Asking someone to leave..How?

Asking someone to leave..How?

Further to that guitar piece, Breandan’s reply point 3 hit on a little of the session etiquette that’s really important. How important can be clearly seen when its broken i.e blundering guitarists, drunken fiddlers, morons on bodhrans etc. The crux comes when it becomes apparent the offender is just about spoiling everyones’ night. Singing political songs or dodgy spoon playing are real cringe causers but how and what to say? Obviously you could break a pint glass over their head or drag them out by the heels but we’re civilised we musos aren’t we? I’ve worked behind a bar for ages and have had to do the ‘bouncing out’ on occasion. Its a horrible thing to have to do but generally everyone left breathes a huge sigh of relief. Just wondering on some of your experiences on this session phenomenon.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

One incident that will always stay with me occurred a few years ago in The Droichead Beag in Dingle, a serious session pub. Anyway amongst the musos were Begley and Cooney and Sean Smith and meself in the middle in awe of the proceedings. As you may know its a real haven for tourists and this is well tolerated as long as people observe session law. An unfortunate American knowing little of the unwritten rules produced a large set of table spoons and began to ‘play’ them very loudly. A few furtive glances shot round the circle and I wondered what if anything would happen. I needen’t have worried. Seamus Begley slowly closed his box and the music calmed behind him (retribution was nigh..) The American was last to stop but he did and looked up bemusedly, Begley let go with
"There’s 43 other pubs in Dingle, why don’t you take yourself to f**k out of this one and find another session to ruin!!"
Silence! The poor yank muttered something about the friendly Irish, gathered his spoons and left. Begley then finished the tune and not an eyelid was batted. I don’t know if he ever returned to Ireland but I’m sure his spoon playing days ended there and then.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

We had a fellow beating the bejaysus out of a bodhran at a fairly rowdy session in Pat’s Bar, Belfast. The guy looked like a bit of a hard nut and was ignoring all the dirty looks that people were casting in his direction. Finally one of the pipers in the sesh, whose name is "Buzz", got up and told the guy to "Buzz" off in no uncertain terms. Luckily our friend the piper was an even harder nut. I don’t think there’s a nice way to ask people to stop/leave. It’s a bit of a crushing thing to be told you’re spoiling everyone else’s enjoyment.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Most of the sessions I know work on a sort of "warning" system. If the player is actually a musician, then it’s actually more serious if there’s infractions, but, unlike the non-musician spoon-wielding Yank of Divil’s story, they’re not usually asked to *leave*-leave but rather to modify the offending behavior. This generally takes place at least quietly, or out of the hearing of other players to save feelings. Most will allow one to three more infractions before the offending player is tossed out of the session for good.

If they’re a casual onlooker with no musicianship who has decided to ‘join’ a session, though, I suppose all holds are off. Sad to see, but there you are — if you have standards, they have to be maintained, or they go by the wayside.

It’s up to every session, I’d think, as to how they set and maintain their standards. For some people, inclusivity is more important. For others, the music itself is paramount. It’s no wonder (even if it is sad) that many good sessions are closed to all but the invited. It saves on awkwardness and weirdness in the long run.

Zina

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Try asking the person you want to leave how they would like to be asked

Posted .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Ask the person how they would like to be asked? That’s cute, I like it.
"Excuse me, but how would you suggest I get you to go away?"
or maybe
"Pardon me, but what would be the best way for me to phrase a request for you to ********* out of here and don’t come back?"

I’ll have to try that some time.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Oooooh? you’re going to get into trouble for swearing

Posted .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I always try and educate the poor offending ballix first by quietly telling them what is and what is not OK. I might even suggest one of the local diddley dee classes for them to go to for lessons if they are that keen to join in the session.

If that fails then harsher words follow.

Finally I will get my mate Paul who has a black belt third Dan in Judo and who served with the Irish Rangers Special Forces to ‘talk’ to them.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Here’s one for you.

A fella I know had the perfect solution to getting rid of a bad Bodhran player in a session.

This event took place at a Fleadh, years ago, in a session pub which just happened to be at the top of a hill. (see what’s coming) This powerful Banjo player in the company started admiring the drunk Bodhran players instrument, then asked if he could have a look at it. When it was handed over to him, he gave it a glance then stuck it behind him, & proceeded to play about a dozen reels. The drunk took the petted lip & sloped off to the bog. Now I should point out that, it being a hot summers day, the bar door was lying wide open. Anyway, with the drunk away, the Banjo player seized his opportunity & just rolled the offenders instrument out the door, & that was the last they saw of it. When the drunk came back, asking for his Bodhran, someone casually pointed to the door & said ‘oh, it’s out there’, & that’s the last they saw of him too.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

That may be a funny story, but it’s an awfully good way of making a situation 10 times worse than it already is. If someone threw my instrument out in the street, I would kick their teeth in - it’s best not to throw more fuel on the fire (especially when your already dealing with a drunk). I think the offender should be taken aside & kindly told to just listen. That usually works - sure there are idiots who can’t take a hint. If kindly telling them doesn’t work - than you can resort to a firm "C’mon buddy, cut it out", but touching someones instrument is a no-no & if you get puched in the face then your just reaping your oats.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Then you have a session and a fight! Throw in a few pints and your night’s complete!

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Hooray!

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I think if anyone had their "instrument" rolled out the door, they’d naturally want to kick someones teeth in.
But were talking Bodhrans here. And Oh aren’t they round

Posted .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I did say the story was funny & I’m sure it would be the pinnacle of humor to roll a bodhran down the street. I just would be leary of the situation it would cause.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

hehehe….I have nothing to add to the discussion, but I have to say that I love threads like this. Doesn’t it just sound like you’re all round the table poking at each other between tunes? *snicker*

Zina

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

That’s just the problem - How would you *roll* a set of spoons out the door? Or a triangle?

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

gee, why not just tape them to the bodhran?

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Darts with the spoons? Horseshoes with the triangle?

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Don’t go worrying your little head about Spoons & Triangles - just call Uri Geller on your mobile, he’ll sort them out over the phone.

Bend ya b……s bend!

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Earlier this summer I spent a week on the west coast of Ireland, and on my "last night out" in a local pub a sax player barged in and without realizing started to crash the session / the gig. The initial slow airs were all right, but the otherwize geat session now really got dominated by Sax player, who was one of the locals and still at an early learning stage. The hired locals leading the session and handled the situation very gently, and did their best to politely ignore the intrusion.

Being a visitor I discretely asked one of the local musicians if I should take on the burden of trying to talk the sax player out of playing. Having confirmed that that would be to the benefit of the rest I engaged in conversation with the sax player with this mission in mind.

I quickly regretted my "mission" as I discovered that the sax player next to me was a indeed very nice person, and I had a rather lengthy conversation commenting on the instrument and discussing this and that and how the sax as an solo instrument was great in Jazz. Being asked on how the sax fitted in I gave my opinion on how it still needed "some work" . As the sax player picked up the instrument to start playing again I kept on conversing until finally the saxophone packed up and left with.

It might have saved the rest of the evening, but I have since then given this situation many thoughts, pondering on whether I should have let it be.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

The Grand First Bodhran Rolling Spectacle will take place after the session at Wee Tom’s down Castle Street approx 2.00am. Tom will stand guard and drop the hanky so as we know when to start. The McLean Plant Hire co. will await at the bottom in the diamond with a selection of JCBs and steam rollers for any bodhrans that survive the trip down the hill. Hope to see many bodhraners taking part. Refreshments available afterwards back in Toms.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

And would this be happening in Ballykilnaferret, Michael?

Just to stick in a good word, Matt Heaton, besides being a killer guitarist, is also an excellent bodhran player. (He’s on his way to being an excellent fiddler as well.) That kind of bodhran playing will always be welcome round me!

Zina

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

It’s difficult to know what to do in this situation….as in Halldor’s case, the individual could be a really nice person who’s just trying to "fit in". Or perhaps trying to learn by playing with more accomplished musicions, which is a viable measure.
We had a fiddler join in who seemed to be a very nice guy but a novice who was obviously tone-deaf! After two or three tunes, I told him I thought his instrument was out of tune and asked if he would like to borrow my tuner. He left for about 15 minutes and then came back….no better for the tuning effort. After mentioning the "out of tune" issue 2-3 more times and suggesting that the humidity might be affecting his bow or strings, he finally began to pack up. We appeared sufficiently distressed at his departure and he was pleased that he’d actually joined in the session. So everyone was happy….he hasn’t returned, yet……so I guess this worked.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Triangle? Who on earth plays triangles in sessions??? For god sakes! yeah - bodhran played well is brilliant. I hate to say it, but there was a session a few years back where if a person came in who was really out of line, like someone who takes over and never gives anyone else a chance etc. The whole session would stand up and go to the bar until they got the hint! Unfortunatly for us one such offending flute player never got the hint and most of our sessions were spent standing at the bar for a couple of months! Until finally someone snapped, we never saw her again…

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

What about shakey eggs? they’re horrible but easy to throw and
insert into orifices. In the session I often frequent, well meaning
enthusiasts would hand out bones, spoons, shakey eggs etc, to visiting parties of Greek and other foreign tourists and invite them to participate. And they all want a go on the Bodhran. Aaargh Gosh this discussion is therapeutic.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Ballycastle,North Antrim actually Zina. To use that strange phrase ‘some of my best friends’ are bodhran players and damn good ones at that but if you can’t take a slagging then stay at home!

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

just to add to this thread :-
HE SPOONS? MURDER
1.
In the tavern one night we were sitting;
I?m sure ?twas the last week of March.
From our drinks we were cautiously sipping,
To ensure that our throats didn?t parch.

2.
We played music both lively and dacent
To bolster our spirits and hopes.
While we gazed at the females adjacent,
And remarked on their curves and their slopes.

3.
Till this gent wandered into our session,
And decided to join in the tunes.
Without waiting to ask our permission,
He took out a large pair of soup spoons.

4.
Our teeth in short time we were gritting.
As he shook and he rattled his toys;
And the company?s eardrums were splitting,
With his ugly mechanical noise.

5.
Hopping spoons off our heads to provoke us,
He continued the music to kill.
Whether hornpipes, slow airs or polkas
They all sounded like pneumatic drills.

6.
Then he asked could we play any faster,
As his talent he wished to display.
With a grin on the face of the bastard,
Like a cat as she teases her prey.

7.
Our feelings by now were quite bloody,
And politely we asked him to quit.
We suggested a part of his body
Where those spoons could conveniently fit.

8.
This monster we pestered and hounded.
We implored him with curses and tears.
But in vain; our appeals they resounded
In the desert between his two ears.

9.
When I went out the back on a mission,
He arrived as I finished my leak.
He said, ?This is a mighty fine session,
I think I?ll come here every week.?

10.
When I heard this, with rage I was leppin?
And no more of this torture I?d take.
I looked round for a suitable weapon
To silence this damn rattlesnake.

11.
Outside towards the yard I did sally.
To find something to vanquish my foe;
I grabbed hold of a gentleman?s Raleigh
With fifteen-speed gear and dynamo.

12.
Then I battered this musical vandal;
As I shouted with furious cries,
?My dear man your last spoon you have handled,
Say your prayers and await your demise.?

13.
With the bike I assailed my tormentor;
As I swung in a frenzy of hate,
Till his bones and his skull were in splinters;
And his health in a very poor state.

14.
And when I was no longer able,
I forestalled any last minute hitch;
By removing the gear-changing cable,
And strangling the son-of-a-bitch.

15.
At the end of my onslaught ferocious
I stood back and surveyed the scene.
The state of the place was atrocious,
Full of fragments of man and machine.

16.
At the spoons? player?s remains I was staring;
His condition was surely no joke,
For his nose was clogged up with ball bearings,
And his left eye was pierced by a spoke.

17.
At the sight I was feeling quite squeamish;
So I washed up and went back inside.
Then I drank a half-gallon of Beamish,
For my throat in the struggle had dried.

18.
Unpolluted by cutlery?s clatter,
The music was pleasant and sweet.
For the rest of the night nothing mattered,
But the tunes and the tapping of feet.

19.
At the inquest, the following September,
The coroner said, ?I conclude
The deceased by himself was dismembered,
As no sign could be found of a feud.?

20.
?For the evidence shows that the fact is;
As reported to me by the Guards,
He indulged in the foolhardy practice
Of trick cycling in public house yards.?

21.
So if you?re desperately keen on percussion,
And to join in the tunes you can?t wait,
Be you Irishman, German or Russian
Take a lesson from his awful fate.

22.
If your spoons are the best silver plated,
Or the humblest of cheap stainless steel,
When you play them abroad you?ll be hated;
So just use them for eating your meal.

Alan

PS This is a Scottish pc hence the difference in punctuation etc!!!!
Alan

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Alan, did you do that? How much time did you spend on that, fer cat’s sake?! ;) Hee. Murder, He Spooned?

Zina

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

No Zina I didn’t write "The Spoon Murders" - it’s on a CD by Con O’Driscoll called "It’s no secret" - very hard to get but well worthwhile if you have a sense of humour.
Alan

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I had a Djembe (African drum) player at a session recently who was quite drunk and insisted on playing in everything. When it was a really beautiful slow air that I really wanted to listen to (can’t remember which) and he was still playing randomly I moved my bow onto the drum and used it to lift his hands off. He didn’t seem too offended.

Maybe this is the subtle way that we all need.

Saying that, I once had a bones player behind me being really loud - I eventually just had to turn round and tell him to shut the f**k up - that worked too!

Horses for courses I guess

Dan

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

A few months ago I was in a session, where a fine young fiddler had just started up a tune. Sitting between me and the fiddler was a friend of mine, strumming chords on a particularly loud Soviet mandolin. After straining to hear the tune a couple of times round, I diplomatically suggested that he swap mandolins with me, mine being a very quiet instrument. He accepted the offer, but didn’t resume playing on my mandolin… and the air turned very chilly. Diplomacy is fine, provided it is opaque - in this case, the direct approach would have been better.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

nice one on alan, must try get hold of that album!

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

What a thread!

Last session I was in had slightly less than the normal count of melody instruments, the normal count of strummers, the typical far too many bodhrans. While four of the 6 bodhran players knew to rotate, one of them thinks that whacking the wood is a really neat thing. Too bad he does it randomly and loudly. How do you tell a REGULAR that he’s really being annoying.

At the same session a spoon player non-regular came, and dagnabit if he wasn’t GOOD at what he was doing! In general is it all spoons or just lousy spoons that are reviled?

And one more story before I move back into lurker…I was in Ireland last May and played at a session in Co. Sligo. Well I didn’t so much as play as get invited to suggest two sets. I hauled myself through them (playing a very quiet whistle that couldn’t be heard over the two dozen plus other instruemnts), pickled tink, then sat out of the rest and enjoyed the music and the brew. Two nights later, different locale, some of the same musicians, but I didn’t play, choosing to talk with a woman who sat down beside me. Three nights later, back at the first locale, still not playing. One fellow comes over, looks me in the eye, and says "What’s the matter? Are yeh on strike??" I’m wondering if its the first time they ever tried cajoling a visiting Yank of dubious musical skill into joining!

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

um tyghress - is pretty much all spoons for me, they are just tinkly and annoying!

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

bb, what do you think of the spoons on the Paddy in the Smoke album? I can see where they might be annoying if they went on for a while, but found McLaughlin’s playing quite nice for one set - not tinkly at all, but strong and solidly rhythmic. It reminds me of some hard shoe irish dancing I saw once, sounds very similiar to my, admittedly, uneducated ears.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Sorry lonefiddler still hate them and the worst thing? My mother plays them!!! So I’m to be tormented with them forever!

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Penance for your sins. Bad karma in a former life. Whatever, bb. *grin*

Zina

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I know;-))

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Although this didn’t happen to me… .

At a session where the newbie was playing hammered dulcimer rather loudly the crowd put up with the torment until first break. When the session reconvened the poor HD player found that everybody had tuned up a half a note. Obviously not taking the hint he quietly went out to retune (a massive undertaking depending on the instrument). Happily he started in again only to find after the next break everybody retuned back to normal. This time he got the hint. This guy went on to be a LOT better player and went on to write and conduct workshops on dulcietiquette.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

There is a certain banjo player who has become a regular at our session. He’s a nice guy, but his playing is causing me to not enjoy my own session. He plays so loud that it is hard to hear anyone else. He also plays too fast, speeds up and has erratic rhythm. It’s a small session, usually under 10 musicians. I feel his presence is ruining the session, with some players hinting at leaving. I don’t know if I should ask him not to come, or try to get him to fit in better. I know he’s had this problem with other sessions and that he is aware of his speed problem.

So, how would you approach the situation. Thanks in advance for you consideration.

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Suzy, that’s always a sticky situation. My first thought would be to try to help him fit in better. The best way to do that is to talk to him about it outside of the session environment, so that you’re not publicly embarrassing him. In my experience with this sort of thing, the most likely outcome will be for him to feel offended and stop coming… But then at least you tried. And who knows, maybe he will take it well, and work to change his ways.

Banjo players need to be aware of their volume. As a banjo player myself, I try to keep that in mind all the time. It can be difficult to realize exactly how loud you are compared to everyone else, especially if the banjo has a resonator and pushes all the sound out the front. Banjo players sometimes play loud just to be able to hear themselves. It also helps if you have strong players that can enforce the tempo even if he’s pushing it.

If you can keep it friendly, maybe you can work out some sort of signal between you and him that you can use to gently remind him if he’s too loud, or pushing the tempo too much when he’s not paying attention. For instance, I played in a session a few times years ago, where they had little "toys" that would sit on the table and were used to admonish people for faux pas in a sort of humorous way. So they had a rubber fish ("tuner fish"). If you looked down at the table, and the fish was in front of you, you’d know to check your tuning. They had a matchbox race car, which would symbolize playing too fast. And so on… It was a cute way to gently tell people that they were annoying in some way, and everybody would have a good laugh about it. But it could also just be something less obvious, like a nudge or nod between you that other people don’t notice…

And finally, I will say that seating arrangements can help too. Right handed banjo players tend to push the sound out to their right a bit, since the instrument isn’t sitting perfectly parallel to their body. So seating a loud banjo player where their instrument is pointing generally away from the other players, instead of in a corner where there are a bunch of players in their ‘line of fire’ can also be a gentle way of easing some of the volume pain.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Much as I hate playing with someone who’s loud and bad, if I have to witness someone being publicly humiliated, I just don’t feel like playing anymore. I’m funny that way, I guess.

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Was it Billy Connolly who said in Glasgow they say (say it in your best Connolly voice):

"You’re leavin’. Pick a windy".**

**"Window" for our overseas friends.

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

I always think people need a second chance. A bit of helpful advice on the side, and if things don’t improve repeat the advice, get others to repeat the advice, and when all else has failed offer the advice publicly so that it becomes a joke on him. He’ll either improve or leave of his own accord.

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have gently spoken to the person in private.

Posted by .

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Surprised that within the 15-year-old posts, no-one came out with the old joke: " Drum Rrrrrrolllll"!
My biggest put-down was, on pulling out a moothie, " If you can play it, do: if you can’t, put it away". She was right, it’s been in the gig bag pocket ever since (and that was about 15 years ago too!)

Re: Asking someone to leave..How?

Well - as someone who CAN play the moothie - I would have put it away and left at that point. Not saying that anyone should care, just that that’s how I would react to that kind of rudeness.

Posted by .