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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4471
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Just a school "prom" for me last week.....times 4!

    For some reason, this particular primary school manages to eke FOUR discos out of a 4 1/2 hour gig (and since when did Primary schools have a prom?!?!?!?)

    I'm not complaining because it's actually a lot of fun, and at the end of the day it's pretty much a case of lining up a playlist, pressing play, waiting an hour (with a couple of games in the middle), reset and start again.

    The kids are always up for it as well, and it's one of the few kids parties I do these days so it's a bit of a breather for me. It's also a way of using up the gallons and gallons of snow fluid I have in the store from when I used to do a lot of kids parties.

    Boy was it hot though . My new 18" floor fan has more than paid for itself this year!

    This coming weekend is going to be difficult....

    Saturday's easy enough...it's a barn wedding. Not met the couple but the playlist is looking like a beauty (there's a LOT of 80s and 90s on there). However, before that I've got to survive Friday night on a Scout camp and a very early start on Saturday morning to cook the eggs and bacon .

    The biggest problem is that the Friday night WILL be spent around a nice warm camp fire with "tea".....lots and lots of "tea" which always makes my tent spin like Dorothy's bedroom on the Wizard of Oz.

    By the time I get home and into bed on Sunday morning I will have been awake nearly 24 hours.

    As if that wasn't bad enough....I get about 3 hours sleep before having to go back to said Scout camp and help take the tents down and bring them home in the van.

  2. #4472
    Resident Antagonist Benny Smyth's Avatar
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    Never felt so guilty at a gig before.

    Monday night wedding at a regular venue and you could tell straight away that it wasn't going to be a hands in the air, swinging from the chandeliers kind of night. I clocked this whilst setting up. So did the venue staff.

    Don't get me wrong - the guests were lovely. The Bride and Groom were a delight. The problem was that the happy couple were exhausted (more exhausted than I've ever seen a couple on their wedding day before), and the guests were more than happy to sit and chat. I suggested to the B&G that we match the atmosphere to the room and play some chillout tunes as they chat. They seemed happy enough with this and I have done stuff like this before, usually in the last hour when everybody has danced themselves to exhaustion. The problem is that I made this suggestion at 9pm!

    I don't say this with ego, but I know that this wasn't down to me. I don't see any DJ getting any other of reaction from this audience. I believe that I did the smartest thing and matched the atmosphere of the room. My guilt is down to the fact that for the last few hours of their wedding, I provided them with the same level of service you could have gotten from a iPod. On this occasion, something like that would have made so much more sense.

    I mingled round the room, chatting to bar staff and various guests. Guests were really nice, and I presume happy with the direction the music went. At no point did anybody ever question why the volume and tempo dropped. Nobody even tried to badger me to get things going again.

    But that was a lot of money for background music.

  3. #4473
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Nice venue - shame about the limiter

    I went into this one dangerously tired. Even the drive to the venue was a struggle.

    I'd been on a Scout camp on Friday night which in itself isn't too bad....apart from the pub down the road playing loud music until 2:30am coupled with being on breakfast duty cooking full English for 80 people at 6am didn't really go down too well. I'd tried to nap during the day but I'm not good at that and ended up catching an hour on the sofa before setting off....I didn't feel brilliant to say the least.

    Got to a gorgeous barn venue I'd never been to before to find that they're running late (don't they always), and that I was going up a small flight of uneven stone steps....oh joy!

    Add to this that this was one of those rare events where I haven't previously met the happy couple beforehand and it had everything it needed to be a disaster (for some reason, those where I don't meet and greet beforehand just don't seem to go as well).

    How wrong could I be?

    The night was mainly 90s dance/trance with a LOT of 80s pop thrown in for good measure and just a couple of recent ones (literally....it wasn't asked for so it didn't happen).The rest were rock favourites. It was a brilliant night and despite running on fumes for the duration.....I think I made a pretty good job of that one with a full floor for most of the night.

    The only other downer? Yup - your friend and mine the sound sentry. At least this time I'd been warned about it by the venue and it wasn't even hidden from view. The big problem was it's sensitivity. Just the crowd stamping, clapping, a confetti cannon and a female guest that insisted on whooping at high volume had me sweating as it rapidly threatened to cut me off in my prime. You could barely hear the music from my PA during the likes of Livin' on a Prayer and Chelsea Dagger as I reached to keep my levels down whilst the guests sang at full pelt. How I managed the evening without tripping the thing is beyond me.

    Time for some well earned shut eye for a couple of hours now before returning to the Scout campsite tomorrow morning to help clear everything away, then it's just a school disco and a wedding before a well earned break

  4. #4474
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    I turned up to a wedding at an uber posh (as in this is where the big celebs stay when they're playing in town) hotel in the West End a few weeks ago.

    The manageress came up to me all apologetically: "We've had to have a sound limiter installed since you were last in because of the neighbours complaining"

    To be fair, the houses around it are probably £500k before you've kicked a ball. If I was living in one I'd be a about the noise too

    "If the light stays red for 30 seconds you'll cut off"

    30 seconds as in a whole half minute wonderful. If only all limiters were like that.

    Just got back from my honeymoon on Friday morning (and not quite worked out the jet lag / caffeine ratio just yet hence why I'm typing this at 7am and not been to bed yet!)

    Gig up in a barn in Fife last night with a sizeable - 2 pages of A4 bunch of requests from mostly the guests with a few must plays and songs we like from the bride and groom.

    Turned out to be a great night - only had to field one or two requests on the night, I managed to play every guest request and all but 2 of the b&g's songs and the "RnB" set they asked for which really isn't my kind of thing went down a treat.


    I even managed to come up with a really excellent business brainwave on the drive up and then another one as I was implementing this once I got home

    I did manage to lose my phone when I stopped for a sandwich on the way up there but hey, swings and roundabouts.


    Lots of meetings this week and next but no gigs until the 29th so I'm off to a gin festival next weekend

  5. #4475
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    I dunno what it is but I've had a run of really incredibly pleasant outings in the last few months including a few private bookings. Some slow burners, some that died off a little too early but in the main very good times that haven't felt very much like work at all. Lovely couples, lovely pub crowds (covering for a friend - an 80 mile trip) & even a couple of extremely lively proms.

    I've changed a few things - mostly my overhead lighting which is now 4 mini movers & after trying some borrowed white speaker stand scrims I've stuck with them, opting to stow my bass bin inside the micron (which conveniently gives me somewhere to put my backup playout & makes the PA sound much beefier). The difference is noticeable & has been reflected in the feedback I've had from clients.

    Oh yeah that's the other thing I've changed. I've given up trying to get people to fill in the feedback form on my website & I'm sending them directly to my Facebook reviews page instead.

    Up next will be the purchase of a new radio mic system, then a new booth - the micron is great & I love it to bits but it's just not big enough for some applications. I'm tempted by the Equinox trussbooth, which with inlayed translucent acrylic (all round though, not just the front) I think will look the bees knees.

  6. #4476
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    Default Good gig bad gig.

    Last week 50th birthday in a pub ex haunting flight of stairs!
    Set up quite quickly crowd were brilliant chart,80's party music .Full dance floor for most of the night .
    Karaoke at usual pub this Friday just gone next week golden wedding in back garden.

  7. #4477
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Bad...really bad :(

    Well let's face it....it was long overdue after the decent run I've had recently.

    'Twas a wedding in one of my posher more regular haunts with a really nice couple I met a couple of weeks ago, and I was worried before I even left home. Despite having had loads of really good, arms in the air whooping and "one more" weddings in there in the past, the previous two had been dire.

    The first, nobody, I repeat NOBODY danced. The last one, the B&G gave me a playlist as long as a long thing with nothing but R&B and hiphop which was never going to work at a wedding in a million years. Luckily at that one, they went off to consummate the marriage at 9:30 and the playlist was torn up and the party rescued.

    The problem is, it's one of those venues which is two permanent marquees, and the bar is in the one I'm not in. Despite the fact that there' a clear line of sight between the two....it can go either way in there.

    I'm not the only one who's experiencing this particular problem in that venue at the moment either. Nothing's changed so far as the staff, the way things are done, or the physical building, but since the start of the year things just haven't "worked" in there if that makes sense.

    Tonight....hmmmm. Let's just say I've seen more action at midweek and Sunday weddings.

    I arrived and set up as usual. My "minder" (sorry...the wedding coordinator) came to say hello and I commented on how quiet it was. This place normally has 80-100 day guests and another 50 or so in the evening. I counted about 50 all in, and apparently they'd started leaving shortly after the wedding breakfast....this didn't bode well.

    The evening guests (there were supposed to be an additional 60 coming and only a handful arrived), arrived late so the FD was postponed by half an hour or so from the plan (very unusual in this particular venue).

    FD went to plan, everyone came and watched, many joined in. And then went and sat down.

    I had no playlist for this one....it was open season apart from no action dances...it should have worked.

    It didn't.

    I threw the entire kitchen sink at it and managed to get no more than half a dozen on the floor at any one time. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of thigh slapping and head nodding going on in the other marquee....I even saw dancing in there at times. It just wasn't happening on the dance floor where it was supposed to happen.

    Add to this, guests were trickling away for most of the evening as well. By the time we got to midnight (and I was starting to think we wouldn't make it that far), we were down to about 20. All that was left 5 minutes after I played the last song of the evening was me and the venue staff...again - really unusual in there.

    I honestly don't think I could have done anything differently and I think it was just one of those nights.....still leaves you questioning your ability to do the job at times though.

    Never mind...next week's a 70s themed party with the Retro kit....should be fun

  8. #4478
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Bad...really bad

    Well let's face it....it was long overdue after the decent run I've had recently.

    I honestly don't think I could have done anything differently and I think it was just one of those nights.....still leaves you questioning your ability to do the job at times though.
    Oh Wayne, I'm sitting here with tears of sympathy falling into my cornflakes. I feel your pain.


    Yeah right, I've sat here for months, enviously reading about how fabulous your recent gigs have been, when most of mine have been like the one you describe above.
    The last lines of your post sum it up perfectly, as you leave the gig, you're wondering what you could have done differently/better. The answer's probably absolutely nothing, but it doesn't help much.
    Chin up, look forward to the next one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Never mind...next week's a 70s themed party with the Retro kit....should be fun
    Snap, nearly. 70th Birthday, lots and lots of 60's. Jeanette's going with me cos we've got a tribute artist on doing one of her favourite singers. If this one isn't a cracker, I'm hanging up the headphones!
    Last edited by Excalibur; Yesterday at 08:39 AM.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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