I once played a gig at a local pub because we had played there on NYE and they loved it. I booked this other gig because they wanted the same sort of thing for a staff Xmas party (often held later in jan for the hospitality industry)

    We did soundcheck, asked the bartender what he thought, grabbed drinks and food and went on at 10pm

    The manager (different from the one I booked it with) comes up during our 4th song " um, you need to turn down you guys are way too loud"
    Ok.. We took the mains and pulled them down considerably.

    Two songs later he came running back " look, if you can't do what your told, you can all just pack up and go home"

    Wait... What? ... You did want a band tonight, didn't you??

    So we pulled the mains down again. No joke: I could hear my own voice, out if my mouth and through my bones actually better than the speakers..

    He came running back " actually haha this is embarrassing, could you turn back up?

    Theses days I'm grateful to have gigs but I can't stand being treated like crap because I'm a musician and I look much younger than I am.
     
  11. ashplank

    ashplank TDPRI Member

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    I want to say this as kindly as I can : be professional . You never know who may be in the audience , also bar and restaurant owners know each other and they talk to each other . In my small town they are related so when they say you'll never work in this town again they mean it , so treat everyone from the bus boy to the owner and all the customers and staff with respect . This includes the volume because if the wait staff can't hear the order for food or drink the owner / manager is not making $$ you may not be asked back or worse yet have to leave town to get a gig .
    You have a dream job , making music and getting paid for it . So SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP and smile when you have to turn down because there are hundreds of musicians who would gladly step over your steak knife impaled body to have your restaurant gig .
     
  12. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's why they have the "cocktail set", which consists of floor tom, snare and high hat. They use brushes instead of drumsticks. The Jazz guys have done this for many years.
     
  13. LGWonder

    LGWonder Tele-Meister

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    Lyrical - nice.
    :)

    thinking of the tune for these, 'We will rock you'?
     
  14. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

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    I've done plenty of these gig and actually enjoy them. Different material, different challenges. Love the stripped-down nature and having a lot of space to work in.

    I've got great results just plugging direct into the PA using a Tech21 Blonde or Boss Bassman pedal.

    I'll echo a comment from above: watch the treble. Most lay people equate too much treble with being too loud.
     
  15. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm curious.. as I really like sitting at home with the amp and improvising nice and relaxing progressions and stringing them together to improvise little "songs"... For people who gig at restaurants, what is your repertoire? How many and what songs are in your list? Do you improv the whole time, improv based on well-known tunes (like an instrumental vamp on a Sam Cooke tune, e.g), play written down parts?
     
  16. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I play a BBQ place every other month on Monday nights w/ an acoustic trio, it's a destination here in town so we get a lot of out of towners.

    Some nights it's like we're not there. Other nights we are the main attraction and the best thing these people have ever heard.

    I can deal with it either way, it's funny though,.. some nights when it seems we aren't reaching the crowd, the tip jar says otherwise. So I just try to enjoy myself, make music, play what I want and get paid.
     
  17. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    I thought of it more as a rant.

    Honestly – I respect anyone who is comfortable with playing background music and get paid for it. I've done that often and maybe I am just in another point of life. Just with this band, our repertoire isn't really made for that kind of gig, it needs some dynamics and it needs to be listened to - like any kind of music IMHO (You may say my ego gets in the way here but honestly I am just not comfortable with music being used as decoration)
    Last night was also a bit like being trapped – we were booked for a jazz festival, one that was all over the city in multiple locations instead in one theater, and we were told that this would be actually a concert. And yes, we had people coming specifically for the show.
    So I think I can be upset over the stuff continuosly bullying us and giving me the looks any time they cross before the stage. That's really bad behaviour IMHO. My decision is clear: NO MORE!
     
  18. dngrsdave

    dngrsdave Tele-Meister

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    I think you have to recognize what the bands place is at each gig. If you are hired as background entertainment for a restaraunt, you are not the main attraction of the evening. The Food and the music are all parts to the customers evening. Likewise, the volume should be lower .If they have to shout at each other to have a conversation, there wont be much enjoyment or tips for that matter.

    When you are hired for a party or at a Bar, then you are the Main event and the center of attention. This is the place for cranking it up and Duckwalking across the stage.
     
  19. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sounds like your situation was caused by the promoters dropping the ball. They should have checked the venue to see if it was appropriate for the festival's agenda. Some feedback to them might help them screen the locations, and put more thought into which type of group would suit the situation.
     
  20. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Afflicted

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    Was it an Italian Place? I ask because I am Italian...and I can tell you that Italians can be a real pain in the A*S!
     
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