Let me start this blog by asking you - what makes a gig a successful one?
Basically we had two gigs on one day. The first was a Saturday afternoon slot at the Lichfield Roots & Folk festival and the second a slot at the Ale & Wagon in Leicester in aid of Oxjam.
We turned up at a very posh medieval style building in Lichfield around midday ready for our 1pm slot. Although the event had not started yet, we were very worried about the lack of people in the venue. We grabbed a table and chatted away for around 40 mins until the first act of the day took to the stage. It was a full band playing old dancing tunes and they were very easy on the ear. We gathered our gear and took to the stage. The room had filled up a considerable amount and we kicked straight in to The Preacher. No problems at this point. By the second song I had snapped my ‘A’ string but managed to get through to the end of the song. By the third song my ‘D’ String snapped which rendered my guitar useless and at this point we panicked as we had no spare guitar and another 5 or 6 songs left to play. We made a call out for a guitar, but no guitar came. The crowd were not the most talkative and our usual banter didn’t seem to get them loosened up either. With Michael playing chords and myself just singing we played another song and then, as if by magic, a spare guitar appeared. Michael played a solo version of ‘Great White North’ as I tuned and then we blasted through the last couple of songs at full throttle. The string breakages coupled with the unresponsive crowd and no stage sound (despite 5 stage monitors pointing at us) made us leave the stage feeling like failures.
Then, someone came to buy an album, then another, then another and so on. The unresponsive crowd turned into a chatty bunch and full of complements and lapped up our albums. We also nearly filled a sheet with email address and suddenly it felt like this losing battle had been swung around. We said our goodbyes and left the venue to get home for three o'clock. This gave us enough time to recharge the batteries, change some strings and get ready for gig number two.
We arrived at a very full Ale & Wagon pub around 6pm and couldn’t even get to the front to meet the promoter because of the crowds. We sat near the back and listened to the two artists that were on before us and watched the crazy drunk students as they enjoyed a pint or 10. We finally pushed our way to the front and set up our gear . We hit the crowd with the usual set of high energy BR clobber and this time all was grand. There were a few mic issues with myself but we seemed to nail the performance. Maybe we wanted to make amends for the afternoon gig so we rocked just that little harder and enjoy it we did. I did break another two strings though on the last song :)
So, back to my original question of what makes a gig a successful one? Well we played well below par at gig number one yet gained many emails and album sales. I deem that as successful. Now gig number two we played a blinder yet only sold a couple of albums and got less emails however, because of the performance I deem that successful. So to answer my own question, I would suggest that any gig where even a single album or email address is gathered should be classed as successful, regardless of how good we thought we played.