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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4721
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    I had an outdoor gig on Saturday, working with four good friends who form an excellent covers band.

    This was for Barlborough NHS, near Worksop and set in the field behind a local pub. Timed to run from 5pm until 11pm (and very strict noise regulations mean NO OVERTIME), the booking was via the band's singer's wife who works there. If the band are ever asked to recommend a disco, they always say me, but usually I am tied up at the hotel venue, but, for once, I was available (at least I was when they first asked me).

    So I decided to arrive nice and early to do site visit as neither I nor the band had been told what to expect. I did get a message at around 11am telling me there wasn't much space. That was an understatement. A small marquee with a chessboard dance floor (more later) and enough space for me or the band, but not both! As I was there early, I struggled and got the basic set up done in one corner and managed to bend the walls slightly to get some elevation on the lights. Some, I angled upwards onto the marquee ceiling.

    The band duly arrived about half an hour later and were pleased I'd got there when I did and had worked out what to do. Even better, the weather was set fair, so we unzipped the rear panel and opened it up, so the keyboard player and the drummer were actually outside of the tent on the grass!!! Their speakers were also ouutside, making things much less cramped.

    Unfortunately, the field was on a slope and the ground was very uneven. So much so that the chess board dancefloor did its own dance as soon as anyone walked on it. Also, gravity dictated that dancers would gradually get closer and closer, so the band put some monitor speakers on the floor in front of them to create a barrier.

    As time went on, the show progressed nicely. We were all invited to partake in the pub cooked burgers, hot dogs, chips with salad and an ice cream van available service free ice cream for afters.

    A 30 minute slot at 8pm for me playing dancey stuff went well and the band took over at 8.30 for an hour. By heck, they were loud! A bit later, I noticed that the chess board dancefloor was starting to show some movement. Serious movement and the gaffa tape that they had used to try to stick it to the carpet flooring was sadly lacking. 6 inch nails would have been better!

    The band got told off by the pub landlord for being too loud as two of the neighbours had complained. By the time I came back on, three chairs had been strategically placed on the dance floor crazy paving to stop people from falling into the great abyss below.

    Indeed once the band had shifted their gear, most people preferred to dance in the space they had vacated.

    All went well with all the usual cheesy stuff, apart from one bloke who wanted Duke Dumont and wouldn't believe me when I told him that I had played it. No you haven't he said, I've been here all night. Apart from the times I saw you wander off to the main pub for drink replenishment and to the used beer depository.

    11pm came all too quick and I finished just as the clock ticked over. The statutory "one more" chant was repelled with the statutory turning off of sound system and the turning on of house lights. Well, if there were some I would have. Fortunately, there were lights in the tent that meant I wasn't packing up in the dark.

    The poor pub manager then surveyed the wreckage of his dancefloor that he had lovingly bought especially for the occasion at a cost of £1,000. I offered to take it off his hands for fifty quid and he thought I was joking.

    So ended a very good night with a quick pack up, until I realised that I had forgotten to pack one of my tables in first (I usually use the hotel's tables) and had to redesign the whole back of the car so I could slide it in along the side later.

    A 30 mile drive back up the M1 / M18 later and I rolled in about 0045. The drive will stand me in good stead for the future as things are going to be a bit different soon. More news at the end of June.

  2. #4722
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattydj50 View Post
    A 30 mile drive back up the M1 / M18 later and I rolled in about 0045. The drive will stand me in good stead for the future as things are going to be a bit different soon. More news at the end of June.
    You little tease! I'm keeping uncharacteristically as I have a bit of inside info.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  3. #4723
    Shakermaker Promotions Shakermaker Promotions's Avatar
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    Hope all is ok?

    I have decided to take the rest of the year off from DJing.
    Despite the good gigs and great feedback, something inside me is making me think the worst. I don't know why, but I've lost confidence. It's probably because of what has happened to me this year, I don't know?

    I have something booked for this neck of the woods in September. It's another 80's night at my local so I may just do that, but any enquiries I get up here will be passed on. Anything down in Hampshire and I'll be contacting the usual suspects!

  4. #4724
    MDD Supporter theoloyla's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that. Hope you soon feel good again.
    Banana Power Travelling Discotheque - legendary entertainment since 1966
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  5. #4725
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default That's better :)

    After a couple of weeks off the road on holiday and getting used to wearing deaf-aids...tonight was a "not a wedding reception" party.

    I've done several of these recently....bride and groom get married during the week in a quiet ceremony then have a knees up on the Saturday with none of the formalities associated with a full-blown reception. I enjoy these A LOT!

    So tonight's shenanigans then....

    Nice local Sports and Social Club I work in quite often with a strict 11:30 turn off (they have the shortest license in the area and the licensing officer lives right opposite their front door....there's no leeway)...not always a bad situation though

    Party was for around 70 people, a good mix of ages etc....and big drinkers! This is going to be a walk in the park thinks I. WRONG!!!!!
    A smattering of 70s disco got a few of the older ones up....but nothing much was going to get a lot of action - it was looking like one of those nights.

    How wrong could I be.....it was just a slow burner.

    I'd thrown the kitchen sink into the arena by about 10pm, and then one of the lads who'd been standing at the bar got brave (well...they were several pints and jaegers into their night) decided some S Club 7 would be an appropriate request.

    Kerchinng!!!!

    For the last 90 minutes, there was no stopping them. Requests finally came in quicker than I could possibly deal with them, the floor was healthy....it was fun (and horribly hot!)

    Last song of the night was one I haven't played in absolutely ages - Mr Beck's rendition of Hi Ho Silver Lining.....I'd forgotten about that particular gem

    Lots of handshakes, fist bumps and even a 5* Google Review followed whilst I packed away, happy that I'd done a good job and got there eventually. The bride was over the moon - lots of hugs

    Time for a well earned beer now. The next couple really ARE going to be a walk in the park. Next week is an 80s night ala the Retro Roadshow, and the week after is a 75th with music from the 50s to the 80s.....what's not to like?

  6. #4726
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default I think I may become a DJ

    Another awesome Retro night in the bag

    Tonight's shenanigans was a 50th about 15 miles from my front door which came off the back of a 50th I did a year ago to the day (in the same village!).

    So, it's the Retro setup and loads of 80s and cheese then.....oh yussss!

    I'd been warned by a colleague of mine who works in this particular venue quite a bit that I wouldn't be needing the hazer (don't usually use that on the retro show anyway), and to take small speakers due to a nightmare sound limiter....it sort of put a downer onto the evening before I even got there (I needn't have worried and won't go into details in public....the venue manager was a guest at this one and didn't want any interruptions to the sound. For once, Red Light didn't spell danger )

    It was a slow burner. It's been hot, only half of the expected guests turned out (including one of my brides for next year).....but we got there eventually.

    What was nice is to play a track which only works in this area (specifically anywhere near Peterborough). It's a track by Len Boone called Love Won't Be Denied and it was really popular in the Peterborough nightclubs (particularly Reflex) during the 80s (completely by accident...a local DJ found the 12" single in a London market, played it, and the rest is history). It's even got it's own dance called the D&B shuffle (after the Dolphin and Bull pub where the DJ worked). It's fascinating to watch!

    Actually getting hold of a copy of this one is like searching for rocking horse excretia! BUT....if you don't have it...you're a DJ!

    The rest of the night consisted of cheese, yet more cheese, and unfortunately.....Oops upside your head (groan). However, the punters were happy as lots of handshakes and fist bumps proved. Yet again, I'm apparently a brilliant DJ who knows how to run a party, read the floor and play the right songs in the right order. It's official because that's what the birthday boy said!

    Even had a good natter with next year's bride (it was her 50th last year and where this gig came from and apparently....people are still talking about it!). Apparently the order of booking things for her big day next year were: 1. Reception venue, 2. ME!, 3. The Church.....shucks!

    Her reception is to be....yup....the retro show! (no fancy first dance lighting there then unless I convert to LED strips inside the boxes)

    Tomorrow - the local primary funday where yours truly provides announcements, music, PA for the recorder group and all sorts of other things - all in exchange for beer. Always good to give back to the community though (the PTA do really good things with the money they raise so this one's one of the two freebies I do each year...the other being for my Scout group)

    Right - time for some kip. It's 3am and I'm back on the road at 10am!

  7. #4727
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    Nice one, Wayne. Your Len Boone is a bit like Penny Arcade. You either get lines of dancers dashing up and down the room, or total apathy.

    Well I had an interesting night, in many ways. I had an FFN enquiry ages ago, and as far as I could tell, it had never passed the enquiry stage. I took a booking for a birthday party in Sheffield, and that cancelled, due to illness. While chatting to the FFN, the 23rd came up as a definite booking, which led to a lot of checking of old emails, but I had no trace at my end. Still, I had a booking, they had a DJ, so everybody happy, eh?

    Well, it gets curiouser. Friday night, I get a phone call from my local golf club, who have started to give me work again, a couple of bookings so far. They asked if I was booked for Saturday night, and were surprised when I said " yes, but not for you "! Again, I've been getting texts from them, and there isn't one asking for the 23rd. Cue one golf club seeking a DJ for an 18th at short notice.


    Anyway, the gig. It's a regular FFN venue, which ought to be a doddle, lovely access, low ceiling, small room. Sadly the punters can be a tad " Boisterous", cough, cough. What ought to be a micromax and Maui gig has become a DSB and stack of speakers ratchet strapped together. I've got a wanted ad out for a system specially for these ones, need some dinky tops to go on horns on the DSB uprights.

    We'd lost twenty punters in the 24 hours before the gig, yet the thirty left made up for it by behaving like a hundred and thirty. Absolute stars, and by the parameters I'm using, well behaved. ( apart from one wit who kept wanting a shout out about Will Griggs ) I had a list of requests written out on the hoof by them, some old songs I haven't played for a while, some anthems, and finished fifteen minutes early to let them go into town. Handshakes and congratulations all round, and one surprised and relieved DJ. It's a funny old game at times.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  8. #4728
    MDD Supporter Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Is Will Griggs still a thing? I thought everyone had moved on from that by now.

    An easy wedding for me last night - we had a ceilidh band in - and as we know they can go one of 2 ways. It went the way of being a runaway success. The caller was the best I'd ever seen & the band were tight as.. a very tight thing timing wise (I know, cos I was tapping their tempo into my lights ever number & they stayed locked to the lights for the whole thing).. and the dancing was a joy to behold. I can't do structured dances like that - any more than 4 moves to remember & I end up looking like Mr Bean

    Kick-off didn't happen til just after 8.30pm & the pre-prepared first dance mashup came to me on CD. CD! I ask you! Lucky my backup laptop has an optical drive eh. From there the Ceilidh band took over til 10.30pm.. and from there I worked through the couple's suggestions list (it was a cracking list). Here's how it went down from where I was standing:

    S = suggestion. FD = first dance.

    A little BG music...
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 20:38
    Valerie Amy Winehouse 20:40
    All Night Long (All Night) Lionel Richie 20:44
    The Greatest Show Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya 20:48 S

    01 Track01 20:52 FD

    * CEILIDH *

    Don't Stop Me Now Queen 22:34 S
    Summer Of '69 Bryan Adams 22:38 S
    Livin' On a Prayer Bon Jovi 22:41 S
    Don't You Want me Human League 22:44 S
    Thriller Michael Jackson 22:48 S
    That Don't Impress Me Much (UK dance mix) Shania Twain 22:53 S
    Tragedy Steps 22:56
    Rockin' All Over The World Status Quo 23:00 S
    What Makes You Beautiful One Direction 23:04 S
    It's Like That Run DMC vs Jason Nevis 23:07 S
    I Gotta Feeling The Black Eyed Peas 23:10 S
    5, 6, 7, 8 Steps 23:12 S
    Macarena Los Del Rio 23:15 S
    ...Baby One More Time Britney Spears 23:19 S
    Bring It All Back S Club 7 23:21 S
    Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jet 23:24 S
    Ballroom Blitz Sweet 23:26 S
    Walking On Sunshine Katrina And The Waves 23:28 S
    All the Small Things Blink-182 23:32 S
    Basket Case Green Day 23:34 S
    Mr. Brightside The Killers 23:37 S
    I Predict a Riot Kaiser Chiefs 23:41 S
    Grease Megamix John Travolta & Olivia Newton John 23:45 S
    Reach S Club 7 23:49 S
    I'm A Believer The Monkees 23:53 S
    I Saw Her Standing There Beatles 23:54
    Bohemian Rhapsody Queen 23:57 S
    Truly Madly Deeply Savage Garden 00:03

    The majority of all that was mixed seamlessly too which drew some nice comments at the very end. The last track was a 'one more' I decided I could get away with chucking on - it was the 1st track in the FD mashup. A nice surprise I thought.

    Onwards to prom season - I've got 2 this week at my resi (Wednesday's school have historically been an absolute dream to DJ for - they're up for it, a bit bonkers & a VERY appreciative bunch of kids. Yeah some can be a bit demandey but we quickly show them we don't respond to that don't we, boys & girls LOL). Thursday I'm doing a walk-in prom for an all girls school. Yikes.

  9. #4729
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Nice one, Wayne. Your Len Boone is a bit like Penny Arcade. You either get lines of dancers dashing up and down the room, or total apathy.
    It's a strange one...they either all form a line dance or they don't (thankfully 99% of the time...it works but it has to be in the right area...this particular track is VERY specific to postcodes).

    Trying to get hold of a legal copy is a nightmare! I got mine from a close friend and as I mentioned, dare to do a party in that neck of the woods without it and you're a DJ that's ruined the evening!

    Today then....my local primary school's PTA gig which I've done for too many years to remember now - and they keep getting better.

    I didn't get to bed until 4am on Sunday morning, so was more than a little shattered when I went to load the van today for this one. The heat in these parts (nearly 30 degrees) didn't help my prickly mood much

    For some reason I can't fathom (probably a severe lack of shut-eye), I loaded the Maui 28s into the van instead of the DXR15s which I normally use on this one. OK - neither of these systems are ideally suited to large outdoor events (the 15s work and work well though).

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the coverage from the Maui's. For voice and general background, they coped admirably (they could be heard all over the school field)....on paper....it's a physical impossibility. From where I was standing in a wooden gazebo...they were loud!

    Now, this event includes a LOT of "arena" events such as dance groups, and my most feared...the school choir.

    The PTA don't have the budget for massive microphone and PA systems (I actually do this one free of charge because I get a lot of recommendations from it and most of the kids are members of my Scout group....it's a way of "giving back"). Because it's a freebie....I'm obviously not investing in huge outdoor PA systems (hence the usual use of the DXRs). The school PTA certainly aren't hiring in external PA companies to mic up the school choir....we do the best we can.

    I recently acquired a brace of QTX shotgun mics at a more than reasonable price (the idea being to use them for wedding ceremonies). Plugged directly into the back of the Maui's...the choir for once could actually be heard (I normally use a set of condensers running though a phantom powered desk). I couldn't believe the range on those things and because the Maui's aren't prone to feedback....it worked an absolute treat!

    The dance groups....complete nightmare. NOBODY quite knows before the day how the music for them is to be played. Some provide CDs (no problem....however some provide multiple shiny discs in a random order which may or may not work depending on the amount of finger prints on them), some provide iPads, iPods and phones....all turned up to the bloody max!

    It's more stress than the average wedding - believe me!

    The only way I can and will play from these devices is via a jack-plug in the headphone socket. It's not brilliant, at times it sounds as distorted as hell...but it works. The only complaints were that the Maui's weren't quite loud enough (erm...everything is set to max...they're not going any higher...get used to it).

    As usual, a really high turnout (despite clashing with a load of over-paid prima-donnas kicking a pig's bladder around on a big field somewhere a couple of thousand miles away...apparently it's fairly important!), lots of money raised for a really good cause, a huge sunburn from wandering around with the mic and doing the general announcements....more than worth an afternoon of my time!

    What's not to like?

    That's it now until yet another Retro show next week in my village hall just a mile from my front door where the playlist is strictly 50s to 80s (it's a surprise 75th birthday). Even better....I'm allowed to use haze and I'm picking up a 2nd hand Look Unique hazer (I've been after one for ages!) from a chap that did his last gig on Saturday night for the bargain price of £350 plus the diesel to get to Norwich and back.

    I love this job at times

  10. #4730
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the coverage from the Maui's. For voice and general background, they coped admirably (they could be heard all over the school field)....on paper....it's a physical impossibility. From where I was standing in a wooden gazebo...they were loud!

    That sounds good as my Maui 28's are arriving in an hour or so.

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