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Dealing with trouble

Running a band, as I have said previously, can be a totally different experience to playing in one. Once I am up and playing, I enjoy the experience, especially when we are getting a good response from the audience. We seem to get that regularly, playing our local venues and pleasing the audience. finding new gigs is always a pain in the neck but it has to be done. A few of our venues are closing down, due to not being able to make it pay or dwindling club membership, and some just keep on booki

mark555

mark555

management

management

As we are back on our world tour of nowhere in particular, I I'm finding that running a band is often harder work than it needs to be. Thankfully though, I am now able to drive once more and can find my own way to and from gigs. Saturday night we were playing in Sheffield at a venue we play three times a year and go down very well at. Sheffield in one of Yorkshires largest cities, if not the largest. It is a city built on steel production and there are still some big foundries in the city. Howev

mark555

mark555

 

Finally, back gigging.

What a twelve months I've had, it's been a roller coaster to say the least. It all started at the end of April last year when I was redundant from my job. Thankfully I have always had a mortgage protection insurance policy, so my mortgage is paid for up to two years from one month after the job loss, so we've done alright. It wasn't long before other companies and recruiters were showing interest in me but there was a huge obstacle to over come, which was the possibility of my losing my driving

mark555

mark555

The year ends....

The year ends....

As 2018 comes to a close, the band I play in, Route 62 has had two changes of personal and we are re establishing our selves on our playing circuit and we're happier than we've ever been. Our old guitar player's wife cost us all just short of £2000 but we are now 18 months rid of them both and we no longer hear anything from them. Robin has been playing guitar with us just over a year and has fittted in well, he uses three guitars on stage, a Les Paul RI, a Strat and a Tele. Our Drummer, Graham,

mark555

mark555

 

It's going well again....

It seems like a long time since I last wrote in my blog, yet lots has happened. For those of you who read my blog, you will recall that we were auditioning a new guitar player. Well, Robin is now well and truly embedded in the band and is taking on his share of the load. He's a Les Paul player at heart and his go to guitar is an RI that cost an arm and a leg, but I have managed to switch him on to Telecasters, which he uses on Honky Tonk Women. He's become a real member of the band and has a hug

mark555

mark555

 

Still working on it....

We're having quite the time in our band just now, we finally feel we are rid of the troublesome pair that was our last guitarist and his wife. We thought we were rid of them after our last gig but they could not let things go. They were sending us e mails, phoning our bass player, they phones my home to cause trouble but Mrs 555 is not a woman you trifle with. She answered the phone and told Mrs Satan never to call our home again and to stop causing trouble. So far she has not made any further a

mark555

mark555

 

finally, we can all breath a sigh of relief

A new chapter is about to begin with my band, Route 62. We are finally rid of our other guitarist and his wife, Mrs Satan. It didn't go without trouble though, but we expected it. However, the deadly duo of the Satan's sank to new lows.   We were playing a gig fifty miles from my home and it was the last one we were playing with the present line up, and it is important to state that he left because he chose to do so.   I knew that it was imperative that one of the three of us collected the f

mark555

mark555

 

there comes a point of no return....

Where on earth do I start with today's entry? I seriously don't know where to start on this one.   The news of the band is that after six weeks out, our superb drummer Allen has returned to playing with us. It's great to have him back, I know exactly when he will hit the beat and when to come in. I've missed his playing. Although, through having a dep drummer, I have made a really good friend in Tony and we are going to meet up socially and build on our friendship. He's made friends with Shaun

mark555

mark555

 

Well, would you believe it!

I thought I would put a picture of our drummer Allen on the blog picture today, Allen has been in hospital for surgery on his back and his leg and is taking six weeks out to get back to full health and recover from the surgery. Allen is an excellent drummer and an extremely nice person. And, this is where our tale starts today.   we have had two drummers dep for us so far, the fist one did a couple of gigs for us, another extremely nice chap called Mick. Tony is depping for us for about four o

mark555

mark555

 

Moving forward

It's a Saturday night off gigging, which to be honest, I am glad about because I have been very tired and could do with a rest. No church tomorrow either so I will get up a little later than I usually do and enjoy the rest. Today I have enjoyed a day on the north west coast of England, where our daughter lives, we went to look after her as she is having a rough time with her pregnancy, the new baby is due in August. Today me and Mrs 555 did the seventy mile trip and had a wonderful day with our

mark555

mark555

 

Wading through mud...

So, the band is gigging and audiences are going away having had a great night. Of course there are better guitar players in bands out there, but this band plays a selection of songs that works for the audience. More of Saturday's gig later in this entry.   I don't talk about the family much in my blog, but this last week has been great, my son, George, turned thirty on Friday, he and his wife came up from Kent, it's a four and a half hour drive for them, and Kimberley is five months pregnant s

mark555

mark555

 

Band politics and other nonsense

Music is fun, Right? Or at least it's supposed to be. I've always thought that if you play in a band you do it to enjoy playing and when you get paid for it then you are worth the money you earn. The best thing about being in a band other than playing music you really like, is being out with your mates, or as you Americans say, your buddies. To me, getting along well with all the other guys and enjoying their company is the number one priority.   On the whole the relationship within the band i

mark555

mark555

 

It's not always fun

Well, this band business isn't always as easy as we would want it to be. I still find that I am the only one chasing the gigs and when our other guitar players wife chimed in with all that she "does" to get us gigs I said that if she was trying there would be results to show for it, which went down like a brick in a swimming pool. So I have backed off the phone for a while to give myself a break although I keep going back to it to get us more gigs. We're earning better money just now which also

mark555

mark555

 

Onwards and upwards.

With over thirty gigs played now, we all have a nice share of the earnings. So far I have been able to d home improvements, buy two more guitars, and various bits and bats with the money I earned from playing.   Just now I am concentrating on buying what I need rather than what I want. As I want what I need, it's almost an oxymoron, but I would still rather buy a Gretsch or PRS than what I am currently buying. BUT.... sound reasoning is ruling the heart.   I have been wanting a monitor of m

mark555

mark555

 

Recording set up.

I generally don't do much recording now. I know I should, but I prefer a live performance, and it's done, however good or bad. I was asked by a pal to do a jazz rhythm track to compliment his Hammond B3.He's making a C.D., so when he sells it, shortly, he'll have a record of how great it sounded. All the instrumental work was done, even an original guide track I'd put on, but it was an ad lib track that was O.K., but could be better. So, I listened & wrote a chart, that I hope compliments th

peteraltongreen

peteraltongreen

 

it can be frustrating

Well, the band is gigging on a regular basis and we are all getting along incredibly well, no ego's, we all have a great time when we're out and about. this year we almost have the diary filled with the bookings we want, we only want to play one venue each weekend, it suits us all and earns us enough money to buy some more gear as and when we want it.   But as well as pleasure, it can be somewhat frustrating for me as I feel that I am the only one trying to get us gigs. A couple of weekends ag

mark555

mark555

 

Third gig - great guitar, sad occasion: funeral

Played at a very dear frend's funeral with my good friend and fellow musician Frank Janssen. Because we did some singing, I needed the Fishman once more. First use of the mike on that one. Mike and guitar sounded very very good! So the feedback issues must have been due to the small room and not-so-smart place of the amp. Thanks for the advice! We did the entry music, improvising around a Dutch song from the sixties (verdronken vlinder -drowned butterfly-, by Boudewijn de Groot). And we did

Gerben

Gerben

 

Second gig, completely satisfied

Second rehearsal gig, with the big band ' Pro motion' in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Changed the Fishman loudbox mini for my Peavy classic 30. I did check out the combination at home. Payed attention the the position of the guitar and the amp. Great sound, no feedback at all, even at a volume that could deal with the big band. We're getting somewhere :-). Next challange: how to generate the best jazz sound. To be continued....

Gerben

Gerben

 

First gig. Great sound, lots of feedback. What to do about it?

Today I had my first rehearsal with the band I ocasionally join. The 575 produced a great sound, that I shall adjust at home. Any suggestion is very welcome! The only minor aspect of today is the feedback. My Epi Dot hardly ever produced feedback, this 575 does tons of it. How can I deal with that? Again, any suggestion is very welcome....

Gerben

Gerben

 

catching up.

The band has been very busy gigging these past few months and on the whole we're doing alright. We went down really well at a club down in South Yorkshire and the audience want us back, but then we found out that the concert secretary has decided that he is only going to book entertainment through an agent, so they won't give us a return booking even though they know firsthand how good we are at what we do. It's a shame because it was a well paid gig and on top of that, the club members who pay

mark555

mark555

 

'04 Prospect

After years of drooling over these guitars, I've finally gotten my hands on a beautiful '04 Prospect. It has the red sunburst finish, which I have never seen on another one. I knew it was going to be good, but it's better than that. The neck is just right, and it has Lollar humbuckers, immaculate condition. I had to trade a nice guitar plus an amp for it, but I'm a happy boy!   I might still be interested in an H-555, if anybody has a nice one in immaculate condition, and they'd want to t

falcon47

falcon47

 

It comes in threes

Our band of merry minstrals have been playing an awful lot lately, and in fairness to blog readers, reading about this gig and that gig gets repetative, so I haven't posted lots of duplicate blog entries. But these last few weeks have been eventful to say the least.   They actually started off with a celebration, as my best mate and fellow band member Shaun married his girlfriend of the last eighteen months. I actually spoke at the wedding which was held at the church we both attend. It was a

mark555

mark555

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