I am not sure if this is a good place to vent some of my minor frustrations with booking a club but; here I am.
When you hire a group. You hire them for the special sound that they have developed over the years from playing together, recording etc. The minute someone is not there (ie. subs out) it is not the same group. I understand the musicians need to sometimes take work that pays way way more or for the leader to keep their gig regardless of who is in their band that night as people need to work. Unfortunately it is all the same people who complain about lack of interest in their careers or other such things partly caused by their lack of understanding or respect for their listeners. If one of my favourite groups comes to town minus one of the members of the band...i would be disappointed and in some cases probably not attend.
the other little thing that I find strange and gets under my skin is the small pool of artists that are coming through the club already (i figured that would happen somewhat down the road but not quite this fast). Before I used to book I wondered how the clubs could let this happen and now i understand. As I hire leaders, they continually choose the same sidemen. I understand this too of course as, the ones who work the most are often the most talented. Unfortunately i find this is also lazy leading by musicians. rather than searching out new and probably young players they go with the obvious. It is no big deal except that as we try to run a club with a diverse and exciting lineup, the band lineups get out of my control and things start to look really similar and predictable night in night out. (Yes, of course the music is still good and at quite a high level ofplaying)