Just generally wondering what you all think of stage banter. We all know every genre is different in terms of expectations, but it’s still interesting to think about. Is it something you enjoy or could do without? How do you all prepare for it as a performer. Funny stories are welcome. Tips for performers would be great too. And so on…
Entirely depends on the room and the vibe of the audience. I’ve been to shows where the performer can’t read the room, and banter is falling flat… just know when to and when not to if it’s your thing. Personally, I prefer weird commentary via samples in-between songs, but not every song.
I’m struggling to think of any onstage banter from musicians in 25 years of gig going that as been that funny or memorable… at best it’s an amusing aside. But 99% of the time it’s just inane attempts to ingratiate themselves with the crowd. I mean, do people actually believe musicians when they’re hitting out with chat about how they always love playing this city?
Stage banter is one of the things I don’t miss about live music. I used to go to a lot of metal shows and while I understand that sometimes the guitar player needs to retune (or worse, replace a broken string), some bands just need to figure out a better set list that doesn’t involve so much down time between songs. Nobody wants to hear your life story. Get on with it!
Depends on the artist.
Frank Hurricane fans, for example, have come to expect wacky stories between songs
Its an art onto itself. And as a former and absolute jungle/DnB nut I will say MCs mostly annoy me. Very few good ones in those genres.
I’d say, do your thing- being for or against it.
If it feels natural to you, then you should; if it doesn’t, then don’t.
I think if you can do it, then it will definitely let thr audience feel like they connect to you more.
Agreed. Conrad, Ryme Tyme, Topcat generally added to the sets. Most others may have hyped up the crowd at the time, but made live recordings borderline unbearable to listen to. YMMV.
I saw beck a while back and enjoyed some of his banter.
1000x times this. MCs and jungle generally make me want to leave the event or venue.
I was 100% sure I was going to get dragged for not liking jungle/dnb MCs lol, glad I’m in good company.
I played for a production company that usually performed old tunes to seniors. Jonny cash, frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, etc. The performer would usually give nice tidbits and fun facts about the songs before playing. Most of the time this was enjoyable and I could tell the audience liked learning about their favorite tunes. Sometimes it went on too long.
Other than that, idk. Not worth thinking about too much.
Hey, you count on me to have an unpopular opinion and not give a shit.
please welcome to the stage konputa, aka MC HotTake LOL
Just switch on a loud squally feedbacky drone between tunes. Don’t let the audience relax for even a moment. Banter just gets in the way of that full frontal assault on their eardrums and synapses.
You just gotta know whether you’re good at it or not. I’m probably better at stage banter than I am at music. I have a perverse love of awkward silences and I enjoy really dragging them out.
It depends entirely on the genre and setting for me. Outside of electronic genres I also enjoy folk music. Often the source and lineage of a particular version of an old-time fiddle tune is interesting, provides context, and contributes to the folk process. If I intend to learn a tune, I appreciate knowing about its history, and I suppose a portion of listeners may enjoy it as well when I provide it for a tune I’m sharing.
I appreciate genuine banter in these types of contexts. General hello city name doesn’t contribute much to my experience, but interesting facts about a tune from a performer that I have years of patronage invested in may add value for me.
As many things do, it has a place and can add to the experience.
I definately agree with the notion of doin what you’re good at, self awareness is key. Some people are really good at banter and can use it as a performance tool. The vast majority of people, however, cannot.
Ive always prefered the black flag method:
Take the stage.
Play all songs back to back with minimal to no time in between.
Before final song, introduce band name.
Finish set, load out quickly.
I’ve been known to abuse foh. Then again, most Bassists do. Though I never yelled, “turn my fcuking bass up”, it was always, “turn the fcuking guitar down”. Always got audience approval
I think Billy Connolly got his start playing banjo and telling stories in between songs at Glasgow working men’s clubs. The stories got longer and longer with time. He’s not done too bad for himself since quitting music.