hmmm...bookers, bar managers - a very grey area indeed.
we got to paddy maguires and were told by the dj (a very nice guy and the only one not slimy enough to want to avoid the issues) that the pub was closing early because of good friday and that the pub management had forgotten to pass that information on to the booker. he had been there about half an hour before we arrived which is when he had found out this from the management. no-one was there to inform us - no booker, no management etc - just the dj.
so we rang the booker to find out what the deal was - he was expecting an earful for reasons i'll outline below. anyway, i asked him why we couldn't shorten our sets and be finished by closing at 10 - he said to talk to the bar manager and find out if that was possible. so i went to the bar manager and talked with him - he basically just stonewalled me saying they didn't have staff of to run the bar etc (it was to be in a separate room). no apologies for any inconvenience etc, readily admitted they hadn't told the booker, but said it was his fault for not asking them (why the booker would need to think of asking such a question is beyond me).
so that all was bad news and we hung around to break it to the other bands rather than have them stumble into it completely blind like we had. what was particularly odd, though, was that another band - the medicated - were there as well before we had got there, and had been told the same thing. and this is where things really start becoming strange and boggling my mind. they said that the booker, named paul, had booked them not long ago to play but had only given them a worksheet - which they had to hassle and hassle him for - the day before. this is a very similar story to what i went through, though i got a worksheet from him on wednesday, after weeks of trying to get anything. however, the worksheet we got made no mention of the medicated as it had been organised with ourselves, underlapper and sui zhen on the bill. now - as i start to piece it together, a few more things are emerging. all of my correspondence up until wednesday had been via e-mail and with two 'people', william and donald, who are also listed as working with a 3rd guy, johnny. then on wednesday night after another e-mail, i got a phone call from the booker for paddy maguires - named paul. it only half dawned on me then, but he had a familiar voice. early last year, i nearly booked a gig at the mandarin club through this same guy, and we eventually decided against it because the door deal seemed rather bad and we'd heard from a few people, including jeremy, that it was a bit of a con and not a great place or booker to deal with. i've also heard the same from ant and a few other clan analogue people. i only realised this morning that he had rung me on wednesday night, though i had never given my phone number to "donald", "william" or "johnny". this paul guy obviously still has it from our dealings over a year ago. unfortunately, none of this was apparent until now, having only been contacted on wednesday. the guys from the medicated then mentioned paul and something called power music who they'd had bad dealings with in the past - and that is what slotted it together - that's the same name as the organisation (which i thinkis just this one guy, paul) who i was dealing with last year.
there's some strange dealings going on here - the club management were candid in saying they hadn't told paul about the early close and, to be honest, didn't really care. but this paul guy was quite keen to get straight out of there and avoid having to talk to the bands in person, leaving us all in the lurch. and, there were extra bands there who we weren't booked with, so something is up with his booking skills as well. needless to say we shan't be dealing with paddy maguires again, or paul. the issue with paul is that he got through the filters i'd previously set up via false names, new tactics and other subterfuge.
on two positive notes. fristly, we met sui zhen (who's real name is becky) and she was incredibly friendly and likable and gave me a cd (which is excellent). secondly, last night's incarnation of telafonica (bec, teve, blake and myself) ended up going to newtown, hanging out in the old fish shop cafe, which was excellent, before going to dendy to see 'be kind rewind'. despite david and margarets less than glowing review on at the movies, it was an excellent film. less visual slight of hand than a regular gondry outing, but more direct in plot. i thought it was great on many levels. as a comment on the current state of copyright law, it was subtle but biting. it was also a glowing appraisal of the d.i.y aesthetic in creativity, and a growing desire of audiences to embrace d.i.y. in opposition to bland commercialism, both of which i was particularly fond of. and it was funny as well.