Gig Profile: Old Man’s Canggu, Bali

This will be the eighth installment of the #looptheworld Gig Profiles. As I travel the world playing music for a living I will be writing up these Gig Profiles in an effort to help out those that dream of doing the same. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.

Old Man’s is a well known drinking hole in Canggu. A place to be seen and the place to go on a Wednesday night. There is plenty of bar space and large beer garden looking out over Batu Balong surf break. Canggu is known for being a little more expensive than other parts of the island but you can still get a decent meal for less than 80k IDR ($8 AUD). Bintang, Indonesia’s most popular local brew will set you back 25k IDR ($2.50 AUD), which is pretty typical in the area. Happy hour is 5-6pm where drinks are two for one.

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The gig itself starts at 7pm on Thursday nights, which is known as the acoustic night. You’ll share the show with a DJ who plays from 6pm, then again in your break and after you finish. You’re expected to play 2 x 1 hour sets with a  hour break in between. You’ll be provided with an in house sound man who will set up and run the PA for you. He is a very friendly fellow and will be happy to answer questions and help out however he can. If you are touring with a band then you’ll want to ask for the Friday night. The gig is slightly later and always has a great turn out.

The PA is made up of 2 x 15″ FOH speakers as well as a couple of subs and a 15″ foldback speaker. Your under a roof but it is an outdoor venue so sound issues should be minimal. They also don’t seem to have sound limits so you can turn it up which is always nice. Additional to the main PA the signal will be sent through the in-house system with small speakers situated through out the establishment meaning you can be heard everywhere. Mic’s and stands are also provided so just bring your instrument.

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Wednesdays at Old Man’s is always a party!

The clientele are young surfers from all over the world but there is definitely a higher percentage of Australians. Ripped and tanned, half naked young lads and ladies fresh off the beach fill the bar from sunset onward. They are more than keen to hear some live tunes and I found them to be very supportive and attentive. If you keep the second set up beat you’ll be sure to get a dance floor vibing. I was even encouraged to play some more original music which is always a pleasure.

To perform in Indo you are going to need a work permit. They take it very seriously and if you are seen to be breaking the rules you’ll not only get yourself in trouble but the bar as well. Not to worry though, securing the paperwork is very simple and can be done after arrival if you don’t come prepared. I got mine sorted at www.BaliExpatServices.com It only took one quick visit and a one off payment. Cost depends on how long you are staying and it’s best to have as many gigs booked as possible before getting it done as they like to know where and when you’ll be playing. That’s not to say you can’t pick up extra shows on the side.

I suggest staying for at least a month to give yourself time to cover the costs of visa, flights and living. If you back this up with a few other gigs in the area, you can live quite comfortably in island paradise. The longer you stay, the more likely you can save some coin. I rent a scooter for transport which will set you back about 50-60k a day or if you rent it monthly about 40k a day (just over 1 million IDR a month or $100 AUD). Alternatively, if your not so comfortable on a bike, you can employ a driver for a little more money that will pick you up by request. Accommodation varies but I got a lovely room with hot water, air con and wifi for 3.5 million ($350 AUD) per month at a place called Janur  Kuning. About a five minute ride from Old Man’s.

Location: Gig contact: Sean Cosgrove Via Old Man’s Facebook or his personal profile
Pay: 1 million IDR (Solo) 3–4 Million IDR (Band)
Gig season: All year round (high season Jan-Feb and July)
Max Capacity: Approx 1000
In-house PA and soundman.

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Top 10 #looptheworld Shows So Far

This was a difficult list to compile. Almost every show I have played since the #looptheworld adventure began has been memorable for one reason or another. Special mention has to go to Choppers Bar, Koh Tao. Those hot, sweaty nights with the Koh Tao Pub Crawl made up a huge amount of the memories that the tour has brought me so far. Every night at Choppers was another crazy party. So too were all of my performances at Harmony, Ios. However, this here list is about those single shows that stood out. The shows that warmed my heart and kept me on a high for days after getting off stage. Those shows that reward me more than financial gain. The shows I’ll remember long after my career is over. The shows I’ll look back on and smile.

No. 10

Surfers Paradise Live Festival May 2015

A festival stage definitely helps to make the top 10 list. A big crowd, a great PA, a professional sound man, the whole kit and caboodle. This was also the last show before we took #looptheworld international. On a more personal note; Surfers Paradise Live Festival was special because my family was there. My mum, my little sister Megan and my adorable little nephew Malakai. It was also the first time my newborn nephew had left the house since his birth. I’m very proud of this fact. It will be a story I tell him when he’s older. I hope one day he takes up the musical adventure that has brought me so much satisfaction.

Show No.9 >

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Gig Profile: Harmony, Ios Greece

This will be the sixth instalment of the #looptheworld Gig Profiles. As I travel the world playing music for a living I will be writing up these Gig Profiles in an effort to help out those that dream of doing the same. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.

This is the first gig I ever played in Europe. In 2015 while on Koh Tao in Thailand I bumped into an old friend of mine Scott Frost. We used to work in a kitchen together when we were teenagers. Since then he’s gone on to be a chef all over the world. Before landing in Thailand and buying himself his own restaurant on Koh Tao he had spent a season on the island of Ios in Greece cooking in the Harmony kitchen. He introduced me to Kathleen, the owner of Harmony and luckily for me she was in the process of booking her artists for the 2015 season. After a short conversation online she booked me 6 nights a week for two months over July and August.

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The view from our island home.

The gig doesn’t pay a lot but the small and steady income was enough to sustain me quite comfortably. Living expenses are minimal on Ios. Those of us that work on the island receive a few perks in the way of “locals prices” in almost all the bars, a few eateries and even some of the islands adventure activities. In my case I even managed to score a great deal on some accommodation. I was travelling with my partner Hannah so opted to avoid the staff accommodation. But if you don’t mind living in close quarters with your work mates then the staff accom is a cheap option that is always available.

One of the best parts of living and playing on Ios is the feeling of belonging to the community of young, fun loving staff that stay for the season. Within days you’ll be welcomed into the family as if you’ve been there for years. I must warn you though, these guys know how to party, or more to the point, drink! The daily routine on Ios usually consists of waking up late morning, probably hung over, hitting the beach for a few hours then making your way up to Harmony for the “Staffie” meal. At about 7pm most of the island staff head home for a early evening siesta before hitting the town at midnight and drinking till the early hours. Your social life will love you for it but your liver will probably have a different opinion.

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Gettin’ a few zzz’s in  before my set starts.

Harmony is a popular spot for the seasonal staff. The food is amazing! Generous servings of Mexican inspired meals, cocktails, live music, backgammon and giant Jenga. What more could you want? Town doesn’t really warm up until about midnight and Harmony has managed to slot in as the place to go out, before you go out. The restaurant is positioned on a headland looking over Mylopotas beach with a beautiful view. The warm evenings make for great out door dinning. Million dollar yachts are moored out the front and inflated bananas covered in screaming tourists pulled by speed boats often fly by. The PA is delightful for the size of the venue. A nice big sub woofer and several FOH speakers distributed among the restaurant will mean you get a decent sound. You’ll need to do your own mix. If you are not familiar with running a PA the other musicians and Luke in the kitchen will give you a hand figuring it out. Each night there are two shifts for the musicians. The first 6-9pm and the second 9-12am. You will share the roster with 3 or 4 other musicians so if you ever drink a little too much the night before or get run down by the infamous Ios cough someone is always there to cover you as long as you return the favour. The patrons are there to eat and must be seated to be served. Almost every night it’s full but it is firstly a restaurant so don’t expect an energetic dance floor. That doesn’t mean you won’t get tables full of excited diners getting involved. They are mostly after popular covers but once you get the crowd on side there is more than enough space to perform your original material. I managed to move a decent amount of CDs, to the point that I sold out. Make sure you bring enough, the extra income goes a long way. To get the gig you need to talk with the boss Kathleen. She will want to see a video of you performing live to see how you interact with your audience. It’s best to apply for this gig between February and May before the season begins. The season goes from May to September. I suggest staying at least a month to really get into the swing of the island life.

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Best of luck. It really is a great way to spend a European summer.

Gig Location: Mylopotas Beach, Ios 84001, Greece
Venue Contact: Kathleen via the Harmony Facebook page
Pay: 40 Euros + 20 Euro food and drink rider.
Capacity: Approx 80 seated