Landlords….!

Landlords….!

We’ve been out of the local pub, where we had held a monthly session, for 4 months now, yet the sign that there’s a trad music session on that night is still up in the bar, painted by a signwriter to look like a chalk board.
Today I went in and asked that it be removed, and was told by the landlord to mind my own business. And yet he was the one who told us we couldn’t continue in there, making an excuse about his Sky Television screens, and not speaking to me directly since.
Landlords !

Re: Landlords….!

Well, it IS his pub after all. Maybe he has another session on another night and doesn’t want you to know about it

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I’m pretty sure he hasn’t got another session in there.
My daughter went in on her own initiative and asked what had happened to the session, and one of the bar staff told her we frightened the customers ! What, more than the bikers ? Or Elephant Shelf ? ( Go and see Elephant Shelf, they’re a great R’n’B band, but don’t sit in the front rows if you’re a personable young man, I warn you . )

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>one of the bar staff told her we frightened the customers

Well, Pete, I didn’t want to say this, but you always filled me with mortal terror. Nothing personal.

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Well isn’t that false advertising? I would certainly report the establishment! that’ll teach em! Oh, and what would health and safety say about the place?

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I bet its not his pub,he is probably a manager,Aproblem for alot of peoplein England,trying to either run afolkclub or a session,
Here in rural ireland,the pubs are often owned by the landlord,and there is more continuity.

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It’s not all bad news in the UK. In Bristol our Tuesday English (usually with a touch of Irish) session lost its pub of long standing in August due to a change in the manager. It proved quite difficult to find another suitable Tuesday venue in that part of the city, but a few weeks ago the landlord of The Royal Naval Volunteer* (a pub founded in 1673 in the very heart of the city) contacted us and practically begged us to fill the Tuesday slot. So that’s what we’re now doing, and so far the omens are looking good.

The pub’s entertainments manager (yes, it has one!) puts us right in the front of the pub by the windows so that passers-by can see and hear us. Many of them come in to listen and have a drink (btw, the Peat Porter is supernacular), so that’s good business practice at work, and we get an interested audience.

There’s a uni hall of residence nearby, so some of the audience are students, and last week two of them asked if they could borrow a fiddle and a guitar. They proved to be very accomplished musicians indeed and played a beautiful celtic air. They were later seen talking to said entertainments manager …

The arrangement with the pub is slightly unusual in that we do three Tuesday evenings out of every four, and the fourth is a gig by the Gypsy’s Kiss, who host a Monday session in Clifton nearby and so are well known to us.

Oh, and the pub has excellent acoustics, what with all that dark oak panelling and wood floors around.

* The pub was originally called The Royal Navy Volunteer, but the (in)famous Bristol lambdacism changed "Navy" to "Naval". (Bristolians now often call it the "Volly"). One wonders how many young men innocently went into that establishment in years gone by to quench their thirst, and found themselves coming out later under escort to the nearest Royal Navy ship in the harbour. I’ve heard that there’s some doubt whether that law has ever been rescinded, so even today, it would behove a careful drinker to make sure the Queen’s Shilling isn’t lurking at the bottom of his glass ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love talking to the landlords / pub staff about details such as this. Often they are "completely out to lunch" "have no clue" as we say in southern US.

But as I am not the Mr. Scott of advertising nor the Dr. McCoy of marketing, I am not about to engage a course at warp nine to move forward their establishment, or give advice and suggestions on how to cure their malaise.

Maybe the chalk simulated notice gives a sense of continuity or security to the punters that habituate the place.

I’m thinking if the landlord encouraged me to play there, that’s a good sign they’re not rational.

-dogma

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What happens to you if you’re a personable young man in the front row Pete? The suspense is killing me. Does it involve pain and / or humiliation. Slim.

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Just walk in and rub the chalk off?๐Ÿ™‚

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The "chalk" is actually paint.
And if you sit in the front row you get attacked by "The Cleavedge of Death". Some people are masochists, of course, and will enjoy the ritual humiliation.
The band IS good, but sit at the back.

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Well, it does seem rather rude of him to tell you to "mind your own business", but it’s possible that he wants the sign up as part of the decor of the place. It’s like having a sign that says "Beware of Pickpockets and Loose Women" in a bar that is going for an Old West theme in the U.S. or something.

And I’ve noticed over the years here that a lot of people think that bar/pub owners and management are clueless. They may be clueless about traditional music, but their business is to know about running bars and pubs, and in general, they do it pretty well… As a former bar owner, I can tell you that a lot of decisions have to be made for financial reasons that don’t sit well with musicians. Like maybe the fact that their TVs might bring them a different kind of clientele than the session, and that clientele might spend more money…

One of the sessions I play at regularly in an Irish pub often has nobody in the place besides the musicians. The fact that we get a fair amount of drink provided on the house makes that even more special. They are certainly losing money by having us there. On the flipside, another session that I have in a restaurant/bar (not even an Irish place) *loves* having us there, because business is always better on the nights when we’re playing…

I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up my geekhood and opening an Irish pub at some point… But I think I shouldn’t do that until I’m in a position to not care whether it makes money or not, so I can do what I want, like have traditional music whether it pulls a crowd or not.

Pete

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We had been waiting for someone to open a pub in the Oklahoma City area for quite some time. When a Dan McGuiness opened in Moore (a suburb of OKC) we were all pretty excited and actually convinced the owner to let us have a few sessions and hire a Cetlic band. That lasted about 6 months and they told us we couldn’t have a session any more and the Celtic band wasn’t what they wanted for entertainment. It was then we figured out it is an Irish pub only in name. After speaking with managment their main focus is to sell their cheap beer and have car racing, football, etc on their many TV screens.
If only I would win the lottery.

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The local secondhand record store has offered space for me to put up a poster for my session, so I may well take him up on this, including the note "No longer at M*******’s despite the sign in their bar !"
Curiously enough, it’s a family-owned bar, always has been, was sold on a few years ago from one Irish family to another.

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It’s sad, flyinfiddler, but a lot of "Irish pubs" are just in it for the schtick - it’s a marketing idea that appeals to a lot of people, so we have all the plastic paddy atmospheres, and green beer swilling on St. Patrick’s Day.

There are a lot of Irish pubs out there that do attempt to be at least somewhat traditional in their approach, and that’s cool when you run across it. But don’t limit yourself to Irish pubs when looking for places to session. Like I mentioned, one of my all-time favorite sessions is in a local restaurant/bar. It has a small town feel to it, and the management, staff, and customers welcome us more than any Irish pub that I’ve ever played in, and they understand the difference between a session and a performance. They weren’t really into the idea until after we played there on St. Patrick’s Day a few years back, and it went over really well. I then convinced the owner that people might actually like it at other times than St. Pats. We played there last night, in fact, and it was one of the best sessions I’ve been to in a long time - everybody left happy!

Pete

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That bit about Dan McGuiness’ is sad. We need more sessions in the area. When did they decide to stop letting you play? Wasn’t there just a concert Sunday night? Or do they just not keep a session anymore?

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That was a lot of consecutive questions…sorry.

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Hey there Jason! Small world! Didn’t know you were on here, ‘course I’ve not been on here for a couple of years. Wonder how many other Oklahoma folks are here? (maybe another thread eh?)

The sessions ended a couple of months back. I’ll tell you more about it offline. It’s kind of a long frustrating story.

I’m actually going to make the Full Circle session tomorrow night so maybe I’ll see you there.

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there is a great pub in Dallas Texas called Trinity Hall. Very musicians friendly and has a number of sessions, open and invitation. They even have a sign out front that says "We’re just like Dublin, smoke free"

I also found a Steak House in Knoxville Tennessee called Patrick Sullivan’s while playing out there last year that hosted a great session. Some fantastic musicians.

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Great! I’ll see you at Full circle then.