This past month, Southampton’s The Lounge Kittens joined Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick as support for his ‘Heartache and Hilarity Tour’. Known for their tongue-in-cheek a cappella take on classic rock and metal songs, the trio joined Reddick and his crew for nine days, starting all the way up in Glasgow and ending in London.
While they might look glamorous on stage, as Zan Lawther (the Pink one) tells us, The Lounge Kittens fully embrace the ups and downs of a band on tour; crap food, the desperate need for a shower, travel issues and more.
Read on as Zan provides a day-by-day breakdown of The Lounge Kittens’ life on the ‘Heartache and Hilarity Tour’.
Day One: Glasgow
We start the day in London and, as we’re travelling with Jaret in the tour bus for these dates, our only real challenge is to get us, and all our gear, from London to Glasgow. We opt for taking the train, which turns out to be more stressful and exhilarating than we had planned as we miss several connections and drag our cases, the keyboard and merch across town. Seven hours later, we make it successfully to Scotland and are greeted with a warm welcome from Jaret and his team. There are many names to learn.
The show was great and we meet some of our favourite Scottish fans. Jaret goes down a storm and there’s cold Nandos for tea. We go to bed at 4am, somewhere near the border and wake up in Leeds.
Day Two: Leeds
The show is LOUD. Leeds knows how to P-A-R-T-Y and they let us know it. When we launch into the Pokemon theme tune, we genuinely think the front row might wet themselves. And thankfully, we’ve been warned about the chanting of “York-shire, York-shire,” if Leeds approve of something, as it does sound remarkably like ‘You’re shit, you’re shit’ from the stage! It’s a bumpy bus ride overnight and we wake up literally raised off the mattresses at times.
Day Three: Brighton
We wake up to glorious sunshine on the seafront of Brighton. We investigate the share bikes immediately outside the bus and take a leisurely cycle along the promenade. Today is extra exciting because the Concorde 2 has not one, but TWO SHOWERS and we need them. We also remember to Febreeze our costumes. It’s a good thing for everyone.
The show is warm and friendly and we’re particularly pleased with the sound. Kebabs for dinner! The night ends with me and Jaret cleaning the bus out of wine, whilst everyone else goes to sleep, like sensible people.
Day Four: Bristol
Tonight we get to sing on a muthafuckin’ boat, YO! We wake up outside Thekla and spend the day visiting friends and using their showers. There is a great sound inside the boat and we are excited for the show, which is full of smiling faces and loud singing along. We watch Jaret’s set from a little nook on the side of the stage and some of the team head to the pub after the show.
We opt for an early night but it’s interrupted by me getting sick. Luckily, the tour family leaps into action and looks after her – that’s one of the lovely things about touring, everybody has been there, everybody understands.
Day Five: Nottingham
A tattooist has joined the tour, so today I got new ink, sprawled across a sofa backstage, in Jaret’s dressing room – rock n roll! We take a trip to Annie’s for unbelievable burgers, including a roast dinner themed stack for Jen and a vegan hotdog for Timia.
Rescue Rooms treats us well and we have a good catch up with a couple of the lads from Heck. Altogether, a proper rock n’ roll night!
Day Six: Wolverhampton
It’s Monday and we’re starting to feel the strain of so many shows in a row. But the crowd at Wolverhampton sweep all that away in an instant as we hear them singing along at the tops of their voices to ‘A Little Respect’ before any bands have even hit the stage. The show instantly becomes one of our favourites and we pledge to return to the Slade Rooms as soon we can.
Post-show, it’s Jen’s turn under the needle, with a tattoo commemorating her grandad, and we raise spirits by watching part of Jaret’s set from a strangely placed backstage toilet, with a perfect view of the stage!
Day Seven: Newcastle
The day starts with a surprise as the whole team is up by 11am, and Jaret treats us all to breakfast at the Wetherspoons on the riverside. We have a tough day in Newcastle in terms of getting our sound right and the team, therefore, declares it “Roadie Friday” and we make plans to go out after the show. We head to Rusty’s and dance around like idiots before stumbling back into the bus sweaty and exhausted.
Day Eight: Manchester
The day starts with hangover cures as we each take our separate paths to rid ourselves of the swirly exhaustion from last night’s fun. As the queue starts to build outside the venue, we shake ourselves into show mode and an easy sound check gets us pumped for a great night.
We always love Manchester but the crowd at Gorilla surpass even our high expectations and our set goes down a storm, with Jaret extending his show by an extra couple of songs because he was having such a great time. He even includes his new work in progress ‘Muthafucking Wetherspoons’, an ode to his favourite dining establishment in the UK that has “hit” written all over it. We provide backing vocals courtesy of a balcony overlooking the stage.
Day Nine: London
The sadness has begun to set in that the tour is almost over and it’s a quieter touring party that stumbles out of the bus outside Islington Assembly Hall in the harsh light of *cough* morning. After a delicious breakfast (not at Wetherspoons,) we raid the venue for the most coveted thing on tour… Showers.
Following our soundcheck, it’s decided we should join Jaret on stage for the final number and we disappear into our dressing room to hurriedly work out some more harmonies to ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want. Friends’ and family, press and members of the TLK team start to appear and it’s getting busy in the dressing room before we have to kick everyone out and get changed.
Our show is GOOD and we particularly love the strong work of the lighting tech (who also happens to be a girl…bringing the total to 8 ladies working on this show). Top marks. Jaret’s show is as emotional and hilarious as ever, and we love joining him on stage and giving the London crowd something special.
After the show, it’s all about a few drinks, some cold pizza and lots of heartfelt goodbyes. This has been one of the best tours we’ve ever done and we’ve made some friends for life. Make sure to look out for our new project with Jaret, Disappointing Sandwich… It’s going to be, average.