In a band? What's the worst gig you've ever played?

I suppose either performance wise or the experience itself?

We once played at what was billed as a “Halloween extravaganza” at a student-y pub. We got fully dressed up to the nines. Our set kept getting pushed further and further back, then the band on prior to us played an hour long set of Fratelli’s covers amongst other lad rock faves. We ended up playing at like 1 in the morning to about three people. It was a somewhat awful time for one of the band, and after the set we just sat in an empty beer garden, one of us in tears, all of us in silence. I know that doesn’t sound particularly bad but…jesus, at the time the overwhelming horror of the gig coupled with a recent tragedy was just the pits. Especially when part of it was sound-tracked by third rate Razorlight covers.

1 Like

Can’t remember any awful gigs as a whole but we once had a band support us with a left handed drummer. They’d phoned earlier in the day to ask if they could use my kit. I said yes (he didn’t mention he was left handed, and played the other way). He swapped everything over, fully pissing the sound guy off as everything was mic’d up, and as soon as they finished playing he just fucked off. I had 5 minutes to set everything up properly, and he’d gone through my floor tom skin.



A friend’s 18’th birthday party at Hitchin Conservative Club. I drank 2 bottles of wine before playing, slagged off Thatcher then threw my bass at the wall, smashing it in half. I played terribly, and no one enjoyed it one bit.

I also threw the birthday cake at our guitarist and someone covered me in canapes after I’d finally passed out.


Once played a gig where they let homeless people in to try and put us off after I told the promoter to fornicate with a railroad spike (they’d been really unprofessional, though I admit my response wasn’t much better!). We were playing with some odd Asian boyband who had matching clothes and did little dance routines, and their manager (who was also their Mum) came and told me off afterwards! It was a lot of fun!


There was also another one where some people kept screaming at us to do Green Day covers, so we basically jammed out a noise/metal improv set in as hostile a fashion as we could. That was also fun!

90% of gigs i’ve played in london: get thrown on stage about 5 minutes before you play, get a basic line check, sound guy clearly hates music and his life, play to hardly anybody and the few people who came down say that the sound was awful and they couldn’t hear much. great.

1 Like

oh also getting told to turn down as well. played at least 2 gigs where drummers have been asked to play more quietly. fuck off.

That’s just the most baffling thing to request at a gig! It’s not fucking background music in a hotel!

always just crap venues that aren’t set up properly for gigs isn’t it. i.e. a pub with a space cleared in one corner

Haven’t been in a band for some time but did a few DIY tours with my old lot. Best show we played was at a pub / hotel near Poole - we were a spacey emo kind of band (sort of later Thrice / Cave In-esque) hilariously mismatched with the son of the pub owner’s death metal band THE BLACK DEATH.

It was a classic DIY show in the sense that we had turned up as the out of town band and were expected to provide all backline, do sound for the other bands and take money on the door. Things escalated from shit to hilarious when the singer from THE BLACK DEATH started going through the list of forthcoming events in a hilarious death metal growl - “DON’T FORGET, THIS FRIDAY IS BINGO FOLLOWED BY DJ DAVVEEEEEE”

I never worked out if “MEAT RAFFFLEEEEE” was an actual raffle or just the name of one of their songs.


Played one of those billion band lineups in the Sebright when I first moved to London before I knew better - why, why why, why, why


Once travelled by Megabus to play at FUEL in Cardiff with friends from London and I’m fairly sure that we had more people in the building during load-in than any other time that night. One person might have paid to come in. Maybe. Fell asleep in the green room and woke up in the middle of the venue’s club night to fucking Detroit Rock City. Return Megabus journey was at 5am, which meant killing time in pouring March rain.

Special mentions to the glorified open mic in a Birmingham 'spoons pub, with Spain vs Chile in the 2014 World Cup on a giant screen looming over my shoulder, and the marquee at a paranormal festival where each attendee was a postcode apart.

I play bad gigs all the time. Worst in recent times was in November was on tour and was playing Night and Day in Manchester. Had played a couple of times before there and the shows were great so I guess the night before in Leeds went a bit much with booze etc and felt like shit the next day. On stage loads of stuff kept breaking for me, was making basic errors, had the fear all day plus the gig wasn’t as busy as previous times (don’t blame the promoter or anyone btw still love that place)
Basically ever since I’ve never got smashed like that the day before a gig since.

I’ve also played a gig to a near packed camden barfly about 8 years ago and had 75% of the audience walk out about a minute into the first song. That’s almost impressive though right?

1 Like

Once got bumped off the bill of an open mic night to allow a metal band of fourteen tear olds play their song ‘Pissed as a Fart’. The singer was deliberately slurring his words - possibly as a comment on the effects of being inebriated. Or possibly so his watching parents couldn’t make out his lyrics.

1 Like

our practice space/ studio are actually really decent and usually get good turnouts when they put gigs on, but they hired a tent at a festival last year where it just rained without stopping for the whole week, so no one turned up. roof broke on day 1, so we played under a gazebo, in a tent, to the band on after us, the sound guys and half the band that had just played

On tour a few years ago, we were supporting a local band in Sunderland. Things started to overrun quite a bit and the headliners pleaded with us to switch stage times so they could go on early. Turned out their bass player had recently got out of prison, and had an electronic tag with a curfew he had to be home by.

We agreed, and ended up playing close to midnight to a near empty room as the majority of the crowd had fucked off upstairs to the clubnight as soon as the local band finished.

1 Like

Second ever gig in Leicester (about hour and a half away) from where I live. It was a horror-rock/burlesque night. We got to the venue - no monitors, shitty little PA system. We were on near the end of the night and loads of people came down to see us. We couldn’t hear anything or each other properly due to everything being a muddy mix of badness and our guitarist just playing loads of noise instead. I stopped playing halfway through. Fucking awful. Couldn’t even get rare afterwards because I had my car. We were given a fiver between five of us at the end of the night. :expressionless:

Another howler was at our local working men’s club. Our then drummer went AWOL, just dropped off the face of the planet. We played the gig acoustically and were fucking terrible as everyone followed the drummer and we were all out of time and it was just…urgh. No-one said we were shit though, although no-one said we were any good.

Just remembered in an earlier nu metallier incarnation of that band we supported Shane Lynch from Boyzone when he tried to reinvent himself as the Irish Fred Durst in a rap metal band called Redhill. They had a song that sampled the riff from ‘Back In Black’ and surprisingly weren’t very good. We played with a lot of the low tier early 00s nu metal bands like Fony, The Kennedy Soundtrack etc before jumping on emo like a bunch of absolute chancers and playing some OK shows.

Also just noticed how many times I used the word hilarious after not proof reading my last post, it wasn’t that funny.

My mates’ screamo band once had to play instrumentally because their vocalist went missing. It was quite awkward.

This happened to my brother’s band! For a whole tour! It was with Secondsmile and I think they tried to fill in a bit. They split up pretty soon after. Still hasn’t heard anything from the guy!