In the words of Keef'n'Mick.. 'Please, let me introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste'.
I'm Alan Reed, formerly lead singer of Scots Prog-Rock legends, Pallas, and now working as a solo artist. I've been asked to share with you the gore and glamour of life on the road as I take to the Motorways of Britain as support to the glamorous, pouting It Bites.
First an explanation. We're doing six UK dates together. Plymouth, Bristol, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Glasgow. It Bites will be making their usual technically dextrous racket, and I'll be ploughing a slightly gentler furrow with an acoustic set. There'll be songs from my new album 'First In A Field Of One', and a few Pallas numbers re-worked for the occasion.
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First date is this coming Saturday at Plymouth's White Rabbit. Now, usually before a tour of this magnitude you'd imagine I'd be strumming away for dear life trying desperately to instil the correct word/chord interface into my aged brain. You'd be wrong.
In the real world I have to balance the needs of my main employer, the BBC, with my musical ones. Thus I am running BBC News' Northern Bureau from our Salford office for a week instead of practising guitar. This is akin to herding cats with a headful of rats. It's a bit stressy, so getting the mental space to make time for music isn't a realistic option. But I'm living in a hotel and drinking too much so it's sort of like being on tour anyway :-)
I am not, however, unduly concerned. Mark (Spencer - keys/bass) and I have been playing these songs a fair bit now and I think we're fairly tight. We might have a bit of a run-through on the day of the first gig. Mark's in two other bands (Twelfth Night/Galahad), so I have to check he's actually remembered the right songs. We're being joined later by Jen (Clark - bass) and Callum (McCallum, guitar) for the last four gigs.
I've got a few hours booked in a rehearsal studio on the day of their first gig, so we can iron out the wrinkles. I know Callum's got his tour preparations under way, cause he called me from the cash and carry to ask what kind of beer I wanted and how many cases. I like this 'can-do' attitude, and can see he's thinking ahead. :-)
In some ways this is the best way to approach a tour. Being acoustic our technical demands aren't complex and we can just worry abut the music. I sorted out the accomodation weeks ago, I know where all the venues are and I have enough spare strings. Just the small matter of a long journey back to Surrey from Salford, followed by an early start for Plymouth. Let the games begin!!! :-)