I wrote the following to help a very new committee member get up to speed on what happens at a BASEQ jam when it is held at the Royal Mail Hotel Goodna on the last Sunday of the month (except Dec: Xmas/NYE, and Jan: too close to Australia day events at the Royal Mail).
I’ve also expanded on some of the points.
- 12noon – the host band starts to arrive for setup and hopefully a quick soundcheck. At the time of writing, the Royal Mail provides a decent (powerful, clear, well featured) bass amp and a usable drumkit (although drummers do prefer to bring their own snare, high hats, kick pedal. NOTE: the bass drum is usually mic’d for a little extra punch, but the rest of the kit isn’t (doesn’t need it).
- 1pm Day officially starts. Host band first set.
- 1:45 host band finishes, packs up (puts away their precious bits like instruments and pedals) ready for jammers to take the stage.
- 2pm: A pre-arranged (before the day – eg: the previous jam) showcase of a newly formed band trying to gain exposure, using host band backline. NOTE: this showcase spot is not always used, but is provided for a band to get used to playing infront of an audience. While a typical jam lineup is 3 songs/20 min, this showcase spot is 4 songs/25 min. It is not fair on the jammers later if there is more than one showcase spot, hence it being pre-arranged. It is hoped the members of the showcase band are interested in being thrown into jam lineups later in the day if needed.
- 2:30 : jamming starts: usually 6-7 lineups approx 20 min each. This is the really fun bit where much chaos ensures. Brilliance + train wrecks are all possible here. Can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
- 4:30 host band returns for a shorter second set.
- 5pm: day officially concludes. band and P.A gear starts pack down.
- 6pm. All gone home. Pub closes.
Regarding the Royal Mail PA system:
The speakers for the audience are good quality (and usually adequate) Electro-Voice powered 12″+horn boxes with a sub in the back of the stage. This is run off the mixing desk in the rear stage-right in the corner, which can be tricky for adjustments when the band is playing. Many mics are supplied, but none are the same. Foldback is usually four powered 12″ + horn boxes off one send.