Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Know of a good gig? Want to promote your club meetings? Let the rest of us know here.
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Keymn
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Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by Keymn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:06 pm

I would like to share our past experiences performing at different gigs. Some positive and others negative. A good way to help each other, I think, in our accordion music careers. Whether part-time, full-time, charity or just plain fun.

“I will never forget, way back in the late 60’s. I was hired by an R n’ B band to play accordion for a wedding. They picked me up on a wet/foggy evening. We ran off the road in another residence. Had to get out of the car and push it off the lawn which already was wet and soft. Tires spun, mud all over! Played the gig with mud stains all over us.” (They still owe me $20 for the gig :hb ).

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JerryPH
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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by JerryPH » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:59 am

Early 80's, was asked to play at an Octoberfest event in Pennsylvania. The event was a kind of 3 sided building that held the stage and the open side faced on to a large dance floor that was coverd by a large tent with no sides.

When we started it was late afternoon, the sun starting to set, everything was going perfectly. Out of nowhere, one HUGE clap of thunder and it started pouring like I have never seen before or since. The wind pushed the rain on to the dance floor, people near the sides were getting soaked to the skin, we didn't even slow down playing... another clap of thunder... NO POWER... now all one heard was a clarinet, a trombone, drums and me on accordion. We continued playing, people starting to clap and still dance.

About 20 seconds later, power came back, the rest of our band joined in, and the crowd went nuts applauding and screaming, and never slowing down on the dance floor and after the song ended, we were given the loudest and longest applause of the day. For me that was just an amazing little moment of my life that I will forever remember. :)
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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jozz
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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by jozz » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:36 pm

One for the good side:

I volunteered for an evening, but got paid nonetheless.

Last Saturday I was participating in a session band for the start-off of the carnival season in my hometown. This is pretty huge around here, and takes a lot of preparations. It's a big wining and dining show, with lots of dance and song groups. Anyway, each band member does this "for the community" as there is lots of time involved (way too much if you would translate to money) and part of the whole idea of the evening is to raise funds for community activities and such. We are called in 9am for soundcheck and final rehearsals with all the groups and then there is a couple of hours break and we end the evening just before 12 o'clock. So a monster of a day, but all voluntarily.

Then just as I'm about to leave for home, I get stopped by one of the organizers, receive compliments...and 50 euro's for my troubles. I loved that.

You can see me on the left there {}
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JeffJetton
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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by JeffJetton » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:49 pm

Hoo-boy. I've had some interesting ones. Some where the singer didn't show up. One where all the gear got rained on. A daytime, outdoor gig on an open stage with the temperature getting up to 113F/45C.

Then there was the corporate gig where we were to play while the conference attendees had dinner. The food was served buffet-style, on long tables in the middle of the room that completely encircled the small platform stage. You had to duck under the table to get to the stage, in fact. The end result was a bit bizarre--playing on while people walked around you filling up their plates... like we were human centerpieces. :D

In the end though, as long as you get to play some music it's tough to have a truly bad gig.

To borrow an old aviation adage... any gig you want walk away from is a good gig. :tup:

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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by JEBrown » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:52 am

As accordionist - most unusual gig was for 400 drunk Belgian & French freemasons, all dressed in various forms of Scottish clothing (some of it hired from theatre-costumiers so looking like it dated from the 18th century) and some wearing bright orange wigs (because all Scotsmen have ginger hair, right?). They got more and more drunk throughout the evening, but cheered and whooped as we played. Our final piece was the 'Dashing White Sergeant' - this has a very strong rhythm and they started to bang the tables getting louder and faster as we played until the music ended and they all stood up yelling and shouting. Completely bonkers, but fun.

Then there was the wedding with a German lady marrying an Irish man, in Belgium. A lot of Irish had come over for the wedding, and had decided to get very drunk. They loved dancing to us, but were a little uncoordinated. We weren't on a stage, but on the same floor level as the dancers. During the Orcadian Strip the Willow the dancing got more and more wild until eventually one bloke spun off from the line and came crashing into the band, knocking over the music stands and just narrowly avoiding hitting the fiddler. Luckily it calmed down after that.

Then there was the Italian / Scottish wedding in a marquee - it had a nice wooden floor to make it level, but unfortunately this meant that the floor 'bounced', so as the dancers became more enthusiastic the floor started to bounce, and our music stands started to wobble and move across the dance floor. We all ended up playing with one foot on our stand. I think the message here is to memorise the music.

And without accordion: I was playing keyboards in a rock / funk band. On our very first gig the drummer was very nervous and got drunk before we started. During the set he couldn't keep hold of his drumsticks and kept throwing them around: he ended up playing drums with his hands at one point. With the same band we played a gig where the drums were on a small podium slightly higher than the stage. Our singer thought it would be cool to start the first song by leaping off the drum podium with a yell. Unfortunately as he did this he kicked the drum kit over...

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Anyanka
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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by Anyanka » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:55 am

Ah yes, the drunken Irishmen.... they can be charming, or they can be just plain [insert swearword of your choice]s.

We played at a wedding reception with two guests of that breed; it started with the thumping and foot stamping to speed up the music, and ended with one of them sitting down alongside us with spoons, demanding a microphone and telling the fiddler that he'd borrow her instrument next.... Eventually our caller had to get heavy, threatening to sue them if anything got broken. That did the trick.

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Re: Good Gigs, Bad Gigs

Post by TomBR » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:50 pm

Never mind the Irish themselves, what is quite funny is the way St Patrick's Night seems to give middle-aged middle-class English people (in Buckinghamshire!) "permission" to have a much more uninhibited time than they normally would. Our "pub band" has a annual gig in a great little pub run by an Irish couple. It's a laugh, (with moments of annoyance as described above.)

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