We loved hosting Above The North‘s tour diaries last month, where they shared with us their tour tales. Truth is the last episode wasn’t exactly the last time they told us stuff about that tour. Here’s the band’s outcome on their first proper european run; 10 Lessons Leaned on Tour (which is actually 9 lessons + one special bonus). Enjoy!
1. Stating the obvious, but sleep as much as you can before leaving. No matter how hard you try, you won’t get a proper full rest on the road. Set yourself a bed time (and wake up call) deadline and stick to it no matter how much fun you’re having or you’ll regret it the next day.
2. Do not buy that cheap vehicle-powered kettle unless you want to set fire to the van.
3. Set up your merch table as soon as possible if you don’t want to end up with a tiny space in between two coat racks.
4. Bring an hair dryer with you and use it to dry your stage clothes after you’re done playing (or use it to dry your hair if you’re that kind of person)
5. However, one stage shirt is definitely not enough. I publicly apologize to every person I met backstage after the first half of the tour.
6. Burger King is cool, really. But by the time we got home, I think all of us would have eaten our shoes rather than another Whooper.
7. Make sure your van can faster that 70km/h when you’re going uphill
8. You never fully know how many drummers are going to use your kit. Bring spare skins accordingly.
9. Taking some medicine with you can turn out to be useful. Nothing beats arnica when it comes to back and neck aches.
10. I’ll let Gaëlle, our tour photographer, finish this list with some insights about her job on the road:
– WiFi cannot be found everywhere… Which might be frustrating when Dropbox is your way to share your photos to the band. Keep calm and patiently wait for the end of mobile roaming charges.
– Definitely get in the van with a fully charged laptop. Okay, some rides will probably be spent snoring -because of very late previous show-, but you WILL regret staring into a never-ending highway when you could be catching up on your editing.
– Expect that you will need to be really flexible. On a small european tour, the band you’re working with might play in bars, squats, as well as 350-cap venues or basements. 30% of your job is to be able to adjust to the very different shootings conditions.
– Once again : the internet and power outlets are your best friends on tour, cherish them.
Photos : Gaëlle Pitrel