Updated: Feb 1
Last time I was in touch it was pretty early days in the tour and I had yet to cover the vast distances and draining schedule that lied ahead. But before I go any further, I just wanted to touch upon what I feel is the purpose of this blog. When I started blogging it was really just a means of self promotion for my music, but now it’s become more self confessional. I realised pretty quickly, like most things I do in my life (music included), there is little point in doing something unless you can do it with a sense of honesty and integrity. So with that in mind please go easy on me, and consider what’s like to be a artist performing at the beginning of your career when your still learning and growing as a musician.
After the disappointment of Memphis, the gig was on the 4th of July so had a pretty bad turn out, it was on to Nashville. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was far the best city on my travels for my music, the city being a mecca for the southern music industry with record companies and recording studios just a stones throw away from each other. (in american terms that’s a short drive, as everything is stretched out in the states) The gig I played at The Belcourt Taps was rammed full of people who really appreciated my music and understood what I was trying to do. But unfortunately, with one or two exceptions, it was pretty much down hill from then onwards.
Simply put the promoters I was working with had done very little to promote the gigs and in some cases I’m not even sure had listened to my music at all as often after playing I was confronted with words to the effect of: “Wow, you were really good, I should have put you on a better slot…” But I can’t blame them too much as they must get bombarded with a lot of music. I then headed on to St. Louis where I’d had a booking cancelled so I just chilled in the only hotel I’d booked on the tour, and somehow still managed to wear myself out… After that it was on to Chicago and a gig I had lined up at the Wire. I’ve got to give full credit here to the promoter and staff at this place. They put me on with some fantastic local acts and the place was heaving. I made over $100 in tips and then the locals proceed to insist on getting me very very drunk.
This as you can gather this was becoming a bit of a theme of the trip and when I made it to Detroit travel fatigue was setting in. I didn’t really go out in Detroit. Manly because I was to afraid too, the outskirts of the city was totally deserted, and full of abandoned buildings. Although the promoter at the venue were I played was a great guy, the turnout at the shows was disappointing. In Toronto I had another gig cancelled, so I just got drunk for 4 days, before heading on to Montreal. The two gigs I played there were very forgettable, and I had to dig pretty deep to stop myself becoming demoralised at this point. And so I stumbled on towards New York and more woeful venues, but the vlog I was filming and the great people that I met along the way helped me stay motivated and I powered through.
My final destination of the tour was Washington D.C. and the first gig in the city was probably the worst of the lot. At one point (when the owner had left and so had the two customers) I was just playing to the barmaid. Who although was enjoying the set did not count as an audience so I cut the set short and skipped any payment I was supposedly due. Things did pick up at the last gig of the tour thankfully, and at Gypsy Sally’s I was treated to a enthusiastic, if not slightly rowdy, crowd who loved my set and made sure the tour ended on a high.
You can follow all the highs and lows on part 1 of my vlog which is on my youtube channel now. If you enjoy it make sure to look out for part 2 next week. I plan to regularly vlog my exploits as a musician, and I will be trying to follow a weekly schedule.
The day after I flew back to the U.K. I had foolishly booked a gig at The Half Moon in Putney. I was to be reunited with my bandmates, who’s fantastic support would have be wonderful on tour, but never the less I was slightly worried given my experience in the US and the fact it was on a Monday night. But I needn’t have been. It was an amazing gig. There was a full house and the crowd were amazing. We really gelled as a band, like I’d never been away, and it was a great experience to be back on home soil, and put any demons from the tour well and truly behind me.