So, this concept dawned on me only last year. I was invited into a fan’s house to do a show in their living room. (Well I actually asked!) It was the best gig I have ever played! I was welcomed into a lovely warm environment, given food, drink and amazing Brummy chat. Then I played a show in front of a packed room of kind friendly faces, who were listening to and engaging with my music.
What an amazing experience! It all came about as I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the London gigging scene. Especially where some promoters where involved. There are SO many promoters in this city and I know only a small handful of really honest, hard working, dedicated and music loving promoters in London, and it has taken me three years to find them.
I heard someone say “if a band can’t bring a least 8 people with them to a show they are not worth my electricity”.
How is that in any way constructive, helpful or compassionate? An artist provides their art, you provide the electricity to run the computer to formulate the promotion campaign that you will them implement to ensure your evening is the most successful it can be because you have booked such a fabulous act!
The job description is in the name, dickhead.
The formula is all wrong! It’s terribly broken!
I have a long list of names I never want to work with again. It’s not that they are not lovely people, or that they don’t have integrity in their work, I am sure they believe fully in what they are doing and that they are right but they are looking at the whole thing from a totally different angle than I am.
So, I asked myself “why should I work with any other human being if we are not both striving towards achieving the same goals?”
To connect with people
To promote my message using music and receive feedback
To create genuine and long lasting friendships
To be able to express my voice in a safe and comfortable environment
To earn a living from playing live music.
With the current system that the UK is working on at the moment it is becoming harder and harder for artists to earn a living from performing and is unbelievably hard to be a career artist by using the same old method of going through a promoter and playing at a venue.
So I found an alternative! An alternative that allows me to fulfil ALL…yes EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE of the above goals - and so much more! You know what, I was never once warned that I would “receive no money if I didn’t bring 10 friends”. Never was I told “if there isn’t a great turn out we may not book you again” before the gig (a great confidence boost, to be judged on your turn out and not on your music). My host did not make me feel inadequate by boasting about the “up and coming” artists that played there last week, or go on about his own reputation in the industry. And he knew my name. Seriously. This has happened on too many occasions where the promoter didn’t even know my name. How is that even possible.
No, I received nothing but a RITZ style welcome and it’s a warm glow that I still have in my heart.
My first house show made me feel special, significant, connected.
So I urge all artists that are doing what I am doing to get a message out to your fans! ASK them to host you - they will, and they will be so excited about it! Not only that but the will become genuine friends, people you can ask for an opinion for the rest of your career.
Enjoy their praise and allow them to enjoy your music in return. You will have such a rich and mutually beneficial relationship and fucking hell, isn’t that what it’s all about?!?!? Make it about people and people will make it about you! Together you will keep each other pushing forward and upwards, creating and sharing art and having a blast doing it!
Thank you to the promoters doing it for the love, that is why we are doing it too. Thank you to the fans that are hosting shows - you are keeping the artists fed, watered and able to KEEP CREATING!
Thank you for reading. I’d love to know your thoughts! Get in touch!
Rosie is on tour this summer around the UK and Europe. Check out www.rosiebans.com/gigs for more details.