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Monday, 4 November 2013

Goodbye, and thanks for all the............chips

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Pivo.

If our lives are to be considered as somewhat akin to a travelogue then my time as a booker for the club will be in hindsight seen as a diversion from the beaten track that will feature as a blink and you will miss it footnote.
People come and people go and this is the flow of life.

In the vacuum of information rumours breed though.

So I would like to take this opportunity to explain my reasons for leaving.

Prior to that though I would like to wish all the staff of the venue all the best for the future.
Without exception it has a pleasure to have worked shoulder to shoulder with them, and a part of me feels they deserve so much more than I was able to bring to the table.

So to the bar managers JoJo, Foley and Louise.
You guys are warhorses who just keep going no matter what is thrown at you.
If wealth was truly the reward for hard work then you would be on the cusp of retiring to your mansions to sit poolside sipping on chilled cocktails by now.
Also the ladies who work behind the bar.
Hats off. No one does it better.
Then there are the guys behind the desk.
Omar and Alan are hands down the best sound engineers that I have worked with, and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is looking to run a live show.
The best of the best.
I could wax lyrical for hours while sprinkling every utterance with superlatives and it still wouldn't come close to covering the high regard I hold them in.
And lets not forget James who wandered in off the street looking to book a show and ended up staying and taking on the role of assistant booker.
Meeting James was a pleasure.
Just as I was running out of positive things to say about the next generation who are knocking at the door here he arrived with a suitcase full of enthusiasm and the smarts to make a difference.
I hope that in some way I passed some of my passion for music onto him and one day he will look back and smile about how he started in all this.
Seriously young man. You have whatever it takes and don't doubt that.
It's been an honour to work with you.
To show that I can still get down with the kids here's a fistbump to Finn.
Take no prisoners mate.
Oh and Harris man. I will miss you.
The last few weeks when we have really been able to sit down and work together have just shown me how good you are at what you do to.
Being the press guy is just one string to your bow and I hope that you don't let that ultimately get in the way of your writing.
You are a very talented fella.
I expect to be reading poems, stories and articles you pen for many years to come.
….......and Sam.
The place wouldn't be the same without you big man.
Your security badge should simply say 'Nae Hassle'.
I'm going to miss you all.

In addition to the staff I would also like to highlight a few people who I have met on the way.
Darren and Miff of Gobo Photography who are now friends rather than acquaintances.
Jamie of the New Hellfire Club.
If he was a card in a deck then he would be the King of diamonds.
Campbell Stewart who I feel a genuine affinity with due to our love of RAWK, and the guys at SMOAK.
My life has been enriched by meeting you all.

Okay now all that is out of the way lets wire in to the reasons.

They're a mixture of personal and professional.
The personal is that I have a great deal on my plate at the moment and something had to give.
My children and my partner are ring fenced in that respect so when I made a list of what I need to keep and what needs to go then on balance it is Pivo that has to go.
I feel that I have been neglectful of all my relationships with people that I care about and this has had an impact on me.
I have come to the conclusion that this can't go on and I need to balance my life out better so that I can spend time with my family and the close friends who I love dearly such as Claire Amos and Pauline Oubari.
Those who know me well are aware of how many hours I have been putting in between being a working carer, a single parent and then as the booker for the venue.
It's been a punishing schedule that offered no time to sit back and just chill.
I need to put my hand up and openly say that I bit off more than I could chew.
That's the personal in a nutshell.

Professionally, well if I am to be completely honest I will have to firstly admit that I have always held some reservations about getting on board as a booker as it was never really a position that I have felt any affinity for.
The reason I did accept it was because I thought that in a small way I could have made a positive change to the musical landscape.

I misguidedly thought that by addressing many of the legitimate issues that artists raise then the venue could have acted as a catalyst for change.
It would have been a shining beacon of ethical attitudes in a stormy sea polluted by sharks.
That wasn't to be though, and as I sit here the weight of responsibility for not achieving those aims presses down hard on my shoulders.
I didn't deliver on the promises that I made and it pains me to say that.

I really did think that I could kick start something that would ultimately grow legs and create a vibrant and inclusive music scene where punters and artists coexisted in perfect harmony.

Silly of me wasn't it?
The grand dream dashed on the rocks of disillusionment.

The idea that I had wasn't a complicated one.
Put simply it was that I would look to provide an ethical deal to bands, and in this way they would flock to the venue and ultimately it would become the benchmark that all others promoters and venues would be measured against.
In addition I thought that if I gathered four excellent acts to play on a bill then like 'A field of dreams' the people would come.
Quality over quantity was my mantra.

Sadly the reality was that few bands seemed to consider the deal was any good and continued to gravitate towards deals that are less financially and professionally beneficial to them.
In a rather distasteful and sexist moment I did say that is seemed that if bands were offered the choice of being ass raped or having their balls gently tickled then for some perverse reason they keep going for the first option because it was/is the familiar one.

So that fell flat on its face.

The secondary idea in my head was just as unsuccessful.

Regardless of how talented the individuals were who played it is fair to say it is a continual battle to get enough people out to make a show viable.

There's been much debate about this.
Is it the x-factor culture, are people just disengaged with live music?
Is the economy biting just that bit too hard?
All have merit as reasons, and I am sure we can add many more, but the bottom line is that I have failed in grabbing the dream and making it a reality.

Very often it has been an exercise in punching smoke.
So I am hanging my hat up and my days of being a booker are behind me.

It's a stressful job and ultimately for one reason or another I found it to be solidly unrewarding to.
It was taking more than it gave.

In closing if I may bring it back to the team at Pivo.
I extend my best wishes to you all, and my replacement.

I sincerely hope that they can achieve more than I did.

So there's really only one more thing to say.

Peter. Shut it.


  1. Was a little sad reading this fella, but at the same time it is totally understandable that family and relationships that are often the casulty of rock and roll have to be put back in the spotlight and given your time. I applaud your decision. Take care of the family and the rest my friend will fall into place.

  2. Thanks Doug.
    I will be back.
    Right now there's plenty to take precedence and I am fine with that.
    In the new year I will be independently putting on shows again as I can do them a bit more justice going at my own pace.
    Right now between all the usual stuff I am feeling quite good about getting back in about the blog.
    All I needed to do was evaluate my life to an extent.
    It's done now. :)