Bourbon Bar, 12.15 - The Mechanisms (The Bifrost Incident)

Bourbon Bar, 12.15 - The Mechanisms (The Bifrost Incident)

Postby Mechanisms_Tim » 30 Aug 2017, 12:59

Hi all!

It's good to be back - after a year's hiatus (due to having no show), we came up with our newest offering - The Bifrost Incident. For those of you who have never heard us before, we (The Mechanisms) are a seven piece band - we dress up as space pirates and tell stories through a mix of narrative and music (this year prog rock). Think Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.

Anyway, getting back the the topic, this year we came up for just the final week ( :( ) to perform the latest set.

Venue

The venue had a mix of fold out seating, and padded booths (the booths were very popular). Probably supports ~60 people fairly easily; my guess were that we had ~30 on Monday, up to ~80-90 (with a bunch standing at the back) on the busy Saturdays. (As far as I know, the staff tidied the seats up/laid them out every night/morning).

Looked nice (imagine a night club, you've probably got it!)

Venue is a little far out, but relatively easy to find; certainly I had much less problem directing mile-goers there than previous new town venues (since it's on a main street, just off the mound, and it very well signed!).

Lighting was very inconsistent (it was pretty much just left however it had been set up for the club before). The staff were usually available to help out, but setting up during a disco was a bit stressful. It didn't cause any show problems, though.

PA/sound

The sound system itself was very nice - we were allowed to plug our own desk directly into their PA, and they had a very pleasing set of speakers. Definitely supported us as a full band, and it looked like other lower-fi acts were able to plug in a mic without any issues.

There was definitely an issue between the two rooms - there wasn't that much soundproofing between the rooms. This wasn't too much of a problem for us, since the other room's show started just as we'd finished, but we had to turn up a bit to drown out the next room on Friday(?), when they had a DJ practising loudly in the next room.

Staff

By and large very helpful. They were happy to help out by storing some of our kit in the cloak room, and set up lights, etc. Not always easiest to get their time in the morning (which was sometimes an issue when, e.g. lights were not set up in a way that worked for the show), but by and large went very smoothly.

They were also happy to let us in ~15 minutes before our get in, which made for a much more leisurely set up!

Bucket

We've always given away a CD of the latest set to anyone who gives us £5 or more on the bucket. Pleasingly, there were a couple of shows where basically everyone who came in left with a CD! We had quite a few extras this year (our other 3 CDs & some postcards), so we got quite a high take per person.

The venue staff were a bit prickly about us holding people up (we poss. need a table/helper if we did it again), but that was only really the first day - after that, we'd got set up/down mastered, so it wasn't too much of a problem.

Selling the show

We've gotten our pitch pretty set by now (mashups, reference material, chatting about bands, etc.). A bunch of us on the mile with flyers and guides in full space-pirate costume continues to be our best strategy, and handily filled out the room.

We did a bit more on social media this time, but flyering is far and away our best strategy.

Queuing

Bit of an issue. Guests queued in a restaurant, but weren't allowed in before 12 (even with the doors open), which lead to issues when we weren't sure what we were doing.

After the first couple of days, we just left a person on the door til 12, to let people know to wait outside/in the bar area when required, and things went a lot more smoothly.

Overall

A good fringe venue! Very good for bands like us who really benefit from a decent PA; hopefully great for the other acts too!
Mechanisms_Tim
 
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Joined: September 2015

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