There are many talented bands throughout Louisville which can make getting decent paying gigs difficult, unless you are a beloved cover band like the Louisville Crashers. Many bars around town don't even pay bands. Those bars also don't find it difficult to get entertainment since many bands just want the exposure and another venue to add to their resume. If you want a paying gig you often have to do your own promotion. You might get part of the cover charge, and if you are lucky the entire cover for the night. When sharing a show with one or more other bands you have to split the cover even further. A paying band gig is not one to be passed on, well most anyway.
Field of Kings took one those paying gigs at the B&B Bar in New Albany, IN. The gig sounded like fun for various reasons. One, the gig was supposed to pay decent. Two, the gig was a Halloween Party. Who doesn't love dressing up in a costume and going to a party? Then add playing music to the mix. Three, the band got free food and drinks. Well little did we know how the night would go.
First of all we should have noticed a big red light when we didn't know the bar or where it was located. Field of Kings has played in nearly every venue in New Albany. By some chance we haven't played a venue, another band we know probably has. As soon as we walked in we immediately knew we didn't fit in. The crowd was an older group consisting a lot of bikers with a 'dive bar' feel. I wore a bumblebee costume, and the other two band mates wore a Sweeney Todd outfit and the other in vintage style dress. I quickly realized this wasn't your typical young adult Halloween Party and that my cute, short bumblebee costume should have been saved for another party.
The entire night this little, elderly man who I am guessing was in his late 60's early 70's was hitting on me. He asked me if I needed a king bee which was harmlessly humorous. Then things just got a little weird. At one point he told me to send my husband home and that he'd take me home. There were a couple other comments throughout the night that were equally as awkward if not worse. Never wear any costume of the slightest suggestive style at a bash unless you welcome this attention. This was definitely not the occasion.
This party was also not the occasion and will never be for Field of Kings to play. The genre of music we play is folk rock with some blues thrown in. Through out the night people were yelling, "Play some country' music!" We aren't a country band but were able to appease them for a short time with some Johnny Cash. Five of my friends stopped by to hang out. One in particular thought it would be funny to respond to the country requesters by playing some heavy metal on the jukebox while we took a break between sets. Eventually it was obvious some people wanted us to stop playing so they could takeover the jukebox with some country music. So we had some fun and mused my friends with bits and pieces of Tool's "Schism" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird." We ended the gig on two original songs with me fiddling on top of a chair. When all was said and done we were all relieved the gig was over.
Even though the gig was less than desirable, we were able to enjoy the photo booth. Moral of the story is just because it is a paying gig, it isn't always worth it.
Photo: courtesy of Anna Blanton