‘Ere, my mate plays guitar, let ‘im ‘ave a go.

So, you’ve driven for three hours, set up your equipment, sound checked, dressed, done two sets, and are just about to pack up the gear and drive home when you hear the immortal words “…my mate plays guitar, let ‘im ‘ave a go.

In very few other walks of life would you ever hear a similar request, “Oy mate!? Can I borrow your tractor, I wanna plough that field”. Just for some reason, musicians and their instrumentation, seem to be fair game.

This set me thinking about my main beefs with this seemingly inoccuous request. The obvious point is that we’re there in a professional capacity to entertain, our equipment is expensive and we don’t want it damaged. However, we’ve also spent long years working on our craft. Collectively, this is our job. So why, oh why would we think it a good idea to let (usually drunken) random guests ‘entertain’ the crowds further, using our precious tools and risk our reputation?

Now it may be that you or your mate can play, and indeed we’ve had people from the audience sit in with us and sing the odd number by prior arrangement – that’s perfectly acceptable. We are not averse to such requests. Sometimes they are good, other times, well… you know.

But, please bear in mind before you ask mid-set (often while we’re playing) if you can ‘have a go’ that the band are there and have been employed to do a specific job. If we refuse you, it’s nothing personal. The bride and groom have specifically chosen us, not you, to entertain their guests. The best respect you can show them is by allowing them to have the entertainment they wanted and paid for. It’s their day after all.

The same might be said for the choice of music.You may feel justified in your heckles to have an Oasis tribute band, but the bride and groom have picked us because they like the music we play. So, apart from the odd request here and there (which are fine in advance), let the band run the entertainment.

Unless you are a Vicar, it’s safe to assume that the band have probably performed at more weddings than you’ve been to and are well accustomed to making the set list work, so everyone can have a good night getting on down, or at the least, watching Uncle Fred get on down. The band, also love to see uncle Fred attempting to get on down. And on the odd occasion, there’ll be some young kid or young aged pensioner who looks far too cool, who just happens to be able to really bust some moves on the dance floor.

Now, that’s really enjoyable for the band to see. People having a good time.

Laters…
Ninja

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  1. True, true. I detect a bit of an overtone in your post Ninja, did this happen again recently on a non LJ gig? Pub gigs are usually the worst for this type of behaviour.
    I remember some drunken Uncle who got up and asked if he could sing Jonny B Goode, for some reason we indulged him, only to be entertained by the world land-speed talking record. He had sung the entire thing in one verse.
    Turns out, nobody knew him either. Now that's ballsy!

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