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Eating before/after playing gigs


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#1 ballstomonty

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

Sorry if this topic has been brought up before couldn't find it.

I always used to avoid eating a big meal before I play as I hated feeling full when playing. If I did eat I'd have something low carb like piece of salmon with salad. I always have had plenty of energy to play the gig.

After the gig I'd be ravenous for something starchy and have late night snack of whatever junk food I fancied.This used to work well.

However as I'm getting into my forties my system is just not forgiving when I change my routine in this way. I find I get terrible indigestion eating late and have needed a sugar fix halfway through gigs (bananas work well for this)

We have a big set up for my floyd band (usually takes from 1pm-5.30pm to load and set up all the gear and sound check) and if there are any problems (lighting or sound) set up can drag on so it's not always possible to ensure we get a nice stint of time to eat well before the gig starts especially as at some theatres they want us to go on at 7.30pm. The rest of the band usually just have chips/burgers etc but that really doesn't work for me as I just feel like Humpty Dumpty if I eat that stuff before I get on stage

Anybody got any tips for easily digestible carry foods that could prevent feeling all bloated when playing but stop me pigging out on junk later on?

Cheers in advance

#2 markstuk

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:47 PM

Protein kills hunger pangs and does not bloat - so maybe something like cold chicken breast?

Edited by markstuk, 17 March 2017 - 12:48 PM.

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#3 bassjim

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:57 PM

Pre pub type gigs ( starting about 9pm) when ever possible I try and eat a fairly decent meal at about 4-5 pm. Long before any nerves or pre gig jitters set in. Chicken with pasta or rice dish. Slow burning carbs. Nothing doughy. If its a wedding gig and we are being fed there is usually more of a calm and so then i will go with the flow but even then I dont go " free food!! " and stuff as much in as possible unlike some of my band mates :D

I usually eat a bagel/sandwich/something healthy I/my fiance prepared earlier and a have "a",as in one, beer or two( at the most) when I get back in (midnight- 1 am). I avoid all fast food/takeaways and don't drink alcohol on a gig. ( that one time was embarrassing enough).

On any gig day I try to have a good big healthy breakfast. So that's NOT a fry up!!! I'm 49 but am told by most I look mid to late 30s. (sorry but I also go to the gym most days)

If its a late night and especially if there is a gig the next day, I dont want to be hungover or be out of sync. Its hard enough just having the regular sleep pattern knocked at this age so personally I keep it healthy. Having a good few beers/wine ect on a non gig day or the very occasional post gig party is ok though.

In my earlier days doing this any thing went and I could bounce back but these days I'm there more for the music than the party.

#4 la bam

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

Gig days I always have a large dinner, then a small tea.
This works well for me, and if you need something after, then theres no harm done, it's not like having 3 big meals.

Edited by la bam, 17 March 2017 - 01:02 PM.


#5 Adrenochrome

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:10 PM

I eat about 5pm and never feel too full by the time the gig starts. I guess your schedule might not allow for that - protein bars could help I reckon (they do decent ones quite cheap at my local Aldi).
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#6 Number6

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

Guinness always works for me :)
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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:28 PM

I eat something fairly light about an hour before leaving for a gig, often an omelet and rice, or similar. I'm off the booze at the moment anyway, but rarely drink at gigs, as I have to drive there and back, and play well rather than thinking I'm playing well, and for me, those things don't really mix with alcohol. I used to have a couple of whiskies when I got home, but not at the moment. Can't remember ever wanting food when I get home from a gig.
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#8 PawelG

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:00 PM

To me breakfast was always the most important meal of the day.
You sound like you know your body quite well. Have you ever tried some carb-salads? Or whatever you want to call it. I personally, do not eat meat or fish, so have no experience with adding those into those salads. But basically, you get some quinoa/rice/groats, whatever healthy carbohydrate source you choose and you throw in the veggies into it. You can put some almonds or other nuts in it to make it more filling. Obviously, bit of something moist like sauce or just a splash of oil to digest all the vitamins nicely. There are endless variations of this kind of salads online and they are easy to make and eat on the go. They work really well as they can be eaten cold.
Also, you can try making some kind of healthy flapjack (coconut oil instead of butter) for snacking if you feel hungry. Throw in some dates, pumpkin seeds and stuff like that in there and it will be loaded with energy and you don't have to eat a whole lot - good to keep you going for long time (I use it for cycling - I do add butter and sugar to those though haha)

I am not a nutritionist but that works for me. I hope this helps.

#9 CamdenRob

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:04 PM

Guinne....

View PostNumber6, on 17 March 2017 - 01:14 PM, said:

Guinness always works for me :)

ah... beaten to it :mellow:
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#10 Marc S

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:05 PM

I've never really given this too much thought before. Perhaps because I've sometimes played gigs and small festivals in the daytime too...
As the OP says, I wouldn't want to play when feeling really full - but I wouldn't want to play when feeling really hungry either. I have been known to have a couple of packets of crisps before going on stage.... and we're back to junk food again. I suppose in general, gigging is not good for your health?

EDIT: Re the Guinness comment - I don't like to play after too many beers either! I'm usually driving, so can't drink much anyway. Usually, I'll have maybe just a pint or half before playing. I once had 3 pints (as someone else was driving that eve) - and I really noticed how it affected my playing!

Edited by Marc S, 17 March 2017 - 02:08 PM.


#11 PawelG

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:08 PM

View PostMarc S, on 17 March 2017 - 02:05 PM, said:

I suppose in general, gigging is not good for your health?

The world we live in is not good for your health. But if you put some effort into it - few steps further from the crisps there are bananas and other goodies :-)

#12 ballstomonty

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

Thanks for the advice people. Like I suspected I think I need to plan ahead more than I'm doing now.

Salads with a low gi carb source and some protein do work well. Even wetherspoons do a superfood salad and a quinoa salad which are fine. If the venue is near one of these I usually do ok as say what you like about the spoons they get food out nice and quick.

It's when we run out of time or play more out of the way places is when it goes tits up and I end up with a big kebab at 1am. Protein bars some bananas and a flapjack or two as a back up all sound good. As much as I love a few bags of crisps after a gig it just messes up my sleep and with two kids under three I need my energy!

#13 PawelG

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:26 PM

You can always use that but plug yourself into smoothies. That works before/during and after the gig :-)

#14 Paul S

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:43 PM

I generally have burger and chips before a pub gig at the venue, if they offer such a thing.

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#15 casapete

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:30 PM

I suffer from the same problem as the OP. Sound check over by 5 ish, then a bit of a mad dash to source/eat
food before a 7.30 start. Our default setting is Wetherspoons, as pointed out by someone above. Their menu has
a reasonable choice of small meals including salads etc, and bigger stuff / meal deals for the crew! The hardest
bit for me is not getting a nice pint of their 'Devil's Backbone' with it though.....
Some of our guys bring pasta / rice based dishes from home and use the theatre's microwave, I just like to get
out for a while and have a look round wherever we're gigging and leaving it more to chance. Always end up having
something, even if it's just a sarnie from Sainsbury's.

#16 tonyquipment

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:09 PM

Depends.

Sweet or savoury ?

A packet of meat 🍖 like seasoned chicken or something ?

If sweet then maybe some biscuits ? Flapjack? Something Dense so it packs the needed hunger staver.

I'd like to think of a gig is a bit like a workout. Gotta be focused yet expel some energy. So you wouldn't smash out a large pizza or supersize kebab before a gig. Although for some that is the case !
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#17 Cato

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:12 PM

Sandwich before, curry after.

#18 keeponehandloose

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:22 PM

whatever happend to sex and drugs and rock and roll
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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:50 PM

At 64 I have to be careful, anything can screw my stomach up.

I will have a small meal early in the day if I have a gig that night. I won't eat again until noon the day after.

Remember my gigs are 4 hours with two 10 minute breaks.

Blue

Edited by blue, 17 March 2017 - 10:51 PM.


#20 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:52 PM

View Postkeeponehandloose, on 17 March 2017 - 10:22 PM, said:

whatever happend to sex and drugs and rock and roll

If you find it, great.

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:08 PM

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:49 PM

As we gig far and wide, and most of the time don`t know what is available locally, whatever we can find is what we eat. Preferably just after sound check, give the grub time to go down. For myself, having a stomach ulcer means I have to eat little and often, so I bring some choccie bars & biscuits with me to the gig as well.
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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:52 AM

One's life can really shrink on the road. Eating, shitting, and whether you got any sleep are pretty ubiquitous preoccupations, along with quality of sound/performance/backstage provisions.

An hour before stage-time is the best time to finish eating for me, but fitting it in around soundchecks etc can be a pain. Eating a bigger meal in the day can help, so you can just grab something smaller between soundcheck and show, especially if there's an issue with the sound guys getting in/setting up.

I got to the point that I would rather do anything but see the inside of another supermarket before a show, and to be honest I still​ haven't got myself together since finishing the last tour two and a half months ago (I was away for three and a half). While you can try to work round it, ultimately it's a losing game. The human body craves routine, and the longer you screw with it, the harder it is to keep everything running correctly. I've made the dramatic decision to step out of the gruelling schedule I was on (helped by the fact that the band and show didn't come up to my somewhat exacting standards- all that and an unhappy time on stage was adding insult to injury!) But I look forward to the prospect of touring again for shorter periods and working locally in between, so long as the diary matches up with my next potential client. Point being, there's only so much you can do, and if you're playing enough nights a week, your stomach, bowels, and mind are going to suffer. The rock'n'roll lifestyle is more an endurance test than a pleasure cruise!

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#24 Dan Dare

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:41 PM

I agree with Jus Lukin. A small meal and not too close to the time you have to perform is best. Remember those wildlife documentaries about lions in the Serengeti? They kill something, tear it to bits and devour it, then go to sleep under a tree for 3 days. You don't want to do that if you have to be alert and play.
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#25 PaulGibsonBass

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:17 AM

It's really hard, trying to eat healthily when gigging. Long gone are the days of my youth when I could drink and eat whatever I wanted and not worry about it...

Working a full time job as I do, I might get home at 5.30pm on a gigging night and then the van will arrive to pick me up at 6. It's so easy to say sod it and grab a Ginsters pasty and a Mars bar at the service station. I try to make provision for this by having a light meal prepared, usually chicken or fish with rice. Something light that I can eat in the available time. I try to make this a rule despite the time constraints. Eating a large meal before a gig does not work for me.

I also observe a no alcohol rule before we play. I'll have a couple after we've finished if I'm not driving but nothing before, even a pint seems to dull my senses when playing.
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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

How about during? I remember seeing Henry Cow play on a Sunday afternoon in Southend - probably 1977ish. About half way through a tea-lady wandered across the front of the stage with a trolley full of tea and biscuits. The band were into one of their long "free impro" sections and one by one came to the front of the stage to help themselves. I recall being a bit miffed that we didn't get any. Rock'n'roll.
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#27 casapete

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

When I went to see Willie Nelson, one of the band went off whilst the others were playing and came back with what looked like a tray
with a pot of tea and mugs on it. Given Mr Nelson's.... err...interesting past with other substances, this seemed quite amusing.

Also what about the famous Rick Wakeman story when he was with Yes.

At one of the Free Trade Hall gigs, Rick Wakeman drank eight or nine pints and began thinking of curry. He told his keyboard tech below the stage, "John, we'll go for curry when this is all over." John only heard the word "curry" over all the noise. Twenty minutes later, he brought Rick a chicken Byriani, a few poppadoms, and an onion Bhaji. Rick enjoyed the smell and decided to lay the curry on his organ and eat it. Jon turned to him and said, "I don't believe it - he's eating curry!" Steve Howe was also displeased.

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:54 PM

Protein shakes.

Even the Slimfast cans have plenty of carbs and protein for an easy snack.

Very useful for a pick me up.

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:35 PM

You could always attach a hot dog or mini baguette on top of a Steinberger headstock and nibble between songs and side drums are useful for keeping plates of cold meats. Depending on what and where you play and your typical audience it might be a nice touch to lay out a buffet for punters, the cost being included in the entry price of course.

#30 darkandrew

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 05:54 PM

View Postcasapete, on 21 March 2017 - 12:46 PM, said:

When I went to see Willie Nelson, one of the band went off whilst the others were playing and came back with what looked like a tray
with a pot of tea and mugs on it. Given Mr Nelson's.... err...interesting past with other substances, this seemed quite amusing.

Also what about the famous Rick Wakeman story when he was with Yes.

At one of the Free Trade Hall gigs, Rick Wakeman drank eight or nine pints and began thinking of curry. He told his keyboard tech below the stage, "John, we'll go for curry when this is all over." John only heard the word "curry" over all the noise. Twenty minutes later, he brought Rick a chicken Byriani, a few poppadoms, and an onion Bhaji. Rick enjoyed the smell and decided to lay the curry on his organ and eat it. Jon turned to him and said, "I don't believe it - he's eating curry!" Steve Howe was also displeased.

There's also a YouTube clip of Sneaker Pimps doing a gig with one of the guys eating a burger on stage while playing - didn't look very "professional".

Edited by darkandrew, 24 March 2017 - 08:07 PM.






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