I'm about to head out on THE ROAD to support ALL THE RAGE (pre-order now). As ever, this is the longest tour I've been on. 7 weeks long. 40 dates (there are a few still to be confirmed) and several new towns, cities and communities. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
The easiest part is the evenings - the soundcheck, the venue, the people, the gig, the sweat, the tiredness - well earned, hopefully.
The hardest part is the DAYTIME.
There's the travel - that's fine, when you have 20 hours to drive 20 miles, that's hard to eek out but mainly, life is pretty good to be traveling and playing music. Easy.
There's the boredom of driving - alone in a Smart car, cramped up with gear, merch and clothes - there's no room for a traveling companion - so chit chat is hard. I try and pick up music from the bands I play with to listen to - but that can only last so long, so I also make up lots of mix CDs of various things (stand up comedy, audiobooks, classic albums that remind me why I do this).
There's the motorway services - over priced, soul-less, disinfected to high-hell but somehow feeling utterly diseased.
There's the health concern - everywhere, on the outskitrts, looks like everywhere else. There's a retail park full of the same things as all the other retail parks. There's the standard array of fast food places - all of which, I know, contain a short term hit of endorphins, but very little keep the human body healthy whilst sitting for hours.
On this front, I've developed the habit of getting a SCURVY BAG in the car. Fresh fruit, apples and oranges, bananas. I recommend it.
Last tour (I think) I tried to find all of the James Bond Audiobooks. That was quite tricky until I got to Huddersfield and there was an El Dorado of all of them somewhere down the Kingsgate.
As I've just got a new Co-Op Members card, I figured this tour would be to only eat out of Co-ops up and down the country (on the caveat that if I find smaller, independent places I'll shop there first for my SCURVY BAG and provisions) - but I'm starting to feel like the Co-op are making amends for previous bad news and actually heading back to where they used to be. I'll support this - it would be silly not to.
I'll make a declaration right now, that is not an advertisment for Co-op - they don't know anything about this, purely my challenge to myself to not buy and eat 7-weeks worth of easy option food when I know there's a place in most towns that, on the whole, isn't a great big SugarDome. Taking care of myself is what this is about.
As for fitness, I've been playing squash with Alex and Kai - I'm feeling good - I think the songs are ready (I tried some out at DIY Southampton the other day. Got some laughs. Laughs are good)
Other than that, it's going to be a case of playing some good shows, selling some merch and writing 9/40 for May next year.
The joy of ROAD!