I've always hated bards. The song and dance flavor just irks me in a way I can't fully express through words. But maybe there's a cool class in there trapped under all that singey, feely stuff.
If I understand correctly, no ranks in perform means you can't sing the bard song, or whatever it's called? How viable would a non singing, non performing bard be? I'm open to multiclassing and various different builds, my only hard limit is performance.
Note: At first I thought a bard would pretty much need performance to stay relevant, but taking anothet glance at the bard skill list and the skill lists of some of the more interesting multiclass options I'm starting to realize that discipline, hide, move silently, taunt, listen, spellcraft, tumble, search, disable device and a rogue or ranger's set trap all look like viable options competing for space with perform.