- Some guy: Will you play XYZ?
- You: No sorry, we don’t know that one.
- Some guy: Yeah you do. Go on, play it.
- You: Honestly, we don’t know it.
- Some guy: Of course you do, everyone knows it. What do you call them sings it, you know the band. It starts with em, ah, ach you know the one! Just sing it. Pleeeeeeease!
As a live cover band or gigging musician, you’ll know this conversation all too well. You’ll also know the several others that compliment it; the guy who insists on to talking to you mid-song; the “amazing” singer who just has to get up; or the girl who won’t accept that the gig is over. These people who cannot comprehend what “no” means, are “Askholes”. And they are the bain of every cover band or musician’s life. Here are 5 Askhole traits to be aware of:
1 - Brain Deficiency: Askholedness doesn’t differentiate based on education, wealth or demographic. All of those afflicted have a small, but significant deficiency in their brains; the inability to understand very basic statements such as
- “We don’t know that one”
- “Can you not see I’m in the middle of a song?!”
- “The gig is over”
2 - Their Population Fluctuates: One of the problems with Askholes, is that their population fluctuates, and there is no way of knowing what nights they will appear or how many there will be. However, there is usually a direct correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed, and how good the craic is. With this in mind, you can make some predictions based on whether the gig is taking place on a big night like St. Patrick’s Day or not. As a rule, the bigger the night, the more Askholes there’ll be.
3 - They’re Easy to Spot: Luckily most Askholes are relatively easy to spot. On approach they will usually have a wobbly smile, wobbly legs, and wobbly speech. You are also likely to see them making a beeline for the stage mid-song. All band members should be versed in how to deal with them, with each having their GFY responses at the ready.
4 - Can Be Aggressive: As with all afflictions, some people are affected worse than others. Those suffering from the most severe cases of Askholedness can very quickly go from a cute pleading smile, to a torrent of hate filled abuse. These are the ones you really need to watch, and the ones you should least tolerate. The best way to deal with them is to form a good relationship with the pub’s doorman.
5 - They’re Assholes: Let’s face it, if someone can’t take “No” for an answer and insists on hassling you long after they’ve been asked to stop, they’re not an Askhole, they’re an Asshole!
Fact of Life
As musicians, the best thing we can do is accept that Askholes are a part of what we do, just like whingy diners are part of a restaurant. They are a fact of life for live cover bands in bars and pubs, have always been there, and they always will be. No matter how witty, frustrated, or threatening your responses to them are, you won’t change them because most don’t realise they are being annoying. In the overall scheme of a gig, they occupy a tiny part of it, so any annoyance you feel towards them, should be just as small!