It may seem strange to say, given the nature of what I do, but to me the most important aspect of being in a band is playing shows. Getting yourself on tour. For bands in the scene we are in this is rarely a glamorous or even profitable venture, but when the hours of stress and worry and knock-backs and disappointments are completely forgotten during 20 minutes of being a prat playing your songs it suddenly all seems worth it.
Old Skin recently toured the UK with a band I recorded in late 2014, Ithaca, who released the Trespassers EP we worked on just prior to the shows. Touring with those guys and seeing the response to the record and people singing along *almost* every night was pretty rewarding, maybe I didn’t do a shitty job on it after all. I guess I spent most nights like a proud yet distant parent standing on the sidelines watching their kids kick people’s heads in. That was some nights at least, others are a little hazy and but I do remember grabbing a mic to do my vocal parts in Ithaca‘s set in Brighton running through a kitchen/hallway/living room and generally being a pain at one point, so maybe I was a very drunk aggro parent…
My highlights of the tour include:
- a broken hand from crowd-surfing in Portsmouth for Djamila of Ithaca
- internal bleeding from kitchen mosh in Brighton for myself
- Rice and Three in Manchester
- picnics in the Peak District
- Mexican Shot Wave in Portsmouth
- Long Drive Ice Teas
- Veg Bar in Brixton
- Employed To Serve blowing minds in Andover, Manchester and Leeds
- the wooden floor of our van
- not quite crashing
Like most hobbies, being in a band is lame, takes up all of your time and money and makes you fall out with almost everyone you know, but playing a show to two crusties in a dead end town is worth it, be fucking proud of yourself that someone engaged in your music. It is impossibly rewarding for me, and in meeting similarly minded people around the country it is comforting to find so many that understand the “horrible bands” that I work with.
Thanks to anyone who helped us out with a show, gave us a place to stay, watched us, bought merch, fed us or partied with us. It was great.