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The disaster gig....


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So,

 

It's taken me a couple of days to get round to posting this, primarily because I needed some time to calm down. ;)

 

PA was being provided and a sound man...... all good.

PA provided turns out to have one working but crackling speaker... not so good.

Soundman sets PA up behind us.... I'm seriously not kidding here!

Soundman assures us he's done this several times before and it works well etc.. again I'm not kidding here!

Soundman turns out to not know the difference between treble and bass... I'm really seriously not kidding here!

Soundman takes a real attitude at being pointed out the obvious...

Parlourman takes an attitude to the attitude he's getting from the soudman.... not a proud moment.

Played the first half in constant stage feedback and terrible levels...

Singers rhythm guitar is flipping between too trebly, like cheese-wire, about 4 times too loud and completely inaudible...

 

Half time break... a few more attitude words are exchanged. The people from the bar apologise to us and say "it's not as bad as you think, but we're so sorry" etc... myself and the singer are basically "quitting the band" and totally embarrassed etc...

 

2nd half...

Soundman still prancing about and getting on my nerves...

Soundman is told quite frankly where he can go and singers guitar cable is ripped out the PA and is setup by me to my amp's 2nd channel and I reset all the levels etc...

 

from there on in it sounded not too bad actually, all variables considered... useable enough to get through the 2nd half and get some enthusiastic responses.

 

An absolute nightmare of an evening, if it hadn't been for saving it in the 2nd half we'd seriously both have quit I reckon, a real disheartening experience and a harsh lesson in trusting the old "don't worry, we'll provide a sound system" chestnut...

 

Serious points to be proved the next time I think.

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Which also begs the question .... where was the soundcheck ??

 

Yes, EA, that is THE question.... the soundcheck was 5-10 mins before starting time...

 

Totally our fault though, we should have just said no... lets do it another night when you can get it right, the PA is unusable, the soundman is not a soundman, let's leave it... but choosing to make the best of a bad situation certainly had its price!!!!

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How did that soundman ever get to be a soundman? Perhaps he should take up another career. :mellow:

 

You're all mindreaders, these are the questions I was firing at him in the heat of the moment(s) and I may even have phrased it less charitably... I've played a couple of ropey house PA's in my younger days, but this was a whole new experience... I really wasn't kidding when I said he had no clue about treble & Bass..... I doubt the place will use him again... and I can guarantee you they won't use him on any future gig I'm ever involved with.

 

setting up the PA speakers behind the band...it boggles the mind!!!!

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Next to finding a good drummer, finding a good soundman may be the most important thing in a band. Sounds as if you could have pulled anyone out of the crowd and they would have done a better job. Amazing that you kept your cool, I think I would have come to blows with the jerk. [thumbdn]

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Keeping your cool with a recalcitrant soundman is one of the things all gigging musicians need to learn to do. By the same token, soundmen (and soundwomen) need to learn that if the musicians says to adjust something, then just do it. Sorry to all the sound people out there -- and there are plenty of good ones, with professional chops and attitude -- but your name isn't on the bill. The musician's name is. And most of us have probably played enough gigs that we know what we want and how to get that sound.

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Next to finding a good drummer, finding a good soundman may be the most important thing in a band. Sounds as if you could have pulled anyone out of the crowd and they would have done a better job. Amazing that you kept your cool, I think I would have come to blows with the jerk. [thumbdn]

 

I know the bar owners casually and it's a small place, so I wouldn't go down the kung-fu route... but it doesn't mean I didn't feel like it... a horrendous evening... the upshot is, we'll never put ourselves in that scenario again. The other guy I play with is less experienced in gigs, so he kind of follows my lead on some stuff.. we both agreed after it. if we don't like the setup in future (without acting like primadona's) we say, "thanks but no thanks"...

 

We'll use our own gear and do our own setup in future unless they can get someone who has a clue... but you're right, the average crowd punter coul have done a better job I reckon, had I been a punter instead of the entertainment I would have left due to the sound problems. So I have to give kudos to those who stayed all the way through as it was rammed for the 2nd half....

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I think with that kinda sound I would have just started playing Sex Pistols covers ... the distortion would be welcomed ... [thumbup]

 

I know the bar owners casually and it's a small place, so I wouldn't go down the kung-fu route... but it doesn't mean I didn't feel like it... a horrendous evening... the upshot is, we'll never put ourselves in that scenario again. The other guy I play with is less experienced in gigs, so he kind of follows my lead on some stuff.. we both agreed after it. if we don't like the setup in future (without acting like primadona's) we say, "thanks but no thanks"...

 

We'll use our own gear and do our own setup in future unless they can get someone who has a clue... but you're right, the average crowd punter coul have done a better job I reckon, had I been a punter instead of the entertainment I would have left due to the sound problems. So I have to give kudos to those who stayed all the way through as it was rammed for the 2nd half....

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I think with that kinda sound I would have just started playing Sex Pistols covers ... the distortion would be welcomed ... [thumbup]

 

 

 

Haha, I said to the singer at half time... "lets go back, I'll turn the amp up full, we play a feedback laden version of the ace of spades and then we say nothing and leave..."

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WOW the soundman from hell. I weent to a Frank Zappa gig way back when and the soundman was so terrible Frank stopped the gig several times in the middle of songs to try and remedy the situation, to no avail. The whole concert was ruined by a terrible soundman who obviusly knew nothing at all about sound. I feel for ya man.

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Haha, I said to the singer at half time... "lets go back, I'll turn the amp up full, we play a feedback laden version of the ace of spades and then we say nothing and leave..."

Rock'n'roll man. . . . .

The hell behind will go in your archives as one of the all time lows.

Lesson learned.

With that in mind, back on the horse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's not worth the aggravation you're letting it give you. Don't anyone quit the band, quit playing, etc. Life happens. We either "live and die," or we "live and go on."....Keep going forward, my friend. In the not-too-distant future you and the band will be laughing about this gig. [thumbup]

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I feel your pain Parlourman, I used to play bass in a band and then I was going for was a gritty almost beefed up Entwistle or Geddy Lee tone... More than one soundman tried to make my bass sound like something from a Bob Marley record... "can you hear the bass?" :rolleyes: . I started getting my buddy to go out on the floor to tell me whether it was my tone or not, good soundmen make playing a breeze whereas bad soundmen are a nightmare.

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To quote myself "that's alright, I'll set it up myself". [thumbup] After one night similar to yours, that's the comment that usually comes from me when I'm offered a "soundman". Unless I know the individual personally, I would rather just handle our sound by myself! Sorry you had such a crappy gig. Soundguys like that just give music a bad rap. Chin up, chalk it up to a lesson learned.

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Yep - .pretty f%$ked.

 

I don't know which is worse - lousy soundman or sound system not working?

 

It is great to have a good soundman - perhaps hold some meetings and audition a few to see their wares? Get a roster of them ready?

 

I have had this awful soundman thing many times in the past, so we go to all kinds of lengths to avoid the problems. I have my acoustic amp and mic in one channel, and my guitar thru a Fishman Spectrum to avoid mic from PA etc etc etc. all as a 'backup'. Get cranky about a soundman I don't know micing my voice, guitar, etc etc etc.

 

(Years ago, I was playing what I thought at the time was some of my very best live playing in a blues band, and at the end of the gig a friend said: "How come we couldn't hear your guitar playing?" What???? F%%ck!!! Why can't the friend tell you this in the FIRST song?)

 

 

Like you said "Onward and Upward!"

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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It's not worth the aggravation you're letting it give you. Don't anyone quit the band, quit playing, etc. Life happens. We either "live and die," or we "live and go on."....Keep going forward, my friend. In the not-too-distant future you and the band will be laughing about this gig. [thumbup]

 

I agree, this will make a good 'war wound' story some day.

There's lots of jobs that a person can fake their way through. Being a soundman isn't one of them.

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There's lots of jobs that a person can fake their way through. Being a soundman isn't one of them.

 

 

I like that!

 

 

But I still think it is easier all around if you can cultivate a good one! He has the EARS out front, and if not busy, he can get the beers!

 

 

Perhaps keep an eye (ear) out for one at other gigs. If you see/(hear) a good soundman, get his business card. Oh, also look for one with a bit of technical knowledge, perhaps repair that faulty amp in the middle of a gig, etc.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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