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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4761
    Senior Member DJWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    First dance dispatched, not to shoddy with the number of guests who joined in and stayed for the second dance (a dedication to bride's mum and sisters)....and then they found the outside terrace
    Had the same thing happen on Saturday at a surprise 40th in a very nice Golf Club about 20 miles away.

    Lovely venue surrounded by the grounds and nice on the inside, too.

    There's a very nice balcony/terrace out the front and everyone was there all night. (Can't blame them - making the most of it).

    The lady who booked us come over around 9PM and said "We should of got you to set-up outside. Want to finish at 11 before my husband drinks too much in the sun?".

    It got to about 10PM and we got a few up playing the usual suspects, Ladies Nights, Raining Men etc then packed down at 11.
    Nathan.

  2. #4762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Friday, I had the honour of being road crew for Mr David Jackson. Dave, ( to give him his normal title ) does a school prom near Norton each year, and likes to push the boat out gear wise for them. This requires him to hire a bigger vehicle to shift the kit, so he decided this year to cut his workload by enlisting my help, gear, and van. Wise move, as we didn't so much push the boat out as launch a cruise liner!!

    Dave brought playout and associated paraphernalia, as well as a Yamaha sub. I chipped in by bringing a DSB, filling the truss with lights, and chucking the 15" Proels in, which sounded sweet with the sub. We had two Hadrons above us, an EFX500, two lasers and two Crossfire XPs. Loaded for bear, we were!

    Sadly, we were graced with fewer guests than Dave expected, and what with hot weather, photos, awards, pizza, and a chocolate fountain, it was a somewhat haphazard affair. The guests were lively enough, and greeted many songs with delight. It was good to see another DJ at work, and while he does some things differently to me, we share a lot of common ground. It was a pleasant change just to rock up as Road Crew, and watch someone else do the hard work. I had a ball, just running the lights, taking requests, and helping out a bit.

    Re lights, two things sprang to mind last night.
    1) The EFX 500 is a mighty beast, and still beats the out of most LED effects.
    2) Why hasn't someone started putting 100w LED power inside the blasted things, and cutting the weight? Would sell like hot cakes, I reckon.


    Huge thanks to Peter for the assistance on this one, I remember being told last year that they expected this one to be the biggest for some time,
    So it was somewhat of a surprise to only see enough seating for 60.

    VERY HOT and sticky :- the room didn't do justice to the lighting but the few that did turn up did seem to enjoy themselves and I received a nice thank you email from the school.
    Home for 11.30pm and a pleasant evening with the oldest Rodie, Lighting engineer, Chocolate fountain de-rigger and Pizza eating man I know
    Mental note Must remember rubber mat for Sub when on a wooden floor, otherwise it tends to try to escape!


    Wedding at my usual venue Saturday night ---(more on that later)
    Last edited by Excalibur; 10-07-2018 at 12:10 PM.

  3. #4763
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Well that was a LOT harder than it needed to be

    Firstly let me say, I spent last night in the middle of a field with 50 Scouts on our annual group camp and was woken up at 4am by a stray cat trying to get into various tents.....it was always going to be a long day.

    So - to this evening's wedding. When things go wrong - they REALLY do go wrong for some reason.

    Turned on the main playout to update the music library this afternoon.....nothing. Not even the usual startup chime that Mac's are known for. Turns out I needed to re-seat the memory and all was well (but left me feeling worried just in case it should happen this evening)

    Bear in mind, I'm already running on fumes from a lack of sleep last night, I got to a local venue tonight for a lovely older couple's wedding reception and set up as usual. Sound check done....all OK....until I try to fade from one deck to the next on the Denon MC7000. VDJ is happily saying it's playing out....the speakers say otherwise.

    Luckily I always carry the MC6000 around with me so out it came (it seemed tiny!) and music was fine.

    Let's turn on the lighting then. Erm...nope - that's not happening either. Turns out the 3-5 pin converter my DMX dongles use and is literally the ONLY thing I don't have a spare, of has decided one of the wires is going to come unsoldered. That's another job for tomorrow then. As much as I hate doing it, my only option was Sound 2 Light for the evening. Not ideal, but I think I got away with nobody noticing

    And then we come to the party itself. 7:30 start, and background until 10:45....it took that long for the buffet and dessert to be eaten, cake to be cut, gifts to be given....I was on background duties for most of the evening whilst the guests talked amongst themselves.

    BUT...when then started.....

    The flavour of the evening was always going to be 60s music (that's what the bride and groom had asked for and to be fair....they and their guests were all of that sort of vintage). Now after the 70th I did a couple of weeks ago....I was worried. I needn't have been because they were well and truly up for a party.

    Now bear in mind I had a little over an hour....I went from lots of 60s, to a smattering of 80s, ACDC and Sandstorm (no....there wasn't a lot of logic to the flow but it somehow worked).

    You know what....after being awake for so many hours (22 at the present moment in time), I actually NEEDED a party like that where it was slow, relaxed and easy going. I thoroughly enjoyed that one and it made me realise that it's not necessarily all about the amount of time we spend banging out the party classics at high volume.....sometimes background is more than enough.

    Righty-ho....time for some sleep now. I've got an hour's drive early doors to be back at the camp site where I left my Scoutlings this morning to finish off the camp and bring everything home..

    No rest for the wicked. I just hope they've save me some marshmallows!

  4. #4764
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default One all, no extra time, no penalties.

    Two differing gigs this weekend, Friday a 13th Party with the usual " too cool for school " playlist. Which songs brought them running in from the blazing sunshine and green fields to pack the dancefloor? Macarena and Cha Cha Slide. I spent most of the time effectively on my own, and regarded keeping them in the room for three consecutive songs a result. Hard work for little return.


    Saturday, a 40th Wedding anniversary at a golf club I've played before. This one has some of the nicest staff you could meet, very pleasant. Sadly, not terribly well up on spatial awareness. Due to the placement of the temporary dancefloor, the disco was set up not actually facing it, and the cake table went in front of the bar! Had they not put the floor rammed tight up to the end wall, I'd have been facing it, so would my lights, I'd have faced the entire room instead of across it with guests either side, and the cake table could have gone where I was placed. Perfect.

    Still, making the best of a bad job, the Hadrons went atop the poles, and were pointed wherever I wanted with ease, and the Mauis gave good coverage. The CD I was handed without prior consultation had the required track ripped and put on a stick, to play successfully.
    We had a sit down meal first, which took up time, a speech or two, a poem, a Scottish Dance by a splendid young lady, and with twenty minutes to go, everyone remembered the tracks they must hear before leaving. Shame their memories didn't work in the four hours earlier, really.

    We had guests from round the world ( well Scotland and America, anyway ) and the Scottish guest gently berated me for playing The Best, and said I'd have to atone for my error by playing Sunshine on Leith. We had quite a few tracks for the Caledonian contingent, including Scottish Soldier! I was thanked at the end for playing them, which was nice.

    All in all, a good night, which could have been superb. At least my bargain basement kit all worked as intended when I plugged it in, so I suppose that puts me way ahead of poor Wayne.

    ( There you go, that's tempting fate, isn't it? )
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  5. #4765
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    At least my bargain basement kit all worked as intended when I plugged it in, so I suppose that puts me way ahead of poor Wayne.

    ( There you go, that's tempting fate, isn't it? )
    Weirdly, fetched my MC7000 from my lock up tonight, plugged it in and hey-presto....it's all working as it should be!
    Nothing changed on the laptops, nothing changed on the controller, in fact nothing changed anywhere

    Just need to sort the lighting problem out now (soldering iron is already warming up), and we're good to go again.

    Saturday night does prove the need for a good backup solution or three though

  6. #4766
    MDD Supporter Imagine's Avatar
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    Default And breathe....

    OK - after the trials and tribulations of the wedding at the weekend (which received mahusive Faceache likes and feedback despite the problems)....

    Tonight was a regular year 6 leaver's do in my local primary. I've done this one since Baden Powell was a lad...and it just keeps getting betterer! . I actually look forward to this one (plus their Xmas and Easter discos). The energy levels are just immense!

    EVERYTHING WORKED for starters. I've rebuilt the offending MacBook (worked flawlessly), got three new 5 pin to 3 pin cables for the DMX, and the trusty MC7000 played ball.

    Being very bright daylight though (the party was from 5pm to 6pm), I took the WashFX2's and the Intimidator 305's. Running at 100% brightness, they soon blotted out the sun!

    These gigs are getting weird though. I'm contracted to a couple of local schools (I don't as a rule do too many as the kids like songs with sweary words and the teachers don't....it's a minefield at times!).

    Tonight though....it could have been your average wedding reception!

    Requests included such songs as:

    * We will rock you by Queen
    * Livin' on a prayer by Bon Jovi
    * Mr Brightside by the Killers (I wasn't allowed to follow up with the usual Sex On Fire )
    * The Conga by Black Lace
    * The Final Countdown by Europe
    * Take On Me by A-ha
    * The Grease Megamix
    * Jump Around by House of Pain
    * Don't Stop Believing by Journey (this was the last song of the evening and was apparently part of their Xmas performance...to see 100+ kids waving their arms in the air and singing to it at the top of their lungs brought a real lump to the throat!)

    These kids aren't old enough to know these tracks!!!!!! But my Gawd - they bounced around in 30+ degrees of heat to all of them (I was soaked, and the windows of the school hall were dripping in condensation!)

    And the usual suspects like the Cha Cha Slide and YMCA also put in an appearance. In actual fact for once at one of these gigs...I played nothing older than about 5 years old...certainly nothing in the current Top 40!

    I'm lead to believe that a computer game has something to do with this trend. I'm not a big fan of gaming (computers have sooooo many other more important uses), but if they're going to promote proper music...I'm all for them

    That's it for me now for a couple of weeks (in fact THREE weekends until 6th August), by choice!

    I'm starting to feel burned out...I'm on holibobs in the Peak District again at the end of the month and then have a very full and lucrative August waiting for me.

    It's time for a short breather and several bottles of beverage made from grapes

  7. #4767
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default One down, three to go.

    First one didn't bode well. Wedding in a lovely hotel, for a lovely " over 21 " bride and groom. Low numbers, sweltering heat, early finish planned, and the phone call to the venue to check set up indicated the familiar " are you ready yet " set up during the room turn round.

    Never trust a venue. Having arrived early, as is my wont, it became apparent that the room was empty, which tallied with what the bride had told me in advance would happen. Cue a lovely leisurely set up, with no rushing, and the full Equinox booth instead of the Micromax. Times were 7.30pm to 11pm, and if we made it to midnight, I got more money. Venue staff and I weren't placing huge bets on me getting extra wonga, with only forty guests. Wrong again.

    Meal had taken place in another room, and guests didn't come to me until after eight, when we had the cake cut, and first dance as the start of the night. There were request cards on the tables, and they were returned with a somewhat " eclectic " mix of tracks. A smattering of folk took to the floor, with the bride wanting to dance to everything. The word she kept using about the whole day was " Amazing ". Buffet put a crimp in the dancing, and I was holding back some of the banker requests. I was invited to the buffet, and it was lovely.

    We sailed past 11pm, and had the whole room on the floor for New York, New York. Cue round of applause, and a happy but bemused and slightly richer DJ. Delighted bride, and happy guests, so job done.

    Netball young persons tonight.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  8. #4768
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Part the second. Still on track.

    A learning process, and perhaps a rewarding one.

    Diary filler for a netball presentation night, far side of Hull. The learning process is that if I'd listened to the sat nav, it's possible to get to the far side of Hull without going through town. I'll remember that for another time, definitely. Arrived at the Golf Club to be greeted with The North Face Of The Eiger! Steel fire escape, anyway, and my but it was a big one! Fairly shallow though, so workable.

    Got into the room early, and set up at leisure, in a nice room. Stage was full of clutter, so I set up just in front of it, on the dance floor. Added a CrossfireXP to the Hadrons, in place of the "Just Married" gobo projector, which the bride had loved the night before. One complete wall was glass, so until ten pm, my lights were fairly useless.

    We had guests from under sevens, to late teens, and parents and family. Once presentation and buffet were over, the under sevens appeared to want every Little Mix track ever recorded! Probably the oldest track I played was Flo Rida-Low, so you can guess the rest. Evening went as well as I could have hoped for, and the lights were nice when the house lights went down. I love those Hadrons. Guests drifted away staedily, and I packed up half an hour early, which was probably just right, under the circumstances.

    Then the possible reward. Bar manager came up for a card, having been impressed by a DJ who didn't deafen her staff, and stayed in the room to press play, rather than leaving the rig on autopilot, and going out for a smoke! Some folk are easily pleased, eh?

    Well, two down, two to go. I don't know what's more frightening. A bunch of marauding under sevens, or a bunch of squaddies dressed as marauding Vikings? Will keep you posted.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  9. #4769
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Default Part the third. The ego can stand a few more like this.

    Haven't had one like that for a while. My but they're good for building you up after some lacklustre ones.

    On paper, and initially on site, it wasn't too promising. Local Army camp Officers' Mess having a Valhalla evening. Viking costumes, food and entertainment, very popular in Jorvik. ( York. Viking name. Bang goes Rule 23 again. )
    I arrived early, and was dismayed/apprehensive about access. Couldn't get direct to the main room, but got a Micromax on wheels, and the Rock'n'Roller into a room nearby well in advance, and settled down with the tablet and free WiFi. Was due to get access at 10pm, and soon after 9pm it looked like we might be ahead of schedule. Cue one DJ straining at the leash, wanting to get the kit up in a short turn round.

    No such luck, 10.05 was when I could bring kit in, and it was frantic. I was promised 45 minutes setting up time, and told them I might be an hour. Not all the tables were removed from my stage area, so that meant a rejig of my plans. The floor had been covered in straw, and when they moved the tables, that revealed cardboard. Moving that revealed a fabulous black dancefloor that I've not seen before. Looked like huge bathroom tiles, really nice.

    I got music running quickly, and added lights as I could. A crossfire XP was soon running, and the two Hadrons followed shortly after, under DMX control. Don't like using them without, now. I think I was running inside half an hour, and guests trickled back in. This was where I was worried. It's one thing having all night to see what they like musically, but when you're thrown in at the deep end so to speak, and asked to make them dance from track one, well............................................

    No problem. I'd seized the chance for Werewolves of London while setting up, and they danced to that!!! Two more tracks, and a request for Whitney- Dance with Somebody filled the floor. After that, it was a prize every time. One of those nights when customers requests are all eminently sensible, and every one of those you play brings another of yours to mind. That night when every new track is greeted with whoops and cries, and you reckon Tiesto or my doppelganger Giorgio Moroder couldn't do better. One gentleman, conspicuous by being the only bloke my age in the room, came up and said he hadn't recognised anything I played, but he'd liked them all. He then asked for loads of Kylie.

    A lovely lady informed me that she was an 80s girl, which coupled with Kylie, set us off with the Blue Monday mashup of Can't Get You Out Of My Head, some Flock of Seagulls, Echo Beach, Danger Zone, Karma Chameleon, and round to six plus minutes of the real Blue Monday. You know how sound is a funny thing, and you often hear snippets from the floor, well Wonderwall floated up, and I said it was too early, so I played She's Electric. Managed to get Bloodhound Gang- Bad Touch in, always brings a smile to my ears.

    Well, the time just flew by, and my 80s lady asked if she could sing House Of The Rising Sun, as it would elevate her to Goddess-like status in the Mess. I bunged on the Karaoke track, and she was really quite good, which was a bonus. She'd obviously done it before, as she had no words to look at. A younger lady asked for Angels to finish, and by this time we'd already hit 1am. With no caretakers, bar managers or keyholders breathing down my neck, and a full dance floor, I was more relaxed than normal, and played Wonderwall, as I'd promised, with Angels to finish.

    I'd got the lights low as well, and it looked great. I finished to applause, and the obligatory " One more". Well don't tell anyone, but tonight, they got " one more". AC/DC Thunderstruck was the first shout from the floor I heard, and was perfect. Crossfire on sound to light going mental, and fader seven up on the Hadrons, ( the " bit of everything that's in there, with lots of strobe " fader), Mauis round to eleven, it was surreal.

    Yes Jim, playing Thunderstruck, at 1am to fifty drunken squaddies is one of the reasons I make no apologies for telling a prospective client that this may not be proof that I'll be perfect for the 50th Wedding Anniversary at the Golf Club. ( Even though I will be )
    I'd already got my exit strategy planned, and it was only a short trip to the front door to pack the van in a leisurely, relaxed and thoroughly happy frame of mind.

    You remember the elderly Kylie fan? Real HiFi buff. Was blown away by the Mauis, and thought they beat the out of a couple of cheap boxes being thrashed to death. That added to my warm feeling of the night. An unexpectedly great night, and tonight's teen party looks unlikely to top it, but who knows? At least I'm still going, so that's a brilliant start.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk


  10. #4770
    Senior Member Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Rare triple header last week:

    Thursday: Venue over in Dalkeith. It wasn't a NaD gig but for some weird reason about 50% of the very few NaD gigs I book seem to be here. Great couple who I'd spoke to on the phone but never met. She was Aussie to lots of her family and friends travelled over and I got to play a lot of stuff for them. Woke up on Friday morning to an e-mail from DJEP - they'd already left my feedback. Also received an e-mail enquiry from one of the Aussie guests who is getting married here later in the year so all good.

    Friday: Really nice venue I've never been in before. Very nice couple and although she wanted pretty much nothing but dance music, it turned out brilliant. The dreaded 1am finish wasn't an issue and I couldn't get away at the end for people wanting to thank me. Got a text from a fellow DJ on Saturday, "just seen you pop up on my pals facebook from last night's wedding" I grew up next to Gary.

    He send me over a pic someone took of me doing my first dance intro. I've had a little mess around with it and I might stick it on my website as I think it looks quite cool:

    Name:  37634031_1997699783581678_8200822507876384768_n.jpg
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    Saturday: Another 1am finish in a venue. I turned up and as I was waiting to get access in the smoking area I noticed quite a few people who were already well on their way to being drunk (this was about 5:30...) it was by far the drunkest crowd by volume I've had in years and whilst it wasn't a terrible gig, it wasn't particularly enjoyable either.

    By the end of the night you only had the proper hardcore element left and they were absolutely steaming.

    Not much in the way of requests all night which I always take as a sign of a job done well but by the end of it I was getting all the "GET SOME BANGING TUNES ON MAN, GET THE HEAVY DANCE ON.!!!" with 15 minutes to go.

    This was despite me bashing out nearly an hour of full on dance stuff at the bride's request earlier on. It actually cleared away a fair few of the more sober guests, I assume they saw the writing on the wall.

    The bride came up at one point and said: 'can you play chic or nile rodgers, whoever that is. My aunt wants to dance.'

    'Is she the lady over there?' I asked.

    'Yeah why?'

    'She asked me about an hour ago, I've played 2 chic tunes and a couple of Nile Rodgers songs and she's not got up to dance and I've not got many left that would work.'

    'Ah ok, well if you could maybe play one more that would be great.'

    I drop I'm Coming Out or something like that and the woman who has in truth been pestering me relentlessly for these tunes gets her stuff and leaves half way through the song!

    That annoyed me a little bit because I got the impression the bride was screwing the nut a bit but what can you do.

    They weren't belligerent to me or anything which I was quite surprised to avoid but overall it was just not a very nice atmos, you know that vibe that anything could kick off in an instant...

    Cue time to pack up. I usually work the room for 5-10 minutes at the end of a gig making sure everyone had a good night and that but with it being late finish and only the couple and their drunkest pals left I said my goodbyes to the bride and groom then just got straight down to packing up.

    Glad I didn't bother engaging with the crowd because as I was packing up I had (and there was only maybe 30 people left by the end:
    - a man screaming at his daughter in front of everyone: 'you're not ing going to any party, you're coming home with me and your mother' leaving the girl in tears.
    - another couple where the guy was blanking his mrs whilst she shouted and screamed at him for 20 minutes solid.
    - Some random friend of a friend who had passed out and no one could work out where to send him home
    - The token crying "I've lost my bag" woman
    and to top it off as I'm getting my stuff in the car after a pain of a load out I hear an argument round the front of the building.

    Next minute a girl runs by me in tears:

    'Are you OK?'

    "NO IT'S MY ING BOYFRIEND HE'S GOING IN A TAXI WITH HIS FRIENDS AND LEAVING ME."

    'k, do you have a lift? I've no space but I can phone you a taxi if you need one.'

    'NO MY FRIEND IS COMING TO PICK ME UP. HERE HE'S COMING, JUST STAND HERE AND DON'T SAY ANYTHING.'

    Not in the least bit interested in engaging with their stupid little mind games as the guy saunters up looking like he's about to start on me I take a step forward:

    'I'd stop there pal because if you open your mouth to me I'll drop you. If she came with you, you get her home, you don't leave a drunk lassie stuck in the middle of nowhere - right?'


    Guy shuffled around looking a bit sheepish - 'eh, aye, aye I was just coming to get her.'


    They toddle off and as I pull out of the car park I see them and note the screaming match has continued. I was pretty glad to get home.

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