WOW! Well that was one hell of a week to put it lightly…. I mean I knew it was gonna be fun but I didn’t realise it was gonna be THAT good!
When I heard that we had been offered the UK leg of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour, we hardly had chance to breath…. each night we were to play for half an hour so this meant working out the best set we could. It’s always’s tough deciding which five songs to play…. I suppose it’s all down to what kind of audience you’re gonna be playing to so with Skynyrd’s crowd, it was definitely gonna be quite rocking!
So, to the first date…. In Glasgow! On arrival we located the backstage and pulled up alongside a couple of very large articulated trucks and were then greeted very warmly by a lovely bunch of guys who turned out to be the Skynyrd’s crew…. All 50 of them!!!
The venue staff were amazing, not allowing us to lift a finger and insisting on carrying everything into the building…. Nice! We were then shown to our dressing room and given a quick tour of everything and everyone…. the sound guys we were going to be working with, the crew helping on and off stage and of course the all important catering area hehe!
After a quick coffee and a biscuit we loaded our gear onto the stage and started to check. Our two sound guys Rod and Johhno were fantastic and quite prepared to take as long as we needed to get comfortable and sounding good.
Next it was to the catering area for a good nosh up…. before it was time to rock! With everything set and ready to go, we hovered in the wings waiting for a signal to go on. Suddenly, the house lights went down and on we walked to a fantastic reception from the sell out audience. From the first number, the crowd were really into it and it was pretty clear that the audience we were playing to were well up for a right good night of good loud rockin stuff. It seemed like we were only on for five minutes but what a crowd! After the set I wondered out to sign loads of CD’s before grabbing a beer in time to watch the main attraction. These guys really do know how to entertain and they obviously love every minute of what they do. They kind of have this infectious energy that has the audience right with them from the moment go.
Next night was one I’d really been looking forward to, the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. Everything about this place screams BIG at you! We actually drove into the back of the main venue as tonight the room was halved, but that still meant 4,500 people though! With a seated audience, someone suggested we should do Purple rain to finish…..now although I wasn’t sure if it would work in such a short set, we finished off with it and I’m glad we did! The next two shows in Manchester and London were both standing and so for the last number we decided it best to end in the only way possible… so we played Balls Of Steel!
Everything about these gigs was brilliant, from the amazing audiences, the extremely down to earth crew and band, to the experience of playing the venues themselves to sell out crowds. I’ve done supports for loads of people over the years but never have I felt so welcomed as we did last week. The band even dined with everyone else and were quite happy to hang out with us (not always the case!!!)
What a week! So, what will I remember the most? Well, probably the vastness of it all, how when we walked on stage at Brixton and went into the first number it sounded so immense, so big! To walk onto 5,500 people and get the reception we got, or maybe at Birmingham when for the main set I wondered up to the top of the venue to watch and all the people on stage were so tiny!!!
Mmmm… I think I could get used to doing these sorta gigs!! Haha, … but there is still nothing better than playing to a packed intimate room of 200 people, where the crowd are right in your face!!
So there you have it, the end (for the time being anyway) of the first bunch of touring, one that has been filled with so many great nights. Most notable being The Cluny in Newcastle, the London Dingwalls gig and the Black Horse Festival down in Sussex. Dingwalls turned out to be a buzzing night with a fantastic turnout and lots of new fans while Newcastle and the BH Festival were just two of those buzzing nights where there must be something in the air….. or the beer!!
With the album selling by the truckload, radio giving it loads of airplay and some awesome write-ups, I have to say I’m buzzing like a buzzy thing! So, keep checking for updates here on the site… for me it’s a couple of weeks off before a little trip to Ireland for a week of solo shows, then a couple of bits in August before we start up again properly in September.