Is There A Doctor In the House?

Most of the blogs I read concerning bands and gigs prep and behavior are aimed at gigs with multiple bands performing, and are aimed at making transitions between acts “hassle and stress free.”  Important stuff for sure!  But most of the gigs we play are just us, no one opening and no one following.  So, I decided to try and compose an article aimed at single act performances.  And with that in mind, here we go! 

I recently read this in an article:  … there is no such thing as ‘just another gig’!  That is probably the MOST important thing ANY band can remember!  EVERY gig is important.  It doesn’t matter if you’re playing to five people or five hundred.  They’ve come out to have a good time, and if you’re really lucky, they’ve come out to see YOU!  Do your homework!  Ask the venue owner if there is something special they wish to promote: An anniversary, a birthday, a product, even an upcoming band!  That venue owner’s future is also YOUR future!  Do it right, do you’re homework!
 
BE PREPARED!  This is not just for Boyscouts!  Before going into a club, make sure you know the “lay of the land!”  If possible, visit the venue to scope out several important things: Stage area, available power, electrical interference possibilities (neon lights, venue’s cooler proximity, etc.), speaker and/or lighting placement area, cord and cable run (is anyone going to be stepping on them), wedge placement (any danger of an “over-beverage-consuming-patron tripping over them).  There are many obvious considerations to be examined, so it’s best to make a list of potential problems, and try to eliminate them.  This is especially important if visiting the venue prior to a gig is not possible.

If visiting the venue prior to the gig is not possible, make sure to be ready for any situation that may arise!  Always carry “ground lifts.”  These are an S&L person’s best friend!!  Make sure you have extra mic, instrument and speaker cables! Cables are notorious for failing when you least expect it, even if they’re new!  And be ready for distance from the power sources!  Have several extension chords of various lengths. 

Carrying doubles of everything is really something most musicians can’t afford!  So, to that end there’s a musician’s most valuable asset – Duct Tape!  When you aren’t able to get a mic or speaker stand to stay in a raised position - Duct Tape!  When a mic clip breaks, (and that does happen), - Duct Tape!  Long cable runs from stage to sound-board with no way to hide them – Duct Tape!  Duct Tape is really a HUGE problem solver, so always carry some!

Well, I’ve addressed only a few items for now.  I’ll talk about more in the next post.  The best thing to do is simply remember “Murphy’s Law!”  Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong!  

Now, go out and have a great show!

6 comments

  • Chickenwilson2
    Chickenwilson2 Williamsport, PA
    Amen! There are no less important gigs. I have seen great bands play their hearts out for crowds of a dozen or less. It did not stop them from giving 100% and they did get called back for a return engagement. Professional musicians maintain a professional attitude and it does pay off. Club owners do notice these things. You are absolutely right, I have an old friend who, when the band took a break, instead of retiring to the van to"rest" would walk through the crowd and speak to everyone who was willing to talk. Everyone likes to feel important...like their opinion matters. Club owners listen to their patrons. Even if the audience is small, if the people like you, chances are good you will be called back. Great words of advice "Big Dog". I have yet to see you other than on YouTube due to my location but I am no less a fan. Keep up the good work.

    Amen! There are no less important gigs. I have seen great bands play their hearts out for crowds of a dozen or less. It did not stop them from giving 100% and they did get called back for a return engagement. Professional musicians maintain a professional attitude and it does pay off. Club owners do notice these things. You are absolutely right, I have an old friend who, when the band took a break, instead of retiring to the van to"rest" would walk through the crowd and speak to everyone who was willing to talk. Everyone likes to feel important...like their opinion matters. Club owners listen to their patrons. Even if the audience is small, if the people like you, chances are good you will be called back. Great words of advice "Big Dog". I have yet to see you other than on YouTube due to my location but I am no less a fan. Keep up the good work.

  • Randy Calkins
    Randy Calkins Shawano.Wi
    1st of hello Mike and thank you for the blog. its a great read. I agree if it can go wrong it will. So always be ready.

    1st of hello Mike and thank you for the blog. its a great read. I agree if it can go wrong it will. So always be ready.

  • SkinTite Tom aka/The King of Rhinelander
    SkinTite Tom aka/The King of Rhinelander Rhinelander
    To my friends, Murph and the Murph Tones. Looking good. Trying to get us a gig here in the Down Town Rhinelander Metro area for the MOB, but the Karaoke guy at the club keeps killing the customers LOL. I will have to give the joint a month or so for the bad media to settle down and I will go in and book a gig. Until then my old friend, as Luther would say, "Its OK mama, it ain't nothing but the blues".

    To my friends, Murph and the Murph Tones. Looking good. Trying to get us a gig here in the Down Town Rhinelander Metro area for the MOB, but the Karaoke guy at the club keeps killing the customers LOL.
    I will have to give the joint a month or so for the bad media to settle down and I will go in and book a gig.
    Until then my old friend, as Luther would say, "Its OK mama, it ain't nothing but the blues".

  • Robin Jones
    Robin Jones a town
    or just another painting~ thanks 4 the blog!

    or just another painting~ thanks 4 the blog!

  • Johnny Bluz and his dog Blu
    Johnny Bluz and his dog Blu Abducted
    Your friends will always come back 2 C U because they love U. And if you put out some killer sounds everyone else will always be looking for you because you left them wanting more (well done tite tunes) the last time around. Keep Playin.

    Your friends will always come back 2 C U because they love U. And if you put out some killer sounds everyone else will always be looking for you because you left them wanting more (well done tite tunes) the last time around. Keep Playin.

  • Mack Marshall
    Mack Marshall Davenport, Iowa
    I am a sax/flute musician who has worked with Big Dog Murphy for years, If ANYONE..... audience; booking agent, bar owner, professional musician, etc., wants to hear the BLUES performed in its rawest form.....please spend a night with Big Dog & the MOB (Men of Blues.) My musical career has carried me all over the U.S. & I have yet to play with a more talented singer, songwriter, guitar player, & entertainer than this man. In the BLUES business, Big Dog has it all over most other performers. The energy, professionalism, & savvy of this man are totally incredible. But don't just believe me.....get your butt out to see Big Dog Murphy & the MOB, for you will be amazed, but never be disappointed. Big Dog's songwriting is incredible & he has published many songs that other BLUES singers could capitalize on. His music is not like all BLUES, for it is in his own style from the hills of Tennessee to the tundra of Wisconsin. I can't say enough about Big Dog Murphy, except he is in the very top echelon of ALL BLUES PERFORMERS. :)

    I am a sax/flute musician who has worked with Big Dog Murphy for years, If ANYONE..... audience; booking agent, bar owner, professional musician, etc., wants to hear the BLUES performed in its rawest form.....please spend a night with Big Dog & the MOB (Men of Blues.) My musical career has carried me all over the U.S. & I have yet to play with a more talented singer, songwriter, guitar player, & entertainer than this man. In the BLUES business, Big Dog has it all over most other performers. The energy, professionalism, & savvy of this man are totally incredible. But don't just believe me.....get your butt out to see Big Dog Murphy & the MOB, for you will be amazed, but never be disappointed. Big Dog's songwriting is incredible & he has published many songs that other BLUES singers could capitalize on. His music is not like all BLUES, for it is in his own style from the hills of Tennessee to the tundra of Wisconsin. I can't say enough about Big Dog Murphy, except he is in the very top echelon of ALL BLUES PERFORMERS. smile

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