THE DECLINE AND THE INCLINE – where will Covid19 take musicians from here.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywg9em/where-do-you-turn-when-the-music-industry-skews-your-mental-health
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywg9em/where-do-you-turn-when-the-music-industry-skews-your-mental-health
When the music industry skews your mental health.

Like many musicians and artists, my livelihood was annihilated once venues were closed.  About $7000 worth of bookings just gone up in smoke.  And we all know how hard it is to secure bookings in the first place – just sheer determination, terrier-like commitment to following-up inquiries, negotiating fees etc.  So, it’s just heartbreaking to have this happen to an already struggling industry and its cohort of gig-hungry musicians in a venue-starved environment

So few good gigs, so few well-paying gigs, so many great musicians not playing as much as they should be, and then there’s the young musicians just struggling to make a start, with stars in their eyes, and nobody willing to pay them more than a bowl of nachos in some cases.

We are an industry already on the brink of extinction.  So will post-COVID19 be better, or worse?  Will it be a nice ride, or a heavy incline back up to where we were before.

The website I Lost My Gig has collated the massive cost of lost gigs during COVID19 – it’s already gone past a staggering $340 million!

i believe that unscrupulous venues will use COVID19 as an excuse to pay musicians even less than the paltry fees they were already earning.  ‘We lost so much money, we can’t afford to pay musicians much until we get back on our feet,” that’s the kind of discussion I fear may happen once venues open up again.

Reputable, large and gambling-based venues will hopefully maintain their high standards when it comes to paying musicians – venues like Twin Towns Resorts, Kedron-Wavell Services Club and the likes.  Great clubs, great supporters of live music and giving back to the community.  Great clubs where Body and Soul Duo, Trio and Missy Vader and the Dark Force have enjoyed being on stage, treated professionally and paid properly.

Brisbane live music
Queensland’s premier duo specialising In functions and anything else that needs great music!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Beynon Vocalist, Sean Mullen Guitar

Brisbane-based 4 piece band kicking arse with 70s and 80s classic rock.
It’s the smaller, less financial and/or less reputable and more exploitative venues that I worry about.  The venues that already host nights where 5 bands play for $5 entry and young, vulnerable and naive musicians get paid in drinks and, maybe, the said bowl of nachos.  Will it devolve to “pay to play”, openly and without any pretence of wages of any kind?

We all know that these venues will need live music to bring back the “zing” after the desolation we have encountered with lockdown.   But just how much will they be prepared to pay for that “zing”.   Will they have any budget for the zing?  Or will the musicians again become the whipping-boy/girl for an ailing hospitality industry?

Am I being too hopeful to believe that the arts will be more appreciated after the extended closure of venues; will people more keenly appreciate music and what it brought to their lives, or will venues continue with the solo artist playing in the back corner of the back bar, being dwarfed by screens and relegated to “background noise” in a crowded bar?

As someone who cut their musical teeth in a 7 piece band in the 80s, I’d dearly like to see that same opportunity extended to the young, emerging artists and bands today.  And that they be paid!   Can we switch off the big screens and focus on the artists?  Can we pay them a decent hourly rate and appreciate how much joy they (usually) bring to an audience?

My hope and prayer for our troubled industry is that each musician stand their ground and refuse to swallow the “we can’t afford to pay you” line if it comes their way.  For in doing so, we stand together and can hopefully improve the music industry from the struggling thing that it has been, to a new, freshly-blossomed industry that has learned to appreciate its water before the well runs dry.

I wish all venues the best of luck in picking up the pieces after the enforced closures, and that they can grow from the experience.

I wish all musicians good luck in re-establishing themselves in the industry, and in holding their ground when it comes to pay and conditions.

Now is a time for a fresh start.  Let’s not waste it.

Time to celebrate with live music at Diggers

Who said the end of the year was about being worn out and jaded after slogging it out for the boss?

On Saturday 30th November, popular club musicians Body and Soul Trio featuring Sandra Beynon (vocals) Sean Mullen (guitar) and Phil J (percussion) will be pumping out the dance grooves in the Bravo Bar once again.    This band has the best cross-genre and intergenerational repertoire of any band in SEQ, and you won’t be disappointed by what you hear.

Come on! Dust off your glad rags and welcome in the silly season at Diggers.

The importance of music in society…..do you dig it?

Body and Soul playing at Diggers Services Club

For the last 12 days we have been travelling up the coast from Perth to Exmouth, and have played at five venues along the way.

When you get to the far-flung corners of Australia you realise that simple things like music are a little harder to come by.

There are some amazing venues in remote Australia; committed to growing their business, maintaining enthusiasm, finding the right staff, serving the right food – all the ingredients required to make a successful business.  And we all know success attracts success.

As musicians, we greatly value those venues that are committed to making live music a central part of their existence.   By believing in the power of music and continuing to offer a range of bands, soloists, duos and trios to entertain their patrons, these venues are upholding the tradition of the connection between artists and the general public.

After all, being a musician is not  never play to anyone?   The jury is out on that but, personally, I believe what keeps you improving, keeps you striving to be the best you can be as an artist, is the opportunity to play to an audience.

Venues like Diggers Services Club are a central part of their community by offering great food, a community atmosphere and a place to kick up your heels on a Friday or Saturday night; with old friends or to find new ones.

We love playing to the RnB-loving community at Diggers and always look forward to adding new songs to our repertoire in the knowledge that they’ll be well-received by our fans.

So, if you live in Logan, make a bee-line for Diggers and check out some of the awesome artists they have every weekend, playing for free, while you enjoy a delicious dinner in the bistro.

The friendly team behind the bar will be ready to mix up your favourite cocktails or pour your favourite brew, so get your friends together and enjoy some good, old-fashioned entertainment right in your own neighbourhood.

We’re playing again on Friday 30th July so maybe we’ll see you there!

Sean and Sandra

Diggers Services Club – more like a family than a club

Music makes you smile

Once again Body and Soul has  been invited to perform at Diggers Services Club to entertain the TGIF crowd.  With Sandra Beynon on vocals, Sean Mullen on Guitar and Philip John on percussion, it’ll be a great night of RnB, Pop, Country and Blues.

What strikes us about this club is its family feel – from the big welcome at the reception desk to the great hospitality and smiles behind the food servery and bar.oce that regulars love to meet their friends on a Friday and chill out to the grooves, hiave a dance when the mood strikes and just celebrate the end of another (sometimes hard) week. 

Playing to an audience that really appreciates you is a musicians’ dream.  Seeing faces light up when you play a song they haven’t heard for years, couples embracing on the dance floor as they reminisce about a time and place brought to mind by a familiar song,  and sometimes lonely people who have no-one to dance to feeling freed up to take their place on the dance floor and just soak up the sounds and escape to a happier time.

Music is balm for the soul, the senses and is the glue that keeps the fabric of society together.  No matter who we are, there is a song that evokes a special memory of a time or a person or a place.

Our job as musicians is to bring those feelings back and get people grooving along, forgetting their troubles for just a short while, and remember that happiness is only a melody away sometimes.

Join us this Friday 24th May at Diggers Services Club from 8.30 to 12.30pm.  Bring your friends and bring your dancing shoes!