1. avatar thecomeons_2
    y'know. been playing guitar for twenty years. tried the i-only-do-my-own-songs thing until i got married eight years ago (several bands, only one that actually played gigs).

    i'm knocking 40. anybody any ideas on the one-man / two-man bands for pubs topic? should i consider becoming a guitar for hire at the start or see about trying to get something more longterm?

    what sort of gear is required? i've got two guitars, amps, mics, pedals, a 150w pa. midi backing can be provided via laptop i imagine (don't those guys take for ever changing their floppy discs in those other yokes?). surely the crap that these guys play can't be that hard to learn - i'm hoping that i can get proficient at most of them by the end of the summer before actually looking for gigs.
  2. avatar BookBookBook
    My uncle plays the Europa on Saturday nights, playing sixties stuff, just him on the guitar and singing, sometimes a bit of bodhran. He just uses an acoustic and a PA.

    Personally, if went to a bar knowing that there'd be entertainment in the form of a one man/two man outfit, I'd be a lot more impressed if there wasn't any backing track. I'm sure, playing for twenty years, you'd be able to hold down a song no problem without the aide of some corny backing track. But that's just my opinion.
  3. avatar stevieo
    Get a set together and go for it. Be seen and heard to get the session work.
  4. avatar Danny McCormack
    A one or two piece band is a great way to fill in the time between other musical commitments but if you have something more serious on the cards, I'd go with it instead. I agree with what has been said above though about being seen and heard - no one is going to ask you to play a session if you are just sitting in your house waiting for the phone to ring :D
  5. avatar Dirty Stevie Grizz
    just, for the love of God, NEVER EVER PLAY "BROWN EYED GIRL" OR "ANGELS".
  6. avatar unplugged
    i dislike - personally - any sort of band that use backing tracks around bars. To me they are responsible for bringing the gig money for a proper hard working 4/5 pc live covers band down. Its an easy way of doing things and most punters dont give a hoot as long as they can dance to it. BUT

    I mean as a live 4 piece by establishment owners we are constantly £ compared to -

    "Oh well we can get two birds that dance about in lycra dresses called "Contradiction" (or Flaming Desire or some other naff name that sounds like a perfume) and they will do it for X amount. Thats near half of what your band charge. and a band is a band mate"

    Which is ballicks but true in a way in their mindset.

    Until the gig owners hear a live band they dont realise the difference. And the work involved. It doesnt take much to press a button regardless of the talent playing over the tracks.
    So PLEASE for the love of god dont destroy your soul by playing to a MIDI backing track. Even if its 2 acoustics or something its better than backing keek. If i am in a bar and there is a "two piece" playing with their click click tracks and strats most times ill go to another bar.

    I have actually witnessed a man letting on to play a strat in my local and singing to a karaoke backing track. His mate was "on keyboard" - I liked the way he could play candle in the wind with one hand whilst texting on his mobile. I pointed out to the owner that i know very well through the family that they were paying £250 for a karaoke with one singer at it. And until it was pointed out they thought "he was an excellent guitarist"

    No justice.
    :lol:

    BUT - before i get what i have said analysed and a break down paragraph by paragraph storytime - if you wanna do it thats great. Im sure its for the money and there is a market for 2 pieces. But again its either your cup of tea or its not. I remember doing it in my late teens as i knew no better so i been there and man it was soul destroying. A decent wee 2/3 pc acoustic/uinplugged act im sure you would get gigs at that. ;)
  7. avatar username
    Wha?
  8. avatar BOOZEHOUND
    I play in a two piece band. yes,we use backing tracks, yes, we do 'Brown Eyed Girl', and yes, it's an easy way of doing things.

    but what you're saying isn't exactly true Unplugged.

    firstly,the money for bands came down because of D.J's...most of the bars where 2 piece bands play today are owned by faceless people.the guys you deal with when you go in asking for a gig are usually bar managers who couldn't care less and the owners look at it as why should they pay a band 3-400 quid when a D.J will do it for 80? the punters got fed up with discos and thats why they started booking 'live' acts,but they're not prepared to pay the money for a full band...that's just how it is.

    secondly,for bands to play in 99% of the pubs and clubs in Belfast they have to work for an agent.there are about 5 that I know of (including ours) who deal with the bars,and the agent you work for determines the bars you play in.when we first started off as a five piece band we went round ALL the bars and clubs handing in cards,speaking to 'entertainment managers' :roll: and the like...but again, no agent = no work...thats just how it is.

    thirdly, if you want to go round the pubs and clubs that use 2 piece bands you'll notice a few things about them.firstly they're full of pissed up oul dolls and spides, secondly they're generally dives, and thirdly they don't have the room for a 'decent,hard working 4 piece cover band'. we are the resident band in the Beaten Docket...go have a look and tell me where a band like that can set up? (actually,a band DID turn up there one night with drums,bass etc...they did three songs and most of the crowd walked out saying they were too loud,so they were told to get out!) go to the back bar of the Monico,the Deers Head,The Phoenix Bar,The Orient etc etc,and tell me how the hell a 4 piece - even a THREE piece - band can play these places?
    so to say 2 piece bands are ruining it for 'proper' bands is a lot of balls.
    most 2 piece bands doing the circuit today are made up of decent musicians who have done the full band thing and are of a certain age and looking to make a few bob...and why not? yes, there are a few chancers out there who don't play their guitars and some 'live' bands that are just a fella and a girl who just sing along to karaoke tracks...but most of the bands try to put a bit of effort in. the backing tracks are necessary because thats what the punters want to hear, a 2 piece acoustic set up will die on it's arse in these places...I'm doing this 7 years now and I've seen it happen.it comes down to if we don't do it, somebody else will and the money's better in my pocket. :D
    as far as 'Brown Eyed Girl' is concerned...I can guarantee you that everywhere we play, within half an hour, it will have been requested at least 4-5 times.

    so in answer to the guy at the top of the thread, yes it's worth doing. our set up consists of a guitarist and a vocalist with backing tracks on minidisc and a p.a. we're booked through our agent at least 3 times every week and sometimes up to 5 times. the pubs pay between 180-250 quid per 2 hour stint...so 250 x 5 divded 2 ways = a decent living. then there's weddings...we can earn 5-600 quid for 2 hours per wedding. in the 7 years I've been doing it it's paid for my house,car,holidays and kept me out of debt. it's also enabled us to build and equip a home recording studio as we still write songs and record them. then, just remove the vocals and the lead guitar, burn to minidisc, and you're able to get your songs heard during the gigs.

    I'm sure the purists among you will still hate 2 piece bands,but like I say...it's horses for courses. personally, if I go for a night out, I won't go near a 2 piece band...I much prefer the real thing.
    but then again...I wouldn't dream of drinking in the dumps we play in. :lol:
  9. avatar Zwaddap_deep_doo
    [quote:6a0cc948b3="BOOZEHOUND"] but then again...I wouldn't dream of drinking in the dumps we play in. :lol:[/quote:6a0cc948b3]

    Class post. :)
  10. avatar rentaghost
    [quote:ba7d4b210c="Zwaddap_deep_doo"][quote:ba7d4b210c="BOOZEHOUND"] but then again...I wouldn't dream of drinking in the dumps we play in. :lol:[/quote:ba7d4b210c]

    Class post. :)[/quote:ba7d4b210c]

    [img:ba7d4b210c]http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/images/peter-kay-phoenix-nights.jpg[/img:ba7d4b210c]
  11. avatar Baelmammon
    The Phoenix = The Devenish
  12. avatar BOOZEHOUND
    I'm talking about The Phoenix on the Antrim Road. When you play in there you have to stand on either side of the poker machines...while the punters are still playing them.
    I also remember a place we went to one night. I asked the barman where he wanted us to set up and he said ''on the stage...duh!''. I asked where the stage was and he pointed to a PALLET in the corner!
    and he was serious too.
  13. avatar PaulMAK
    I think what Ryan means is midi backing tracks are crap!
    :-)

    I remember seeing a 'band' in Moria with 2 Yamaha keyboards connected together with vacuum cleaner hoses and the plugs dangling no where near a plug - yet still they played with passion and panache knocking out sounds impossible of the keys in front of them. Quite amusing actually.

    Awk Im kinda on the fence on this one, I guess in an ideal world you like to think the two can co-exist and if a live act is good enough surely a cheesy two piece covers act isnt going to act as much in the way of competition.

    Paul MAKs

    http://www.paulmaks.co.uk
  14. avatar PaulMAK
    [quote:9e2231859c="BOOZEHOUND"]I'm talking about The Phoenix on the Antrim Road. When you play in there you have to stand on either side of the poker machines...while the punters are still playing them.
    I also remember a place we went to one night. I asked the barman where he wanted us to set up and he said ''on the stage...duh!''. I asked where the stage was and he pointed to a PALLET in the corner!
    and he was serious too.[/quote:9e2231859c]

    Hoot Downpatrick much?
  15. avatar Nathan Jones
    I used to quite like White's Tavern, though I haven't been there in many, many months now. Last few times I was, there was a guitarist and a vocalist with backing tracks playing outside. Completely killed that bar for me....
  16. avatar LittlrockAx
    I play with a few midi-track 2-pieces and a full four piece live band. I basically hire myself out as a singer.

    All above is true.

    The four piece and two pieces don't play the same venues.(or certainly not on the same nights). Two piece venues are usually much further down the scale in terms of size, fee and clientelle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with backing tracks if that's what you're aiming for. You can certainly get gigs where you can just play guitar and sing, but really those venues are smaller again and pay less. Backing tracks have a beat (and therefore something for people to dance to (depending on the venue of course)

    Money mentioned above is about right (less if you're not doing weekends). You can survive without an agent outside Belfast, but will find it hard going getting gigs without one in the big smoke. It's swings and roundabouts you will get more work with agents, but you can get an awful lot of crappy gigs (at least initially - until you build up a reputation you may have to survive on clubs and other bands double bookings or no-shows for a while). If you perservere though and pay no attention to the "you're killing music" garbage that comes with the territory it can be good fun and make you good money.

    You do need to be
    a)talented - no matter what people say about "some guy standing pushing a button" you will need to be able to sing and know your equipment. Being able to play an instrument well really helps. I like two pieces better than working solo cos it's good to have someone covering for you and vice-versa to get you through the harder gigs. It also helps to have someone to have a laugh with.

    b)be versatile and not take yourself too seriously - you will for the most part be playing the same stuff week in, week out, but if you can smile through it and give people a good time they will book you to come back. Some of the venues are truly awful filled with horrible people wanting ridiculous songs (off the top of your head), but they are more than out-weighed by decent smaller venues with nice people who just want to be entertained for a few hours and will make you realise that there are much worse ways to make money.

    c)despite all the nonsense that you hear about playing the same old crapola - there is an awful lot of old crapola! You will need sets to suit any occasion/venue so start learning asap (or else set your stall out to only do certain styles - I do different things with different setups, piano based songs with keyboard midi 2-piece, guitar based songs with guitar player and backtracks, acoustic country with one guitar and two vocals and am currently working on 1 piece rat-pack stuff with back tracks), but a good general set of 50-60 standards will get you off and running.

    d)There is plenty of work out there for anyone who has the talent or the balls to go get it. Make as many connections as you can with other bands because you never know when someone can help you out or vice versa. If you are good you will eventually be able to pick and choose a bit, but if you don't care about it then you can only expect to get agents/venues that don't care about it either.

    e)While there are girls in lycra dancing to backing tracks out there - they are just supplying a different market entirely and have their own job to do. The venues rarely crossover. Those girls have (imo) the worst gigs of them all - playing to two hundred teenagers in a bar or club where WKD is on special and constantly having to learn the newest, freshest songs - so fair play to them, I wouldn't do it for a fortune (assuming I didn't have obvious physical and chronological reasons for not dancing in lycra *shudder*)

    My cut is basically the same money playing with the two-pieces and the four piece. The 4-piece gigs are ultimately more rewarding from a gig point of view, but I'll play twice a month with the 4-piece and up to twice a week with the 2-pieces - you do the math. 2-piece work is your bread and butter. I could play more, but with family committments etc that's all that I need.

    So, best of luck in your endeavours. Give it a rattle. You'll know very quickly if it's for you or not. In the spirit of point d) above feel free to post me for advice or setlists or whatever. If you need a singer I am available on a first come, first served basis (for a reasonable fee! :wink: :lol: )

    Most of all though don't listen to the type of bellix that gets spewed around in here. There always has been and always will be small musical outfits playing smaller venues and causing musical "artists" as above to blame them on all kinds of scene wrecking skullduggery. When I was in a six piece band they always complained about the 4 piece bands stealing their gigs!!

    Good luck man.

    Ax
  17. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:b259c0990a="unplugged"]"Oh well we can get two birds that dance about in lycra dresses called "Contradiction" (or Flaming Desire or some other naff name that sounds like a perfume) and they will do it for X amount. Thats near half of what your band charge. and a band is a band mate" [/quote:b259c0990a]

    So what you're saying is...girls in lycra dresses are killing live music
  18. avatar LittlrockAx
    Boozehound if you get a minute can you drop me a PM with the low-down on your agent. Who it is, if they are any good etc. I rarely, if ever play in Belfast, but because I live here it would be nice to know what I'm missing/not missing out on! :lol: :lol:

    Cheers man.

    Ax
  19. avatar BOOZEHOUND
    [quote:66550e3c67="PaulMAK"]

    Hoot Downpatrick much?[/quote:66550e3c67]

    we played a couple of places there...can't remember the names of the places though.one place was just on the left as you go into downpatrick from Belfast.a frigging nightmare it was...apparently the name changes every so often.
    in the middle of a song a guy came up to me and asked ''can I borrow yer mike stand mate?''. ''what for?'' says me. ''I'm gonna hit this c*nt over the head with it!'' says him. :shock:
  20. avatar thecomeons_2
    [quote:7838d40239="BOOZEHOUND"]most 2 piece bands doing the circuit today are made up of decent musicians who have done the full band thing and are of a certain age and looking to make a few bob...and why not?[/quote:7838d40239]
    sounds like me alright. most of the bands around here doing original music are 16 - 17. not many of them would want to play with this 40-year-old guy.
  21. avatar unplugged
    [quote:ec05702e4a="my-angel-rocks"][quote:ec05702e4a="unplugged"]"Oh well we can get two birds that dance about in lycra dresses called "Contradiction" (or Flaming Desire or some other naff name that sounds like a perfume) and they will do it for X amount. Thats near half of what your band charge. and a band is a band mate" [/quote:ec05702e4a]

    So what you're saying is...girls in lycra dresses are killing live music[/quote:ec05702e4a]


    no that was a humourous example :roll:
  22. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:91c0afa9de="unplugged"][quote:91c0afa9de="my-angel-rocks"][quote:91c0afa9de="unplugged"]"Oh well we can get two birds that dance about in lycra dresses called "Contradiction" (or Flaming Desire or some other naff name that sounds like a perfume) and they will do it for X amount. Thats near half of what your band charge. and a band is a band mate" [/quote:91c0afa9de]

    So what you're saying is...girls in lycra dresses are killing live music[/quote:91c0afa9de]


    no that was a humourous example :roll:[/quote:91c0afa9de]

    No? Really?
    Are you sure?
    Gosh, don't I feel silly at missing your subtle humour...
  23. avatar PaulMAK
    [quote:14b1fd86ff="BOOZEHOUND"][quote:14b1fd86ff="PaulMAK"]

    Hoot Downpatrick much?[/quote:14b1fd86ff]

    we played a couple of places there...can't remember the names of the places though.one place was just on the left as you go into downpatrick from Belfast.a frigging nightmare it was...apparently the name changes every so often.
    in the middle of a song a guy came up to me and asked ''can I borrow yer mike stand mate?''. ''what for?'' says me. ''I'm gonna hit this c*nt over the head with it!'' says him. :shock:[/quote:14b1fd86ff]

    sounds like the hoot! :lol: