Bands who are considering performing at the Sgt. Pepper’s location in Stouffville might want to think twice after the club short-shrifted a group that played there on Friday, May 23.
Veteran bass player and Moon subscriber Brian Potts, who plays with the Midnight Jewel band, reports that the group was very unhappy with its treatment by club management after taking the gig there as a last-minute favour. Here is his letter:
“Julie McClean and I play together in Midnight Jewel, as you know. Our guitarist, Kreg Rodman, booked us into Sgt Pepper’s in Stouffville this past Friday. As it was a last-minute booking (Wednesday, I think), we didn’t have our regular drummer available. Was able to get the wonderful Derick Lindo to play, and he made the trek all the way from Mississauga.
“I had heard nothing but good about the place, and we had a great time initially. Great staff, very appreciative crowd —the manager came up after the first set and said we were great, and they were definitely going to have us back as soon as possible.
“After a really fun and interactive 2nd set, the bulk of the crowd left —some had young children with them, some had been there since dinner, all had enjoyed us and told us so. The owner decided the room was too quiet to do a 3rd set, and called it a night. Seems there was a misunderstanding. We thought we were doing him a favour by covering him short notice, he thought we were guaranteeing a vast legion of fans on 2 days notice.
“We got clipped on the pay, and will NEVER return. He offered us return gigs in exchange for the haircut; we offered to return if he paid us. For the record, we asked him if he required the rest of the staff to “take one for the team” on such nights. We also said we might consider the partnership he was offering us if it worked both ways and he showed us the books each time we played there and shared the take with us on the better nights, which we could provide with more notice. Not interested.
“To all the good folks who told us they couldn’t wait to see us there again —sorry. Perhaps they can catch us somewhere else.”
Potts says he’s “not calling for a boycott -many bands have played there happily,” but adds that he thinks “players should know that the mindset there, increasingly common, is that fees are negotiable AFTER you’ve travelled, set up and played. Not cool.”
I couldn’t agree more.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca