Tuesday, December 12

Weird Concert Locations.

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The underfunding of bands and orchestras, musicians that need some more money to pay the bills. Bands put in a situation where they can’t get out of. A deal is a deal. Mostly gathered from www.themouthpiece.com. Enough talking let’s start:

One of my personal to start with: A festival of bands in Germany we had to do our concerts given by the organisation there. We had to play at noon, a nice big hall, exactly two people showed up to listen. They got a very exclusive concert.

A nursery school christmas concert with a full school brass band: Where we had to sit on chairs for 3 year old

Kelsall Folk Festival (years ago), where they wanted a 30s/40s/WW2 themed concert so we were expecting a room full of pensioners. Was actually a room full of hippies and folkies ripped to the, er, nipples on cider and weed. The ganja fumes were something to behold. They loved it, standing ovation and 2 encores.

Also near Chester, a farmer had discovered that a previously unexplained “hole” in one of his fields was actually the remains of a small Roman Amphitheatre and had a kind of garden fete to celebrate it, with the band playing in the amphitheatre. Trouble was, all that really remained was a hole in the ground, and a muddy one at that, with no steps or paths down to it. So we had to slither down with all the gear and then try and get back out afterwards, having played in a damp, cold, hole in the ground for 2 hours while everyone else had a much better time at ground level, pausing occasionally to wonder where the music was coming from.

On the back of a truck trailer in the middle of a running track/playing field. In the dark. Every time the percussionists had to play, the whole thing wobbled  then we all got bitten by midges.

Many years ago in the 1970’s being booked by the local council in Kirkby, Liverpool to play for the opening of a new local community centre. The only trouble was it was 8am on a Sunday and they wanted us to march around the local council estate to wake every one up and get them down to the opening. Do you think we received any abuse??? In addition we had to march down narrow alleyways between the flats to the accompaniment of crunching broken glass underfoot and the occasional shout of “MANHOLE!2 from the basses in the front row. The manhole covers had all been nicked for scrap

I’ve done an Open Day in Styal Prison!!  Where there were prisoners sat on Army Tanks! Also got the very prestigious opportunity to play for the opening of a texaco garage in Marple!

Cromer Carnival – playing on a flat back which took us around the town. Unfortunately the parade was so long the front was catching up with the back so it was decided to re-direct part of the parade up a side road, turn round and then return to the parade at a later position. The driver got a bit carried away once he hit the open road and we must have been hitting 30mph before he realised we were nearly falling off the back.

Playing at the opening of a Nature Walk at a local hospital. Unfortunately it was a freezing cold day in April. After the opening ceremony everyone else wandered off. Then it started to snow. The five of us were left sat on our own in the middle of a wood in a blizzard not daring to stop playing in case we didn’t get paid.

Many years ago i helped a band out at the annual BBQ/Fete etc for the village;
We were playing surrounded by bails of straw
Anyway it was a lovely sunny night middle of June not a cloud in the sky this was at 7ck BBQ crowd getting burgers,sausages etc.
All of a sudden the bloke who was cooking the food blurted out
“I wish the Food was not frozen as its taking to long to cook”
And put on a bit of oil on to the BBQ to make it cook quicker
With that a big flame from the BBQ came out and set fire to the straw by the side of it this was the band 
You’ve never seen Bb Bass players run so fast

A distant memory from my past: a long walking day (3 or so miles) somewhere up north in which there was no audience clapping and cheering at the side of the road because we were in the middle of some fields – only sheep and cows to appreciate the delights of death or glory etc. When we got back into the village that was the end of the march 

Played at the opening of the public toilets in Holmfirth many years ago….. sad thing, there were about 150 people there!!!!

I played at a Caravan Club event once. We were in a big field sitting on deck chairs and all sorts of folding furniture kindly lent by the members from their caravans. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and windy and really horrible, so the ‘audience’ sensibly retreated to the comfort of their nice warm caravans and watched the telly. We just carried on playing right in the middle of all these caravans, it was bizarre

Part two:


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