General details

Song requests at gigs- funny! 

HOW TO REQUEST A SONG FROM THE BAND 

When requesting a song from the band, just say “Play my song.” We have chips implanted in our heads with an unlimited database of the favorite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar and all songs ever recorded so feel free to be vague, we love the challenge. 

If we say we really don’t remember that tune you want, we’re only kidding. Bands do know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder if need be… it helps jog the memory, or just repeat your request over and over again. 

If a band tells you they do not know a song you want to hear, they either forgot they know the tune or they are just putting you on. Try singing a few words for the band, any words will do. It also helps to scream your request from across the room several times per set followed by the phrases, “AW, COME ON!” and “YOU SUCK!” 

Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well, such as the thumbs down or your middle finger up. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band’s memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of “Personal Friend of the Band.” You can bet your request will be the next song we play. 

Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters and never really prepared for their shows. We simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what we will do once we arrive. We don’t actually make set lists or rehearse songs, we mostly just wait for you to yell something out, then fake it. 

An entertainer’s job is easy, even a monkey could do it, so don’t let them off the hook easily. Your request is all that matters. Once you’ve figured out what genre of music the band plays, please make your requests from a totally different genre, the more exaggerated the better. If it’s a blues band playing, yell for some Metallica, Black Sabbath or Motley Crue. If it’s a death-speed metal band be sure to request Brown Eyed Girl or some Grateful Dead. We musicians constantly need to broaden our horizons and it’s your job to see that it happens… immediately. 

TALKING WITH THE BAND 

The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of a song when all band members are singing at the same time. Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us. And we can converse with you in sign language while singing the song, so don’t worry that we’re in the middle of the chorus. 

Musicians are expert lip-readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, it’s because they didn’t get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips. Simply continue to scream out your request and be sure to over emphasize the words with your lips. This helps immensely. Don’t be fooled. Singers have the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time. If the singer doesn’t answer your questions immediately, regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it’s because they are purposely ignoring you. If this happens, immediately cop an attitude. We love this. 

IMPORTANT TIP 

When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head in both hands and yell directly into their ear, while holding their head securely so they can’t pull away. This will be taken as an invitation to a friendly game of tug of war between their head and your hands. Don’t give up, hang on until the singer or guitar player submits. Drummers are often unavailable for this fun game since they usually sit at the back, protected by their drum kits. Keyboard players are protected by their instrument and only play the game when tricked into coming out from behind their instruments. Though difficult to get them to play, it’s not impossible, so keep trying. They’re especially vulnerable during the break between songs. 

HELPING THE BAND 

If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain standing on stage. If you’re too drunk to stand unassisted, simply lean on one of the band members or the most expensive piece of equipment you see. Just pretend you’re in a karaoke bar. Simply feel free to walk up on stage and join in the fun. By the way, the drunker you are, the better you sound, and the louder you should sing. If by chance you fall off the stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, fifth and sixth part harmonies or a tambourine played on one and three and out of tempo. Try the cowbell, they love the challenge. The band always needs the help and will take this as a compliment. 

Finally, the microphone and PA system are merely props, they don’t really amplify your voice, so when you grab the mic out of the singer’s hand, be sure to scream into it at the top of your lungs, otherwise nobody will hear what a great singer you are. Hearing is over-rated anyhow. The crowd and the sound tech will love you for it. 

BONUS TIP 

As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you are ejected from the club, you can rest assured in the knowledge you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you the following day to offer you a position.

Duo vs. Band 

What suits your occasion? A quick overview of the differences...

Price- This is the first factor, our 4 piece live band is about 50% more in price than the duo. A wedding or corporate event will be approx $850 plus travel for the duo, $1200 plus travel for band. Clubs and other public events subject to negotiation depending on distance and regularity. P.A. and full LED lighting rig included in price.

Performance time- Four hours performance time is the norm, usually 3 sets with a couple of small breaks.


Size-    Our duo takes up about  8 sq m floor area (2m deep, 4m wide), the band about 14 sq m minimum.


Song Choice- The duo uses our custom midi tracks so has the widest range of songs in many genres and suits most age groups, the full band has a similar range but concentrates on classic and especially Kiwi rock- 70's to 90's predominantly, all completely live. For weddings and other special events, we can customise our setlist from your choices, or learn a first dance song.


Setup/Soundcheck time-  The duo can be set up in as little as 1/2 hour in the ideal venue with good access, the band is normally about 1 hr minimum.


Sound volume- The duo can control sound level completely, in the band situation a live drummer sets the overall volume, but we are still at a good level for most situations. Both lineups use the Bose sound system which has a small footprint with excellent front of house performance.


Overall- Our duo offers a reasonable price with a wide range of songs, 2 vocalists with live guitar and keys. Our band option offers a fully live version which highlights the human element more, dynamics with addition of live bass and drums, therefore more adaptability to the event.

ML

1/2/18

 

A successful set list 

OK, you're a band, you have a great range of songs that individually work, but how do you put them into a 15-song or so bracket that always works?
Ever wonder why you sometimes play 2 or 3 great songs in a row, and the next one has all those dancers leaving the floor? 

The easy answer is tempo- use a metronome in practice to accurately gauge the tempo for the version of each song you play, and always move forward, like a DJ. 
Once you get up to about 160- 180 beats per minute (bpm), it's time to drop right back to a slower tempo like 90 bpm- (reggae- waltz) etc, or around 110 bpm. 

So after working through an ever increasing tempo range over 10-15 or so songs in different feels, drop back. Sometimes for ballroom dancers you can mix it up even more- eg. a waltz, (93 bpm) then foxtrot (124 bpm), latin (135 bpm), pop rock (145 bpm), rock & roll (160 bpm) and then repeat.

You may find that the crowd especially likes tempos around 120 - 135 bpm, this is a very common sweet spot, but you can't play all night at that tempo, you have to mix it up. First set try a range of styles & tempos, see what works and use that knowledge to tailor the rest of the night.

Another theory (if you have time) is to always move up in keys, e.g. one in C, then E, then F# rather than going down. Don't play a lot of songs consecutively in the same key, it gets monotonous very quickly. 

Mike Lynch