I love all things band. Today, I’d like to talk to you about how to make a good band great. I’m interested in explaining to you how to go from A to B. Through the blog we are going to explore how your band can do it!
The first biggie for me is that when you arrive to perform at a gig, you are prepared to put on a show. There are tons of great bands that nail ‘sweet child of mine’ in their garage. However, could you go achieve that on stage, in front of a load of music fans, which would then stand there and go - wow!
Make sure you and your band have stood in front of a mirror, in a rehearsal room and worked out a start, middle, and end to your set. Remember this isn’t a list of songs it's a show for other people.
I’ve been to tons of shows, both as a fan and a performer. The one thing that sears a band into my mind is how rememberable they are. So, you need to question what it is that makes you memorable? With that in mind, these following tips should help us remember your act.
You have just killed it on stage, but are you killing it off-stage? How many times have you heard someone say 'they were a great band but a bit arrogant’? The first thing somebody usually tells me is how good they sound, the second thing they tell me is their experience with the band.
Remember to be friendly - if it’s a booker make sure you are working with them on the night, speaking to them about numbers. If it’s your tech crew, make sure they are happy and offer them something from the bar so they have a drink whilst they do your soundcheck. It will make a huge difference the next time you see them.
The most important part of this is to look after your fans. They are your bread and butter - they make your business. If they are willing to get there early and have spent money on your act, then the least you can do is smile and spend a bit of time with them. Even if the gig didn’t go so well.
Let’s say, you have had a really bad gig. Your in ear’s broke, your strings snapped and you hit your singer with the headstock of the guitar. That sucks, and you will probably be a bit down when you come off of the stage. However, that is not Alice’s fault, 14 from Sheffield, wearing your T-shirt, holding a big poster and only wants ten seconds of your time for a signature.
Are you fresh?
I have a problem with bands sounding like other bands. When I first arrived at college ‘The Kooks’ were huge -I know, I’m old. This meant that all of my friend's bands sounded like ‘The Kooks’.
It was boring, the Kooks already existed. And, more recently in Brighton, we had Royal Blood. And, guess how many bands now exist in the two-piece format the same as Royal Blood?
Royal Blood still exists, there is nothing wrong with taking influence from people but make sure it's something new, innovative or and exciting. If I have seen Royal Blood, I’m not exactly excited to see Royal Blood two in my local area. However, I’m excited to see a band that takes influence from them.
It can still work; Airborne is the AC/DC of 2019 and Greta Van Fleet are Led Zeppelin. However, when you go to their shows, you’ll see that they are bringing something a little bit different.
This goes in some walks of music than others, if you are a pop artist, I’d say it’s fifty/fifty these days. However, a rock artist will have more leeway. What I’m talking about is that when you walk on stage you sound great, and you have considered what the audience is looking at.
You are probably walking on stage worrying about nailing your solo, and I understand that completely. However, the crowd may be more concerned with seeing something great, if you get a chord wrong but do a backflip - the crowd may be more forgiving.
Your bands may have started for fun, but quite quickly you have realised you are working towards something. You are a business and you need to go from selling ten tickets to a thousand. You want to achieve that, but do you understand that as a band this is your job. There is nothing worse than one person sitting there day and night on Instagram, facebook and social media, talking to promoters, booking gigs - and the bass player, well he is just there for the gig.
Finally, I want to talk about something that I’m most passionate about. It's the most obvious thing that artists don’t understand, that they should. Giving a reason for people to bring their friends to your next gig is the basis of your entire business. If they don’t you have work to do. This is your route to exponential growth and that’s what will take you from your mum's front room to Wembley Stadium.