Tag Archives: life

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.
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?
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.

How one kid saved the day… and South Africa’s future!

25 Nov

I was fuming.

To understand what I am about to tell you, allow me to set the scene:

Kentucky_Fried_Chicken-pictreHungry. That was my primary emotion when I drove to KFC to buy myself and Martha (my household manager (you might call her a domestic worker (screw you, she manages my household and I am going to miss her dearly when I move))) some lunch.

Now, hungry -as far as emotions go- is a very basic, raw and primal urge. It leaves a lot of space for the modern man to experience other feelings and such too. It is important to note, that all these emotions that may be added on top of hungry, are still influenced by hungry, and are therefore going to have a much more pre-homo erectus feel to it. Basically, don’t expect any political correctness, undue niceness or unwarranted patience when cave man me go food find.

neanderthalCave-me bashed through the cement jungle on tar-laid paths to enter the common feeding ground where the chickens are harvested (or whatever it is that they do to turn our feathered friends into deliciousness). When suddenly, a wild asshole appears! Then another, and another.
By the time I turned my tamed bakkie into the drive-thru, I was swamped by creatures of slightly varying age, roughly between squeaky-voice and first beard all the way up to “If I studied harder I wouldn’t be sharing a classroom with my kids”.

The marauding pack of wild teenagers were loud, obnoxious, dirty and callous.  The noise I could handle, cave-me was a kid too (and kinda still is). It was the utter disregard for anything but themselves and the devices of varying technology held in their hands that got me. Empty packets were discarded along with (in my mind) empty futures on the ground. Then it happened. The proverbial excrement was flung accurately in the general direction of the hypothetical cooling apparatus, and struck mid spin.

Two of these careless wild beasts stomped around, shouting at each other (seeing as both had headphones stuffed too far up their ear canals, probably damaging whatever bit of grey matter they have so far developed), and promptly stomped a bit more, right in front of my now visibly frightened bakkie. She (my bakkie, not one of the mammals) let out a warning, a scream, a hoot if you will. The intention was to draw the attention of the strays, so as to avoid killing them.

Their reaction was not what one would expect from a subspecies whose life had just been saved by the kindness of an evolved being. No sudden jumps to get out of the way, no sheepish grins (which up until about 10 years ago was the universal indicator of admitting that you, the lesser being, screwed up). Nothing.
Nothing, except a dirty glance from the one beast, and then… gaze still fixed on its communication device, it did it. An arm lifted, hand visibly straining to be torn away from the piece of technology. From the balled fist, palm-area facing upward, extended a long, ugly middle finger.

go-back-guys-its-a-trapCave-me went wild. Cave-me jumped out and cracked skulls. Cave-me rampaged around, obliterating whatever specimens of these barely post-primordial-ooze individuals cave-me could find.
Luckily, cave-me was still held tight by Bakkie. Strapped in until modern-me got the overhand and started making decisions.

The rest of my hunt went well, and as I left behind me the herd of untamed future-destroyers, I could not help but wonder why we even bother.

Why do we bother to “leave a better South Africa”?
Why do we bother to educate, train and inspire?
Why do we bother to even think positively about our country, and indeed the world’s future?

Pushing a WheelchairThen I turned left, and saw a young man, of the same age and school as the previous miscreants, voluntarily running across the street to aid an older gentleman in a wheelchair. He helped the man to safely cross the street, and as I turned the next corner, my rear-view mirror showed the gratitude on the man’s face as the kid pushed him along the side-walk.

That is why we bother, and that why we must never stop.


Note: I am moving house on the 1st of December. Martha’s travel arrangements unfortunately make that she can’t manage my new living space. If you, or anyone you know, need a trustworthy assistant in the house, and you live in/around the general Moot area in Pretoria, South Africa, please get in touch.

Time flies and scrambled brains

3 Feb

BTTF FlyingIt was the year twenty hundred and fourteen… And there were no flying cars. But then again, we have until 2015 for that…

Many things have changed on our planet in the last year, sometimes overwhelmingly so. One constant remains, however: Nothing changes half as much as we think it might, wish it would or hope it wouldn’t simply because of the dawn of a new year.

“Can you believe it’s February already?”… I’m sure you have heard this being said at least once in the last 3 days.
Yes. Yes I can. It is what generally tends to happen after January.
Why do people have this obsession to state the obvious? I don’t know.
I do know that I do it too, but that’s OK, I hate myself for it just as much as I hate you for doing it. We’re even.

Back to it being twenty14. I started this year with a few goals. No, not new years resolutions (those are stupid), just goals which would more easily be measurable on our beloved Gregorian calendar. One of these were that I wanted to blog more regularly.
I set out to plan a routine, a structure by which I can build more on this little bit of an online identity I have created.

I’m talking serious scheduling shit. Like more poetry, more music reviews, more band interviews and much more random writings about whatever comes to mind.

Multi focus meThen January hit me.

Now I am not one to shift blame… much. But seriously, the first month of this year has been one incredible roller-coaster of work-play-party-network-catchup-prepare-plan-write-work-work that there has been very little left to blog with. Very little time, very little energy, very little me

I am still, however, adamant about taking this blog and doing more with it.
Well, I like it… I really do.
Also because some of you have mailed, Facebooked, Tweeted and cornered me at a bar all to demand some new content. Who am I to refuse?

Some of the plans (a few mentioned above) for this blog involves:

  • Music – Reviews, features
  • Interviews – With whoever I find interesting
  • Prose & Poetry – I need to write more of that. Also, send me yours.
  • Videos – I have a few of those up my sleeves
  • Learning Stuff – Expand my horizons by educating me through experiences for my blog
  • Random shit – It’s my blog. Sue me.

If you have any ideas, or would even like to become a content contributor on my blog, get in touch.

Thanx for reading my scrambled brains post, the first of many (I hope) for 2-oh-1-4

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