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Thread: Good Gig, Bad Gig.

  1. #4811
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkymook View Post
    Or perhaps a tutorial on how to work with clients?
    Nah - no need

    Tonight then was the one where the client had given me a whopping 19 hours and 15 minutes of playlist.....I needn't have worried.
    It was an absolutely AWESOME night with a really good crowd who were up for a party.

    We went off-playlist a bit (especially with an indie/Britpop set towards the end of the evening), we ad-libbed, and we partied....a LOT.
    I've been overdue for a good night in this venue (the last 2-3 have been lacklustre for various reasons....mainly the recent heatwave). I feel sooooo much better for that one

    And for the bit Peter's chomping at the bit to hear....

    I did it with a newly acquired pair of Evolve 50s. This is the venue where I always seem to struggle for sound and tonight the plan was to "in-fill" with a pair of Maui28s half way down the room. A plan which would have worked had I remembered to take my long extension leads

    In the event....they weren't needed. I've had the EV50s at home all week and had a chance to properly EQ them (as opposed to whatever they were set up on when I borrowed a pair the last time I was in this venue). They worked, and worked incredibly well with room to spare. No limits hit this time, crystal clear sound, and all controllable via the phone . I'm a happy bunny and I'm looking forward now to taking them back to the same venue next Saturday night.

  2. #4812

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    So that 40th birthday with a huge playlist...

    Went very nicely actually. Turned out the list was compiled from asking guests & a bit of judicious filtering. Very astute when you look at it from that angle..

    As things went, the venue was a nice modern church hall with a good stage... A photobooth & posh food van were laid on & it was all very nice.

    I took to programming the music but there wasn't even a hint of any reaction until 1030pm or so when suddenly during Candi Staton's You Got The Love the floor filled. From there, kings of tomorrow finally, jon cutler it's yours, shakedown at night, into the likes of armand van helden, tori amos, Technotronic... Urban Cookie Collective, Technotronic, paul Johnson from sandy B via an acapella or two winding up at Aretha Franklin's Pride.. I had a load of fun mixing up a storm with a rammed floor in front of me loving it all. All good things come to an end & I fatally assumed the blokes present were who all the 'indie' requests were for... Not so much as a beard was stroked at any of it & it was the ladies who lapped up mr brightside.

    Repeated a couple of already played tunes by request & called it a night with Robin S. Sadly the 'Jesus clock' wasn't the best timekeeper (5 mins slow) so I allowed an encore.

    https://youtu.be/InI5FaV87iI

    End result a very happy customer... I'm not sure all the party were best pleased at how dance heavy the music was judging from comments I overheard in the bar, but happy customers win every time in my book.

    I got the impression by the end that anyone who was likely to dance had done so & had I been a typical dj left to their own devices it might have been very different. There's nothing worse than the dj trying too hard to get folk dancing when they're not inclined, ramming every 'sure fire' track down their throats & resorting to the (banned under UN sanctions) cheese cannons.

    A very refreshing gig indeed & I'm planning to go after more like it. Maybe without quite so much of a request list next time though eh
    Last edited by Nakatomi; 20-08-2018 at 01:10 PM.

  3. #4813
    Ezekiel 25:17 funkymook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkymook View Post
    Or perhaps a tutorial on how to work with clients?
    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Nah - no need
    Perhaps not for yourself. But we’ve been seeing threads about unworkable client playlists for as long as I can remember, so I think a lot of people would benefit from some basic sales training...matching needs, managing expectations etc. to help avoid clients with no DJ experience dictating to experienced DJ’s.

    My own thoughts are it needs to be done at the pre-booking stage, once the contract is signed you’re pretty much committed to do anything the client says. When responding to an enquiry I state that from my experience the best parties are a combination of the clients requests, my own choices and guest requests on the night - it seems to work for me as I don’t get prescriptive lists.

  4. #4814

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkymook View Post
    Perhaps not for yourself. But we’ve been seeing threads about unworkable client playlists for as long as I can remember, so I think a lot of people would benefit from some basic sales training...matching needs, managing expectations etc. to help avoid clients with no DJ experience dictating to experienced DJ’s.

    My own thoughts are it needs to be done at the pre-booking stage, once the contract is signed you’re pretty much committed to do anything the client says. When responding to an enquiry I state that from my experience the best parties are a combination of the clients requests, my own choices and guest requests on the night - it seems to work for me as I don’t get prescriptive lists.
    I noticed recently that pretty much all my private bookings had reams of music in the online planner. Residency clients.. nothing like as much. Like hardly ever. Maybe a handful of times out of hundreds of bookings there since I started. I can live with those kind of odds. So what was I doing differently? I wracked my brains then looked in my email history.

    Residency clients nearly always come with questions about how I work & seem very happy incorporating their own with guest requests & my input. Private bookings on the other hand.. hey I've got this online planner where you can put requests yada yada.. and I wasn't explaining anything about a) what I find works best (which as we all know is a magical combination of what they want, what their guests want & what we feel will work) or b) how I ENJOY working. So no flipping wonder I was getting playlisted. I think I was even encouraging it! Notice my use of past tense there

  5. #4815
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post

    Residency clients nearly always come with questions about how I work & seem very happy incorporating their own with guest requests & my input. Private bookings on the other hand.. hey I've got this online planner where you can put requests yada yada.. and I wasn't explaining anything about a) what I find works best (which as we all know is a magical combination of what they want, what their guests want & what we feel will work) or b) how I ENJOY working. So no flipping wonder I was getting playlisted. I think I was even encouraging it! Notice my use of past tense there
    I had limits set on my DJEP planners which give them plenty of input whilst not tieing my hands too much. You still get the odd one (including a snippy gent I'm meeting with tomorrow who is now holding the record for most time overdue on balance as it happens) who will look at it, ask why I have limits, not be content with the answer that in my years of experience doing this I find those limits are most conducive to a great flowing, fun night - and then send through the token 16 pages of A4 requests.

  6. #4816

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim - Scotland's Party DJ View Post
    I had limits set on my DJEP planners which give them plenty of input whilst not tieing my hands too much. You still get the odd one (including a snippy gent I'm meeting with tomorrow who is now holding the record for most time overdue on balance as it happens) who will look at it, ask why I have limits, not be content with the answer that in my years of experience doing this I find those limits are most conducive to a great flowing, fun night - and then send through the token 16 pages of A4 requests.
    I currently use MDJM for my booking management & for the longest time it didn't have the facility to limit requests. I set about changing the code to optionally add limits but for all but one booking it was too late. I've also found that most guests don't tend to use their link to the system but those who do will go absolutely nuts. So there's more work to do there to limit guest requests as well.

    I'm not getting rid of online requests though. Far from it. I'm currently working on a revamp of my old online song request web app. This will have the facility to put limits in place and it'll work with my VDJ database (so I can export an m3u file I can just drop in rather than manually collate the music). It'll be ready for prime time in a couple of weeks or so.

  7. #4817
    Ezekiel 25:17 funkymook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    I noticed recently that pretty much all my private bookings had reams of music in the online planner. Residency clients.. nothing like as much. Like hardly ever. Maybe a handful of times out of hundreds of bookings there since I started. I can live with those kind of odds. So what was I doing differently? I wracked my brains then looked in my email history.

    Residency clients nearly always come with questions about how I work & seem very happy incorporating their own with guest requests & my input. Private bookings on the other hand.. hey I've got this online planner where you can put requests yada yada.. and I wasn't explaining anything about a) what I find works best (which as we all know is a magical combination of what they want, what their guests want & what we feel will work) or b) how I ENJOY working. So no flipping wonder I was getting playlisted. I think I was even encouraging it! Notice my use of past tense there
    It all comes down to how you say it.....’You’re limited to 10 requests’ or ‘Tell me your 10 favourite songs you like to dance to’ - both result in 10 songs but one sounds like your dictating (which no one likes) while the other sounds like fun.

    'I’m sorry but from my experience no one will dance to this massive list of music you’ve given me’ or ‘Great selection of tunes, let's pick out the ones we know people will dance to and the less dancey ones we can play a bit earlier in the evening’


    Ands my favourite from quite a few years ago, the B&G only wanted Hollywood Undead, Korn etc. ‘Excellent’ I said, ‘we’re going to have a great night...now what do your mum's like? ‘...’Elvis’ ...’OK, so we’d better play a few for her, what about your Dad's?’ I then worked through the Aunts, Uncles, non-biker friends etc....before they knew it they had happily agreed to a much more varied playlist and to save the really heavy stuff to the end of the night...

  8. #4818
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    I used to do the exact same thing. A lot of people that know me, know that I prefer the alternative side of music (whatever that may be these days?). A lot of them asked me over the years how I ended up doing weddings (for example), playing music that they considered 'rubbish' (each to their own and all that).
    I would always tell them that it isn't about what I like personally, it is about what the customer wants.....simple as that (yet some still don't get it)....

    I was doing a wedding fair at one of my residencies a couple of months before I moved away, and I was approached by a Bride to be and her Mum. It was the Mum that was asking all the questions. The Bride had a Goth/Rock look about her (which I like), and she was pretty quiet. I asked her what SHE was into and her face lit up when she started talking about the bands she liked. I could see she had a passion, and wondered why she was so quiet. Her Mum said "We don't want any of her kind of music in the evening as it will scare everybody off"..... I thought that was out of order, after all....it wasn't HER big day, was it.

    The Bride to be had mentioned the likes of Disturbed, White Zombie and Transplants when she spoke of the music she liked, and I replied that I liked it too.....and again, her face lit up. I wasn't trying to be rude towards her Mum or anything (and she didn't take offence), but I said "Who says you can't have a bit of Down with the Sickness (Disturbed), on your wedding day.... "That would be so cool" she replied....."So, why not?" I said...
    She then commented "I didn't think DJ's like you existed" (Well.....we DO!).

    I don't think it is even that to be honest....I think it is about giving the customer what they want. I couldn't actually DJ at the wedding myself in the end due to a number of reasons, but Daryll covered it for me and apparently, it was a good night.
    I had communicated with the Bride regularly in the lead up to the wedding, and I put the idea across of playing her choices towards the end of the evening. I think that's what eventually happened and she was happy.

    There's no reason why any genre of music that the customer likes can't be catered for at some point at their function. They're the customer, they deserve it and they're paying for it.

    I look back at this particular example (and there were others along the way too), and I think that if I had not said something, she may have ended up having to endure the usual suspects and not being impressed. She may well have had a good time, but I am confident that she had a much better time because some of her favourites were included. The Mum understood, but it would not have bothered me if I had DJ'd and the Mum had been sat there with a face like a slapped backside because the music wasn't her cup of tea. It was her daughter's wedding, not hers...

  9. #4819

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakermaker Promotions View Post
    I used to do the exact same thing. A lot of people that know me, know that I prefer the alternative side of music (whatever that may be these days?). A lot of them asked me over the years how I ended up doing weddings (for example), playing music that they considered 'rubbish' (each to their own and all that).
    I would always tell them that it isn't about what I like personally, it is about what the customer wants.....simple as that (yet some still don't get it)....

    I was doing a wedding fair at one of my residencies a couple of months before I moved away, and I was approached by a Bride to be and her Mum. It was the Mum that was asking all the questions. The Bride had a Goth/Rock look about her (which I like), and she was pretty quiet. I asked her what SHE was into and her face lit up when she started talking about the bands she liked. I could see she had a passion, and wondered why she was so quiet. Her Mum said "We don't want any of her kind of music in the evening as it will scare everybody off"..... I thought that was out of order, after all....it wasn't HER big day, was it.

    The Bride to be had mentioned the likes of Disturbed, White Zombie and Transplants when she spoke of the music she liked, and I replied that I liked it too.....and again, her face lit up. I wasn't trying to be rude towards her Mum or anything (and she didn't take offence), but I said "Who says you can't have a bit of Down with the Sickness (Disturbed), on your wedding day.... "That would be so cool" she replied....."So, why not?" I said...
    She then commented "I didn't think DJ's like you existed" (Well.....we DO!).

    I don't think it is even that to be honest....I think it is about giving the customer what they want. I couldn't actually DJ at the wedding myself in the end due to a number of reasons, but Daryll covered it for me and apparently, it was a good night.
    I had communicated with the Bride regularly in the lead up to the wedding, and I put the idea across of playing her choices towards the end of the evening. I think that's what eventually happened and she was happy.

    There's no reason why any genre of music that the customer likes can't be catered for at some point at their function. They're the customer, they deserve it and they're paying for it.

    I look back at this particular example (and there were others along the way too), and I think that if I had not said something, she may have ended up having to endure the usual suspects and not being impressed. She may well have had a good time, but I am confident that she had a much better time because some of her favourites were included. The Mum understood, but it would not have bothered me if I had DJ'd and the Mum had been sat there with a face like a slapped backside because the music wasn't her cup of tea. It was her daughter's wedding, not hers...
    Just gotta love some wedding parents who (unknowingly or not) make it more about what they want than the couple.

    The best way of any is compromise. Not too much of any one thing & be as inclusive as possible.

  10. #4820
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Default If only they were all like this....

    Second wedding in a week (third tomorrow.....which should be pretty much a repeat of last Sunday). Plus a couple of venue visits and client visits mid-week...I'm starting to feel wedding'd out now.

    OK - nice yellow and white striped marquee in the middle of nowhere. The B&G had told me about this last January (as in 2017) when they booked me....it was something they were excited about and rightly so. It was different....and very nice.

    I'd been to the marquee on Wednesday to drop off a portable speaker for the afternoon reception so had an idea of what to expect. It wasn't the biggest tent in the world and we were expecting around 200 guests for the evening. The plan was for them to be able to enjoy a drink outside etc. etc.

    So, the shiny new Evolves it is then (and they didn't let me down!)

    There was one slight snag....the weather was absolutely foul. Howling wind, monsoon rain and lighting bolts coming from the sky.

    So, 200 guests in a marquee probably better suited to half that number of people and a 12x12 dance floor....game on

    'Twas an AWESOME night. I'd been given a list of enough music to fill the evening, although was told on Wednesday that it was for guidance only. To be fair though, a lot of what was on there would have been played anyway.

    So, start off with a little Motown and disco for the older generations, into a little pop and start working through the list that's been provided early doors, with just a few that weren't. OK....I may have got carried away and gone into a couple of the more dubious "classics" (young Chesney still fills a floor don't ya know ), but in the main, stuck to stuff similar to the prescribed list.

    The dance floor was absolutely RAMMED! I kid you not....it was a feeling of great pride!

    Eventually, I'm told the bride would like R&B, and lots of it (urgh!....I really must at some point learn some of the bangers from that particular genre). However, with suggestions from the guests and a lot of hasty online research as to the classics in that style on the fly, the floor stayed absolutely rammed. I could do no wrong.....or could I?

    I think I might have done

    Already running overtime (and bear in mind we're in a back garden in a sleepy village), I hastily asked the bride what she'd like to end on. Never Forget came the reply. OK - no problem....arms in the air, hundreds of bodies on the dance floor.....yay - time to go home.

    NOPE!

    At least 100 guests were on the floor shouting "one more DJ"....well....what do you do?
    The majority vote? Sweet Caroline (it went down well....but I got the feeling from the look on the bride's face that I may have made an error in judgement).

    20 minutes past the time I was due to turn into a pumpkin and I'm finally trying to get out of the side of the tent whilst the guests are still on my dance floor singing rugby type songs at very loud volumes. Groom comes over and thanks me, shakes hands etc, and bride doesn't. Read into that what you will

    To be honest - that one could have gone on well into the very early hours and if it wasn't for the fact that I have another wedding tonight I might well have obliged!

    I just hope I didn't taint things too much with a song that didn't appear to be welcome by the star of the show at the end of the evening

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