Roots and Riffs fundraiser for the Ottawa Folk Festival

Friday night was the fundraiser at Irene’s Pub for the Ottawa Folk Festival.

There were 5 bands/musicians, including the Skulls. The sound was kind of spotty… Sorry but the sound guy at Irene’s showed up at 8, an hour before the show. The bands were asked to be there at 6:30. The sound was way, way too loud and it didn’t seem to occur to him that when people were saying they couldn’t hear the vocals because the sound for the instruments was way too high to turn the sound for the instruments down… Instead, he just kept turning ALL the sound up. It was fine for Dave Gaudet and Lynne Hanson who were solo — just them and their acoustic guitars.

Lynne Hanson Dave Gaudet

For the other three bands, the louder the band, the louder he had the music. The Skulls voices were completely drowned out by the instruments.

Having said that, I thouroughly enjoyed Lynne Hanson, Dave Gaudet, and The Ethics (they are GREAT!). The Skulls, of course, were great aside from the sound which was beyond their control.

The Ethics The Sun Bleached Skulls

Professional Courtesy or the lack, thereof….
The fifth band, Neil Gerster and his band were okay. However, not a few of us were put off by the fact that cerrtain members of his band have yet to learn about professional courtesy and respect.

During the sound checks and last set, both the bass and back-up singer spent the entire time making faces, snickering, and miming the band. It was obvious they didn’t like the music offered up by that particular band and sat at the first table in front of the stage acting like asses.

In fact, Neil himself indulged in the same sort of assinine behaviour at one point.

Particularly galling was that the band they were making fun of, true to their generous selves, were willing to loan them tuners and cords because THEY didn’t come properly equipped.

Moments after apeing the band, the back-up guitarist had the nerve to go up on stage to offer his hand and say “how great” the band was, while his friend the bass player convulsed at the table.

I cornered Neil after the show and told him that I enjoyed his music and that I had taken a lot of photos and video which I had planned to post on my LiveVideo space for Ottawa music. “However!”, I said “They are gone… I will not be posting them after the display by his bandmates.”.

I didn’t mention that I had seem him also taking the Mickey but left him to think about “professional courtesy”.

“You might not like someone else’ music but when you are sharing a stage, it is just not “on” to sit there making fun of them. This is a community and it hurts the community when fellow musicians behave like that about the music and persona of other musicians.”

I should also have pointed out that when they are in their 40s, with many years of pleasing crowds with great music, and which may be, by then, considered “passé” by musicians and bands in their 20s I would hope that they never have to have asses like that making fun of their music simply because it isn’t their taste.

Neil said “Thanks for telling me”.

I hope he really does. I hope he takes it to heart.

The fact is, as a respectful member of the audience, if I don’t particularly find someone’s music to my taste, I would be polite and clap.

I can’t sing or play an instrument to save my life. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has any sort of talent and gets up on stage, even if what they do isn’t to my taste. It’s a shame that certain musicians don’t haave the same respect for fellow musicians.

Cat groovin’ to the tunes

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