The joy is infectious during a Liquid Pleasure Band performance. The six-piece band brings high energy and fun as they play crowd-pleasing covers of modern hits, including “Uptown Funk” and “Shake It Off” and groove to Motown classics such as “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” and “Get Ready.” When the audience is enjoying a live show, they’re often not thinking about the hard work behind every performance. However, every solo act or band must practice to perfection, endure demanding tour schedules and face lean financial times. Liquid Pleasure Band is no exception.
“One of the biggest problems (with) being an entertainer is the constant ups and downs of the business,” says Kenny Mann Jr. who plays keyboards and horns and has been dubbed the band’s “leader, manager, comedian and wise-cracker.”
“We’re like tobacco farmers, in a way,” he continues. “We have these cash droughts … and Fast Capital (360) alleviated that in my business.”
The Ups and Downs of Entertainment
Liquid Pleasure Band has been performing and delighting audiences for 55 years. “We’re almost as old as McDonald’s!” Mann points out. During the band’s early years, they were a group of friends “just playing around for fun,” but “after children and mortgages, it had to become a business.”
Although the band is headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, they’ve played all over the U.S. Throughout the decades, Liquid Pleasure Band’s venues have been as varied as their musical repertoire. They played at the inaugural balls for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as well as North Carolina former Gov. Mike Easley. Liquid Pleasure Band has also played for corporate parties for Pfizer and American Express, the Ravens football team and various fundraisers for nonprofit organizations.
Despite the group’s longevity and popularity, there are times when the cash isn’t flowing. “That is the biggest problem for every musician,” Mann says. “There’s no musician that’s doing well in the Northern Hemisphere in the wintertime. Things kind of slow down in the winter, and then things bustle around late February and they just roll along. So you have to get from New Year’s Eve to Feb. 28 (until the bookings pick up again).”
And the search for financing isn’t always simple.
“A lot of the banks aren’t comfortable with loaning to businesses that they consider ‘not established’ businesses, which I find ironic,” Mann explains. “For someone to tell me that I don’t have an established business, I say, ‘Well, I’ve got 55 years of federal tax returns to show you.’”