Touring can, at times, be incredibly tedious. Seemingly endless hours of driving, followed by hours of hanging around at venues. It’s the thing that all bands moan about but is unavoidable unless you’ve reached the upper echelons of rock royalty. We’re nowhere near there yet. I’d say we’re probably court jesters!
Other than the shows themselves which account for about 5% of the time, tours are punctuated by unexpected moments which stick in your mind and form the memories you have of the tour. You forget the travelling and the hanging around and remember instead these sometimes bizzare events or golden nuggets of fun. For me, these have previously included playing midnight frisbee whilst drinking peach moonshine in Wilmington, North Carolina after an evening of shuffleboard, or watching two million bats fly out from under Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas or watching in helpless horror as our van slowly rolled off the jack as we attempted to change a wheel in the middle of the night by the side of a Texas freeway. These are the things we’ll tell our children about – (not that I’ll be encouraging mine to drink moonshine!)
Yesterday we had a moment that I’ll forever look back on fondly. We were in Destin, Florida. After soundcheck, we jumped in the van and headed for the beach with our beloved frisbee to catch the last of the days sun. The beach was made of the whitest sand I’ve ever seen. It was so fine, it squeaked underfoot. The sun was setting and the sea was so inviting that Phil Campbell could resist no longer. Stripped to his underpants, he led the charge with a bellowing shout like William Wallace on his summer holidays. Big Willy Taylor (our heavily tattooed tour manager) and Paul Sayer were next (wearing actual swimming shorts) followed by myself (not wearing actual swimming shorts). The sea was bath warm and we crashed through the waves like over excited children on too much fizzy pop. It was half an hour of total release and a shot of morale boosting fun when we needed it most. It didn’t matter that we’d been told of bull sharks earlier in the day by the dude at the beachside taco hut or that dusk is generally when sharks hunt. We were having way too much fun to worry about losing a leg to those toothy killjoys. Matt and Damon sensibly watched the rest of us idiots frolick about at shark dinner time from the safety of the beach. I did notice , however, that as we exited the sea, no-one else was swimming!
So we’re now on our way to Athens, Georgia to rejoin with our friends, The Revivalists. Only two more shows to go and we’ll be heading back home for some much needed time with our families after seven weeks away. They are the true heroes of this whole operation and should be recognised as such for their patience and support. Girls – If it was me who decided the honours list, you’d all receive knighthoods for being spectacularly amazing!
Athens and Nashville, here we come!