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Yippee!! Three new gigs

Iain

Member
Messages
35
Location
Helsiki Finland
I live in Scandinavia. The Corona situation here has not been so severe as in the UK, but nevertheless music venues have been closed and most gigs cancelled.
Even though things are gradually returning to normal, it is still going to be difficult to sell new gigs, as many venues have a backlog, and some non-pro bands and orchestras are willing to play for nothing, in their eagerness to get back on stage. They see this as a sprat to catch a mackerel. In reality it is more like a slippery slope!. Fewer and fewer venues are willing to pay a fee for a performance. Some will still offer a 50/50 deal on ticket sales, but most seem to prefer to rent the venue, and let the performers take the risk.

So, the committee of the big band in which I play scratched their collective heads to find something that might appeal. We came up with the idea to hold traditional swing dances once a month this autumn. These days, there are not many places where people can dress up to the nines, and dance to a 20 piece big band in tuxedos, under a mirrored revolving chandelier for a modest 10e (just eight Quid!)

We took this idea to a promoter, who thought this would be the ideal way to "get things going again" after Covid 19, and offered us three dates.

I have, over the years, been to many dinner dances but most bands seem to be poorly prepared for such a gig. The gaps between tunes are too long, and dancers get tired of waiting and go to the bar, from where it is difficult to get them back to the dance-floor. The ideal dance seems to be two sets of 52mins with a fifteen minute interval. Two hours in total.

Duke Ellington said that he thought a shellac record was ideal length for dancing - 3 minutes, but these days dancers like to dance a bit longer, so two titles of the same tempo and genre can be played "seque" (back to back) with the drummer continuing to play time at the end of the first title while the conductor counts in the second tune.

As band librarian, I have started to put the folders together for the first gig - altogether 33 titles in pairs except for the last waltz.

From the practical point of view, and in particular for a non-pro band, dance titles need to play well, but be sight-readable so that it does not take too much rehearsal to get the titles for the gig into shape.

Something to look forward to :)

Iain
 

Jimmymack

Member
Messages
589
Location
London
I live in Scandinavia. The Corona situation here has not been so severe as in the UK, but nevertheless music venues have been closed and most gigs cancelled.
Even though things are gradually returning to normal, it is still going to be difficult to sell new gigs, as many venues have a backlog, and some non-pro bands and orchestras are willing to play for nothing, in their eagerness to get back on stage. They see this as a sprat to catch a mackerel. In reality it is more like a slippery slope!. Fewer and fewer venues are willing to pay a fee for a performance. Some will still offer a 50/50 deal on ticket sales, but most seem to prefer to rent the venue, and let the performers take the risk.

So, the committee of the big band in which I play scratched their collective heads to find something that might appeal. We came up with the idea to hold traditional swing dances once a month this autumn. These days, there are not many places where people can dress up to the nines, and dance to a 20 piece big band in tuxedos, under a mirrored revolving chandelier for a modest 10e (just eight Quid!)

We took this idea to a promoter, who thought this would be the ideal way to "get things going again" after Covid 19, and offered us three dates.

I have, over the years, been to many dinner dances but most bands seem to be poorly prepared for such a gig. The gaps between tunes are too long, and dancers get tired of waiting and go to the bar, from where it is difficult to get them back to the dance-floor. The ideal dance seems to be two sets of 52mins with a fifteen minute interval. Two hours in total.

Duke Ellington said that he thought a shellac record was ideal length for dancing - 3 minutes, but these days dancers like to dance a bit longer, so two titles of the same tempo and genre can be played "seque" (back to back) with the drummer continuing to play time at the end of the first title while the conductor counts in the second tune.

As band librarian, I have started to put the folders together for the first gig - altogether 33 titles in pairs except for the last waltz.

From the practical point of view, and in particular for a non-pro band, dance titles need to play well, but be sight-readable so that it does not take too much rehearsal to get the titles for the gig into shape.

Something to look forward to :)

Iain
Sounds great, I’m jealous. Lots of luck.
 

Iain

Member
Messages
35
Location
Helsiki Finland
Thanks for your encouragement! It could be a great success, or it could be a lead balloon - we shall see.

We used to play lots of swing dances, Amongst the Lindy Hoppers, it is traditional for the lady dancers to line up to kiss the musicians on the cheek at the end of the last piece. That was a very valid reason for the saxophones to be in the front row:)))
 

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