Upcoming gigs

Upcoming Gigs

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TESTT (Durham): April 12th

The New Adelphi (Hull): April 15th

Workshop Theatre (Leeds): April 17th

Hydra Bookshop (Bristol): April 18th

Derby Theatre: April 20th

Harrogate Theatre: April 24-25th

Ovalhouse (London): April 26-28th


London Book Launch at Ovalhouse, April 26th

York Book Launch at All Saints Church, April 29th

Small Fry DIY, Warrington, 2nd May

Spoken Weird, Halifax: 3rd May

Born Lippy, Newcastle 9th May

Shaken In Sheep Town, Skipton: 10th May

Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

Queenie’s Coffee Nights, Huddersfield: 21st May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Verse Matters, Sheffield: 7th June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Friday, 27 November 2015

20.15 Blog #15: Who Killed Blogging Moose?

The first gig I ever put on must have been something at University, possibly the Hydropaths with Leeds Punk Soc.  The first one I very clearly putting on and being a massive success as Al Baker & The Dole Queue, The Ruby Kid and my friend’s band Elijah At Sea.  I knew absolutely nothing about equipment or running a gig, but it seemed to work OK.  We passed round a hat for UCU on strike and I got a load of mates to do some poetry.  That would prove to be standard for a Henryish gig.
I’ve done a load of poetry gigs over the years.  Too many the count.  But gigwise, I can remember them all because they were, initially, far and few between.

I put on Franz Nicolay and Chris T-T at the Basement, which was very busy and popular, but I still lost a lot of money.  I think that put me off gigs for a long time, despite the fact it was a great night.  For everyone on my support band’s cheaplist, I said I’d give them a quid.  As it happened, I gave them a lot more than what we’d arranged I’d ‘owe’ because they really did deserve more than a few coins.
Again, that would prove standard practise.

Then, in 2014, when I moved into my current house with my mate Nick, we plotted, schemed and devised a gig at some point.  Then KINKY said they were looking for dates.  The time was right, we made our move from the shadows.  We would be Who Killed Psychotic Moose.  The brand was born.
Or so we thought.  We decided to change the Adjective of Moose for various complicated reasons.  It became a running joke which Moose was getting killed each gig.  Poor mooses!

That gig taught me a lesson about putting on gigs, which is true for all the ones I’ve done.  Don’t get bitter because people haven’t turned up.  It’s not worth it.  It’s not justified.  People can do whatever they want with their time, they don’t have a ‘duty’ to your gigs.  If I had a penny for the number of times I’d missed a gig I should have, in fairness, attended to support the scene or a friend, I’d be able to pay Rancid to play Fulford Arms.  I bet folks would come see that, though.

Next few gigs were all pretty well attended, Petrol Girls in March was really busy and had a real energy as we had a few speakers talking about Reclaim The Night marches and Hollaback!  York branch.

No Ditching was a different crowd, but a really fun one nevertheless.

Then Mooseless I put on Block Fort all on my lonesome.  Lessons learnt, that’s hard work.  But it was DirtyGirl’s first ever gig, and it was rammed.

Petrol Girls returned with Typesetter, and already we'd built up a following for the band who are, without doubt, one of my fav bands at the moment

Our the Refugee Action York fund-raiser with Magnificent Seven was a real tour-de-force of York's energy coming together to play and sweat!

I also put on Daniel Versus The World & Ay Carmela!  without the Moose brand, and thankfully had a crowd despite it being a wet, cold half-term Wednesday.

Our last Moose gig of the year, Casual Nausea, had a decent little dedicated crowd, but it reminded me of those lessons from the Moose gig #1, don’t ever get jaded about a gig’s turnout, whoever comes is there to have fun, whoever isn’t misses out.  As long as you did all you could to convince and spread the word, you should relax and dance.  A hard personal lesson for an anxiety-ridden gig-promoter.

So what else have I learnt over this year putting on music gig (poetry gigs is another blog entirely)?

You have a duty to publicise as much as possible.  That means Facebook event, posters, flyers and spreading the word

That’s not just a Facebook event made a few days before that says:  “This will be ace” with no selling points.  If a stranger who’d never heard of these bands came across the page, would they be enticed?

Posters and flyers.  Everywhere.  York has plenty of places to put them.  If it gets one passer-by who wonders whether to come or not, it was worth it.  Flyer other gigs, is the venue is OK with it.  Carry flyers around in case you pass someone in the street who looks like they might enjoy it.  Carry them in case you bump into a friend who asks what you’re up to.  For all it’s illusion of ultimate connectivity, Facebook only has a small circular reach.

In this respect, I have learnt not to put on too many gigs, no gigs for the sake of it, and bands that are truly worth time and energy.  I’ve said no, and turned down gigs.  But when there is a gig worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

I’m still learning.  It’s my basic instinct to just slog it out there. There’s more to it, but I’ll learn.

Thanks to all the people who played a Moose gig, and everyone who came down and supported us.  It’s been super awesome to see so many awesome bands and people!

Next we have Moosefest 2016!  Details here, come down, have a dance!

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