So thats me in the picture above. I play bass (cue many jokes in the comment section) in a band called ‘Collides’. That is what I generally look like when were playing. We play loud, fast rock tunes and have a great time doing it. I don’t do a lot of singing, so I preoccupy myself on stage jumping, running, dancing and thrashing around like a 5 year old who’s had too much birthday cake. Myself and the other guys in the band also like to mess about, do silly voices, tell jokes, act pretty childish and then tend to wreck all the gear at the end of a show. We enjoy ourselves, but more importantly people tend to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and have more fun at the gigs.
I was at a gig recently with 2 promoters I would be friendly with, and we would often meet up at small local gigs. Think art gallery’s, small backroom’s of pub’s, youth center’s and your local summer festival. Here we would be checking out who’s the next 17 year old maestro guitarist, elegant singer-songwriters and the bad ass metal bands. But across all genre’s we started noticing a trend. I had to ask the question;
‘Is it just me, or do the band look like they don’t even want to be here?’
Now when I mention this I don’t mean a young band who are playing there third gig and are terrified that they are performing in front of people. No, I mean I’ve gone to see a whole load of bands, singer-songwriters, etc. Who have had this complete look of both boredom and arrogance which gave me the vibe that;
- They thought they were too good for the venue they were playing.
- They hated their own music.
- And that the whole experience was such a chore to them.
Now I’ve played music for 10 years, and I’ve gone from playing as a busker on the streets, to playing venues as big as Liberty Hall, Dublin. It didn’t matter whether 2 people or a thousand were watching, I always kept a few simple things in mind. Your job is to first and foremost entertain the crowd. You respect everyone involved with the gig, that goes from promoters, bands, audience, roadies down to the guy who sweeps up after. And after that, have fun.
Very simply if you stand there with a sour head on you, strumming a song I never heard, I’m not going to buy in and neither is anybody else. Whereas if I see four people in a band tear it up in a tiny bar, play there heart and soul out and have fun while doing so, I’m going to come back for more. Seriously the aim of the game here is to entertain, so if you can’t even entertain yourself, how do you expect anybody else to enjoy themselves?
So to all the people out there getting those first few songs together in a shed with your friends with bet up gear, and going to play your first run of gigs . Remember your job is to make sure everyone has fun, and the first step to doing that is you have fun too. Take it from the guy who’s running around like an idiot for 10 years, cause I’ve been laughing the whole time.
Follow me on Twitter ;@smurphysmc