A guide to ripping off bands

“Bands can be expensive to pay, especially if you run a poor, out of the way venue that just can’t seem to keep customers beyond the magic nightclub opening hours. You want to try and keep people there, but they want to move on. As soon as they move on, your profits go and you suddenly wish you didn’t have to pay the band. Follow these simple steps to make sure you’re never out of pocket.

1. Encourage the band to come along. They may offer to cancel the gig free. The ‘better’ bands will offer this several times, including on the night. It is important that you don’t accept this as a cancelled band can look bad for you.

2. On the night, try and avoid speaking to anyone in the band. You don’t want to give your plans away at this stage. If they don’t suspect anything is wrong, they’ll play.

3. Let the band play. Say nothing, especially while there are a lot of people in the pub.

4. Wait until the band is on their last couple of songs, then throw a tantrum, insult the singer and generally cause confusion.

5. Wait until they have got all their stuff out of the venue, then threaten to call the police if they don’t leave. You should be able to get away with only paying them half. If you’re particularly manic, you might be able to rip them off completely.

The only risk to this strategy is that you may find bands stop coming to your venue after a while. Unfortunately, bands do talk to each other and they seem to see being ripped off as rather poor form.”

Our gig was quite good, from the band’s point of view. It was a good sound (I was trying out a new bass amp and was pleased to hear it cut through the guitars), there was a nice choice of songs and we had our audience up and dancing several times during the evening. Highlights of the evening were the improvised back and forth riffing between Stuey and Lucien and me launching a can of coke into the air and watching the contents spill all over my leads. Their contribution was more musical. Mine merely resulted in more sticky cables for the washing machine! While the resulting puddle was slippery while wet, as soon as it started to dry, I began to stick to the floor. Never a good situation.

It was a great warm up for the more important gigs we have coming up.

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