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Pub Gigs, where is it all going?


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#121 radiophonic

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:03 AM

View Postchrisanthony1211, on 11 January 2017 - 10:13 AM, said:

Played at the Maze for their Christmas masquerade ball, cracking live venue.

..apart from the live sound both on and off stage! Our singer was very unhappy with the monitoring - the perils of playing with someone who has had formal training and expects to hit every note, every time. We're playing there again next month, but headlining this time so I hope we have a bit more control. The concept is great though, right down to having a separate bar away from the bands.

#122 Phil Starr

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:03 AM

View Postla bam, on 11 January 2017 - 10:40 AM, said:

The 2 main things for me are...

1. Where are the mainstream guitar bands for the younger generation to aspire to emulate?
2. Without a Top of the Pops style mainstream weekly music show on the bbc no one over 25 has an inkling of what's in the charts or popular, so you've got the biggest divide ever of what is going on musically. Also this means the over 25s are less likely to buy current music and affect what is in the charts. So the chart is very youth orientated, and the people running the venues very older generation orientated.

Somebody has already said this but I think music really goes in cycles. You'll get a music scene building up somewhere and suddenly breaking out stimulating a burst of energy creativity and 'me too' bands. Think of Indie music bursting out of Manchester, Punk, Two tone bursting out of the midlands or even the Beatles and the Merseyside bands. At the moment guitar bands aren't really happening in the same way but there will be other bursts of activity in the future. I honestly don't think you can stop the kids making memorable music.

It's also true that there are different circuits, at the height of the pub rock scene there were also separate circuits where the older generation listened to trad jazz or folk music. Apart from a few specialist venues that has died out as mainstream pub entertainment. I suspect classic rock is at that point. We need to do something new.

#123 radiophonic

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:17 AM

View PostPhil Starr, on 11 January 2017 - 10:50 AM, said:

Lemonrock is very localised. It started in the St Albans area and linked up with a site down in Devon so it is very strong down there. On good weeks I can get 50 or more gigs within a driveable distance. If we do a gig it emails 500 people or so to tell them about our gigs. When I was doing the booking for our band most of my new leads came through Lemonrock. I'd get about ten approaches a year from pubs who had found us on Lemonrock. I play with an old University mate as a duo and he lives in Burghfield and we are often looking for something to do in Reading. It's pretty hard finding anything going on in Reading via the web, most of the pubs websites aren't maintained and the wannabe gig guides don't have gigs in most nights. I'm sure Reading has to be livelier than Somerset but you wouldn't know it. It's all a symptom of one of the things wrong with live music, not spending 2 mins entering your gigs into your own website makes no sense at all. 20 mins promoting it on the free gig guides might bring some people in

Any tips of where to look for music would be great. I'm also looking for places with regular open mics up there.

This +1.
I'd never heard of Lemonrock until I joined this site. There are only 6 bands listed for Nottinghamshire! Doesn't seem very likely does it? I'm the new guy in the band , so I've inherited all their existing bookings and I've been pretty aghast at the lack of basic promotion by pub venues. Many of them don't seem to even maintain their own Facebook 'Events' pages or even put posters up in advance. They seem to assume that the band will do it all and bring a crowd with them even if it's out of town. The band do what they can but surely it's in everyone's interest to get people through the door and sell them beer? Then again, we played what was really just an open mic in Matlock Bath on a Sunday night. They don't usually put bands on, but the promoter wanted us to play. I expected tumbleweeds, but encountered an enthusiastic live music crowd and a decent sound engineer who made it clear that he wasn't going to blast the punters - because they are there to drink and talk too. We got an excellent sound and a great reception. It can work, but some effort is involved.

#124 FinnDave

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:30 AM

We've used lemon rock for the last couple of years, had a couple of gigs out of it and a few people I've spoken to gigs have come along because they saw us advertised there, but I'd hoped for more for £39 a year. I expect we'll carry on with it, though it seems to be going through some of makeover at the moment and it's harder to find things.

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#125 PaulGibsonBass

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:07 PM

I really think it's the beginning of the end I'm afraid. To say something is cyclical implies that it will come back around again. I don't think the pub band scene will do anything other than whither and slowly die.

Where are the new guitar bands to inspire the next generation? Well, the only area of growth (or at least stability) in the guitar based genres is metal. There are heaps of young metal bands with strong, young, live followings but it isn't a pub scene. The young metal bands I know (including my daughter's band) play at rock nights and club nights but have no desire to play in pubs, and the kids that follow them have no desire to go to pubs either. Once the current generation of pub bands dies out or retires they'll be nothing left to replace them.

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:25 PM

View PostPhil Starr, on 11 January 2017 - 10:50 AM, said:

Any tips of where to look for music would be great. I'm also looking for places with regular open mics up there.

Depends on the musical style you're after but some places to consider:
Purple Turtle - local/unsigned stuff every wednesday. Gigs of slightly bigger bands on at least every other Thursday. Various genres.
Oakford Social Club - weekly gigs of sometimes really good artists, other times more of the same unsigned local stuff.
Pavlovs Dog - Fri/Sat they often have a band on for a bit around 9-ish. Does mean you have to go in 'pavs' though.
Facebar - weekly gigs. Nearly always metal/heavy alternative stuff, occasionally D'n'B.
Sub89/Bowery District (I think it's two venues in the same building) - your generic signed music venue, tickets about £15. It's either the bigger cover bands/tribute bands or older artists that are a bit down on their luck, Alien Ant Farm played in there the other week.
The Butler - I think it's every Friday, generic rock covers bands.
The Rising Sun Arts Centre - couple of gigs a week. Newish music or just band the promotor likes. There's a place called Global Cafe on the same street that I think is somehow related but does more world music or jazz type stuff.
The Queens Arms - it's the local UKIP/Britain First/NF pub but is available to hire on the cheap so often has gigs completely unrelated to the normal clientele on. You can only really find out about gigs in there if you know one of the bands, even then it's a bit of a trek from all the other pubs.

There are a few other less regular places that sometimes have gigs on but those ones should keep you going for now.
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#127 visog

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:25 PM

Perhaps this will help gauge the health of the live music scene: http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-arts-38568269

Depends on the seven cities they survey I guess...

Personally I leave a place as soon as a band strikes up unless I've chosen to go there for that purpose.

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:15 AM

View Postvisog, on 11 January 2017 - 08:25 PM, said:

Depends on the seven cities they survey I guess...


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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:18 AM

View PostLw., on 11 January 2017 - 04:25 PM, said:

Depends on the musical style you're after but some places to consider:
Purple Turtle - local/unsigned stuff every wednesday. Gigs of slightly bigger bands on at least every other Thursday. Various genres.
Oakford Social Club - weekly gigs of sometimes really good artists, other times more of the same unsigned local stuff.
Pavlovs Dog - Fri/Sat they often have a band on for a bit around 9-ish. Does mean you have to go in 'pavs' though.
Facebar - weekly gigs. Nearly always metal/heavy alternative stuff, occasionally D'n'B.
Sub89/Bowery District (I think it's two venues in the same building) - your generic signed music venue, tickets about £15. It's either the bigger cover bands/tribute bands or older artists that are a bit down on their luck, Alien Ant Farm played in there the other week.
The Butler - I think it's every Friday, generic rock covers bands.
The Rising Sun Arts Centre - couple of gigs a week. Newish music or just band the promotor likes. There's a place called Global Cafe on the same street that I think is somehow related but does more world music or jazz type stuff.
The Queens Arms - it's the local UKIP/Britain First/NF pub but is available to hire on the cheap so often has gigs completely unrelated to the normal clientele on. You can only really find out about gigs in there if you know one of the bands, even then it's a bit of a trek from all the other pubs.

There are a few other less regular places that sometimes have gigs on but those ones should keep you going for now.

Thanks

#130 cheddatom

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:23 AM

View Postradiophonic, on 11 January 2017 - 11:03 AM, said:

..apart from the live sound both on and off stage! Our singer was very unhappy with the monitoring - the perils of playing with someone who has had formal training and expects to hit every note, every time. We're playing there again next month, but headlining this time so I hope we have a bit more control. The concept is great though, right down to having a separate bar away from the bands.

I think it's an ace venue!! But it is pot-luck with the sound guys. One of them is very moody and got pretty abusive when we asked him to change things - on 2 separate gigs!
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#131 radiophonic

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:18 PM

View Postcheddatom, on 12 January 2017 - 09:23 AM, said:


I think it's an ace venue!! But it is pot-luck with the sound guys. One of them is very moody and got pretty abusive when we asked him to change things - on 2 separate gigs!

Well the headliner's bass player was using a G&L 2000 with 18V output and his bass sound was absolutely deafening. I mean horrifyingly loud. Both me and the other bassist (2 supports) used the headliners gear to make the sound guy's job easier - the headliner offered and even bailed me out with a patch cable when my pedal board failed, so a nice guy! From what I heard of the other band, the engineer had made zero adjustment to the bass at all, so his P-bass was way too quiet with the same PA settings, but the band were still too loud overall. Headliner's bass player reported our sound was pretty mushy and you couldn't really hear any details at all, just a general impression of the songs. There is no way a Stingray playing over a box-drum should sound mushy! That said, the PA does look pretty trashed to me and I didn't get a look at the board. The way the venue is set up though, is great and when we headline we will at least have a modicum of control.

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:22 PM

I have had good sound there once, promise! Our bassist uses his own rig and I (on drums) tend to keep it down, but the grumpy bastard soundguy wasn't there

on the subject of the grumpy bastard, I was watching the headline band after we'd played our set, and you couldn't hear the bass at all. It was a 1 string stick bass to be fair, but I've seen live videos of this band and he does get a good sound. Anyway, you couldn't hear him and it was killing the whole thing, so my guitarist said to the grumpy bastard "Excuse me, is there any chance you could turn the bass up?" and the grumpy bastard actually said "f*** off"

...very amusing as the guitarist is a lovely bloke and I doubt he's ever been told to F OFF before!
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#133 Woodinblack

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 05:41 PM

View Postradiophonic, on 12 January 2017 - 01:18 PM, said:

Well the headliner's bass player was using a G&L 2000 with 18V output and his bass sound was absolutely deafening.

Its not the 18v, it is deafening anyway even if you turn that off. I have a patch on my amp purely for using the G&L, as it will clip if I use the setting for any of my ibanezes or P bass.
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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:58 PM

Live music in pubs and clubs is fast disappearing here in Canada too.Bands are being replaced by singles or duos with backing tracks(or not) and DJ's in venues that used to hire bands.Many functions such as wedding receptions are going the same route.As a quartet that plays mostly jazz standards we can fit in at receptions and dinners playing "wallpaper music"and we also play at a few venues as "the band" where we are the main attraction at a club or pub,but is tough to find work.
After our gig last night I was watching late news on TV and heard that one of Toronto's most famous clubs Hugh's Room will be shutting down for a while to consider if they can continue as a live music club.Hugh's Room has featured big names as well as new talent for years and is one of the best known venues for live music in this country.Several other club owners were interviewed in the story and they are all wondering how long they can go on.One said that at least one generation has had no experience hearing live music in anything other than large halls and arenas or stadiums with various rock bands.Students,who for generations made up a large part of the pub clientele,can't afford the steep prices and the hassles of transportation so stay home to party and stream their music.For those of us "of a certain age" this seems to be odd but it is the way it is now and unlikely to change.Many of you will have noticed that younger crowds don't know how to respond to live entertainment of any sort(except large concerts) mostly because they have never seen live musicians or theatre.
All this is awfully depressing but I guess it's the way it is going to be for a while.A far cry from when I was in bands that played six nights a week in pubs and clubs.Not good news for those of us that like playing for an audience and get a buzz out of gigging.
Not sure what the future holds but we are hanging in for the present but I feel sorry for new bands trying to find a place to play.

#135 TimR

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 06:38 PM

It was similar in the 90s. Lots of pubs moved to discos.

Karaoke has never really gone away.

I think any decent pub will rotate, Kareoke, Disco, Classic Rock (or other band), Soloist with guitar/backing track.

Keeps things interesting and doesn't overload the punters with bands playing the same tunes.
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Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:48 AM

Well, I've been reading this thread as it developed, and it doesn't make for happy reading. But I'm just back from playing to a decent sized audience in a Swindon pub, and plenty of them were under 30 and very keen to hear the band, They stayed for the whole gig, too, so I am a bit less depressed by this discussion now.
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#137 barneyg42

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 07:39 AM

View PostFinnDave, on 15 January 2017 - 01:48 AM, said:

Well, I've been reading this thread as it developed, and it doesn't make for happy reading. But I'm just back from playing to a decent sized audience in a Swindon pub, and plenty of them were under 30 and very keen to hear the band, They stayed for the whole gig, too, so I am a bit less depressed by this discussion now.

Same here, despite the January lull post Xmas I'm sat at home up way too early after playing to a packed pub in Wokingham. Totally mixed audience age wise, couple of lads at the front probably 20yo at the most singing along to all our classic rock stuff, one of them was singing Alone by Heart almost as loud as our singer!! We've had 4 gigs since Xmas and this has been the case in 3 of them, Fridays gig being a bit down on normal numbers. We're a female fronted (she's excellent) classic rock band, lots of Fleetwood Mac/Bon Jovi etc and even the youngsters love it. I can't say for the originals scene though but we're on a very good circuit at the moment.
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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:14 AM

we played an established local 'rock' pub last night

they thought our singer was joking when she asked if anybody had ever played Girls Aloud there

:lol:

#139 lowlandtrees

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 09:59 AM

I have been looking for a band that plays at low volumes for more than three years now. When I do go to the pub I do not want my ears blasted and I want to both listen to the music and chat. I currently play DB in a rockabilly band and even that is loud. I really think that there is a market for up tempo music at low volumes but stuggle to find a lead guitarist and drummer who agree. Most ads on the usual sites are for metal/hard rock/rock covers/trad folk.
A pub landlord can now get a guy/girl with backing tapes at a third of the cost of a band. He/she will play at the desired volume at a turn of a knob without fighting, knashing teeth and stomping off stage. In addition he/she will play whatever the punters want. Mostly these people are bland as and many are killing music for me but it appears that this is the way it is going. BTW there is a woman tours the pubs in Scotland and she is great.
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Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:36 AM

View Poststeve-bbb, on 15 January 2017 - 09:14 AM, said:

they thought our singer was joking when she asked if anybody had ever played Girls Aloud there

We play love machine, but we don't have a female singer at all. Never failed to go down well in any pub!
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Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:15 PM

View PostJaphet, on 03 January 2017 - 10:21 AM, said:

TV 'talent' shows have played a big part as well. The public have been fed a diet where only the vocalist is of any interest and musicianship is of none.

Thats always been the case though, how many non-musician fans of motown music do you think have ever heard of james jamerson.

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 02:07 PM

View Postla bam, on 03 January 2017 - 01:38 PM, said:

One of the big problems is that live music in pubs hasn't moved with the times.

and venues are still paying the same as they did when i first started gigging in them.

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#143 Happy Jack

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 10:21 AM

The situation is not helped by dodgy statistics and misleading reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ngland-38609692

I've recently moved to Harrow and I've been nosing around the area, as you'd expect.

So what are the figures for Harrow?


Results for Harrow

Business 2011 2016
Amusement Parks & Arcades 3 0
Bars 3 1
Bingo Halls 1 0
Bookmakers 7 7
Cafe & Tearoom 8 8
Chinese Fast Food Takeaway 0 1
Coffee Shops 6 8
Fast Food Takeaway 14 13
Fish & Chip Shops 1 0
Indian Takeaway 0 2
Internet Cafes 1 1
Juice Bars 1 1
Pizza Takeaway 0 1
Public Houses & Inns 4 5
Restaurant - American 0 2
Restaurant - Chinese 5 4
Restaurant - Indian 0 4
Restaurant - Italian 6 4
Restaurant - Japanese 0 1
Restaurant - Lebanese 0 1
Restaurant - Mediterranean 1 1
Restaurant - Mexican/Tex Mex 0 1
Restaurant - Oriental 1 0
Restaurant - Other 1 0
Restaurant - Pizzeria 2 1
Restaurant - Portuguese 1 2
Restaurant - Turkish 1 0
Restaurant - Vegetarian 1 1
Restaurant & Bar 1 2
Take Away Food Shops 8 8




In 2011, allegedly there were NO Indian restaurants and NO Indian takeaways in Harrow.

In 2016 there was just one bar in Harrow and no fish & chip shops at all.

And there are FIVE pubs in the whole of Harrow.

Yeh, right. What a load of complete tosh.

Do you think anyone at the BBC actually bothers to check any facts at all before dashing to the nearest click-bait outlet?

Edited by Happy Jack, 17 January 2017 - 10:27 AM.

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:23 AM

Loooong thread....

My band has been going 17 years. We are playing 50 gigs a year. Probably 1/2 in public venues.
People still like watching bands. Watching is an important word here. Many, many bands are visually soooo introspective and dull. Smile, engage, accept that you are being paid to do a job, so earn your fee. 15 mins uplighting the drum kit, 'washing' the playing area and illuminating your mugs, no matter how ugly, is 15 mins we'll spent.
"Bloody hell, that looks cool"...and that chap stayed for both sets.
Equally put yourself in challenging situations where you have to adapt. If you can't be bothered to test yourself, carry on playing your 3 best songs at the local open mic. It's dull isn't it!
Average Joe Public does not care how clever you are on bass, or guitar or whatever. They wanna be entertained. The two factors are sometimes miles apart!!
Save/invest in the best PA gear you can afford. Pay an engineer to come and mic up and mix the band properly. We played last night in standard pub. 4 piece band was all mic'd and DI'd and punters always say, it sounds good. Not that it was good....it sounds good. If you are screeching out through an underpowered 80s Peavey PA, why would anyone listen. 30% of the fee went to the engineer. Money well spent.

You're a pub covers band, then give the varied audience a varied set. New material feeding in. If you've got regular followers coming to watch every public gig, keep them coming with a mix of new stuff. Last night we fluffed through E, W and F, "September" and Ed Sheeran's, "Castle on the Hill". Poles apart and accordingly different people engaged with them differently. The 2nd song left me a big cold, until we realised it bore an uncanny resemblance to U2, "Streets have no Name". Make it a brief medley. 2 genres, different eras, but people smiled....and stayed.


Pubs have changed and evolved...so what. We've gotta adapt adapt adapt! Don't blame anybody, get on with, work hard and the rewards are there.

There might be a living in it for some people, but not for most. To be honest I'd hate playing 5 times a week. I see it as a great hobby, that keeps me in the BEST kit.
I'm as irritated by the stream of backing track singers as you may be, but they have every right to do a night for 100 and price bands out. That's life. My job is to nail the gigs we do and accordingly we have a diary full till the Autumn.
Can't believe someone moaned that the pub didn't promote their gig. Good grief, do it yourself. 1000 followers on the band Facebook page...it's not difficult. Posters are a pointless waste of time. I live and gig in a standard pub town. Look hard, adapt, evolve, promote yourself and you'll be just fine.

If in any doubt what so ever...bass solo.


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#145 phil.c60

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:38 AM

I agree with nearly all of this except....
"Posters are a pointless waste of time"
All of our (mostly pub) venues demand and expect them. Some, not all, use them on their Facebook and Website, as do we. All of them use them on the walls to at least give the impression that there are always things going on at the venue. Whether that persuades people to come and see you in particular is an open question, but every little helps. Personally, if we play somewhere and there's a poster up for a band I fancy seeing I'll go if I'm not gigging. Would I be trawling through the listings and pick them out? Probably not. A case in point: was in a local pub last night and spotted a poster for a couple of guys I know doing a Sunday afternoon acoustic in a couple of weeks - I'll be there.

#146 steve-bbb

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 12:24 PM

View Postphil.c60, on 21 January 2017 - 11:38 AM, said:

I agree with nearly all of this except....
"Posters are a pointless waste of time"
All of our (mostly pub) venues demand and expect them. Some, not all, use them on their Facebook and Website, as do we. All of them use them on the walls to at least give the impression that there are always things going on at the venue. Whether that persuades people to come and see you in particular is an open question, but every little helps. Personally, if we play somewhere and there's a poster up for a band I fancy seeing I'll go if I'm not gigging. Would I be trawling through the listings and pick them out? Probably not. A case in point: was in a local pub last night and spotted a poster for a couple of guys I know doing a Sunday afternoon acoustic in a couple of weeks - I'll be there.

this

and depends how captivating the poster is too

#147 barneyg42

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:33 PM

View Postphil.c60, on 21 January 2017 - 11:38 AM, said:

I agree with nearly all of this except....
"Posters are a pointless waste of time"
All of our (mostly pub) venues demand and expect them. Some, not all, use them on their Facebook and Website, as do we. All of them use them on the walls to at least give the impression that there are always things going on at the venue. Whether that persuades people to come and see you in particular is an open question, but every little helps. Personally, if we play somewhere and there's a poster up for a band I fancy seeing I'll go if I'm not gigging. Would I be trawling through the listings and pick them out? Probably not. A case in point: was in a local pub last night and spotted a poster for a couple of guys I know doing a Sunday afternoon acoustic in a couple of weeks - I'll be there.

We have a couple of pubs that ask for posters, we send them out and they don't use them!! Btw, these pubs are not just down the road so it's not exactly a diy scenario! When we asked about them we tend to get the stock "nothing to do with me" answer!
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#148 barneyg42

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:34 PM

And just to add these same pubs are still advertising last years gigs on their sites!! We do our own publicity anyway but it's a bit frustrating!!

Edited by barneyg42, 21 January 2017 - 03:35 PM.

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#149 PaulWarning

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 04:11 PM

a badly run pub stands out a mile when posters advertising gigs that have gone are still up, amateurs, same with out of date facebook pages, it's not rocket science is it?

#150 Maude

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 05:53 PM

View PostPaulWarning, on 21 January 2017 - 04:11 PM, said:

a badly run pub stands out a mile when posters advertising gigs that have gone are still up, amateurs, same with out of date facebook pages, it's not rocket science is it?

I might start a band called Rocket Science, at least when a punter ask the landlord "Who's playing in here on Saturday?" they can rightly follow with "It's not Rocket Science is it?"
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