Life on Tour
Musician Nick Klar couldn’t believe his luck when he was asked to join Gringo Star for their summer tour. Here he describes his experiences.
We’re halfway through the Gringo Star UK/EU tour, which has taken us around all of the UK, to some pretty diverse venues and some equally diverse but hugely appreciative audiences. Living on the road you start to fully understand the real meaning of ‘roughing it’, but more often than not there’s a floor or sofa to stay on. Which is just as well; at a truck stop on the A1 in Yorkshire that we had chosen as our place of rest, we were rudely awoken by 4 or 5 police officers checking to see if we were diesel thieves. Luckily we weren’t. The next night we were permitted to sleep in a swanky hotel lobby after the bar shut and we were too drunk to go anywhere else. Unfortunately the morning staff weren’t so accommodating and kindly asked us to leave the hotel and go out into the cold, wet street at 5am.
I came to join the band after their long-time drummer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter Pete DeLorenzo decided to put relentless and extensive touring behind him, leaving the band a few months before the tour started. They contacted me in March to see what I was up to and when they found out I was free they asked if I could drum on their tour, an offer which I could hardly turn down. We had limited time to practice but it didn’t take us long to get the set primed and ready to blow minds.
We’re just about to play our last UK show in Brixton before we set off for our first European show in Dresden tomorrow only to return to Camden on Saturday via Berlin and Paris, after which we go straight back to play Hamburg and several Italian dates with Black Lips, this time accompanied by Max Lewis on the merch stand. If this first stint is anything to go by, the second half of the tour is shaping up to be a belter…
I suppose the hardest things you face when you are trying to become a full-time musician are gigs where you play to literally nobody. It always happens and can be pretty depressing but you can actually have a lot of fun if you think of it as a practice. My advise to people just starting out in bands is to play as many shows as you can, you’ll always get at least a few great ones and the people at those shows will be more inclined to come and see you again. Also practice, because if you are not very good people won’t want to see you again.
How to make it:
Personally I prefer a more grass roots approach to finding new music and getting people interested in my own music, whether it’s hearing about a band from a friend or seeing a support act you’ve never heard of that you then start listening to. There’s also something very gratifying about people approaching you after a show and praising your performance and maybe buying your music there and then.
Like – because it applies to everything!