The last couple of weeks have been very interesting. I managed to play several gigs which was pretty cool but the types of gigs were varied to say the least. Most of them were pubs and clubs. No worries there, nice people, regular income, sold some merchandise and some of them even were nice enough to provide a cola and better still a meal. Apart from a couple of ticketed shows, the rest were “rostered” pub and club gigs that in reality, wouldn’t have matter who played really.

The music was wall paper and thank Christ it wasn’t football season yet otherwise we’d have been competing against the giant plasma on the adjacent wall. I mean really… What dickhead puts a TV next to the stage??

But one gig was very different. It was a first for me and sincerely hope it won’t be the last. It was a house gig. What was so different about this gig compared to a pub gig or even a birthday party gig at someone’s home?

The one big difference? A total absence of pissheads and dickheads who won’t let you pack up after your gig for starters.

This gig was run by a couple of people who love music. They set up their house as a tiny little live club. They sell tickets to people who also have a love of music and who LISTEN rather than watch the footy, play the pokies bogging into a $15 chicken parma.

The hosts were gracious, extremely hospitable, all the money went to covering our costs to play, the audience were polite, music loving people who brought their own drinks and food in addition to the snacks our hosts provided. They also bought our CDs too.

We played to about 45 people up close and personal and every member of the audience was part of the gig. It was lovely and it reminded me of the days when our cities had music clubs dotted all over the place. Sadly they’re all but gone save for a handful and those venues who do have live music are full of singers with backing tracks (don’t start me!) or bands like Bon Jovi, Cold Chisel, Lady GaGa.. Oh shit sorry.. I forgot to mention they’re all tribute bands.

House gigs are a growing phenomenon and I’m not surprised.

1. The people who run them are all about the music and often do it for the love of it rather than making a buck.

2. The people who attend these shows are equally as passionate about the music and often don’t like going to pubs because of the reputations some of them have and of course they don’t like poker machines.

3. They get to be up close and personal to the artist and also get the opportunity to chat and provide that instant feedback that only a live gig can give.

OK I listed the pros now what are the cons? I can’t think of any!

I know of many house shows that are being held on a regular basis around the country and I take my hat off to the organisers of these great gigs and to the people who support them. May they continue….



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About Tony B

Musician, producer and fledgling blogger. I like writing about the world around me including the people I meet and the places I visit. I also like writing about things that are cool and things that piss me off. This a place where I vent about stuff. Opinions are entirely my own and feel free to agree or disagree. Cheers :)


  1. Artists & Acoustic Adventures! says :

    yeah, house gigs are a really interesting opportunity. i’m pursing a music career myself, so i’ve been looking into them as well. it’s too bad you can get more people to come for that kind of experience—but i guess some of the appeal is the intimate/close climate. i actually just started a video blog discussing the changes in the music industry/ creative process as i see it. it is a really wild time to be an artist considering how fast the world is changing w technology. anyway good post thanks!


    • cottoneyedjoe says :

      Thanks 🙂 Its very interesting. 30 or so years ago there were heaps of venues, people digged their music and it was a very busy time. Things have changed for the worst on one hand but for the better on the other. Back then there was no way in hell you could sell your own music without a record contract or a distribution deal. Thanks to i-tunes and other online services, we can all get our music out there.. The trick is keeping up with the changes and take advantage of them..


  2. Nia Robertson says :

    My partner and I have house concerts at our home four or five times a year…we love it and do it for all those reasons you mention…I am also an artist and recognise the importance of these intimate little shows in building a fan base. The people that step inside our home or these shows want to hear the artist, make a connection, listen intently to what the artist has to say, we will continue to have them and support our artist friends 🙂


  3. Rob F says :

    I agree that house concerts are a great concept. Anything that brings you up close and personal with an artist is a wonderful thing. Congrats to Nia & Bill for their efforts in bringing the music to the people whilst at the same time trying another concept in getting their own music message out there.


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