Tour Diary – Destin, Florida

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!

– Nick

2016-10-21T10:29:05+00:00October 19th, 2016|

Tour Diary – New Orleans, Louisiana

Thank you, everyone, for all your lovely birthday messages. I had a great day and what a place to have a birthday – New Orleans, Louisiana!

 
As soon as we pulled up outside the House of Blues, we were warmly greeted by a couple of older ladies enjoying an afternoon tipple outside the bar next door. One of the ladies was confined to an electric wheelchair and was intrigued by our Mercedes sprinter, asking questions as she peered inside, wondering out loud where the ramp would go if she were to get one. Her friend, who I assumed was the bar owner, noticed the birthday balloons tied to my seat and offered me a birthday shot. That’s southern hospitality right there! 


Myself and Paul, popped in for a cheeky half and to claim my birthday shot after load-in. The girl behind the bar, on learning it was my birthday, came over and pinned a dollar to my t-shirt. I was told it’s a New Orleans tradition as people can usually spare a dollar and anyone who sees that you have money hanging off you will know it’s your special day. So for the rest of my evening in New Orleans, I enjoyed smiles and birthday greetings from strangers as we wandered the bars and streets and my one dollar increased to about $27 by the end of the night! (To the guy who pinned a twenty on me mid-show – thank you but that was unnecessary, I tried to find you after the show to give it back or buy you a drink with it!) Since the uk has ditched the pound note, this practice would be very unlikely to take off over there but I can tell you it makes you feel great! Thank you warm-hearted people of New Orleans for a memorable day. I also apologise to anyone at the show for the occasional bum note on the bass. It wasn’t me, it was the tequila! Very unprofessional but hey, it’s my birthday!


Today’s show is in Dallas. Not exactly a stones throw from New Orleans. I just came out of a gas station on the way to be approached by a very timid and worried looking Phil Campbell. ” Nick, I feel terrible” he said. My heart sank and I braced myself for the terrible news thinking something awful had happened but instead… “I opened the van and your birthday balloons escaped and have floated away”. 


In that moment, I’ve never loved that crazy lunatic who tears up the stage like a banshee so much. If this band ever became huge, I don’t think we need to worry about Phil’s ego getting out of control! He has a heart of solid gold.


So, like birthdays, balloons come and go and I’m happy to think that a memento from my day in New Orleans is now floating free, high above the state of Texas.
See you in Dallas. 

– Nick

2016-10-17T09:55:36+00:00October 17th, 2016|

It’s Nick Fyffe’s birthday.

It is Nick Fyffe’s birthday. Nick’s been hanging around with the Temperance Movement for years now.

He got us our first proper grown up gig at the Albert Hall in London and got his mate Jamie Oliver to Tweet about the band’s first album release.

His dedicated gathering and saving of contact details ensures fluid passage through airports, hook ups at high end shoe stores and video productions by New York artist friends.

He has documented the whole story all the way along by Lyca camera iPhone and GoPro so now no matter where you tread on the stage there’s a camera to capture it…

He also plays bass. Very well. I mean I know. It’s quite a skill to not play a bum note when the singer keeps hitting your headstock with his tambourine. You want to hear The Sludge. It’s my favourite thing he plays just now.

Watched him recently from my seat in the back driving us through rain and failing light and I thought, man, he’s brilliant. What an excellent guy to be in a band with.

We all celebrate with the man today… Ladies and gentlemen… Everybody’s favourite break-dancing Pirate…

….NICK FYFFE !!!

Happy birthday pal.

With love,

The Temperance Movement and everyone else who loves the bones of ye… X

2016-10-14T15:34:10+00:00October 14th, 2016|

Tour Diary – Atlanta/Charlotte

So we’re back in the South and its a beautiful day as we head from Atlanta to Charlotte. All the time we were here with Blackberry Smoke, we didn’t actually play Atlanta. I personally know some people from Atlanta and I have been to the city before. It was 2010, the year before I met the band and I played a few songs in a bar in Decatur one night and I tried my luck at Eddie’s Attic the next. It was very sweet.

Hearing that drawl again as I spoke to some folks last night took me back to last spring and my heart was glad for it. This part of the country has a unique lush beauty so we’re getting to see some amazing sights on our drive here today and I think after 6 weeks we’re feeling very thankful to have all we have today.

I know I am. Eddie’s Attic ran a big open mic competition. I just happened to be in town on the right night. I sang some songs from Daddy’s Table plus something on piano that was new at the time. I got through to the finals but came second to a very much better three piece. I kept it down but I was devastated I didn’t win. At that time I was devastated in a much larger sense that I really wasn’t winning as a solo artist at all. After 15 years and 3 record deals in London, I had moved back to Glasgow and shortly after that American trip I was ready to pack it in.

In the six years that have passed my life has changed in ways I could never have believed in 2010. Now when I take the stage I’ve got The Temperance Movement behind me and I never feel like I did at Eddie’s Attic. Never. I take much pride in the solo records I made. I got on TV. I toured with some great people. I worked with many brilliant musicians and producers. I’d love to play those songs again and I probably will too. And when I do it’ll be great and great for one reason: The Temperance Movement. As much as I thought I knew before it, most of what I know now about music, I’ve learned from The Temp in the five years we’ve been touring.

American touring has been a big part of that. I’ve declared my love for the State-side road here many times. If a UK band gets a chance to do it, it’ll change that band forever. And I’m not even talking about success. I’m taking about experience. The reality of touring. Together all the time. Long journey times. 50 shows. 100 shows. Keeping the energy up. Hitting the stage big every night. Missing home. Hearing strain on the end of the phone. Feeling helpless to do much about it but listen. Gambling life in today’s casino style music business…

You may have had to listen to this kind of thing from me recently after a show. Perhaps I’ve been spilling over the brim a little. Dashing a fresh fan’s excitement that we’re even in their town with brooding conversation about cost of plane tickets and such. Sorry if that was you. I feel quite at home here. North, South, East, West. I feel like I can just blab to people like I do at home. Its a good thing really.

Last night was also awesome it has to be said. I am proud that we got to play that legendary room before it gets closed. The folks who came to Masquerade really welcomed us and danced and dug what we did. A few boys from Blackberry Smoke came down. Richard Turner burst into our dressing room 5 mins before we went on, said hey and split. Rock star. Brandon, Eric, Thumper… great to see you guys. Thank you also to The 68-75’s for opening the show. Everybody rocked the shit out of it last night. No doubt.

Tonight we’re at The Underground in Charlotte, on stage at 9pm.
See you if you’re there.

Peace out,

Phil x

2016-10-13T09:54:37+00:00October 13th, 2016|

Tour Diary – Louisville/Nashville

We’ve hit the south. Everywhere seems a little warmer and more laid back, and the southern hospitality has definitely shown itself to be true. Folk are intent on welcoming us and chatting about anything and nothing just to pass the time of day. We call it shooting the shit back at home, I’m sure it’s an Americanism that we have adopted but it nails the vibe round these parts perfectly.

Our Louisville gig was full of friendly folk, many whom have been to see us on previous support tours. Our support band, The Hot Wires, are a cool bunch and quite possibly the loudest support we’ve had so far. Shades of early QOTSA, cool stuff. We showed up and ripped out a blinder, throwing in a new tune that we’ve been road testing (The Sludge) and having a grand old time on a wicked sounding stage.

The following day was a day off which our intrepid tour manager, Will, had arranged to happen in Nashville. A stroke of genius. We rolled into town at midday and immediately set out to sift through the local vintage guitar shops. Carter vintage guitars proved particularly fruitful and I had to tear myself away before my actions necessitated a second mortgage on my London flat. I bought a key ring instead.

Paul had been emailing Nashville guitarist Audley Freed and he tipped us off on a local gig so after a quick stop at Roberts Western World (AMAZING), we found ourselves hanging with Audley at the 12th South taproom absorbing the aural delights of Kenny Vaughan. Kenny is a local guitar legend who plays like a cross between Roy Buchanan, Dick Dale and Scotty Moore, and looks like a long lost member of The Ramones. He tore it up leaving Paul and myself with our jaws on the floor and crying into our pale ale. We found out Kenny was 62 and consoled ourselves with the fact that we’ve still got 30 years to practice. If we ever get out of this bloody van…

On to Atlanta….

2016-10-12T10:11:28+00:00October 12th, 2016|

Tour Diary – Friday 07/10/16: Illinois

Great show last night at Castle Theatre in Bloomington, IL. Thank you to everyone who came out to see the band. Old theatre style venues are my favourite. Big thanks to Bruce and Eric and the crew there for helping out. We’re over half way through this tour now and we’ve got a little swagger in our step.

Stage show was pretty wild. I didn’t eat much yesterday. Just totally forgot to so 20 mins before stage time, I panicked and thought oh shit I’m a bit hungry, I wont make it to the end to the end of the gig. Completely ridiculous, but this is my head.

It’s amazing how much you can get out of your body when you’re hungry. Especially if you’ve been clever and ordered some food for after the show. Knowing there’s a burger and fries waiting in the dressing room makes it much easier to sing Get yourself Free. In my case last night I had some corn chowder with a little tortellini bobbin’ around in it. Bit twatty? Sure. But the only other option was Mexican and you should never eat Mexican after midnight. Everyone knows that…

Which reminds me, thank you Cheryl Swift for bringing the band two boxes of blueberry muffins, cookies and treats. I just sank two of them five minutes ago, so no more starving artists. I love our fans. I met some of my favourite Illinois people last night and shared some memories, like the time we pulled into Springfield and someone opens the van door to a bedazzled and quite cold rock n roll band, saying… ‘Hey fellas… d’ya want some barbecue?’

Peace and love

Phil x

2017-07-13T22:14:00+00:00October 9th, 2016|

Tour Diary – October 6

Having hours to kill on the road always turns my mind to tattoos. Namely getting more of them out onto my body. It’s a tricky balance choosing new ink. What artwork & where? What does that artwork mean? Can I afford it? What will my wife & kids think?

But possibly the biggest decision is who am I going to get actually do it? Choosing an artist is crucial. I’ve learnt that it’s a very personal experience having someone tattoo you. It should be a moment that you look back on with fondness. A couple of my tattoos weren’t like that & I regret that. There was no connection between the artist & me. But isn’t that kind of the point of getting ink? To one day regret them?

One of my favourite tattoo experiences happened with an amazing Maori artist called Kai. He doesn’t work out of a studio so we met in his squat in Kings Cross London. For those of you who don’t know the word a ‘squat’ is a house or flat which is illegally occupied. I guess you might call it a doss house here in the States.

I don’t mind admitting I wasn’t scared. I was terrified. There were mattresses on the floor & broken windows & people screaming at each other up the hall. It really was like something from a movie. And not a romantic comedy.

Kai’s got all his stuff neatly laid out on a sheet on a table & is acting very much like someone who’s ready to inject ink onto my body. I start mumbling all the excuses I can think of for why I need to leave.

‘I have to get to a gig.’
‘I left the oven on at home.’
‘I forgot to feed the cat…..’
Kai just bows his head & starts to pray.
I wanted to know what he was doing so I asked him
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m praying to my ancestors to be with your ancestors. I want them to explain what we’re doing here. I want to let them know that you’ll be fine & no harm will come to you in this place.’

It was possibly the most calming thing anyone has ever said to me.
He genuinely meant it & it worked.
Instantly I knew that everything was going to be OK. Two hours later he was burying the bloodied tissues in the garden out back & saying some more prayers. And even though my arm throbbed I was completely elated.

That Kai is one very cool fucker.

I don’t really think of myself as a tattoo person. Whatever that is. Phil has a couple & maybe one day we’ll go get one together. Folks with ink come in all shapes & sizes. I like that about tattoos. A pal of mine likes to wind me up by calling them Tough Stickers. Maybe he’s right. Funny the stuff you end up thinking about in the back of the van.

– Damon

2016-10-07T16:26:58+00:00October 7th, 2016|

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