New band first gig set length -playing mostly originals

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Vintage-TVintage-T Frets: 200
So my band debut show is about a month away. We were compiling the set list the other night, didn’t think much of it at the time as we’ve just been in the practice bubble for what seems like forever (we started this project nearly two years ago).

 Having a chat to my brother last night, i spoke about the set being 17 songs 14 original and 3 covers, to which he pointed out to me that was mental, nobody will have the attention to sit/stand through over an hour for a new band playing songs they don’t know. 

I think he has a valid point and i just hasn’t stood back and considered it from the punters point of view. 

So question, ideal set length for a new band playing predominantly their own material. I’m not thinking it should be no more than ten tunes? 

Or do we just be incredibly self indulgent and play the set as we have it?

 Gotta speak to the boys tonight about it when we have our next practice.
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Comments

  • bencowling81bencowling81 Frets: 304
    Can you get another cover together so you would have 3-4 originals per cover song. If you interspersed the covers throughout the set that might help hold people’s attention. You can always hold a couple of songs back and get a sense whether you have the audience.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 12281
    What have you been booked to do? 
    If it’s a multi band night they aren’t likely to give you that much time to play. If it’s a pub type gig that’s usually something like 2x45 mins. 
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • Vintage-TVintage-T Frets: 200
    We’re headlining in a bar, not traditional pub more like the old kinda bar fly venues, but smaller though.
     We’ve got one support band. 
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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2689
    How good are your originals (be honest :) )? What genre? Is it music people can dance to? For instance, ska or funk type bands in my experience could play anything in that genre for an hour + and keep many punters happy, 'cos it's danceable.

    If it's any form of rock or metal you're going to want to cap it at 45 minutes I'd say. 

    I'd also say that you'll be able to judge for yourself on the night because people will drift off when they get bored.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 17275
    I'm not sure I've ever played an originals set longer than 45 mins. Maybe an hour for a headline once we had a decent following. 

    Are people paying to get in and see you? Or is the sort of place that will be busy anyway and you happen to be the band playing that night? 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 12281
    If there's another band first probably cap it at an hour. Maybe 50 minutes that'll creep to an hour with unforseen delays and you'll have a couple in the bag if you get encores. 
    And as Moe says depends a bit on the music and the crowd. Some flexibility isn't a bad thing. 
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 2195
    Difficult if it's your first gig as you don't know how the audience will react.  Whether it's original or covers there are a few things to consider;

    For how long will you actually be on stage (i.e. what is the real gap between songs)?
    How long have you got and what is the changeover time between bands?

    In my experience both of these things are usually woefully underestimated by new bands.

    Quality not quantity.  Old adage, always leave them wanting more etc.  If anything is not up to scratch, take it out.  You say that you are thinking of doing 14 original songs, how many have you actually written / can you play?  If the answer is 14 then I don't need to listen to your stuff to know that something needs to come out.
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  • CMW335CMW335 Frets: 1383
    Open with your best or most popular cover to grab some interest from the off. Nail that and follow it up with your strongest original.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1815
    edited June 3
    Your first gig and headlining with original stuff. The way I see it, the venue is probably thinking your going to be playing for 45- hour. Realistically unless your exceptionally lucky the audience is going to lose interest after 20 minutes half an hour and leave early unless you can come up with some floor fillers.
    Remember covers don’t have to be like the record!
    Sorry to be negative but that’s how I see it from experience.

    Great news however that you managed to get the gig bonus points if it’s a payer
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 17275
    Your first gig and headlining with original stuff. The way I see it, the venue is probably thinking your going to be playing for 45- hour. Realistically unless your exceptionally lucky the audience is going to lose interest after 20 minutes half an hour and leave early unless you can come up with some floor fillers.

    Man I have definitely been there. We literally cleared a room once...! 
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  • Vintage-TVintage-T Frets: 200
    I think the majority of the audience for this one will be close friends of the band, think the cap is about 200 but I'd be shocked if there's any more than 50-60, hopefully they'll stick with us.

    I'll time the set tonight, see if we can get 45 mins with maybe 10-15 mins more to chuck on if it's going well.


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  • StratavariousStratavarious Frets: 1426
    edited June 3
    If you are trying to make it as an original band... you gotta go for it..  there is no half way.

    i like suggestion of a 3 to 1 originals to covers ratio to keep attention and keeping it tight.  A lot more will rest in your banter with the audience  Who you are, your influences, a fave cover you like and then your stuff.. that sounds better! 

    Let them know they are special to you but celebrate the specialness of the occasion with them.  You have to win the audience.. if you look happy and excited to be there (and your songs do their stuff) you should just project confidence and engage them.  These are your first ‘fans’.   They will be able to tell their kids and grandkids they were there at your fist gig! 

    They want to be entertained..  sounds like you have got some friends you can bring along who will get the feedback going? 

    Got cards and stuff to give out? CD/Mp3, facebook / social tags, etc, so they can help promote. 

     Could have a prize for best social media post in a break or after.

    .... unless your tunes are shoegazing Elbow / Radiohead like dirges.. then all bets are off.  
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  • 26.226.2 Frets: 95
    Drop the covers and any originals you’re not sure about - 45 mins tops. Think a lot about the set list, pace changes etc. Good luck! 
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  • Vintage-TVintage-T Frets: 200
    thanks for the opinions guys. Will see what they think later....
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1815
    Your first gig and headlining with original stuff. The way I see it, the venue is probably thinking your going to be playing for 45- hour. Realistically unless your exceptionally lucky the audience is going to lose interest after 20 minutes half an hour and leave early unless you can come up with some floor fillers.

    Man I have definitely been there. We literally cleared a room once...! 
    We’ve all been there!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 6396
    Play all originals, if it's what you want to do. If people leave, so what? Do you believe in what you're doing? Yes? Well those people that left were just wrong then, more fool them. Maybe the 4 people who stayed to the end will become lifelong fans and supporters, and you don't need too many sets of 4 lifelong fans before what you're doing feels validated.

    Or you could do extra covers you don't want to do in order to keep the room onside. More people will stay, more people will dance, but they'll forget about you by Tuesday.

    Honestly, I'd do the originals, and see how you feel about it after the event before deciding what path to take.


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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1815
    Cirrus said:
    Play all originals, if it's what you want to do. If people leave, so what? Do you believe in what you're doing? Yes? Well those people that left were just wrong then, more fool them. Maybe the 4 people who stayed to the end will become lifelong fans and supporters, and you don't need too many sets of 4 lifelong fans before what you're doing feels validated.

    Or you could do extra covers you don't want to do in order to keep the room onside. More people will stay, more people will dance, but they'll forget about you by Tuesday.

    Honestly, I'd do the originals, and see how you feel about it after the event before deciding what path to take.


    I totally agree with this, however I still stand by my original comment. The goalposts have slightly changed on this one as it’s a “home” audience , but as a general rule starting out as an original band I would recommend keeping initial shows very short so you leave the crowd saying “have you got more”, as opposed to “some of it was ok but too long” 
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • grappagreengrappagreen Frets: 881
    Your first gig and headlining with original stuff. The way I see it, the venue is probably thinking your going to be playing for 45- hour. Realistically unless your exceptionally lucky the audience is going to lose interest after 20 minutes half an hour and leave early unless you can come up with some floor fillers.

    Man I have definitely been there. We literally cleared a room once...! 
    Only once?.. man I've cleared it lots of times :)
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 2082
    It depends very much on what the original music is and whether the band has a good frontman to build a rapport with the audience and hold them.
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 1726
    Vintage-T said:
    We’re headlining in a bar, not traditional pub more like the old kinda bar fly venues, but smaller though.
     We’ve got one support band. 
    One support band! Jesus! When I was gigging in London five years ago 4-5 band bills were the norm. I’d kill to be on a 3 band bill. 
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