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Ok before this turns into one of those inflamatory threads in which I'm made to look like a whiny biatch I just want to gauge people's opinion on this topic.

Recently I have been really unimpressed with the unprofessionalism at Drummonds gigs. And I'm not pointing the finger at one person in particular I think it's a combination of things.

Firstly, The sound is dreadful. Every time we are asked to play Drummonds we are told 'turn up at 7 for soundchecks' invariably I get there and am met with looks of confusion. The sound man turns up and is none the wiser as to who is playing or what order etc. Callum has actually been really good to us so I hope this doesn't sound like I'm having a go. I feel though that he is sometimes thrown into the deep end.

The last couple of times we have played, and this is the same for the other bands, people say to me 'you guys were really good but the sound was really muddy. Couldn't make out the instruments from each other and the vocals were almost non existant'.

Now don't get me wrong. I love playing gigs and am not looking to alienate myself. However, when we have bands coming maybe for the first time to Aberdeen are they really going to be impressed with this enough to want to travel the extra miles it takes to come to Aberdeen?

Now I've heard that the equipment isn't the best to work with etc. but surely if a place like Drummonds is advertising itself as a venue it must have sufficient resources to be able to compete with other rival venues. Unless its just a pub that plays music, in which case why put on touring bands?

Also there is an issue with security of equipment. I've heard bands being told 'If you want to leave equipment then you can leave it onstage but we won't take responsibility for it'. Now obviously this has something to do with insurance etc. But if there is a lockable room downstairs then why is the stage being offered and not this. Surely this lends itself to covering against loss or theft better than an open stage area?

Another gripe I have is the problem with the local drunks. Now I understand Drummonds is positioned at the front of a rather busy pub street and therefor your going to have a couple people rather worse for ware wander in. However, increasingly I find some drunk offshore type stumbling about Drummonds making people feel generally uneasy. If this was Espionage or Priory they would be chucked out on their arse. Why do the doorstaff at Drummonds then put up with it? maybe its because they're up at the door and can't see it. But then surely its the role of the barstaff to point out these people to the bouncer. unless they don't want the hassle, but for the sake of making the environment a little bit more enjoyable I think it's necessary. The final straw was at the last gig I attended when some burberry clad mink thought it would be ok to wander onto the stage and attempt to grab the mic from the touring band. What an embarassment, and the guy wasn't even asked to leave, just ushered back to the bar. If that was warehouse they would be out!! So why not Drummonds?

My feeling is that Drummonds have taken for granted the fact that they can use bands to draw people into the bar. And instead of, like other venues, providing a venue for bands that people attend to see its run as a place for people to drink and the fact that bands come and play is a bonus.

So what are other bands thoughts on this issue? Hopefully I'm not the only person who feels a little let down.

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Guest Gladstone

I see where you're coming from on a few of your points, but don't necessarily agree.

My honest opinion of Drummonds is that soundchecks could be run a bit better (i.e. start when they're meant to start), but they do always manage to have bands that want soundchecked done before doors open.

In the past I've had my criticisms of Drummonds, but to be honest, I think it's run much better now (from a local bands point of view) than it was when we first started out and Eric was still running the place. He used to be the most difficult man in the world to get hold of, and then you would turn up at the allotted time for soundcheck, and there would be absolutely nobody there who knew anything about the upcoming gig.

But, now that the Tunnels guys have taken over, Hen is at Drummonds most of the time, and is always easy to get hold of and runs the place pretty well.

My only involvement with the place recently was the Minnaars gig I put on last week, and everything went really well - the sound was good (Calum does a magic job in my opinion), the crowd was good, the banter was all good. All round good night. The only thing that didn't go well was the whole soundcheck thing. The arranged time for Minnaars was 6pm, but soundcheck didn't start until 7.15pm. But that was more to do with not doing soundchecks during the time when they were still serving food, which is fine, but soundcheck time should then be 7pm, not 6pm.

Your point on local drunks may be a valid point, but I've got to be honest, I've never seen any problems in Drummonds, and would think you're far more likely to be bothered by drunken neds in places like Espionage/Priory! I was on the door for most of the night last week, and the bouncer turned away a few people for being too pissed. If anything, I thought he was being too picky. There were drunk people in Drummonds, but not causing any hassle. It was a Friday night in the centre of town - there will be drunk people!

And your other point on equipment - I think that's a fair point. I was speaking to a sound engineer at the weekend who was saying the gear in Drummonds hasn't been serviced for a few years, and is really needing an overhaul. That said, I thought it sounded good on Friday. I have played a couple of gigs in Drummonds when the onstage sound has been really poor, but it apparently didn't come across poor through the venue - that was a Fat Hippy night where we didn't get a soundcheck!

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I see where you're coming from on a few of your points, but don't necessarily agree.

My honest opinion of Drummonds is that soundchecks could be run a bit better (i.e. start when they're meant to start), but they do always manage to have bands that want soundchecked done before doors open.

In the past I've had my criticisms of Drummonds, but to be honest, I think it's run much better now (from a local bands point of view) than it was when we first started out and Eric was still running the place. He used to be the most difficult man in the world to get hold of, and then you would turn up at the allotted time for soundcheck, and there would be absolutely nobody there who knew anything about the upcoming gig.

But, now that the Tunnels guys have taken over, Hen is at Drummonds most of the time, and is always easy to get hold of and runs the place pretty well.

My only involvement with the place recently was the Minnaars gig I put on last week, and everything went really well - the sound was good (Calum does a magic job in my opinion), the crowd was good, the banter was all good. All round good night. The only thing that didn't go well was the whole soundcheck thing. The arranged time for Minnaars was 6pm, but soundcheck didn't start until 7.15pm. But that was more to do with not doing soundchecks during the time when they were still serving food, which is fine, but soundcheck time should then be 7pm, not 6pm.

Your point on local drunks may be a valid point, but I've got to be honest, I've never seen any problems in Drummonds, and would think you're far more likely to be bothered by drunken neds in places like Espionage/Priory! I was on the door for most of the night last week, and the bouncer turned away a few people for being too pissed. If anything, I thought he was being too picky. There were drunk people in Drummonds, but not causing any hassle. It was a Friday night in the centre of town - there will be drunk people!

And your other point on equipment - I think that's a fair point. I was speaking to a sound engineer at the weekend who was saying the gear in Drummonds hasn't been serviced for a few years, and is really needing an overhaul. That said, I thought it sounded good on Friday. I have played a couple of gigs in Drummonds when the onstage sound has been really poor, but it apparently didn't come across poor through the venue - that was a Fat Hippy night where we didn't get a soundcheck!

Seconded,

You can only piss with what you've got. A lot of the time it is the fault of the bands, which are meant to be soundchecking, arriving late (this wasn't the case at the Minnarrs gig) but im sure that is just as infuriating for the sound engineers. It is amazing how Callum gets everything done in such a short time without sacrificing the quality of the sound

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Callum is def one of my fav soundmen in Aberdeen. laid back, gets things adjusted during the gig, and when we didnt have a bassist, I explained to him beforehand and we managed to get a full on sound easy enough with him suggesting ways to make it even fuller.

The local drunks thing I've only ever seen one or 2 problems with, so don't really want to comment.

Hen's always been easy enough to get in touch with, which is always handy.

Guess what I'm saying is I like Drummonds. It's not super-fantastic-awesome, but it's one of the better places in Aberdeen.

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Guest Gladstone
Seconded,

You can only piss with what you've got. A lot of the time it is the fault of the bands, which are meant to be soundchecking, arriving late (this wasn't the case at the Minnarrs gig) but im sure that is just as infuriating for the sound engineers. It is amazing how Callum gets everything done in such a short time without sacrificing the quality of the sound

Aye - that's one thing that I do like about Drummonds. Sometimes you're worried because soundchecks are running late and the sound will be compromised, but Callum goes "bass" you hit about 3 notes - "fine" same with guitars, vocals, drums. And then you play a tune to check levels and you rarely need anything - minor tweaks to monitors etc.

He just knows the kit, and the venue so well. You could soundcheck in 10 minutes flat in Drummonds no problem.

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I assume it is the responsibility of the promoter (whether external or in-house) to co-ordinate the sound person and the bands for sound checks, stage times etc. It shouldnt be hard to do this but I suppose the best laid plans are often scuppered by someone not sticking to the schedule, touring bands turning up late etc. This is a problem experienced in just about every venue Ive played though so I dont think that it is exclusive to Drummonds.

I think youd have to change the attitude of everyone throughout the UK who is involved in putting on live music - bands, venues, sound engineers and promoters - to see any improvement with regards to this. Its not like you ever see a touring band turning up 30 minutes late for their allotted sound-check apologising profusely for being late (despite me scowling like fuck at them). There is generally a laid back attitude held by many people involved towards sticking closely to any sort of schedule, including stage times!

I think theres also an attitude, particularly with amateurs (or 'semi-pros'?) like ourselves, whereby nobody wants to appear too precious:

we demand a soundcheck! (Ive actually said to Callum on occasion not to bother with us when things are running over its guitar, bass, drums and 4 vocals, Im sure well be fine)

No, you do not have time for two more songs! Get the fuck off the stage and let us set up.

Erm, excuse me, I need more guitar in my monitor. Etc.

The sound when watching other bands can be quite shit - perhaps some investment in new equipment is required - but I dont think it is noticeably worse than other venues we have played.

Stuff used to get nicked all the time from the secure locked room so I think that they stopped offering it as equipment storage.

It could be bouncered better. Drunken imbeciles are a problem but they are also the standard Drummonds clientele that probably keep the bar ticking over so maybe its better for business not to eject them. ;)

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Re: Soundchecks running better,

any issues with no one knowing whats going on should be delt with by the promoter,

they should tell the engineer who they want sound checking, and when.

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Guest Gladstone
I assume it is the responsibility of the promoter (whether external or in-house) to co-ordinate the sound person and the bands for sound checks, stage times etc. It shouldnt be hard to do this but I suppose the best laid plans are often scuppered by someone not sticking to the schedule, touring bands turning up late etc. This is a problem experienced in just about every venue Ive played though so I dont think that it is exclusive to Drummonds.

I think youd have to change the attitude of everyone throughout the UK who is involved in putting on live music - bands, venues, sound engineers and promoters - to see any improvement with regards to this. Its not like you ever see a touring band turning up 30 minutes late for their allotted sound-check apologising profusely for being late (despite me scowling like fuck at them). There is generally a laid back attitude held by many people involved towards sticking closely to any sort of schedule, including stage times!

I think theres also an attitude, particularly with amateurs (or 'semi-pros'?) like ourselves, whereby nobody wants to appear too precious:

we demand a soundcheck! (Ive actually said to Callum on occasion not to bother with us when things are running over its guitar, bass, drums and 4 vocals, Im sure well be fine)

No, you do not have time for two more songs! Get the fuck off the stage and let us set up.

Erm, excuse me, I need more guitar in my monitor. Etc.

The sound when watching other bands can be quite shit - perhaps some investment in new equipment is required - but I dont think it is noticeably worse than other venues we have played.

Stuff used to get nicked all the time from the secure locked room so I think that they stopped offering it as equipment storage.

It could be bouncered better. Drunken imbeciles are a problem but they are also the standard Drummonds clientele that probably keep the bar ticking over so maybe its better for business not to eject them. ;)

I used to get really uptight about things like soundcheck times and stage times etc. and still try to be really organised when I'm putting a gig on because I'm a person that is never late for anything, and just fucking despise lateness. But this laid back attitude is starting to rub off on me now. There's no point trying to change it, because everytime I try to allocate specific time slots for soundcheck etc it just gets pissed on by Callum not being ready to start soundcheck when it was agreed (probably with Callum never having been told by the venue or whatever). He always gets the bands checked in time, and always does a good job. No point getting wound up about it!

Plus, lots of bands just don't turn up on time, which screws things up. Same with stage times - I can barely remember a gig I've ever been to where everything ran on schedule.

As for drunken imbeciles - well, there's a massive difference between a drunken imbecile, being just that, making a bit of a tit of himself, possibly being slightly annoying and someone being just outright rude/aggressive etc. When it gets to that stage I'm sure the bouncers/staff will make sure they're ejected. Like I say, I can't remember one spot of bother in Drummonds,ever. I've seen plenty of trouble around Aberdeen in other nightspots, where I'd say you'll find more neds with their chests puffed out than in a place like Drummonds.

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Guest Gladstone
Re: Soundchecks running better,

any issues with no one knowing whats going on should be delt with by the promoter,

they should tell the engineer who they want sound checking, and when.

That's actually balls though. I as a promoter do all my talking to Drummonds through Hen. I don't have contact details for Callum, nor do I know that it will definitely be Callum doing the sound on any given night.

I tell Hen the order and times of soundcheck, and it's up to him to convey this to Callum. I suspect it never gets conveyed to Callum, and he just turns up to work at the start of his shift and starts working. I'm there at the beginning of soundcheck, so I can speak to him then.

If I tell Callum that the headline band are checking between 6pm-7pm, then the support 7pm-7.30pm, second support 7.30pm-8pm (for example), he'll still not have the headline band starting their soundcheck till nearer 7pm because that's just what happens in Drummonds.

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Callum is def one of my fav soundmen in Aberdeen. laid back, gets things adjusted during the gig, and when we didnt have a bassist, I explained to him beforehand and we managed to get a full on sound easy enough with him suggesting ways to make it even fuller.

The local drunks thing I've only ever seen one or 2 problems with, so don't really want to comment.

Hen's always been easy enough to get in touch with, which is always handy.

Guess what I'm saying is I like Drummonds. It's not super-fantastic-awesome, but it's one of the better places in Aberdeen.

yas.

but i would say some equipment could be updated

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my 2 cents:

the drum kit IS SHITE.

False. Premier Astria / Artist Birch / whatever the current name for the model is are very very good drumkits - far superior to shit like Pearl Exports that most venues seem to favour. The only problem with the Drummonds kit is that, understandably, it could do with some TLC. The bass drum needs re-headed and the whole kit needs tuned. The hardware is pretty rickety too, but it's very hard to blame the venue for this as I know how many bands cadge in-house equipment.

The Drummonds kit is superior to that of the Tunnels, it's just not in as good nick.

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The only issues I have with Drummonds is the fucking shit 90s football hooligan music that they insist on playing AT TOP FUCKING VOLUME on a Friday / Saturday night.

It's so loud in there it genuinely chases people out. I generally sit up beside the door, because me and my mates like to sit and chat, but we can't hear a word each other is saying. OK have it loud on the dancefloor but why does it have to be deafening up in the seated area where people are trying to chill out?

Plus, there's only so many times you can hear Primal Scream's "Loaded" before you start wanting to smash pint glasses into your own face.

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The only issues I have with Drummonds is the fucking shit 90s football hooligan music that they insist on playing AT TOP FUCKING VOLUME on a Friday / Saturday night.

This is my main Drummonds gripe. The best thing about Drummonds for me has always been its basically like a busy pub with late closing times, which is sometimes exactly what I want at the weekend and can't face the idea of a club.

I know they want to create a bit more of a club atmosphere at the weekends but the music is fucking deafening and it's not like there's generally a packed dancefloor, most people are just sitting drinking and trying to chat. I've often gone in for a pint with friends and we've ended up going up the road to Exodus because you can actually hear yourselves better in there and it's a fucking night club!

Other than that I really like Drummonds. You get a crowd that's so mixed it often borders on surreal. They occasionaly play brilliant music, even if it is deafening. And you can almost always get a nice comfy sofa during the week. Oh and the 2-tone/ska nights are brilliant!

p.s I'd like to echo Christy's comments about Premier Artist Birch, they are great kits. I played one for years and it was a joy.

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Ach, a lot of the soundcheck timing stuff is ubiquitous up and down the country.

You get some places (Twa Tams) that tell you not to turn up till half seven/eight o'clock and the first band is on at ten.

You get other places (Barfly used to be bad for this) that set load in as Half four. On a Friday night gig.

When was the last time Drummonds PA was serviced anyway? If its not much different to the one that was there the last time I played then its a shitload better than some places.

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Guest Gladstone

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Ach' date=' a lot of the soundcheck timing stuff is ubiquitous up and down the country.

You get some places (Twa Tams) that tell you not to turn up till half seven/eight o'clock and the first band is on at ten.

You get other places (Barfly used to be bad for this) that set load in as Half four. On a Friday night gig.

When was the last time Drummonds PA was serviced anyway? If its not much different to the one that was there the last time I played then its a shitload better than some places.[/quote']

According to the guy that apparently did the last service it wad three years ago.

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The only problem with the Drummonds kit is that, understandably, it could do with some TLC. The bass drum needs re-headed and the whole kit needs tuned. The hardware is pretty rickety too.

yes. and in addition its pretty much falling to pieces.

therefore it is shite.

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yes. and in addition its pretty much falling to pieces.

therefore it is shite.

False. Premier Astria / Artist Birch / whatever the current name for the model is are very very good drumkits - far superior to shit like Pearl Exports that most venues seem to favour. The only problem with the Drummonds kit is that, understandably, it could do with some TLC. The bass drum needs re-headed and the whole kit needs tuned. The hardware is pretty rickety too, but it's very hard to blame the venue for this as I know how many bands cadge in-house equipment.

The Drummonds kit is superior to that of the Tunnels, it's just not in as good nick.

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Guest Gladstone

There's not been too much harsh criticism of Drummonds on here which I'm pleased to see, but I have noticed over the past couple of years that Drummonds and Tunnels has came in for a fair bit of criticism from folks in bands in Aberdeen.

And to be fair, I have dished out some criticism in the past too. But, on reflection, I think Drummonds and Tunnels should be fucking applauded and cherished by local bands.

It can't be an easy job for them keeping up with the sheer volume of bands they go through, and they are willing to give almost anyone a gig.

How many gigs have you played in Aberdeen? How many have not been at Drummonds or Tunnels? I reckon out of all the gigs we've played in Aberdeen we've played about 10 at the most that haven't been at either of those two. I'll count it out - 1 @ Kef, 2 @ Lemon Tree, 2 @ Snafu, 5 (that I can remember) @ Moshulu. Yup, 10. I don't know how many gigs we've played in Aberdeen but it's certainly a LOT more than that.

Hen is always keen to give local bands a gig, and there are plenty of touring bands come through the doors at both venues as well.

Yes, the places will have their flaws, but they're a million times better than Kef used to be for example (in terms of never being able to get hold of Paul, the disorganisation etc - the actual venue itself was brilliant), and well, they are the only 2 venues of that size that put bands on every night of the week.

Snafu is a magic venue, but local bands really need to either hire the venue, or get on a Black Tooth or DHC night. I've not been to Moorings yet, but I hear it's ace - but you only get live bands on a Saturday night, and they're booked up to fuck!!

Just thought I'd pitch in and stick up for the buggers.

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Are there any venues in aberdeen that give you a rider? Not saying it's a flaw if they don't, just curious, some guy came through my checkout a saturday or two ago, bought heaps of booze, heaps of junk food, fruit and just a load of stuff. when i was chatting to him he said it was the rider for Hadouken playing at warehouse, they got all the worst for you, best to eat food and drink we had in Morrisons for free from their promoters. Need to be raking it in if they're giving them 150 odd of food and drink for free.

Best i've ever heard of was a venue down in england that gave you a crate of beer when you play.

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Are there any venues in aberdeen that give you a rider? Not saying it's a flaw if they don't, just curious, some guy came through my checkout a saturday or two ago, bought heaps of booze, heaps of junk food, fruit and just a load of stuff. when i was chatting to him he said it was the rider for Hadouken playing at warehouse, they got all the worst for you, best to eat food and drink we had in Morrisons for free from their promoters. Need to be raking it in if they're giving them 150 odd of food and drink for free.

Best i've ever heard of was a venue down in england that gave you a crate of beer when you play.

notsureifserious.jpg

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But, on reflection, I think Drummonds and Tunnels should be fucking applauded and cherished by local bands.

Can't speak for The Tunnels as I've never played it but agree with you on Drummonds and I'm pretty impressed its managed to keep going all this time.

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notsureifserious.jpg

Not really. But if someone said i could get a crate of beer for playing a gig, it would be awesome.

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Not really. But if someone said i could get a crate of beer for playing a gig, it would be awesome.

TFR Promotions in Glasgow do this. You don't get cash, you get a case of beer and the photos that their in-house gig photographer takes of you playing. We are heading down to play the night before EYEHATEGOD since we will be down there anyway.

Payment in beer suits me just fine for a weekend bender in Glasvegas!

:up:

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