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Getting Up On Stage

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:05 am
by willvine
I'm always amazed at the committed performances given by musicians who are expected to play under poor or less than inspiring circumstances - cramped stages - no stages-tiny audiences.

I started thinking about this whilst watching some bands playing on the back of an articulated truck; a curtain-sided trailer with one side removed. This is actually a really neat and, I guess, economical solution to setting up an outdoor stage and surely much roomier than many a pub but it somehow lacks any grandeur and it doesn't express the joie de vivre of an ad hoc back-of-a- moving carnival truck gig.

In one of my local pub gigs the band stand just to the left (no stage) of the entrance and close to the bar and so are constantly impeded by drinkers milling in and out distractedly shouting or mobile phoning. The guitar players have to physical dodge these people, pulling in the necks of their guitars each time the door opens, and you can well imagine the problems a trombone player has.
If you get the luxury of a stage there's the rat's nest of cables and pedals to tread all over and no room to strut your stuff. Or maybe you're using the chair whose fourth leg is rocking one centimetre from the edge. You've maybe practised all week and here is a small audience intent on watching the football to the end before turning their attention to the meat raffle, then maybe you, third on the bill.
And yet within all this deprivation often is conjured a magic that regularly sustains me like nothing else.
I have worked in some shit conditions (not as a musician) and more than once have refused to play. I salute you all who don't refuse, who play your heart out and wait for what comes round in the hat.

Re: Getting Up On Stage

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:41 pm
by Adam Blake
Cheers, Will. The blues is its own reward...

Re: Getting Up On Stage

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:01 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Reminded me of going to gigs at the Golden Lion in Camden. You had to walk through the 'stage' to get to the Gents.

Playing from the back of trucks has a long history...

Image

Re: Getting Up On Stage

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:12 pm
by willvine
Hugh Weldon wrote:Reminded me of going to gigs at the Golden Lion in Camden. You had to walk through the 'stage' to get to the Gents.


Which reminds me of the same scenario at a small jazz club. Jimmy Skidmore (on stage) to punter exiting the toilet..." Alright mate? Could you hear us in there?.............'Cos we could hear you.