Houston Calling

A warning to local bands

August 30th, 2006 · 3 Comments

I have been told some pretty bad things recently about a local club called The Coffee Retreat/The Dark Room out off Hwy. 529. They have treated some Houston bands poorly, refusing to pay them or refusing to pay minor expenses after the club cancelled gigs or refused to let them play.

They also typically charge $10 per head to underage kids — and pack them in, of course — yet require the bands to bring in a certain amount of people or they won’t get paid. I have rarely heard of this happening anywhere else these days.

So bands, book a gig at The Dark Room at your own risk. I wouldn’t advise it.

Tags: Music

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Solomon // Aug 31, 2006 at 1:03 am

    its like that at some other places as well. Most notably Java jazz. you need 35 people to get paid $7 dollars a head. however from what i understand you must sign a contract to play java jazz and the darkroom…but i could be full of it!

    however, java jazz is proffesional and pretty good to their bands, so take this as advice, not an insult.

  • 2 Jeff // Aug 31, 2006 at 8:32 am

    These types of places do that because they typically have younger bands play there. Fitzgerald’s started the pay-for-play thing back in the 80’s and changed from one of the better blues/rock clubs to alternative because they knew they could get kids to pack the place with friends. Most bands and musicians, after they’ve been around a little while, just won’t play those places because, shock of all shock, they want to get paid. Legit clubs understand that, even if they don’t pay much, they have to pay SOMETHING or at least let the band take the door.

  • 3 DAC // Sep 1, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    I understand the concept, but as far as this club goes — they were cancelling bands once they were already there (I can only assume because they didn’t merit any of the door). So the bands drove out there, wasted time and gas, and never got to play or get any money for their efforts. Just sucks.

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