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Live Music almost a thing of the Past...

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(@bobblehat)
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Just thought I'd jot down my thoughts about the live music scene( such as it is ).
I live in a relatively small town in South Wales (population 30000).About 15 years ago it was possible see Live Music almost everyday of the week.Just about every pub and club within 5 miles of my house had live music every week.This was great for music lovers and especially good for me as I was in a Band.
Sadly 15 years later Live music is almost dead.This demise has many contibuting factors including Licencing Costs for Live Music for Landlords,The Price of Beer,Lack of Customers and mostly the demise in Pub culture ie the younger generation do not frequent the same pubs and bars regularly.
Ironically there are probably more bands in Caerphilly now than there ever has been,they just haven't anywhere to play!I asked one pub landlord for a gig the other day,he got his diary out and said "Can you do November 19th?" With so many Bands and so few venues thats the soonest he could book us.And to make matters worse he only pays £75.00 ($100).
Thats half of what I used to get paid 15 years ago!So much for inflation!
The only other option for gigs is to travel into Cardiff about 10 miles away and play to half a dozen people on a Monday or Tuesday Night for nothing .
Just thought I'd share my thoughts such as they are on this cold March evening.I would love to know what the situation is like where you are in the World.

Thanks
:?

My Band: http://www.myspace.com/thelanterns2010
playing whilst drunk is only permitted if all band members are in a similar state!


   
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(@jasoncolucci)
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There is tonnes of live music here in Toronto, being a rather large city. Also the bar scene is pretty big here too. That being said, I'm not too sure what the available gigs to available bands ratio is.

Guitarin' isn't a job, so don't make it one.


   
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(@rocker)
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man thats rough bobble, here in nashville, my band is playing the 11th, 18th, 25th, and the 1st, hope some thing pops for you guys 8)

even god loves rock-n-roll


   
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(@wes-inman)
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bobblehat

I live in about the same size town as you. While the music scene is not what it was even 5 years ago, there is still quite a few venues to play, and the money is just ok.

You are right about a few factors. People are not going out like they used to. I think a lot of this has to do with the police really cracking down on drinking and driving. That is a good thing, but people stay home more often now. Here in Ct. you are not allowed to smoke in bars anymore, that also cuts down on attendance. Even higher gas prices are keeping people home.

As far as travelling, I think it is good to travel a bit. If you just play in your immediate area the novelty wears off, even if your band is good. So it is good to get out to new towns and new crowds. It is even more fun for the band too. It is good if you can find 5 or 6 clubs a distance from each other and get on a rotation. If you only play once every 2 or 3 months, your band stays fresh to the crowds and you get better attendance.

Modern technology is keeping people home. Once, you had to go out to see a band or movie. Now you can see anything at home.

But there is nothing like live music. There is a sign in the window of a local music store I agree with 100%.

"The worst live band is better than the best DJ"

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@corbind)
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Like that quote Wes. Puts it all into perspective!

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@snoogans775)
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our biggest difficulty here is that there are a few good venues, and plenty of bars, but it is very difficult to contend with the hardcore scene, being that I prefer to play psychedelic rock, though jam bands have been more popular.

I don't follow my dreams, I just ask em' where they're going and catch up with them later.
-Mitch Hedburg
Did you see that!


   
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(@alangreen)
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I agree that it's hard to get gigs. It's always been hard to get gigs. I disagree that Live music is becoming a thing of the past, though - it's dependent on location more than anything else. There is a pub near me that has a live band and a packed house every weekend, two clubs that we go to in Southend (10 miles away) that have live music to full houses four nights a week and a very active gig circuit round the rest of Essex.

So, can you do November 19th? That's the date he had free and if he's got a full roster he's likely to have a good crowd. The money is always going to be an issue; in his business as much as yours. If you've got 20 little-known bands who want to play your venue, you don't want to pay the mediocre 18 the same as the decent 2. If your band goes down well, and he sells enough beer you might get a better fee the next time.

Hang on in there. Take the gig. Do the same legwork to fill up the gaps in your own diaries. We know this is a hard slog before we sign up.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@noteboat)
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In my area I saw the drop-off in two phases... first, the disco era of the 1970s/early 80s led a lot of clubs to go to recorded music. Then the advent of videotaped movies encouraged people to stay home for entertainment. (The police crackdowns Wes mentioned didn't help, but at least here they came a few years after club attendance was already falling sharply)

But I do see hope on the distant horizon. Anybody remember a PBS show called 'Connections' back in the 70s? It looked for how seemingly random events affected other things... so here's my predictive version :)

Gas prices have soared lately, and although a lot of people blame the mid-East war for that, it's just one factor. World peak oil production either just passed, or it's about too... there's going to be less coming out of the ground every year from now on.

So what does that have to do with music? Well, it's got more to do with where you work and who you know. One other thing I've seen change is the distance people travel to their jobs - 20 years ago most people I knew worked within 10 miles of home, now most people I know work more than 20 miles from where they live. That's been fueled by cheap cars and fuel efficiency.

But people are getting tired of long commutes, and with rising prices as an incentive I think they'll start seeking out work closer to home in the next 10-20 years. That's going to put the average Joe or Jane in contact with fewer people. Our parents' generation knew the folks in the neighborhood, the folks at work, and the folks at church. All their relationships tended to be close and deep... they socialized with the same set of people all the time (I remember my parents having bridge parties and whatnot... always with the folks from the neighborhood, the church, or work, and almost always within walking distance!)

We've been different, because we're so mobile. But as gas prices rise, we'll travel less, have fewer contacts with other people, and we'll start moving towards closer social relationships. And when you're with friends, you won't be parked on the couch watching a DVD - you'll be out bowling, playing golf, or.... going to a pub!

That's going to be coupled with changes in the distribution of music that are already underway. More artists are able to produce and distribute their music for a reasonable cost, and as people return to pubs, the local act has a great chance - it's a better return for most folks to spend your money seeing 4-5 local artists than one big national star. With people returning to pubs, and artists attracting fans, I predict more pubs will have live music 10-20 years from now than they do today; it'll make economic sense for them. There will probably be more clubs, too, as the market expands again.

There won't be as many superstars, but there will be more working musicians!

So in 2015, let's all meet back at this thread and see if I'm Nostradamus or just nuts :)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@kent_eh)
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A few observations from Winnpeg, Canada

Recently I've noticed is what I hope is the start of a trend away from the mega-clubs (300+ seats) which were mostly recorded music with a big disco light show.
There seem to be more smaller places opening up, and most seem to have some sort of live entertainment, at least on the weekends.

In the late 80's/early 90's There was a move away from 200 seat bars with a "band-of-the-week" playing 6 nights, towards 300 seaters with recorded music during the week, and maybe a band for the weekend once or twice a month.

The other thing I've seen in the last couple of years is several of the shopping malls, and the downtown merchants' associations holding lunch hour "out for lunch" free concerts featuring local acts. Good for exposure, and it pays.
In the summer there is one a week, on an outdoor stage in a downtown park. In the winter there is one every 3 weeks or so, in the atrium of one of the shopping malls.

The other type of show that I used to mix for quite often Over the last 8-10 years) is the "all ages" show at a community center hall. These have been locally popular since Randy Bachman was a kid growing up here and playing these kind of shows.

Then again, Winnipeg has always been bursting at the seams with musicians, so I guess it's not surprising that some creativity in finding places to play has developed.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
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People would say that there isnt much going on in Oklahoma but I wouldnt agree. There seems to be alot of live music scenes within an hour drive. In Norman, where I live, there are people who will sponsor mini concerts with local acts at the park. There are small bars close to campus that tend to have live music on the weekends.

Alot of the live music is in the smaller bars and it probably does pay much, I dont know, but I'm optimistic about the way it looks around here.

Geoo

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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"The worst live band is better than the best DJ"

I wonder how many people who agree with this actually bothered to check out the best DJs and what they do. A modern DJ is just as much a musician as a guitarist. Whats more interesting is that while 'conventional' musicians are pretty much constantly complaining about lack of audience, interest, financial possibilities etc the electronic musicians don't have this problem at all: people are waiting hours on end to spend $50 on a DJ Tiesto ticket, to name something whereas they could easily walk into a club and listen to the same stuff without the DJ for much less.

There has never been a generation that didn't care for life music and there never will be. Good musicians will always draw an audience, but people need a reason to get out of their comfy chair and spend money to see people play. With plenty of bands around here I see no such added value, they play their setlist the way they always do with the only difference being more audible mistakes and worse sound compared to studio recordings. On the other hand DJs never have the same show twice, there is much more feedback between the audience and the 'band' and if you weren't there you'll never hear that show again. So people come to their show, pay money and get entertained.

I myself rather listen to rock then trance music but I cannot help but notice those supposedly 'non-musical, 'pop-in-a-record-and-hit-play' have a way better understanding of what today's consumers expect from live music. Band like The Stones, The JH Experience etc knew this, their old shows were as organic as it gets. If we, musicians, want more and better payed gigs we need to take a step back. Fun, spontaneous, energetic and *real* are the keywords that draw people. Not the tight schedules, little dance moves and cooky-cutter conversations with the audience that I notice way too often in new bands.

The worst live band better then the best DJ? I don't think so...


   
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(@twistedlefty)
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The worst live band better then the best DJ? I don't think so...

yea i agree, the worst band is easily 10 times better than any "DJ"
just my opinion tho :wink:

#4491....


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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The worst live band better then the best DJ? I don't think so...

yea i agree, the worst band is easily 10 times better than any "DJ"
just my opinion tho :wink:

Then I'm really interested in knowing which DJs you've seen so far. Same goes for Wes. I have the itching feeling some people who say stuff like this never have seen a proper DJ and are basing their opinion on rumours and imagination, would love to see this disproven on this fine forum. :D

disclaimer: an opinion is an opinion, a preference is a preference and I fully encourage everyone to have both. :)


   
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(@twistedlefty)
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i guess i'm disqualified from commenting on this then because i've always prefered live music of any kind over recorded, canned, or "DJ'd", muzak.
my small experiance with "DJ's" is extremely limited. but i look at it like this.
I know for a fact that crap smells and fire will burn you, so i don't need to stick my nose in excrement or stick my hand into a flame to reafirm my preferance and opinion that i'd just as soon avoid them both.
btw, just for the record my opinions or preferences have never been based on "rumor" or "imagination"

I have however been going to live shows both large and small by both artists of renown and unknown since 1972.
a live show with actual musicians has much more to offer me on many levels.
i guess i'm just biased that way

if you want a discussion on live music versus DJ'd start a thread on it. i'm sure it will have a lot of comments similar to mine. :wink:

#4491....


   
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(@kent_eh)
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i'm sure it will have a lot of comments similar to mine. :wink:

Especialy here, a site populated with guitar fanatics.
:D

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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