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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4581
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default The fundamental dichotomy.

    No, not splitting your trousers, but the standpoint for judging the success of a function, Punter vs DJ.
    Surprise Birthday party for some lovely people in a little pub up in the Yorkshire Wolds. Layout of venue is just about as bad as it can be. The room is L-shaped, and you face down the long leg towards the bar, which is often out of sight is someone closes the partition. Allegedly, there is piped music/jukebox playing in there as competition to the disco, just to make things interesting.

    I'm set up by 7pm, and because the guests enter through the pub, the birthday boy arrives without me knowing, so I can't do the big surprise entrance. Three and a half hours of me being ignored follow, I've no idea if I'm going well or badly, and I'm losing the will to live.
    First request of the night " We're going to get the jukebox turned off in the bar, can you turn yours up" ?
    Second request " Can you turn it down "?

    Many of the guests are Young Farmers, and once the alcohol has kicked in, it's party central, and all semblance of musical integrity has left the playlist. Guests are convinced I'm a brilliant DJ, Birthday Boy and family are delighted, and I'm wondering what the hell just happened.

    Good night, or bad one? All depends where you're standing.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  2. #4582
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    No, not splitting your trousers, but the standpoint for judging the success of a function, Punter vs DJ.
    Surprise Birthday party for some lovely people in a little pub up in the Yorkshire Wolds. Layout of venue is just about as bad as it can be. The room is L-shaped, and you face down the long leg towards the bar, which is often out of sight is someone closes the partition. Allegedly, there is piped music/jukebox playing in there as competition to the disco, just to make things interesting.

    I'm set up by 7pm, and because the guests enter through the pub, the birthday boy arrives without me knowing, so I can't do the big surprise entrance. Three and a half hours of me being ignored follow, I've no idea if I'm going well or badly, and I'm losing the will to live.
    First request of the night " We're going to get the jukebox turned off in the bar, can you turn yours up" ?
    Second request " Can you turn it down "?

    Many of the guests are Young Farmers, and once the alcohol has kicked in, it's party central, and all semblance of musical integrity has left the playlist. Guests are convinced I'm a brilliant DJ, Birthday Boy and family are delighted, and I'm wondering what the hell just happened.

    Good night, or bad one? All depends where you're standing.
    Before it picked up, did you go into the bar and "work" it?

  3. #4583
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim - Scotland's Party DJ View Post
    Before it picked up, did you go into the bar and "work" it?
    Sadly, I had no tear gas with me.

    Jim, I understand what you say, and it's a good question, but to my eternal shame, the answer is " No". Whether it would have had any beneficial effect, well that's another good question. Personally, I doubt it in this case, but better men than I, who knows?
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  4. #4584
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    No, not splitting your trousers, but the standpoint for judging the success of a function, Punter vs DJ.
    Surprise Birthday party for some lovely people in a little pub up in the Yorkshire Wolds. Layout of venue is just about as bad as it can be. The room is L-shaped, and you face down the long leg towards the bar, which is often out of sight is someone closes the partition. Allegedly, there is piped music/jukebox playing in there as competition to the disco, just to make things interesting.

    I'm set up by 7pm, and because the guests enter through the pub, the birthday boy arrives without me knowing, so I can't do the big surprise entrance. Three and a half hours of me being ignored follow, I've no idea if I'm going well or badly, and I'm losing the will to live.
    First request of the night " We're going to get the jukebox turned off in the bar, can you turn yours up" ?
    Second request " Can you turn it down "?

    Many of the guests are Young Farmers, and once the alcohol has kicked in, it's party central, and all semblance of musical integrity has left the playlist. Guests are convinced I'm a brilliant DJ, Birthday Boy and family are delighted, and I'm wondering what the hell just happened.

    Good night, or bad one? All depends where you're standing.

    Another quality Gig !!

  5. #4585
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djdj View Post
    Another quality Gig !!
    You didn't warn me about the trip hazard in the car park! Resembled the North face of the Eiger.
    And you especially didn't warn me I had to unload in front of the Old Folks Home. The staff there dragged me in twice thinking I'd escaped.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  6. #4586
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    And you especially didn't warn me I had to unload in front of the Old Folks Home. The staff there dragged me in twice thinking I'd escaped.
    So my cunning plan failed!

  7. #4587
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    Right folks, triple header here, so likely to need at least two cups of coffee, and three Hob Nobs. ( Other biscuits are available )
    Friday:
    Over to Wakefield for a last minute 30th with Karaoke. I was provided with invaluable assistance from young Mattysounds, while Dave and Lily headed off to do a presentation. We arrived at the venue in good time, and were let in by the family, who had got the keys in advance of the staff arriving. Access wasn't ideal, but two pairs of hands made it much easier. No lights required, as many years ago, Dave had installed a collection of disco lights in the venue, and a control panel behind where you set up. Magic.
    Although budget effects, they were well up to the job, so that was one less bit of kit to bring in.

    Matty was in charge of the Karaoke side from the VMS 2 and spare laptop. I'd combined a couple of small Karaoke drives onto one large one, but made the mistake of not indexing it. It looked as if it might finish doing this after the gig ended, but Matty assured me it would be completed five minutes before start time, and lo and behold, it was. I then performed my party trick of pulling out the wrong cable, and instead of swapping the HDMI cable between laptops, removed the USB cable from my VMS4. Oops. My recently acquired video switcher appears to need the application of external power, so that's one for the to do list.
    Matty provided music from the karaoke side, while I rebooted mine. Technically, we hadn't reached start time, so no drama.

    The crowd seemed a tad unresponsive to our efforts, and a grim night was in prospect. Then, the karaoke took off in a big way, mainly due to one lad " volunteering" people and tunes. We had an amazing rendition of " It's oh so quiet ", and three lads doing a Westlife number on stools, while the crowd waved lighters and phones!!
    Matty coped with every karaoke request with ease from the VMS2, and even managed to swap cued songs in the blink of an eye at one point, merely by using the crossfader. Nice one Matthew.

    We were applauded at the end of the night, and having packed up, met Dave and Lily in the local Golden Arches for a tea/coffee and post mortem of each gig. Dave was unimpressed with a lot of the music he'd had requested at his gig when I played it to him on Spotify, and pleased he didn't possess it! Most of it was tuneless profanity, so I tended to agree with him.
    We went our separate ways, and I set off back along the M62 with a large cup of Ronald's finest in the cupholder.

    Saturday:
    What a contrast to Friday. Whereas the night before had been a low key effort with no lights and the Maui 5s, this time we were loaded for bear!! 200 medical students in a big hotel in Hull. Young Twinspin was Roadie, Amenuensis, and Native Guide.
    LD 15" subs and 12" tops were going to move a lot more air than the 5s ever could, and lighting wise, we had the two new crossfires, the Fusion rollers, a tri-colour cluster laser and a pair of Vbars for wash. We'd done a very similar gig in the same place last year, so had an idea we'd brought the right kit for the job. Since the venue had put the room divider across, we might have been able to get away with just the 15" Proels, but it was nice to get the subs out for an airing.

    Dealing with this client had been hard work, and we didn't have as much information about anything as we'd have liked. Nevertheless, we were on our toes and ready to go before the start time. Just as well, as this gig was pretty much " make it up as you go along". I'd expected a fund raiser, with mature guests as well, but this was just a up for the young 'uns. We were expected to play background during the meal, and that went straight out of the window. We had to keep asking them to sit at the tables, in order for the venue to serve food, cos the room resembled a rugby international with soup at one point.

    The venue had provided a radio mic for announcements and raffle which, although a top grade Senny, was woefully inadequate to cut through the general hubbub in the room. John took my radio mic over, and it was like watching hyenas scrapping over a carcass! Once that and the meal were over, and he'd announced we were happy to take requests, it was a lot like that round the DSB, too. A combination of two DJ laptops and a tablet with venue WiFi, shouting, typing and mobile phone waving meant we were able to get a lot of them played.

    It was more like a pre teen gig, with that level of excitement and activity, until......................
    The coach taking half the guests away was announced. Although the venue were happy for us to play till 1am, our contract stated midnight, but we had an inkling that 11.30pm might be more likely. We were out by 10 minutes, and played the last song at 11.20pm Seems we went down a storm though, so all good. Loaded and on the move by midnight, so I saw my bed earlier than I might have. Lovely.

    Sunday:
    What idiot took a booking forty miles away on a Sunday withan 11am start time?
    Oh, that would be me. 8.30am when I headed off to Ronald's for a big cupful of coffee, and onto the M62 and its roadworks again. I arrived at the venue before the stated arrival time, and got access just before the cavalry ( Dave and Matty ) arrived. Apparently, Dave had used the threat of violence, and other incentives to get the lad out of bed, as teenagers aren't familiar with early Sunday mornings.

    There wasn't a load of kit to bring in, and it didn't take long to get it running. One crossfire and two Fusions were a very impressive lightshow for a gig with a younger element present, and so we had time for a chinwag and demo before guests arrived. Arrive they did, and the dynamic duo headed off to set up Matty's rig for his christening nearby, with a more leisurely 1pm start, but the same finish time as min, 4pm.

    It seemed the early start had taken its toll of many folk, and although I had lots of guests initially, with some very energetic and well mannered young ones, I got my second early finish in two days. Dave turned up again to pack up, and I headed back East for some serious

    I must take this opportunity to thank all three of my valued helpers, and to say what a valuable place this is for sharing help and resources. Without it, I wouldn't have managed this weekend at all.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  8. #4588
    MDD Supporter Daryll's Avatar
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    Wedding at Basingstoke on Staurday.
    Would have been better if more people had turned up , day guests numbered around 30 , that was for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast.
    Along with the evening guests that would have made it up to 80......................er...........only 6 turned up for the evening reception , so a grand total of 36 people.
    The first dance was west life , and the happy couple had a tearful ( happy) first dance , and that was the most people on the dance floor all night !!!!!.
    Bride came over at 10:45 , said we have had a great day , but I feel that 11:00pm I should finish ( well there there was only 8 left) , so 11:00pm came , we packed up and was home by 12:00.
    First time I had used Blue up lighting , very effective.

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    Thats the way it goes.................
    darylldj.co.uk , serving hampshire , Surrey and sussex

  9. #4589
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    Saturday saw me back in Lincolnshire, just a few miles down the road from a month before. This one was a Golf Club, for a 70th Birthday, and the music guide of " Tamla, Northern Soul and 60's had me looking forward to it in a guardedly optimistic manner. Golf Clubs don't tend to have the best access, and I've known gigs where we tore up the music plan very early.

    Well, when I got there, the steward was a laid back lad having a spot of practice on the pool table. The function room was on the ground floor, so the Rock'n'roller came out of the van. If I'm honest, I might have been a tad over cautious with the kit. Maui 5s and Micromax were the obvious choice, but I think I fell one unit short on the lights. I had the Cheetahs for the dancefloor, and remembered why I love them so much. I had a choice of washes, and went for an Equinox power batten on top. Where I think I missed a trick was not putting a Crossfire in the van. The room was quite long, and I think it would have worked well over the heads of the guests. ( Where I'm going in a fortnight, a pair of them will be the first lights in the van, along with probably the trusty Powerbar. )

    Guests arrived in dribs and drabs, and the steward's guide of ages from 50 to 80 didn't look too far off. Obviously I wasn't going to have a packed floor early on, but it was apparent that my choice of music was being well received. The dancefloor was sporadic through the night, and it was nearing the end when I hit paydirt. Philly/ Disco light. This ran me comfortably up to the last half hour, and many of the older ones had left, so we ended with anything from Black Betty to Oasis and the like.

    All in all, a good night, and I'm sure guests were more than happy with the music, you could tell from all the toe tapping and shuffling about in all parts of the room.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  10. #4590
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default I needed that...

    I don't tend to do too many kids parties these days (purely for commercial reasons....I can earn a lot more from an adult party/wedding rather than a 2 hour kids party on a Saturday night)...but when I DO take one on.....

    Last night saw me over the borders in Bedfordshire (believe it or not, only just outside of my 30 mile travelling average this year) for a repeat performance of a family Christmas party/awards evening I did last year (and guess what...I'm back next year as well! . ).

    I really don't take on too many of these ones because...well, there's no proper structure to them which I found with this one last year (I was more than prepared this time around).

    The original booking last year was for an awards evening for a Karate club. What I wasn't told at the time is that there were a LOT of young-uns there that like to run around and cause chaos between the very impressive Karate demonstrations (and yes, they include knives or whatever they're called in Karate) at times, and the buffet being served. Luckily last year, I'd been to a kids party during the afternoon and still had my games kit in the van....I swung it into action to amuse the bored tiddlers and the rest as they say....is history.

    So last night I had a better idea of what to expect and played to full advantage by taking the lead. Impressive demonstration out of the way (nobody was killed....quite - more on that in a second) and it's time to amuse the little ones. Limbo, Wipeout, Hoop chains, snow...you name it - I threw it in with great results.

    Buffet time and onto the Jive Bunny Xmas special (well....what else can you do...apart from join the queue . ).

    There's quickly time for some of the silly action dances and more snow before the awards (and yes, each an every award requires a "sting" as the recipient takes the long walk to the stage). Awards out of the way, it's onto a VERY long raffle (I'm talking around 50 prizes and nearly an hour's worth of pulling tickets). As per last year, I bounced off of the "Sensai" calling the numbers with various humorous interjections on the mic (it sounds cheesy but it keeps things rolling and actually works).

    The net result - I'm booked again for next year and to be honest it's an easy gig that I'm not going to turn away (especially if next year follows the pattern of this year where there's a distinct lack of Xmas parties...especially corporates).

    Anyway...back to the knives....

    I don't know the proper name for these things but they look by lethal.

    This particular demonstration is done by a pair of the Sensai's (teachers to you and me). One has a pair of broom handles (they probably have an official Japanese name), the other has these bladed things. It's all very carefully choreographed and the blades end up being lobbed towards the stage when the one carrying them is "disarmed" (I say lobbed...these things during the rehearsal travelled at the speed of sound and underneath the curtain under the stage. I'm not ashamed to say I let out a whimper (I wasn't too far away from where they landed!).

    During the demo proper, several people were sat on the edge of the stage taking photos....until they were warned to move for this part of proceedings. And just as well they DID move. One of the blades soared through the air and took out several of the trophies lined up on the table on the stage. Had the photographers have stayed where they were....a full frontal lobotomy would have occurred (I kid you not....it would have gone through the head of one of them).

    Maybe I need to charge danger money next year

    Time for a quick chug of brandy now before bed (it's cold enough for two straw hats and a walking stick in these parts at the moment), and a rest until the first corporate gig in one of the majestic Cambridge colleges on Tuesday evening. It's a busy week this week with 5 parties in the space of 8 days.....I can't wait to come out of the other side!

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