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  • Why is your band not playing my city?

    bandI’ve been mulling writing blog style posts about the music industry for a while – and there’s a topic that often frustrates me that I wanted to write about….

    We’ve all seen it.
    Bands announce tour dates and there’s always someone who is “Band!!! Y U no play my city?”
    Sometimes, you even get an added line “no band ever plays here” – which is sometimes a bit dramatic (unless you live out in the sticks and can surely understand the lack of touring bands round you) but I know first hand it can be frustrating keep seeing bands you like announce dates and none of which are that near you.

    That is how we got into promotion in the first place. We’ll come to that in a bit.

    First up, unless the band is doing their own booking (they tend not to) bands don’t usually get a lot of say in where they play. Sure, they might be able to approach their agent and give a preference of a city or venue they might like to play (or a preference of city or venue they might prefer not to play, if there’s been previous bad experiences with venues and/or promoters) but usually this is completed by an agent who has to sort out the most sensible route to drive around the country, hitting the places likely to enable them to play to as many people as possible.

    Let’s put it into simple terms. You want to go to some bars to have some drinks and see your friends. Bar A has 20 of your friends, Bar B has 12 of your friends, Bar C has 10 of your friends, Bar D has 10 of your friends and Bar E has 5 of your friends, but they’re shouting pretty loud for you to see them as they’ve not seen you in a while.
    You can go to 3 bars. Which 3 do you choose? A and B make most sense as you can see 32 of your friends in these two bars. If you omit bar E then these friends will shout at you for missing them AGAIN but if you choose to see them you miss out on 20 of your friends from C or D. Which ever you choose from C or D the other will be unhappy.
    There is no logical way you can do this and keep everyone happy.
    So you do A, B and C and hope some of your friends from D and E come to see you.
    Perhaps next time out you do A, B and D
    Maybe at some point in the future you have time to do 4 bars, or maybe one time fate will allow you to do all 5 – but perhaps by the time you can do all 5, you have more friends and now people in bars F, G and H all want to see you – and while you’d love to hang out with them all you have family to go home to, or only so much money to drink in bars (and even with people buying you drinks there’s still other expenses) and so on and so forth.

    In essence, that’s pretty much it – that there’s only a limited time available to do tours because of other commitments, expenses, etc. so it’s all a case of trying to do the best with what is available and that sometimes means that your city is missed and that you are Bar C and they’re going to Bar D this time – and if you are constantly being missed then you’re possibly Bar F or G (or Z!).

    But, don’t despair too much – there’s plenty of things you can do.

    My first suggestion is that the UK is a small country and a lot of places are closer than you think. (For international readers, I have no idea on your size or infastructure) trains aren’t actually that expensive if you can book in advance – and if you have enough mates then a minibus trip can work out OK. I know this is a cost upon a cost, but yeah – it’s not difficult to co-ordinate a cheap hotel deal and a good deal on train tickets.

    You’re now going to say : I don’t want to travel to gigs, I just want bands I like in my hometown.

    So, my next suggestion. It’s simple.
    Check your local gig guides and venues for what bands they DO have. Read up on some of the bands and happen there will be something similar to your interests, possibly in a band you’d never heard of : go to that.
    Maybe they’ll suck, maybe they’ll be brilliant but it’s got to be better than sitting wishing bands would play and the heads through the door shows there’s a demand for that style of band. If it looks like the show did well, speak to the venue or promoter afterwards with your suggestions of who you’d like to see that’s similar.
    Mind, granted – there has to be sense in your wish. Consider that plenty of people tell venues and promoters who they should book and most suggestions are, well, unsuitable. But, “Hey, this gig did well – there’s this band X who have a new album out later this year : do you think they could play here on the tour there’s clearly a demand for this sort of music” well, it can work. Though, don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t, but really – if I’m putting bands on of a certain genre and they do well then I’m more likely to book similar bands. It’s not always as black and white, mind, but if a lot of people in a certain city like a certain style of band it makes sense for bands to try to play there and makes sense for promoters to try to put them on.

    Try is a very appropriate word, because there are so many factors. There’s a whole bunch of bands we’ve tried to get and logistics didn’t make sense for them and there’s been a whole bunch of bands contact us who we couldn’t help for assorted reasons.
    But certainly, the odds of booking certain types of show increase when similar shows have done well.

    Or. You could be in a situation like I was in when I started promoting. RFTK was a merger of individuals – I personally represent the F, which stood for Floorshow Promotions which I started in 2005 booking Gothic bands at first and then some more industrial acts later. At the time, there weren’t really any of the Gothic or Industrial bands playing Newcastle – well – apart from Bauhaus and The Cult – so there wasn’t a local promoter to bug to put on the bands I wanted, so I started booking them myself.

    If that is the situation you’re in, it’s probably a lot trickier to persuade a promoter to start booking the sort of shows you like. But possible, it’s all just a case of proving there’s a market.

    I could talk about my experiences for hours but that would distract largely from the point I’m trying to make. Perhaps if this blog post is popular I can do another one another time and talk about these. I could also try to expand on what does go into putting a tour together, but not today.
    But, my points are as thus…

    (1) It’s not possible for a band to announce a tour and everyone be happy, moaning at them about it isn’t going to be able to change much
    (2) Given the time and effort it takes to put together a tour it’s a kick in the teeth to them for you to immediately rubbish it.
    (3) I know it’s frustrating when your city is missed, but try to work out which dates you could make and plot a road trip – the UK isn’t a big country and transport is quite good.
    (4) If a band you like is playing your city – make an extra effort to try and get there.
    (5) And if the bands you like aren’t, look at assorted listings as there’s bound to be bands you don’t know that you will like – showing there’s a demand for certain genre’s increases the likelihood similar bands will play.
    (6) Bugging your local promoter doesn’t magically make shows appear in your city, but if you turnout for a similar show and have a suggestion you think would work well, you’re no further behind if you raise it with them.

    Ooh, while you’re here – check out our listings 😉

    Kev Morris
    RFTK Promotions

  • Dog Fashion Disco + Psychostick Tour

    dfdposterSome excellent news of a great tour hitting The Cluny in Newcastle on September 13th.

    Dubbed as ‘The Really Ugly Americans Tour’ : we welcome both Dog Fashion Disco and Psychostick to The Cluny.

    DFD are an excellent avant-garde metal band who were most active during 1995-2007 : after a couple of reunion shows, they came back properly in 2013 with crowd-funded album ‘Sweet Nothing’.  Owing to the success of that album, they’ve been busy touring and writing and are due to release another album, ‘Ad Nauseum’, later this month.

    They rarely tour in the UK so it’s a great time to see them, if you don’t know their music – check them out here

    Psychostick have definitely excited a few as they come to the UK even less! Describing themselves as ‘humourcore’ – they have 4 albums which have spawned such greatness as ‘Obey the Beard’, ‘Beer!’, parodies of Drowning Pool and a cover of ‘Danger Zone’.  Amongst others.   You can check them out here.

    Tickets are available now – click here to grab them from seetickets.com – or alternatively they are available from Reflex Records.  They’re already selling very well.

  • The Cureheads + Lizzie and the Banshees

    The Cure and Siouxsiecure

    We’ve Great Tributes to both!


    This is the 25th Anniversary of Cureheads and to coincide with this they’ve announced this will be their last tour. They are a really top tribute to The Cure, hence still being here 25 years and many world tours later!

    Lizzie and the Banshees (a tribute to Siouxsie and co, if not obvious) are a little newer (formed in 2012) but have already made a good impression. They play a good mix of all eras and throw in some not-so-obvious tracks also, consistent with live shows by the real SatB.

    Although the actual Cure do the odd gig here and there, they don’t tour regularly and haven’t been to Newcastle since 1996. Siouxsie and the Banshees are unlikely to tour again, haven’t since 2002 – and last played Newcastle in 1995. So, with the ‘real’ bands unlikely to come to these parts any time soon – we’ve got 2 excellent and authentic tributes instead – and for a very good price.

    ::Buy Tickets::

  • Support Additions and show round up

    We just wanted to give you a little round up of our shows and some additions of support acts.

    Last Great Dreamers will be tour support to Cherie Currie so will be joining her on all dates including our Newcastle show at The Globe on November 14th.  We expect to announce a local opening act shortly.

    Our Skarlett Riot show with The Raven Age has two local acts, Edenthorn and Blackout Hotel – the show is October 4th at Think Tank – four great bands for £8.  Doors will now be 6.30pm – so a touch earlier than previously advertised.

    This means our schedule now looks like this

    July 18th – The Cureheads + Lizzie and the Banshees @ The Cluny – tickets
    August 15th – Eric Martin + Simon Kaviani + Rusted Hero (acoustic) @ Think Tank – tickets
    September 13th – Dog Fashion Disco + Psychostick @ Cluny – tickets
    October 4th – Skarlett Riot + The Raven Age + Edenthorn + Blackout Hotel @ Think Tank – tickets
    October 15th – Hanzel Und Gretyl @ Cluny – tickets
    November 5th – Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate) + The King Lot + Rusted Hero @ Think Tank – tickets
    November 14th – Cherie Currie + The Last Great Dreamers @ Globe – tickets
    November 21st – Devilish Presley + Death Party + 13 Candles @ Globe – tickets

    We potentially have slots for 1 local band at the DFD/Psychostick show on September 13th and for 2 local bands for the Hanzel Und Gretyl show on October 15th
    If you are interested in supporting on either of these shows please email kev@rftkpromotions.co.uk

  • Cherie Currie – The Voice of the Runaways

    We are thrilled to announced we will be doing a very special and very intimate show with the legendary CHERIE CURRIE on November 14th at The Globe in Newcastle !

    cherrieCherie Currie was part of the Runaways with Joan Jett and Lita Ford, she is a true legend and is doing a very special intimate show in Newcastle.

    Tickets are £15 in advance and *strictly limited*

    Presently available on www.seetickets.com – with record shops and other options in a few days.

    Cherie Currie: The Voice of THE RUNAWAYS – First album and European tour in over 35 years!

    “She is back, after 35 years, doing what she loves the most in life – MUSIC! Her many fans have waited patiently for this day to hear new music and also were wondering out loud, ‘What will it sound like?’ I can honestly say that Cherie has gained a few steps, her music has matured a bit, but can this lady still rock? HELL YES!” – Michael McKenna, Steel Notes Magazine

    Cherie Currie is rocking again with Reverie, her first solo album in 35 years. Reverie features four songs co-produced by the Runaways controversial late svengaliKim Fowley and covers of two Runaways songs – Is It Day or Night and American Nights – featuring vocals by former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. Curries son Jake Hays finished the album in Fowleys stead.” – Billboard.com

    Three ladies made Rock N Roll History, way back in 1975, as members of the all-female rock act, “The Runaways”, which featured Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie.
    “If we did nothing else but write ‘Cherry Bomb,’ it would have been great, but we made some history.” – Joan Jett, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

  • Special Show for 25th Anniversary of Love/Hate’s ‘Black Out in the Red Room’

    Love Hate Cover‘Black Out in the Red Room’ by Love/Hate is one of the true classic albums.  A great album, like they used to be, that you could listen to end to end without a dip in quality of filler track.

    In November, you’ll be able to hear the album played live in full.

    Jizzy Pearl will be touring the UK in the first week in November, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the album he wrote, performing the album in full.  Plus, of course, some extra tracks and hits.

    The local show takes place on November 5th 2015 at Think Tank in Newcastle.

    Support comes from The King Lot (all dates) – check them out here and Rusted Hero (Newcastle Only) – check them out here.

    You can get tickets from our store here – or also from seetickets or locally at Reflex Records.

    Here’s a reminder of how great the tracks are.



  • Eureka Machines : New Video

    Eureka Machines, who played a stunning show for us recently, have released a new video for the title track from their new album, ‘Brain Waves’.

    It’s a very DIY video because their original location flooded!  But that’s what we love about them.

    A great band, check out their video and buy their album and give them some love – and of course, catch them when they next tour. (We don’t know when, but I’m sure they’ll play here again)

  • Aesthetic Perfection : Imperfect Album

    Favourites of ours, Aesthetic Perfection, have released a new live album/DVD entitled Imperfect.

    It’s a live recording of a show in California last year – a live acoustic show!

    Yep, gone are the computers, backing tracks and electronics and the band performed armed with a piano, stand up bass and acoustic guitar.  Nice.  We’ve included a track below so you can check it our.

    You can buy it here (or, wherever you like)

    Aesthetic Perfection are touring the UK in August – sadly there’s no Newcastle date this time round, but catch them if you can.