Sometime this week my first regular column for Drowned In Sound will be going live online. It took me a couple of months and way too many re-writes but I eventually got there. Below is a section I wrote for the original piece which didn't make the final cut. Thankfully some genius invented blogs, the internet dumping ground of otherwise useless crap, so I decided to publish it here instead.
Record label running tip #1
During the early days of BSM I used to head out on tour with our bands quite a lot. I couldn't afford a real holiday (still can't) and as I was living at home it was a good way to escape the chores and act like a rock star for a few days. Being musically inept meant I was no help with soundchecks, a tiny physique ruled out lifting and carrying, my provisional driving licence wouldn't get me behind the wheel and pure laziness wrote off merch selling. I was completely and utterly useless. I'd go days without eating properly, vodka flowed like water and I saw the bright lights for free. Fall asleep cold in Wrexham, wake up violently shivering in Stoke, pour another drink and soon you'll be in Coventry, they were the glory days.
I vividly remember my first ever trip to Scotland. I was with Secondsmile in their cold, breezy van as they supported The Fall of Troy on their UK tour and we were headed for Glasgow on what just so happened to be the day which saw the city's worst snow in more than 5 years. The show has long since disappeared from memory but the post-gig, would-be 30 minute drive to our hosts for the night, which ended up taking over 2 hours in blizzard conditions, is something which will never fade. We eventually made it through, got a difficult nights sleep on a hard wood floor before being awoken way too early by a possessed cat and to find the van completely snowed in. The morning was spent trying to dig the wheels out using chopping boards and baseball bats - the only slightly suitable tools we could find - whilst local scallies pelted us with snowballs. We finally got away and made the icy drive to Liverpool at a steady 30mph, arriving literally 5 minutes before the band were due on stage. As soon as the van door opened a local youth approached us and made un-necessary comments. I'd never before felt so homesick, cold or annoyed.
Basically my point is, fellow independent record label owners: Next time you're struggling for motivation and one of your bands are going on tour, tell them to save you a seat. It'll change your life