How to get gigs in Derry

Ah, so you want to do a wee bit of travelling now do ye? You've heard of a place called Derry and think it could be a nice place to play but you don't have a clue about the place, eh? Well read on as the dark mysteries of this eerie town are revealed. Ok, basically Derry can be fantastic or it can be the biggest waste of time ever. Unless you get a decent date in a decent venue you and your band could be out of pocket. The music scene in Derry has always fluctuated but there are about half a dozen venues in Derry that still have the capability to get the audience that you want for you band. THE NERVE CENTRE 7~8 Magazine street, Derry, NI, bt48 6HJ contact: Tony Dotherty (02871) 260562 email:"> Capacity: Venue - 600 bar - 100 This venue has probably the biggest reputation in Derry. It has hosted some international acts such as Ian Browne, Shane Mac Gowan and The Devine Comedy. The venue has a terrific sound system and has a nice stage as well. To get on the main venue you have to send off your demo and phone up the venue a few days later. If you feel like you can host your own night in there you'll have to do fair bit of work to guarantee success. You'll have to do all the promotion yourself unless you pay for one of their staff and believe me it is vital that your gig publicised cause I've come to watch bands with only 3 people there to keep me company. ------------------------------------------------------------------ THE GWEEDORE BAR 63 Waterloo street, Derry, BT48 6HD Contact: Monga(02871) 263513 Capacity: downstairs-200 upstairs-300 Ever read the tale of two cities? Well this is the bar version for young bands. If you get a week night upstairs you could be playing in front of your own band members and a couple of bored bar staff. To prevent this get a local band to support you and at the very least you'll get them to come to your gig. They have a sound system and a stage but don't rely on either of these. Hire in a local sound guy (ask for Paul Sayers) unless your a genius with sound systems and spaghetti. Terry or Monga will let you have upstairs for free and you shouldn't charge any more than £2 cause the clientele are the tightest in the country. Terry is a young bloke and doesn't mind a bit of Punkish music but he's a bit tedious about letting bands run amok downstairs. The Desk has just been stolen so sort it out b4 u leave. Bands aim for a gig DOWNSTAIRS any night of the week and you'll be set. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in here are the best for live music in Derry. Terry will usually pay £160+ to bands. There is no PA downstairs so you'll have to hire out again. Have a good gig here and you'll be made gods. --------------------------------------------------------- BOUND FOR BOSTON 27/31 Waterloo Street, Derry. Contact: Les Doherty (02871) 271315 Capacity: 350 Nice venue with nice people. Les usually books cover bands to please the teenyboppers but occasionally takes in an original band to make sure his soul is saved from the devil. Les will pay £160+ for a band but believe me he'll not book you unless he thinks he can make a bit of money from it. The crowd is used to cover bands but the true music lovers will make their way to the front to watch the bands. There is no PA here so you'll have to hire out one again. Ask Les to arrange it for you as he knows Paul Sayers quite well (£40 should cover it). The Lighting system there is one to be proud of and it'll make you look like the stars that you are. Any day from Wed - Sat are good. Theres a gig listing in the bar so people will know what's in store for them. Let him know what your influences are because if he likes the bands that you mention he's more likely to give you a date. ---------------------------------------------------------------- THE DUNGLOE BAR Waterloo street, Derry Contact: (02871) 267716 Capacity: Upstairs - 175 Isn't *too* difficult to get a gig in here. For an unknown band, to play upstairs without local support will probably mean playing in front of nobody. They have their own sound system but don't supply mics& leads (make sure to confirm this as the situation often changes). Unless one of your band are knowlegable in the art of P.A.'s, it would be wise to hire a local soundguy. During the school year students like this place cause of its' £1 drink promo's. Don't Charge more than £2/£3. --------------------------------------------- KATY'S 26 Waterloo Street ,derry BT48 6HF contact: head of entertainments - 028 7126 3118 capacity: downstairs - 150 upstairs - 100 Bit of a weird place. Downstairs will suit an acoustic singer/songwriter thing. Most nights, there is usually an irish traditional session but they can host touring artists as well. Upstairs, they basically offer you a room with a cuple of beer taps. You'll have to arrange everything regards PA and musical equipment. You get to keep the money made at the door. Unless you're condfident Id advise a local support band here as well. --------------------------------------- VENUES TO AVOID Those really are the only decent venues where you'll get the crowd you're after. Heres a list of no-gos: The Strand Bar (35, Strand Rd, Derry. Tel: 02871 366910):- Gets a good crowd but you may as well play all your songs backwards for the amount attention the they'll give you. If you play there, theyll give you about £180. Only one original band have played there for as long as i know. The Rialto(Market Street, (02871)26 0516): Waste of 10p on the phone call unless you're Joe Dolan. All- seated. -------------------------------- LOOKIN FOR A PLACE TO STAY? Check out the "Independant Hostel" on 4 Asylum Rd-(028 7137 7989). According to their site you can get a bed from £9. or "Derry City Hostel",4-6 Magazine Street (028 71280280) is now closed. Both hostels are in the city centre and "Derry City Hostel" in particular is litterlly just next door to The Nerve centre and other venues along Waterloo street. ---------------------------------------------