On his imminently released ‘Set In Stone’ EP, Steve Millar aka Arms and Hearts delivers an earnest selection of acoustic folk-punk full of raw lyrical themes; lost and heartache.
Since starting the project in 2012, Millar has travelled up and down the country playing shows wherever possible. Throughout that time he’s learned the advantages and disadvantages of being a solo DIY artist. From sleeping on floors after house shows to GPRS navigation issues to public transport woes, Steve has been through it all. Nevertheless for this edition of “Fives”, he gave us five reasons why he likes touring. It shows despite all the troubles an artist like Steve has on the road, there is plenty of positives.
1. Friends In Distant Places
The biggest thing I love about my life on tour is that it’s a brilliant excuse to see all my friends. I’m a very sentimental person and I miss my friends a lot more than other people would. It usually gives me a floor/sofa/bed to sleep on and saves me from the sterile hell of Ibis hotels. A downside of this is that your friend(s) usually see this as a one off and an excuse to get rather “trollied”, safe in the knowledge that they (probably) won’t be repeating this the next night in another city. And that they don’t have to travel on a hangover; this is okay until about three days in. But it is lovely seeing friends I normally wouldn’t get to see, and friends I made for life (especially in Annan, I love that place!)
2. My Really Comfy Sleeping Bag
Seriously, this thing is a beast and I’m pretty sure it’s older than me. It’s not very compact, but it’s worth it. Cold student accommodation floor mid-February? No problem. Toasty, even!
Reliable, comfortable and you will never go out of your mind with boredom on one. Not once have I spent over four hours waiting for one in Shudehill bus station… In all honesty though, they are cheap as chips and keep my tour costs down.
Tip: always take a bottle of water on them. No matter how short the journey/ hydrated you are, the air conditioning will dry your throat out quicker than the questionable character next to you will invade your personal space.
4. That Drunk Heckler
I live for these people. I genuinely once had someone (beyond intoxicated, might I add) interrupt me to request I “play oasis, or I’m gonna stab you!” Unfortunately, my Sasis song knowledge stretches to the first 4 chords of ‘Wonderwall’. Fortunately, his friends saw the nonsense in this notion and escorted him away.
5. House Shows
These, to me, are the best kind of shows. Partly because if ten people show up you consider it packed, partly because they are intimate but really relaxed. Every house show I’ve ever played people have been really nice and attentive. Also, you don’t have to travel whilst being wrecked after the show to finding where you’re sleeping.
Tour things I hate: Google maps, hangovers, shit brews, venues that are far away from the train station, Ibis, London underground barriers and did I say hangovers?
‘Set In Stone’ EP by Arms and Hearts is released on November 25th on What Ya Saying Alice.