Sydney roots-reggae band, Black Bird Hum, are no strangers to the live stage relentlessly touring the country regularly. This has not only won them legions of fans but also made them a favourite amongst festivals. As veterans of touring circuit, they share their best tips.
1. Get a really, really big van (we have nine people on tour). How ever many people you have, just get a couple spare seats. Gigs in Australia are hours apart and you don’t want to be sitting on top of each other for consecutive 10 hour stretches. Plus, you’ll have room for hitchhikers who can provide a distraction when you’re getting sick of talking to each other.
2. Take ear plugs in case your drummer snores really badly. I learnt this hard way at Nimbin Mardi Grass, and ended up taking a blanket and pillow and sleeping on the floor of our (really uncomfortable) van to escape our old drummers epic snoring.
3. Elect a new Tour Manager everyday based on who is last on the bus that morning. We’re late to everything. Soundchecks, gigs, interviews. No one wants to be tour manager, so this rule helped speed us up each morning.
4. Make it a rule that everyone has to shower before getting on the bus. On day one, the bus is a source of excitement. By day three, the novelty starts to wear off and you realise it stinks.
5. Talk to people who come to your shows. After your mums, they’re your next biggest fans. There’s people who we talked to after shows we played four or five years ago who still keep in touch and check in on when our next track is coming out.
Black Bird Hum’s new single ‘Say You Want’ is out now.