Money #1: Negotiation in Nowhereville

Money #1: Negotiation in Nowhereville

Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.  

Date: Little while ago.
Venue: Small, and far away.
Crowd: Sweaty.

There are few feelings as all encompassingly cockle warming as a gig passably executed. Sometimes the stars align to produce perfection as rare as a punctual drummer. On this rainy Autumn night, for reasons I have chosen not to dissect lest the magic and consequent happiness be expunged, the band performed a show that even the most cynical gig goer must begrudgingly describe as ‘adequate’.

But promoters are rarely reasonable. Much less vulnerable to the satisfactory musical stylings of a band that sounded like they were all sober at practice this week.

“Alright guys.” Tonight’s such Promoter begins. Jake mutters something inaudible, his hackles already raised in preparation. “Now, I know we agreed a hundred quid–”

Jake explodes.

His tirades are fascinating to watch. He could, in all seriousness, launch a 5 minute swear laden verbal attack without repeating a single euphemism for fornication. He is also the only person I know that has ever used ‘fuck’ as an adverb.

With that in mind, to recount this particular audio monstrosity verbatim would be disingenuous. So in the interest of full disclosure, the following is an approximation.   

“Yes, we DID agree a cocking hundred quid. It was a verbal fucking contract that you yourself signed. A gentleman’s agreement, which I realise now you were unable to to take part in given you don’t seem to be a gentlemen at all but in fact an insufferable dick tip.”

Richie, ever the most reasonable and least intoxicated punk I know, places a soothing hand on Jake’s shoulder.

The net effect of which is zero.

“We drove however many shitting miles to the arse end of fuckwhere under the naive impression that this scum might actually live up to his end of the fucking agreement.”

The Promoter shrinks 3 inches. “I…“

“Was hoping to fuck us over?! Well not tonight fuckhole. Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to give us the hundred that we agreed, and we are going to leave this shitty, maggot ridden cess pit of a prick awful venue. Thanking you fuckly.” Jake holds his hand out, demanding the cash.

“I… was going to give you a hundred and fifty. It was a really good show.” Shaking, he places the notes in Jake’s hand.

A moment hangs in the air, savouring the exchange of glances between the two. If the penny drops somewhere in the recesses of Jake’s mind, only he hears it.  

“That said, we’d be delighted to come back anytime. It’s been an absolute pleasure, Sir. Many thanks and good evening.” Jake bows before striding, chest puffed, to the exit.

To date, we have not been invited back.

Photo by Zechariah Judy via Flickr.

It Can’t Rain All The Time

It Can’t Rain All The Time

Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.  

Date: Couple years back now.
Venue: Outside (in our hometown).
Crowd: Soggy.

It’s the morning of a gig in our hometown. We are due to play outside at an afternoon celebrating local musical talent. I hadn’t yet mulled on the validity of our presence on the bill, that particular anxiety could be saved as a treat for when I’m running low on self doubt.

Now, I’m hazy on the specifics. But at some point during this unseasonably chilly June morning, I was awoken by an unseasonably agitated Ritchie. The conversation went something like, but not necessarily, this.   

“Graham, you looked outside?”

“I’m in bed, Richie.”

“Yeah, but you seen the weather.”

“No, on account of me being in bed.”

“It’s due to piss it down.” Richie explains, pausing to leave room for me to panic. Fortunately, I am groggy from my recently interrupted slumber. (I like to sleep in on the day of a gig. I once read it was something that Joe Strummer used to do. Or maybe it was Joe Mantegna, the rock radio DJ from Airheads… I forget, either way sleep is rock and roll).

“So?”

“The gig’s outside. We’re gonna get really wet.”

“How’s that different from any other show? You’re the sweatiest person I know. Why are you now so worried by body moisture?”

“There’s gonna be about 2 inches of surface water.”

I consider our options. “Umbrellas?”

“How we gonna hold them and play at the same time?” Score one to Richie. “Any other ideas?”

“We could play in slow motion. Pretend we’re in a nineties boy band music video.”

“You’d have to take off your shirt,” Score two to Richie. “Also, you’re an idiot.”

“I don’t know, I think you’re being pretty negative. We need to embrace this whole situation. Sure, it’s gonna rain. So what? We need to encourage the sun to come out.” I offer it a fit of positivity.

“How?”

“I don’t know. Hawaiian shirts?”

“I’m gonna be freezing.”

“So what?! Worst case scenario, it’ll be funny. Best case, we are ahead of the weather curve and you work on tanning those arms.” Richie thinks for a moment. I consider whether the killer point was the inherent humour in wearing something vastly inappropriate in torrential rain, or giving the crowd free tickets to Richie’s Gun Show.

“Fine.” He concedes.

Date: The day after the rainy, frost bite ridden show.
Venue: Bed.
Crowd: Mercifully, none.

The day after the hilariously attired, albeit incredibly wet, outdoors show I’m awoken by the phone. It’s Richie. The conversation went something like, but not necessarily, this.     

“I can’t make it to practice tonight.” He complains.

“How come? You were fine at the gig yesterday.”

“Got a cold.”

The lesson, if there is indeed one to learn, is to wrap up warm. There’s nothing punk rock about hypothermia.

Photo by Luis Sarabia via Flickr.

Welcome To Our World

Welcome To Our World

9 out of 10 bands break up in their first year. Those are the lucky ones.

Most of what transpires in the following stories, unfortunately, happened to a punk band you’ve never heard of.

If you have been, or in fact are, in a band then you’ll be familiar with the all too soul destroying struggles that nearly every amateur band faces. Hell, you’ve probably been through worse.  

If you’ve never had that questionable pleasure, perhaps the tales will give you some insight into the daily pain involved. It may even have the added benefit of making sure you never try.  

The names and places have been altered to protect the egos of those involved. Most notably our own. We’ve also omitted the band name.

But then you wouldn’t have heard of us anyway.

SOME OTHER GREAT RESOURCES: If you’re after some tales of gigging woes from famous artists, check out this excellent collection at worstgig.com.

Similarly, the UK punk scene legend and all round super chap Summers has a very entertaining blog about life on the road at iwanttogohomenowplease.tumblr.com  

Photo by Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino via Flickr.