On Tour with Otherkin (Part 1)

Garage punks Otherkin are known for their exhilarating live shows and startling stage presence – you go to an Otherkin show to release, to stage dive, to embrace all the glory that live music bares, to walk out the other side feeling alive. As Otherkin approach the tail end of their Bad Advice UK tour, the 15-date onslaught that has seen the band top and tail the length and breadth of the country spreading their gospel through raucous performance.

Sharing anecdotes from the stage, behind the scenes and the green room, Otherkin in their own words give us a glimpse into life on the road. From sharing stages with The Amazons to their own headline shows, it’s all in here.

8/3/17 – LONDON:

We set out for London from Ilam Hall after catching the ferry from Ireland the day before. We get ourselves to a branch of Doc Martens in the city to collect some new brogues for the boys (Cheers Docs!) and then made our way to Camden for load in. We spent a bit of time knocking about Camden Market picking up some new jackets and rings before getting back to the Lock Tavern for the gig. It feels good to be back in the UK!

Dr. Marten’s London. Photo Credit: GG Conway

Conor and Luke. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine

9/3/17 – BIRMINGHAM:

On to Brum! Our first headline show in a very cool city; The Flapper is an awesome venue and Richard is a great promoter. We hope to get back here soon again, it’s mad to think that we’ve never been here before.  After the gig we head back to the farmhouse in Derbyshire that we’re renting for the tour; nothing like some country air and the smell of shite to kick the hangovers.

Ilam Hall, the morning after Birmingham. Photo Credit: GG Conway

10/3/17 – NOTTINGHAM:

TIED UP IN NOTTZ! This place is beautiful. We hooked up with our pal, photographer Jake Haseldine and took in the city to get some nice band shots. After that we headed back to the Bodega to kick off our run of shows with one of our favourite new bands, The Amazons. The guys have only gone and sold out their UK tour and they were kind enough to bring the boys along for the ride. The show was ace and we made the first of what would turn out to be many stops in the Esso outside the city for some cans and cheap wine.

Nottingham vibes. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine  

Rough Trade Nottingham. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine

11/3/17 – LEICESTER:

Onto the Champion’s City for what turned out to be one of the hottest, sweatiest and most fun shows of the tour. The Leicester crowd was mad up for it and the place went off. The insanity continued into the night as some crazy dude in a Transit Van started calling us ‘Irish bastards’ when stopped at a red light. He then started trying to open the door of our van and even leaned out the window at one point and ripped the windguard off our passenger door. We manage to lose him on the outskirts of the city but while pulled in later on the motorway he passes us beeping frantically! We figured it’d be best from that point to take the backroads home in case that nutbag sussed where we lived and axe murdered us in our sleep. Needless to say, a few strong drinks were needed back at the house to take the edge off!

The Cookie, Leicester. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine


Royal Leamington Spa, what a name. We were pretty pumped for this one after not having died the night before, and it turned out to be an absolute stormer. The venue itself, the Zephyr Lounge, was amazing, and the crowd were super up for it. The true highlight of the evening however was the venue’s green room. It was one of the wackiest we have come across, with an indoor trailer that looked like it had come off of an ‘80s porno set, and an array of zany props. Joe from The Amazons was pushing our Luke around the room in a full size dalek by the end of the night! We also managed to get in our first Wetherspoons of the trip, which was ace.

Porno trailer. Photo Credit: GG Conway

Luke and Matt Thomson giving it loads. Photo Credit: GG Conway

Backstage Leamington. Photo Credit: GG Conway

13/3/17 – DAY OFF!

Waking up at the crack of 2pm in our lovely Derbyshire farmhouse was a real treat after 6 heavy days of gigging. After a bit of house keeping and some serious cooking, we decided to spend our evening in search of wifi. Arriving in the local town of Ashbourne, this search ultimately lead us into the quaint surroundings of “Ye Olde Vaults”. Many a real ale was drunk as we struggled with the simplest of maths whilst trying to work out our darts scores. As it turns out our David is a natural born player, get him to aim for anything but the triple 20 and he’ll hit that or the bullseye near on every time.

14/3/17 – CAMBRIDGE:

With our batteries well and truly recharged we made our way out to Cambridge. What a pretty place. We got ourselves to the Portland Arms for an early load-in. We took a hike around the town while The Amazons sound-checked and picked up some road beers. The gig was killer and The Amazons gave us a cheeky bottle of vodka to help us with our trip home.

Rob Summons. Photo Credit: GG Conway

David Anthony. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine

15/3/17 – OXFORD:

This was a fun one! Like Cambridge, Oxford is a really pretty place and The Bullingdon is a very cool venue. This was the one of the biggest rooms on the tour so we were buzzing to play it. The crowd were really up for it and the place was hopping by the end of the set. Luke made his way to the merch stand after the gig and had to do a double take; he had just walked by Phil Selway, the Radiohead drummer. We’re huge Radiohead fans (Luke even has a Radiohead tattoo on his arm) and we were hoping that he managed to catch the set. At one point, his wife came up to us and told us that the gig was great. Minutes later, Luke notices him eyeing us up and making his way over. He starts talking to our drummer, Rob (who is not a Radiohead fan and wouldn’t have a clue who he was, which probably worked out better considering he wasn’t at all nervous). Anyway, he said he caught the last few songs and thought we were great! Awesome. So cool to hear that. He was the nicest guy going, a real gent.

After the gig, we went back to the dressing room with The Amazons and things got pretty out of hand thanks to a whole lot of Spiced Rum and a ceiling fan. A really good time and a great way to wrap up the night. Onto Guildford!

Luke Reilly. Photo Credit: Jake Haseldine

16/3/17 – GUILDFORD:

Never been to Guildford before! We didn’t really get to see any of the place aside from the venue (The Boileroom), but what a cool spot. Low ceilings, plastered walls and a dingy dive bar vibe is our idea of a good time. By this point the shows only seemed to be getting more and more nuts and this was no exception. By the middle of the first song the place started bouncing and quickly descended into a chaotic pit of moshing, stagediving and crowdsurfing. Matt from The Amazons came onstage with us to shred our way through AY AY and the crowd was absolutely pumped. You wouldn’t believe the energy and heat, guess we know now why it’s called the Boileroom. Like Oxford, the dressing room held a great afterparty. The Spiced Rum made a reappearance (Joe from Amazons is a bit of a connoisseur) and Matt’s acoustic got a fair bit of action. Awesome venue, awesome night.

Guilford, hit the roof. Photo Credit:

17/03/17 – BRIGHTON:

Could four Irish lads find anywhere better to be on Paddy’s Day than Brighton, one of our favourite cities in the UK? We don’t think so. We had stayed the night so we didn’t have to do any driving thankfully, we could just enjoy a chill breakfast and pint in the town and take our time getting to the venue. Patterns is another really cool venue, it’s a long room with a low ceiling and a wide stage with a neon backdrop. The Amazon boys exchanged all the beer on the rider for Guinness (bless ‘em) and the black stuff got us nice and loose for the gig. Another deadly show, the Brighton was good and rowdy and things kicked up another gear when The Amazons took the stage. The barrier at the front was getting constantly shoved down so a poor security guard had to wedge himself between it and the stage. The Amazons brought Luke on for their banger ‘Junk Food Forever’ and the place was going nuts. When the bridge kicked in Luke and Rob both flung themselves into the crowd.

We saw out the rest of the night around the town. It was our last show on the run of gigs withThe Amazons so we all said our goodbyes over some drinks. Those guys are great; a big-hearted band with killer songs, they’re gonna be huge and they deserve all the success in the world. After we parted, we carried onto a bar called the Globe (none of the ‘Irish’ bars would let us in!) where we had a blast. It had the best and worst DJ of all time! He was playing the best songs but kept unplugging the decks and accidentally turning the volume up and down. It didn’t really matter, the place was going wild and we stayed until the early hours.

For part 2 of the tour diary, head here.

Otherkin’s Bad Advice UK tour continues through to Manchester (22nd March) and Leeds (23rd March) before culminating at Liverpool Arts Club on Saturday 25th March.

‘Ok Diner’ Photo Credit: GG Conway

Follow Otherkin on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and tour announcements.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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