Already Heard is pleased to welcome back singer-songwriter and Engineer Records employee Mikee J Reds for his latest installment of his monthly column – ‘Mikee Vs The World.’
With experience from being involved in several bands, touring throughout the UK and involved in an independent label, Reds has worthwhile valuable knowledge which we feel makes him ideal for this feature.
In this month’s column, Mikee talks about the essential items to remember when heading out on tour.
If you’re in a band, run a label or is involved in the music industry and would like to write a column for Already Heard, contact Sean Reid at [email protected].
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions in this feature are solely of Mikee J Reds and not of Already Heard.
One For The Road (Tour Essentials)
Over the last few years or so I have been very lucky enough to get out on the road and tour be it the UK or a bit of Europe, but either way I have been away from the comforts that is home. With that in mind I thought I would write a little list of what I would recommend to bring on the road with you. Too many times have I left without something vitally important, or I am on tour with people who done that same thing and ended up using my stuff, meaning I lose my extra pillow. I do love a second pillow. The list below will obviously depend on the room you have left in your transport.
Pillows – For sleeping on obviously, me personally I need two but thats up to you.
Sleeping bag – The amount of times I have been on tour with people and they don’t bring the most obvious thing.
Tent – If you are lucky enough to have one and have room. This means if you are those unlucky souls where your room/floor somehow becomes a no show, you have a back up plan. Aim for summer with this as well winter is damn cold, wet and windy!
Toothbrush – Pretty obvious why
Clothes – You will stink and you will need to change.
Dry Shampoo – It is highly likely you won’t see a shower for a while so this will keep from looking a total grease ball
Baby Wipes – For when you don’t get the chance to have a shower.
Towel/Flannel – For those lucky days you get where you do actually get a shower
Extra Guitar Strings/Extra drums sticks
Drums skins – The last thing you want is to be on tour and have a skin break on you especially a snare drum
SatNav – Two if possible. Too many times I have lost signal causing delays or the battery has died and even once LOST a SatNav, don’t leave a SatNav on top of your car when you park. It doesn’t work out too well.
Merchandise – This is the blood of the band! Whether it’s just demo CD’s or the whole shebang t-shirts, posters, etc. Whatever it is, bring it then sell it!
Lamp/Light – This is for the merch stall a lot of venues will be very dark so a merch stall will be lost in the back with no light.
VENUE – Location, Postcode and street number. The amount of times the postcode will take you to the wrong place.
DOUBLE CHECK – Contact the promoter/venue to make sure the show is happening. Too many times bands turn up to shows where promoters have booked them, but the venue is not aware or the show or it has been cancelled and not announce it.
PROMOTER – Get a phone number if possible. Otherwise a direct email.
SET UP – Know what time the promoter wants you there, what time you can get in to the venue. Don’t be late if you can help it.
KIT SHARE – It is very important to know who is bringing what, turning up to a show assuming what you can and can not use will not do you or band any favours in the reputation department.
SOUND CHECK – Find out the time, get their earlier than that time and be ready to be put on stage. If people see you are willing raring to go, they will only ever have nice things to say about you.
MERCH STALL – Get in early and set up a table, presentation is key but also so are prices, make sure everyone can see how much things cost, a lot of people do not like to ask.