Diary of a touring musician: day seven
In September & October 2023, we took to the road in the UK to introduce our new album STARLITE.ONE. A wonderful greeting in Wales and a great promoter. This is part seven of the warts-and-all-account.
If you happened upon this episode for the first time, we suggest you check out the other articles in the series by heading over to:
Waking up in Ross-on-Wye at the magnificent Kings Head Hotel is a real treat. We made our way down to the restaurant for a hearty breakfast and there bumped into a couple of our wonderful supporters from Wales who had been to the gig. Still melts us to know that our music is valued and people will make an effort to travel miles to see us!!
Time to load the van, find the cheapest fuel and hit the road for our only gig in Wales in the town of Brecon. Starlite’s Nana, Betty was born in Pontypridd (just thirty minutes down the road) the very same town as Tom Jones and is featured on the front cover of our debut album Blueberry Pie.
The Mid-Wales R&B Club, Brecon
Angus is ace! He cares deeply about the artists he books and Starlite spent many hours chatting with him on the phone before they both agreed that it would be a great idea to book a gig together.
Angus promotes! And promotes again… and again! Surprisingly enough our gig sold out - it’s not rocket science! Thank you Angus!
It was our first visit to the venue and we hadn’t got a clue what to expect.
Ian Keddle was doing the sound and we gave him a lovely headache as (if you have read our previous posts) we need a lot of inputs for our IEMs (in-ear monitors) to work correctly. With only 16 channels, Hugo couldn’t have the mix he wanted, but he soldiered on.
After setting up and a couple of much-needed beers we rushed over to The Wellington Hotel where we were staying to grab dinner. It was raining, like most of the UK, where it’s either raining or about to start.
The kitchen was busy and despite asking if they could rush our order through, we were served late so eating was a rush job.
Even though the service was slow the food was pretty good. We usually have wine with our dinner and tonight was no exception. It was only the next day when we gave Angus the receipt that we realised that the wine was £8 a glass!!! WTF - that’s £32 for four glasses!! Daylight flippin’ robbery!!
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The atmosphere at The Muse was fantastic and the audience were brilliant.
Angus made Hugo an honourary Welshman for the night introducing him as “DAI JONES” and we were off.
Top supporters Leyton and Jane Russ and Dai and Claire Thompson rocked up and we truly felt the love. We played well and received a standing ovation at the end. Starlite cried a tear of happiness.
We sold vinyl and CDs and chatted to everyone and took photos - our favourite time!
Sadly the tour t-shirts had still not arrived (another date we lost on sales and memorabilia for our supporters).
It was getting late so time to pack up for the night. We could have left the gear in the venue but that would have meant loading the van on our own early in the morning as there was a yoga class scheduled for 0900. So with a lot of help from our new friends, we systematically loaded the van of rock and returned to the hotel around 0200.
Back at The Wellington, we met the night manager in the shape of a cool young guy with wild blue-streaked hair, who let us sit in the bar to relax and unwind before going to bed.
We also just happened to have with us a fine bottle of Portuguese red wine (from the box of inconvenience) and struck a deal - as the bar was closed, we could stay and have a quiet drink as long as we weren’t ‘rowdy’ - who us??
Sold out, intimate, well received, well promoted and we as artists respected. A great night and what touring is all about!
Thank you Wales for making us feel loved and welcome. Betty would have been proud of you!
Next stop, The Temperance Bar in Leamington Spa - basement antics, reuniting with more fans and a late-night curry!