This is Bandmin. Hello.
We would like to start with a cautionary tail, as we illustrate the travails of independent musicking in the London (that semi-autonomous bankrupt state), and the UK at large. We confidently speak for everyone, of course, whether you like it or not. Which brings us neatly to agents and band representation (such as a manager or booking rep.). Much of what Bandmin has to say can also apply to performance artists too, it must be noted.
It turns out, even though you have got yourselves into the enviable position of having someone else negotiate and bag your gigs, that it is not all plain sailing after that. Therefore, in the name of lazy journalism (because we’re busy earning real money as hedgefund managers), we decided to quote in full a valuable observation made by Mr Santiago Genochio, exhalted leader of The Rumpus Party and outspoken advocate of spreadsheets, commonly found in the quicksands of the London underground scene. Read here his sage words (ignoring, if you please, the disrobing clause):
“A gentle piece of advice to Bands and Performers…
[I say this as someone who regularly approaches bands with bookings; is regularly approached for bookings; and regularly pays bands and performers for their work.]
If you are represented by a booking agent or manager, you may wish to check in on how you are being represented. My impression is that often they are judged on the basis of how many bookings are coming in. You may wish to check how many bookings are *not* coming in.
Over the years I’ve often decided not to book an act because of how their representative is handling the booking – ad speaking with other promoters I’ve come to realise this isn’t just me being a grumpcunt. It sucks, because this isn’t directly caused by the act themselves – but ultimately that’s the person that I have to interact with.
As good as your album or youtube video is, or as many likes as you might have on Facebook, if booking you happens through someone that isn’t acting with either basic professional standards or common manners, you might be loosing more bookings than you imagine.
If your act is professional enough to have a manager or booking agent, you may want to check if they are in turn acting professionally enough to be trusted with representing you. They work for you, after all.
EDIT: If your act is represented by Frederick Snow, don’t worry: as long as he continues with his strategy of turning up at promoter’s houses and disrobing in the living room, you’re pretty much guaranteed bookings.
EDIT EDIT: If you’re not represented by Fred, consider asking your manager/booking agent to attend his “Securing Bookings Through Disrobing” workshop. Tickets are available through me for a mere £150.”
And there you have it! Yes, it is still all about you, even when someone else is doing the bit that you aren’t very good at. Read the quoted text above, if you just skipped here to the summary. Do we at Bandmin need to say more on the matter? Should we add a comments section below this article (we are thinking not, because it’s extra hassle and FB or Twitter is where you can throw in your meaningless claptrap, ranging from the ignorant to the desperate)? Do DJ’s count (trick question)? Are all booking agents the unreliable, fly-by-night scum we have all come know and love?
We’ll try to ignore you.