1. avatar BLANK!
    Alright. We BLANK! and we've been going about 2 months now. We've written loads of stuff but we are getting anywhere near the amount of gigs we should.

    We played in battle of the bands and beaten bands who have been here on the scene playing katy dalys, auntie annies, Belfast pavilion, all those ones every week.

    Can anyone help us out? We have a really rough recording of our first song on myspace so check it out.
    www.myspace.com/blankbelfast
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  2. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    You should probably get a really good recording for your myspace for a start. A rough demo is never really going to impress anyone, even if it is of a quality tune. Just saying you've written loads of good tunes isn't enough either really. Get some photos done up, decent ones like, and get a good press pack together as well. That way promoters will know that youse are serious and organized. If you approach the promoters with a good recording and a decent presspack, convince them youse are reliable, you'se will definitley get gigs.

    2 months is also a short enough time to be going as well, ye mightn't want to rush into something you think you're prepared for, you'll end up shooting yerself in the foot!
  3. avatar BLANK!
    Good advice.

    I see your from Colenso Parade, you guys are awesome lol.

    What do you mean by this press pack thing .. We have got a load of photos of the three gigs we've played. As far as recording goes, we'd love to record all our songs up proper, but we can't until the summer because recording takes a long time and exams and stuff will get in the road.

    IN the summer though I think Chris from the Exit has agreed to record us, which is awesome, but I don't really wana wait that long until playing some proper gigs.
    Could you help us out?

    Thanks for the advice man.
  4. avatar BLANK!
    Oh yeah I know what ytou mean 2 months is short, but in a Laverys BOTB yesterday we beat a load of bands who have all been going years.
  5. avatar Stu Make Say Think
    As far as I can tell you've proved nothing. Battle of the bands doesn't matter a damn when it comes to actually 'getting somewhere' or even as a gauge of quality. You're demo is badly recorded, sounds EXACTLY like Kings of Leon and your biog and pics are amateurish.

    Its not hard to make yourself look like a serious proposition and subsequently get treated as one and its certainly not hard to find out who the good promotors are in town, so you can get in touch. You get out what you put in...
  6. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah ok fair point. I've put up some new pics just there now, which I think look a lot better but I could be wrong. Yeah I guess our singer does sound like kings of leon, but were trying our best to mix it up. Ill write a new bio now, what makes the current one amateurish? We're commited and we're going to put everything into this band so thanks for your help.

    Right so the main goal for this band now is getting demos recorded up proper, so I guess we'll have to wait until the summer, unless you know some other way.

    Your words were harsh, but necessary so thank you.
  7. avatar Stu Make Say Think
    Hi there, I wouldn't have bothered to post anything if I didn't intend it to be helpful, glad you took it well. For a good biog have a look at the Ed Zealous myspace: http://www.myspace.com/edzealous
  8. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    You'll have to fork out the cash which is frustrating aye, but worth it. I'd book a proper photoshoot, I'm sure there's guys and girls on this board who would do it cheap enough. Perhaps they are only starting out too, and they'd be more than happy to take you on. I wouldn't put up a load of pictures either, I'm probably contradicting our own myspace here but if two pictures are similar enough there's only need for one. I better check now on ours before I look foolish (not for the first time might I add).

    I understand how eager you are to gig, but maybe you should look at the school/exams thing as a blessing in disguise. If youse can't record until after that, it gives you more time to hone your sound and tightness. Then, when youse finally do record the quality will be much better, and then you'll make a better impact on the promoter and subsequent crowds at the gig.


    P.S. thanks for compliment, appreciated!

    Edit: Forgot about the presspack. You'd give a presspack into a promoter with a cd. It's basically a little paper telling them how good you are. If done well it can be effective, a few photos, any reviews if you've got any, maybe previous gigs or whatever, contact details, band info. You know the score like
  9. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah Ed Zealous is an impressive read. But we haven't got credentials like that yet, but I'll try my best.

    Did you have a look at the new photos?

    I'm going to start workj on a press pack tomorrow as a bit of googling has told me what I need to do. But it is essential that we have some recordings I know, so what is the quickest way that we could get recordings good enough for a press pack at a budget before these exams kick in?

    Thanks for all your help
  10. avatar BLANK!
    Some good advice again Mickey. We have got a lot to do now.
    We have to get our myspace in order, demos recorded well at awesome quality and a real press pack constructed with proper photos.

    So based on your advice heres how I see the band for the next 2 odd months. We don't play a gig. We practice like crazy getting stuff wrote, honed and become as tight as it gets. Then when the summer comes all we will need to do is get a real demo recorded up and then send our press packs to the best promotion companies in Belfast. Which are? lol
  11. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    This is just a bit of advice like, it's not gospel youse can do it whatever way youse like, I'm just going by what I think we should've done when we were starting out. We did everything arse about face. Start at the front page anyway, that seems to be the general consensus that the front page bar is the place all bands start off. I'm sure someone has a contact for yer man here.

    All the best
  12. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah we should be having a gig there on the 10th of May.

    I've phoned Iain the sound guy a few times, but its yet to be confirmed so I don't know. I hope it does go down.

    If it does how should we organize it? Because we have two bands who would play warm up before us with us sorta the main band?

    And how could we get any publicity from it just advertise it loads? Because it might just end up just being all our friends that go, which is something we don't want, we'd rather get heard by other musicians etc.
  13. avatar Danny Lynch
    yeah, front page is a good place to start, and iains a legend. My band played a few gigs there we organised ourselves, or birtday parties and the like, but after we proved ourselves in those he gave us a chance to play some of his wednesday night gigs which were a great experience like, so deffos go to him. i listened to that myspace...tis good stuff, and the sounds qualities not as bad as you guys are making out. Did you seriously beat jargon and nocturn and all those bands yesterday?? thats impressive man! especially from such a newly formed band. yous seem to have the necessary focus and drive that unfortunately my own band doesnt have.. good luck to yas, and to the other guy there(sorry ive forgoten your name) thanks for the advice, ive taken that on board also for my own band!
  14. avatar malachyisdead
    MORDICANT!
  15. avatar ginpromo
    The original band I'm in only started December 07, although the main writer had spent early 07 writing and recording. We started in Crawdaddy Dublin, followed by Voodoo Lounge, Spring and Airbrake, and Bellinis newry, we are supporting a band in Black Box next week. It's all about how you push yourself to be honest.

    http://www.myspace.com/theskinwerein
  16. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    For a press pack get all your info TYPED onto one A4 sheet of paper. Promoters, press and labels ALL hate having a stream of paper. In fact, most promos i receive have no bio sheet but rather a small sticker on the CD with a brief bio.

    Keep you Bio succinct and relevant. Include dates of any upcoming gigs. Use clear paragraphs and short sentences - massive chunks of text are off-putting. Contrary to perceived wisdom I would advise against sending a photo. No label will sign you on the strength of one, Radio won't use it and promoters will be judging you on music. Waste of money.


    Check off the following;
    1)Tracklist on CD
    2)Contact name, email and Number on CD
    3)Contact name, email and Number on Bio sheet
    4)Clean/Swearing annotation (if sending to radio)
    5)CD of your 3 best tracks with the best song as track one

    These are basics that really help how well received your demo is.

    Don't waste your time sending stuff just blindly to bars. Find out who runs nights in the venues you want to play. Offer to play early and even for free if you can and if they give you a spot then make damn sure it's busy by advertising it well to your fanbase. Promoters want to make money, if they see that you draw an audience they will be quicker to ask you back.

    Check the gigs forum. There you'll pretty much find the posting alias of practically every band promoter in Belfast and some others outside belfast.
  17. avatar JTM
    I've been very impressed by the response to criticism that BLANK! have made - to work hard and improve. That's the kind of attitude that gets gigs. EDIT: NB - I hope this doesn't sound patronising!

    And I agree, less is more in a demo pack.
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  18. avatar DeliriumTremens
    Yeah its all very valuable advice so far Blank from seasoned veterans.
    I was kind of put off by your headline to be honest. Do you think cause you won some stupid battle of the bands that Belfast owes you some gigs. Getting gigs for your band is practically a full time job. You have to make contacts with all the local promoters and local bands and be willing to drop everything for a gig.
    Fastfude is an amazing resourse for finding the occasional gig and for meeting other bands in the same situation.
    My limited advice is be nice to everyone, the other bands the sound guy and anyone that makes the effort to come and see you, who knows where your next gig may come from.
    And if i was in one of the bands you "beat" in the battle of the bands and i had a gig coming up that needed a support band i wouldnt ask youse, music shouldnt be a competition.
  19. avatar exitonline
    [quote:a179c405d8="TheJaneBradfords"]Contrary to perceived wisdom I would advise against sending a photo. No label will sign you on the strength of one, Radio won't use it and promoters will be judging you on music. Waste of money.[/quote:a179c405d8]

    I would disagree with this statement to a certain extent. Whilst radio and promoters do not need photos, it is essential to send photos to a label or press. Music these days is as much about the marketing side, sellable band image etc as it is about the music. We have heard of an act that got signed primarily on the fact that they all look like models. As the record company guy told us, if the image is there we can always get the professional songwriters and session people in to polish up the records. Ok it was in a pop band sesnse but it does prove the point. Image is very important, gone are the days when radio was only really how you really heard a band today's multimedia driven industry requires the full package.

    The bands music may be something to change the world but if the label guy turns up to see the band and they all look like something out of a horror movie then they will not get signed. A good image, concept and theme are very important, I would say a 60/40 percent split (with 60 being music, the rest image). But then again if you band photo involves atanding out in the back garden posing shot with a disposable camera or the usual standing by grafiti walls etc then that is going to harm your bands progress and labels will simply disregard the band. So my advice would be get the music right really think about the band's image and how it is portrayed to the mass media/population.
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  20. avatar JTM
    Exit have a good point, and so do the JBs - but the extent of image in music is a matter of opinion. Personally I have zero time for posers. In my opinion, at this stage, I have to say BLANK!, as a new band, should concentrate 100 per f*cking cent on practicing, both as a group on your songs, and as individuals, so your new songs are even better.
  21. avatar BLANK!
    Wow JTM thats awesome that you are doing so well so quick, and yeah we are going to practice like crazy. We're considering a name change too.

    I'm afraid we didn't beat Jargon, we missed out on beating them really narrowly, But we beat Nocturn, Decorum, those guys. But I also agree that music shouldn't be a competition, because at that BOTB Nocturn were pretty awesome, they just weren't indie, so didn't do well, it all depends.

    I do think photos are important to an extent,but there not the be all and end all. The music is and thats the part we're going to focus on.
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  22. avatar fopp
    [quote:debe5d25dd="someone else"]50/40 percent split[/quote:debe5d25dd]

    With the other 10% being lost in the ether, or perhaps filtered to other dimensions as happens with gravity (theoretically).
  23. avatar exitonline
    Ha ha, too late nights early mornings are not a good combination. What I mean is a 60/40 split. Get the music right first, work hard on getting the best material yoy can...don't rush it. But dont ignore the image side of things.
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  24. avatar trepanner
    Er, does this need to be this complicated, just to book gigs?

    I was always a big fan of just phoning places that do gigs, and asking people for gigs. Wacky, I know.
  25. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah thats a good call, we have been kind of rushing the writing instead of trying to get the best possible stuff, so thats going to have to be sorted out.
  26. avatar DeliriumTremens
    Yeah obviously the music is the most important aspect to being in a band. Concentrate all your efforts on creating the best music you can. As for image, be yourself. No one likes an impostor.
  27. avatar JTM
    [quote:93a6c8ff24="BLANK!"]Wow JTM thats awesome that you are doing so well so quick, and yeah we are going to practice like crazy. We're considering a name change too.

    I'm afraid we didn't beat Jargon, we missed out on beating them really narrowly, But we beat Nocturn, Decorum, those guys. But I also agree that music shouldn't be a competition, because at that BOTB Nocturn were pretty awesome, they just weren't indie, so didn't do well, it all depends.

    I do think photos are important to an extent,but there not the be all and end all. The music is and thats the part we're going to focus on.[/quote:93a6c8ff24]

    Uh, thanks! I'm not 100% sure I know what for, but thanks anyway :) I'm gonna give your track a good listen tonight, as well as those other bands from that BotB. Again, without wanting to sound like some patronising d*ck, if you follow through, practice hard and are patient enough you'll get the respect, and the gigs. It took Fighting With Wire 4 years of graft and rejection before they hit the big time.

    Trepanner - DIY gigs are the way forward - get a bunch of bands you like and bypass the promoters, and book the venue yourselves. But I still reckon it's way easier a.t.m. to harp on at a small promoter to get a gig.

    DTs - totally agree.
  28. avatar nocturn
    [quote:391d1b935e="BLANK!"] Nocturn were pretty awesome, they just weren't indie, so didn't do well, it all depends.
    [/quote:391d1b935e]

    Cheers dude.

    I thought BLANK! deserved to do well, we didnt do the gig expecting to go through, you're right indie bands do fare better, and you did well! But fair play to youse to be honest! You were better than 6 days later, and definately than Jargon by a country mile.

    Practise your wee balls off, get your sound nice and tight, get yourselves some pro looks about your Myspace and youll be fine. All the advice your getting here is great, hell im payin attention to some of it, and were goin a good while now. My tuppence worth is not to think about it too much. By all means have a pro attitude and work your asses off, but enjoy it, thats really what its all about for me anyway!

    I also agree with JTM below. No matter what youre gonna have to do it yourself. Itll be a long while before the promoters come looking you to do the gigs, get used to going out and finding them yourself. Front Page is a great place to start. Laverys Bunker and the Pavilion are free to rent, but you have to book around 2 months in advance to get a slot. Hunt around myspace, theres plenty of smaller newer bands that want gigs and will wanna play with anyone, hook up with them and get something going!

    Anyway, ive just written more words here than i have for a final year essay im meant to be doing....
  29. avatar trepanner
    [quote:2832fe9bcb="nocturn"]get yourselves some pro looks about your Myspace and youll be fine. [/quote:2832fe9bcb]

    Not a dig at you buddy, but part of me died when I read that.
  30. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    When you're as gorgeous as we are it's a crime not to send a photo.

    I meant just a wee image or something ye know to spice up the press pack, perhaps you in some undergarments, check out the picture on jane bradfords myspace of the guy in the trunks, caught my eye anyway!
  31. avatar thesacredhearts
    You man-hungry-hussy Mickey.
  32. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    a hungry-hussy I may be, but a man be I not, but a boy I am.

    [quote:28be1916bf]Contrary to perceived wisdom I would advise against sending a photo. No label will sign you on the strength of one, Radio won't use it and promoters will be judging you on music. Waste of money.
    [/quote:28be1916bf]

    D'ynot reckon it adds a wee bit, even though ultimatley the music will do the talking? or playing... I dunno
  33. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    Stories of bands being signed cos they look like models are mostly folklore. Apparently interest in the strokes was kindled by a photo. Maybe so but they backed it up with some great songs.

    There are labels these days are only accepting 'links' as submissions as opposed to CDs and bios. If a label is interested in you they'll go straight to your myspace and see any pics/vids that are there. Sending a photo in the digital age is a bit antiquated really. Good songs are what get you signed primarily unless you're looking to be little more than an indie boyband on a big label!!!!

    I think people are confusing image with package. Image to me is not just how you dress in a photo, it's your myspace layout, your blog, the personality that comes across in the photos. If those things are crap then a photo of you in your best topshop poses won't save you.

    Speaking as someone who has worked in radio and also promoted bands for years, in most cases a photo has worked against the band. If you're sending a pic it needs to be distinctive and professional - look at general fiascos myspace for good examples.

    Photos can sway an opinion as much as music can and the majority of times you'll find that it's in the wrong way.

    It's also not 'essential' to send a photo to media and labels. I know enough people in both industries to know this to be the case. In most media cases they'll contact you if they need a pic to run a piece - having those clear contacts on your work makes this easier for them than scanning in photos.
  34. avatar nocturn
    [quote:4e834bfb5f="trepanner"][quote:4e834bfb5f="nocturn"]get yourselves some pro looks about your Myspace and youll be fine. [/quote:4e834bfb5f]

    Not a dig at you buddy, but part of me died when I read that.[/quote:4e834bfb5f]

    No sweat lol

    I meant get it looking decent. Its unfortunate that fans and industry types judge ya by your myspace and your friends count but its true :(
  35. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    I meant just a photo as part of the press pack, but I suppose you've better experience on the matter so I'll yield! Not before I say how awesome my topshop pose is - I go for 'confused and hungry'.

    General Fiasco's moustache pics always make me laugh.

    If the personality that comes across in our blog does hold sway we're fucked, I slabber too much shite on it.
  36. avatar Seamy ALB
    The Strokes are crud. Pure crud.

    If you want to get gigs out and about the country you need:

    Good gear right, across the band.
    Transport.
    A good setlist, 2 hrs with a mix of orginals & covers.
    To network call into venues and put a face to a name.
    A well recorded demo.
    Treat gigs as pro as possible N Ireland is very small and it doesn't take long to get a shitty rep.

    The key to it all is to be civil & persistent.
  37. avatar Danny Lynch
    nocturn make a good point. theyre not indie, so didnt fare so well as the more indie bands. i wasnt at the gig on saturday, but from past experience in a great gig my band(5skins) played with jargon and nocturn at the front page, nocturn are a damn good show. We're playing a similare botb in laverys this week, and feel we could impress like, but we arent 'indie' hard to class what we are, we generaly just say rock. regardless of whats right or wrong, people are gonna compare bands...whos better. it makes music into a competition of sorts, not between bands personally, but fans will debate. get what i'm saying? so these botbs arent a great reflection on whos the best band..styles are too diverse in most of them.
    yeah, great advice as ive already said above. it has been noted and appreciated! every1 welcome at laverys on saturday...2pm i think.. should be a good 'competition'
  38. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    [quote:fd21c44a1c]A good setlist, 2 hrs with a mix of orginals & covers.[/quote:fd21c44a1c]

    I would disagree strongly.

    30mins of your best stuff. No covers.
    40mins at the absolute max.

    2hrs of any unsigned local band is too much for even their friends to take - and I speak for my band as much as any.

    If you can't make in impression in 30mins then you won't be making an impression.[/quote]
  39. avatar clss_act_00
    I'm guessing alb meant have 2 hours worth of originals and covers that you could play, not a 2 hour set that you will every chance you get. This way it opens up more opportunities, can throw in originals along with covers at times when having just your own 30 min wouldn't get you the gig. Gets your music to people who wouldn't hear it otherwise

    Can knock playing covers all you like (and for the most part I hate it, and wouldn't want to) but it can have it's place and I understand why bands do it. Just be careful when you do it, if I see a band play a 6 song set in the pavilian with 2 covers included I just think they can't write enough good original material rather than they're looking to entertain
  40. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    I get it now but I still disagree.

    A lot of signed bands manage to tour the world with about an hours worth of catalogue.

    Even some of the biggest bands about would struggle to have 2hrs worth of top tunes.

    Quality is better than quantity. Work to a 30min set and fill it with your best stuff played really well.

    I've felt more positive about local bands that have left me wanting more rather than those who outstay their welcome.
  41. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah its always quality over quantity, we just need somewhere to play our 30 minute set tbh, obviously playing warm up at this stage and then take it from there.
  42. avatar JTM
    This is touching on what was covered in the "Do our bands play too much" thread. Good thread that.

    As an aside on the BotB thing, yeah, I was at one once and I felt sorry for the metal band who were bloody brilliant but who were up against more crowd-friendly "indie". Time for a Battle of the Metal Bands, methinks.
  43. avatar Seamy ALB
    30 minute sets are fine if you want to remain a hobbyist, play in belfast all the time and constantly have to finance your music by other means.
  44. avatar BLANK!
    Yeah I know that, but I think at our stage if we can pull together a really good 30minute set it will get us out there and noticed. Then we can start to fill out an hour or two hours.

    Oh and I was just thinking there... See our recording on myspace? Could we put it on a cd with another song we'll record and use it as a press pack until we get it all recorded up proper in the summer. Because I've been looking around myspace, and theres bands who play spring and airbrake and auntie annies all the time who haven't even brought out there first EP.
  45. avatar comprachio
    30min sets are fine if you want to remain hobbyist? That's nonsense!!!! A good 30/40min set is VITAL if you want to tour.

    The Enemy managed a sold out UK tour there with a 45min set (this is an example of a zeitgeist touring band so opinions on how good they are are irrelevant). Most one-album bands have 40mins worth of material. Most will play the same set of songs each night of the tour in different cities, some will only vary the order of the songs slightly. That to me smacks of professionalism rather than hobbyist. Knowing your best material and knowing when to stop is a great asset to a band.

    Just out of interest Seamy, what would be your average setlist length?
  46. avatar JTM
    There's a big difference between a demo and a proper EP. And yeah, have a killer 45 minute set but if needs be and the next band don;'t show, that's when you dig out your covers and B-material.
  47. avatar BLANK!
    So do you think we should have a few roughly recorded songs and make a demo out of it?
    Like I'm sure we could rerecord tht myspace one to a bit better quality and some others.
  48. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:05f94c3441="comprachio"](this is an example of a zeitgeist touring band so opinions on how good they are are irrelevant).[/quote:05f94c3441]

    Well, while I'm not arguing with your main point, do you not think that because they've become the current zeitgeist band on more than the quality of the music they could play any length of set and get away with it? Or is their 45minute set simply because they know their target audience hasn't got the patience for anything longer?

    Maybe a better example might be The Jesus & Mary Chain's 15minute sets?
  49. avatar JTM
    [quote:d28a4ae211="BLANK!"]So do you think we should have a few roughly recorded songs and make a demo out of it?
    Like I'm sure we could rerecord tht myspace one to a bit better quality and some others.[/quote:d28a4ae211]

    I would seriously consider finding a good engineer, either through Fastfude or somewhere else, and recording a demo in a few months when you've got some more stuff ready. Hard to say just how good you can be without listening to some other material, but for now, it's a marathon not a sprint, so focus on that practising and writing, the gigs will surely come if you do that.
  50. avatar BLANK!
    Thanks man. Yeah this is a marathon simply because exams are in the way now, so for the 2 months we'll work on getting the best songs as possible, a good press pack and a sound engineer lined up for the summer (the search begins http://fastfude.org/topic.php?id=25720)

    I've just looked at your profile there and I seen you work for bruised fruit, you guys will be the first promo company we'll send it too!
  51. avatar Seamy ALB
    [quote:2c7d20cc8c="comprachio"]30min sets are fine if you want to remain hobbyist? That's nonsense!!!! A good 30/40min set is VITAL if you want to tour.

    The Enemy managed a sold out UK tour there with a 45min set (this is an example of a zeitgeist touring band so opinions on how good they are are irrelevant). Most one-album bands have 40mins worth of material. Most will play the same set of songs each night of the tour in different cities, some will only vary the order of the songs slightly. That to me smacks of professionalism rather than hobbyist. Knowing your best material and knowing when to stop is a great asset to a band.

    Just out of interest Seamy, what would be your average setlist length?[/quote:2c7d20cc8c]

    Our ALB sets vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours, in the Road section on our forum there are some of the setlists we have played. From an economic point of view the short sets do nothing to sustain the band.

    I would also be of the opinion that 1 album bands should not be headlining anything. I definitly would not pay to see a 40 min headline set. The Enemy will have disappeared back to where the came from in a years time. Comprachio, do you think that they are touring without record company support as most of the bands in N Ireland do?

    I do believe that in music DIY is the way forward, with large bands stating that playing live is now essential to generating income and the current state of the world/our economy people require more bang for their buck. A band can make a return on the local level on their own by the method I am advocating.

    www.alittlebitter.co.uk
  52. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    I'm gonna agree with Deci here. When we played the Speakeasy we asked Dee how long a set we were getting and he told us that most bands keep under the 30-35 minute mark. We planned to do a half hour set but since it had been our first gig in a while after taking a break to write we threw in a few older numbers because we were enjoying it. In hindsight it was a bad idea, a bit indulgent and since they were old songs probably didn't reflect our set the way I would liked to. Just goes to show listen to those who know what they are on about.
  53. avatar JTM
    BLANK! Looking forward to what you come up with when you find an engineer.

    And yeah, Mickey, I give my thumbs up to monster 30 min sets which leave you calling for more!
  54. avatar TheJaneBradfords
    [quote:9b14693610="my-angel-rocks"]do you not think that because they've become the current zeitgeist band on more than the quality of the music they could play any length of set and get away with it? Or is their 45minute set simply because they know their target audience hasn't got the patience for anything longer?[/quote:9b14693610]

    No, neither reason. Their album clocks in at around 38mins if memory serves... makes it difficult to play for 2hrs.

    I REALLY think 2hrs for any unsigned band is ridiculously excessive and I'd imagine most promoters who post here would agree. I would rather watch 3 bands play for under 40mins.

    I'm not dissing ALB at all but I cannot think of ANY unsigned Northern Irish band that I would want to watch for 2hours.

    Even for bands that I'm a massive fan off I tend to find that 90mins is adequate.

    [quote:9b14693610]I would also be of the opinion that 1 album bands should not be headlining anything.[/quote:9b14693610]

    Again, I disagree. Most local bands don't even have albums yet. And some of the best gigs i've seen in the last 10 years have been when a 1-album band headlined. I'm sure ALB have headlined plenty of shows? How many albums have you had?

    As JTM says tho, thumbs up to 30min sets that leave you calling for more. Better than overlong sets when people disappear off half way through.
  55. avatar Pete
    I think what Seamy is getting at is that his band is able to play a set of covers with some of their own tracks mixed in so that they can get paying gigs in venues where they're booked as the sole entertainment for the night. It helps generate funds for recording, equipment and other expenses.

    Then they play shorter sets of their own material at nights with several bands showcasing unsigned music.

    These are two very different gigs and most of the time in different venues with a different type of crowd. However they both have their place.

    Bands, off the top of my head, locally that I know to have taken this approach in the past include Ed Zealous and Leya.
  56. avatar thesacredhearts
    Correct me if im wrong, but the ed zealous boys do a covers act under a different name as a solely covers act non?

    Guys to be honest i think you's are going wildly off here when you are talking about a new band trying to play original music here. A band starting out is generally going to need (imo) to do these things

    1) Get 30-35 mins of a set together
    2) Take the best 2 or 3 tracks and make a rough demo
    3) Rehearse&Write
    4) Gig
    5) Repeat steps 3&4 whilst putting home made tape about to get gigs and saving any spare cash/money made from shows to record a proper sampler.
    6) Get a decent press pack together for said recording and put this about to promoters, radio, labels etc
    7) Wait as woman made of gold coem in helicopters to take you away to your platinum selling album celebration*

    And then take stock for a bit, listen to the feedback you get and get ready to have a bigger and better set next time.

    Quality of gear is largely unimportant at this stage, as long as its reliable. As is any illusion that you'll be playing anywhere doing original music for over 40mins (if you need to do covers for cash i would suggest having that as a separate entity to an original band, personally i'd say it would be detrimental to the original band to be a all in one party hit machine or something).



    *may not happen
  57. avatar Seamy ALB
    Pete, thats exactly what I'm saying.

    We have 1 album out and we have headlined our own shows locally. However I feel that "locally" is the only context in which we could do this currently. I would not feel comfortable doing a headline tour and playing for 40 minutes. In my opinion its ripping people off.

    My approach to gigs is to self promote, organise, supply PA, backline gear. The covers that we play with ALB are songs that are dear to our hearts, fun to play and that audiences really enjoy in short it enhances the gig experience. The average punter just wants to have a good time and if by throwing them a bone of familiarity you can help that, it is the thing to do.

    Learning covers also develops good muscial chops for people to use when writing their own material. Buying instruments learning the bare basics and then writing songs is not a good idea because the basic skill of knowing something is shit or not hasn't been developed.
  58. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    I didn't know Ed Zealous played under a different name as a covers act, what name do they go by. I know a band in Omagh called Freerider (awesome band by the way) and they do the same, I think they played under the name Mimic when they play the pub circuit. I always got the impression they found this approach stifling though, and part of the reason it never appealed to me was because I thought it might hamper the creativity in the band.
  59. avatar BLANK!
    I don't know if I'd like doing that. It would cause a fair amount of confusion.

    Anyway, we've been searching for sound engineers, but a quyick question. Should we go for the cheapeast at an ok quality? Or the best at a hefty enough price, that we may be able to scrape together?
  60. avatar comprachio
    [quote:081aaeb1e8]Buying instruments learning the bare basics and then writing songs is not a good idea [/quote:081aaeb1e8]

    Seamy I couldn't disagree more!!!! In fact I think this is the best way to go about things.

    You get a guitar, learn how to play it, write songs, play them, write better songs, play them, write even better songs.

    I'm a fairly mediocre musician but it hasn't stopped me writing songs that have gained fairly positive reviews and plenty of airplay. I never felt it necessary to learn loads of covers before writing a song.


    [quote:081aaeb1e8]I would not feel comfortable doing a headline tour and playing for 40 minutes. In my opinion its ripping people off. [/quote:081aaeb1e8]

    You mean to say if you were offered a headline tour and told by your management/label to play no more than 45mins a night you'd refuse??? It would by STUPID for these bands to turn down tours until they have more material. The people goin are fans of the band who will hear basically everything they want to hear. Since when should mins on stage = value for money???? Who stands at a gig with their watch counting minutes to ensure they get value for money? A good performance is more important to me.

    Blank! I wouldn't bother getting an engineer for live stuff just yet unless you have a talented mate who'll do it for cheap. Most venues will provide someone for you. Think about your own soundman when you've moved up the bill and are earning more money.
  61. avatar JTM
    [quote:4e2f88fae6="BLANK!"]I don't know if I'd like doing that. It would cause a fair amount of confusion.

    Anyway, we've been searching for sound engineers, but a quyick question. Should we go for the cheapeast at an ok quality? Or the best at a hefty enough price, that we may be able to scrape together?[/quote:4e2f88fae6]

    Just go for a cheap one for now, anyone who has a mixing desk, a 4-track* and knows the basics of recording will do ya rightly.

    * or the modern equivalent thereof

    EDIT: Yeah, basically what comprachio said as well.

    Also, I concur - Freerider are very decent, but respect to them for double the work! I had never thought of paying the bills by being a cover act on the side of being a "proper" band, that shows true dedication!
    Last edited on , 1 times in total.
  62. avatar comprachio
    there's other ways... I DJ 4-5 nights a week to cover music making. I basically work on my band stuff everyday from about 10am or so and then DJ from 10-2am most nights. Probably offers me more freedom and money than doing covers would...
  63. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    the sooner I can get out of this bastardin' uni degree and focus on the band the better.
  64. avatar JTM
    [quote:95fc78902f="comprachio"]there's other ways... I DJ 4-5 nights a week to cover music making. I basically work on my band stuff everyday from about 10am or so and then DJ from 10-2am most nights. Probably offers me more freedom and money than doing covers would...[/quote:95fc78902f]

    This is going a bit OT, I'd say any job that gives you enough time to work on your music is a good one. Question though: Do you find being a DJ helps or hinders your music?

    Mickey, I found uni was the time I was writing all my best stuff and getting the most out of music, it was when I was on the dole I was banjaxed :lol:
  65. avatar comprachio
    neither really. if i didn't have DJing then i would have to find different work to sustain me so it helps that way. It doesn't influence how i write tho ad it rarely affects gig commitments
  66. avatar returnofthedogs
    Ed Zealous did do about 2 cover gigs a month and the only reason for that was so we could concentrate on Ed Zealous full time instead of workin a job as well. The money in cover gigs is SICK!
  67. avatar BLANK!
    Really?

    We know a load of covers like, where could we get cover gigs?
  68. avatar JTM
    [quote:85344dff1c="BLANK!"]Really?

    We know a load of covers like, where could we get cover gigs?[/quote:85344dff1c]

    Shedloads of places - bars in provincial towns, community centres, hotels, weddings, working men's clubs, etc. etc.

    Have a look around the city and in smaller towns as well for posters for cover bands. Not that it'll be any easier than getting a gig as an original act, but you've got more options.

    One guy to ask on here is Ryan (unplugged), I know he used to be in a cover band, he'll probably know a thing or two about it.
  69. avatar Daveitferris
    Just be careful not to adore the cover-band pay(which is fantastic) more than expressing yourself through your own music.

    I've seen a few people fall this way.

    But best of luck.
    You've gotten some great advice from the veterans, here!
  70. avatar Seamy ALB
    Comprachio Sir, yes I would turn down such an opportunity. I have no desire to be told by anyone including label or management types what way to promote/play my music. I do see how for some people that it would be attractive but for my personal ambition it would not sit well.

    Regarding the songwriting/level of ability I suppose this is a subjective point. Personally I prefer 9 out of 10 times competent performances and songs that have well structured music & clever lyrics. How do you know you are writing better songs just by keeping doing it with remedial ability? This write - perform loop cannot work. You don't train doctors by getting them to guess whats wrong with people, why apply such logic to making music?

    I'd love to check out some of your stuff Comprachio what band are you in or what name do you perform under? PM me a link or point me to where I can pick up a cd.

    I also find hard to take in that some one who works on music from 10 in the morning and DJ's every night is mediocre at playing their intstrument. That is fantastic dedication!! I'd love to have that time. Obivously your airplay and critical success has been got by the tried & tested route of hard work.

    Come down to Katy Dalys on Saturday and check out how we roll. I'm the hippy with the 6 string bass!! 8)
  71. avatar comprachio
    [quote:49b5d1b3d2]I also find hard to take in that some one who works on music from 10 in the morning and DJ's every night is mediocre at playing their intstrument.[/quote:49b5d1b3d2]

    I play a number of instruments, none of them to a level of competency where I would be regarded as great at any of them. Mediocre was tongue-n-cheek, but genius i aint. Spending time on my music daily, as I do, doesn't just involve playing instruments all day. There's a helluva lot more to it than that - some days i get little time to even lift a guitar.

    [quote:49b5d1b3d2]I have no desire to be told by anyone including label or management types what way to promote/play my music[/quote:49b5d1b3d2]

    Would you never leave yourself open to considering their opinion may actually be the right one and that through their advice you may one day be at a stage where you're playing to tens of thousands for 2hrs? After all they are not mere suits, they are professionals and *may* actually know what they're on about!!!

    [quote:49b5d1b3d2]You don't train doctors by getting them to guess whats wrong with people, why apply such logic to making music?[/quote:49b5d1b3d2]

    Because the medical and musical profession are very different. But to use this analogy if we must, doctors are let loose on real patients from an early stage in their learning. It is from this early exposure that they learn and grow as doctors, shaping the professional they end up being years later.

    I'm not having a gripe at you Seamy, and I hate the way that this is turning into a show me mine and I'll show you yours affair, I simply disagree with some of the things you're saying. The music I make is irrelevant to the point i'm making!

    If you'd love to have the time that I do to devote to music just do it!!! I am sacrificing the comfort of (relative) wealth I would have in full time work to do something i love. Anyone can do that. All i'm saying is that a 2hr set of covers and such IS NOT REQUISITE TO GETTING A GIG!!!!
  72. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    I think we're planning on doing that over the summer, going under a different name as a covers act to help the funds to further Colenso Parade. I wanted to call us "The Dilettantes" but I heard one of the ones from The Brian Jonestown Massacre is in a band called that now, and we get enough grief for having a name that's already used before in CP.
  73. avatar Seamy ALB
    Comprachio Man I'm sorry I was not meaning to drag this debate down, I am genuinely interested to check out your stuff. Apologies if you thought I was ripping on you. I understand that the time you set aside is by design and I'm also old enough to know that when you do something full on in your life other things get sacrificed.

    I suppose to qualify my statement regarding being told to do a Headline tour where we play for 40min. I would not take this advice for a number of reasons, I have a very clear idea of what way I see ALB working. The style of music we play doesn't really lend itself to the 40 min format. My personal observation is that bands like The Enemy are music industry shooting stars. For example Franz Ferdinand burned bright, where everybodies favourite band and then disappeared in a very short space of time.

    I don't think we are the kind of band that a record company would even be interested in for this kind of scenario (if at all). I would listen to peoples advice but ultimatly if it was againist my personal values then I would refrain.
  74. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:c9496e65ed="Seamy ALB"]The style of music we play doesn't really lend itself to the 40 min format.[/quote:c9496e65ed]

    Not getting at you here really, but you're playing 4 minute songs. In what way does that not lend itself to a 40minute set? What can you do in 2 hours that you can't do in 40 minutes? Its not like you're Godspeed pulling off pieces that last 30 or 40 minutes.

    I think 40 minutes is a perfect length for any local band to play. An hour if its something special like a CD launch
  75. avatar leesub60
    [quote:14a0e0ff2c="Seamy ALB"]Comprachio Sir, yes I would turn down such an opportunity.[/quote:14a0e0ff2c]
    BALLS!
  76. avatar unplugged
    [quote:700cf19bdd="JTM"][quote:700cf19bdd="BLANK!"]Really?

    We know a load of covers like, where could we get cover gigs?[/quote:700cf19bdd]

    Shedloads of places - bars in provincial towns, community centres, hotels, weddings, working men's clubs, etc. etc.

    Have a look around the city and in smaller towns as well for posters for cover bands. Not that it'll be any easier than getting a gig as an original act, but you've got more options.

    One guy to ask on here is Ryan (unplugged), I know he used to be in a cover band, he'll probably know a thing or two about it.[/quote:700cf19bdd]

    correct man indeed i was. we were a pretty successful one at that. they are still going although i found the pay good (it really was - maybe not at the start but near the end we were lifting £100-£140 a night each) but the cover scene soul destroying.
    You can get gigs yourself (which is hard ill explain why in a minute) or with an agent. An agent will line you up gigs for a cut of 10-20% of the pay for the gig. Plus you have little control of where you play and what you play.
    Agents will try to stamp out bands trying to undercut them by getting cover gigs themselves.
    Also remember after 3 months you will also be required to declare your cover band as a business and pay tax on your earnings, otherwise youll go to HM prison. Which you gotta ask - is theband earning enough cash to make it worth their while after tax? mmmmmmm

    It was i suppose to a degree good craic but became soul destroying near the end thus i quit the rat race. We played everywhere from the empire to bellinis.
    Dont do it. Thats alot of time saved there for you. :lol:
  77. avatar ginpromo
    Also remember after 3 months you will also be required to declare your cover band as a business and pay tax on your earnings, otherwise youll go to HM prison.

    That's not completely right actually, you have to declare yourself by doing self assessment, not the band unless you are earning over £45K when it becomes VAT issue
  78. avatar BLANK!
    Maybe I'm not digging the cover scene then.

    YThats insane about tax though! Do you have to pay that kind of tax as a fully fledged band playing your own stuff? Or is it just for cover bands?
  79. avatar ginpromo
    [quote:bf1a3f5c66="BLANK!"]Maybe I'm not digging the cover scene then.

    YThats insane about tax though! Do you have to pay that kind of tax as a fully fledged band playing your own stuff? Or is it just for cover bands?[/quote:bf1a3f5c66]

    To be honest unplugged has painted the picture quite drab, I've being doing cover scene for 19 years, it can be good if you get enjoyable gigs, have good gear and keep your set updated. We did a 3 year residency so keeping set fresh was top of the agenda. You also get money gigs that are shite but it's pay lets not forget. T he bottom line though is that if you earn you pay tax original or cover band, but its down to what you declare or not, remember always get receipts because if you fill in self assessment for yourself (not your band), you'll want to pay little tax, so every time you put fuel in the car, get a receipt to use as an expense.
  80. avatar unplugged
    i only painted it as i now see it sorry for being biased. lol

    you may enjoy it. i came to dislike it. thats just me.
  81. avatar ginpromo
    [quote:7c2eacaad9="unplugged"]i only painted it as i now see it sorry for being biased. lol

    you may enjoy it. i came to dislike it. thats just me.[/quote:7c2eacaad9]

    Fair enough, at times I hated it but taking a break sometimes has sorted it.
  82. avatar Mickeycolensoparade
    [quote:059fa0d551]Franz Ferdinand burned bright, where everybodies favourite band and then disappeared in a very short space of time[/quote:059fa0d551]

    I hardly think that's true, didn't they have like three successful albums and no doubt a fourth one is on its way soon?
  83. avatar Crackity_jones
    [quote:81fb1f82ad="Mickeycolensoparade"][quote:81fb1f82ad]Franz Ferdinand burned bright, where everybodies favourite band and then disappeared in a very short space of time[/quote:81fb1f82ad]

    I hardly think that's true, didn't they have like three successful albums and no doubt a fourth one is on its way soon?[/quote:81fb1f82ad]

    Close. Two and a third on its way. If they've disappeared, it was into the studio.
  84. avatar izzys_return
    Just email every band on myspace, bebo , etc.. etc... and ask to support or if they know any contacts and you'll get gigs, and be nice to everyone you ever meet you never know when you may need their help (not saying you've come off nasty just a good point to keep in mind) also every band wants more gigs and you'll find it hard until you make a name for yourselves and have a good following, if you have a load of people coming to every show you'll get gigs anywhere you want ( bars , clubs etc... all want £ no a good band just loads of punters) we ( www.myspace.com/tommyshots ) are just like you, looking gigs etc... and have a long way to go, but keep her lit and keep askin for gigs and writing and being tight as a unit and you should be ok.

    and if you make it to anywhere of greatness WE'LL SUPPORT YOU 9 i dont mind being the opening act in wembly I swear lol)
  85. avatar BLANK!
    Well funny you should mention that, we've already got a stadium tour lined up. Fancy playing Old Traford with us on july 7th?
    Haha.

    Cheers for the advice dude.
  86. avatar izzys_return
    Darn our luck! Old Trafford is a shit hole and dont wanna burn on entry, but cheers for the invite! lol

    No bother dude, keep pushin' then when youve pushed all ya can push some more!

    Nice to see you ask for advice and acknowledge help, could do with a few more less arrogant folk about, good luck man!