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AUDIENCE INFORMATION

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VITAL TIPS FROM A PERFORMER

REQUESTING SONGS

When requesting a song from the band, just say "Play my song", or "It goes something like this" and then hum a few bars! Entertainers and musicians have a chip implanted in their heads with the ultimate database and the favourite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a venue.

Performers and musicians know all of the songs ever recorded, so feel free to be vague. They love the challenge.

If musicians tell you they do not know what tune you want, they are only kidding. Musicians know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder and louder if need be - it helps jog the memory. Try singing a few words for them. Any words.

If one member of the band knows part of a chorus, the rest of the band will instantly learn the entire song by osmosis. Knowing this, if the band still claims not to know your song, it helps to just keep requesting the same song every time there is a break. If you nag the band long enough, eventually they will be able to play the song simply by virtue of persistence on your part.

It also helps to scream your request from across the room several times per set followed by the phrases, "OH, COME ON!" and "YOU SUCK!" Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well, such as the thumbs down or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band's memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of "Personal Friend of The Band."

THE TRUTH ABOUT PERFORMERS AND MUSICIANS

Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters and never really prepare for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do, once they arrive. An entertainer's job is so easy that even a monkey could do it, so don't let them off the hook. Your request is all that matters.

If a metal band has played at the club a few weeks ago, the next band that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band ever played, even if the current band is a blues or country band. It's the law.

Feel free to yell AC/DC or SLAYOR!! to a band that plays strictly originals or jazz for example. Conversely, yell "Deadheads" for Grateful Dead tunes at a Dance or Metal band. They will instantly be able to play whatever you want.

HOW TO HANDLE PERFORMERS

When an entertainer or musician leans over to hear you better, grab his head in both hands and yell directly into his ear while holding his head securely, so that he cannot pull away. This will be taken as an invitation for a friendly and playful tug of war of his head and your hands.

Don't give up! Hang on until the singer or guitar player submits. Drummers are often safe from this fun game, since they usually sit in the back, protected by the guitar players. Keyboard players are protected by their instruments and only play the game when tricked to coming out from behind their keyboards. Though difficult to get them to play, it's not impossible, so keep trying. They're especially vulnerable during the break and between songs.

TALKING WITH THE BAND

Don't waste your time talking with the band during one of their breaks. They are always too busy trying to get drunk or stoned to pay you any attention. The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way, is in the middle of a song when all members are singing at the same time, such as a multi-part harmony. Their hearing is so advanced that they can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us. Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your questions immediately, cop an attitude. Musicians love this.

If you want to request a song, don't write it on a coaster and give it to the band, because they will not even bother to read it. You have to stand in front of them when they are playing. Find the lead vocalist and get right in his face. Start talking to him, but only while he is singing. Don't just yell out the name of the song that you want, nut engage the singer in conversation, explaining what is special about this particular number. If the singer makes any gestures such as pointing to his mouth or ear, this means that he can hear every word you're saying, even while he's singing and trying to listen to the rest of the band. This merely shows how versatile musicians really are and how they can play, sing and chat with you at the same time. Don't think for one second that you might be annoying or interrupting the band - they love this sort of thing from patrons.

HELPING THE BAND

If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or for however long you can remain standing on stage. Just pretend you're in a karaoke bar. Simply feel free to walk up on stage and join in. By the way, the drunker you are, the better you sound and the louder you should sing.

If by chance you fall off the stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, third and fourth part harmonies, or a tambourine played out of tempo.

Try banging on the cowbell, the band loves this challenge. The band always needs help and will take this as a compliment.

TOILET TIPS

Remember to allow enough time to make it from the stage to the bathroom in case of an emergency. On-stage accidents are bad form, but the band will carry on and distract the audience from the mess you make.

PLAY THEIR INSTRUMENTS

Wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you are ejected from the club, you can be assured by the fact that you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you immediately the following day to offer you a position.

AT THE LAST MINUTE

There is one thing all bands and musicians really love. After they have been performing for hours to a virtually empty room and they are playing their second-last number of the night, a bunch of usually drunk patrons will stagger in and start dancing and having a great time. Then as the band says that this is the last song, the patrons start screaming for "one more song." So the band plays one more song and the patrons dance and have a great time, then scream for another "one more song" and get really pissed off if the band puts instruments down and starts packing up, instead of playing for free for another hour or two.

This is where the insults usually start flying, but bands thrive on being abused, either by audiences who want them to keep playing way beyond their allotted hours, or by management, who are very dirty about having to pay bar staff overtime because the band didn't finish on time.

AUDIENCE COMMENTS AND RESPONSES FROM PERFORMERS
PATRON: Do I know you?
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: I'm not sure. Maybe you saw me performing somewhere else.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: You cretin - how the hell am I supposed to know who you know? I'm not a bloody clairvoyant.
PATRON: Do you remember me from the cruise on Oriana in 1975?
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: Of course I do, you were very memorable.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: Jeezus, the Oriana carried 2200 passengers and it was over 30 years ago and I've done about a thousand cruises since then. What makes you think I'd remember one passenger from that long ago? Did you make a complete moron of yourself on that cruise?
PATRON: I don't know half the songs you played.
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: I'm terribly sorry. Maybe you can tell me the songs you would like me to perform.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: Jeez, I just played a string of smash hits and now it's my fault that you're an ignorant bastard who has been living under a rock for the past 50 years. But guess what? You know the other half of the songs I played, so shut up and go away.
PATRON: Sing something I know.
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: OK, just write your request down and I'll see if I can do it for you.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: Shit - how am I supposed to know what you know? If you didn't know what I just performed, you've been living on Mars all your life. I'm not a mindreader, so if you want a song that you're familiar with, ASK ME AND SEE IF I KNOW IT. By the way, I'm NOT going to try to learn your favourite song in the next three minutes, no matter what.
PATRON: Can I get up and sing a song?
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: Look, I'm sorry but it's a public liability insurance thing, otherwise it would be great to have you sing.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: The hell you will! I'm not letting any drunken idiot up here to sing badly when the venue is paying good money for a professional such as myself to entertain. If you think you're good enough, go get your own gig, but you ain't singing here under any circumstances, so rack off.
PATRON: I just got here and you're finishing up? Play one more song.
PERFORMER'S RESPONSE: Sure I'll play a whole bunch of songs for you, way past my finishing time.
PERFORMER'S REAL THOUGHTS: Where the hell were you four hours ago when I started playing? You turn up when I'm about to finish and demand that I entertain you for another hour when I could be on the way home to my dinner and bed? Get stuffed, I'm packing up and pissing off.

Performers - Please feel free to email Ziggy with any gems that you have been hit with by patrons