Photo: Alex Cameron by Alex Blouin
Being involved in the team that looks after The Old Blue Last, Birthdays, Kamio and Sebright Arms (all in London) is pretty great, although booking smaller venues can be a lot harder than you think. A wet Monday will prove that if you don't believe me. But when you get it right, there's really nothing better. Putting together up and coming shows, or getting a sneaky underplay.
A lot of bands on their first tours make similar mistakes, like wanting to play the bigger cities. Then end up on a weak bill or as a diary filler. The most important thing is to work with agents/ managers/ promoters that already book similar things to your sound. But be careful, you don't want to sit on a huge roster, and not have someone working hard for you
There's a lot to be said about doing all this on your own as well. Find the routes. Find the promoters. Sometimes playing a small town that no one's ever heard of can be amazing. Also, don't be scared to reach out to the venues themselves. We check out all of the bands we get sent. Just be to the point. No one wants to hear your life story. A few links to some tracks (never send MP3), and literally a line or two about your band, and what you sound like (don't say The Beatles/The Killers/U2).
Keep pushing, but don't hassle, if you don't hear anything it usually means 1 of 2 things. It ain't gonna happen, or they're really busy and will get back to you in time. You have to go into this with a positive attitude, and take the knock backs on the chin. Good things come to those who wait, and all those other cliché’s.