• Memories of gigs that went wrong
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Memories of gigs that went wrong
on: December 03, 2017, 22:12:28
Hi all, well I thought it might be entertaining to have a thread where we can share any memories we might have of gigs from the past that went wrong – but can now be looked back at and the funny side of the experience appreciated.

With a broad spectrum community like the Kitchen, surely it can’t just be me with a memory full of dodgy gig experiences!

Well I will kick off with this one: 

So going back to my youth I used to play in this particular ‘new wave’ punky style band. It was tough to get gigs round our little town as most venue owners thought punks were trouble makers. So sometimes we would actually  lie a little to get a gig, just the odd white lie – saying we were a Country band, for example.

Now this particular venue owner was looking for a band to compliment their ‘Saturday Night Fever’ tribute night, where punters were encouraged to dress up as John Travolta and cast. Could we do any Bee Gees numbers? asked the promoter. “Course we can, we just love the Bee Gees!” our drummer had apparently replied on the phone…well the gig was worth a couple of hundred quid, which was a lot back then.

So we set about rehearsing a punk version of ‘Stayin’ Alive’. I remember it did have the lyrics in it:

“Ah, ha, ha, ha, you’re not alive, you’re not alive,” all accompanied by a guitar thrash through fuzzbox.

When we were introduced on the night by the DJ a lot of the crowd eagerly approached the stage at the front of the dance floor to listen in and practice their finest disco moves. But within about thirty seconds they had all literally retreated as far away from us as they could, all huddled around the bar, horrified by our punk rock primitive wall of noise.

About two minutes later a somewhat aggressive lady venue owner came running towards us across the otherwise empty dance floor. Mouth foaming etc…
“Group! Group! Get off!” she yelled. But we carried on playing even more frantically and me – as lead singer – kept on singing.” I noticed she had £200 in notes in her hand and was manically waving this at me from the foot of the stage, but she was too fat and unfit apparently to climb onto the stage to manhandle me.

Anyhow, we carried on playing as the punters boos rang out, only having to dodge maybe two beer bottles now being hurled our way. Amateurs! Have you ever seen Barry Gibb lookalikes  throw a beer bottle properly?!

Anyway the gig owner then sneakily appeared backstage, and approached our power bank where she abruptly unplugged our master socket – and wham, we were silenced, apart from the drummer, but even he had lost his punch with no PA amplification. There was only one thing for me to do. I fell to the floor writhing around.

“You’ve electrocuted me! You’ve electrocuted me!” I cried.

“I’m calling the police!” yelled the now very distressed gig owner.

“So are we!” my fellow band members retorted. “And an ambulance!” I continued to writhe on the stage floor in apparent agony

…Well the police did finally arrive.  But a very nice young British police officer advised the gig owner to pay us, and we in turn agreed to waive charges on the ‘electrocution’ offence.

With two hundred quid in our mitts we then went and blew most of it in a local Pizzeria, treating our band and a few of our more ardent followers. Not a bad night’s pay day for a three minute set – that classic, single rendition of ‘Your Not Alive’!

Punk falsetto at its best!

Anyway, any more memories anyone?
If you like novels with a musical theme, why not try 'Sixth Beatle - When Music Changed The World', easily found on Amazon and Google. It is amazing, although as the author I may be biased!


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 23:26:44
That is a FANTASTIC story! I can't help but be reminded of that similar scene in the Blues Brothers movie.....beer bottles flying. I love it! VERY punk!

I can only recount the gig when as a three piece acoustic group doing covers of Jackson Browne, James Taylor and The Eagles we got a gig at a restaurant called Friar Tuck's....good pay. The friar met us at the door in full friar attire and informed us that we were to go from table to table playing. It was....bad. Folks looked up at us and just shook their heads.

A few months later there was a fire in the Friar's place.......guess he was not doing very well.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 23:45:44

A few months later there was a fire in the Friar's place.......guess he was not doing very well.

Haha! Did you sing Come On Baby Light My Fire as you went round those tables, by any chance?  ;D


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 01:11:41
HA!!!

No...but we did sing "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"

 ;D


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 01:22:28
@MichaelA That story is ridiculous but completely awesome!  You guys were swinging around some serious cajones for pulling that stunt!  Haha

I don't have a story that hold a candle to that  ::headphone::


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 23:13:23
Thanks @Knate, well oddly at the time we didn't consider it a stunt. Even though people had turned up for a classic disco evening we sincerely thought that as soon as they heard us play they would be won over to our unique version of  thrash punk....delusional? Yes, guilty!  ;D


Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 23:56:21
Well @MichaelA it seems that these gigs that go wrong often somehow involve DISCO .... yeah I said it
DISCO
Somehow a band that I worked with got this New Years gig. The group did jazz, contemporary jazz, oldies, and some older pop and rock. Well going into the gig someone mentions to me, "Hey, if anyone asks the name of the group it is "------such and such--------' and they might introduce us as "------such and such--------'." Okay, I'm thinking that's kind of weird. That's not the name of our band. They also say, "This event tends to have an older crowd so we'll need to play some old swing music etc.." I think hey that's not a problem at all.

Come to find out the real band must have been double booked so the agent sent us in. Also come to find out the real band did a set-list of almost all DISCO!!!!!  :D

Our first swing number ....and crowd erupted with a resounding BOOOO!!!!! Okay now we had problems. Luckily we knew "Shake Your Booty" and "Get Down Tonight" (the Sunshine Band I think?) All these old people wanted to dance to disco. We just kept playing those two songs. Heck, we were making up our own disco songs! "Take the A' Train" became a disco, "In The Mood" became a disco - everything became a disco. Every once in a while we'd try a non-disco song and man they'd get angry!

That was a long night!  :)
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound


Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 09:34:42
Haha great stories! a couple of bad gigs spring to mind But the one that makes me cringe the most was when my band supported polish rock 'legends' Homo Twist at The Garage in London. I had never heard of them but according to the 3 Poles in my band, this was a big deal. Unfortunately we arrived late at the venue, missed the sound check  and were hurried onto the stage as the largeish venue began to fill, not having had time to tune our instruments. We sounded absolutely terrible, the lights were scorching hot so we were all sweating profusely and the crowd was seriously unimpressed.What made it worse was that the headline act, heroes to our guitarist, were watching from the wings, arms folded and slowly shaking their heads. We split up soon after that...


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 14:25:34
Thanks for joining in @Bill from November Sound and @DanJames with your own entertaining stories. I'm sure you feel better now they are out there!  ;D

I could go on and on re this subject. Other easily recalled horror memories include these in my very own top ten:

1) The gig when our drummer lost his set list, so started the gig playing an entirely different song/different tempo to the rest of us.
2) The gig where a co-host band cut our PA system wires mid song - which ended in a fight.
3) The gig where some kids stole our valuables left back stage, also ending in a fight.
4) The gig where some Hells Angel style bikers did not like our punky sound, so tried to throw a large PA speaker of ours out of a pub window into the river below - which didn't end in a fight, as we were too scared!
5) The gig where the promoter said we should go onstage in complete darkness and start playing. Then on reaching the first chorus he would bang on the lights. But it was so dark we couldn't see to play our instruments properly and sounded dreadful. Then the spotlights dazzled us so badly, well we still couldn't see to play properly!
6) The live radio session where our lead guitarist broke a G string seconds before broadcast, but didn't have a replacement with him.
7) The gig where our bassist tried to crowd surf, but nobody caught him
8) The gig where we hired a full stack sound system, plus engineer to play a University Student Union. The promoter was expecting a crowd of c500 and we'd get all the door money. But Madness were playing in the hall next door, and we got precisely six people watching us. I know it was six, because they were our girlfriends, one sister and the van driver.
9) The gig where the venue owner accused us (wrongly) of stealing a microphone and had to be restrained from attacking us with a very large meat cleaver.
10) Our only ever gig at a 'working men's club' where we had to play three songs at a time, then stop for Bingo. Not big music fans, that audience.

...Happy days, eh?  ;D


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 14:44:35
FANTASTIC stories @MichaelA . Can't top any of them.......

I do remember my first "battle of the bands". We were first up in a massive room with at least six other bands standing around watching us. We had worked out an alternate version of "Louie Louie" that started with a crisp snare hit and then the whole band jumping in hard. I was the bass player.

We practiced that one song for days. We had it down!

Our organist started in the wrong key.

Over 50 years ago and I still cringe at the memory


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 15:49:11
Well it wasn't quite a gig but a concert performance by us, the marching band drummers.

We had these cool LEDs temporarily put on our snare and is controlled by the sticks hitting the snare skin, (Video below explains everything). If you look at 0.49 you can see a lone snare still flashing... thats me  :P . When we moved backwards we had a split second to turn off the LEDs (they could only last a minute or two before the battery dies so it was best we switched it off) So yeah, I missed that chance and I was like panicking for a few seconds before I could actually switch it off. Anyway I got redemption with that awesome skill at 1.20  ;D ;D

Anyway I was kind of laughed at by my friends for the next couple days, but we only had a week to practice all this, so it paid off after all.

The video here. Hope you enjoy it!



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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 19:13:18
@Leonard Scaper, funny story, but what a shame you blew your Battle of the Bands big moment. Just think if that organist had struck the right key. The whole course of popular music might have been changed forever. It maybe could have been you, for example, that took all the airplay that someone like REM or Nirvana got instead...Bet you still would have ended up in the Kitchen though! It was your destiny - sadly! ;D

@Brendan7, you big show off you, with your fancy flashing drums!  ;D Well done though for carrying on flashing on your own...looks like you were the top flasher star to me!   ;)


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Re: Memories of gigs that went wrong
Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 20:38:27
@Leonard Scaper, funny story, but what a shame you blew your Battle of the Bands big moment. Just think if that organist had struck the right key. The whole course of popular music might have been changed forever. It maybe could have been you, for example, that took all the airplay that someone like REM or Nirvana got instead...Bet you still would have ended up in the Kitchen though! It was your destiny - sadly! GLADLY!! ;D

 8)



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