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Warts And All...

This is a section mainly written to help other acts. It includes a fair few gripes and moans about this business we call show. It's a great job, and I love it. So don't get me wrong, but it has its moments...
The following gripes are from my personal experiences whilst doing the job.They are not aimed at anyone person, and should not be taken as offensive.

Bl**dy sound limiters...

I hate em.  I understand that due to the public's propensity for a good whinge, that people who move in next to a pub like to moan about anyone in it having a good time while they are sat watching Eastenders Omnibus of a night.
Here's a clue - DON'T BUY A HOUSE NEXT TO A MUSIC VENUE! By all means, a monastery or similarly silent house of contemplation or meditation, but not a flipping music venue where people may wish to play their music above the sound of a gnat's fart. Shut your windows, turn the telly up and stop moaning!
You are killing the very venues that keep your community alive!
You can't play Tina Turner quietly!

Shove the telly on, will ya?

Sometimes we singers take centre stage, spotlights et al.  Sometimes the crowd appreciate us enough to applaud. 
Other times, not so much.
I've lost count of the times a pub will leave the telly on, perhaps even going so far as to ask me to wait til some reality TV nonsense, talent show or football is finished. Fine,  I say, for I am a professional.  But leaving the bloomin' thing on while I am performing is not on, people.  We all know a TV is a major draw for attention in a pub, but sometimes I think I should maybe bring a cardboard box with a hole in it to get you to notice i am here.  No, it's not the jukebox on, or someone's Ipod on shuffle mode.  It's a living, breathing person who you are paying to sing. Turn the telly off.

Different rates for different nights

Right. Here goes. You go into a pub. Beer costs a certain amount. Is it cheaper on a Friday night? NO. Do the bar staff get paid less on a Friday night? NO. So why should an entertainer get paid less on a Friday night (or any other night than a Saturday for that matter)? It's just stupid.
Pubs will argue that they don't get the same amount of people in on a Friday. Well, put on decent acts and advertise well, along with good service and good food (if you do that) and they will come.
But...some venues seem to want to pay peanuts for acts, then complain that no one is coming out. Now I'm not saying everyone who is happy to go out for a lower fee is not as good, but the vast majority of the better acts charge a higher fee. The argument is that better acts bring VALUE to the venue - your punters will realise that they missed out last time there was something on, as the people who were there said it was great, and they missed it! So next time they will come out. Speculate to accumulate. And if a particular act doesn't add VALUE to your venue, you don't book them again.Easy.
I have set myself a minimum price, and WILL NOT GO OUT FOR LESS. I'm doing the same job, no matter what night of the week I am doing it - so the same fee should apply.
Now for tribute work the fee is considerably higher, but the stage props, costume changes, lighting and preparation all comes into account. I also have a minimum fee for that. I have to live. And for those of you who say I am lucky to be able to do this job, I agree, but would remind you that it is still a business, with overheads, that has to make a profit to stay feasible.

Being professional

Well it has been said (mostly by me) that I am not one of these suave, polished performers.
Please don't take that to mean that I don't know what I am doing.
I made the decision years ago to be myself when I am performing, rather than pretend to be something I'm not (That's not to say I couldn't be more polished if the occasion arose). I just choose to feel relaxed and at home during my gigs. This may mean you are subjected to my dodgy jokes, or a wee chat about the weather/telly programs/my general thoughts. I like to think that that's one thing that sets me aside from a lot of the acts out there. I'm good at my job, and have fun with it, but I'm just one of you - a real person, who blethers away like we are sitting having a chat.
Who knew Adele would nick my act? lol

"You should be on the [insert current reality TV music talent show]"

Since I started this job back in 2003, there have been quite a few TV talent shows. And during each one's run, someone has come up to me and told me I should be on them....
I do not rate these shows at all. To me, they are nothing but media hype generating, scripted guff. There's only ever one winner, and that is whoever is counting the cash at the end of the Xmas number one sales frenzy. They are all the same - changing the format of your media hyped so called talent contest does not make it better, or new. And swivelling chairs? Purleeease. You can put glitter on a poop, but it's still poop. I mean, the British public voted a DANCING DOG as Britain's best talent....[insert your own joke here]
In my opinion ,things are said and done on these programmes just for effect, and drama created from nothing just to fill all those women's magazines full of pointless articles about who's said what/who's wearing what/who's sleeping with whom, along with the numerous adverts that appear during the night. Those who seem to show real talent are passed over in favour of those people who will make more money/headlines/marketing deals for the show, regardless of talent.
That's MY PERSONAL OPINION ONLY, by the way. If this upsets you, may I suggest you stop reading right there...
My Facebook page is always full of people talking about it. Thank goodness we are usually out when this drivel is on. I am not one of the many millions of sheep who blindly follow where they are led.
I'd be interested in a show where they take some of these folk and have them do a tour of the pubs and clubs, doing a 3 hour night of around 35 songs, just like a lot of us out there. And we're not autotuned, nor do we have a stylist and a team of "experts" telling us what to do.
And there you are. Rant over...

Dancing in front of me

At almost every gig I get at least one lady who - on her own before anyone else has begun dancing (which you are always free to do)- thinks she can come up, face away from me and stand inches in front of me with a bottle/hairbrush/clenched fist as her microphone, and mime along to whatever I am singing. There are invariably spread out arms and gestures towards whatever friends she has along with her, as if to say "I could do this". Feel free, madam. Just not within 6 inches of my face.
And while I'm moaning, get some shoes that you can walk in and a dress that fits. You look like Patsy from Ab Fab tottering about in those stupid shoes. God I'm old...

Applause (or lack thereof)

Well what can I say that hasn't been said by every musician in the past. We perform live in front of you. Whether with backing tracks or a band, we are there to entertain. We are not the jukebox or some reality "talent" show. Your applause, appreciation or sometimes just your attention would be nice. There are many great venues out there where we receive a great welcome, and the audience listens to our every word, laughing along with us and having a bit of banter.
So why do some people seem to think that we do not deserve applause? It's the "Who does she think she is?" attitude I don't understand. You go along to do a job, and people are aware that you are there, but it's almost like they want it to be hard work, then moan if they don't like your song choices. It's a two way street, people. If you show absolutely no interest in any particular genre of music, or ignore everything we do, we will just do what we damn well please and think of the money rather than enjoying the gig.
So next time some poor musician is performing, take the time to put your drink down and give a little bit of encouragement. And unfold your arms. You know who you are...
I thank you.
I must just point out that there are plenty of pubs, clubs and other venues where this is not the case, so it canny be me....

Stop bumping into me!

Well what can I say? I'm certainly not invisible. STOP BUMPING INTO ME AND THE GEAR!
My new LD Maui 28 line array may look like a leaning post, BUT IT'S NOT! Nor is it for leaning on when talking to me about something. It may not be as expensive as a Bose system, but I need it. Music comes out of it. If it breaks, you will have to talk in silence to your pals/wife instead of singing along to my music...
The gear is expensive, and if you knock my mic stand you could knock my teeth out. I like my teeth. They fit nicely in my head. A well placed bash on the stand with your flailing arms/backside/legs can cost me a lot of money. I'm not Cilla Black. My teeth are not insured for a gazillion bucks.
I've taken to holding a hand out in front when someone gets too close.
If you hurt yourself by skelping yerself into my gear, that's your lookout. But that gear is essential for my work. My livelihood depends on being able to keep it in one piece. I realise we all get a bit exuberant with a bit of alcohol in our systems. God knows I've been there. But once is an accident. Repeatedly throwing yourself into me is taking the pee. Gonny no dae that.

Being ill sucks...

In the past I have had to cancel gigs due to ill health. I need to let venues and pub/club goers know here and now that I DO NOT take the decision to cancel lightly, and if I do have to cancel a gig there is ALWAYS a genuine reason for doing so. I NEVER cancel a gig to take a more lucrative one elsewhere, and I don't ever tell lies about my vocal health. So if I must cancel your gig, and you were really looking forward to seeing me, I apologise.

Let's buy a house next to a pub...

Some may not like this bit, and I'm sure some will comment on it, but I never said I was going to be a fluffy bunny kinda girl..
You see a house. You see it's next to a pub. So you obviously realise that there are going to be people going to and fro, maybe a bit the worse for wear. You will also take it as read that the pub may have some music playing (Unless it's a Wetherspoons...). Whilst I understand that loud music is a pain if you have young children etc, you must realise that a Saturday night may bring a singer, or a band. It's gonna be loud. It's not going to go on much past midnight - in fact some venues have their music on earlier in the day so they are finished earlier.
To me, it's like living next to a motorway and complaining about the traffic. Let me know what you think ..

I'll start when I start. Not before!

I've been asked by a few punters lately to start early. Erm no. I will start when I am booked to start. Reasons given for me to start early include -
you're going away (your decision)
you have ordered a taxi (your decision)
"oh go on, it's just one song" (no)
Your wife/partner/next door neighbour likes a particular song.
You could sing it yourself (good for you)
Do you go into work early? If your boss saw you had arrived early would it be okay for him/her to say "Oh go on. It's only half an hour", and not pay you any extra for it? If you are being paid to do a job of work, you work within your time scale. So there.

Moaning about my moaning

I like to think I am honest and straightforward, so I apologise if anyone objects when I have a good old moan about something. Actually I don't. This is my site, and I use it to let everyone know where they can see me. I also use the site to let any other singers know they are not alone. I've had a LOT of other acts commenting on my moans, and saying they feel the same, but haven't had the nerve to say.
Good gigs are great, but bad gigs happen now and then. It's nice to know that it happens to someone else, and it's not just your fault.
Sometimes it's a glamorous job, where you are made to feel welcome and appreciated, and the crowd applauds at the end of every song. Sometimes it's a pin-droppingly silent slog. But can anyone really say they have never had a bad day at work? A day where nothing seems to go right and you have to soldier on?
So as they say round my way, Geez a break, and if my moans annoy you, avoid this page...

How much???!!!

I am always being asked how much I charge for a night's work. Well the answer is - it depends on where, when and for how long, along with what occasion, any special requests etc.
So you may book me only to find that I did someone else's night for less/more. Well maybe there was a good reason .
Can I ask that when you book me you have a solid idea of what you want me to do for you BEFORE you call or email? And give me time to get back to you with a price that suits us both.
My tribute acts are more expensive too, but you get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, as they say. Sometimes I even have to stay somewhere overnight, or spend most of the day staring at the motorway, pulling into some scary motorway caff or other at dark o clock in the morning. All of these expenses have to be taken into consideration.

There's also -
public liability insurance
equipment insurance
Van insurance (which is quite expensive in my line of work)
Road Tax
Wear and tear on our van
Drinks during gigs (It's very rare for an act to be offered a drink by a venue nowadays)
backing tracks to be purchased
Time taken to learn new material
This list is not exhaustive...
The best idea, I reckon, is to email me direct at
Please include the following -
From/to what time
Any special requests re material/arrival times/set up times
Your name!
Okay. That's better now that's out.....

Twittering - and not the social network...

Why do some singers sing a dozen notes when one will do? You sing a song - you don't attack it like a runner doing the steeplechase. Neither do you make a line of a song into an obstacle to be tackled like it's the enemy.
It sounds like I'm jealous. Obviously I'd like the scale of wages paid to some famous professional colloratura-type singers. That would indeed be nice. But I'd rather hear a good, clean, powerful voice than someone's warm up exercises.
Oh and I'd like to introduce you to a thing called vocal range. That means how high/low you can sing. My range is quite wide, but I have more low end than most. Consequently I may do more male vocal songs than most, but it is still definitely me. I am not twiddling with some auto tuner computer program or other, and neither am I a bloke in disguise. It's not a CD! I find quite a lot of people watch my lips move to see if it's really me singing. I'll take that as a compliment...I think.
My vocal range may be different from the song you are asking me to do. I will change keys etc in advance if needed, but my inability to sing Mariah Carey twittery whistles doesn't mean I am not a good singer. If so-and-so at such-and-such pub can sing high stuff, that's fine. Good for them. Please don't be disappointed if I don't. Trot on.

It's My Microphone...

Please note - I do not allow anyone to use my microphone. This is not because I am a snob or don't want to be 'outdone'. Maybe you are a great singer. It's not because of that.
There are three reasons really -
My microphone was really quite expensive. Dropping or swinging it is NOT an option!
I generally lose work from time to time due to throat infections, colds and flu. I try to avoid other people's germs. and the smell of what they had for their tea.
I am here to entertain YOU. If everyone who wanted to sing was allowed, I wouldn't be able to! Please let me do my job!

I don't really care if wee Shuggie has a great voice, or if he's a karaoke king. Let me put it another way - If I was a bus driver, would I let you drive my bus? I can just imagine it. "Hey missus, I've been on a bus - how's about sliding over and letting me drive?" erm no. It's not your bus, and you aren't insured to drive it. And maybe the passengers would complain.
My PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE does NOT cover you. Should you disappear under a speaker, or put your back out dancing about like Elvis, or clock another punter with the mic, i would be in BIG trouble.

At the end of the set, I usually have around and hour and a half of travelling and putting away equipment. Please note that we cannot allow you to help with this for health and safety reasons. Thank you for asking and offering to help, but no thanks.
I'm sure that everyone who wants to sing have wonderful voices and could do well in the job. But I am here to entertain YOU. Sit back and relax...
I know I am a moaning b*gger, but this page is all about that, isn't it? If you are upset or have taken personally any of my comments, may I suggest a little pan pipe music, or a hot cup of camomile tea and a biccy. Or hae a word...