Somerset noise-makers October Drift have been flying the flag high for independent bands since they formed, be it their relentless commitment to their craft and solid work ethic, it’s hard to not find their passion admirable. The band are no strangers to the live stage, they thrive in performance and live for the thrills of life on the road.
This March, the foursome embarked on their biggest tour to-date, and us not wanting to miss an opportunity to follow the guys on tour, were able to wrangle an exclusive tour diary from them with all the inside goss which the band have titled themselves…“14 Days With Alan Rickman And His Hedgehog.” So head forth for stories of gig-goers in dressing gowns, suspicious behaviour and celebrity impressions. It’s all in here.
Day 1 – Guildford
Today we set off on the longest tour we’ve ever done. Out on the road for 14 days with nothing but the clothes on our back and a childlike sense of adventure. Our first stop – The Boileroom in Guildford. We arrived at the venue a tad early (2pm for a 5pm load in), so waited in the van for a few hours before the promoter arrived at the designated load in time. After sound checking and smashing our faces full of Chinese food, it was time for the show. The set went well. A woman from the flat next door even came in in her dressing gown to ask for an encore – or she was complaining about the volume…not sure which. Either way, I admired her confidence and would like to see more people coming to gigs in their night garments.
Day 2 – London
The Alan Rickman impressions have begun. Dan woke up in a bad mood – probably because the tour is already throwing off his masturbation routine – and Neil our manager is winding him up by doing relentless Alan Rickman impressions, whilst stuck in stand still traffic in London. We arrived at the venue weirdly early again (2.30pm for a 5pm load in – we might be coming across a bit keen), so chilled out in the van for a few hours. After lugging our equipment up one of the most horrific load-in’s known to man, we sound checked and got settled. The show itself was an overriding success – we all played in time and no one was killed. Whilst packing up however, Biz dropped a guitar amp on his foot, thus removing him from the load-out process entirely – a tactical move I believe. Nevertheless, we soldiered on without him and full of adrenaline and good cheer, made our way to our hotel for the night. Upon arrival Neil and Francis (our TM and Sound Engineer) decided they we unable to hold on to their bladders until we’d checked in, so relieved themselves in a bin. I don’t know whether it was hype from the show, or because it was a full moon – but I liked their style.
Day 3 – Oxford
Frailties are beginning to show in the group. Overnight Biz’s foot swelled up to the size of small planet and tonight on-stage Dan almost passed out. To have these issues arise so early into our adventure does worry me somewhat. I will take heed of their misfortune and make certain that I don’t succumb to the same injuries. Currently Kiran is the only person who isn’t suffering. Maybe it’s the Alan Rickman impressions getting to me, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s secretly relishing in the undoings of his companions….hmmm
Day 4 – Bath
Today the group awoke feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Following on from yesterday’s warning I have decided to make the following changes. A daily diet of fresh fruit and veg mixed with regular breaks for me to be alone with my thoughts. That’s what’s going to get me through this crazy carnival that is – tour life. Oh yeah, Alan Rickman now has a hedgehog…
Day 5 – Liverpool
I am writing this on my own in the van. Everyone has felt the after effects of last night’s drinking and debauchery and today we are somewhat broken. Kiran still remains suspiciously upbeat however. It’s clear he is taking great pleasure in everyone’s change in mood and I fear that he is manipulating the group somehow. But why? What would he have to gain from this? I must find the answer out quickly before it’s too late…before we break beyond repair. For now though I will play along with his little game, so’s not to arouse suspicion.
Day 6 – Manchester
There is no doubt anymore! Kiran is definitely manipulating the group and I fear that he is working in conjunction with Neil. After sharing a room with them last night, I was subject to chainsaw like snoring and tactical spooning to try and drain me mentally. It’s clear that their plan is to deprive us all of sleep, so that we turn on each other. But they don’t know that I’m one step ahead of them and that I won’t let it get to me!!……I can’t let it get to me…
Day 7 – Glasgow
Neil seems to be slipping deeper into character. The lines between him and Alan are becoming increasingly blurred and I’m worried that soon he may disappear entirely. On the drive to our hotel after the show he transformed into several of Alan’s characters and for a good hour or so was reciting scenes word for word. It was as beautiful as it was terrifying. If I were a weaker person no doubt I would have been won over by it. Lulled into a false sense of security and then who knows what could have happened! Good job I’m not a weaker person… I think?
For the final part of October Drift’s tour diary, head on over here.
October Drift’s debut EP ‘Stranger Days’ is out now, via Scruff of the Neck Records.