10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

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10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Ranking Glasses » Thu May 04, 2017 8:33 pm

1 They band plays too fast.
2 The drumming is too loud.
3 They keep asking: "How are you feeling?" every 5 minutes.
4 They play only to the people in the front row.
5 They jump about like a deranged frog.
6 They get over-excited and start shouting incoherent jibberish, e.g. Capleton.
7 Can sound noisy and chaotic without the refinement of a studio.
8 They keeping starting the song over.
9 The artist is stoned.
10 They are well past their best by date so the once commanding voice sounds like a feeble mouse.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby jb welda » Thu May 04, 2017 9:33 pm

My pet, and most frequently encountered, peeve: Poorly or not at all rehearsed backing bands who seem to figure they can just "wing it".

Hilarity ensues, or more likely, I head for the exit.

Happens way too much nowadays. These days I much prefer a good selector with a deep crate and the singerman can do his thing over recorded riddims. Maybe with some live melodica or horn or something, always spices it up.

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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri May 05, 2017 5:44 am

May not just be the fault of the band. The organisers need to arrange rehearsals but this takes time and money which would eat into their profits.

Could the complete absence of sheet music in reggae also be a factor? Would explain why it sometimes sounds like each band member is playing a different song!
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby credezcrew24 » Fri May 05, 2017 6:10 am

I've always preferred a studio album. The effects and mixing will probably never be replicated in a live setting.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby johnnyB » Fri May 05, 2017 10:28 am

I love live reggae music! Sometimes it's explosive,sometimes it's deep, sometimes it's boring but it's always people doing magic in front of you.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri May 05, 2017 3:41 pm

Burning Spear is by far the best I've heard live. Perfection.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby jb welda » Fri May 05, 2017 4:53 pm

>The organisers need to arrange rehearsals but this takes time and money which would eat into their profits.

In my experience this is true but also it is often true that the band is given plenty of time to rehearse with the artist or at least to rehearse the songs the artist says he wants to perform...but then they do not do the rehearsal out of laziness or arrogance (a certain backing duo are pretty much known for this) and instead get up there and just wing it. And it ends up sounding like they are just playing their famous riddims and letting the artist fit in however s/he can, usually sounding crap all the way through. And note the promotor has paid them to rehearse which just turned into another money grab. So oftentimes the best intentions are stymied by musicians over confidence.

You mention Burning Spear as one of the best live artists and I have to agree (when he was performing live). He had a good, well rehearsed touring band which is a big difference from the average reggae artist.

On the other hand there are bands who really try hard to impress, rehearse a lot and work on their presentation with whoever they are backing. But in the USA anyway, west coast particularly, this is getting rarer and rarer...most seem to assume their audience won't know the difference and just get up there and get it over with.

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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Well Charge » Fri May 05, 2017 6:44 pm

11. they use keyboard to replace horns etc
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Inyaki » Fri May 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Ranking Glasses wrote:May not just be the fault of the band. The organisers need to arrange rehearsals but this takes time and money which would eat into their profits.

Could the complete absence of sheet music in reggae also be a factor? Would explain why it sometimes sounds like each band member is playing a different song!


Sheet music has nothing to do with a backing band playing badly. Some musicians read, some don't. The reason for a bad live performance is more complex than that.
Some times musicians are lazy, sometimes is the promoters' fault for not arranging (paying) for rehearsals too, and sometimes ( quite often ) is the artists' fault.

I personally hate the cliché...'' do you love reggae music'', the unnecessary rewinds after **** up an intro, the rock guitar solos, the unnecessary 'mix' (to make the audience jump), the Bob Marley covers, artists blaming the musicians onstage for their own mistakes......I could post a whole book on this thread about my experiences backing reggae artists!!
( but this is a public place so ....discretion and diplomacy )
Last edited by Inyaki on Fri May 05, 2017 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Ranking Glasses » Fri May 05, 2017 8:33 pm

It just goes to show that a great deal of hard work, organisation, discipline and rehearsal goes into making a good live show. It seems to me that live music is more popular than ever with all the festivals and shows nowadays. This together with the lack of studio oppotunity due to digital reggae should be a great opportunity for reggae musicians to thrive.

I am biased because I grew up with vinyl and sound systems but I have been to some good live shows and others not so good. This is an example of what I really hate, and I would be really disappointed if I paid good money to hear this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vylzh_-b1SU (The backing band sound quite good.)

It may surprise some people but the best live artist I've heard is actually Frankie Paul when he was at his peak. He was fantastic and sang as well as any big name soul singer. He could have been a superstar with the right management and support.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Inyaki » Fri May 05, 2017 8:41 pm

I saw Frankie Paul in the 80s and early 90s, outstanding singer indeed.
If you live in London you are not gonna see the best live reggae shows, that was last century. The scene has changed a lot since those days. The UK doesn't run the live reggae scene anymore.

Which live shows ( good or bad) have you been to in London in the last decade?
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby lankou » Fri May 05, 2017 10:43 pm

Well, Iñaki almost sums it all up, i'll just develop and add some more : :mrgreen: :evil:
- rock guitar solos (luckily i've never seen Tosh live, ouch!) is on top of my list.

- live medleys (10 seconds of each big hit for artists who've been at it since the 90's, a number of them sport turbans and/ or are famous for their hardcore tunes , you get the idea!)

- Rewinds and that staccato gimmick which is supposed to excite the crowd, trying to pass off as that old "dancehall vibe" of the late 80's, sooooo cliché ! You haven't heard that on record since dog knows when, but all of a sudden, here it comes from hell!).

- Most JA musicians who try to play ska nowadays (or most roots reggae or dancehall acts from anywhere, as a matter of fact but it really hurts when you hear the amount of JA musicians who have forgotten their musical roots!).

- Concerts which sound and look more like a mass (Spear is a perfect example, imho, beg to differ: droning after a while!).

- Badly rehearsed backing bands (usualy made of some JA musicians and a sprinkle of hacks from the UK : typical of the 80's + early 90's in continental europe. Luckily it wasn't so with Dennis Bovell's band, Sagitarrius, We The People and Studio One Band). The problem has almost disappeared now as there are very proficient french backing bands and a lot of them can bring their own touch and take time to learn the riddims before they tour. Yes, less money for JA musicians, but whose fault is it, really ?).

- Artists who always feel the need to shout "JAH!!!!!!! (even if they are not bonafide rastas), so that the crowds sheepishly answer "rastafari" (most of them are even less rasta : not a respectful gimmick!!!) and of course, those who preach too much ! (in general, they will also offer you a Marley bonus, probably One Love, or even better, No Woman No Cry! As if certain countries were totally ignorant of the music).

- Younger artists who are clueless about the fact that most foreign crowds don't really grasp JA patwa too well (most of them are dancehall artists) and are just unable to switch between patwa and more "correct" english. Have sometimes felt sorry for them for several reasons (one example being Ward 21, who were very entertaining live but so many people just didn't get the jokes they were cracking and the group found it hard to adjust : too bad, as they were funny!). Older artists knew when to switch from patwa to more
academic english, which says a lot about how JA governments currently invest in their country's youth, unfortunately!

- All-time greats who keep on rehashing some of their classics to no end (2 of the greatest voices from the 60's who are still active today and still sound great: both had hits for Studio 1 and Beverley's, if you get my drift!), while they could as well pick three times as many other classics of theirs for a welcome change!

- Bands who keep the name of an illustrious JA band who no longer exists.

- artists who are the offspring of some reggae luminary who charge outrageous prices for their gigs just because their name is****** and don't really deliver more goods than more talented artists of their generation, who will never get the chance to tour abroad.

- Drugged out fans who persist on thinking Lee Perry is a great live performer and show their approval by screaming the whole show through that he is the greatest (best song i ever saw him perform was "My Girl Lollipop", one of his major hits, as everyone knows!).

- Show promoters who keep on booking the aforementioned artist to give some people what they want, but certainly not some other veterans who could do better and would be better off with a little money in the bank.

- Singers who can't help doing their "Las Vegas segment", as they need to show their "real mature" skills, just in case some talent scout made up their mainstream potential : one of them has already been mentioned in a previous post but i can also think of a dancehall singjay who once had a broken jaw, plus an indisputed heavy-weight who is the only reggae crooner who exists in the eyes of a whole lot of dancehall fans who mostly never listen to singers, anyway, but need to prove their lady that real rude boys can also have a "romantic side" for a minute or two - real "roots militants" can also fit that profile. Oh, come to think of it, a man who once was JA's most revered singer was also guilty of that crime ! (Apart from that, all of them excelled onstage but also at killing the vibes!).

- Someone who saw it fit to "offer" the crowd a looooooong tribute to Peter Tosh, hence annihilating the strong vibes he had previously built.

- Artists who try a littleTOO hard to preach what they actually DON'T practise (it takes a little training to spot them but, as time goes by, you should normally get better ! If you don't, well, don't get too desperate if your statues get kicked over!). :P

- And a final one : keyboard players who haven't updated their synth's sound since the mid-80's (even more so if they are supposed to play the horns lines !). OUCH!
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby Mick Sleeper » Sat May 06, 2017 12:27 am

Besides bands who constantly ask "how you feeling?" bands who constantly ask you to "make some noise" drive me nuts.

Also, people constantly holding up mobile phones to take pictures or video. Marky Ramone has a solution!
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby flashman » Sat May 06, 2017 1:18 am

Trying to get the audience to sing along. Especially when they point the mic at the crowd at the chorus.
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Re: 10 Things I don't Like About Live Music

Postby jb welda » Sat May 06, 2017 2:39 am

Well Inyaki, back stretching the ten year limit, but last I was in London saw Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet, Horace Andy and Mikal Rose all backed by some spectacular sounding band from there and an engineer on the board who made the place rumble...so it does happen.

Just to balance things though: the previous night, same venue, Congos, Gladiators (with Jr Griffiths) and 'Tado. Pretty disappointing, band sounded draggy and the overall sound was in the mud.

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