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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4671
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Why we liked filament lights.

    You young 'uns don't know you're born. The old days of ensuring you had a stable supply of electricity for when the kilowatts of filament lamps blazedinto life, sending the leccy meter round at top speed. Nowadays, your whole rig runs off a couple of AA batteries in comparison. Saturday night though, I wished I had a bank of RO80s behind me again, to keep me warm.

    21st Birthday gig under canvas ( plastic? ) local to me. Shelters attached to house and sheds. Absolutely freezing, despite my thickest pullover, woolly hat and boots. Customer had put me in probably the worst possible position, but I have to say, the Hadrons and Crossfires covered far more tent than I'd have believed possible.

    Early doors, I feared a poor turnout, but once they arrived, it was a great night, one of those when you reckon they'd pack the floor to the shipping forecast!

    Packed up at 1am, feeling a lot as if I'd been taken back in time, but not defrosted.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  2. #4672
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    Default Poor engagement party turnout

    Had an engagement party recently at a golf club function room. Upstairs (yay!) The lady who's party it was had a rule that if you bring you kids they have to be out by 9pm (Not the policy of the club I might add). So it was a fairly poor turnout to start with then after 9 it was about 3 tables worth of guests. Managed to get them dancing but my god it was a looong 4 hours

  3. #4673
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    And YES I know my cable tidiness leaves a lot to be desired!
    Looks pretty good to me, I can only spot 2 and they are pretty well hidden.
    Observe without judging what you see

    Disco 4 Hire

  4. #4674
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Why I'm no longer a fan of filament lights

    What can I say?

    I took this one with a little trepidation....mainly because I've just walked in the door and I've got to be up again in just 6 hours to get myself up to Solihull for the ProMobile conference in the morning.

    I'm glad I did!

    Tonight then was a 40th birthday with an 80s slant - yes....the Retro Roadshow was out on the road yet again (it's starting to go out more than the normal rig these days )

    Regular readers may have noticed a post a couple of weeks ago about replacing the filament lamps with nice, shiny LED versions. By 'eck - they work well

    Brighter, a LOT cooler (well, it's only drawing 300w now instead of 2KW), and no hanging around at the end waiting for the lamps to cool down for fear of breaking the filaments - what's not to like?

    Well....one young lady in particular who "doesn't normally drink". It showed tonight as TWICE she decided to lean on one of the outer light screens (one of the few with nothing behind it) and land behind my rig on top of it. TWICE!!!!! I'm now thinking of a novel solution for some sort of feet on the bottom of them to stop that.

    Other than that - an absolute storm of an evening. Really good crowd (when they got going) and as promised....80s only - absolute heaven from where I stood

    Right - must close my eyes.....lots of driving and learning tomorrow. In fact I've already learned one thing from ProMobile before I even leave the house....7 'o' clock happens twice on a Sunday! (I didn't even realise Sunday had a morning )

  5. #4675
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Serendipity, Networking, and Friends.

    I know some of us harp on about it, but luck, chance, good fortune, call it what you will, plays a part in this game. We also point out what a valuable resource this place is, because of networking, and even more importantly, friends we make here.

    Huge thanks now to a couple of them, Davesounds, and Mattysounds. Fabulous friends I met because of serendipity, this forum, and the lat lamented Ol' Sidesaddle. Many years ago, before I set foot on The True Path, my kit wasn't PAT tested, and Starzsounds recommended Dave. Thanks Martin.

    Well, yesterday, I called Dave, and in the course of conversation, he said he and Matty weren't working. With the enthusiasm of youth, Matty doesn't like to sit at home, so Dave and Lily brought Matty across to Sheffield to help me, while they had a trip to Meadowhall. My gig was a 21st in a bar I've worked before, which has " Roulette" access. On street parking, which can be as good as directly opposite the doors, or as bad as a loooong way away. We ended up carrying the kit across the road to load in, and were able to get the van bang outside to load out, fortunately.

    We took the full size Equinox booth in, allowing us to squeeze two playouts and a DMX desk on the shelf, with the new radio mic box underneath. The trusty Hadrons atop the poles, with Crossfire XPs just below gave plenty of light and variety, although Matty was a bit too keen on the strobe effect, rather than letting the Hadrons have free rein for my liking.

    The gig followed a fairly standard pattern, with the playlist of total and utter modern bilge attracting no more than a token bit of head nodding, while once Mum and family asked for 80's, Anthems and mainstream stuff, the floor filled, and we were able to strike a balance which pleased everyone. We got lots of thanks at the end, from happy punters, so job done, I feel. Matthew played an absolute blinder, as always, despite me closing his channel on one occasion while he was speaking. The lad's already a very capable and knowledgeable DJ, and a pleasure to work with.

    I'm growing to love my W Audio radio mics the more I use them. They seem totally bulletproof so far, and well designed. I went for the DTM twin series to replace my trusty Shure mics which have sadly become unusable due to the encroachment of TV, Phones and Routers, among other things. I'll keep you posted on their progress. Coupled with the Maui 11s which were making the stage vibrate under our feet, they sounded great.

    So, it was fortunate for me that Matty was available last night, purely by chance, and happy to turn up and help. It made the gig easy, rather than quite difficult. Thanks Matty, and thank you this forum and the people on it.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  6. #4676
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default And the run of good gigs continues

    I think I'm on a roll - another splendid evening this evening.

    It didn't start that well though.....

    I'd been hired for a 55th birthday party in a golf club using the Retro Roadshow....I seem to be doing a lot of those recently.
    So, off I toddle to the venue (having not really done my homework for once), only to find that the function room of this fairly modern building is on the first floor.

    OK - where's the lift?
    What lift came the reply.

    Groan........

    Thankfully, the stage I was to be working on would only hold four of the seven retro boxes, so I cheated and took the lighter ones up the stairs, along with everything else (why oh why did I take the DXR15s for an airing instead of the Maui's . )

    Anyhoo....setup in good time after a good cardio workout and prepared for the guests to arrive, which took a while for a decent number to build up. All in fancy dress I might add.

    The downside to all of this, the room is a U shape, with me at one end of the "U" and the bar at the other - with a stairwell dividing us. It should have been the room from hell and to start with I really thought I was on a loser.

    The music for the night was to be a loose 80s theme, with a little bit either side for good measure......yipppeeeee!!!!!

    I was also joined by three lovely young ladies in short sparkly dresses in the form of a dance group. The customer was worried people weren't going to dance (so was I at one point....it was a slow burner), so hired these lovely lasses to come and do a routine for people to watch, followed by some audience participation. Did I mention their short sparkly dresses?

    I'd been working with the girls over the email and phone for the past week. Originally the question was can you leave room for our PA, then can we plug an iPod into your desk. Well yes....it saves having two lots of PA. I then had a thought....let me know your playlist and I'll play it without the iPod.

    All fine and dandy then. They even sent me their own mix of songs as an MP3 which they'd had edited with cut down versions in the right order for their 24 minute routine.

    OK - press play - retire to the smoking area for 20 minutes then

    This was followed by a chicken and chips dinner prepared by the golf club's chef - most of which was left uneaten (I tried my best to eat as much of it as possible! ), a photo booth which took more photos of the venue staff than the guests.....and a 15 minute routine of the action classics which the girls led the guests through (ooooohhhh.....those tight sparkly dresses from where I was stood. Nurse - I need my medicine!!!!)

    From there on - full floor for the night. We stuck like glue to the 80s and 90s with the DXR's going at just about full tilt - my god is was like thunder on that stage (glad I take earplugs with me).

    Two bonuses from this one.....the venue helped me get the kit downstairs (result), and I'm now a recommended supplier. OK - not the easiest of venues to get into, but with the right lightweight kit it could be a doddle....and they do a lot of weddings too

    That's it for me for a couple of weeks again now. It's still slow over here, but the parties I AM getting to do are more than worth it

  7. #4677
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Default

    Tonight saw me DJing a prom at a private school covering for a friend. I was due to start at 6.30pm & when I arrived at 5.15 all hell was breaking loose because I hadn't shown up yet. I'm not sure why they expected me much earlier but....

    On site security directed me to the marquee & I had a lovely easy load in. So far so great! Except the stage was littered with band gear. Oh can I just take up this little square to the side, to let the band play one song? Sure! Which kind of buggered up my plan to set up 2 wash systems & have a nice symmetrical setup. Grrr.

    Setting up left 20 minutes spare before the official start time & then that got pushed back til 6.50.

    The prom theme was Moulin Rouge so I'd been given a 90 minute playlist to follow which took in songs from the film & such notaries as Charles Asnavour on the theme of Paris. This didn't exactly resonate with the throng of over 300 students (oh did I mention I'd been told 'about 150'?). Hey ho. Do as you're told!

    Before the meal, there was a brief word from the organ grinder, then the school head & the school padre said grace.

    After the meal, the band came on to do their one song. They were replaced by another who had dodgy guitar leads & it took them forever to fix it all so I filled.

    Eventually with their leads swapped, off they went into one number & then another band did a single turn. The last band did their thing & just walked off leaving me hanging. Oh do I start now? Ok!

    Instantly rammed the floor & requests for sweary mumble rap not even promo only has yet came flooding in. So much for chart music being able to meet demand eh, oh friend of mine.

    The place was already utterly jumping - the stage was wobbling like crazy. On the hoof I teased in the intro to N***az in Paris & things just got more crazy. When I finally dropped the Kanye tune.. Oh my days. It was bonkers in there.

    I'll mention here I'd borrowed some PA for this gig, and it held its own even with that headcount. The JBL PRX18SP bin... Oh my. My back won't thank me for hauling that around & I'm sure it increased the stopping distance of my little 'lingo by a fair margin. Am I glad I didn't just rock up with my Alto 15s? Guess!

    My lights, which comprised an equinox gigabar (I'd intended to use 2 but only had space for 1), 2 quad phase HP & 4 mini movers - were juuuust enough for the dancefloor which was approx 12m x 5m. The gigabar tripod was up as high as it would possibly go, a fair bit over 2 metres. The trussbooth was backlit with my Chauvet WashFX.

    Now then. The students God bless them were an excitable bunch & naturally some of them frequently wanted to be on the stage. Hmmmm no we can't be having that. The rig was already shaking enough without that. Can you get down off the stage please? "Wot? What's your problem man. Is it because I'm..... " Oh my god. What? I just asked you to get down from the stage & I'm racist?! This didn't put me in the best of moods I can tell you. I consider myself to be a complicated person with various issues (such as an ability to procrastinate for England), but being racist isn't one of them I'm pretty sure.

    Requests for the most sweary songs ever still came thick & fast.. I found some songs easily enough but clean versions to appease the staff? No way. Especially a track called 'no ****ing problem' or something. My phone, which my spare laptop was tethered to, wasn't giving me the fastest Internet access anyway so I started to default to if I've not got it & can't find a clean edit I'm sorry folks. This is where the wheels began to come off for me.

    More accusations of being .. that word again, demands to kill the currently playing tunes which were going down well (albeit not half as well as kanye earlier)... Oh & students telling me I was crap. They didn't say crap btw.

    Would I even dare go to standard cheesy party fayre? No way!

    A staff member came up about 10.15 to let me know they'd like to call it a night at 10.30 (phew) & I somehow managed to keep the floor crazy busy with as yet unreleased tracks I have clean edits of.

    Last song time came & on went RKelly Bump & Grind...

    Man I've never been so glad to reach the end of a gig in recent times.

    Lots had gone wrong here starting with the person who gave me the gig. Yes he told me every request would be sweary as hell but... That chart music would cover it? No siree. No way!

    Next, I really didn't hit it off with the female staff members I met who seemed to be out for the kill right from the start. I wasn't late, I knew I had plenty of time in hand... What precisely was the real problem? I've no idea.

    But playing the blinking race card on me when I was only looking out for people's safety & trying to sate the staff desire to keep the music clean? Give me a sodding BREAK!

    I've done a few proms in the last 3 years. To be honest I dreaded my first, imagining the crowd would be a nightmare, waving their phones under my nose & generally acting like entitled little upstarts but NO. My first & subsequent proms were all lovely. I wish to God more adults could be as a) polite and b) up for a riotous time as them. But this lot tonight... They were everything I dreaded my 1st prom would be.

    The difference? At first glance, public school versus Darlington academies/comprehensives.

    I'll say this now that on first seeing the sheer size of the marquee I didn't think there was a hope in hell the PA or lighting would suffice but it did. Discovering I had to tweak all my mover programs made me laugh to myself - a spread of 25 (out of a possible 255) on the X & Y axis was enough to get those little KAM Gobotracers all around the marquee - and they were all way too fast at first as well. I'd say 3 quarters of the gig itself were absolutely blinding, but a couple of hundred people jumping up & down like crazy on a marquee temporary floor, and a rickety stage on top of that... I genuinely got a little bit scared something would go wrong. Not that I'd done anything risky with the rig of course but still..

    While I was packing down a couple of teaching staff came over to congratulate me on getting the 'kids' hyped up & managing to keep the stage clear of students. The on site security staff asked if I'd had a good night as they lowered the bollards for me. I said I was still in shock. They said it sounded great from where they were. I'm not going to be in any hurry to play there again.

  8. #4678
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Justin, snap, on a smaller scale. And upstairs. More later.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  9. #4679
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    The wife and I were in Bali the first two weeks of April and I decided to take the rest of it off so tonight was my first gig since the end of March (I can't remember the last time I had 4+ weeks between gigs, I might never have since starting up!!!)

    I was a bit nervous as a result plus the venue is a shocker for access, parking etc... - definitely going on the list of venues I charge the pain in the arse tax on but it was great.

    Italian groom, Scottish bride - loads of family over from Italy so they wanted plenty Italian stuff and the brides side wanted all your usual wedding stuff.

    The groom was really into his dance music and tech so I got him up to drop in Tsunami (headphones on, pull a DJ pose, everybody get some pictures) and he asked if he could have a shot at mixing something so with a bit of help and guidance from myself showing him what the faders, loop and filters did and drawing up a list of tunes with reasonably similar BPMs and showing him where the sync button was I let him go to town for 15 minutes.

    He was like a kid in a sweetie shop and some of the stuff he was doing was actually really good - I always say it's not rocket science what we do.

    Video and photos done and on the website, time for my hot tub wine.

  10. #4680
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim - Scotland's Party DJ View Post

    He was like a kid in a sweetie shop and some of the stuff he was doing was actually really good - I always say it's not rocket science what we do.
    A point I've made to folk after the last two gigs, while packing up. Unfortunately, this leads many s to decide they can make their fortune , play their fave bangin' choons, and be irresistible to the opposite gender by not being rocket scientists. While some aspects of it are simple, the whole process is harder than it looks, and some of us can make it look deceptively easy, to the untrained eye.

    Never forget the swan: Above the surface, serene, regal, smooth effortless progress. Below the surface, two legs going like the clappers!

    Last night. Weird. What looked like a fairly high end wedding in a hole. Sports club, tagged onto a long stay municipal car park, next to the gasworks, behind evil looking metal security fencing. Classy, eh? Well yes, inside it was pretty classy. Balloons, table decorations, candy cart all of a very acceptable standard, but the venue and the clientele not with the wedding ( more of that later ) certainly not.

    B&G had got married at Gretna Green earlier in the week, and this was " The Afterparty ". They had the full regalia on, smart suit and gown, and many of the folk in the room looked like they were planning to paint the garden fence. ( And then decided to give that a swerve, and just get hammered )

    A band of these lone males by the bar ( where else? ) were a real pain in the proverbial all night. I've got six hours to play, so I'm doing the tasteful bit early doors, while family and friends mingle and chat, buffet's imminent, bride's ecstatic with what I'm doing, so obviously, ( according to the bar flies ) we need to liven it up, lots. Yeah, right. What was that about rocket science, Jim?

    Anything for a quiet life, so I did pick the pace up a bit, we had Hokey Cokey and Superman with a floor full of little ones and a smiling bride, before going straight into the first dance, after that. Like I said, six hours, and many were flagging in the heat, apart from the Hardcore of Hardcore dancers, who were lapping up the 140BPM stuff, and making great requests. Except the Bar Flies wanted Jam and Madness, which to be fair, did work well also.

    Then, it got surreal. Booked till midnight, which was far too late. Called last orders at 11.30pm ( which was a perfect finish time ) and minutes after that, all the house lights come on!!! Yes, it is a midnight finish, but they want a bit of light to clear up by. Carry on then, Miss bar person, I'll just play the last half hour under full house lights, eh? They find some softer lights, and I get to the end somehow, pack up the kit, and give the B&G a ride home in the Transit, cos they can't get a taxi. I don't get paid enough for this

    More on Friday. Third gig for sixth formers, which is a bit of a problem for bar staff, as not all are of legal drinking age. It's a problem for me also, as some of them have pre-loaded heavily, and aren't completely in control of their faculties. Venue staff decide to end it twenty minutes early, and who am I to argue?
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


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