Being in a band by Tim

Hi everyone!

 

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had some great contributions from various teachers to Emma’s blog series about what it means to be in a band. All of them have provided some fascinating insights into the life of a performing musician, which is something I have been since I left school..........and no, we don’t need to dwell on how long ago that was!!! I can’t really add much to what the other guys have already said – you should have the firm impression by now that being in a band with some like-minded people and making music together, whether it be your own material or covers of other peoples’ songs, is just about the most wonderful and down-right coolest thing you can possibly do with your life!

 

So what I thought I would do is tell you about the most recent gig I’ve done which was not only just last Thursday but also happened to be alongside our very own TMB bass man Kevin.  

     

 

 

Kev and I have known each for a long time and have been involved in many different bands and musical projects together over the years. His ‘day job’ is in a fantastic band called The Subterraneans who play covers all over the country in all kinds of places from clubs and hotels to theatres and outdoor festivals. Whenever their regular drummer can’t make a gig they call me..... This time Kev asked me if I was free for May 11th a few weeks back which gave me plenty of time to learn the songs – just as well, as MY day job keeps me pretty busy as well! Luckily I was comfortable with most of the stuff they do as I’d played a few times with them not so long ago but they’d added a handful of new songs into the set since then that I’ve never played before so I still had some work to do. Most of my learning was done (as usual) by listening to songs over and over in my car but I still needed to practice playing through a few of them, especially the incredibly tricky to get right Message In A Bottle by The Police – Stewart Copeland was, and is, an awesome drummer! Kev and the other guys decided I didn’t need to rehearse with them before the gig but I still had to work on some things by myself like count-ins, song endings and tempos – two of the most important things about doing this kind of gig, ‘depping’ as it’s called, is to be well prepared and to be able to play what the band is used to and comfortable with. (There’s no written music for this kind of gig, it’s all done by ear, but if it was the first time I’d ever played with a band I would write down some notes and basic instructions for myself just to be sure.)

 

The gig itself was in a ballroom in a massive hotel and leisure complex just outside Cardiff so having transferred my drums into the bands’ van we all travelled to Wales together – band plus professional sound engineer Roger who also happens to be Kev’s dad. The event was a company ‘do’ for a large national gas provider and very often with shows like this it’s a very long day indeed for the band.... Having set off from Coventry about 1.00pm we arrived mid-afternoon and immediately set about the real hard graft of unloading the huge amount of gear including instruments, PA and lights and setting it up on the stage provided. Sometimes you might have help from the crew at certain venues but not this time – we had to do it all ourselves. We were very well looked after though; as we were a long way from home the company had arranged for us to stay the night in the hotel and we each had our own room. We were also well fed before we played – bands don’t always have that luxury! Having finished setting up and sound checking by about 6.00pm we had some time to kill before starting our first set at around 10.30pm.

We gathered backstage about 20 mins before we were due on to quickly go over the set list and make final checks – and for me to go through my normal pre-gig routine of a few stretches and a few rudiments tapped out on a padded chair to warm up and loosen up. This is always a really exciting time with music from out front pumping away – all you want to do is get on there and play! While the final song from the DJ was playing we took our places onstage and as soon as he announced “Please give it up for The Subterraneans!” I counted the band in for the first song – Keane’s ‘Everybody’s Changing’ and we were away! Despite the large audience being stuffed full of good food (and a fair amount of alcoholic refreshment!) they were up and dancing straight away. It’s our job to keep ‘em on the floor so the songs come thick and fast and as the drummer it’s essential that I’m keeping the groove solid – not just for my bandmates but of course to keep the people dancing. The Subs are a joy to play with; tight, professional and, my favourite part of playing with any band, loads of eye contact and interaction between all the musicians – this is real teamwork! After a break of about 20 minutes we finished off the night with a slightly longer second set ending (I think!) just before 1.00am. By this time the audience were really ready for a party and the second set is packed with crowd pleasers, from the epic opening double-whammy of U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and Coldplay’s ‘Charlie Brown’ to the final encore of a medley that includes, amongst many others, ‘500 Miles’, ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ and ‘Under Pressure’. Job done we ran off stage on the ‘high’ that always comes after a good gig. We were pretty sweaty too! We made the very wise decision to pack down all the gear and load it back in the van straight after the gig so we wouldn’t have to do it in the morning, then after a little nightcap in the bar it was off to bed for us six weary musos.......

In the morning, after the obligatory ‘full English’ we set off for home, and there you have it – a day in the life of one of The Midlands top covers bands! smileyyes 

 

See you soon,

 x

 

 


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Being in a band by Tim

Hi everyone!

 

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had some great contributions from various teachers to Emma’s blog series about what it means to be in a band. All of them have provided some fascinating insights into the life of a performing musician, which is something I have been since I left school..........and no, we don’t need to dwell on how long ago that was!!! I can’t really add much to what the other guys have already said – you should have the firm impression by now that being in a band with some like-minded people and making music together, whether it be your own material or covers of other peoples’ songs, is just about the most wonderful and down-right coolest thing you can possibly do with your life!

 

So what I thought I would do is tell you about the most recent gig I’ve done which was not only just last Thursday but also happened to be alongside our very own TMB bass man Kevin.  

     

 

 

Kev and I have known each for a long time and have been involved in many different bands and musical projects together over the years. His ‘day job’ is in a fantastic band called The Subterraneans who play covers all over the country in all kinds of places from clubs and hotels to theatres and outdoor festivals. Whenever their regular drummer can’t make a gig they call me..... This time Kev asked me if I was free for May 11th a few weeks back which gave me plenty of time to learn the songs – just as well, as MY day job keeps me pretty busy as well! Luckily I was comfortable with most of the stuff they do as I’d played a few times with them not so long ago but they’d added a handful of new songs into the set since then that I’ve never played before so I still had some work to do. Most of my learning was done (as usual) by listening to songs over and over in my car but I still needed to practice playing through a few of them, especially the incredibly tricky to get right Message In A Bottle by The Police – Stewart Copeland was, and is, an awesome drummer! Kev and the other guys decided I didn’t need to rehearse with them before the gig but I still had to work on some things by myself like count-ins, song endings and tempos – two of the most important things about doing this kind of gig, ‘depping’ as it’s called, is to be well prepared and to be able to play what the band is used to and comfortable with. (There’s no written music for this kind of gig, it’s all done by ear, but if it was the first time I’d ever played with a band I would write down some notes and basic instructions for myself just to be sure.)

 

The gig itself was in a ballroom in a massive hotel and leisure complex just outside Cardiff so having transferred my drums into the bands’ van we all travelled to Wales together – band plus professional sound engineer Roger who also happens to be Kev’s dad. The event was a company ‘do’ for a large national gas provider and very often with shows like this it’s a very long day indeed for the band.... Having set off from Coventry about 1.00pm we arrived mid-afternoon and immediately set about the real hard graft of unloading the huge amount of gear including instruments, PA and lights and setting it up on the stage provided. Sometimes you might have help from the crew at certain venues but not this time – we had to do it all ourselves. We were very well looked after though; as we were a long way from home the company had arranged for us to stay the night in the hotel and we each had our own room. We were also well fed before we played – bands don’t always have that luxury! Having finished setting up and sound checking by about 6.00pm we had some time to kill before starting our first set at around 10.30pm.

We gathered backstage about 20 mins before we were due on to quickly go over the set list and make final checks – and for me to go through my normal pre-gig routine of a few stretches and a few rudiments tapped out on a padded chair to warm up and loosen up. This is always a really exciting time with music from out front pumping away – all you want to do is get on there and play! While the final song from the DJ was playing we took our places onstage and as soon as he announced “Please give it up for The Subterraneans!” I counted the band in for the first song – Keane’s ‘Everybody’s Changing’ and we were away! Despite the large audience being stuffed full of good food (and a fair amount of alcoholic refreshment!) they were up and dancing straight away. It’s our job to keep ‘em on the floor so the songs come thick and fast and as the drummer it’s essential that I’m keeping the groove solid – not just for my bandmates but of course to keep the people dancing. The Subs are a joy to play with; tight, professional and, my favourite part of playing with any band, loads of eye contact and interaction between all the musicians – this is real teamwork! After a break of about 20 minutes we finished off the night with a slightly longer second set ending (I think!) just before 1.00am. By this time the audience were really ready for a party and the second set is packed with crowd pleasers, from the epic opening double-whammy of U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and Coldplay’s ‘Charlie Brown’ to the final encore of a medley that includes, amongst many others, ‘500 Miles’, ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ and ‘Under Pressure’. Job done we ran off stage on the ‘high’ that always comes after a good gig. We were pretty sweaty too! We made the very wise decision to pack down all the gear and load it back in the van straight after the gig so we wouldn’t have to do it in the morning, then after a little nightcap in the bar it was off to bed for us six weary musos.......

In the morning, after the obligatory ‘full English’ we set off for home, and there you have it – a day in the life of one of The Midlands top covers bands! smileyyes 

 

See you soon,

 x

 

 


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