I’ve been filling my rainy day with various Gigspotter tasks: uploading videos, contacting agents, reading the blogs and the latest Fly Magazine. Were you at Tellus 360 for the tribute to the Radiohead album The Bends three weeks ago? All twelve of the artists performed one of the album cuts and then a few originals. Angela Sheik nailed it for me this morning. Her performance of “Sulk” was singular and remarkable and I hope Radiohead hears it. Hearing it today gave me the juice to care not a whit for the weather’s plans. Seeing the joy and verve she threw into that performance reminded me why I started Gigspots and why it fascinates me every day. Thank you bands and especially Dani Mari for orchestrating the night! I’m not worthy!
Browsing 298 Recommended Pages and Notifications on Facebook lead me to a blog on The Key called “Philly Music 101: How to Book a Show at a Philly Venue.” It was filled with sound advice and some notable quotes. One of my favorites was by Christianna LaBuz of World Café Live. Christianna La Buz: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. It’s a pretty small industry and everyone knows each other, so don’t talk smack. Stick around for the bands playing after you. Be kind to your openers; you never know, you could be opening for them someday. Treat your sound engineers with respect – it’s a thankless job and they can easily make you sound like garbage. Tip your bartenders well – they talk to more people at the venue than anyone and it’s just the right thing to do.”
The Key blogger, Sarah Hughes, made some keen points around the quotes she got from LaBuz, Chris Ward from Johnny Brenda’s, Jesse Lundy for Point Entertainment, Yusuf Muhammad for Vintage Freshman and Sean Agnew from R5 (quoted below). If your band wants to play Philly (or anywhere), I suggest you follow the link and read the whole blog.
So – you got your gig. What now? Performers might think that the only thing next is showing up at the right address on the right day without missing a band member, but there are some things that you can do in the meantime to show that you are adamant and grateful for the slot you got. Making a solid impression with show bookers can create an important relationship in the industry. A good place to start is with promoting the show on your end, and not just leaving it up to the venue. Promoters like it when a band is excited about their performance and getting people out to see them. Agnew talked about how this will start you off on a good note for venues:
You will quickly become every club’s favorite band if you hustle and get folks out for the show. You’ll definitely get invited back and then quickly rise to the top of the list for when we can add local bands to bigger shows.
Everybody wants to draw a crowd. If this was middle school, all you’d have to do is yell, “Fight!” We’re over that now. But you need to fight to succeed in life and pursuing your art is a noble fight. Radiohead does it. Angela Sheik and Dani Mari do it. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were bar bands once. Of course there’s a competitive element to landing a gig at the place and time that works for you. But we’re all in this together. One of the best things I heard that night at Tellus 360 (besides the bands pouring their hearts out in tribute) was all the musicians saying how great it was to be there together.
You bite through the big wall, the big wall bites back
You just sit there and sulk, sit there and bawl
You are so pretty when you’re on your knees
Disinfected, eager to please
Sometimes you sulk, sometimes you burn
God rest your soul
When the loving comes and we’ve already gone
Just like your dad, you’ll never change
Each time it comes it eats me alive
I try to behave but it eats me alive