Sat in a cafe in Manchester, we’re about to finish our second tour week with a show at The Roadhouse tonight and I’m starting to feel slightly exhausted. Tour managing is fun but it takes a lot out of you. Even more so when you’re doing it on top of other work, as is the case for me on this tour. As much as I’d have loved to I simply couldn’t stop everything I was doing. Still I knew what I was getting myself into and the good times we’ve had far outweigh the tiredness I’m feeling.
With five days off last week we managed to slow things down a little. The guys took time to chill and discover London and we swapped performances for a fair amount of promotion doing two NTS radio appearances (myself on the CDR show last Thursday and Kidsuke and Jealousguy live on YSK this past Monday) as well as a spot on The Funhouse TV and interviews for magazines.
After this ‘time off’ we started again with two shows in London. First at the Red Bull Studios were we spent the afternoon chilling, working and then kicked off the evening with a showcase featuring Daisuke solo and Jealousguy. Once more Masami stole the show, leaving everyone quite literally lost for words. After that we moved to Dalston for the Tempo Clash party, which ended in sweat dripping from the ceiling vibes after the guys put on the best performance I’ve seen them do so far. The next day we found ourselves in a 600 year-old church in Norwich, probably the nicest and most surreal venue of the tour so far. It was also a nice contrast to the previous night with a quieter crowd that still danced their hearts out once the jungle breaks and 808 kicks started booming across the religious space. No offence to believers out there, but worshipping at the altar of good live music is about the only worshipping I want to do in a church these days. There might be potential there for the Church to reinvent itself come to think of it. Last night was Bristol, we stopped at the Bank in Stokes Croft and caught up with friends before we once more got everyone’s dancing legs moving. A perfectly sized vibe despite the torrential rain outside and tons of smile and thanks. Talking of rain we nearly didn’t make it to Manchester today as the railways flooded.
Despite witnessing the live shows on every date I’ve yet to get bored of them and more importantly I’m really enjoying watching people’s reactions: how they move, how and when they shout and especially their faces as Jealousguy takes to the stage and brings her Sapporo funk through the system. As I was discussing with Om Unit recently, you know that your music is doing something right when women like it and dance, and so far on this tour there’s not been one show where the ladies haven’t taken to the dancefloor with pleasure – at least I know we’re doing something right. Wallflowers be damned as The Bug would say.
Perhaps the biggest lesson of the week has been that tour managing is a lot like parenting, something I jokingly remarked with both Chris from the Funhouse and Kidkanevil after our Tempo Clash show. Ultimately it is a job that requires managing people’s time, their schedules and priorities (to a degree) and artists tend to be child like (and I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I consider myself a kid too). Add in the fact that two of our artists are Japanese, and one has never travelled around Europe before, and you have a recipe for me feeling like a dad of sorts. The main thing is that we’re all friends and – as I noted after the first week – the guys have a real complicity and vibe together that makes it easy regardless of how tiring it is.
It’s been a great two weeks so far, some great memories, lessons and laughs for all involved. On top of that we’ve just released the Zoooriginals 7″ featuring Daisuke and Masami and sales have been great both online and at shows. Another enjoyable moment for me as been to witness both tracks being played live at every show and the crowd reactions to each.
Last three dates of the tour start tonight and then I can sleep for a few weeks. More photos from the road below!