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 daughter and granddaughter, taking little Penny out and spending some Nana and Granddad time with our favourite three year old.
Any one who read my last blog and my recent thread about our fellow band members wife causing great difficulty will be aware of the trouble this has caused and how the band was ready to part with our other guitarist. In the end I decided that a change of band member just wasn't in the best interest of the band and it's ability to gig and earn money. In the end I decided that I would be civil with Mrs Satan and speak to her, but at the same time showing her there was no way was I going to give any ground on this and put up with any such behavior again.
I've come to the conclusion that something must have been said between her and her husband privately, because she has changed her attitude and is far better behaved at gigs, and has been pleasant with me. The other two guys have suggested that our other guitarist is enjoying being in our band and earning the money that comes with it. (Not that we earn fortunes, but easily enough to buy a couple of tasty guitars a year if we want). For her behavior to change so quickly we think that she has been told to stop her problem causing by some one! So, the outcome from all this is that she is backing off from interfering with band business and she has probably realised that there is no mileage in causing trouble and that I have the full backing of the bass player and drummer. She has also not been drinking as much alcohol at gigs, but I am pretty sure she is still drinking very strong lager. She seems to have accepted that she has no say in the band and that there is (for want of a better word) a "senior" band member and that is me, and that causing trouble hurts her the most. So the three of us who were united in the decision to fire her husband if needs be are glad that this very difficult and unpleasant period of six months seems to have come to a close and some sort of balance has been restored with Mrs Satan seeming to have realised her place in the grand plan of the band, which is, she is not in the band and has to butt out of business. As a result, we are all nice to her and we seem to have sorted things out by holding back from being aggressive, but still having a plan B for replacing her husband prepared and ready to put into action.
I am really glad the situation is resolved and we are all getting along without the strain, I am glad I held back from speaking my mind too strongly and holding it all together, I think it has been well worth it. Also, calling in an exorcist was also a good move......!!
We have played a few pub gigs lately, in and among the clubs (clubs generally pay more money). We have a total of three gigs at one particular pub this year and the manager of the questioned us as to why we don't have lights, because there is a much better atmosphere with bands that do. So we considered this and decided to invest some of our money in a small lighting rig that will work nicely in a pub or club environment. I was up in the town of Darlington, which is about 100 miles north of me and found a lighting dealer who had a good showroom and was able to demonstrate to me several combinations of what we could get for our budget. The guy really knew his stuff. I had done as much research on the net as I could and found that none of the music shops kept anything we could look at in store or set up, and the store I was recommended to go to was in fact a DJ specialist. But it was obvious they knew what they were talking about and they told me that they sell to a lot of bands. Mike, the owner, was able to educate me and show me that what I came in thinking I wanted, wasn't what I really needed, and what I was asking about was out of date. He showed me a rig he had set up on his wall as a permanent display and played the unplugged version of Hotel California through one of the sound systems while the lights did their thing. I got what he was telling me there and then, which was that we should use that lighting behind us and two warm white spot lights illuminating us from the front. That way we stay lit up naturally but have a stunning light show coming from the stage. So, I went back and told the band what I had found and sent them a couple of links to see the rig working. They were all impressed and said get it ordered. So on Monday, we take delivery of the two warm white spot lights which are bright enough and have enough spread the light us up between them, and the lighting rig. The lighting rig has two Derby Lights, Two cans, four Strobes and a laser which can do no end of stuff. It comes multi programmed with a foot board for changing settings and has wireless technology. When I was talking to our bass player, (he and I are the core of the band) we decided that we would like two of these rigs and to link them together. The effect would be stunning. So it would not surprise me if in another couple of months we are not ordering another one.
I firmly believe that having a good light show will give us more return bookings as the customers of the venues will get a better experience when they come to see us. Once we learn how to get the settings we want for our set list, I think it will definitely give us an edge over many local bands who do not bother with lighting. This will mean a longer wait for my next guitar, but will perhaps enable us to raise our fee's if we can give a more complete and enjoyable experience to the customers of the venues. After all, once you get up on a stage, you are there to entertain your audience, regardless of the genre of music. I just want to be able to give my audience as good a night as I can.
I will let you know how things develop with the lighting side of things, I think it will be a good investment and I am willing to invest some more into lighting later this year. When I can, I will post some pictures.
Thanks for being kind enough to read and best wishes to all.