Onwards and Upwards

 November 20, 2013

So it’s been a few months since the launch of the website and it’s really great to have received so many positive comments! Since the launch I’ve been busy networking and trying to get the name of Purple Tour Management out there, along with buying a few Tour Management and music industry books which I’m slowly getting through. I think it’s important to learn new skills and techniques to help develop your knowledge and assist the physical touring experiences…knowledge is power! In September I headed back out with the fantastic Audrey Horne for my second tour this year with them. It was a truly great two weeks touring around Europe and being back with this band. The one thing that always strikes me with Audrey Horne is the shear energy and power they put into their set every night. They perform like it’s the last set they will ever play and are definitely one of my favourite bands live. If you want to be entertained and listen to great live music then you must see these guys live! The co-headliner, Karma to Burn and support from GOLD were also great!

Throughout this tour I learnt many new things which will definitely help me to improve on future tours. Even the smallest of things can make a substantial difference not only to myself but the band and crew, and the more you work with a band the more you understand how this particular group of people work. After a while you can anticipate what the bands actions are going to be and have an answer to their question even before they realise they have the question 😉 As with every tour this one was no different and I was faced with new challenges and situations, for example having to hold my first ‘tour meeting’ with all of the bands and crew. Each morning I always speak with the driver to discuss any problems/queries, and talk over the plan for the day ahead with times, etc… On one of the mornings though the driver reeled off a few too many issues from instances that had happened the night before whilst I was asleep. As a consequence for not taking any shit and letting the guilty parties get away with their actions, I woke everyone up in the bus from all of the bands and held a meeting to address the raised points. Needless to say the meeting worked as I went back to the nightliner after the show that night and everyone was completely quiet watching a very rock ’n’ roll dvd…Mean Girls!

Other new challenges included the dreaded boarder crossing into Switzerland. Previous to this show I’d never had a problem with declaring the merch but on this occasion the Boarder Control staff were not going to play ball. After several hours of trying to talk to the right person everything was finally sorted. I know that a few people reading this will be thinking why didn’t you just leave the merch at a hotel on the boarder and collect on your way out, or just not declare it. Well, for me, I like to do things properly and I don’t give up very easily, so if that means battling with the process for several hours then so be it. I would much rather do the process correctly and not risk a hefty fine and also maximise merch sales to its fullest. Thankfully upon leaving Switzerland it was nice and easy and the merch sales went brilliantly so it was completely worth the hassel!

Overall the tour was a success. The bands were great, the crowds were energetic, the Promoters and Booking Agent were happy, the Management were pleased, and therefore so was I. I’m looking forward to touring with Audrey Horne again in the near future and I can definitely recommend them live! Go and grab a ticket when you can!

After this tour though I received news that the tour I had scheduled for December had been moved to March. This left me looking for another tour to try and jump on at the last minute, but thankfully I am joining the fantastic Therion for fifteen shows around Europe in the run up towards Christmas. I’m really looking forward to this tour as Therion have been one of my favourite bands for a long time, so to finally be able to tour with them is great! For this tour I will be one of two Merchandisers along with assisting the Tour Manager with relevant duties. I truly believe that sometimes it’s positive to temporarily take a small step back and learn from someone else. By assisting the Tour Manager for this tour I will gain experience from them and develop my knowledge even further. This tour will also be great as I will be touring in many new countries and venues that I’ve previously not been to. Before this tour kicks off at the beginning of December though I will be heading out with Dead by April for two shows in Minsk and Kiev. I’ve toured in Russia and Eastern Europe a few times now, so I will be interested to see how Belarus and the Ukraine compare in terms of the crowd, hospitality and organisational skills! After this I’ll be selling merch at two Swedish shows with The Unguided and also for What Tomorrow Brings at the second gig. The end of 2013 is shaping up to be pretty good!

Alongside organising the final few details for these shows I am also looking to find tours to set me up for the New Year. With touring you need to look a few months ahead, and always try to have something in place for when your upcoming or current tour ends. Being freelance is great in many ways, but the only person who will get you the work is yourself. If you don’t work hard for it you won’t get it. Of course it’s easier said than done in most cases, but determination and persistence goes a long way.

// Cat