Get a gig (part two)

Band playing live. Photo: James McLaren

Last updated: 05 February 2009

If it's your first gig, patience is a virtue. Promoters receive lots of demos, so be prepared to wait a while. Do chase up the venue, but refrain from bombarding them with reminders - be assertive but be prepared to wait. "A small nudge a few days after you send the demo is a good idea. It might spur the promoter on to listen to it," adds Rostron.

There are ways round waiting months and months for that debut gig. Why not put one on yourself? "Consider getting other bands together and putting on a whole night yourself," states Rostron. "Why wait for a gap on the bill if you could arrange your own bash?"

But what to do when you've successfully secured your first gig? What should you do when you're in the venue? Every band has a different approach to their sound, but there are some basic pointers that should ensure a trouble-free experience.

If you don't treat the promoter with respect you can kiss any other future gigs goodbye and you will have Close quotation marklost a potential venue.

Ian Shaw, Rock Sound

"Check equipment specs thoroughly within the venue," says John Rostron. "Find out what they have and haven't got and get in early for the soundcheck, and be nice to all the technicians. Should you get the wrong side of them, they have the ability to make you sound terrible.

"Also, keep your ego in check - it's your first gig, don't make it your last. Do ask for payment though, even if it's only to cover your petrol. Be reasonable and you'll get some money - you're doing this for fun, but collecting scraps will help pay for new kit or gigs in the future."

Ian Shaw confirms that whilst a Gallagher-esque attitude and swagger may be good for the cameras, you should always be nice to promoters and venue staff. "If you don't treat the promoter with respect you can kiss any other future gigs goodbye and you will have lost a potential venue."

Finally, remember to have fun! Once you're first couple of gigs are out of the way you can build contacts with venues and promoters. You'll increase your exposure and play more regularly, and they will come to you rather than the other way round.

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