Final Tour Log 30.03.14 

Well We Made It... (Warning this is quite long)

The "Beg, Steal & Borrow Kangaroo Tour" is Over. 


After six months of planning and booking for three months of driving to every corner of the country and performing as if it were our last ever show, I am proud to say our debut tour is now over. 

 

I think even I am surprised at just how difficult and draining it was.  I knew it would be hard but I just sort of shrugged it off.  Now when I say it was hard, I don't really mean the performances.  They are demanding but that bit comes naturally.  The hardness that I refering to comes from the huge lack of sleep, constant driving, lugging heavy gear around with us everywhere and trying to fit all that around the everyday.  The normal things in life that battle against the joy of playing music. 

 

Basically to put in simple terms being a band in this day and age is much more like running your own business.  It's like we are these toy makers.  We make these wonderful little toys with love and now we have to go up against Toy's R Us and sell ourselves and our much loved toys.   The problem is Toys R Us aren't interested in any new  toy makers.  They order all their products from known corporate companies who can churn out any old crap plastic toys.  Quality is not the important thing, Quantity is.

 

So knowing this we filled our little suitcases with our beautiful little toys and we hit the road, taking our love and believe to every city we could. 

 

The last few dates of this Tour were all very different to be honest.  The last push started at a very famous venue indeed, The Jazz Cafe in London. 

 

This is what happened next...

 

 

Wednesday 26th March, 5pm - Jazz Cafe, London

 

As I walk in the venue I realise that the very well planned and tightly organised sound checks are already running an hour behind.   There is 2 hours before doors and it doesn't look like any of the 4 bands have sound checked yet.  The reason for this was unclear at this stage but would soon become apparent. 

 

Some time later it was El Born's turn to sound check at one of Europe's most famous music venues.  

1,2,3,4 and we're jumping into the inaudible pit in which most sound checks begin. The sound guy is somewhere doing something and then BUZZ!

I get the first of many electric shocks from the microphone.  In fact every time my lips touch the microphone a shock occurs.  Apparently there is no way around this and I just have to accept this.  Moving on and already running very late indeed we smash into new song "Silver & Gold" then BOOM!

 

What I and everyone are hearing and covering our ears about is the insane amount of bass frequency smashing it's way through both the walls, stage and our rib cages.  Then we are told that this is normal and we again have to accept this but this is unbelievably bad and simply not good enough.

 

Then another green light comes, click, click, click, click and we're in to 1982…"I caved in, felt the pulse racing" SQUEAL!!!!!

 

We are hit with continuing feedback throughout the song then STOP!  

 

I stopped the band and informed the sound guy that this sounds beyond bad, it's just wrong and we need to get it right.  The reply from the sound guy…

There's nothing we can do, you've got 5 minutes then we have to end sound check,  What sound check, we haven't had one yet. 

 

At which point I had a thought…Screw this.  So whilst on stage I announced to this sound guy, venue and promoter that El Born will be pulling out of tonights show.

My band are looking at me like I have 2 heads the sound guy looks like he's swallowed a bird and the venue guy is getting itchy. 

 

I simply said that if we are out of options and time then El Born are pulling the show.  I said that I'd rather our audience remembered us sounding good like we should and like they deserve rather than remember us sounding this bad in this amateur set up. 

 

It was at this point that an hours tug of war began between me and the venue management in which we were assured that if we honoured the show the sound guy would fix the system problems and get us and you the sound that we deserve.  Therefor at 7.35pm I agreed to go for it and make it work based on this assurance. 

 

9.45pm and it's the end of our set.  The place is sold out and I'm about to sing our encore "Gotta Miles Davis In My Head".  It is now obvious to the band, myself and the faithful audience that this sound guy has no idea what he is doing and that the system issues were in fact not solved.  I must have got 50 plus electric shocks whilst fighting to perform our set through the wall of noise and feedback blasting through my stage monitor.   

 

The irony is we pulled it off.  Our performance won over the crowd and we got through it.  The sad truth is that the venue was terrible.  The sound was the worst we've ever had in our lives.  Another irony is we bands make no money (If fact we lose it, occupational hazard) and the venue makes thousands on the door the bar, the sound guy who ruined the experience for a lot of people gets a pocket full of money and gets to go home. 

 

We won't be playing The Jazz Cafe again and we won't allow these things to destroy our lovingly crafted Toys. 

 

Next it was a completely different show.  The next day we drove to perform in Rugby at Vaults.  This was an amazing venue and the audience that came to see us were amazing.  The sound was brilliant and we didn't even get to sound check.  We can't wait to return to this place. 

 

Then it was a long drive to Cheltenham.  Cheltenham is my original hometown and somewhere that means a lot to me.  I spent years building myself there so playing there is always special.  Tonight's show was at SMV, a pop up music venue that hugely helps keep Cheltenham on the touring circuit. 

After a wonderful video interview with our friends at After Dark we got back to the venue just in time to catch Johnny Lucas.  Johnny has supported us on many dates on this tour and we love him.  Next was Jasper In The Company Of Others.  It's amazing to share the stage with these guys and we hope to again. 

Then it was time for our last performance of the tour.  The set went down amazing and it was the perfect end to a perfect tour.  

 

The next morning I woke up in London.  Hours after this tour has come to a close I am starting the logistics for our next move. 

 

We wanna thank everyone in every city and town who came to see us.  We also wanted to thank Lorraine Solomons and all the wonderful promoters, venues and bands we have shared our stage with.  Special thanks to all the press guys, photographers, bloggers and reviewers for showing there support. 

Last but not least we would like to thank Wendy and Stuart for giving us somewhere to sleep (and burn) at when we have been empty and in need. 

 

We'll leave you with a little award list.

 

Best 3 Gigs:  London Hawley Arms (Feb 6th) / Glasgow The Admiral (22nd Feb / Coventry Kasbah (28th Feb)

Best Venue: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (11th jan)

Worst GIg: Croydon Scream (15th Feb)

Worth Venue: Jazz Cafe (28th Mar)

Happiest Tour Moment: Scotland (Feb)

Special Tour Shout Out: The Black Macks in Leicester (Amazing band)

 

We are mapping our next moves and will make some announcements shortly.

 

Until then we will be creating more well loved toys.

 

Much Love

 

Si & El Born

Photo taken by Charlie Koncher at SMV, Cheltenham 28th March after our final performance of the tour. 

 

Tour Log 25.03.14 

It's been a while since my last post.  We are coming to a close on this tour now and getting ready to moving onto our next chapter, but before we do that we have some amazing shows this week coming up.  Last time I wrote we were about to perform in Hull.  

Now I've never been to Hull before and I haven't really seen a great deal of the place this time.  We arrived at this historic venue just as the sun was vanishing.
This venue (The New Adelphi) is a mystery.  It's been open for decades and has played host to todays biggest bands but when you are there you are left with the distinct impression that it may close down at any moment.  Located on a simple english street among rows and rows of attached houses.  In fact, the only thing that makes you think that this may be a venue and not just another house is the huge wooden bomb hanging over the door.  

Anyway all that being said we plugged in and attempted to destroy the place.  The crowd were great and they seemed to love our southern rock and rock.
Tonight was the debut of new song 'Silver & Gold" and we are pleased to announce that it went down very well indeed.  Umm something to think about. 

After the show we drove back down to Derby. (Somewhere we have been able to stay for free, and somewhere beautiful) 

The next day we headed over to perform at a venue that I have always waned to play.  Leeds Cockpit.  There was a moment once we'd sound checked that I looked around this wonderful venue and thought "This is the type of venue we need to playing from now on".  It's thanks to City Of Lights (the band we've been supporting on this leg of the tour) that we are here tonight.  The place was packed and gave us the chance to really test ourselves and our setlist. 

The Results… We smashed it.  It went great and lifted our energy levels for the remaining shows. 

Next on the list was a Charity event for our friend Gal and Macmillan Cancer Trust at London's Water Rats.  This one was very low key for us as it was an acoustic set but still it lacked nothing.  Sometimes I love playing like this as it shows off the songs and not just the raw energy.  The songwriter in me gets to play sometimes. 

That brings us to now.  The eve of the last three shows of the tour.  

1. Jazz Cafe, London - What can I say.  I never thought we'd be playing here so soon.  Can't wait to perform on that stage. 
2. Vaults, Rugby - Another chance to play up North.  Gonna be a great one.
3. Sound Music Venue, Cheltenham - Last night of the tour brings us to my original hometown of Cheltenham and this is always amazing. 

See You All There,

Si & El Born
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