Monday, 1 June 2009

Shapes and retarded London promoters

Okay so I'll be nice before I turn nasty.

The fulang probably played their tightest ever gig a month or so ago, at a venue in Kingston (in south west London - fucking ages away). Said venue is called Fighting Cocks, and is actually pretty cool. It's got a lovely, standard-shaped room, with a decent wee PA, nice bar staff, a great sound engineer (forgot her name, except that Stu G had a semi crush on her, har har), and good beer. It was the first gig we played where we got to perform with bands that were on the same noisy, abrasive wavelength as us, and it was just a week after we recorded our EP. Brilliant.

The two bands I got to see before having to catch the ridiculously expensive train ride home (5 quid!) were Shapes, and Gin Panic. Gin Panic were pretty cool, but Shapes were just plain ridiculous in a live context! They're exceptionally loud, energetic, inventive, and very very math-rock. They hail from Birmingham, and are really nice guys. About halfway through their set I realised I'd actually done sound for them at the Windmill in Brixton, which was a nice surprise. Anyways, check 'em out. You won't regret it.

Shapes being awesome. Again apologies for the lazy camera phone pic.

Okay so onto the nasty stuff. If your lucky enough to be my friend on Facebook, you would have got a quasi-spam email from me asking you to click "attending" on a fulangchangandi Facebook event page thing, even if there was ABSOLUTELY no chance of actually attending for reals. Let me explain....

Okay so ages ago Nick booked us a gig at a venue called The Tower Tavern. None of us had ever heard of it, but hey it was a gig, and we needed the experience. Anyway I was the designated soundcheck/backline organiser in the band for that gig, so about a week before we were meant to play, I took a deep breath, and prepared myself to talk to "industry" people. To those in the know, it's usually best either get drunk, self-harm, or worse before dealing with these types of people.

So after half an hour of intense self abusive in front of my mirror, I checked The Tower Tavern MySpace to see what time the gig was listed as starting. Noticing that no bands were listed as playing the night we were booked in, I emailed Malcolm Griff, their "booker":

Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:53:30 +0100
Subject: gig 24th April
From: stu.harwood@gmail.com

To: mgg010@hotmail.com

Hey there,
It's Stu here from fulangchangandi. I was wondering if you had the names of the other bands playing on our gig on Friday the 24th of April, for our promo purposes. I couldn't find them on the myspace. Please let me know,

Cheers


Stu

I received a really long, cut and paste email which included this:

You are required to bring your loyal fanbase/following to the gig - EACH MEMBER OF THE BAND TO SEND OUT INVITES & FLYERS FOR THIS GIG. * You are required to email this contract to ALL other members of your band. Do not do other conflicting gigs near to date to deplete fan base following, as bands should be bringing 15 -25+ people - fan base/following to the gig. Flyers to be emailed IN ADVANCE to your fan-base. Send flyers to each member of your act. (see attached) NOTE : You are also asked to create a Facebook entry invite to this gig, and to email personal invites to this gig (pref. with the gig flyers attached) + send to your fanbase - ie; EACH member of your band to invite people to this gig. Please can you then send us a link to this, so we can check (confirmed guests) ?

I didn't really read this email properly, and emailed him back:
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:42:00 +0100 Subject: Re: gig 24th April From: stu.harwood@gmail.com To: mgg010@hotmail.com Yep I read that weeks ago and have actioned it. All I was asking was who else is playing at this gig, as I cannot find the information anywhere. Thanks Stu

He replied:

On 21 Apr 2009, at 15:38, Malcolm Griff wrote:

please can you send us link to your Facebook invite as we cannot find your band on the Facebook search.
regards, MGriff

A Facebook event page? Of course I didn't read a cut and paste email - it's usually a bunch of crap about not breaking gear, bringing people to the venue... I admit though, my bad.. But seriously, not communicating to me properly, and not advertising the gig on MySpace, because I didn't have a Facebook page? Anyway I quickly created a Facebook event page, and hung around on Facebook chat getting people to RSVP to the event. After I'd gotten about 10 people to click "attending," I emailed Malcolm the link.

I still haven't heard anything back from him since. However two days before the gig was meant to happen, I emailed him this:

Subject: Re: gig 24th April
From: stu.harwood@gmail.com

To: mgg010@hotmail.com


Hey there Malcolm,


Given that I haven't heard from you regarding the facebook link, and that we're not listed on your myspace as playing on the 24th of April, I can only assume we're not performing at The Tower Tavern on the 24th of April. Fulangchangandi will not be showing up to perform tomorrow.


I regret that we have to do this, and I do take some responsibility for not posting you our facebook event page until Tuesday night this week.
I hope this hasn't soured relationships between fulangchangandi, it's respective members, and yourself and the bar management. I look forward to dealing with you again, and hopefully it will be more successful next time!

Cheers Stu

The next day (the day before said gig), a get this text from another guy (I've long forgotten his name), basically saying "Hey there, when can you make soundcheck tomorrow?" I replied
"I emailed yesterday and pulled out of the gig."
Immediately I receive a call from the same number. It turns out to be the "chief" band booker, asking why we weren't playing. I explained the situation, and he was pretty understanding and apologetic about the situation, and his colleague's ineptitude. He said the gig was still on offer, but by this stage I was sick of the whole thing and declined.

Phew!

4 comments:

  1. That's pretty gross that the band have to be total marketing whores in the social-networking world. That cut-n-paste essentially reads 'you will run the venue for us, we will take the money, you should be grateful for the opportunity, tell your friends'. Miss you.

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  2. I know! It's a fucking joke. These types of promoters are missing the point - if they put on good nights, with well thought through line-ups of good bands, in a decent bar in a good area, people will come. Hell, maybe even try and do something original to give their evenings some "buzz." Midgets serving snacks for example...

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  3. My band have played the tower tavern
    it was a very good gig
    The promoter supplied all the backline
    He works for radio 1 which is in the same street[clipstone st] and he is connected to bestival and some other events
    he got us an acoustic gig at the union chapel supporting a well known female singer
    good luck with your band mate Pete

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  4. Ah true... Well I guess we were just unlucky!

    Doh!

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