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As I'm turning 40 next year I'm starting to think I'm turning into a grumpy old man!

 

My experiences are 95% from KJing but would welcome input/stories from all you hard working DJs out there as well :)

 

I have a few recurring gripes but No1 for me must be the old chestnut of punters either just coming up and 'asking' for a song without a slip (Like i'm gonna remember their name in 20mins let alone the song), just writing their name and song title on a slip with no code, (usually accompanied by 'I couldn't find it in the book'), e.g Robbie Williams - Angels.

 

I normally just reply with something like 'Did you look in the 'A' section' :) Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

 

C'mon, vent your spleen! What gets YOUR goat?

 

TC

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I've recently been dipping my toe into Karaoke, using a mates CD's+Player, so I get;

 

-"I need to sing now cos we're leaving in a bit!" - I normally offer to take their song off the list, which normally keeps them there for 20mins...

 

-same as you - no slip... I simply tell them to find a slip and pen, as I'll forget.. I don't normally help too much as I need the slips to keep order.

 

For normal DJ'ing...

-Guest requests at the end of the night that really don't work with what I'm playing at the time

 

-Stairs :joe:

 

-"The look", normally from a guest who does not share the same taste in what I've just dropped on.

 

-Trying to get the gear out, and guests hanging around the doorway chatting and smoking whilst I'm moving very heavy and bulky gear past them... I do suggest they move into the carpark, or back inside, but often have to repeatedly ask them to move.

 

I am normally very aware that most guests are truly out for a good time, and they don't realise the highly skilled job we have :lol:

So... to this end, I'm normally very good natured, and will do my best and don't take this stuff too personally (I even smile back when I get "the look" tongue out icon ).

 

 

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Good on ya!

 

The 'slip' is the grease that oils the wheels of a karaoke, I even get 'I can't read or write' every now and again.

 

Now, I can judge ppl and have done many free gigs for charity so I know when someone is pulling my plonker!

 

My reply is, 'Ok, haven't got the karaoke version of that but I DO have the backing track if you still want to sing it'! Slip soon comes...

 

Even had someone say 'but it's in your book'!

 

Reply: 'Thought you couldn't read'?

 

TC

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ok i am to blame for the slip lark ..

 

i have software where i have a singer rotation ..i put in there name and it memorises it with the song and even the key they sing it in , i also add the venue..next time i see them i know what they sang last time etc

dedicated karaoke software can really help shows run smoother.

 

I also get "I need to sing now cos we're leaving in a bit!" my reply is well i am paid to keep you in the pub if your going soon theres no point in getting you up , i also point out there is a rotation and its unfair on others who are waiting there turn.

 

what bugs me at gigs is landlords wanting you to work extra hours for no extra pay. Drunk landlords who want to sing now , i never back down and put them fairly in the queue.

 

with karaoke recently i have had a trend of gatecrashers ie singers who want to join a person already singing even though the original singer doesnt want them to join in..the gate crasher gets rude abusive and stroppy had this a lot recently often its some relation and they say but its my sister , daughter etc but the original singer doesnt want drunk relative ruining there moment. had quite a few heated debates with drunks recently on that one.

 

Rob Star Entertainments
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landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

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I'm sure it's not all down to you Robster! :)

 

Have trialled (at home) the karaoke programs with queue management but it's never as black & white as that with me, what I always TRY to do is, if a new singer comes in I bump them straight to the front...

 

Surely most KJs play it that way? (Up to a point, if I think I'm gonna struggle for time I'll say 'ok, if you want to sing and haven't put a request in yet you've got 10mins)'

 

Is the software you use smart enough to work that way?

 

TC

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I slip people into the top of the current rotation not just straight on as that's not fair. when you add people on the software you have a list you can see normally about six or seven singers will be multiple song singers so if they hand in multiple requests i just throw them in the play list

so you have

singers

1

2

3

4

5

6 if a new singer comes along and asks for a request i would slot them in between singer 7 and 1 so top of the rotation call them singer A

7

A

1

2 some one else asks for a request call them singer B

3

4

5

6

7

B

A

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

this way new singers may have to wait a little but they wait fairly and are added to the next rotation its very easy to do with a clear list on screen. the software i use allows you to move singers about in the rotation how you choose though so you could do it your way

 

 

I dont use slips that often but i do still have them and books but i had one guy come up to me very abrupt and stroppy and ask "what have you got on karaoke ?" so i said i had lots but if he would like to look through a book for inspiration i had one on the side ..he said he couldn't read. so i asked what he liked .."good music" he grunted , "like what?" i patiently enquired .."you know swing and :cense:" Dean Martin i suggested subconsciously maybe thinking a kick in his head might do him good. Kick in the head i suggested ..that'll do ..and he stood there i said i'll call you in a bit theres a queue for singers so off he goes back to the bar...i call him up and when i do i turn off the screen so no lyrics are displayed he panics as the music starts ..he says "there's no words" ..I said "well it doesn't matter as you cant read !" next time he looked through a book before handing in a request lol now i don't do this often but i could tell from his attitude he could read and was just being a awkward customer sometimes we have the tools to make it a job where we don't have to take stick every time

Edited by Robster
Rob Star Entertainments
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Here we go then what bugs me is shouting the singer up when they are outside having a fag then they come back in & say youv'e missed me out when u have shouted them up 10 times in a space of 20 mins

When they tell you to turn it up when they are totally P$$ed and they can't sing anyway'

They tell you the systems crap when no one clapps them and they are pants[i always sing after them to show them the system is fine]

When they sing with the mike at there stomach and also when they shout down it'

When they slam the mikes down after singing'

Best one has to be the ones that say were going in 10 mins can u do my song now after they have only been there 5 mins[No Chance]

Swinging the mike never goes down well as well

I only allow 2 to sing at a time as they all try to be louder than the next one[Nightmare]

 

Although there are lots of great nights and good public singers around But theres also a lot of :crap: singers as well'

Must admit after 20 years still love karaoke though makes the night go quicker

 

 

 

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Extracting my cables from a pool of broken glass and beer then spending half the next morning cleaning them off (this morning in fact)

 

Finding a scratch on one of my speakers which were like new until last night!

 

Having the lighting guy ( really nice bloke) spill my large cup of coffee on the table but missing all the gear and plugs amasingly!

Good Rockin Daddy (Chris)

 

www.swingcats.co.uk

 

Music to dance to from 1930's to NOW! Shake your rude box.

 

Yeovil Somerset 0845 094 3757

 

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"Play something decent" - the single stupidest comment a customer can ever make. It really bugs me.

 

Which reminds me:

 

10 things not to say to a dj

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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"Can you play my favourite song?"-long pause- while drunk brain attempts to remember the song.

Good Rockin Daddy (Chris)

 

www.swingcats.co.uk

 

Music to dance to from 1930's to NOW! Shake your rude box.

 

Yeovil Somerset 0845 094 3757

 

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Interesting thread and notably, most are about Karaoke... I guess that is because there is more interaction with people. I've been doing Karaoke for 6-7 years now and still love it. Some nights are better than others, some singers are absolutely fantastic and others are that bad it's hilarious! All good fun.

 

However, things that get to me are:

 

- swinging the mic around... why?! These are expensive pieces of kit;

- people invading my space and talking really close in your face;

- requests to sing now, as they are about to leave;

- people being so drunk that they can't stand up, falling into your kit and hovering over it too with a pint in hand.

 

With regards to filling in slips, I really don't mind, I'm quite happy to write the song down for them and find the song number (although as I move to laptop KJing, this will be even easier).

 

Happy New Year!

 

Ian

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Extracting my cables from a pool of broken glass and beer then spending half the next morning cleaning them off (this morning in fact)

 

I had something similar - with half a pint of coke in a pint glass - knocked it, it fell over, smashed against the flight case and poured itself all over the back of the star cloth, and ended up covering a lot of cables underneath, and some went into my plastic box too (which has random crap in it, spare bulbs, spare CDs, cables etc. What a nightmare! :)

 

Cheers,

 

David

 

ps. and the idiot who knocked it over? It was me *sigh* luckily at the end of the night. Went into the venue's carpet quite a bit though - I was back there earlier this month as well but this time the coke stayed firmly behind me and out of site (and usually does now on the floor behind and away from the rig somewhere!)

Edited by gadget

DJ David Graham

Tel: 01204 537716 / 01942 418415

Email: hello@djgraham.co.uk

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i hate is when people ask you to sing on kareoke when you are not even doing a kareoke night with no kareoke gear on you.

 

or 'people who ask for a song when that song is actually playing'

 

or 'you played my song when i was having a fag, can you play it again for me now'

 

or when they give you a stinking look if you finish on time. my local rugby club where i used to play rugby and still dj there, i used to do loads of discos for friends there and some went on until 6am as its away from any houses etc. i used to do this without charging extra. then had a 40th birthday one night from 7-11.30 but i still had music on for them at 2.45am and they gave me grief for packing up to go home with 50 people still there. i was getting paid £60 and i was working at 8am in the morning so had to go home for a sleep. You give some people an inch but they take a mile. The new owners however like the music off at 11.30 and pay £100 so cant fault them now

 

or when you turn up at an 18th party and the drunk birthday girl is there demanding for the music to start but your still unloading your gear up stairs and aint due to start for 40 mins

 

or you carry all your gear in to an awkward room upstairs and someone watches you the whole time but when they realise you got your last bit of gear into the venue. they will then approach you to ask if you need a hand. always happens in one of my venues

 

 

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I hate when they moan the door is open and its cold while your carrying in gear . " if i could bring my gear in without opening a door i would " i politely say with a smile on my face.

All the time thinking oh chill your beans lol

Rob Star Entertainments
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Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

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another one which is probably what i hate the most is when an old granny/grandad wants you to lower the volume to a level which effects the atmosphere but insist on sitting on the nearest table in front of the speakers. always happens to me

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Punter-"Put something on we can dance to".

 

DJ-"any suggestions?"

 

Punter- "Errr, no."

 

or my alltime favourite

 

Punter - "I know a song which will get evrybody up......."

 

If you have never been in this situation, whatever they suggest do not play it! Its usually out of character with whats currently playing with people on the dancefloor, the main age group present, and usually lots of other things too. (Is anybody thinking "that happened to me too, and i agree???!!!!)

 

 

Bob

All stuck together with the finest DJ glue.

 

Ladiees an gennelmennn....the buffet is now open.

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Im noticing an increased aggression in the bar market since New Year. Abuse directed towards staff and DJs, as well as doorstaff.

 

Just last night I was in a bar with a single doorman on duty, had a fight which he was unable to contain and I was "started on" by a local scumbag. Doorman took a long while before removing him from the premises and I had to put up with a random barrage of abuse for a while before anything was done. Constantly on my guard for him throwing a swing at me.

 

Disgusting!

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Im noticing an increased aggression in the bar market since New Year. Abuse directed towards staff and DJs, as well as doorstaff.

 

I have seen agression levels rise full stop

 

its usually the youngsters who behave like this .... and its going to get worse

 

ATTITUDE

 

AGGRESSION

 

DRUNKENESS

 

FLAGRENT ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

 

LOUD MOUTHING

 

This is the new culture we are entering !!!!

 

You dont have to work in these conditions, but the rule of thumb is to keep it short dont make eye contact and just agree to dissagree

 

Then get the door staff in to remov them from the premises

 

if they are drunk ... this can be the fault of the bar/pub staff/management for continuing to serve the drunk customers for profit & greed..... best off out of there if this is the case ... no amount of money should be enough to support that

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thats where my jujitsu comes in handy if it kicks off

 

I'd be very careful of the definition of 'reasonable force' in this country, which tends to always favour the perpetrators rather than the victims.

 

Case in point. A friend of mine was woken at 3.30AM one freezing cold morning to the sounds of somebody downstairs trying his doors and windows. Being a fan of Crimewatch he knew that he could be facing either one person, or three big blokes with pick axe handles and knives. He dialled 999.

 

15 minutes later, the Police still hadn't arrived. So upon the ante suddenly being raised when he heard the person or persons crawling through a back window, he nipped out of the front door and quietly around the back, where he discovered one person crawling in through his kitchen window. He overpowered the person and after a slight struggle locked him in a windowless outbuilding to await the arrival of the police.

 

When the Police arrived the intruder was found to be well known to them and carted off. However, the Police also took a statement from the householder and seemed more interested in how the intruder came to be detained and the level of force used to detain him. It was also mentioned that if the intruder wanted to press charges in relation to being forcefully detained then it was his right to consider this, as well as pressing charges for any allegations of assault (at no time was a single punch thrown).

 

Suddenly its a case of who has the greater rights, and the madness in this country, even the act of defending yourself and property can be seen as an act of aggression.

 

At the end of the day, i'm booked to do a disco and its somebody else job to sort this sort of thing out. We'd be the first to moan if the doorman spent the night behind the decks telling us our job and muscling in on it. Lets give the door personnel the same level of courtesy and space in their line of work.

 

In the case of private functions, just introduce a nuisance clause in your contract, whereby the client is responsible for evicting / curtailing any person threatening or verbally abusing the DJ. If it happens, inform the client and get them to deal with it, if they don't pack up and go home!

I don't know of any job where an employer allows their employees to be verbally abused or disrespected, and this ranges from the local post office counter staff to Doctors and Nurses in A&E, and in non of these lines of work are you expected to leap in mob-handed. I don't see why we should set a precedent, do you?

 

That said, i've been in the business for over 15 years, and in this time i've worked in some pretty tasty venues throughout Kent and Essex. Despite this, I can count on one hand the instances where i've been verbally threatened, and there hasn't been one occasion where i've actually been physically assaulted or thought that the risk of such was approaching. These types of violence levied against Dj's are actually pretty rare, unless of course they wade into it voluntarily. There are nearly 1/4 million posts here, and I can only recall a single story of one DJ being assualted at a gig. I'd say those odds are better than the average A&E Nurse, Security Guard or even Taxi Driver in real terms, when dealing with the effects of drink and partying at the weekends.

 

Personally i'd advise anybody against stepping in, unless they were in some immediate and clear danger themselves. I know that playing the helpful bystander can have consequences and complications. Lets assume trouble kicks off, you leap in there, the Police turn up, identify that somebody is seriously injured (or worse) and arrest everybody who got involved (or seen to get involved) and you get carted down the station whilst they take statements and sort it all out...whose gonna do the rest of the night (?), and who's back at the ranch guarding your gear?!. It won't matter to the Police that you are the DJ and any well meaning intentions. The fact is, you leapt in there, witnesses saw you get in there and since you were involved in the scuffle you'll be treated just the same.

 

If a venue gets a leaking roof, I advise them to call a roofer, I don't get me ladders out. If the venue has a gas leak, I'll help them evacuate the building but thats where my interest ends. The same with security, if war breaks out, then its time to call security or the Police. I'm not insured to act as a bouncer, and if I got a glass in the face, or inadvertently P:cense: off the local Essex Boys who came back with the sawn off's then what insurance is going to provide for my loss of earnings?! - of course our line of business is so lucrative that we all pay for private health care and have loss of earnings cover don't we.

 

15+ years ago, the worst that could happen was a pushy-pushy fist fight in the car park. Now-a-days, you've got people who are high on modern substances, who have no boundaries and who've done several spells in nick already and aren't afraid to come back "Dirty Harry" style and do time for you either to prove a point or retain 'face'.

 

Not worth it, we don't get paid enough to multi-task and to take risks.

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I'd be very careful of the definition of 'reasonable force' in this country, which tends to always favour the perpetrators rather than the victims.

 

Case in point. A friend of mine was woken at 3.30AM one freezing cold morning to the sounds of somebody downstairs trying his doors and windows. Being a fan of Crimewatch he knew that he could be facing either one person, or three big blokes with pick axe handles and knives. He dialled 999.

 

15 minutes later, the Police still hadn't arrived. So upon the ante suddenly being raised when he heard the person or persons crawling through a back window, he nipped out of the front door and quietly around the back, where he discovered one person crawling in through his kitchen window. He overpowered the person and after a slight struggle locked him in a windowless outbuilding to await the arrival of the police.

 

When the Police arrived the intruder was found to be well known to them and carted off. However, the Police also took a statement from the householder and seemed more interested in how the intruder came to be detained and the level of force used to detain him. It was also mentioned that if the intruder wanted to press charges in relation to being forcefully detained then it was his right to consider this, as well as pressing charges for any allegations of assault (at no time was a single punch thrown).

 

Suddenly its a case of who has the greater rights, and the madness in this country, even the act of defending yourself and property can be seen as an act of aggression.

 

At the end of the day, i'm booked to do a disco and its somebody else job to sort this sort of thing out. We'd be the first to moan if the doorman spent the night behind the decks telling us our job and muscling in on it. Lets give the door personnel the same level of courtesy and space in their line of work.

 

In the case of private functions, just introduce a nuisance clause in your contract, whereby the client is responsible for evicting / curtailing any person threatening or verbally abusing the DJ. If it happens, inform the client and get them to deal with it, if they don't pack up and go home!

I don't know of any job where an employer allows their employees to be verbally abused or disrespected, and this ranges from the local post office counter staff to Doctors and Nurses in A&E, and in non of these lines of work are you expected to leap in mob-handed. I don't see why we should set a precedent, do you?

 

That said, i've been in the business for over 15 years, and in this time i've worked in some pretty tasty venues throughout Kent and Essex. Despite this, I can count on one hand the instances where i've been verbally threatened, and there hasn't been one occasion where i've actually been physically assaulted or thought that the risk of such was approaching. These types of violence levied against Dj's are actually pretty rare, unless of course they wade into it voluntarily. There are nearly 1/4 million posts here, and I can only recall a single story of one DJ being assualted at a gig. I'd say those odds are better than the average A&E Nurse, Security Guard or even Taxi Driver in real terms, when dealing with the effects of drink and partying at the weekends.

 

Personally i'd advise anybody against stepping in, unless they were in some immediate and clear danger themselves. I know that playing the helpful bystander can have consequences and complications. Lets assume trouble kicks off, you leap in there, the Police turn up, identify that somebody is seriously injured (or worse) and arrest everybody who got involved (or seen to get involved) and you get carted down the station whilst they take statements and sort it all out...whose gonna do the rest of the night (?), and who's back at the ranch guarding your gear?!. It won't matter to the Police that you are the DJ and any well meaning intentions. The fact is, you leapt in there, witnesses saw you get in there and since you were involved in the scuffle you'll be treated just the same.

 

If a venue gets a leaking roof, I advise them to call a roofer, I don't get me ladders out. If the venue has a gas leak, I'll help them evacuate the building but thats where my interest ends. The same with security, if war breaks out, then its time to call security or the Police. I'm not insured to act as a bouncer, and if I got a glass in the face, or inadvertently P:cense: off the local Essex Boys who came back with the sawn off's then what insurance is going to provide for my loss of earnings?! - of course our line of business is so lucrative that we all pay for private health care and have loss of earnings cover don't we.

 

15+ years ago, the worst that could happen was a pushy-pushy fist fight in the car park. Now-a-days, you've got people who are high on modern substances, who have no boundaries and who've done several spells in nick already and aren't afraid to come back "Dirty Harry" style and do time for you either to prove a point or retain 'face'.

 

Not worth it, we don't get paid enough to multi-task and to take risks.

 

A good post. I'm a Special Constable in my spare time, which has helped me immensley in dealing with work related issues and has opened my eyes to what I can expect to happen if I was either assaulted or needed to assist someone who was being assaulted. I'm far more aware of making myself visible to the CCTV cameras, and know exactly where they are pointing now, for example.

 

You are quite right in what you say, the police obviously have a job to do to investigate everything. As you say, the other person is quite within their rights to accuse you of assault and police are bound to investigate that, and arresting you may be a necessary part of that investigation process. It is however very traumatic for most law abiding people if this was to happen.

 

The only time I have felt truley unconfortable at work was the other day I referred to where a lone doorman was powerless to break up a fight. I did go to assist him restrain one lad, however going through my head was making sure the cameras could see me, and to do proper techniques. The point at which the lad got away from us, and picked up two glass bottles, was the point I legged it and left it to the doorman, summonsing assistance from elsewhere. Since then, I have told management they need two doorstaff on and this has been done.

 

Again last night in my bar, a lad decided to extend his middle finger and shove it in my face, simply because I did not have the song he wanted. Luckily, two members of doorstaff were on duty (both of which I get on well with) and he ended up being dragged from the premises.

 

Its not a nice world out there sometimes. 99% of customers are great, it's the 1% to ruin it.

Edited by JonWhittaker
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