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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4631
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theoloyla View Post
    Hard luck. The joys of late night motoring in the snow. Bet it was cold too waiting for the recovery man. Been there done that too.
    Oh yes it was freezing. It didn't help that where I broke down was such a dangerous place - I felt the urge to push the van around the 1st exit & did so.. arduous work pushing even a small van chock full of disco gear when the ground below is slippery I can tell you It also didn't help, when I was peering under the bonnet to find the fuel primer bulb that the streetlamps switched off at midnight on the dot

  2. #4632
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Ouch, hope the repair isn't too costly.

    My gig was in a lovely manor house, at the top of a very steep winding drive so I spent the night bricking it that I'd come off the road on the way back down it but I managed fine and the rest of the route was clear.

    First wedding of the year on Saturday.

    Massive list of songs - all of them good albeit more something I'd stick on at a house or dinner party (can you really dance to Solid by Ashford and Simpson?) than a wedding.

    Told not to accept guest requests too

    Despite all of that it was a pretty good if quiet night. At one point the lad behind the bar asked if I was going to play the Slosh or something to "get more people up" once I'd told him the situation he understood exactly why I was playing Everything I Do, I Do It For You (must play incase you're wondering)

    I did allow one request from the bride's dad for the Skids. It really could have gone either way so I started off by saying the majority of the music was requested by the bride and groom but it was a big day for the families too so I was going off script and playing this for David.

    *rapturous applause* and then David and his pals all got up and gave it some welly so it landed.

    Last hour or so I was able to be more creative with the tunes and on the way out the lad behind the bar shouted - I take it you finished up their stuff by 11 then, that last hour was banging.




    A nice if uneventful start to the 2018 season.

  3. #4633
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Van update. My friendly local garage just charged me £30 for collecting it & finishing off the bleeding fuel system bleeding. I'd read on Saturday it can be a right & they're not wrong. What was apparently needed is an electric pump attached to the filter outlet. I was so close .

    O happy day!

  4. #4634
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    Van update. What was apparently needed is an electric pump attached to the filter outlet. I was so close
    I'll tell you a funny story about that. My previous van, the LDV, had a Ford engine and running gear. What that Ford engine doesn't have is a priming bulb. My brother warned me that although it's an absolute doddle to change, it's virtually impossible to bleed, much like Justin's. So, when it was in his garage for other things, I seized the chance to change it, with his warning ringing in my ears. But:

    LDV in their wisdom, fitted a primer. Yippee! Changed it, bled it, turned the key, never missed a beat. There you go.


    Wish I had such happy memories of Saturday's gig. Partly my fault, partly the client's. There was a band on, and just my luck, it's five piece rock band, with a substantial back line, and some EV twelve inch subs and tops. Noisy. Eager to try them out, I'd taken the Maui 28s, which was a mistake. I wanted to see what they could do, and picked the wrong gig. From what I can gather, the G2 models have a lot more amplifier power than these, which might easily have made a significant difference. On the basis that they aren't going to do as large functions as I'd hoped, Andy will take them back, keep my Maui 5s, and I will be saving up for one or hopefully a pair of 11s. The Stingers will be coming home, and I'll have that reserve of power for larger gigs, even if they're few and far between.

    The client's mistake? Well, it was compounded somewhat by the band running late. I was to start with 60s, 70's and Motown, move into 80's onward between the sets, and get more modern after they finished.
    Nobody moved before they came on, nor in their first set. Buffet was announced during their break, so that delayed things once again. Their second set had the floor rammed, and once they'd finished, my brief was to play half a dozen Ska tracks, then go for " modern Dance and Chart to keep the floor full ".
    Shame the guests wanted Cheese, House and almost everything except Modern Dance and Chart.
    Shame they didn't think to start requesting all these floor filling tracks before I was winding down as per client's instruction.

    What with me not being able to match the band's volume, the client giving out thank you gifts after the band finished, and prizes for fancy dress just when we'd started to get somewhere, it was a bit of an anti-climax. It was an uneventful, but gloomy ride home.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  5. #4635
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Well, my blingo is still poorly - broke down not once but twice on the A1 the other week - visited twice by the AA & ended up being towed home 4 hours after I left for home. Local garage muttered things about injectors & fuel pump being suspect so I've been pootling about with it myself. One new EGR valve later it's running better (actually running!) & the old one was evidently completely shot..

    So I've been doing gigs in a ford focus estate which luckily can fit my booth - so long as it's first in & last out that is.

    Friday saw me covering a gig for a mate - a naughty 90s night at a big hotel. About 150 people or so & great fun. I'd not done a 90s night - since the 90s! Haha. Not a fantastic payer but it got me out of the house. 100 mile round trip & a beast of a loadin/out compared to what I'm used to. It would've been nicer if the outside stairs I had to use weren't icy In spite of that I still got out & loaded in under half an hour.

    Then last night kind of a last-minute booking - a sgts mess function at Catterick. I wasn't due to start til 10pm so had a leisurely drive down at 8pm. Found where I was meant to go & was shown quite possibly the easiest loadin in the world of mobile DJing. Reverse the car onto the patio area & carry gear straight in through the doors maybe 5 feet away. Bliss!

    Well bliss, until I discovered I'd forgot to bring my booth's shelf supports. Quick thinking produced 2 workable solutions: either lash my bungees & webbing strap onto the booth to hold the shelf up, or set the playout flightcase on top of my 3 really useful boxes inside the booth. The first method was tried & it worked. I just had to remember not to lean on it!

    The 10pm start time was amended & became 1030 at the earliest.. Their meal finished & I started seeing people coming in at 1045. Got people dancing really easily & kept them that way. No sign of the organiser at 15 minutes to 1am or since then but I was to play on til 2 the barstaff said. Not to worry it was a lot of fun & these things can always be sorted out later. I've never been in that situation before so let's call it a newbie error eh. The booth shelf held up fine & my worries about having left the supports at the previous night's gig were dismissed when I saw them at home. Phew!

    Finally got unloaded & locked up at 3.15 this morning. It was something like 4am when I went to bed & I was up at 9.

    Oh yeah so were they good gigs? OH YES!!!! Most definitely. I've had the time of my life this weekend!!!! Getting paid to play music I LIKE? Makes a change!

  6. #4636
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Going back a bit here, haven't posted about a gig since the unfortunate one with the band. Lost my mojo somewhat.

    Well, this game has a habit of giving you it back sometimes. 50th Birthday in a nice venue I've worked in a few times in Wakefield. I had the help of the splendid Mattysounds, and it was a good one. The children there started at about a million miles an hour, we had all the party favourites in the first hour!
    We thought it was a good gig, but the review we got later was glowing in the extreme. Thanks Matty, absolute star as ever.

    Then, the gig I'd been looking forward to so much. Passed on to me by Martin ( Funkymook ), so many thanks to him. 50thh Birthday in the Emmerdale Studio Experience, and by heavens it was an experience! It was the first disco they'd had in there, and it needed a lot of ingenuity to get it in safely. Only one power socket, placed in the most awkward part of the " room". It's just a warehouse, so the walls are plywood, and most of the power is above. Added to which, they're matt black, so not helpful to lights. However, I'd taken exactly the right lights. The Hadrons provided wash colour, an Equinox Kaleido XP was the centrepiece, and two Crossfire XPs lit the corners of the triangular space.
    The music was almost all 60's, and guests and DJ were in fabulous fancy dress. I enjoyed myself immensely, and so did guests and client.

    Following weekend only had a cancellation, and the week after saw me back in Lincolnshire for yet another 50th birthday for a lovely lady and her family. Small village hall, everything done by the family, who were an absolute pleasure to deal with. Short requests list, remit was to play music from 50s, 60s Motown and sing along. Simples.
    Early start, early finish, and all the family were full of praise for me. Packed up and driving home at 11pm, and it was all going so well, until I made a wrong choice. Came to a roundabout, and the choices were take the motorway and do a Supertramp ( take the long way home! Nearly twenty miles, in fact ) or Humber Bridge, the way I'd come. Knowing that the worst of the roads were behind me, I chose the bridge, and found out they'd closed the bit of road I needed to get home! The diversion took me back to the bridge, and I headed off on a longer way home. The next attempt found that they'd closed the road further along, and eventually I admitted defeat and went across country, by a route which wouldn't have been a bad one if I had taken it initially. Ah well.

    Monday saw my Bark gig, 18th party in a local rugby club I've played a few times recently. Started slowly, and eventually requests trickled in. I had no idea what they wanted musically, until a few of the requests started to get traction, and it appeared we had two choices. Indie/Rock or profanity riddled 80bpm excrement. As is often the case, once you get a few good requests, you begin to see what you can add, and all in all, we had a great night. Hugs and kisses from the client, and a short ride home.

    So, that's a run of good gigs, and next come four FFN gigs, so currently, I'm a happy bunny. If I can get the new Mauis soon, I'll be even happier.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  7. #4637
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Eeeeeee.it's good to be back

    Yup - my first gig of 2018 was a wedding....on a Wednesday night.

    This was one of my more regular haunts, one of those which either rewards you with a very full dance floor or punishes you with only a handful of guests left by the end of the night (the last visit proved the latter with only a dozen left after the first dance).

    This one was going to be different though.....we had a big surprise to pull off between us (and believe me...it's cost sleep!)
    I took a call from the groom several weeks ago telling me of this surprise, and by the way I'll leave you to liaise with everyone else on how it's going to work.

    Okey-dokey.

    The surprise? Mrs Bride when younger was a backing singer for a Blues Brothers tribute act (can you see where this is going?) See the red flags? Wayne can!

    Turns out the groom has managed to track these fella's down after a lot of detective work.

    OK - telephone number of one of the "brothers" in hand I make a phone call. Turns out he's a really nice chap who's actually retired from doing the act in favour of being a wedding photographer....and a damned fine one to boot looking at his portfolio!

    Arrangements were made that to keep the element of surprise and have as little additional kit as possible, he'd plug his mixer into one of the channels on my desk and I'd control the final levels. Until I arrived tonight and they're humping their own PA out of the back of the car....oh well.

    So, a mass of speakers and a huge, ancient Carlsboro desk later, everything's in, my own kit included and we're standing watching our breath condense in the dance marquee. The idea is that Mr & Mrs will do their first dance and then somehow.....we need to do a big surprise reveal. Sounds simple, but things like props and mic stands were also involved and needed to kept hidden from view until the time was right.

    Let's wheel in the official TOGs then. I have an idea. First dance over (it's a long one at 5 1/2 minutes and guests will naturally come onto the floor), let's do a group photo with the guests between the bride and the stage. What a stroke of genius (when the TOGs finally came around to the idea).

    And you know what.....they did the shot, the intro to the Blues Brother's act came on their PA and I had a huge lump in my throat as Mrs Bride turned around and saw her old friends there in full get up....just ready to roll for one more time!

    And they were good too!

    There was only one problem.....'twas a tough crowd. 150 bodies were in tonight, 80 of them had been there all day and started "tucking in" at 10am. They may have peaked just a tad too early. As good as the tribute act was, getting anyone dancing was a real struggle.

    Oh heck!

    Finally they finish to rapturous applause and it's time for yours truly to take to the stage. No playlists of any kind (including what not to play)....it's open season

    Except it never really got going. I had people on the floor all night, sometimes up to about 20, but nothing really got them throwing shapes. I had the inevitable nagging for Man's Not Hot (and you can guess what that did!).

    When I say it never really got going....it did.....on the last song of the night
    One very large gentleman was insisting I turned the last track off (despite this one being the groom's request) and play Summer of '69....or else. Sorry chap...no can do and there won't be "one more" either, because it's not allowed. I honestly thought he was going to flatten me. As are the rules of the house, I dutifully sent him off to find the DM (she was with several male staff so not all bad), who he then promptly called a hard nosed cow!

    You just don't get the quality of guests anymore.

    I seem to be getting busy again. I've got a last minute WMC gig on Saturday (could be "interesting"....I haven't done one of those since before I retired the last time round), and I've just secured a nice little brasserie '80s night for the following week for a nice price and very minimal kit! (and unlike the previous commentator, I'll be taking Maui 28s with me on that one because I know how to use them correctly )

  8. #4638
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    (and unlike the previous commentator, I'll be taking Maui 28s with me on that one because I know how to use them correctly )
    Just like I know how to use the ban button, Sonny.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  9. #4639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    profanity riddled 80bpm excrement.
    So any old ing then!

  10. #4640
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default I know they were there...I could hear them breathing

    OK - a break from the norm for me tonight. A last minute booking for a local-ish WMC.

    It's been years since I've worked in one of these places (about 25 years in fact), but it was an empty date in the diary and the van's just cost a fortune to keep on the road for another year so hey-ho!

    The brief, play the sort of music that'll get the members dancing.

    Okey dokey....how hard can it be?

    Well...it would have been a damned site easier if more than 20 turned up in a hall which will easily hold 5 times that number if not more.
    Requests trickled in....all for and at one point I had 6 people on the dance floor for a couple of tracks.

    To be fair, I had a couple of the younger ones (late 20's) ask why I wasn't there more often because they loved the "old school" stuff I was playing (I'm finding people are swaying more towards the older music again at the moment), and the management were very apologetic for the lack of guests. Apparently it's normally packed but there are two other sizeable halls in town and both of them had a DJ with various parties going on as well.


    It was actually refreshing though. No strict playlists/do not playlists, lighting (including the Swarms which I dusted off before leaving home) on basic S2L master/slave mode all night and very relaxed....no pressure whatsoever. I even spent a good amount of time chatting to the people there during the evening.

    Now to start planning next week's shenanigans in a very nice brasserie local to me who are hosting an 80s night next Saturday....that one's looking like a lot of fun

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