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Heritage Owners Club
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it can be frustrating


mark555

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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 ago I was in the phone all Friday and Saturday night trying to speak with the right people, I got us one good gig. We don't use agents, they take a big cut and who's to say that they will give you their best efforts? For example, I phoned one agent who's secretary said to email them. I did so over a week back and have not had any acknowledgement of my e mail at all.

 

Our target audience are in Pubs and Clubs. The clubs I am referring to are Working Men's Clubs, something perculiar to the UK as far as I am aware. These are members only and over the years have provided great venues for bands to play and in the past earn good money. However, they are sadly in decline now. In the sixties and seventies, the clubs could provide a half decent musician with a full time living, and being professional did not need you to be Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck. Some of the clubs actually had some of the top names in British entertainment play at them.

 

The guy who books the acts for the clubs is the concert secretary. Some of these guys are a total pain in the neck. They should be booking bands on the members behalf, but they often only book who they like, and many a band will play a venue, go down really well, and then get told they can not get a return booking. This has happened to us a couple of times lately and we find it very frustrating. We know there are good bands out there but some of them are nothing special and are getting bookings at places we can't get through the door at because they use an agent. A lot of venues are now booking singers with backing tapes, we call them karaoke singers and can not take them seriously. How can you call them a live act when their backing music is all tapes? In years gone by each club had a resident drummer and organist, and each singer would bring their music with them and have live backing.

 

As a kid I would go and watch bands in the working men'/s clubs, and I saw some really good players on some of those stages, as well as some really mediocre stuff. But we didn't care, it was live and we were watching people play real guitars through real amps and we loved it.

 

I have been looking at Musicman Silhouette guitars of late and they really appeal to me, but first I need a new amp, I will only buy for cash, no credit, no credit cards, just the old fashioned way of doing things these days. Debt is to avoided at all costs.

 

Anyway, we keep finding new places to play, I target individual towns and cities to find out what venues they have and then spend several hours over a few days calling them on the phone. No one is unpleasant, they are all helpful even if they don't want to book you.

 

Thanks for being kind enough to read.

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Hi Mark, good to know you're out there playing. If you're in the market for a new amp I have one that might be of interest - a Seymour Duncan Convertible 2000 1x12 combo. I need to make some space as I've ordered a 633 Drive King, and the Seymour just isn't getting used. If you're ever down Nottingham way pop in and give it a try. Send me a message if you're interested.

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Hi Bob, I don't know anything about Seymour Duncan amps or their £ Value. What are the tones like? Also, at some point I may well sell the 555, would you want first refusal if I do? don't know what to replace it with though.

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