FEATURE: Bright Light Bright Light – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Bright Light Bright Light‘s album Choreography has taken him on a whirlwind ride in the last year or so, and the journey gets even more exciting as Rod Thomas (aka BLBL) tours Europe opening for his musical heroes Erasure at Newcastle City Hall on Sunday 4th February. Before that, he shared his top five survival tips for having as much fun as possible being a (touring) musician. Over to you Rod…

Also Be Boring

Make spreadsheets, word documents, lists and charts. Have as much of the essential information you need as possible in as easy-to-find a place as you possibly can, before you go out on the road, so that you absolutely don’t need to stress at all and can have the most fun / relaxing time, so grateful that you had a dull night in a few weeks ago so you can have an afternoon walking around Glasgow / Berlin / San Diego instead of running round looking for a Staples to print out a missing document.

Make Your Own Soundtrack

You’ll be spending a lot of time in a van / bus / train / plane on tour, often shoulder to shoulder with other bandmates. Make sure you’ve loaded up your phone, laptop or walkman with songs that make you really happy, or songs that you love listening to to have your own space. THE MOST ESSENTIAL for me.

Be As Healthy As You Can

Everyone gets sick on tour. Everyone. Do yourself a favour and try to avoid easy ways of getting sick like eating badly, drinking too much or not getting enough rest. Maybe a promoter or hot fan wants to buy you one more drink, but if it means feeling like hell in a tour van or – god forbid – losing your voice and canceling a show … not worth it.

(Mostly if you’re a solo artist employing musicians rather than a member of a band) Choose Your Bandmates Wisely!

Kind of like living in student halls with people, or friends you’d go on holiday with vs ones who you’d rather just see socially – everyone is very, very different on the road than they are in a rehearsal studio down the road from home. For me, it’s important to think about how people will gel and mix both musically and socially for a tour, which is really hard to get right. What kind of tour do you want to have? Party time – go for it. Slightly more sensible with earlier nights and earlier rises to see the city / town in the day? Don’t employ someone who’s like the human version of Animal from The Muppets. This is the hardest thing, but getting the balance right makes / breaks a tour.

Make Music You Love

You have to get up and perform countless shows on a tour, so make the music that will make you super happy to perform night after night. There’s really nothing better. After getting to tour loads on my second album, I wrote the third album ‘Choreography’ to have songs that were the most fun I could come up with for future touring, and it’s the best decision I ever made. Every show since has been a BLAST!

Erasure and Bright Light Bright Light play Newcastle City Hall on Sunday 4th February.

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