Hope you are all well.
So as to not innundate you, I have been saving up my news for this bumper edition of my blog!
QUICK SCAN OF DATES:
Weds 6th. Vonnies, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham (solo acoustic set – opening for Papa George Band)
Thurs 7th. The Beehive, Swindon (solo acoustic set)
Thurs 28th. The Stables (Stage 2) Milton Keynes
(Keith Thompson Band)
Friday 6th Keighley Blues Club (Keith Thompson Band)
27th May – 5th June – Poland Tour (Keith Thompson Band)
27th May Kozmin Wielkopolski POLAND
28th May Kielce, POLAND
29th May Garwolin, POLAND
31st May Gdansk, POLAND
1st June Olsztyn, POLAND
2nd June Wegorzewo, POLAND
3rd June Kolbudy, POLAND
4th June Griokow, POLAND
5th June Chojnow, POLAND
26th June. Brasshouse, Broad Steet, Birmingham (Keith Thompson Band)
If you are in the vicinity of any of these gigs…we would love to see you!
Tickets for The Stables, Milton Keynes on 28th April from: The Stables £10 in advance.
This year got off to a slow start but is really busy now. I have a number of projects on the go…the art of juggling is still very much alive!
- I have gigs, festivals and tours planned for the band (Keith Thompson Band)
- Solo acoustic gigs are also building including a stint in Switzerland
- I have been recording new band and solo material.
- I have been doing a lot of recording of guitar and vocal parts for various projects in my studio. Much of which have been online sessions done by file sharing. I love it…don’t even have to leave my house!
- A little bit of one to one teaching guitar.
- Guesting on guitar for other artists/bands, makes for an interesting musical life!
Keep checking the web site for updates: Density Music
I was recently asked if I would be interviewed on a local BBC radio station as part of Live Music Venue week. I actually had never heard of it but I accepted the invitation to be interviewed and to play a live song on air. It seems that venues in Gloucestershire had never heard of it either as none of them signed up! Still……it got me thinking! What are the best venues and why is it that so many music venues are closing their doors? Are people not interested in live music anymore? What must promoters and artists do to attract an audience?
Well here are some of my conclusions.
We all know that since the beginning of the recession in the UK and beyond to some extent…many businesses have been struggling. People have been tightening their belts. Coupled with an ongoing sourge of people that think music should be free! Free downloads, free gigs etc. Also, there are thousands of bands all trying to play the same venues which means it’s a buyers market. Promoters are willing to pay less or nothing at all….they still won’t have a problem finding a band to fill the slot. It’s a changing world, there is no doubt about it.
But hang on…..I remember the 70’s. A period of time revered by many as the heyday of rock! But it wasn’t any easier then! There were always too many bands….maybe more venues but I don’t remember much money changing hands!
Ok I have been playing professionally for 40+ years.Yes along the way I have had a few other jobs but my focus has always been on music. In the music business I have engineered for a busy recording studio, I have done front of house sound for large tours, I have humped gear around for bands and PA companies, I have worked for a record company on licensing and copyrights. I have run my own label, my own band, designed my web site, grappled with social media, promotion, advertising, jounalism. You name it, I have done it!
None of it is easy! It’s not meant to be…or else anyone could do it. Problem is….almost anyone can pass themselves off as professional musician these days following the hype of programmes like the X-factor….but don’t get me started on that!
So the questions still remain…how do we attract more people to gigs?
In my experience, the best club venues that attract a loyal audience have five things going for them.
a) They have a good host. Someone who the potential audience warm to and want to support
b)They always pick quality acts. Not necessarilly the so called “name” acts. But it is the feel-good factor you are looking for. If people come along and have a great time they are more likely to come back. Consequently it goes without saying they may think twice if for some reason they are not so pleased.
c) Organisation. It has to be good for bands and punters. Things should be set up on time, the stage clear etc. (How many times have I arrived at gigs only to find the stage cluttered with tables, chairs and goodness knows what?)
d)The venue has to be pleasant. By that I mean, places to sit, pleasant surroundings….not beer sodden carpets etc….most folk these days want decent loos and good surroundings for their money!
e) Last but not least. The sound has to be good. The average person may not be able to tell you if the sound is bad…they will just blame the band!
People obviously still go to big live shows and they pay a lot for tickets! But I do think that many have lost faith in the middle ground gigs because, sometimes it hasn’t always been a great experience. The average age of the gig going public is older 40+! That’s the way it is…..young people have far more interesting things to do…such as Facebook and Instagram! (just a joke!)
So that is why I am a stickler for high standards. I want to give the best possible performance on every level. It is my belief that the tide will eventually turn!
Just a few thoughts….what do you think? Any views?…..Meanwhile I continue to have a blast making music. Look forward to catching up with you somewhere!
PS: If you would like further information on any of the above…..interested in an online guitar session on your recording….the Keith Thompson Band etc. then drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org