There’s a sure sign that things aren’t improving economically this year especially for pubs and clubs and we’re definitely feeling the knock on effect. Gigs are certainly a bit thinner this year. After talking with some other guy’s from popular covers bands, they’re being hit as well, so it’s not just individual bands being knocked back. I’m hopeful most venues are seeing this as a time to clear out some of the crap that’s managed to leak out onto the circuit.
I read a post on Ross’ Blog where he has said the same things, as we have less gigs this year, I think it has an effect on us as a band. We seem to have got into a rut musically and the drive to be the best has undoubtedly slipped, what hasn’t helped but is totally understandable is that Dan our drummer is looking for a job on the wind farms which could take him away at short notice for a few weeks at a time. The concern is he might not be available for gigs already booked and we could end up cancelling with very little notice to the venue. Again this whole situation could in a roundabout way be attributed to the current economic downturn, however I won’t go in to that bit… Dan must do what he needs to do to pay the bills, we all know that and support him.
But this is Dan we’re talking about! He’s a fantastic drummer and we rely on him a great deal, we’ve talked about getting a dep in but I’ve seen some resistance to the idea, however to carry on doing what we do, it might be a necessity. The other side to this double edged sword is cancelling gigs at the last minute quite rightly upsets the venue owners, which in turn usually results in them not booking you back again.
Musically I think we can move on again with some great suggestions coming out recently, also keeping it new, fresh and material that you don’t normally hear other bands play. Even so, I can’t see where the band is headed at the moment with what I can only describe as a limbo state hovering over us. Its not nice or enjoyable compounded by the fact we possibly had the worst gig ever last Friday night at TP’s in Colchester. The place sells cheap booze which attracts idiots already drunk by 8pm, the building has awful acoustics which made our sound thin, empty and cold. At most there were thirty or so people to start with which rapidly dwindled as it got later. Apparently someone was shot in there sometime ago, for me that says it all! This was one of those gigs where the owners know their place is going under and try to get music acts in to draw crowds hoping that’s the bands following will come, so to all venue owners – THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!! We’ve been used for this on many occasion and I’m beginning to get tired of it but hang on, here we go with the economic climate again! They have to try anything to survive, being a guinea pig however, sucks!
The final insult was when we finished our set the DJ then practically played our entire set again and the crowd grew in numbers dancing away oblivious to us trying to load our gear away – WTF!?!?!?
So… to keep my mind occupied while we ride out this uncertainty I have started a project to upgrade some of the components in my new Blackstar Soloist 60. It’s a great amp however after having it apart for a minor repair recently, I noticed some of the factory components aren’t the best! Research on the web also confirms this. The stock speaker and valves they use are obviously put in place for cost purposes and are of low to medium quality, so I’ve purchased some new bits and pieces which should ‘upgrade’ the amp quite substantially! I have researched each new component in depth to make sure I get the best results, I’m going to post up a full account of the project once done and tested. There’s going to be quite a bit of work involved, I just hope that at the end I still have a band to use it in…