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Filed Under : Music , Rants

Posted By : Smitten Kitten | Comments : 28

Breeze Bar St Helens

Don't know if any band on here play the Breeze bar in St Helens, But i've just had a call from them saying that they can't pay any bands more than £150........ This would be our 3rd gig at the breeze bar and have never had any problems before but this is rediculous, we took this booking back in January on the agreement of our normal price, surely band can't just decide to change their mind. I don't ring up venues and say we changed our mind on the price I would honour it and if they rebook ask for more...........

Has anyone else had this problem? or has anyone else had a Cheaky call from the Breeze Bar?


# Posted by Wez From Teh Griffin!!! - 09/03/2011, 17:39 (GMT)

Tbh I would be thankfull they called an let you know. If they are having problems with filling the place or rent has gone up what are they supposed to do? I'm sure many bands on here have been short paid after they have already played. Thank the landlord for his call and decide if u are going to do the gig!

# Posted by Jez - 09/03/2011, 17:53 (GMT)

with Wez on this Sam - admit, it is cheeky but honest also. Dont know what they normally pay but is the difference when split that much to each of you?? Ask em if you can pass a bucket as well or free drinks or something?

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 09/03/2011, 17:58 (GMT)

it's not the money I'm bothered about...... It's just what's the point in agreeing on a price If they can change their mind? they should honour their agreements realy.......

# Posted by Jez - 09/03/2011, 18:02 (GMT)

I see where you're coming from and it's hard to say right and wrong. They have given you notice not just pulled the plug and you do have chance to reschedule. Personally, I'd think long term and bargaining power when things pick up. Tough one :0\

# Posted by Alyerpal - 09/03/2011, 18:02 (GMT)

Tricky one - but you're all right!

An agreement SHOULD be honoured, but if it can't be, then it is bang on to let you know.

You now have the option to decide whether to honour the booking or not.


# Posted by Jez - 09/03/2011, 18:08 (GMT)

I think this fence is going to break Al if we all sit on it!!! :0)

# Posted by Alyerpal - 09/03/2011, 18:09 (GMT)



# Posted by Jez - 09/03/2011, 18:11 (GMT)

patch it up with a tastefully made backdrop!!!

# Posted by Alyerpal - 09/03/2011, 18:48 (GMT)



# Posted by nolongerused - 09/03/2011, 19:01 (GMT)

When a pub has to cut their budget unfortunately band fees are probably one of the first things to be cut. They're not going to cut what they see as other 'more important' expenditures ie, staff wages before paying a band £200+ each week or twice a week. A reduction in fees from eg. 200 to 150 saves a pub £2500 over 6 months based on them having 2 bands on a week...that's £5000 a year!! It's frustrating and something I'm obviously against (being in a band n'all) but unfortunately a realistic view of the way things are at the moment.

That's not to say band's should play for next to nothing or for free, every band has an idea of the lowest fee they're willing to travel & go play a gig for. We've been offered a few gigs 100+ miles away but the venues were only willing to pay their standard fee and we just couldn't justify it, especially when petrol costs are soaring at a rediculous rate.

It comes down to how much you want the gig.

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 09/03/2011, 21:30 (GMT)

Yeah we're still gona do the gig...... cos money is not at all teh reason we're in it. Just wanted some opinions realy......

# Posted by Mr Cottonhouse - 09/03/2011, 22:08 (GMT)

I think that you are right for doing the gig. In todays financial climate it would be foolish to cut your nose off. If the landlord honored his gigs at the agreed fees, that could spell the end for live music at that venue and would therefore be false economy on your part and bad for everyone else.

I don't think that I would bother with the full 'Earls Court' Pink Floyd light show though.... Maybe just a couple of cans on either side...LOL!

# Posted by Fanny Oakley - 09/03/2011, 22:31 (GMT)

its good that they've at least had the decency to let you know so that you HAVE got the option to do it or not...I had a similar call from a manager last week explaining that the brewery are now paying all entertainment by cheque due to some managers claiming funds for things and pocketing the cash...at least we had the option to cancel and try n get another gig, or accept the cheque...these things unfortnately aren't always in the managers control....nice to see some still have basic manners and courtesy though : -)

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 09/03/2011, 23:40 (GMT)

Yeah......... I'm very greatful that they called to tell and not like some *Cough* The Elephant *Cough* who tell you when you have set up........ yeah we're just gona do the gig but obviously won't be going all out on it and everything. They can have what they pay for :P

# Posted by Crazy Train - 10/03/2011, 10:45 (GMT)

I think you have to be careful about this. Some places are struggling but hey, that's life, they are not alone! The danger is that we end up with band fees spiralling downwards because any other venue can say 'If they are getting away with paying £150, why can't we?' and so on...

There are many reasons why a place doesn't do well which includes for example, bad management. If that is the case then it's better for all concerned if there is a change, no? (not saying that's necessarily the case here). We had some of this back in the 90's when, quite frankly, some places were taking the piss with what they were paying for bands. All of the 'calibre' bands got together and agreed not to charge less than £150 for ANY gig. The venues then had the choice to cough up or book the 'sub-calibre' crap that was willing to work for nowt. It was amazing how many places could suddenly afford the minimum fee.

Keeping the live music scene going involves keeping bands on the road as well as venues open. Equipment, repairs, fuel etc. all cost money. We should have a bottom line value, preferably collective, on our shows and stick to it, otherwise we may see these values slowly eroded.

Just my 2pworth

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 10/03/2011, 12:52 (GMT)

Well that's the thing we're carting round a fortunes worth of gear and need to cover our costs at the same time. Fair enough if the venue is struggling but we can't be doing gigs for £150 every week with the amount of time and effort that goes in. They are paying the bloody DJ £100 and he doesn't use his own gear.............. he just roles up and presses play, when we're only getting £150 and providing a full PA and all our gear.

# Posted by Crazy Train - 10/03/2011, 13:00 (GMT)

Well if he's paying a DJ £100 then he's taking the piss isn't he. You should tell him to shove it and all bands on here should back you up and tell him the same! He has to decide which he wants.

# Posted by Jez - 10/03/2011, 14:27 (GMT)

on the other hand, if bands ask for too much, venues pull the plug and the DJ gets the gig. Suddenly very few gigs available for too many bands; its karaoke and discos everywhere and we all have loads of gear we've bought not being used.
This is a hobby, not a profession for most; as with all hobbies, they cost you money

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 10/03/2011, 14:29 (GMT)

I would happily plug my laptop into our rig and put a playlist on if the pub wanted after our set........ and it will be a better sound than what he was doing.........

# Posted by Jez - 10/03/2011, 14:41 (GMT)

might be the way to go?

# Posted by Crazy Train - 10/03/2011, 14:56 (GMT)

@Smitten Kitten - Agreed, and that's what we do as a matter of course.

@Jez C - The going rate around here seems to be about £200. That's not too much, that's reasonable and most venues are happy with it. This guy's taking the piss if he's still gonna pay a DJ £100. And never in my whole life have I been in a band which was happy to pay to gig! A venue puts a band on because it will draw in punters and make them money. Cost me money? I'm afraid I am not that altruistic!


# Posted by Jez - 10/03/2011, 15:36 (GMT)

@crazy train - I'm not suggesting "paying to gig" - although when I was in originals bands many years ago, that was the norm; hire a PA, Lightshow etc - thay didnt cos peanuts then. You charged at the door and hoped to get some back.
With regards to it not costing you money, well all I can say is congratulations, you must have been very successful. If I gigged 2 or 3 times a week splitting costs in a band I dont think I'd ever recoup what Ive spent on gear over the years - hence, its a hobby as I said, and hobbies cost money

# Posted by Crazy Train - 10/03/2011, 16:04 (GMT)

@Jez C - You must buy a lot of gear :) I don't do that many gigs these days, I have a life beyond the diary :) When I first put Crazy Train together though we collectively put about £20k on stage. Let's say 8 gigs a month @ £150 (nineties prices) is £14400 per year turnover. Nock off a couple of grand for expenses leaving say £12k per year, take a ten year run and get £120k less original £20k layout leaves £100k profit! 500% return on investment over ten years ain't bad in anybody's money ;) (If any taxmen are reading this all characters in this post are purely fictitious!)

# Posted by Smitten Kitten - 10/03/2011, 16:17 (GMT)

Just got told that the Dj has had his wages cut to £60 BUT this is still rediculouse........ he's getting £60 and not having to do anything or bring any gear as he's using the house gear, when we're bringing loads of gear and spending the time setting and packing it up. Why can't we have £60 per person?

# Posted by Jez - 10/03/2011, 16:28 (GMT)

@crazy train - fair play to you - think the maths is a bit iffy (based on you being 4 piece £10 per week exes???) and well done for using same gear for 10 years!! Dont think I can go 10 months without buying something!

# Posted by Crazy Train - 10/03/2011, 16:39 (GMT)

@Jez C- Well firstly we're a 3-piece (excluding crew), and £200 a month would cover tax, insurance and diesel on the tranny easy. Also if you suffer from GAS (gear aquisition syndrome), you just need a wife like mine to cure it!

# Posted by Jez - 10/03/2011, 16:56 (GMT)

@Crazy - I got the wife and just found that if you go to work with an empty guitar case they never catch on!!!:0)
We'r a 5 piece; aftr a couple of drinks, deisel (we all travel in our own vehicles), bite to eat and rehearsal place its pretty much gone - I'd only waste it on something else anyways!!! ;0)

# Posted by Synthy Mike - 11/03/2011, 09:50 (GMT)

Why don't you come up with a compromise where you get a few free drinks each for the night to make up the shortfall? Soft drinks in particular cost them nowt to produce, but over the course of the night you'd probably spend about £15-£20 between yourselves just on them.

Also, if you fill the place you'd have more argument to say that if they you ever want to play the place again, you want £200 instead of £150. Perhaps if you agreed to bring a load of mates from Wigan down to St Helens for the gig and to guarantee them a certain amount more on the door than they'd normally get you could negotiate a bit of a pay rise? Maybe do a bit of promo and shove some posters up round St Helens and Wigan too? Get a mention for it on Rock Radio?

Just a few ideas!

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