# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Miscellaneous - Feature

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 23 / 6 / 2006

Miscellaneous - Feature


Dixie Ernill recently brought his favourite group the Experimental Pop Band up from Bristol to play his local cricket club which is based in a small village just outside Manchester. He writes about his past and present experiences of putting on gigs

Live music is great. You can’t beat it. Putting on a gig can have fantastic rewards, but it is extremely hard work. I’m not a professional promoter (Thank God !), but over the last ten years or so I’ve tried my hand at putting on a few bands at my local cricket club. Now my local cricket club is in a small village and is more used to holding barbecues, presentation nights, birthday parties and the occasional ‘covers’ bands, so to bring along an indie band playing mainly their own material is always going to be a challenge. In 1992 I put on Po!, a little known (but very good) band from Rutland. With no publicity, I managed to get about seventy people into the venue - mainly due to some of the fifteen year old junior cricketers bringing their classmates along. Still it was a good gig. All the costs were handsomely covered and the band were cheered back for three encores. A couple of years later, I dipped my toe on the water again and invited Gear (fronted by ex-Chesterfields member, Simon Barber) to perform. Despite a fair bit of publicity locally, only about forty people turned up. The band played a great set and an encore (an hour later to satisfy some late-comers from the local pub), but I felt awful having dragged them up from Yeovil (a five hundred mile round trip for about £150). Ticket money didn’t cover the costs, but a few beers were sunk, so the club didn’t lose out. My third attempt in 1999 was aborted at the last minute (well a couple of days before to be exact), when Sarah Record Label band, St Christopher, were due to play. Ticket sales had been non-existent and I was under pressure to pull the gig. Thankfully, St Christopher’s guitarist was stuck in France, so they were happy to cancel it too. So that’s my history. Patchy at best. This year, despite the above, I decided to go all out and try and entice my favourite band, the Experimental Pop Band to play a one-off gig. I’d asked them before, around the time of my 30th Birthday, and they’d turned me down. To my semi-amazement, nearly five years on, they agreed and a date of Friday 19 May 2006 was inked in. I had 2 months to sort things. Keen to ensure everything was going to be a success, I wrote down a strategy (a bit 6th form I know….):- ·Publicity – NME, Q, The Fly, Manchester Evening News, Bury Times, XFM Manchester, Tower FM, Experimental Pop Band website, Pennyblackmusic website, Brooksbottom Cricket Club website and posters in record shops. ·Contacts – work colleagues, family, friends (old and new), work contacts, members of the cricket club, old football team mates and local people I had a list of about one hundred and eighty people, needing just eighty to break even and make the place look full. For two months solid I became everyone’s friend and friends with everyone. I spent countless late nights and weekends on the computer e-mailing people to encourage them to attend. Every Sunday afternoon I was in Manchester putting up posters in record shops – I am not sure how long the posters stayed on the walls for, but only once was one still there the following week. Only The Fly listed the gig and only XFM announced it over the airwaves. The websites did their bit, but it transpired that the only tickets I sold were to people I had personally invited (pestered) or their friends. Thankfully I had pestered well as about 90 people turned up and in the main it was a great evening. The downside was not going to bed and drinking far too much for far too long. Still, as they say, that’s rock n roll!

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