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Sam 45

Touring?

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Looking into the prospect of touring and was wondering if anyone has any advice? Would just be booked the good old fashioned DIY way.

Any help is much appreciated.

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I have no first hand experience in touring, but I would advise a well planned route, a well planned financial sheet that states where, when and how money will be spent and a reliable mode of transport.

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Number One Rule:

What happens on the road, stays on the road...

As for the rest, erm..

Make an effort not to get in each others faces too much.

Never discuss band politics when you're pissed.

Do something other than sit in a bar or the van waiting to play a gig. Get out and about, take a football or whatever. Saves you getting too pissed in the afternoon through boredom.

Remember that no matter how big you reckon you are in your hometown, when you walk into a venue somewhere else, to them you're nobody. Acting big is a sure way to get shot down. And be as professional as you can with setting up, soundchecking etc. The crowd's expectations will be higher for a touring band, so you have more to prove.

Remember to eat. It's easy to spend three weeks pissed and having nothing but the odd kebab and Ginsters, but you'll soon have no energy for the shows at night. All you can eat pizza places are your friend. Collect offer vouchers before you go.

Buy booze collectively to get case discounts.

Start smoking rollies instead..

Driver gets the best bed/chair/floor.

Get AA cover before you go.

If you get stopped by the feds, swallow your pride and be nice. Never try to be funny.

Have deodorant and chewing gum available at all times.

You can't have too much Gaffa tape.

Insert a tracking device into your drummer.

this was a post from one of the similar threads in the similar threads section. pretty good.

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I have no first hand experience in touring, but I would advise a well planned route, a well planned financial sheet that states where, when and how money will be spent and a reliable mode of transport.

I think you'll find that any money you make from DIY touring will go to petrol, petrol, petrol, so its not really worth planning, as long as you have a money box/keep a record of the money box/aren't an idiot.

Don't rely on AA routefinder, if you can a list of adresses (venues and where you'll be sleeping) and sat nav if you can get hold of one will save A LOT of hassle. A LOT.

Look after your equipment - if you are using decent heads and whatnot, its not really advisable to let other bands use them, unless you don't care and like the idea of trying to find replacement parts, etc.

spare guitars, spare guitar head if you can. spare strings etc obviously.

contact telephone numbers for venues/bands youre playing with - make a couple of copies and make sure your mobile is always charged.

to save money try and avoid always eating in service stations - they will rip you off to the max and make you increasingly hate humanity.

merchandise is a good way to add to your petrol money and obviously getting people to remember you, even if its just a tour cd-r or whatnot.

a good book might save your sanity.

driver gets best bed/floor/etc, as said above.

make sure you have enough sleeping bags etc to keep warm - theres always going to be a threat that you'll end up with nowhere to stay, your transport will break down, b+bs/travelodges are full, etc. not actually done this, but maybe try filling a few hot water bottles before you leave a venue?

make sure you have replacement keys for your car/van etc, so that you aren't stuck in berwick upon tweed for 3 or so hours, on top of leaving stonehaven late and being delayed at rikki's due to insurance, in the horrible cold, with only a mcdonalds to entertain you. a fucking mcdonalds. doing this also means you don't have to pay shitloads to a locksmith, and you get to arrive at a venue for soundcheck, watch other bands, eat tea and not have to go from the van to the stage! hooray!

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I think you'll find that any money you make from DIY touring will go to petrol, petrol, petrol, so its not really worth planning, as long as you have a money box/keep a record of the money box/aren't an idiot.

Yeah that's a good point but I was saying that, on the basis of being safe, bring some money along as a backup and keep that well planned. Just for the shits and giggles.

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Come on there was a Morrisons aswell! And that guy did some magic work!

make sure you have replacement keys for your car/van etc, so that you aren't stuck in berwick upon tweed for 3 or so hours, on top of leaving stonehaven late and being delayed at rikki's due to insurance, in the horrible cold, with only a mcdonalds to entertain you. a fucking mcdonalds. doing this also means you don't have to pay shitloads to a locksmith, and you get to arrive at a venue for soundcheck, watch other bands, eat tea and not have to go from the van to the stage! hooray!

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Come on there was a Morrisons aswell! And that guy did some magic work!

That Morrisons was a sign that we were entering daily mail country

"Hi, do you have today's Guardian?"

"..."

"Umm, today's Guardian?"

"We don't stock it."

"Oh."

"All the papers we have are over there"

"Ok"

I went over to find The Daily Mail, The Daily Record and The Daily Fuckwit. Agreed about that locksmith's magic work (or magic van really!), but it was a little less enjoyable when you realised you were paying a whole bunch of money for the pleasure. A whole bunch.

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how long in advance should you plan a tour though? like if you were looking to plan say....summer 2008 would you need to plan a month, a few months or even a year in advance?

A few months at least, if you were trying to get decent shows and not just anything thats going. If you were going to be touring say in May, It'd be good to start at around January at the latest. Touring during Summer is a little risky, however, as you've got

a)all the festivals

b)people on holiday

c)hot weather so less people will be sprawling to grotty music venues

d)things like the world cup

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Also all the students have returned to the suberbs, leaving college towns totally dead, touring in summer is nice in one way, but not really the best way to get your band noticed.

You also need to build up healthy contacts before you start booking.....no-one is gonna take a totally unknown band and just put them on for the fun of it.

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Also all the students have returned to the suberbs, leaving college towns totally dead, touring in summer is nice in one way, but not really the best way to get your band noticed.

You also need to build up healthy contacts before you start booking.....no-one is gonna take a totally unknown band and just put them on for the fun of it.

It may sound really pathetic for such a smalltown band as us, but I was really hoping to get some out of town gig i.e dundee, perth, inverness etc but getting any contacts that are willing to even give a small support slot is proving difficult. Obviously you'll have some contacts what with you guys touring so would you be able to maybe pm me with some places to look up?

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Plan a route of what you would like to tour, go on myspace, find bands/promoters from those towns, make friends with them and take it from there. Also ask for local message boards etc...anything that might be able to help you.

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It's important that just ONE person takes on the responcibility of getting everything at least venue wise sorted out. I've seen a couple of bands suffering from lack of communication and winding up with pretty cruddy tours.

Also, for a first tour there's no point in even dreaming about making wads off of merch. Sell lots of t-shirts and cds for a tiny profit instead of one or two for probably the same profit overall. At least you're getting your name out there too.

ps.all the tips would make a corkin' wee article.

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It may sound really pathetic for such a smalltown band as us, but I was really hoping to get some out of town gig i.e dundee, perth, inverness etc but getting any contacts that are willing to even give a small support slot is proving difficult. Obviously you'll have some contacts what with you guys touring so would you be able to maybe pm me with some places to look up?

gig swap with bands from othet towns and put on your own gig at a venue is always the easiest way to do it. once you make mates with these bands you will find it more and more easier to get shows outta town

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gig swap with bands from othet towns and put on your own gig at a venue is always the easiest way to do it. once you make mates with these bands you will find it more and more easier to get shows outta town

I've actually got a gig swap in the pipelines with a band named apogee from stoke on trent! I've heard only good things about the band and got speaking to them through the unsigned magazine that runs in there area. Ill look to follow that up.

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p.s.

take a cheap easy to put up tent with you, just in case you get let down. far comfier than sleeping crumpled in a van with 5 others

if you are on the cheap take rice and cous cous with you, a tub and a pan and ask the people you are staying at if you can make a pot of food to keep yous going if you dont get any at the gig.

a torch is always handy

cigarette lighter chargers for phones and stuff.

dont leave your small stuff in venues, try and take it with you or lock it away somewhere. stuff gets nicked very easily

if you are unsure about the area/parking restrictions of where you are staying, get someone to sleep in the van.

take a pair of sunglasses with you

before you have left make sure there is a jack and you are able to get the spare tyre off of the van.

tying smelly shoes to the back of the van is a great way of making them smell less

take washing line with you so you can hang your towels.

if in leeds and huddersfield area, go and visit the matamp factory to kill a bit of time. great drive, great scenery and the best amplification in the world.

always try and get into recotrd shops in town and see if ye can get cds in.

bit iof flyering in the town never goes amiss. esp if there is a university in town and its term time

always make a point of thanking and appreciating everyone involved with the show, feeding/putting you up. be sociable with them, try and get some banter out of them and the other bands etc. introduce yourself to the other bands. you find that if you are nice to the local bands they stick around and so do their mates. plus, they might take you out on the sauce and then rave about you to everyone who didnt go to the show and the next time you come back you have loads of people eager to see you.

--------------------------------

it would be a perfect world if this happened. but its usually wake up in skanky flat, play ps2, pay for breakfast in a nice cafe/morrisons, find venue in next city and hang about outsid eit drinkign cider and playing footy

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take washing line with you so you can hang your towels.

Good point. A hairdryer is also good for drying towels, or at least getting the wetness reduced to dampness!

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Ok, touring on a tight budget.

Transport is very important so stretch to a hire van if you can, if it doesnt have roadside breakdown cover invest in that, AA, RAC or Green Flag you'll be pleased you did (they can get you into a van youve locked the keys into)

If its this time of year then sleeping bags are essential for rear passengers (illegal by the way) and take a hat and gloves. Take a couple of unbreakable flasks, if the venue has tea and coffee facilities you can take some tea and coffee away with you.

Make a list of every possible thing you will need that makes you indipendant of the venue and other bands, leads, extensions, four ways, DI patch leads etc etc etc etc etc etc, and dont forget them at the end of each gig, mark 4ways with the bands name so there is no argument at pack up time, its an idea to mark leads with tape or a coloured cable tie as well.

Prepare in advance of a tour by taking vitamins and take while on the road also, there is nothing worse than a van load of poor sick musicians.

Remember that its false economy to live on supermarket sausage rolls, a decent meal every day or two makes good sense.

A box of baby wipes in your bag is a good idea, if you cant get a proper wash they are better than nothing and your band mates will love you for it, if a band member has very smelly feet, a wipe down every day with surgical spirit can keep the smell at bay, baby powder and fresh socks daily is a must.

If you have an hour or two to spare seek out the local swimming baths, its fun and keeps you clean.

Find the promoter and make yourselves known to him, if you have an arrangement with him regarding fuel money/food/fee get that confirmed as soon as possible, find out running order and stage times and be at the venue well before your due on.

Remember and be super nice to all concerned at the gig, sound guy, promoter, bar staff, toilet cleaner etc etc, they will remember you for being nice....not your music!!

Have fun, make friends, dont get sick, dont fall out...

G...

Sorry forgot....do an itinery and print off a copy for each band member, the driver, and one for the van, list the gig with full address and phone number, the promoter and his mobile number and note any fee and rider details, note also any special loading and parking instructions.

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Most of the above posts plus:

One navigator at a time.

Always have one person awake in the front to keep an eye on the driver and stop them drifting off.

Have more than one driver if possible. Failing that, try and get a driver who has nothing more strenuous to do during the gig than man the merch stall.

Travel at night if it's viable.

Listen to traffic reports on the radio so you're aware of any trouble ahead.

Always check your oil,water tyres before you set off, and keep an eye on them.

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