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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4851
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    It's been a while since I've graced this thread.
    And we your humble acolytes are honoured that you should bestow this honour upon us. Truly, we are not worthy.

    BTW, you should have been at my gig last night. Never mind six bottles of Moretti, we had two barrels!


    My gig? A curate's Egg.

    One that fell into my lap as a result of a chance meeting. I went to a client meeting at a venue, and met another DJ setting up early for a wedding. It became obvious that our working practices and customer service models did not diverge much. Thus, when he got an enquiry he couldn't fill, he passed it on to me. Sod's law dictates that having agreed this booking, a quote for a very nice gig was accepted, and I couldn't take that. It was ever thus.

    Anyway, to the gig I took. Housewarming and birthday in a Tipi in a back garden, in a very salubrious area near Hull. Very salubrious. How salubrious was evident when I saw what was laid on for this one. Sadly, due to the Tipi only going up Friday afternoon, I couldn't do a site visit first. Working on the principle, " be prepared ", I turned up mid afternoon with over two full rigs in the van.
    Shame about the site visit, I didn't even need a whole rig. One Maui, Micron booth ( I'm growing to love that booth. Carried over the shoulder, including overhead. ) and three lights. Sorted.

    Well the kit was easy, but access wasn't. All carried by hand a long way, with steps. All bags and cases had to be returned to the van, cos there was nowhere to hide them, so loaded both ways of the journey. The power socket I tried initially was useless, so I was shown one which had more that a couple of milliamps of current available. ( When one DMX controller, and two Hadrons make the power indicator light go out, you know you have problems )

    I got all set up, and went into a nearby shopping centre for supplies, to return early for the music. Blimey, when I got back, the Tipi was ram full! Guests had started arriving before I left, and were wall to wall when I got back. Kicked off with some background music, and ramped it up gradually. Midnight was the theoretical finish time, and by ten, we were well into party zone. The copious of free alcohol they'd been necking since four that afternoon, may have had an effect.

    Thing was, we had folk my age asking for Abba and 60's, client's mates thirties to forties wanting eighties and chart ( beware asking me randomly for "chart music ", Baby Shark and This is Me are currently in the charts, so be careful what you wish for, guests. ) and some surprisingly well behaved and pleasant young lads mainly wanting Indie Anthems. It was a case of playing three or four from each group on rotation, and I'm ashamed to say, when their music wasn't on, the oldest folk were the least receptive and amenable. The lads were Golden, no trouble. Just goes to show.

    We roared past midnight, and the overtime clause came into play. Looks like I'll have meat in my sandwiches this week. I packed up at 1am, having been paid well for my efforts, fed and watered, in beautiful surroundings. ( Biggest mirrorball I've ever seen in the Tipi! )

    The Curate's Egg. For those of you who aren't familar, or didn't Google it: " Parts of it are not at all bad ".

    Good bits: Surroundings, small kit, ( fairly ) appreciative crowd, good pay.

    Bad bits: Being undervalued by guests and clients. I'm a Professional, supplying a professional product. I do have music more recent than the 70's, and I do have Rock Around The Clock. I do lay chart music, and if you'd been listening earlier, I already played half of the Top 40 before you decided that I was playing my favourite songs, rather than requests from the other guests.
    I'm not just doing this for fun, I supply a professional service, with reliable, professional kit, and yes, even though I'll never see twenty one again, cough, cough, I possess lots of modern and chart music, and if you request it, or it seems to be the most appropriate thing to play, I'll happily play it. That's what professionals do.


    Sounds like I really had a grim night, but in fact, it really was good overall. Just a lot of folk who really managed to grind my gears.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  2. #4852
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Every now and then I actively take on the sort of gig I try to avoid....just to remind me of why I don't normally do them.

    Tonight then, was a 21st.

    I knew what I was getting into on this one - I'd done family parties for them before and they follow the same pattern....the youngsters turn up, sit outside getting absolutely bladdered but expect a playlist of nothing but rap, hip hop and drum and bass ('cos it's music innit).

    Now, none of the aforementioned rate anywhere near my top-ten favourite genres (rap and hip hop didn't even feature when I was of the age that appreciates every other word being an expletive).

    Thankfully, there were a good number of grown ups in the room as well, so after an hour or so of plugging away, we went into a good old fashioned 90s clubland slot.....absolute heaven and actually got people up and dancing.....yippeeeeeee!!! (it had been a very quiet floor up until that point).

    Eventually, it starts getting cold outside and the youngsters stagger back in with demands to go back to Eminem, Drake, Lethal Bizzle and number of D&B versions of tunes that before that treatment are actually quite good.

    We ended the night with no more than a handful there - most of them had gone back to the birthday boy's house for an afterparty.

    So, not the best of nights from my side of the booth. The mum who booked me actually apologised for the lack of dancing (I assured her it really wasn't a problem and that's how it sometimes goes, especially with this type of party).

    On the upside....having known what was on the playlist I decided to blow the cobwebs off of my Yammy 8/12 rig (I knew I was going to need a little more bass than the sticks can possibly achieve). WOW! I'd forgotten how punchy that system is! The ground by the booth (a concrete floor I might add) was shaking at times

    That's it now for a couple of weekends. I've hit a traditional September dry-spell at this end (October and November are completely mad!) and nothing now until a corporate party on the first Monday of October.....I'm going to do some cleaning up in my store I think and enjoy the rest

  3. #4853
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Well that was interesting and Educational!

    No names, no pack drill. The joys of Hotel residencies.

    A member on here has recently taken on a residency at a very big hotel complex. Last night they had two weddings, and a large black tie ball. Each of us had a wedding, mine was Anglo-French, and I got the playlist ( featuring many French songs ) two days before the event. Mustn't grumble, as Algernon ( not his real name ) got his playlist three quarters of an hour after his gig started!

    Surprisingly, I could get access any time, as my room had venue movable dividers, and I could set up in peace, and at leisure, especially as they were running late. Once we kicked off, it was a somewhat interesting occasion, as not everyone spoke the same language. The young French lady who was seemingly elected chief requester didn't speak fluent English, and was exasperated with my tablet auto-correcting to English, when we were typing in French. Still, we managed, especially when I found a song about a drink in a balloon glass.

    Blimey, that was surreal! Lots of the French sat on the floor, as in Oops, but no lateral movements, only fore and aft. Then it got weird. The person at the front got up, and crowd surfed to the back. This went on, until everyone had had a turn. Then we played a song about twisting in St Tropez, Celine Dion sang some Rock and Roll in French, and I realised that every gig is a learning experience.

    We made it to 1am, and had a lot of fun, especially some of the French folk who had had a lot of the happy juice. Another gig there next month, and most of December, so should have the kit needed for each room fine tuned by then.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  4. #4854
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    I've got an Anglo-Franco wedding next month.

    I've done several of these in the past and they're always a LOT of fun. The French appear to know how to party
    Something I've always asked for (because although I can Parlez le Francais I'd rather not whilst I'm working), is to have one of the guests who's able to act as a go-between (normally for things like announcements and if I'm doing things like the Shoe Game).

    I'll bet C'est Soiree La got into the playlist somewhere along the line

    Big question though.....did you get a portion of Croquembouche?

  5. #4855
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post

    Big question though.....did you get a portion of Croquembouche?
    Nearly got a smack in the bouche!
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  6. #4856
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    No names, no pack drill. The joys of Hotel residencies.

    A member on here has recently taken on a residency at a very big hotel complex. Last night they had two weddings, and a large black tie ball. Each of us had a wedding, mine was Anglo-French, and I got the playlist ( featuring many French songs ) two days before the event. Mustn't grumble, as Algernon ( not his real name ) got his playlist three quarters of an hour after his gig started!

    Surprisingly, I could get access any time, as my room had venue movable dividers, and I could set up in peace, and at leisure, especially as they were running late. Once we kicked off, it was a somewhat interesting occasion, as not everyone spoke the same language. The young French lady who was seemingly elected chief requester didn't speak fluent English, and was exasperated with my tablet auto-correcting to English, when we were typing in French. Still, we managed, especially when I found a song about a drink in a balloon glass.

    Blimey, that was surreal! Lots of the French sat on the floor, as in Oops, but no lateral movements, only fore and aft. Then it got weird. The person at the front got up, and crowd surfed to the back. This went on, until everyone had had a turn. Then we played a song about twisting in St Tropez, Celine Dion sang some Rock and Roll in French, and I realised that every gig is a learning experience.

    We made it to 1am, and had a lot of fun, especially some of the French folk who had had a lot of the happy juice. Another gig there next month, and most of December, so should have the kit needed for each room fine tuned by then.
    Not only did Algernon (not my real name) not get his/my playlist three-quarters of an hour after it had started, it was timed and themed in 45 minute blocks.

    First problem was the singers, venue and I were working to different timings. Secondly, it ran to nearly 7 hours for a 4 1/2 hour play time and thirdly, midway through the second section, the groom told me to scrap it because it was . He apparently hadn't seen it before.

    A good start to married life then. Mind you, things got significantly better with a free reign and taking spot requests from the guests.

    Oh, and the black tie ball, they were still blazing away when I left at 2.15am. Mind you, there was a bit of carnage outside the main entrance with some sad looking bodied slumped on the floor.
    Last edited by mattydj50; 23-09-2018 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Adding

  7. #4857
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    Default Monday night wedding

    I thought I hadn't done a Monday wedding before, by my djep reliable informs me that I did do one in Dec 2015!

    Last night was a Monday wedding
    Not much communication before the wedding, but enough to know what I was doing. It was all day - music and hosting duties.

    America bride, British groom, with a good contingent from the USA coming over.

    Nice relaxed bride. She'd sorted the details on the important stuff but wasn't worried about the small details. She left that to suppliers to sort, and we all agreed it was a great attitude - enough info so we knew what she wanted, but enough space for us to perfect with our expertise.

    Weather was perfect - no complaints at an outside drinks reception in October!

    The brides mother had an unfortunate fall and was worried about whether she'd broken or sprained something, so had to go to the hospital with the bride's father, who was absent for the speeches. It could have put a massive dampener on everything, and whilst it wasn't ideal we carried on.

    The bride got an update at 7pm on the situation at the hospital and her Mum was being looked at at that point. I was quite optimistic that they would be back at the party within a couple of hours, so suggested we do the cake cutting and follow that with a game of Mr and Mrs instead of the first dance and father daughter dance. That way we could get the party started and hold the first dance for later on when her parents got back.

    Around 50-60 guests, of which 90% made it to the end.

    Candy goes down a treat when you've got American guests - it's my favourite 'action song' - strangely elegant and almost classy!

    Bride's parents arrived just after 9, which was ideal as the evening food was coming to an end, so the first dance was the perfect way to reset the dancefloor, and she got her father daughter dance too!

    A great ending of Don't Stop Believing with a circle on the dancefloor around the bride and groom and everything came to a close nicely at 11.30 with a packed dancefloor.

    A number of the American guests said I was amazing and they jokingly said they'd want to take me to America as I'm better than the djs there. I found it quite ironic that much of my training effectively came from American djs!

  8. #4858
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    Default Good Gig ,Bad Gig.

    Hi I did a gig in Warsop for a pub .
    Well my assistant got offered cocaine, the barstaff give out their own justice for groping offences.
    That was done by holding the customers head in a headlock and pummeling them in the face.
    There was one fella drinking people's pints and got chucked out. Then there was twinkle toes / play some dance music mate !! Other than that brilliant night !! Lol

  9. #4859
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    A corporate birthday party (the company is celebrating 30 years in business), midway through their annual conference on a Monday night in the upstairs function room of the local rugby club.....what could possibly go wrong?

    Actually....nothing

    My Gawd....I'm cream crackered after that one. OK....the external fire-escape stair access might have a lot to do with that, as well as the double unload (long story but the local Clowncil have CLOSED the road to my lockup for resurfacing for the next 10 nights, so I've had to unload the van into my lounge which I then have to take back to the lockup tomorrow when the road's re-opened....not ideal...grrrr!)

    I was really surprised by this one. I knew beforehand about the fire escape access as I've worked in this venue before. But since last time, they've had a LOT of interior work done and WOW! For a rugger clubhouse, it looked absolutely splendid (indeed much better than a lot of the specialist wedding venues I frequent). I was truly surprised.

    What was even better....it turns out that the steward works with my dear lady wife....handfuls of business cards given over to him and we await the bookings to come flooding in then . He's big on recommending local suppliers and by Gawd I wasn't going to disappoint with this one

    What was more surprising is that I lugged a decent looking rig up a set of stairs and got it up and running in less than 30 minutes....that's some sort of record for me.


    So....back to the plot. The guests all turned up en-masse. Neither myself or the rugby club twigged they may have arrived on a bus (doh!)....this is relevant later by the way.

    Guests seated and food being served, I turn to auto-pilot on the booth playing a selection of tracks which had been sent to me which had been hand picked by the assembled guests, representing the year they started work for the company (yes, there was a real mix there with some staff having done the full 30 years and some only a couple). I spent most of the next 90 minutes on the balcony with the photo-booth operatives, who then spent the rest of the night in their van (because apparently the booth runs itself and doesn't need looking after!?!?)

    Finally with awards presentations out of the way at 10pm (and I'm only booked to midnight)....it's my time to shine. With the guests being predominantly "older" females (and only a couple of males)....it had to kick off with Abba didn't it? Yes it did! From there, we went into all manner of cheesy delights (no, not the YMCA and Oops Upside Your Head), I'm talking Nolans, S-Club 7, Steps, The Weathergirls.....you get the picture.

    For a Monday night with a room full of ladies (and the couple of gents) that had spent the day in a conference, I was amazed at the amount of dancing. I just couldn't put a foot wrong.

    11pm and the company MD tells me there's a bus in the car park waiting to take everyone back to their hotel. WHAAAAAT?????? I'm in full swing!

    I managed to eek out another couple of tracks and end on Sweet Caroline whilst they helped to tidy things up (they're back at 8am for another day of conference). Meanwhile, I'm home and the van unpacked into my lounge by 11:50! Not a bad night's work in my book

    This one was a real pleasure to do. For a corporate event, there was no stuffiness, no heirs and graces....in fact no rules. It was brilliant and I really wish more gigs could pan out this way.

  10. #4860
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    I hope I'm wrong but this one has all the makings of a terrible night and that's if we even get going in the first place.

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