Why don't you play live shows?

‘cos no-one will book me and my partner!?


90% of our gigs are ones I organise myself. …but that’s OK. Doing stuff on my/our own terms is usually more enjoyable. No promoters changing the running order at the last minute etc. :slight_smile:


My guess? Either Guetta or Tiesto (shiver…)

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As long as he’s not Trent Reznor I think I could handle the shock

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Played live using MC-500 as master controlling TR-707 and various synths including a DSS-1 and JP-6 pic here

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Because I tend to ignore my own brilliance and think rather little of what I’m able to come up with. I would love to get to the point where I’m able to share performances on youtube. Truth be told I’m even reluctant to play to my family because I fear the question of whether this is really what I spent a few thousand Euros on. I know it’s sad, but what can you do…


I was asked to do a live show in a pretty decent techno club once. Kind of early session on the small stage. I was too afraid of accepting the offer and ever since then I have the feeling that my musical progress is more of a decline composition wise. When I see the real pros doing live sets I am amazed of how much they get out of so few equipment. I can definitely not “compete” with this kind of dense sound.i would love to hear my stuff on a good soundsystem, though. But not in front of people who actually paid for a quality gig.


Goooooodammit how i love you! I watched one of their boiler room sets a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t remember what they were called, or find the video again through loooots of searching. Thanks! It’s really inspirational the way they approach a live set.

Move D really has the Midas touch. It’s very rarely that I’m not blown away by what he comes up with. As a DJ I find him a little too formulaic at times, but as a musician I hold him in the highest regard. Plus he’s one of those people that despite their relative success in the dance music circus have managed to stay true to his roots.

I probably shouldn’t respond since I do play live shows but to expand on your point 2 (“no big demand for electronics shows”):

  • live shows are a bit more complicated to host: may need more space than djs, needs sound checks, etc
  • a large part of the crowd may not see the difference between a live show and a dj (yes, depends on your performance), hence no incentive to organise such an event

I for myself won’t go back to djing since playing live has been much more enjoyable (and even better as a duo). In fact, now even in the studio I no more create and arrange tracks in the daw first: I record a hardware-only live session first, then edit in the daw as needed. Tons of fun, no hassle, more satisfaction and “better done than perfect”.


Amen to that. Since going all-hardware every bit I record is an actual live performance. So composing is also practicing for live.

3 elements are key to live performance: effort, risk and flow. Playing instruments is hard work. Ask a drummer or violinist. And it’s risky. There 's a chance of screwing up, not realizing what you had planned or what the inspiration of the moment brings. That’s part of it and it 's what creates the tension and intensity of a live show. And flow is that state where a trained musician isn’t consciously planning and executing every action anymore. Planning, action and musical output fuse in one integrated, spontaneous flow. One is then not playing the instrument, one is playing the sound.

Here are some good reads on it. Michel Waisvisz is my hero instrument-maker & performer:

http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~mwanderley/Trends/Trends_in_Gestural_Control_of_Music/DOS/P.RoundTab.pdf (features Bob Moog and Don Buchla as well)



I used to play live a good bit in the late 90s n 00’s. I’ve been planning to get back into it but i sorta gone off clubs in general in the interim. drugs used to take care of any social anxiety but I’ve gone off them too so I’m screwed :smile:

I’ll play live again when it happens but I’m preferring focusing on live modular / hardware jams for utube with arty vids.

defo getting more solid work done this way rather than trying to fit in with something I wanted to do 15 years ago, which is a revelation of sorts. feels good.


Yes… practice is so important ! Daily katas and you’ll be ready for the battle !

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  1. I don’t like people
  2. I don’t like gatherings
  3. I don’t like partying

But to be honest, also, secret fear that my music is essential to no one but me. I only deal in absolutes.


Ha, Ha. Glad to be of service. Yeah it’s amazing what they do.

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I’ve had some amazing moments with him on the decks as well to be honest but I’m a sucker for deep house and disco in the sun… Agreed though, stunning musician who seems to be doing it for all the right reasons.


I hear you. Part of why I think I would only play at the “experimental night” at the local cafe. Not as much pressure as a paying gig. Also “experimental” around here is code for “yeah, let’s keep our expectations low because this could really be shit music. but at least it’s free.”

Truth. I think I have made about $20 from my music. Been at it since 2000. In one thread you have a musician who has made $20 and another who has sold almost 30 million records. What a melting pot.

I’ve been thinking about trying the YouTube jam thing for years now. But time is in very short supply here as well. And a camera is one more thing I can’t be arsed to buy. I don’t know, maybe I’ll do it this year.

A week? Good on ya. Holy… I doubt I could make a decent single bassline in a week. I am so sloooow.

I guess this is another reason. I’d feel a bit like a poser. Most live music here is of the indie college rock variety. Even friends of mine make fun of electronic music as simply button pushing bleep bloops. What can I say? These are my peers and opinions I hear constantly. Bound to have an effect.

This is intriguing. There’s an aerial troop in my town. One of them hinted around at the possibility of me doing some Ableton-based supporting tracks for them. I think I could perhaps do this if I’m not the center of attention. But, you’re right, it’s kind of additional pressure in a way - if you screw up you’re letting a lot of people down, not just making a fool of yourself in front of 5 people in a cafe who are half paying attention to you to begin with as they sip on their cold-brewed half-caff triple-double swirled soy mocha lattes.

See, this sounds cool to me. That’s why it was such a shock a while back when I told my brother-in-law about people playing shows with just a gameboy. He’s a big gamer and used to listen to some electronic music back in the day, so I thought he would appreciate it. He replied “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” :crazy_face:

I think that would definitely be the case around here.

I’ve definitely toyed with this approach. But I always end up back in the DAW. I have a fairly large perfectionist streak. Just the way it is. But I agree, this hardware composition approach can be extremely fun and produce all sorts of happy accidents. I think maybe I should at least attempt a short hardware-only EP. And then maybe record it for YouTube as well.

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Reading back through my last reply, I feel it’s slightly whiny or resigned to disappointment. Not really the case. Don’t even think about it that much. I guess overall I have lots of interests and little free time. Playing live remains something I’m sort of maybe interested in attempting, but I don’t think the payoff is necessarily worth it to me, personally, to undertake the herculean effort to organize my gear, songs, and nerves in order to play in front of people who probably wouldn’t get it anyway. I do think the YouTube jam session is something I might attempt this year. It would reduce the social anxiety, reach a broader potential audience who might actually enjoy electronic music, yet still allow for some spontaneity and “flow”. I know it’s not the real thing, kind of like tight-roping using a safety net, but might be close enough for me, for now.


Great thread!

I play live regularly. It’s interesting to hear everyone’s perspectives. Maybe my experiences are valuable for others to hear?

I’m in a duo that’s not really “full electronic” music. We use Ableton on stage for backing tracks, vocal effects, and live synths. We used to trigger and sequence everything on the fly… but as the years go by, we just run the backing tracks and play the synth parts that are the most engaging and fun for us. Keep in mind, we also are singing, playing guitar, and playing saxophone in addition to playing some keys. I think there’s a weird line to be drawn at “pressing play” and “actually doing something” with electronic gear. It’s all about what serves the “performance” …and by that, I mean, what serves the song and what is fun and engaging between us and the audience. Does it matter to change up tracks when it’s a distraction from another moment that might better connect? Totally depends? Who knows…

We’re switching our set out of Ableton and into an Octatrack and OP-1 over the next few shows. Cannot wait to not have a computer on stage!

Can’t say I’m not playing because I want to get 30 mil in album sales - but after 12 years of touring and playing my local market 2-3 times a month supporting touring acts, I am a bit burned out. Loading in and out every night, long stretches of travel through the vast USA, playing a packed club one night in Austin, and then an empty artspace in pouring rain in Memphis the next night, the ups and downs of playing live can be a lot to handle. So much rehearsing and arranging…then those 30-60 min on stage (if you are any good and the crowd is digging it) is the greatest feeling, but it goes by in a blur. Then it’s back to reality, pack up your shit, into the van make sure it doesn’t get stolen, enough time for a beer to unwind, be all social with anyone you share bill with, try and sell some records get emails…audience is drunk by end of night and can be boorish, track down promoter/booker and make sure you get paid… lol but you should play out! If fear is holding you back, that is sad…

I also have decided I will not play out unless I can essentially have two of every piece of gear, that I use live and in studio. After spending countless hours wiring my studio for production, only to have to tear it down for a show…done with that. Well maybe not two of everything - but at least two power supplies for everything!

Of course, all i need to “perform” is a guitar and a mic if I wanted…leave all this geek shit behind…never!:alien:


I’m finding it amusing how many people didn’t realise the 30mil sales thing was a joke.