Pictures of my ‘hamster’ – Guest post by Rachael

The final part of this guest post series, with Rachael promising to show you pictures of her ‘hamster’.

rachI, unlike most, if not all the others, am a tour virgin. When Dave asked us to write a bit for the blog, my first thought about any worries I might have was ‘will my boyfriend feed my hamster? And himself? How will I survive in a van with five boys for a week?’

I suppose the answers are quite simple: my boyfriend is 33 and quite responsible so I reckon I’ll get home to a well fed house (possibly a slightly chubbier hamster if he gives her broccoli every time he has a biscuit) and I’ll survive because we all get along. Which is a lot of why this band works for me. Apart from anything, beer will get us through. (Although mine’s a vodka and diet if anyone’s feeling generous.)

I’m looking forward to meeting new people, a lot of my favourite people have crossed my path because they’ve been on tour, so it’ll be nice to be on the other end of things. I’ve never been to half the places we’re going to either, so if there’s something you feel we really should go see if we have time, all suggestions are welcome! Usually if they involve food. Or shops. With cool dresses. Not so much trains, but apparently that really excites the other guys.

I’ll probably be sat at the merch desk with some shiny things (I’m bringing my business on tour with me – Bunny’s Beads) so come say hello. If you’re lucky, I’ll show you a picture of my hamster.

Popping the tour cherry – Guest post by Dan Irving

In the penultimate of this series of guest posts, here’s RFPB bass player Dan Irving speaking about how he plans to pop his tour cherry. Or something.

danAt the end of this week I head out on the road with the Renegade Folk Punk Band for a 10 day tour and I must say I am more than a little excited. Unlike some of the road-worn and bitter veterans I will be sharing a van with this will be my first proper tour. That is right I am a tour virgin. I really hope I don’t disappoint, that I don’t peak too early and that I last long enough.

Apart from popping my tour cherry there are a number of things I am looking forward to, not least having a van! Sad I know but that does excite me. It means there will be no ‘Car Tetris’, no expecting a Ford Focus to adopt TARDIS like qualities to accommodate both band members and gear. This time I will not be the skinny one relegated to the back middle seat on the way to a show and that alone is something to be grateful for.

I am also looking forward to time with the Boucher. I have had the pleasure of meeting Adam a number of times but his banter apparently reaches near mythical status in the context of tours. I am looking forward to travelling with the man…the legend (though I have been pre-warned he does not like to be touched)

Don’t feel left out though; I don’t have eyes only for him. I am also looking forward to time with my fellow RFPBers but the part of tour I am most excited about is meeting people across the UK who actually, voluntarily, listen to our music. The chance to play in new places and meet new people every night is going to be fantastic. Remember though it is my first time so please be gentle with me.

A culmination of nearly two years of scheming – Guest post by Gareth

Continuing this series of guest posts about our upcoming tour, here’s the newest recruit to the RFPB family, Gareth McNicol, telling you about how he got caught up in this whole mess.

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I first met Dave, briefly (read drunkenly), in that central musical hub of Glasgow – the 13th Note Cafe. He was playing with The Indelicates. I vaguely recall telling him that I hated folk music but his set was excellent – because it was. I already knew Dan & Rachael from being in a band with them.

Few weeks later, drunkenly sitting in my favourite watering hole with Dan, Dave had gotten confirmation that he’d been booked for 2000 Trees festival. Fantastic. He wanted to take the band. Awesome. Dan was quite excited, understandably. Then there was a question of how to get the band there. I offered to drive – thinking nothing of it. I think the comment was literally “fuck it, I’ll drive!”

Next day, or day after, I get a text from Dan asking if I was serious. I had the weekend in question off so, once again: “fuck it, I’ll drive”.

That experience was utterly fantastic; sharing the driving overnight down to a farm in the middle of England’s glorious countryside. Hanging around for 2000 Trees’ first (and seemingly last) sunny day; drinking at 7am; camping – it was all a bit special. Mainly for the chat and becoming friends with Mr & Mrs Dave, Woody and sharing in the adventure/shenanigans.

Since then, my involvement in the band has grown from merely driving and drinking. I’ve been tuning guitars, handing over harmonicas (upside down) and generally having a fun time in the process – trying to get a free drink in the Cathouse after supporting The Wonder Stuff and other such highlights.

Over the past year my involvement has increased dramatically. I’ve been manning the controls recording and mixing the upcoming album In Death Do We Part. Now, I’ve been drafted in on acoustic guitar while Dave punks it up with an electric guitar.

This tour seems like the culmination of the past year’s work, but at the same time I’m hoping that it’ll feel like a ten-day version of that trip to 2000 Trees and all the other wonderful times we’ve enjoyed since. This time Rachael will be along with us for the mayhem.

However, it won’t end there. Given the trend of my level of involvement in Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band, by this time next year, when perhaps we’ll be touring again – perhaps even looking forward to a summer of many festival appearances – I will have become the Dave Hughes of the band; allowing Dave to retire, he’s getting on a bit now.

For the most part I still hate folk music, this will become clear when you hear the new album and hopefully see us in the upcoming tour.

Pros and Cons – The touring life by Adam Boucher

Continuing this series of guest posts about our upcoming tour, here’s old man of the road Adam Boucher (our lowly tour support for the first half) and his pearls of wisdom about life on the road.

adamboucherTouring is ace. Except when it gets a bit shit. But generally, it’s ace and you get through the shit bits and come out laughing on the other end. It’s certainly provided me with some of the best experiences of my life so far, even at the level I play at (i.e. mostly to nobody). Maybe one day I’ll get to combine the fun of touring with sizeable audiences and no doubt cream my pants in uncontrollable excitement.

Rather than blog about how much I’m looking forward to the tour though (shitloads, by the way) I thought I’d cobble together a list of pros, cons and general tidbits about the upcoming tour and tour life in general.

Pro: Tour in-jokes. It could be the being cooped up in a confined space for long periods of time, but the smallest things become hilarious. From the outside looking in, people on tour must look batshit crazy at times. It’s horribly cheesy, but a good tour creates a bond with the people you’re with that lasts for ages and creates it’s own insular world that carries on once the tour is over.

Con: Over-exposure to Bruce Springsteen on the tour bus. I don’t hate The Boss, but his music leaves me cold. I imagine Dave has plans to listen to his entire back catalogue while pretending we’re touring on the highways of the US (as we slow down for the umpteenth traffic jam/roundabout). I’ll have my iPod set to ‘A13 Trunk Road to The Sea’ just in case!

Pro: Touring with other real, actual humans. I’ve done quite a few tours on my own, in my Ford Fiesta. It’s an endurance test. Ultimately rewarding, but nothing beats having other people around to share the experience, not to mention the driving.

Pro: There isn’t a show in Hereford on this tour.

Con: I’ll be surrounded by Scottish people who’ll force me to cook everything in batter before I eat it, including no doubt, my own shit as tour hazing. Also, a nice cup of battered tea. Mmm, delicious. (this is a joke… partly).

Fun tour experience #127: Final gig of a short weekend run with a couple of other acoustic bods. After a day of bullshit from one of the other acts (including making me wait for over an hour when I was picking him up but instead he went walkies) I came the closest I’ve ever come to taking a swing at someone. If you know me or what I look like, you’ll know how ridiculous this is. We don’t really talk any-more.

Con: On every tour I’ve done, I hit a low point where I’m totally pissed off and rarely for any really reason. On my first tour with Dave, I spent my whole time in Newcastle in the foulest fucking mood. The show was great. The people were great, but for some reason I was just being a miserable cunt. Pity Dave and his band when that moment hits on this tour.

Fun tour experience #54: In Bristol, first night of my first tour, I was mistaken for Jim Morrison by a guy who was totally tripping his balls off. He bought my CD and had me sign it as Jim Morrison. I backed away quietly, whilst checking there wasn’t a copy of The Catcher in The Rye sticking out from his pocket.

Pro: Sing-a-long-a-Dave-Hughes. Every night I’ll get to watch Dave and his band and sing along, pretending they’re at Wembley. I’ve seen quite a few variations of the band and also Dave solo, but never the full electric band. I get that 5 times in a row.

Fun tour experience #491: Kings Lynn. A house show. Playing to three people and getting utterly destroyed. I rarely drink and I’m not one for drunken stories, but this was an exception. Utterly hammered, an awesome gig and I was happy to experience the next day’s hangover to have done it.

Fun tour experience #12: Googling ‘Vegan beer’ in an off license in Newcastle so we didn’t offend our Vegan house show hosts, only to find out that it wasn’t a Vegan house show. At least we were considerate.

Cons: Post-tour-blues. Inevitable and soul crushing. It at least stands as proof that you had an awesome tour though.

There are loads more, but I’ll spare you for now. Come and see us if we’re playing anywhere near you. We’ll be the ones who look strung out, smell a bit of ‘tour bus’ (the collected smells of 6 people living out of van) and are desperate for you to buy their merch as validation for their shitty life choices!

The dates are:

  • Friday 1st March, 2013 The Old Bank Bar Greenock
  • Saturday 2nd March, 2013 Cerberus Dundee
  • Sunday 3rd March, 2013 The Forest Cafe Edinburgh
  • Monday 4th March, 2013 The Black Swan York
  • Tuesday 5th March, 2013 Gullivers Manchester
  • Wednesday 6th March, 2013 Heart Attack and Vine Newcastle
  • Friday 8th March, 2013 The Exchange Arts Centre Keighley
  • Saturday 9th March, 2013 The Watershed Milton Keynes

Forever in the future – Guest post by Woody

The band and I are all really excited about our tour that kicks off on Friday in Greenock, and then lasts 10 days. To give you an idea of the excitement that’s brewing, I figured I’d let the band have some space on the blog to give their thoughts on what’s coming up. To kick this off, here’s a wee piece by Renegade Folk Punk Band drummer Woody.

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There is a song by Grade (and later covered by Dashboard Confessional) called “ A year in the past, forever in the future“,  it always comes to mind, since I first heard it about 15 years ago, when touring is on the horizon. I wont bore you with all the lyrics, just go listen to the song but I will quote one line:-

“ I’m hitting the road again with five of my best friends. We always seem to disagree, but I still enjoy their company.”

That’s what touring is to me. It’s an excuse to spend hours and hours a day just talking to some of my favourite people in the world. A tour bus is like the freaking Breakfast Club. Everyone is different but we have these common threads that join us together and there is nothing like being in a small  metal box for 12 hours a day with the same few folk to help find these commonalities.

Don’t get me wrong, I cant wait to play the shows, but it’s the laughter and friendship that sets touring apart from just gigging and that isn’t just reserved for us in the band. The people you get to meet on the road are the best. I mean you roll into town, often without a single familiar face to be seen and then POW! you get the chance to get to know all these amazing people. People who have either been good enough to bring you to their venue, or people to share a stage with you, or best of all people who have actually paid to come see you play. It’s incredible to think just how lucky I am to get the chance to meet all these brilliant people. I just love it.

So here’s to the next 10 days on the road and all the new friends we are going to make – and let me tell you the best way to make friends with me is to come up after the show with a big smile on your face AND BUY A FUCKING T-SHIRT FROM ME.

The dates are:

  • Friday 1st March, 2013 The Old Bank Bar Greenock
  • Saturday 2nd March, 2013 Cerberus Dundee
  • Sunday 3rd March, 2013 The Forest Cafe Edinburgh
  • Monday 4th March, 2013 The Black Swan York
  • Tuesday 5th March, 2013 Gullivers Manchester
  • Wednesday 6th March, 2013 Heart Attack and Vine Newcastle
  • Friday 8th March, 2013 The Exchange Arts Centre Keighley
  • Saturday 9th March, 2013 The Watershed Milton Keynes

Onwards to the road

Last Sunday at King Tuts was amazing on all counts for the band and I. It was great to finally get up and play on that stage where we’d seen so many of our favourite acts (and My Chemical Romance) play. We extend our thanks to Chris (sound man) and Paul (rep) for helping us make it as good as we could, and of course to everyone who came along – it was quite a busy gig for a Sunday! There’s videos below of a few songs.

Onwards now, the band kick off our first full band tour of Scotland and England a week today on the 1st of March. The dates are:

  • Friday 1st March, 2013 The Old Bank Bar Greenock
  • Saturday 2nd March, 2013 Cerberus Dundee
  • Sunday 3rd March, 2013 The Forest Cafe Edinburgh
  • Monday 4th March, 2013 The Black Swan York
  • Tuesday 5th March, 2013 Gullivers Manchester
  • Wednesday 6th March, 2013 Heart Attack and Vine Newcastle
  • Friday 8th March, 2013 The Exchange Arts Centre Keighley
  • Saturday 9th March, 2013 The Watershed Milton Keynes

There is an absence of a London date on this run of gigs,  we were trying our hardest to get on for the Thursday, but despite our best efforts it didn’t happen. Not to worry though, because a few weeks later, on the 27th of March, we’ll be appearing at The Monarch in Camden with The Indelicates and Keith ToTP. It’s The Indelicates album launch, and we’re in the process of organising a gig with them back in Glasgow for May.

Videos from King Tuts, both tracks appearing on the new album!