One sound engineer’s off to hospital, we’ve all got tour flu, Bernie’s close to exhaustion, but we’ve got three sold out gigs to play, one of which is being filmed live – the show(s) must go on!
There’s always unexpected things that crop up on a tour; things you can’t plan for and are unique to how a band as a business operates. One of these things is calling in sick. In most places of work you just ring your boss and you go back in when you’re better. When you’re in a band, or pretty much any self-employed job, if you don’t go in, you not only lose money but you let down those that are depending on you. Shifts can’t be covered as easily as they can be in other professions.
With this in mind, on Thursday we meet in Sheffield at 8am to set off for Glasgow. Our sound engineer comes down to help load, even though he is clearly in agony. We send him off to hospital but his job is not an easy one to fill. The Reverend sound is a pretty complex one with various elements going on that need someone who knows the music and the flow of the set and can adapt with ease to this. There’s huge shifts in pace, sound, instruments, people taking lead vocals etc in the set we are doing on this tour, so Graham is very important to what you all hear out front. Thankfully our monitor engineer, Crouchy also works front of house, so he moves in to Grahams job and between all of our contacts in Glasgow and Newcastle, we cover the next two gigs.
Crouchy gets double praise in this post as he also steps up covering some of Bernie’s driving. Bernie is a legend but there’s only so many hours a person can stay awake and alert to drive when he’s working on both our tour and Joe Carnall’s Good Cop Bad Cop tour, that are running concurrently. Team Rev pulls together again.
Glasgow was an incredible gig – not just because Glasgow crowds never disappoint and are always mental but also because the in-house team at St Luke’s were incredible. They were also in a massive minority in that ALL the main staff were female! How refreshing!! The rep, the sound engineer, the lampy, the venue manager, Merch, the pit security – all women. I have NEVER come across this before and because of this I will be dedicating another post entirely to discussing this after the tour. For now, I’ll just say they all absolutely smashed it and made it one of the most pleasurable gigs of the tour, which, under the circumstances with a man down and half of us battling tour flu, is amazing. So big up St Lukes.
Next on the list was Newcastle. Another sell out gig and the crowd were really up for it. It’s amazing how different the crowds are from city to city. I was asked what sort of demographic the crowd would be and I had to confess that I couldn’t predict it. Some gigs have an older crowd, others are really young, some have lots of blokes and some have more women. I love that about the Rev Army. Poor Ed has to hand over his lead vocals on Auld Reekie Blues to Joe and Jon for this gig as his voice has gone with the tour flu. By now, Joe is the only one not suffering.
On to Manchester which is our biggest venue of the tour, a sell out and being filmed (watch this space for an exciting release next year). Graham’s back for this one so we’re a full team again. We always look forward to Manchester as for some reason it’s always a highlight of any Reverend tour. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s just a special place for us and this time is no different. I might even call it as one of my top 5 Reverend gigs of all time. As a band, we all seemed really tight and because the music felt like second nature owing to the fact we are well in to the tour now, we were able to perform it with extra vigour. It never harms when you knowing you’re being filmed too! Thankfully the worst of the tour flu had passed as well so we had a little drink with friends and family and headed back to Sheffield for the dreaded 2.30am unload of our gear.
And back home. A little lie in and our biggest boy gets dropped off after his football training at 11am. Littlest one arrives soon after. We have the most perfect family day. First we all go upstairs and watch the current favourite film, Hotel Transylvania 2, in bed, where we all fall asleep together. Apart from our elsdest who has been engrossed in the film and wakes me with a kiss. The boys have a bath together, we get the bus to a local pub that does great Sunday dinners. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Jon and I had just had an incredible run of gigs, the boys were being adorable and our bellies were full. Stick a fork in me, I’m done!