Musicians love residencies. It means a regular live environment in which to hone your set, as well as regular income of course. A weekly gig is also a great way to keep your playing sharp. When successful, they can last for years, and I have had some great ones in my time as a musician.
The challenge I have always found with a residency is to prevent it from going stale. In my experience, you either need regular personnel changes or regular changes to the set to prevent both the audience and the band getting tired of the same faces and songs every week.
Seamie O’Dowd and I currently have a residency in Thomas Connolly’s every Monday night. It’s on the go now for almost 4 years, and its one of the highlights of my week.
Paul O’Donnell, the main man in Connolly’s, asked Seamie and I about a year and a half into the residency if we would be comfortable to take on a special guest each week.
It meant more outlay for him, but in that one move he ensured that neither the musicians nor the audience would grow tired of the Monday night session, and he, we, and the smiling faces we see each Monday are reaping the rewards now.
Of course it’s not just musicians who have residencies. They mightn’t be called residencies, but everyone has areas of their life which could do with a special guest, or a new song or two every so often. Make the right investment in yourself and it will pay off.