Last week Six8 landed under our noses, an online tool that’s transforming the way gigs are booked. If you’re looking to book more shows, reach a whole new audience or even if you’re a fan wanting to book live music at your next gatho, this one’s for you.
Despite being around for the better part of a decade, Sydney rockers The Khanz recently jumped on Six8 and booked a few new gigs within weeks. We spoke to their manager Andrew Thompson about his experiences managing the band, what they have coming up and how this new tech has helped them in recent times.
The music industry desperately needs a tool for fans, musicians and managers to easily book more shows, and Six8 looks like it could be the answer.
HAPPY: Hey, how are you? What are you up to at the moment?
ANDREW: Right now, promoting a big show we’re putting on at the Oxford Art Factory on 22 December in support of Keep Sydney Open. It’s terrible what’s been done to Sydney nightlife by the lockout laws. They’re an overzealous reaction to a problem that we all could easily have worked together to solve – just like it’s done in thousands of other cities around the world. It’s not like drug and alcohol fuelled violence is a problem that’s unique to Sydney. Anyhow, Keep Sydney Open is a real attempt at doing something about it and we’re putting our money where our mouths are to support them. So buy a ticket and come to the show!
HAPPY: How long have you been managing The Khanz?
ANDREW: About eight years.
HAPPY: Was booking shows for the band ever an issue?
ANDREW: Booking shows has always been an issue for independent bands. And it’s gotten worse for inner city bands and artists with the closure of venues affected by the lockout laws. The scene is restructuring because people still want to go out and have a good time, most of us without causing any trouble. The issue is putting bookers together with artists. And that’s why Six8 has been such a cool development.
HAPPY: What are some of the highlight shows for them so far?
ANDREW: The big shows tend to be the most conventionally memorable. And they’ve played a lot of those and supported some major acts like San Cisco, Bluejuice, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Sticky Fingers, Dappled Cities and Faker. But for me, it’s some of the smaller shows that have been most memorable, where the band and the audience blend into a single experience for everyone. There was a gorgeous unplugged show at the Bucket List on Bondi Beach and a lovely Saturday arvo gig at the Botany View in Newtown that was just magic.
HAPPY: Now The Khanz have a few of their own side projects I hear. Can you tell me about those?
ANDREW: Yes, there are two: Charly has developed a solo show and the siblings are working on a new electronic act. Both of these just kind of happened to them, rather than anyone deciding to do something. The Khanz were on an enforced break due to a couple of issues too boring to detail. And Charly was at the Royal Hotel in Bondi one night with some mates and there was a karaoke night on. Someone asked her to sing backing vocals on Teenage Dirtbag and Dave Jackson, the music man at the Royal, heard her and asked if she’d be interested in playing a set one Sunday. So she did and that became a residency for ten weeks. And then Themba, her brother, jumped up on stage one night and they did a song together and Dave said to them “why don’t you two put together a set?”. And they did and then that grew into a new act called Aikonawena which became another residency, which is still going. And it’s all kinda taking off all by itself.
HAPPY: You’ve recently booked a few shows for The Khanz and their side projects through Six8, which you mentioned earlier. Can you walk me through that process?
ANDREW: I can’t remember how I found Six8, but I’d been putting The Khanz out there via the normal channels for years and it was hard work. With great respect to the bookers, most of the time just getting a reply from them is a minor miracle. Anyhow, I put the three artists details up on Six8 and didn’t think of it again, but, to my surprise, Charly got her first gig within a few weeks. Then The Khanz started getting bookings too. There’s no way I would have found any of these without Six8. The gig offers come in through an SMS and you can negotiate and close the deal via the app. And we even get paid through Six8, which will be music to the ears of any manager who’s been chasing down venues for payment!
HAPPY: How did the shows go?
ANDREW: They’ve been great! So easy. And very cool to get to new audiences. We’ve got some private parties coming up, which will be a lot of fun.
HAPPY: Have you met any artists or managers using the same software?
ANDREW: No, but I’ve shared the platform with all the artists and managers that I know.
HAPPY: Do you think there should be more room for musos, promoters and managers to use apps or other software to book gigs? There seems to be a bit of a hole in the market right now.
ANDREW: Huge hole. And Six8 are doing a great job of filling it. There is so much noise in the media and on social media, we’re drowning in information. The trick is to put together the right info with the right people and Six8 seem to be doing that.
HAPPY: Would The Khanz ever play a house party?
ANDREW: Absolutely. Would love to. So would Aikonawena and Charly. That’s an offer, people!
HAPPY: Have you used Six8 to find any gigs to go to on your own? Would you?
ANDREW: You know, I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it. I shall now!
HAPPY: And I’ve got to ask, what’s coming up for The Khanz?
ANDREW: The Khanz have written their second album, but can’t record anything until March due to contractual issues. So they’re putting all that pent-up energy into playing lots of shows, which is the only way for people to hear the new material. And we’re getting behind Keep Sydney Open with that show at Oxford Art Factory on 22 December. So if you believe we need to get Sydney’s nightlife back up and running, put your money where your mouth is, buy a ticket and come to the show!
If Six8 sounds like your cup of tea, they’re offering a 15% discount off the first booking to the first 50 Happy Mag readers – click here to jump on board!