BUNCH OF FIVES: The Weird World of We Tibetans | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside rock and rollers We Tibetans aren’t ones to shy away from their feelings; previous releases have demonstrated they’re unafraid to tackle big subjects, from stormy relationships to addiction and mental health problems. Latest single, Girls, Friends and Gods, is no exception, as the band contemplate life’s turbulence and spirituality amid soaring electric guitars and gentle acoustic rhythms.

Having gained a reputation as an exciting live band, they’re due to perform at the NE Volume Music Bar stage at Stockton Calling on Saturday 30th March. Here, Marty, Ben, Dan and Luke offer some insight into their pre-gig rituals and some sage advice on how you can ensure you’re fully prepared on gig day…


1. Keep your cowboy boots cold (Marty’s tip)

The backstage fridge is paramount. Not for the cold suds…but for the cowboy boots. The Bennet family have a history of drummers dating back to the early 1900s. A tip which has been passed down to me is to try and keep your cowboy boots as cold as possible, before the walk on stage.

For the last 17 years I have kept my cowboy boots in the fridge, sometimes to the band’s dismay. There is method to the madness though; it’s been proven that cold feet and calves while playing drums reduces the risk of grey hairs, which is why I have been able to stay my stage age of 24 for the last 16 years without question.

2. Keep off the bulbs unless ticket sales are low (Ben’s tip)

Of all the bulbous flowering plants, you must stay away from Allium Sativum (garlic) on the day of a show. This was a hard lesson to learn for myself in all my years of gigging. You may be thinking that I am saying this from an aroma point of view, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I never knew that copious amounts of garlic can change your vision. Before every show I would indulge in a few containers of garlic. My reasoning was to build up my immune system before going into battle with a 17 year old SM58 mic that had seen 1000s of goths/moshers in its time. At every show I was always convinced that Wolf from Gladiators was in the audience. I would tell the lads that Wolf was here again at the end of every show, it wasn’t until I laid off the bulbs that I realised it was all in my head. I would strongly recommend you stay away from garlic on gig days unless ticket sales are low and you need to make the place look a bit busier in your own head.

3. Chop wood throughout the day (Dan’s tip)

On any gig day it’s essential you feel warmed up and ready to hit the stage on the night. A ritual I have been doing for some time now is chopping wood throughout the day, where possible. I keep a travel axe and a few logs in my bass case, so I have easy access to get my axing on at any time and any place. Chopping wood offers physical and mental benefits. Chopping wood has significantly Improved my core strength. A strong core has been essential for stabilising my spine and trunk, which can help prevent back pain especially when you are lugging gear about for a show. Chopping wood is a functional movement that mimics everyday activities like making steampunk jewellery and shin kicking.

DISCLAIMER: don’t get your travel axe out in the Castlegate centre; I don’t think they were quite ready for it.

4. Extreme ironing (Luke’s tip)

I have just recently been getting in to sport and fitness. One sport I find is particularly useful on a gig day is Extreme Ironing (EI). In case you are new to the EI game let me explain; this is an extreme sport in which people take ironing boards to remote locations and iron items of clothing. Just say we were to have a gig at the Georgian Theatre on 11th May, I would take my ironing board to the alleyway and try and get a bag of ironing done as fast as I can. There are so many benefits to this. 1 – you waste a bit of time waiting to go on stage. 2 – you can iron your clothes for the gig on the night. 3 – the exposure to the steam is warming up your vocal chords!

5. Request a fellow band member’s sock to keep in your wallet on stage (a must do for every band)

We knew that we were desperate to get the chemistry up in the band as much as we could. One thing that has really worked for the band is keeping another member’s sock in your wallet on stage. It is much better if you use a sport sock as thermals make it difficult to fold your wallet in half.

Since we have started this ritual morale in the band is at an all-time high as there is a little piece of every one of us on stage.


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