“Suspicious Minds”: Booking Rant And NUROTIC SS EL…


“We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds” (M. James)

There are bookers I really like having to deal with, some of them really became friends over the years, and
if you tour abroad or if you’re a bigger band of course it totally makes sense to have a booking agency. Still I really like having to deal with bands and artists directly, without any interstation. I’m convinced that too many bands in Germany employ booking agencies too soon in their ‘career’. I sometimes wonder if it’s the same in other countries.

[Oh, and to that kind of small bands: How dedicated are you if you don’t love making music enough to take some time and effort to book a tour in your own country yourselves? I believe that if you start a band this is a totally healthy experience and usually bands who did so also are the ones who stay well grounded when they happen to become famous later on. If you think you have to switch that extra cost thing on (and today most of the “agencies” that book totally unknown bands DO charge money, at least a percentage, for their work), so if you use agencies at that point: Why not rather think of it as a travel bureau and pay it from your own pockets? Would seem fair to me. Why should a promoter pay those extra costs for your convenience?]

Back on track: I love to be in direct contact with bands to work things out and it often helps to keep things simple. I also love putting up shows without the safety net of a contract but based on trust. In many years of doing so I hardly ever made a bad experience, neither when I was touring myself, nor when I put up shows for other bands.

I have to say this year really sucked for that matter because we had lots of rather short term cancellations from artists and their agencies. BLOOD BROTHERS was cancelled / postponed earlier this year, in February because of “change of management”, people kept asking us about when it actually would be happening for months until we finally got a new date. In April MOVING UNITS cancelled their tour two or three days before they were supposed to play at our place and I’m still waiting for the announced ‘official statement’ from their agency. Of course I’m not really waiting but give a damn about bands who don’t even mind informing people about why they have to cancel or at least send an excuse via their agency.

April also saw the ommission of the SUBTLE show because DAX PIERSON had been badly injured in a car accident earlier that year. (I wish him all the best deep from my heart! He is still in the process of recovering, and there have been lots of benefit events to help him pay the medical costs. If you want to keep informed and / or send some wishes or even can afford to send some money go to his website: www.daxpierson.com).

DANCE DISASTER MOVEMENT cancelled their tour, also pretty short term and without a proper reason (I don’t really remember, I think it was something along the lines of them being afraid they wouldn’t make enough money on the tour which is an okay reason not to tour but it’s no good reason to cancel a tour that already has been promoted with posters and in city magazines).

TRUST cancelled in September because they made not enough money so they had to abort their tour as long as they had enough to fly home to Argentina. The biggest disappointment this year because of the plain thoughtlessness seeming to be the main reason: SICKBOY cancelled via his booking agent one day before the show because he hadn’t been aware before that the train ride here would take him so long. In that case it also sucked because friends of ours, BASSSTART, already had had a party planned for the same day and they play similar music (breakcore, the more complex kinds of hiphop, idm, etc.) but as we didn’t find another possible date we still put up NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM as a frame party for SICKBOY’s live show.

Can you agencies and bands and solo artists please think twice about as many eventualities that constitute touring as possible BEFORE the promoters start putting work into your shows? Organising a show takes time and work, layouting posters and flyers and having them printed or copied and spreading those all over the city does too. We are the ones who have to deal with the disappointed faces at the door, we might lose regular guests who maybe won’t come again if our shows are cancelled too often. And we are disappointed ourselves. We do shows because we really really like your music. We are not some commercial promoters who are happy as long as they make money. I don’t want to start making contracts with threats of penalties in case of show cancellations with each and every band that we invite. I like to trust you as you can trust us in caring for your visit as good as we can – promoting the show, providing a good p.a., yummy food and nice sleeping places, whenever possible in our own private homes.

I’m glad that our NUROTIC SOUNDSYSTEM vs ELEKTRONISCH ROCKEN night at O27 in Fürth became a great party anyway. I was a little bit scared that people would turn around and leave when they hear of SICKBOY’s cancellation but most of them stayed. When people didn’t start dancing at the beginning of the night we thought we’d better try and build the mood up slowly with some straight electronic and discopunk tracks before heading on to the breakcore madness but inspite of JOOL’s amazing mixing skills people didn’t go further than tapping their feet and nodding their heads. What really broke the ice was a really heavy round of raggacore, from THE BUG’s ‘run the place red’ to one of SHITMAT’s ‘babylon’ tracks. After that it felt like we could play anything and people danced and had fun. Thanks to Bodo and O27 for having us!
Usually I’m no big fan of people asking for songs to be played but two people on that night asked seperately for DROP THE LIME which really was a nice surprise! A) because I’m in love with his ‘This Means Forever’ album (and not only because of the cute vocals that somehow remind me of the meowing way GUY PICCIOTTO of FUGAZI sings), and B) because I wouldn’t have thought that there are breakcore fans in this town we don’t know! 😉
Hope you guys also show up when we have JASON FORREST playing at K4 on 31st October!

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