Three Men in a Podcast

All the genres, all the ridiculous, all the time...

Category: On Music

Questionable Music+ Article – What is a Fair Deal for a Band?



Questionable Music – What is a Fair Deal for a Band?

By Rob Hunns


So here we are, my first column…

The idea behind this is to go into more depth about what was asked in the relating episode of questionable music .  So if you haven’t already, please check out the podcast ( I will love you forever xxx).

In the first episode of questionable music , I asked the question; when does a band deserve to be paid?

In the first questionable music column, I will ask, what is a fair deal for a band?

What I mean by deal, is how would you expect to be treated as an artist or band?  Most bands these days seem to accept that because they are not on a major label, or that they aren’t performing for a living, that a crate of beer or “exposure” is an acceptable payment for their service to a promoter or venue.  Not too many bands these days are bold enough or even have the know how to get themselves a good deal for playing a gig.

Could it be that this is the norm?  I’ve found in my 15 years of small time gigs that promoters and venues are all too quick to get themselves hooked up with a free act for the night, throwing out terms like “you don’t have enough likes on Facebook” or “because its your first gig” as excuses to not pay you, o favourite “next time we’ll have you back for a paid gig”.  The latter of these boils my blood the most.  Very rarely have I heard this and then been asked back for this coveted prize.

Are promoters that worried about their own pay cheque?  If so, then why can’t they see their way to helping bands as best they can?  There is a little thing called mutual respect!  Promoters are very quick to forget that.  Could it be that there is some kind of higher power above club owners?  Some evil record label executive leaning on all clubs through out the world? Some crazy conspiracy that hasn’t been uncovered yet?


It’s just greed.

Greed that wants its finger in every pie, greed that wants it’s iron in every fire.

If all of this is true, then what is a good deal for a band or artist?  To be fair to clubs and bars, I understand that attracting the numbers is important when hiring the entertainment for an evening.  I also understand that a covers band will play for three hours, but on a typical three band bill consisting of an opener, a main support and a headliner, I think all bands should be paid regardless of how many people they attract And how long they play for.

Could it not just be expenses? I don’t see why not.

A strange standard has been set in recent years, where a band will be asked “what’s a realistic number of tickets you could sell”.  I see why this is fair as a venue would want to book bands that bring crowds, but when they say if you sell ten tickets you can have a pound a ticket…

A POUND A TICKET!  Some bands have ten members. That’s a pound each! How the hell is that a fair deal?  It’s fair to the venue because your making them money.  How is a band supposed to do well when they get treated like this? Could they even get home? How can they build an audience by selling tickets if they can’t get to and from a gig in the first place?

This my friends is not a good deal.

The fair deal for this scenario would be…

“If you sell ten tickets at five pounds a ticket then you keep the money”. That’s what promoters should be saying.

However this could only work for an opening band, because they will more often than not bring no one. (Then it’s time for the complementary 20-30 pounds).

For the main support though, I would like to think a venue would have asked them there, so a deal would have been reached through previous contact, or upon knowing that they have an audience there so they are guaranteed a payment.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be much, but payment none the less.  This is what I mean when I say “contract of employment”.

This is what we could call “a good deal” for a main support.

I also wouldn’t find it strange if a strong main support band had a booking agent or management of some kind that would be the contact for the band.  At this point a venue would take you more than seriously.

I digress…

We don’t have management at this point of the scenario…

If however you are the headliner, would it not be safe to assume that you are guaranteed a payment any way?

No.  No it wouldn’t…

Again, some promoters still may not offer your band payment even if you are the headline act.  These are what I like to call “THE FUCKING CHEAPSKATES”. These are few and far between.

Having never been in a bigger headlining band, I’ve never had the privilege of getting a good deal in this situation, but having been able to see how headliners have been treated I can only imagine how it would go.

I would suggest that they of course get paid, as their management has organised this and the venue has sought them out, expecting to have to pay them.

From the side lines of course, it would appear that their highnesses have their own dressing room, (which they never appear from until they grace the room with their presence).  They would have a rider consisting of dinner, drinks, fruit, drugs, a blowjob and as many hoes as they can handle, as the promoter gives their manager a rim job and thanks him over and over for giving him the chance to spend all his budget on the band, so that there is no way any of the opening or support bands can get paid.

And the circle is complete.

I feel we have reached this weeks answer.  From the podcast, we concluded that all bands deserve to get paid, providing they follow strict guidelines.  However, today we conclude that the real answer is that you probably won’t get paid unless you have an ass licking shyster of a manager!

Let me know what your feelings are on the matter.

Am I right? Am I wrong? You decide…

Not Strictly Entertaining



Three Men in a Podcast‘s Dave steps up to the solo mini podcast plate for International Podcast Day!

Dave has just taken delivery of a sweet new mic and is going to put it to good use recording his own original poetry and fiction for your delectation.

Here is the first, a piece named Not Strictly Entertaining which has absolutely nothing to do with hating Strictly Come Dancing, honest…

Questionable Music – Episode 1



Three Men in a Podcast‘s Rob goes solo in the first episode of his mini podcast series Questionable Music!

Rob poses a challenging music question each show and debates himself silly until he is withered and spent. He invites you to spar with him in the comments below.

Episode 1 sees Rob attempt to answer the question, “When is it right, and when do band’s deserve, to be paid money?”


Refused – Freedom

refused, freedom, review, album, lp, punk, hardcore, music, podcast, new music


Refused – Freedom

By David R J Sealey


17 years is a long time in the music industry. We’ve been through the girl/boy band era and third-wave ska, through the techno-filth of nu-metal, journeyed through garage and R & B and indie and a whole lot more between 1998 and 2015. But here we are, a little way into the 21st century, spoilt for choice and surrounded by tiny screens and, against all odds, Refused are back from the fucking dead.

The cult figures, the untouchables, the punk rock doyen that took two records to warm up for their seminal, bombastic masterpiece “The Shape of Punk to Come” and then split, declaring they had nothing left to give have decided, after all, that they have something left in the tank. And Freedom is its name.

2012 saw the band reunite for a tour to great critical acclaim, but to some disdain from the more hardcore amongst their following that had deified their absence as the true embodiment of the spirit of punk rock. Some worried that their heroes had sold out for a quick buck or two, trailing their greatest hits around the nostalgia circuit like Chas and Dave or Billy Idol. But after a two year hiatus, Refused have returned with ten new tracks issued by Epitaph Records that will challenge even their most devoted fans, burying that ghastly notion beneath six feet of solid rock.

Album opener Elektra opens with a buzz-saw riff that evokes the spirit of The Shape of Punk to Come before a muted verse from Denis Lyxzen erupts into a heavier chorus that asserts “nothing has changed, the time has come, there’s no escape”, perhaps echoing the bands feelings about the inevitability of the new record. Refused have always leant lyrically towards socio-political commentary and their frustration at the perceived lack of global progress has added fuel to the fire in their bellies. Or perhaps they are just saying what they are expected to say.

Old Friends/New War is where things really start to get weird. It judders along, at times sounding like a forgotten 1980s radio-friendly pop track with some heavier elements. It is, honestly, pretty forgettable. Dawkin’s Christ makes things interesting again, melding the classic Refused sound with riffs and an aesthetic that somehow evokes Black Flag jamming with Isis.

Francafrique is the point where the record becomes genuinely interesting. A swaggering, upbeat lead guitar riff from Kristofer Steen that wouldn’t sound that out of place in an Arctic Monkeys tune duels Lyxzen’s vocals for superiority, backed by classic rock-style percussion and (seriously) a children’s choir. The chorus seems initially rather weak, but as the song evolves it becomes clear that the mid-paced gang vocals are designed to add dynamism to the latter half of the track, layering textures of swelling horns and buzzing guitars to build to quite the crescendo.

Thought is Blood plods through the first minute or two, a bit of a comedown after the progressive bombast of Francafrique, before the track bares its teeth and tears itself apart mid-way through, fusing improbable elements of doom, The Smiths and visceral hardcore to completely erase the so-so intro. Then the horns re-emerge for War on the Palaces which somehow merges punk rock with The Cure before Destroy the Man takes rather childish lyrics and a classic Refused delivery and combines it with odd, pop-influenced “ooh ooh” backing vocals.

Uber-producer Shellback handles production duties on two tracks here but they don’t really stand out from the crowd. The second of these, 366, could have appeared on any Refused album to date and plays things pretty straight, sounding fresher because of its relative simplicity. This is followed by Servants of Death, a mid-paced melodic number that is a little jarring but plenty groovy if unremarkable, sounding a little like a Red Hot Chili Peppers remix. Album closer Useless Europeans starts off like a Bonobo track with Lyxzen singing/droning over the production in the vein of Morrisey and meanders pointlessly for around six and a half minutes and is about as good as that sounds written down…

With The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused mashed together disparate influences to create a cohesive whole and Freedom is a natural continuation, taking the last 17 years of popular music and condensing it, satirising it and at the same time revelling in it. At times it is borderline genius, but those peaks do not come often enough and the album peters out with a whimper. That being said, their previous Ornette Coleman-channelling magnum opus took a little while to really make an impact and Freedom may well turn out to be the same. Have Refused given us another glimpse of the future or are they struggling to recapture past glories? Only time will tell.

Welcome to Three Men On Music!

Podcast, music, comedy, three men in a podcast, 3 men, on music, #music, #podcast

Welcome to Three Men On Music!

On Music is our brand new music blog and Rob, Blake, Dave and friends will be bringing you the best music news, reviews, previews and interviews to amuse you between episodes of the Podcast! There will never be a day without the Three Men again!

If you would like to get involved and write for On Music, please email

Much love! Thanks for stopping by x

*Well, there will be some days, we occasionally need a day off too 🙂

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly


Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly – ALBUM REVIEW

By David R J Sealey

Sometimes art can be so dense that when you first encounter it, it causes you to recoil in horror and question just what exactly the fuck it was that you just experienced. What the hell just happened? What, exactly, does it want?

With To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar sets his goals right out on front street, just next to that run-down bar with the furniture from the Thirties. He wants nothing short of a jazz revolution; an uprising of wild rhythms, primal funk and lyrical fury. He seethes and rages, scorns and scats, rallying the masses with tales of repression and anti-police rhetoric that feel exceptionally relevant.

On this, his third full record, Lamar lives life in the moment, drawing influences from all corners of hip hop’s history. In turns, he evokes the spectral jazz melodies of Duke Ellington, the big Compton beats of  Dr. Dre, the revivalist R&B of the omnipresent Pharrell Williams, and the crisp modern production of luminaries such as Flying Lotus. To Pimp A Butterfly is a heady cocktail of the old and new; a classic Martini on the rocks, a shot of Hennessy and a lungful of pure funk

First track Wesley’s Theory tells the modern moral tale of Wesley Snipes’ downfall at the hands of the taxman. The mutating, funky production opens the door to the jazz club whilst doffing its cap to Lamar’s previous record good kid, m.A.Ad city before the man himself bursts onto the stage with the incredible For Free? – Interlude. The track sees the rapper duelling a drumkit with incredibly complex lyrical dexterity and a ‘this dick ain’t free’ refrain that shows he still has that wry sense of humour.

Big single King Kunta ebbs and flows with an intentional tribal groove as it effortlessly oozes Michael Jackson parodies, references to the seminal Roots, and subtle lead guitar buried deep in the mix. Institutionalized features Bilal, Anna Wise and Snoop Dogg meandering over a sensational funk-fuelled dreamscape created by producer Rahki. And ‘shit dont change until you get up and wash your ass’, apparently written by Lamar’s grandmother, might just be one of the best choruses of all time. It also might not.

It’s not all plain sailing through the velvet night, however. The problem with travelling blind is that you sometimes get lost and, to be honest, some songs lost me. At 16 tracks, one of which is 12 minutes long, the record is a little flabby. Tracks like These Walls and You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said) are pure blubber. Others, like Complexion (A Zulu Love), are perilously close to retreading familiar lyrical ground, and bring nothing new to the party.

That being said, the album does its level best not to outstay its welcome. As it creeps over the halfway mark, tracks begin to alternate in quality, dashing and raising your hopes again and again; it is end to end. How Much A Dollar Cost is a scathing critique of poverty dressed up in narrative finery, and singles The Blacker the Berry and i are alternately furiously funny and joyously uplifting. The evolving spoken-word pieces woven in between songs add to the sense of an overarching sense of personality, of Kendrick Lamar himself – each song a little piece of his soul.

And not just his soul, but the souls of the many incredibly talented and varied artists that made this record a reality. To Pimp a Butterfly is a modern-day masterpiece; a Bayeaux tapestry of jazz and rap, and the array of names that litter the album credits (Rapsody, the Isley brothers and Pete Rock included) all deserve a big piece of the praise.

To find the future of hip-hop, Kendrick Lamar has travelled deep into the past – the Marty McFly of hip-hop, with Flying Lotus as his Doc Brown.