People have so many different ideas of what it's like to be on tour that I thought I would answer a few questions here and let you see behind the scenes.
The first, and most annoying, question that we frequently get asked is:
Are you on holidays?
Ok, let me first qualify my answer by saying I do love music and above all I love performing, but now let me ask you - would you choose for your holiday to work for 5 or 6 hours a night, pack the car, get up early next morning and travel to another town to repeat the process?
Many people have a romantic idea of what it means to be a touring musician - one guy said to me, "I just picture you musicians heading off on the road and stopping up to play music for whomever will listen". Hmmm, yes that's a good idea. And how do we pay for our food and petrol etc? "Oh, I hadn't thought about that". Right! This was in a venue where the owner insists on putting around a hat to pay the artists, but passes no remarks on half of his audience leaving at half time before he passes around the hat! Needless to remark we won't be going back - which is a huge shame cause it is a lovely venue and a great audience. But every workman needs to be paid.
So let me answer the question by quite categorically saying a huge No! This is our job, our chosen path in life; however bizarre it may seem - and sometimes it feels very bizarre to me - but this is how we make a living.
|Driving off into the sunset? I guess not :)|
Do you just keep travelling around Europe? You get to see some fabulous places.
I do love Europe - above any place else in the world - sorry to my friends further afield. I love hearing different languages and eating different food. However, it is always good to come home and then you can appreciate the travelling all the more. And we do other things when we're at home. Like planning future tours, recording, writing (although that's a painful subject for me), I also do some voice coaching, run a couple of community choirs, we have a studio and get involved in lots of side projects as well as also doing some gigs at home.
We get to see lots of out of the way places, towns and villages that you wouldn't perhaps get to see on a holiday. But the down side of that is that we also see an awful lot of motorway.
But it is the people that most define a place for me.
Over the years we have made friends along the road. In the beginning we got to know them and then their children. Now we are meeting their grandchildren and getting to know the pets and hobbies.
How do you get these gigs? How did you come to this small town?
|The scenery whizzing by|
We have been travelling for nearly 25 years - after a concert someone will come to us and ask us to come to their venue on our next tour if we're in the area; or perhaps a friend will organise and publicise a concert or two for us in their home area. This has been the case on our recent tour in Germany - our friend Barney organised some concerts in his area around Kiel and another friend Rita organised one on the Rhine. They are both in the music community in their own areas and know the venues that would suit us.
Then I put the tour plan together and decide the route we will take once I know what days certain venues usually work on.
Have you a place near you that you would suggest we contact on our next trip to the UK or Australia or Germany?
|Past places with exotic names - Shark Creek?|
Why do you not fly?
Well, obviously we do fly to Australia or America. But for concerts in Europe or the UK it is easier for us to take our own car so that we can fit in Tom's conga drums and a small sound system. Plus with your own car it's easier to throw in an extra coat in case the weather turns cold and of course I leave enough room to bring some wine home from France :)
Is it not tiring doing concerts every night?
Actually no ... you get into a rhythm and it becomes quite easy to keep going once you get past the second or third night. It gets hard again once you have a night off. Then your body thinks "weyhey we can rest up now" and doesn't like being kicked in to action again.
So there you have it - a little peak into life behind the scenes on the road.