The tour started off with a bang yesterday! In more ways than one. I’ll start at the beginning…
Yesterday at 8.23am I received a call saying that the splitter van we usually use has been broken into the night before and isn’t roadworthy. Neither are there any spare vans available. The kids and me need to leave the house at 8.30am to get to school and then nursery, our incredible driver Bernie is already on his way to Leeds to collect the, now unusable, van and the band are meeting at 11am for the first gig of the tour. Aaaaaghhhhh!! This is what I meant in my last post when I said that you have to be reactive. I can plan all I like but this industry is constantly throwing curve balls.
Thankfully the Reverend crew are incredible. I take the boys to school and nursery, Bernie picks up a transit van and we take our family wagon for the band to travel in. There were a lot of phone calls to sort this out but I won’t bother you with the minutiae. We load the van, it has a flat tyre! Tyres pumped and we’re good to go. Only 20 minutes late for load in which I’m pretty chuffed with. Everyone’s played a part in making it happen. Joe, the bass player, arrives in time for soundcheck. He’s a teacher and so got the train down separately. Everyone in the band and crew has lots of different things going on. I think the days of musicians laying about doing nothing has well and truly gone or if they do then they don’t last long. Reverend and The Makers have been going for about 14 years and we all do lots of different things to make it work. It’s the key to our longevity. I’ve done all sorts of bits and bobs over the years, but it means I get to keep doing what I love – music. I might write another blog after the tour about different jobs I’ve done over the years if that would be of interest to you, the reader. For now though I want to focus on the tour and what happens and how we all pitch in to overcome any hurdles.
Then it’s time for soundcheck. It’s always a long one on the first gig so I make a round of my infamous tour sandwiches. Today’s offering was ham, salami, gouda, Emmental, tomato, olive, lettuce, mayo and mustard. Bloody lovely if I do say so myself. Four of those and then ‘awkward Ed’ requested ham, cheese, olive and crisp sandwich – the dirty git!! After soundcheck we go for a bit of food. Although it’s a shame the crew are all busy on this occasion, it’s quite nice to have a sit down in a quiet place with just the band before the first gig of the tour. We don’t often have the opportunity for it to be just the five of us which is ridiculous because they’re some of my closest friends. I guess you just have to take the moments when you can.
Rock City is always a good gig for us. We’ve played it quite a few times and I always look forward to it. On the first night of a tour everyone has to concentrate, but the crowd were clearly ready for a party. The Best Of tour is designed exactly for that purpose so the gig is great. A few teething problems on stage but that’s always to be expected. I sing Black flowers in this set, where I take centre vocals which I haven’t done for a looooong time. It’s quite nerve-racking to be honest but it’s an amazing song so it gets a great reception. I’m more than happy to hand the reigns back to Jon. I know I’m biased but he truly is the best frontman I’ve ever seen.
We all have a little drink when we get to the hotel but it can’t be too late so everyone turns in at 1am, as we have to leave at 9am for Portsmouth. It has been a very long day but we’ve all laughed throughout the mania. And that’s where I shall end my second blog post. I’ll try to give you an upate over the weekend of how the gig went at The Wedgewood Rooms and how I get back into home life over the weekend.