The last couple of weeks have been very interesting. I managed to play several gigs which was pretty cool but the types of gigs were varied to say the least. Most of them were pubs and clubs. No worries there, nice people, regular income, sold some merchandise and some of them even were nice enough to provide a cola and better still a meal. Apart from a couple of ticketed shows, the rest were “rostered” pub and club gigs that in reality, wouldn’t have matter who played really.
The music was wall paper and thank Christ it wasn’t football season yet otherwise we’d have been competing against the giant plasma on the adjacent wall. I mean really… What dickhead puts a TV next to the stage??
But one gig was very different. It was a first for me and sincerely hope it won’t be the last. It was a house gig. What was so different about this gig compared to a pub gig or even a birthday party gig at someone’s home?
The one big difference? A total absence of pissheads and dickheads who won’t let you pack up after your gig for starters.
This gig was run by a couple of people who love music. They set up their house as a tiny little live club. They sell tickets to people who also have a love of music and who LISTEN rather than watch the footy, play the pokies bogging into a $15 chicken parma.
The hosts were gracious, extremely hospitable, all the money went to covering our costs to play, the audience were polite, music loving people who brought their own drinks and food in addition to the snacks our hosts provided. They also bought our CDs too.
We played to about 45 people up close and personal and every member of the audience was part of the gig. It was lovely and it reminded me of the days when our cities had music clubs dotted all over the place. Sadly they’re all but gone save for a handful and those venues who do have live music are full of singers with backing tracks (don’t start me!) or bands like Bon Jovi, Cold Chisel, Lady GaGa.. Oh shit sorry.. I forgot to mention they’re all tribute bands.
House gigs are a growing phenomenon and I’m not surprised.
1. The people who run them are all about the music and often do it for the love of it rather than making a buck.
2. The people who attend these shows are equally as passionate about the music and often don’t like going to pubs because of the reputations some of them have and of course they don’t like poker machines.
3. They get to be up close and personal to the artist and also get the opportunity to chat and provide that instant feedback that only a live gig can give.
OK I listed the pros now what are the cons? I can’t think of any!
I know of many house shows that are being held on a regular basis around the country and I take my hat off to the organisers of these great gigs and to the people who support them. May they continue….