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internet messageboards, that kind of thing. how lovely would it be if there was a website created solely for this purpose? a central repository of gigging information. venues/promoters/bands. yeah.
however id think getting to know other bands would help more. Like a we support you, you support us exchange.
Or specifically its tricky to find decent gigs with an audience that isn't your hometown.
To be honest I've still not found a particularly good way, other than trying to build up a relationship with people outside of London who puts gigs on.
I guess I believe that when you first start a band there's little point in doing shows outside your hometown unless
a) somebody who promotes in that town wants you on their bill and is prepared to enthusiastically promote you to people locally or
b) you can get a gig somewhere with an in-built audience.
and maybe if you're not getting offered gigs outside your hometown you're not necessarily at a stage where its necessary or right for you to do that. Or need to try to get better at pushing your music so people outside of your hometown know you exist (I say this as someone who's not great at pushing their music and knows he doesn't really do it very well/enough)