Sunday, April 02, 2006

Drunk Wrangling....

So if you've played any bar or club gigs at all, you've probably encountered the problem of drunk customers. I don't mean a little drunk, I mean the one's that are totally blitzed and want to jump on stage and sing or play your instruments. Most clubs have a bouncer or security guy to take care of the violent ones, but what do you do with the borderline "friendly" drunks?

For the most part, stay cool. Try to give them back to their friends in a friendly manner. Gently pry your tambourine from their fingers and encourage them to sit down. When the plastered guy keeps trying to talk through your mike, take it back and keep repeating "no...sorry....can't....." until he gives up. Sometimes these people are a great source of comic relief for the show, but there comes a point when enough is enough!

If you're at a jamming club or out of control party where your playing at ground level or the stage is very low, Protect Your Teeth! People will slam into your mike stand without a thought and Wham! I know people that have had teeth chipped by a microphone in just such a situation. Keep alert and sing with your lips covering your teeth if you need to.

Perhaps you have a friend or roadie that helps with these kind of situations. Here are a few of my favorite techniques for "drunk wrangling". The key to most of these techniques is to never let the drunk know your aware of him. Don't look at him or show any awareness. Eye contact could change a friendly drunk into a real problem.

Dance them out of the way: You dance out on the floor between the drunk and the band (never lookin at your target) and then slowly "dance" him away by slowly backing up until he's at a safe distance. He (or she) just thinks your having a good time and probably doesn't realize he's being "herded".

Pull them by the back of the clothes: This takes a little finess. Stand next to the drunk. Look where he's looking. Reach behind him and grab his shirt very gently with your fingers. Pull back ever so gently. Eventually he'll stumble backwards (away from the band/microphones/trouble). If you do it right, he'll never even know you touched him.

Tell them someone bought them a drink: This is one of my favorites. When the drunk simply WON'T stop slobbering over your lead singer, tell them that someone hot bought them a free drink down at the far end of the bar. Then let the bartender or bouncer know that you have a "problem child".

I guess the best policy is stay nice and deal with them with as little fuss as possible. After all, they're probably the clubs best customers.

Please let us know if your have any great drunken patron stories or advice of your own!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes! The perpetual party animal that won't leave you alone....asking every 10 minutes if they can get on the mic. Falling over your moniters while spilling a beer on you, and shouting in your ear...a classic!

12:18 AM  

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