What contributes to a band’s success?

I recently talked to a BTech Music group about running a function band as a business, and as I thought about what I have been doing virtually my entire life I came to some really interesting conclusions that I will share with anyone who’s interested…

When you are constantly striving to successfully entertain audiences night after night it leads you to analyse what factors are contributing to your success – so that you can repeat your great moves and continue to be successful into the future.

After years of analysis I have discovered some surprising truths about what to prioritise as a gigging band…

    1. BE EARLY: If you’re early then the client is immediately put at ease, you’ve also got time to sort out any problems, and you yourself can relax and have a cup of tea!
    2. BE SMART: When you look presentable then this also creates a nice impression on everyone, the client, the manager of the venue, the punters – everyone.
    3. DON’T BE TOO LOUD: Especially when you very first play your instrument, make sure that a beautiful quiet sound comes forth. This is especially great when there is an old granny who is just staying for the early part of the evening, it’s 6.30pm and she’s chatting to her friend right next to where the band is setting up. She looks worried as she surveys the instruments and amps – BUT – when the inoffensive strains of ‘Misty’ emanate from the band – at a volume that allows her to still continue her conversation – then you have won an important ally and your successful evening is being built on a sound foundation!
    4. PLAY SONGS THAT EVERYONE ABSOLUTELY LOVES: This is an ongoing testing ground ‘did that song clear the dancefloor? It goes down the list, did that song hold the dancefloor? It goes up the list – until your first set is packed with tried and tested winners, this way the audience choose the set. New material is trialled in the second set, later on in the evening and if the audience like it then it can stay, and maybe be promoted to the first set.


‘Wait a minute’, I hear you say, ‘I thought these truths were supposed to be surprising?’

Well, what I find most interesting is that the focus of success isn’t on being a brilliant musician. Which you would think is the most important bit right?


Let’s look at each point from two perspectives.

    1. BE EARLY: MrAverageMusician turns up nice and early but MrAmazingMusician is late. MrAverage wins – and we haven’t even played a note yet!
    2. BE SMART: MrAverage is well presented whilst MrAmazing is scruffy. 1 – 0 to MrAverage – still no note has been sounded!

MrAverage checks he’s on without anyone even noticing and then plays

…to be continued…