One of the nicest gigs in Brisbane is the Sunday Session at Mr & Mrs G’s Riverbar at Eagle Street Pier.
The relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere which looks out over the Brisbane River is one of the finest vantage points in our city.
Live music kicks off at 3pm and finishes at sunset around 6pm. The food on on offer is delightful and there is always a special cocktail for the ladies to enjoy.
This is a regular gig of ours and we are generally here once every month or two. If you’d like to know when we’re performing again, check out our Gig Guide.
It’s always great to play for their functions clients so if you’re thinking of celebrating something special, contact us at email@example.com.
It’s another year, and for many of us, we have to keep running on the wheel unless we want to drop off it.
Musicians live by the seat of their pants for a lot of their working life. It’s rare that they are handed gigs on a platter and everything has an “end date” because one day a new manager will come on board or a new club president and they want to put their “stamp” on a venue and they throw out all the old (even if it’s good) and herald in a new era (sometimes good sometimes bad).
Just when you have made some relationships with a venue, you bed things down and the audience always love you, then POOF, someone new comes along and everything’s changed.
How do you cope with such constant change that you have no control over and can be so frustrating?
I guess the key is always to be on the lookout for fertile pastures, because sometimes the other pastures have to lie fallow for a while. It’s a bit like not putting all your eggs in one basket!
But, as all musicians know, the hustle is tiring, frustrating, time-consuming and requires a never-ending amount of mental, spiritual and physical energy to keep knocking on doors, getting no answer, or getting a “no”, or having to kow-tow to demands which don’t sit well with your musical philosophy.
Musicians who are great at marketing their brand, are tireless networkers, have a flexible and adaptable attitude will more often than not succeed in getting a good stream of performance dates. I guess it’s what sets them apart from the crowd.
Sitting on one’s laurels when it comes to gigs is never a good idea, because change always comes and it’s how we deal with that change that really matters.
As a part-time, small booking agent I often see artists who have good potential but have become lazy, won’t sing scales, won’t practice, won’t learn new songs and don’t even have a current live video available to send to agents. Then I hear “oh that’s not really me at my best”. And I wonder why on earth you would want to send something that isn’t your best
So don’t get disheartened and wonder why you don’t have enough gigs. Get out there, sell yourself, believe in yourself, even improve yourself!
Playing for others requires guts, self-belief and a the ability to take some blows and get back up.
We are all brave. We are all warriors in an ever-changing musical world, the times are changing, yes it’s disheartening sometimes, but at the crux of it, we love what we do.
That is both a blessing and a curse in a commercial sense.
Take care everybody and keep smiling.
May you get lots of gigs, functions, weddings, parties, anything!!
It’s Queensland and the weather is warming up and the words on everyone’s lips are “is it going to be a hot Christmas Day”?
For as only northerners can appreciate, the difference between 33 and 40 degrees can be the difference between prawns and ham going off before they’ve even been eaten!
The hard work required to put together a Christmas lunch can become more like labouring in the gulag (except it’s a hot gulag) once the mercury rises above 33 degrees. Even with air-conditioning, having ovens on, and often eating al-fresco by the pool, can provide a challenge to those who aren’t into wearing bikinis or board-shorts around the festive dining table.
Similarly, for musicians who play between Christmas and the end of February, the experience can become one of sweaty regret.
We have sworn off playing any al fresco venues in February as the humidity and heat make it simply unbearable. Fingers slide around on fretboards, perspiration gathers in collars and make-up melts sadly off faces.
People in Queensland become strangely lethargic in January and February with their sole purpose becoming to move as little as possible to avoid raising the inevitable perspiration that comes from just moving.
Yes, some of us have swimming pools which make life so much more bearable at this time of the year, however, depending on the size and placement of the pool, even the water can become a soupy, chlorinated bath with water at about 33 degrees. This is the time that bacteria start to thrive and thoughts of urinary tract infections pop into one’s head, and vague hopes that there is enough chlorine in the pool to get through yet another hot day.
So, when planning an outdoor festive event where musicians are featuring, try to position them in a spot with at good breeze, total shade, provide plenty of cool iced water for them, and allow them a good break between sets.
We musicians love what we do, and we love it when our patrons appreciate us enough to think about our comfort as we carry on our work. After all, we are not waiters, we are not table-staff, we are not chefs or bar-staff. All these people do also endure the heat and humid conditions, but they don’t need to be creative or entertaining! Musicians and performers have to smile through all sorts of discomfort, and provide the same level of professionalism that is expected from them under any circumstance. So spare a thought for musicians in the tropics.
They are a special, brave kind of muso and we take off our hats to anyone who plays north of the Tropic of Capricorn!
Today is my 54th birthday and I celebrated by starting work at my home-office, then taking a few hours off for lunch with my husband, then back to a meeting with a new intern, then back behind the desk (here I am!), before trotting off to dinner with my son tonight.
The life of an entrepreneur is not an easy one. I worked for many years as a legal secretary and my organisational skills stem from those years of strict discipline in the legal field. My work ethic was handed down from my father, a blue-collar worker who emigrated to Australia with two young children and a wife, from The Netherlands, after leaving his birth country Dutch-New Guinea after the post-war troubles. Same with my mother who left Dutch-Indonesia after things took a bloody turn after World War II. So off to the Netherlands they went, but after 10 years, my father longed for the warmer climes of the antipodes and he paid our fares on a Greek liner called the Elinis in 1969.
So, he worked hard and bought a home on a single income, and retired after his small body couldn’t take the weight of years as a heavy machinery mechanic anymore. Now he is 88 and teetering on the edge of dementia after a long, long life of working hard, never leaving a stone un-turned, keeping everything in a tidy state and being super-organised, able to fix anything or turn his hand to anything. Of course, necessity is the mother of DIY, so I too have inherited his “I’ll have a crack at anything” kind of personal creed.
So far, I haven’t killed anyone with a power-tool or painted myself into any corners.
When at 48 I found myself essentially un-employable due to my age, I set about re-inventing myself and took on the role of full-time musician, having married a fabulous guitarist, Sean Mullen, and being able to work together (when he wasn’t being a lawyer by day).
Bit by bit, I became more and more creative and started putting on shows and then tours, then festivals and now I have a fully-fledged events business Body and Soul Music Australia Events.
Bulimba Ukulele Festival, Briz Chilli Fest and now Chillogan are just the tip of the iceberg. Next year, Townsville will see the birth of Chilliville chilli festival, and I have no intention of stopping! Of course, I will reach a point where I can no longer do everything myself and therein lies more complications. How do you find a clone of oneself?
Typing at over 100 wpm and being also a professional publicist as Sandra Beynon PR, writer, social media manager and musician, there isn’t a lot I cannot do (okay, there’s netball)…so when it comes time to outsource, there is always the notion that I need to find someone who can do it just as well if not better than me, or I will not be happy.
Training someone is harder than doing the job oneself, that is quickly becoming obvious.
But, I have to let go. Being an entrepreneur means setting up things and then once they grow too big for you, being able to share it around and have it grow.
Meanwhile, an entrepreneur spends a lot of time alone in front of a computer. Or making mental notes whilst standing in the shower, or lying in bed, or wandering around shopping. There is rarely a day goes by without a lot of ideas popping into my head.
We often feel isolated in our home-offices and I have lately taken to setting up my office for a few hours at a time in other peoples spaces. Big thanks to Andrew Tambakis for sharing the Brisbane Greek Club’s fabulous new restaurant Nostimo with me in the non-service hours. I have a view of the city and coffee and shortbread on tap! Not to mention the super-friendly wait staff who hover around making sure everyone is happy.
Working from home means you hear all the workmen banging away at renovations or municipal works gangs jack-hammering your street or footpath; the bins being dragged in of an afternoon and the irritating sound of loud exhausts as cars speed down my street, rat-running.
Then there’s the ever-present need to think about dinner, washing, cooking, cleaning, doing the book-keeping for my husband’s rental properties,
My only company is the aquarium on the desk and lately I worry about my gourami and if he’s going to die like the last one….and why is the prettiest, smallest fish the most aggressive? Oh, yes there is the cat, always on the prowl for another sachet of food, then slinking off somewhere to sleep a glorious total of 21 hours per day.
One thing I have discovered is the more I reach out with my events and festivals, the more I give to charitable causes, the more I become engaged in life and the wonders of relationship-building. I meet people from all walks of life, and get around the place filming promotional videos dressed in a chilli suit with people I’ve only just met. And I marvel at how they take like fish to water to the joyous freedom that comes with the wearing of a silly costume. We can all be kids again, it seems.
And on that note, 54 is far from being a kid. But, as I celebrate another year, another milestone, another fabulous 365 days behind me filled with music, love, adventure, challenges, hard work, dedication, determination and obstacle-beating strategies, the more I realise that the key to happiness is never withdrawing from the art of involvement, the art of giving.
Winston Churchill’s saying “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” is one that is dear to my heart. These days, the failures are few and far between, but in undertaking any new venture, there is an element of risk and bravery necessary to keep getting behind that desk every day.
To all of you over 50s who might be struggling to find relevance in your worklife, I say never give up. Find what it is that brings you joy, what you are good at, what you love and what makes you come alive and awaken the kid in you. Do that thing.
What we do isn’t always who we are, but it’s a big part of it. So, as another great her of mine would say, “Do what you love and the rest will come.”
Cheers to another year, and cheers to being an entrepreneur in the second century of my life.
Once upon a time, musicians could buy a home, raise a family and even plan for their old age by being a musician.
They could work seven nights a week, even perform more than one gig per day, and could apply for a home-loan based on their income as a musician.
These days, a musician is teetering on the edge of being a second-class citizen unless they work in an orchestra, a big-name band or are teaching music.
The skill and talent required to be a professional performer takes years to perfect, and in fact without consistent practice, such skills can quickly fall away to mediocrity.
Why is it that musicians so often feel that asking to be paid for a performance is difficult? That they feel they ought to be grateful for whatever crumbs are thrown their way? Why do they not feel they can charge, say $100 per hour, without having to justify it in some way. Social media metrics, a “following”, whether or not they have any albums to their name – these are things that an employer might take into consideration when deciding how much a band is “worth”.
Does an optometrist have to justify his fee? Does a doctor? Does a plumber? They all have a reasonable expectation of being paid a minimum fee. Why then are musicians in this strange “no man’s land” when it comes to pay?
Notoriously, we are our own worst enemy. We do not unionise. We are, by nature, non-conformists. We don’t want to band together and present a united front. Heck, we don’t even want to get out of bed before noon let alone think about political issues like unionism.
So, we go about deciding our own worth, every time we quote for a job. We have to play “russian roulette”wondering at what point our pay request gets shut down and we are out of a job.
With so few live music venues left that offer work for real bands (4 piece and up), the soloists now rule the roost. Walk past any pub on any night of the week and witness the sad reality of a soloist shoved in a corner of the bar, under a TV screen, being largely ignored. Duos are now even struggling to compete with soloists who can charge anything up to $600 a night if they are good.
But is a soloist really indicative of “live music”? I never wanted to be a soloist because I believed the art of music was best practised with others who could teach me, guide me, improve me, have fun with me. Sitting at a piano in a bar somewhere in the wee hours didn’t seem much fun to me.
With the advent of affordable digital equipment like loop machines, stomp boxes and the like, a soloist can quickly make himself sound like more than one person.
But there isn’t more than one person. He or she is all alone.
My son is a guitarist and he largely dislikes playing on his own. He really enjoys playing with his trio where he can bounce off people and truly feel what it’s like to be a working musician in a band.
Bands these days have to cross many genres in order to stay employable. Does this mean there are fewer bands who can specialise in a given genre? Do we all become “genre-crossers” and “all-rounders”. From my own experience, yes. I stopped calling myself a jazz singer a long time ago because this just pigeonholed me and closed a lot of musical opportunities off.
So, I am a vocalist. A singer. A musician.
I am one of many such people across Australia who struggle in this large continent with its tyrannical distances which make touring costly, time-consuming and, ultimately, profit-diminishing.
The constant hustle for work, the skills of relationship-building required to create new networks and opportunities – this is the life of the modern musician.
Oh yes, and we love what we do.
Brisbane-based duo Body and Soul are the perfect solution for all your function needs. The experienced musicians are well-versed in making an event great!
Visit their website www.bodyandsoulmusic.com.au to check out their work.
Functions, parties, birthdays, Weddings, Christmas parties – no matter what the occasion, these versatile, talented musicians have what you need.
We are based in Brisbane, but regularly travel to Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and throughout SE Qld.
If you’d like a chat about how we can help make your next function AMAZING, please Contact Us