Friday, January 27, 2006

It happens all over the world

Last night my band shared a gig at a function with an Indonesian band, with the PA system, stage equipment and sound crew being hired by the venue. When we arrived we were impressed, as the PA was high quality Bose and Mackie gear (it's not the norm to see such good equipment here), and the backline looked promising as well, with Marshall and Ampeg guitar and bass rigs. This was our first gig with our new singer, so we were pumped to see what looked to be a kickarse setup.

The Indonesian band played first, and had a good sound happening, although the mainly bule audience was not enjoying the music. Perhaps the 8 or 9 song Bee Gees medley that formed the majority of their set had something to do with that. People in the crowd were saying to us that they hope we're gonna be better than the first band, and we knew we were, so we were itching to get on stage.

We got up on stage and played a great set, with lots of people dancing, and appreciative applause and cheers after each song, with the crowd really getting into it. We had a really good sound happening on stage, however the vocal monitors were turned right down, and our hand signals to the sound guy and verbal requests for more foldback were ignored. OK, no problem, we can hear enough of our vocals from the mains to get by reasonable well. So, we play a rocking set, the dance floor is packed, every song gets cheers and applause, and at the end of our set people can't get enough of us, shaking our hands, backslapping, people offering us gigs etc.

After our set the first band gets up again and launches into another Bee Gees medley and as I'm chatting to some people I'm told that we sounded great despite the fact that the sound guy had turned off the vocal monitors and the subs, bypassed the main EQ, and messed with the vocal mic levels. So, it seems that the sound guy pulled the old "suck button" trick so we wouldn't sound better than the other band, presumably because we're bules. Nice to know that the music business is the same anywhere in the world, although normally that type of stuff only happens with touring bands and their support acts, not among hackers playing for beer money in a bar. It was satisfying to blow the other band away despite the best efforts of their sound engineer.

Funny part is, before we played we asked the sound guy for his business card, since we'll be looking to hire a good PA like this every now and then, so he's boned himself in the arse from a business point of view. Nice work!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just interested to know if ur work permit covers playing music for beer money? could u be busted and kicked out of the country if u got too popular and thus "noticed" by the authorities??

8:02 PM  
Blogger The Editor said...

If an appreciative bar manager gives us a meal and some beer I doubt that's an issue.

9:54 AM  

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