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Monday, 30 March 2015

The night before the morning after. Sunday night gigs.

Sunday night gigs are the underdog on the weekend fight card.
Barely anyone would lay a wager that they will succeed in delivering an entertaining knockout blow to the gig heavy week that they hang onto the tail of.

Handicapped by the working week beginning the next morning the night is already up against the odds.
And then there are the poor public transport options to consider.
Oh dear. The last train was when?
All in it is probably only winning if the competition is for an award for worst night of the week to play on.

And yet people do.

God bless them.

They get all their gear ready and march off to venues in the city and take to the stage to entertain the two or three people who are either ultra dedicated to the cause, shift workers, or simply those who are unaware that the party ended the night before.

Normally the gig will either be a venue arranged night for solo acoustic troubadours to play a showcase gig (sic) where their talents can be picked up on, or a pay to play promoters night for solo acoustic troubadours to play a showcase gig (sic) where their talents can be picked up on.

Spot the glaringly obvious problem here.

Anyway, the effort put in to promoting them is often minimal, the equipment required to accommodate the six acts booked equally minimal, and if there is going to be a night doomed to failure then a Sunday night is always up to the challenge.

That’s not to say that there is a problem with the entertainment being provided.
Very often there are diamonds to be found on any night, and on any stage, in Glasgow.
It’s just that on a Sunday barely anyone is engaging with the talent.

So there can only be one thing that is even more disheartening than playing on the night, and that’s if the night itself falls to pieces around the heads of the performers.

Sunday is the night that the sound engineer fails to turn up.
Sunday is the night when the venue decides due to a lack of custom to shut at five, but not tell the performers who are due to start arriving at six.
And Sunday is the night when the chances that the independent promoter decides that a rep isn’t required becomes the bookies favourite.

The last one is pertinent as it allegedly happened last night to six acts that were playing in the 13th Note in Glasgow. (Not that this was anything to do with the venue itself as the 13th Note run a tight ship and provided support to the artists in their hour of need)

With show time hanging like the sword of Damocles above the performers heads the people who had arranged and booked the event were nowhere to be seen.

Of course there may be solid reasons for that, but a plan B didn’t materialize, nor a plan C.

It’s possible that someone somewhere was just simply taking the Lords suggestion that Sunday is a day of rest too literally.

So those participating in the night took control and made it a free entry gig, and if there were any costs needing met then they would bite the bullet and cover whatever was required.

This in practical terms means that they had to liaise with the venue and the sound engineer, sort out set times, stage manage the event and arrange to get the word out about the change of circumstances as well as actually performing.  

Of course the show must go on is an admirable position to take on this, and full support should be given to those who performed for adhering to that age old adage, but it’s not very fair that they had to jump into the deep end like this.

Maybe reasons, valid ones, will be forthcoming as to why they were left carrying the can in this situation, but regardless of that it would be nice if people could show some support for the artists who managed to salvage the night.

Taking some time out to listen to them and clicking on ‘like’ on their facebook/Soundcloud page isn't much to ask for from the music loving community to do.
A few words of encouragement would be nice, and even better would be the offer of gigs to them as they have all shown themselves to be professional enough in how they conduct themselves. Below are some links. Go on. Do the right thing by them.

Joy Kerr. Simeon Wilkie. Rory Cowan and Chris Day. Edward R Cane, Caitlin McKenna and Emma Kelly who hopefully a link will be forthcoming. 


  1. A day promoting the benefits of DIY gigs is being arranged by the NHC Music.
    Watch out for further information being shared.

  2. Glad you wrote this piece, and glad the venue and performers turned it around. I have never commented on a blog before but this touched a little spot that takes you right back to the roots of all good music.Will listen to every act.

  3. Thank you.
    Since I wrote this there has been a few more developments.
    This may be one of those 'watch this space' situations.
    I am sure the artists will appreciate the support.

  4. As of today NHC Music has been asked by the venue to step in and cover two future bookings that were initially made by the same promoter/individual.
    This is due to there being zero contact being made with the 13th Note and a failure to honour the contract arranged with them.
    Normally what would happen would be that a venue would pull the events, but behind the scenes the 13th Note have been looking to ensure that the shows do go on as the issues were not the fault of the acts and artists who were secured to perform the gigs.
    Full kudos to them for the effort.
    The events will be rebranded and the bills confirmed as soon as the bands and artists have made contact.