November 9th, 2002

mixed up mashed up world

Spider Jerusalem's best known work......


Last night was one of the worst nights ever at the club. It was one of the worst days I've had in a long time too. Why? Well lets start with the night itself. We have two bands on the bill normally. One of them was to prove agrivating.

Taking a leaf from cmpriest's book I shall not name them lest I be sued at a later date etc etc... so lets pull a name from the air shall we? hmm ok.. this band.. The Fucktards (to pull a name at random), they brought their own sound tech. Fine, not a problem. They'd asked before hand about it, I was cool with that.

However... this is where the problems start. At the Hermit we have a maximum of an hour to soundcheck two bands. This isn't hard, its been done for years. At a club of this size (ie not big) soundcheck is pretty much - get stuff on stage, play, get it sounding good, get off for the next band. Simple, to the point. No hassle.

At least there should be. This guy (american - not that it matters I guess but thats info for you) treated the other two sound techs like skivvys, so much so that they both refused to help him. saying "We're not his slaves." This didn't bode well.

They'd shown him how the PA worked, and frankly its pretty simple. Really, its not hard. They were willing to help, until he tried to change everything around for their one set and treated them like idiots. In a venue like ours as a sound tech you are responsible for setting up, you can't just turn up and expect ppl to do everything for you. Help? Sure. Do it all for you while you order them around like and arrogant prick? No.

The other band by this point were laughing at the whole situation and had dubbed The Fucktards "Led Zepplin" to clarify what pretentious butt-monkey's they were. The phrase of the night was "fucking americans" so I have to say that he didn't not do his country and PR favours by being an asshole.

I spoke to him and explained the situation. I said I'd get the two sound techs to help, but explained what their roles were. He said fine. Fabulous, some compromise at last perhaps? My arse. As soon as I manage to talk the techs back in, he tells them "If you aren't going to help me, get out." Charisma bypass?

The drummer comes up to me (its always the drummer).

Him - "Not being funny or anything (correct) but an hour isn't really enough to sound check one band, let alone two."

Me - "Well this club has managed it for nearly 30 years. Its never been a problem until now."

Him - (pointing to the asshole tech)"Do you know who he his? He's been on tour with Iron Maiden.. he's the man when it comes to this shit."

Me - "No I don't know who he is. I don't really care. He's the guy who can't soundcheck a band in half an hour."

I guess this didn't go down too well. *shrugs* What were these guys expecting? Wembly fucking Stadium?

A little background info on this band would help I guess. They are at a level we don't often get at the Hermit (non blues or Jazz anyhow). They are a polished, just been signed, proffessional outfit. One of them was in a reasonably famous band (Kula Shaker) from a few years ago. However they are also blatently not used to actaully giging in the real world. I had been looking forward to them, they seemed to be quite a good band. I thought it would be a great gig.

Anyhow... having pissed our sound techs off even more btw now (they now refused to even enter the room, one of them was being treated like she knew nothing, the other was physically shaking) they finally tested one of the drums... after an hour and 20 mins. I said to the guy he had ten minutes to test them. He gave me what I'm sure he thought was a winning smile, but was more really a patronising smirk. I'll do my best he says.

No.. you'll be done in 10 mins or you'll not be done at all.

Then my boss comes in. Jeff. There is a whole other rant about Jeff.. but thats for another time. Jeff turns up and we explain whats happend. So he bowls in and says in a loud voice to the tech.

"My guys say you told them to fuck off."

Sorry? Did we? When? Anyhow.. after a heated exchange The Fucktards decide that they are too good to play here and fuck off home. Fine.. bye. Their loss.

Dolly Rocker (the other band) procede to sound check in 30 mins and we open the doors after that. Everyone who turned up on the door was there to see dolly rocker "and this other band I've heard who are quite good are on with them aren't they?"

No not any more they left. No-one seemed to mind, and Dolly Rocker pulled in everyone. So much for The Fucktards.

I really have failed to express the sheer ASSHOLE nature of this soundtech, but you really had to be there. Mellisa tell me White Rain can soundcheck in 30mins... please? Anyhow.. I haven't even touched why my day was bad... that was just the night and a small part of it, just capped it off.

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