Tag Archives: How to

Band Basics: How to get booked, level 1.

11 Oct
I deal with a ton of messages and emails from artists or agents looking to get booked at places. Most of them suck balls, and not in a fun way. (Coz that might be more useful than the application they sent)
**Skip to the bottom if you’re too lazy to read all the points**
Now, I’m not saying every artist should be a marketing genius, or that every agent/manager should be amazing at what they do. But common sense is worth more than a degree in entertainment management or whatever qualification it is that people waste their money on.
If you want to be considered for an event/venue, try the following few basics. Logically, there’s a bit more to doing things properly, but if you just start with these points, you’re better than 80% of your peers/competitors:
1. Write a coherent message. Seriously, just freaking read what you wrote afterwards. Imagine this is a job application. Or the first time you’re meeting your lover’s parentals.
stupidpeople2. Keep it short and sweet. I have not met a single venue owner/booking manager who have ever read an entire band’s bio in an initial mail. Nobody gives a shit where the drummer’s grandma was born or that the pianist started playing on a plastic banjo at the age of 2. That’s the type of shit fans MIGHT read once they already like the band/artist.
3. Info that’s needed: Who you are/who you represent. Short summary of artist bio “Kosie is a country singer from Vereeniging, who plays a lot of sokkie covers and some catchy originals. He can either perform solo with his ukelele and backtracks, or with his 3 piece band called Kosie’s Koeksisters.” Then briefly mention if you are open to playing door deals, or if your intent is to charge a fixed fee for your performance. I realise that not everybody feels comfortable doing this. But it makes my life much easier when I know what you want. Don’t feel obliged to give a set fee yet, as you don’t want to lose a potential booking because you got greedy in your mail. Also, just the fact that you have to apply for a spot, means that you are probably not worth that amount yet.
3b. You might mention a few notable venues/events that are relevant to the one you’re contacting. And for the love of fuck, your artist didn’t “share a stage with Francois van Coke” if he played at 10:00 and Fokof headlined at 23:00.
3c. CONTACT INFO. Cell and email. Basics, but often forgotten.
4. Links, not attachments. Links to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Only attachment should be a photo worked into the message.
5. Do your research. It’s all good that you’re trying to get your music(ian) into as many places as possible, but at least open the event or venue’s page before you message them. II just received yet another request this morning for an Afrikaans sokkie-poppie to play at a rock venue. Seriously?
5b. Research will help you to sound more intelligent. If there’s a detailed mention in the event description informing you who to mail for artist applications, and you send a message (or worse, post on the FB event) asking that very question, I will laugh at you (and hate you at the same time). Again, it’s not only me. Ask anyone that has to deal with that level of lazy stupidity from 40 bands per day for a week after an event is announced.
5c. When should you approach a festival? Generally when they announce that artist submissions are open. Not a freaking week before the event, or if it’s annual, give at least a month after the event before bugging organisers about the next one.
dave-grohl
Bonus point: Build relationship with the relevant people. This point, much like the others, actually deserves a post of its own. But for now, just realise that networking is important, and you’re more likely to get booked if you have had a beer/tequila/conversation with the decision maker in question.
Again, there’s a bit more to the game than just the mentioned points, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
TL;DR?
Just remember this
  • Common sense.
  • Keep it short, info relevant and links to what’s more.
  • Do your research.
  • Network.
If you think this post might help bands be better, please share it.
Also, please do give feedback/input if you have any. There’s a lot more that can be added to what I said, so feel free to do it.
generic-band

A R200 Braai for 4 people – Recipe

5 May

Legendary lover of The Braai, BraaiBoy, challenged a bunch of bloggers to prepare a meal for 4 people.
The catch being that the maximum budget for the meal was R200.

Now, R200 is a shitload 2-min Noodles. But this meal had to be awesome, so I went ahead and created Awesome.
I went to Spar, bought my ingredients and surprised myself not only with good food, but also an interesting life lesson.

This is my recipe. Let me know what you think (and don’t forget to go check out all the entries on BraaiBoy’s Facebook page):

Baas de Beer’s Chilli Mince & Sosatie madness:

R200 (2)
The meal consists of the following:

  • Chilli & Garlic Mince served in a hollowed out pepper (in this case green &red), as well as on a bed of lightly flavoured Couscous
  • A bacon-wrapped chicken sosatie/skewer
  • Braai-mielie (Corn on the cob)

R200 (19)

Ingredients:

  • Extra Lean Mince – 700-800g
  • Chicken & Bacon Sosatie x 4
  • Sweetcorn x4
  • 150g Cheddar Cheese
  • Mixed Chillies & Garlic pack
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 250g Couscous
  • 4 Large Peppers (I like the green & red more than yellow)
  • Spices: Salt, white pepper, black pepper, Aromat
  • A swig of milk and a spoon of butter
  • Water

Process:

  1. Grab a beer with a mate, and light the fireR200 (21)
  2. Chop stuff:
    1. Chillies (quite a fine chop, but not mush)
    2. Parsley (also quite a fine chop)
  3. Hollow out big peppers by just cutting through the connecting bits and twisting out the centre (tip: use sharp, round tipped knife. Pointy ends make holes and that is bad)
  4. Crush the garlic (I added salt as you do, but also some white pepper)
  5. Wash your hands (Tip: Rub hands with salt and stroke with flat side of stainless steel knife. No more garlic smell)
  6. Finely grate cheese (Yummy tip: Take the bits of cheese that fall outside the grater, ad a tiny pinch of garlic and eat)
  7. Peal the corn
  8. Make sure to check your fire, should be halfway ready now, and time for another beer.R200 (22)
  9. Work your peppers, garlic and 95% of your parsley into the mince. Add salt (a decent sprinkle over all the mince)
    Chilli Tip: Not too much. I was in the mood for a sinus-clearing, earth shattering chilli, so I added quite about 4 times more than a normal human should serve. On average, I would say about 2 green/red, 4 yellow/orange will be good)
  10. Boil water (about 1 litre should do)
  11. Add lump of butter into pot, heat on full and add mince when warm.
  12. Quickly stir mince to brown a bit, and add water to mince level.
  13. Let this boil, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Turn down to a hectic simmer.
  14. By now your fire should be ready. Grab a beer and put your corn & sosaties on the fireR200 (17)
    1. Corn – You can pre-prep them in the microwave for about 8 minutes on high, inside a clean plastic bag. This saves time on the fire, but does take some of the authentic fire-taste away. When on the fire, do turn regularly.
      You CAN salt the corn on the fire, but seeing as this is a quite a spicy meal, I like to have the corn as is.
    2. Sosaties – Remember, there’s chicken in there, so you don’t want to dry it out too much. You won’t get crispy bacon anyway, so don’t aim for that. When almost done, pour some of the sosatie marinade/sauce over the sosaties.
  15. While braai is happening, go back to the mince and add a swig of milk. By now the mince water level in the mince should have substantially subsided.
  16. Also add the remainder of the sosatie marinade/sauce to the mince. Taste test, and add salt if needed. Stir.
  17. Make CousCous (this literally takes less than 5 minutes)
    1. Very important: Ignore what they tell you on the pack (they want you to make couscous yucky and gross)
    2. Lubricate saucepan/skillet with butter, add about 1 cm of warm water (ie water that boiled, but about 5 minutes ago) and add Couscous to water.
    3. Stir, and add water as needed to get almost a mash-texture. Remember, the heat is on, stir a LOT.
    4. Add ,some ground black pepper, salt and Aromat. Don’t over-flavour, as this will be a bit of a neutralising agent for the severity of the chillies.
    5. Stir some more, until it resembles course putu pap. Remove from heat.
  18. Put a layer of Couscous inside the hollowed out peppers. Not too much.R200 (18)
  19. Fill peppers with mince (strain as you do, don’t want sloppy peppers) and sprinkle cheese over top.
    1. Wrap peppers in foil, put in mostly dead fire for about 2 minutes. OR, if you (like me) forgot that you didn’t have foil at home, simply pop them into the microwave for a minute, just to melt the cheese.
    2. Sprinkle remainder of Parsley over the cheese.
  20. Once your sosaties are solid, and your cobs brown, remove and place on plates, alongside peppers. Spoon some Couscous and the remainder of the mince onto the plates.
  21. Voila! A Meal for Four for Less Than R200.

R200 (1)

My suggestion would be to pair this meal with a red wine, but not an expensive one, seeing as your very chilli mouth will not appreciate it. I went fora Café Culture Coffee Mocha 2014 Pinotage. Coz that’s what my mate Charlie brought over.

The thing I realised in doing this, was that you can really prepare a decent meal on quite  small budget.
In real life, I would say that you can ditch the ornamental peppers, buys some more mince, corn and add an onion to the mince. This would easily feed 8 people for under R250. As things are, I have enough Couscous, chillies, garlic and parsley left to make another interesting dish.

What do you think of my first attempt at food blogging?
Also, my first written recipe. Ever.
Do drop a comment below and feel free to tell BraaiBoy I am awesome.

Lastly, for the doubters:
Here’s a pic of the till slip to prove that it was all under R200

R200

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