They play music. They receives a commission. However you need to see the ‘bandwiches’ they get supplied to eat | Jay Rayner


The on-line world generally is a scary place. For me, one of many web’s most dismaying corners is a members-only discussion board on Fb known as Bandwiches. It’s a portmanteau phrase, the crashing collectively of “band” and “sandwiches”, coined by the saxophonist Stan Harrison after a very dismal expertise. It celebrates or, to be extra actual, bemoans the grim high quality of a lot of the meals supplied to musicians on gigs in UK hospitality settings. Listed below are quite a few pictures of horrible, chilly mini sausage rolls the color of yesterday’s porridge. There’s a meagre plate of biscuits alongside some orange juice with a handwritten be aware saying: “Old-fashioned. Assist your self at your personal peril.” There are polystyrene bins stuffed with a tiny variety of indeterminate deep-fried issues. And, after all, heaps and plenty of horrible, floppy sandwiches made with the pappiest of pappy white bread. It’s all so rattling beige. And the parts! So small!

This could possibly be dismissed because the nichest of area of interest issues. Then once more, the Bandwiches Fb group has 4,300 members. That’s a big slab of the UK’s gigging musicians. And even when it’s a aspect subject, it’s my aspect subject. I’m each a jazz musician and a journalist who writes about meals. If I don’t complain about this, who the hell will? Folks within the hospitality trade do their jobs round meal instances. For a few years the meals supplied each to waiters and kitchen employees was a serious subject. Too many eating places merely didn’t appear to care. Fortunately, that’s typically now not the case (though there are nonetheless exceptions). Musicians, those who work in bars and eating places, motels and occasions reminiscent of weddings, are too usually the forgotten hospitality staff.

There are good tales. Let’s hear it for the Pig Lodge and the magnificent unfold they laid on not too long ago for the Jools Holland Massive Band. I do know from expertise that devoted London music venues reminiscent of Brasserie Zedel, Boisdale and Ronnie Scott’s take care of their performers. However there are such a lot of different actually awful tales. The worst offenders are sometimes on the very prime finish. A pianist pal not too long ago performed a four-hour solo piano marriage ceremony gig at one of the vital garlanded and costly lodge eating places within the nation. (I want I may identify and disgrace, however legal professionals get twitchy.) His lunch: a single, clingfilm-wrapped sandwich.

One other musician posted a picture of an empty desk at a big London restaurant world occasion. They’d supplied him exactly nothing. Then there are the horror tales from weddings, particularly when you’ve got the audacity to be, say, a non-meat eater. At finest it may be a case of: you may have a go on the buffet however solely as soon as everybody else has completed at 11pm. As one musician put it: “We value lower than the flowers, however we’re the factor your company will bear in mind. Present us just a little respect.”

We’ve all heard of the gig economic system, with the implied problems with continual job insecurity. Musicians know all in regards to the gig economic system, as a result of that’s what being a musician is. It signifies that complaining about shoddy therapy is hard as a result of they want the work. Therefore, I’m complaining for them. Please god, let’s abandon bandwiches. Away with the beige. Provide a sizzling meal. In brief, in case you are reserving musicians for an occasion don’t overlook to feed the piper. And the guitarist. And the pianist and the remainder. They’re there to deliver your company vital pleasure; don’t make their lives a distress. In any case, it’s known as the hospitality enterprise. Which means being hospitable to everybody.

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