THE COMPLETE BANKER
I’m sorry? Is that as good as you can do? I’m sorry because I had not remembered to take a bag of rubbish out last night. I’m sorry because I cannot find your wallet that you lost all by yourself. I am sorry because I don’t know whether this is meant to be last week’s blog, catching up or this week’s blog early. Either way I’m sorry.
In 2009, I was happily putting bands on in my hometown of Newcastle. I need a project to keep me away from beer, sex and drugs. Well… beer anyway. I was having an OK go at being a reasonably successful promoter. I was enjoying the fact I could put on the bands I enjoyed and it did not cost me anything up to £4 to see them live. I ‘up’ed my racket to put bands on at World Headquarters in Newcastle - it cost me a small fortune to stage but knowing, with a whopping £5 entry fee and free entry for all attendees to the club night afterwards, that it was great value. We had good attendances. All of my nights out were free.
The money from the gigs went back into the gigs every month. I paid for more posters and I spent hours putting them up in town in order to promote the bands I love. I look back and think it amazing that I spent so much time as a promoter to try and ‘big up’ my local bands. The first time we started to lose money, we blamed it on the recession, the bankers and their idiocy. Because of the recession, people who’d have normally come out to our gig stayed home and watched the freaking X Factor or just fucked each other instead. Well… I suppose it’s free entertainment.
When I lost money… I haemorrhaged it. I refused to stop until I had fulfilled my engagement with the bands I had booked. As long as the shows were good… I did not care how much I spent on them. I could not afford it either. Quite often, I get asked to put a band on or I come across a band slagging off a promoter for not paying them. Let me say this, any promoter operating in Newcastle at the moment is either an idiot or a genius. There is no money for anybody (if you want to do something good and worthwhile). We talk about our art as if our art is some kind of massive money spinner. Most of us, who love it, tend to do it for the love of it and not the money.
Last year, as a promoter I put on 2 ‘big gigs’ with Morrissey and David Bowie shows at World Headquarters. They cost collectively around £3500 to stage. I think I lost about half of that. I didn’t mind so much. It’s ok – we managed to afford it! But I still got this complaint after the show. I have cut out the name but I still find it perfect and amusing to include in this blog, and perhaps it defines the reason I don’t promote bands anymore.
I am emailing to complain about the Viva Morrissey gig that was on Saturday 3rd April. Firstly I had to wait a while (as did others) for the doors to open and then had to wait ages for an act which did not play (the Echo & the Bunnymen coverband) which we really wanted to see. I feel that I did pay to see 2 bands but only saw 1 (which didn't come on until after 10.15pm).
I look forward to hearing from you.
Here is my response,
I have been passed your complaint from ___, Manager at WHQ.
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the night.
I'm sorry you had to wait outside for a while.
I'm sorry you were expecting a support band.
If you think I made an amazing profit from the night and am swimming in money - you'd be wrong - otherwise I'd quite happily invite you to my yacht in Southern France to give you your fiver back.
This was a VIVA MORRISSEY event...
Echo and the Bunnymen's John Peel Fan Club were the DJs for the night. They did play! They were the DJs! They DJed lots of stuff from John Peel sessions and had come all the way from Cardiff to do so. It was stated in the promo that they were DJing and Dave did a fantastic job of doing so, which complimented the band nicely!
The doors opened at 8.15 due to complications with Viva Morrissey's soundcheck - to be honest I wasn't expecting anyone to turn up for 8 sharp! But it's not as if there is not a pub across the road to sit in.
Viva Morrissey went on stage at 10.10pm. 10 Minutes late. It must have been terrible for you!
Your grounds for complaint are weak due to the fact that I delivered a fantastic night worth far more than I charged for entry. I put £300 of my own money into making sure the night would not be too expensive for all the peeps who might wanna come but not fork out a fortune for a great night out. If I was a fat greedy bastard looking to make loads of money from these gigs in some faceless venue then I might understand your fury. But I'm not - so I don't.
I'm an independent promoter, putting a gig on at an independent club for the love of it and no money. Eating cold tins of beans for my tea because I did a good thing last week!
So, when life and people are trying to point you in the direction, I did the right thing and gave up. I reformed myself into Meiosis for something to do in my life. I don’t put gigs on to promote bands so much as to just promote Meiosis. It is an awesome thing I have – and I’m keeping it. I am now in a very good position of feeling I am respected by local bands for what I sacrificed for them and being very able to put my own gigs on. I’d rather someone else put me on – but that’d be disrespectful to all these kidz who need gigs? Right?
Anyway, I want to get Bowie & Moz back in Newcastle. The latter being harder as the band have spilt up. I’d love to get Brett Dominio back or Polarsets, Bernaccia, CaptainTrips, Rioga, Billy Bloodaxe, Ian Courtney, Athletes In Paris, Toxic Melons, So What Robot, Moira Stewart, Middle:Children, Adam, Mickey, The Colt 45s, Psy Of The Dead, Paul Oliver, Modern Colours, Orphean Sounds, The Princes of Monte Carlo, Espionage of the Loc, Mansfield Holiday, Post Modern Geisha, The Refreshers. Heather Frances, Paul Oliver, The Occasion, King Simian, Morris Ford, Simple Swan, Your Casket or Mine, The Blessed Order of Fallen Stars, Deltasound, Lithium Speed Dementia, MetaMusic, The Price Bishops, Charlie’s Hat, Ninepins, Get Vega, This Ain’t Vegas, The Modes, Ditch Your Sidekicks, Mild Peril, No Dramas, the Astral Janes & a band from Barnsley who were amazing but I cannot remember their name + many many more I haven’t had the chance to have a good go at. I’d do it all again – and I remember all of your sets. This was amazing.
I can’t do it anymore because a dick, one day, thought it would be a good idea to invest all of his theoretical money into something that does not exist.
I can’t say that that doesn’t make me slightly annoyed.
However, if this did not happen then I may have turned out to be a complete wanker.
Find some more tunes and stuff from Meiosis: