Playing for free

I can’t believe how hard it is to get a gig, even if you’re offering your services for nothing.

As we found out recently thanks to the londonist, there a lot of pubs that have playable pianos, with nobody playing them.

We (Burton Bradstock) thought that we’d pop into some and ask if we could play a couple songs. No catch, we don’t want a gig (not necessarily, all freelance musos are programmed to sniff out potential gigs), just to play a few songs…..

This is not as easy as you might think. Firstly, you’re given the ‘Spanish’ and secondly you’re bombarded with “weekends are too busy, ‘Karaoke’ on Wed, and an open mic night on Thu” etc. Nothing wrong with the latter, well actually…. No, we just want to come in occasionally and play a few songs, perhaps in the day time?. “Well we have business people who come in to read the paper, not to listen to music!”.

I imagine that you’re thinking NO is NO, and you’d be correct, I shouldn’t push the subject, but it still astonishes me that two professional, reasonably successful musicians who are offering their services for free are greeted with disdain.

To be devils advocate, I can see from his point of view it’s probably like someone coming in and asking him if they can dance freestyle at the back of the pub for no reason at all.

I suppose my point is that the music culture in this country dictates that we should fit in to a prescribed system and that status is measured on youtube hits or singing an insipid cover of the Power of love.

The fight begins….









One comment


    It doesn’t surprise me Jimbo…but it does annoy me.The world is changing very fast and we just missed out on the era when it was ok and probably encouraged to just walk in and entertain and have a bit of fun talking shop and all.I have the same problem trying to get galleries to hang up my art work..the days when you could just walk in and have a friendly chat,ask if you could hang a picture or play a piano don’t exist anymore as I’ve discovered myself.People are always suspicious of out-going people like ourselves and always confuse confidence with arrogance and no matter how pleasant you are!!! The world is now unfortunately full of jobsworth robots without soul who can’t possibly think logically for the benefit of their buisness and certainly not for you.
    Keep going though mate…it’s their loss…fuck em.
    The world is a bloody mess!!!!!!!!
    Lots of love
    Neil x

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