New Big Thief

Yeah i guess, i dont know what these interactions/contracts look like. But i’d guess there would be something rough worked out first before everything was agreed and you could go ‘no i dont want to play 3 nights in london l, can we do 2 and one somewhere else’ and ‘cant we play somewhere else in that city we played there before and it was crap’

Though kinda just looking at it from a point of view of what i would want of i was in a mid-tier indie band. Sure, some would be happy to play whereever but some would want some kind of autonomy/final sign-off?


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I do wander if Big Thief would be a bit of a special case in this area, actually. They do emphasise their closeness as a band and their consideration of external factors that may affect them. There was the Israel gig which must have had some intra-band discussion given the family connection - I doubt there’s many booking agents or managers who would have opted for that of their own accord.

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Yeh also a bit unfair for the band themselves to make a call on each venue half-way around the world based on whether local gig goers think a pint is too expensive there


Obviously they can make special requests but ultimately it’s not up to them/not their job to be particularly worried about this. Big Thief do have a bit of a raw organic feel but that’s who they are as people and in their home lives, when they are going half way across the world from home specifically is not really a concern to them, they’re just happy to be there at all.

The sad reality is once you hit that level being a fairly successful regularly touring band it kinda just becomes a job :man_shrugging: the fact that any band still find a way to be creative in those conditions is beyond me, but it’s a big reason why the infamous “difficult second album” exists because bands who have a successful debut suddenly start living a completely different life where they are treated like celebs but lose much of their autonomy.


Yeah, to an extent - literally no say is a stretch though - they can still highlight things which are shit and change them. If they were touring europe, and said they wanted to play the UK as well someone would make it happen for them. If they said they wanted x dates in a country and in different cities - it could happen. Especially when the tour is being booked through O2 and there are 02s everywhere.

To say they can’t do anything is wrong - to say they are not too fussed about it/haven’t noticed/are too busy/are too detached from their fans/don’t really care enough is fine imo.

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if they want people to come and see them it is!

(i fear i’m coming over as more bothered about this than i am :rofl: Just think its a farce for any band of this level to play three dates in one city and not visit the rest of the country)

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Again, it’s not the band’s decision, it’s the booking agents based on in their professional opinion, what will sell the best.

As I’ve gone on to say, bands can make requests, but it is not their job to book tours, they entrust professionals to do it for them, to suggest this means they don’t care is a fallacy, it’s a full time career with lots of things going on which you have a team around you to make that happen. Given bands now more than ever survive of touring revenue, they are pretty hamstrung as it is literally what keeps them and the various other people involved in a job.

Theres also been massive redundancies in that industry in the past year, so who knows, maybe bands will have a more active role again…

Also between Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow they have hit the majority of the major UK markets that is possible during a massive EU tour?

Big Thief are American and, as such, aren’t they brought up to believe that ‘London’ and ‘England’ mean pretty much the same thing? I’ve talked to loads of Americans who assume that the rest of England is just some fields full of sheep on the periphery of London. Not saying that this is a great stereotype to have but I doubt it would stand out to your average American as weird collection of tour dates.

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I think we’re at odds here - i do understand the mechanisms of touring and promoters but thanks for explaining :wink: I think to suggest they do care and can’t do literally anything about it is a fallacy.

the booking wasn’t their decision but they can do something about it after the fact. I just think they should care more but clearly don’t - that’s fine.

Neither of us know if they care enough - they position themselves to me as a band who would though.

They could have played a fuck off big venue in london to cover the same capacity as those three nights and then play elsewhere. I think perhaps they don’t want to play a massive cavernous arena though? I dunno, as you say - loads of factors go into but on base level it just seems a bit shitty. Would it cross my mind if i lived in London? I am sure not!

Yeah but not my fucking hometown and thats the point :rofl: :rofl: (but joking aside - its a decent trek/expense to any of those and Birmingham is the home of metal so should be included at all times - shit crowds or not!)


oh yeah, and i totally accept that in other countries people travel for far longer just to see a band and i could go to those cities. London - Manchester is no distance compared to the states


Yeh the other aspect of this an American contact told me was that they’re also prepared to drive for hours to get to a concert (and work, friends etc.). We just don’t have that culture here. If they did have a view, they might see it as culturally normal for someone from Norwich to drive 2/3 hours to London for a night.


Shepard’s Bush Empire any good?

It’s been ages but not as big as Hammersmith Apollo, I might repeat what I did last time and go to Glasgow though :sweat_smile:


Seats are alright, standing is a bit shit.


I imagine so, yes

So they had some say on that…!

Maybe :man_shrugging:

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Yes and no actually, depending on where you are. Not if you get stuck by the bar or at the back, where the views aren’t great. But have seen some excellent shows stood forward a bit. Manages to be both quite grand and intimate. One of the better O2 venues for sure. Never sat there.

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I’ve always liked the SBE, maybe biased cos it feels easier to get to and home from than some London venues - but yes you definitely want to be well forward of the desk and the bar