I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned we’re still searching for a drummer. Thus far our friend, and session drummer, David Oliver has been on board for our live performances but that can’t continue really. As long as we give him enough notice, and he’s available, David will do gigs for us but is unable to commit to the number of rehearsals a band needs together. Not only to get really tight but to develop their own unique sound. And to get to know each so you become a unit on stage. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing some great live music, performed by people who look like they’re enjoying it at least as much as I am.
I believe, more than anything, it is being distinctive that makes the difference to making it in the music business. All the brilliant musicianship, performances and industry contacts are simply not enough. You have to be recognisable, that recognition is your brand, and brand strength is vital. Even achieving brilliant musical performance after brilliant musical performance isn’t enough. I remember reading once that it’s the stuff you do on stage, other than your music, that gets talked about as people make their way home. And that rings true to me.
I formed a band in my late teens with a brilliant bassist called Dan. He was really into Level 42 at the time and could emulate all Mark King’s tricks. Anyway, his brother, whose name eludes me, was an even better guitarist. I recall arriving at Dan’s house to hear his brother playing along with the latest Van Halen album, all of it, not just the odd track, note for note with Eddie Van Halen, having bought the album a couple of hours earlier. Some weeks later my band supported this guys band at the Old Tigers Head in Lee Green, London. We did our set and, if I’m honest, we were more enthusiastic than good at what we did. We had a good time, came off stage and sat down for a few beers to enjoy the headliners. Three songs in they were booed off. Their musicianship was extraordinary, but they couldn’t write a catchy song and did almost nothing in the way of movement or audience interaction on stage.
On another occasion, Stoneheart, the band I was in at the time, supported a Gothic style band at Woolwich Polytechnic, again in London. Again, we did our thing. The two stand-out events during our performance, to me anyway, was the lead singer leaping off the stage and pulling out his mic lead and the bass player, a really tall guy, leaping in the air and pushing his head through the polystyrene panels of the suspended ceiling. The goth band came on, the singer opening by bad mouthing us, which is never a good move as far as I’m concerned, no matter how bad we were in his eyes. Within two songs, people were calling for us to come back on.
My point is, despite the inadequacy of our musicianship compared to these two bands, we respected the audience enough to realise we had to put on a show, not just turn up and let the music do it’s ‘magic’. If people can make the effort to spend money to come and see you, the least a band can do is try and make the evening special.
If anyone has some great on-stage antics stories, please feel free to share. 🙂
Anyway, I got a bit off track then, back to our drummerlessness. Davy made contact with a guy who could be interested. He’s been sent a link to our tracks on ReverbNation and will get back once he’s had a good listen. All fingers crossed.