Over the years I've been called a lot of things.
No surprise there.
Some good and some bad, but in the main when descriptive terms have been thrown at me they haven't really been that accurate.
Music journalist. There's one.
I've never been a journalist in my life. Music or otherwise.
Music critic. That's another.
Of course I've criticized music, but not in any sort of professional capacity. I'm just a guy who does a blog and previously a couple of fanzines.
Hey. I think McDonalds make shit burgers but that doesn't make me a food critic.
The main one that is out there and running free though is the oft claimed promoter.
Over the last year I've been called that far more often than anything else, but the truth is that I'm not a promoter either.
Instead I'm a music fan who puts on a gig or two, or three.
Some may ask what the difference is, or even claim that their isn't one, but there is.
Or there is to me.
A promoter sees a gig as a business proposition.
Very often they will put on a show that features acts that they don't particularly like.
As long as bodies come through the door then it doesn't really matter who is playing.
It's the same deal if it's a company that books international tours or someone who puts on a gig in a venue that holds a hundred.
The bottom line is that they want their event to be a financial success.
Now I'm not having a dig at that.
Everyone should be recompensed for the work they do, and if someone books an act who has a buzz about them purely to make some cash, and they then work their backside off to make their show a success then more power to them.
It's not my thing though.
Here's some things I do, or don't do, that to my mind separates me from what a promoter does.
I've already pointed this out, but I only book bands and solo artists that I personally like.
Basically from the supports to the headline act I'm a fan of what they do.
I don't book a venue first and then look for disparate acts to fill it.
I like eclecticism, but there's nothing worse than a show that doesn't flow.
I don't block book a venues Friday and Saturday nights months in advance without a line up or at least a headliner secured.
(I've never understood that from a venues perspective. Very often they are knocking back booking queries as a promoter has a date pencilled in with no actual acts sorted for it. So they are relying on nothing over something?)
I do compensate supports for their time and of course I provide them with a drink or two, or three, or four to.
I don't do ticket split deals.
I don't demand that bands sell x amount of tickets to be allowed to play. In fact I don't ask bands to sell tickets at all.
I don't ask bands not to play a gig a week, or a month, around the gig to ensure that if people want to see them then they have to come to my gig. (Of course common sense comes into it and it's never a good idea to play the same venue, or one around the corner, three nights in a row prior to the one they are going to play with me, but of course we all know that)
All of the above are why I'm not a promoter. I don't stick to the remit and I have no interest in doing so.
I'm not running a business. It's a glorified hobby really.
I enjoy booking acts, the bands themselves seem to all have a good time, and the people who have attended the gigs have been very kind with their praise.
I get a kick out of it and I reckon others do to.
In fact I don't have to post on facebook asking if there is anyone, and I mean anyone at all, who wants to play a gig as I have a long list of fantastic acts who I like that want to play for me.
In time I hope to be able to provide them all with a slot that suits them.
On top of that I have a list in my head of people who don't know me, but who I would love to have play.
They don't have to approach me.
I'll pursue them.
So there you go. Don't call me a promoter. I do promote gigs, but I'm not a promoter.
Others who I also consider to be music fans who put on gigs as opposed to being actual promoters are.
The Vagabond Social Club guys, Flowers in the Dustbin, Noizy, Phoenix Mayhem and The Fallen Angels Club.
There are more of course, but these are the people who look for the talent and then promote it to us all.
They invest themselves in their shows. You should check them out.