Touring – Two Views

One of the main reasons that Pierless Music exists is to try and help local acts get out of the Hastings area and into the wider musical world.

There are, of course, several different ways in which this could happen. It might be via a video posted on YouTube, hence why we’re happy to showcase those videos when we can.

Then there’s the chance of an act’s music being played on a radio station, either local, national or international.

But, another main way by which a band starts to attract new fans is by touring. Many local bands play one off gigs in places such as Brighton, or London. But not that many venture further afield, playing several gigs in a row – a tour. Once again, there are a number of reasons for this.

Some bands are happy to stay local, but others are more ambitious and want to expose their music to a wider audience, hopefully kickstarting a musical career as they go.

Even if you are ambitious, there are still obstacles to overcome, before you can get out ‘on the road’.

We have come across two blog posts that highlight some of those obstacles, both for a band starting out and also one a bit higher up the pecking order, but still taking the DIY approach, which is what you’re likely to be doing.

The first is from a very good UK based website called Sentric Music. They often have very relevant, useful information and blog posts, including this one. It is a part of their ‘Fund Your Future’ series of posts and is called ‘Ask the Tour Manager’.

In it an experienced tour manager answers seven questions about touring, which are especially relevant to a band starting out, taking that DIY approach. It’s well worth a read if your band is thinking of gigging further afield:

http://www.sentricmusic.com/blog/2014/november/26/ask-the-tour-manager/

The second post is by the American band Pomplamoose. In it they explain how they went about booking and playing a recent 28 day tour of the USA.

As mentioned earlier, they are a more established band, playing to 1,100 fans at the Fillmore in San Francisco for example. This is obviously a USA centric post, but we feel it is still very relevant and an interesting, eye-opening read as well.

The post is written by one of the band. See what you think:

https://medium.com/@jackconte/pomplamoose-2014-tour-profits-67435851ba37

If this has whetted your appetite for playing gigs outsdie of Hastings, then we may be able to help you. The Stinger magazine will shortly be announcing some exciting news for both new and more established acts in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

Part of this will involve helping one act to get out ‘on the road’. More details will be revealed shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.

A Word In Your Ear

I was going to write a blog post about the potential dangers to your hearing of loud music, especially at gigs. And then a post appeared about that very topic on one of the many music related websites that I follow.

So, here it is: http://sentric.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/if-you-like-it-then-you-should-have-put-an-ear-plug-in-it/

The writer has said many of the things that I would have included myself, including mention of the varying cost of ear protection. Yes, you can pay for personal moulded ear plugs, which obviously come in at the higher end of the price scale. Or, you can do what I did and find some reasonably priced, but still very good alternative options online.

Of course, as with just about anything, you do tend to get what you pay for. For example, the first pair I bought were very cheap and are nowhere near as good as the ones I upgraded to recently.

Whatever option you choose and you really should choose one, it will certainly pay dividends in the end.

Like most people who have attended many years of loud gigs, I have Tinnitus (a ringing, hissing or similar senasation in one, or both ears). I am one of the lucky ones though, in that mine isn’t too bad. I know of musicians and gig goers for whom Tinnitus can be quite debilitating and once you have it, the chances are it’s then there for life.

And don’t go thinking that Tinnitus is something that affects only older gig goers like myself. I was recently talking to an 18 year old musician who is already suffering from a permanent ringing in the ears, due to playing and attending loud gigs.

Another misconception and something that was touched upon on in the blog post above, is that ear plugs ruin the whole gig going experience. I’m sure that might be true if you buy the wrong ones, but the better quality options will only reduce the volume, not the quality of the sound.

I’m not suggesting that we should all go acoustic and unplugged. Rock music needs to be played loud, if only to piss off the people who don’t like it. You can’t expect it to be played quietly, but that doesn’t mean that you should permanently damage your hearing through your enjoyment of that music.

Some forward thinking venues even provide ear plugs for their staff and customers, which can only be a good thing. I was at Rock City in Nottingham recently and there were boxes of free ear plugs next to the stage door. It would be good to see more venues doing the same kind of thing.

It’s never too early, or too late to start wearing ear protection and it’s certainly not un-cool to do so. I’ve no doubt there are many people out there who now wish they’d worn them in the past.

As Joni Mitchell sang “You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone”.