Earlier this month South East gloom punks Miss Vincent hit the road alongside London rockers Nightlife for a run of DIY shows that took both bands up and down the country.
Having released an appreciative second EP in ‘Reasons Not To Sleep’ earlier this year, Miss Vincent were armed with a mix of self-depricating, moody but energetic punk songs.
To find out what life is like on the road for Miss Vincent, the South East group offered to keep a diary of events during the tour. Here are their tour tales…
Day 1: Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham
The first date on this tour was the ultimate DIY experience. We booked the venue, the local bands and promoted the show ourselves – it makes for a much more stressful affair, but cutting out the middle man often means more fuel in the van. It was so good to see NIGHTLIFE again – we toured with them last year and haven’t seen them a whole lot since, but it was like no time at all had passed since we were last hanging out. During soundcheck, it seemed like Alex’s guitar just wouldn’t go in tune, despite the fact it was recently set up; but we cracked on regardless in the hope that it was just traditional first night gremlins.
We had a radio interview scheduled before doors, which we managed to navigate without too many profanities and embarrassments. A lot of interviews for a band like us contain similar questions (describe your sound/influences etc), but for us any excuse to talk to someone about our music is welcome.
It’s really nice to see people coming back to shows – familiar faces are such a welcome sight and having people turn up in your shirts is really cool. Playing shows is our favourite part of being a band and although the mysterious tuning stability issue appeared once, it was enjoyable. Oh, and one thing needs mentioning about our band… Diversions follow us around, and tonight was no different. After following those infuriating yellow signs for what seemed like an eternity, we reached our stop for the night. Everyone had mattresses which made us feel like royalty.
Today’s album of the day was Bad Religion’s ‘Recipe For Hate’. We never get tired of those harmonies.
Day 2: Think Tank, Newcastle
It’s soul destroying and incensing in equal measure when a promoter pulls out of a show without much notice. When it’s 4 days before it’s due to happen, it’s just plain awful. But that’s what happened with our Newcastle show. Luckily, we knew the venue manager indirectly, and managed to keep the show – they were super understanding and really helped us out.
We woke up early but not early enough, and ended up leaving late. Thanks to the magic of twitter we found out that the night before, Alex Baker had spun one of our tracks on his Kerrang! Radio show which was a cool start to the day, and the mood was generally pretty good heading up the M1. We had to settle for a fast food breakfast thanks to our lack of timekeeping, but the drive was mostly smooth and we got to Newcastle in good time. On the way, we cranked up Bayside’s Self Titled album. These guys are one of our favourite bands. They’re just fucking brilliant.
The first thing to do on arrival was flyer the town, which we did relatively thoroughly until we spied a Japanese food outlet and dived inside for some sushi. The show went as well as we could have expected given the circumstances, and once we had loaded out we headed back to our great friends The Dixon’s for chilli and beers. These guys are honestly the best ever – they’ve put up an incredible number of bands, and a highlight of any tour is a visit to their place for beers and great company. Tonight was no different, and after devouring a mountain of chilli, things got a little debauched and for some of us (Alex, we’re looking at you) the next morning was sure to be a little bit of a struggle.
Day 3: Sanctuary, Basingstoke
There were some pretty heavy heads this morning. Apparently they have something in Newcastle called Dial A Drink. Apparently someone used this service last night… Still, we had 300 miles to cover, so back in the van we jumped (well, crawled) and off we went. On the A1 we stopped at the most bizarre service station that any of us had ever been to. It was a bit like a cafe from 40 years ago, and 4 black clad hungover band members weren’t their most valued clientele. When you’re on tour, it’s as much a tour of Motorway Services as it is a tour of Music Venues, and this one won’t be going in the “must revisit” category. Today’s soundtrack was ‘The Young And The Hopeless’ by Good Charlotte. 2002 Nostalgia, anyone?
Our show in Basingstoke was a replacement for the one we originally had booked in Liverpool. Unfortunately the promoter pulled out, but luckily he had done it far enough in advance for us to source another. We were really grateful to our mate Andy from Yearbook for hooking us up with Jon, who managed to squeeze us on the show he was running with Almeida and Escape from ’98.
It’s really cool watching NIGHTLIFE play night after night. They’re super tight and their harmonies are great. We had another run in with a slight tuning discrepancy during our set, although frustratingly it’s impossible to tell who’s guitar it is because they’re both tuned and intonated perfectly. The mystery continues…
Day 4: Underbelly, London
Today we managed a very welcome lie in. After our shenanigans in The Toon and our 7 hour drive to Basingstoke, some restorative sleep was pretty important. We left a mountain of time to get to the venue as driving in London is inherently a slow and painful experience, but today it seemed to be one big carpark. We made load in (just), and the Underbelly was an interesting departure from your average music venue. Imagine a prohibition era speakeasy, only with loads of pictures of musicians that have played there on the walls. Pretty cool.
Although we’d experienced London traffic doing it’s best impression of a carpark, actually trying to park in London is horrendous. We had to move the van halfway through the night, and ended up paying a pretty stupid amount of money in the process. Luckily, some great friends of ours turned up to the show, including Foley from As It Is, so we quickly forgot about the parking nightmare amid tales from his time on Warped this past Summer. The venue turned into a club virtually the minute the show was over, and so we had to load out through a crowd of pretty drunk people, and venue security that insisted on patting you down every time you wanted to go and retrieve more gear from inside.
Remember how we mentioned diversions follow us around? Today was the worst in ages – the A4 and A40 were both partially shut, and the drive home was fucking awful. Thankfully, Alkaline Trio’s ‘Remains’ kept us sane. It’s a stupidly great album by a stupidly great band.
Day 5: Latest Music Bar, Brighton
We’d been in Brighton about 5 minutes before Jack (Donnelly – drums) got shat on by a seagull. He wasn’t so impressed by it, but the rest of us thought it was hilarious. We split up, one half going in the direction of GAK (which, being Sunday at 4:15PM, was shut) and the other in search of ice cream. During soundcheck today we finally got to the bottom of the tuning saga – Alex’s effects unit has a tuner in it which has randomly started tuning really flat. It sucks when your gear decides to lose its shit, but he reverted to ‘guitar-pedal tuner-amp’ so for tonight all was well. Pre-show, we met up with another friend of ours Patty, also from As It Is. We strolled around the Pier a while in the evening sunshine and heard more stories from Warped; we supported them on their first ever tour so it’s great to see them doing well.
It’s always sad to play your last show on tour but tonight was a lot of fun. Seeing people singing the words to your songs really spurs you on, and always brings a smile to our faces. NIGHTLIFE were great tour buddies all week, and it was sad to say goodbye to them but it won’t be the last time we tour together for sure. Before heading home we grabbed some food from Grubb’s Burgers, and holy shit it was the best thing we’ve eaten in forever! Once we’d recovered from what we’d just eaten, we drove home to a soundtrack of ‘Everything Sucks’ by Descendents. We’re sad that this tour is done, but we’ll be back at it real soon, so there’s loads to look forward to.
Miss Vincent will be touring once again next month with Crooked Little Sons:
21st Joiners, Southampton
22nd Underground, Plymouth
23rd Workshop, London
24th Tank, Durham
’Reasons Not To Sleep’ EP by Miss Vincent is out now on Engineer Records.