April 2nd – Back to the ‘day’ job…

frontline of the Barn Dance Band

Barn Dance Band (frontline)

Function Music..

As much as I like performing original music, whether my own or composed by someone else, I  also like playing music for functions, with the added fillip that I tend to get paid a reasonable fee for doing so.

A lot of muso’s tend to look down on this kind of work. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt like this. This is not to say that I don’t like playing on big festival stage as much as the next musician.

But the main thing about a function gig is that it fulfills a social function. Whether it’s a wedding, a party or even a bar mitzvah, it forms an important part of someone’s life. A live band can not only make a big difference to how successful the party is but also provide all the guests and the organiser or special guest with a memory that can last a lifetime.

This is quite a responsability.

Today (Saturday) we did a gig a birthday barn dance in a little village outside Biggleswade. The amazing gratitude of  all the guests and the ‘birthday girl’ made any hassles from travel, minor technical hitches an the fact that we were performing for about three hours in total worthwhile (oh, and the money as well!).

It’s great to do a good job, get a reasonable fee for it, and help a hall full of people have a great time. I’m sure the same wouldn’t have applied if there had only been a DJ.

On the subject of pay, here’s something that’s been doing the rounds recently;

A guy calls the musicians’ guild to get a quote on a 6 piece band for a wedding. The rep says “Off the top of my head, about $2000”. He says “WHAT? FOR MUSIC?. “The rep responds “I’ll tell you what. Call the plumbers’ union and ask for six plumbers to work from 6 to midnight on a Saturday night. Whatever they charge you, we’ll work for half.” (From Absolute Underground TV)


About Brian Heywood

Brian Heywood is a free range musician who specialises in edgy roots / country / celtic fusion music. Previous work has received comments such as "... aggressive, top notch fiddling set off by periodic guitar explosions." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine (USA), "Just when it seemed as if newer electric British roots bands were getting thinner on the ground - Very welcome and very good." - fROOTS Magazine (UK) and Steve Barnes Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director (Australia) - "... a rocking band - I was delighted with the audience response."
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