16th April 2014, I embarked on my journey to Southampton to begin the Of Mice & Men, Issues and Beartooth UK tour. I was mainly doing each date for Issues who, since June last year, have gotten me back into music in a way I never thought could happen again. I had dropped music photography due to a family illness and up until last year, the only time I’d picked up my camera was for a show without a barrier or any particular rules regarding shooting. It was a huge thing for me after a big loss, of someone who really encouraged me to do what I loved, to get back into music again and I’m glad that a band as wonderful as Issues were the selling point to get me to pick up my camera again.
Southampton saw me getting to see the boys live again, along with chatting with a few outside, but London is where everything really went off. I was given the opportunity by Rock Sound to interview the boys, along with four others, for the magazine. Of course this required buying a earlier train ticket and I was more than happy to oblige, I arrived there with plenty time to spare and it was so good to see everyone again. For some it had been seven months since we’d seen one another, for others it was only five and it was so great to be able to catch up and see how everyone has been doing since then.
Performance wise, London was my absolute favourite. Every show was great in it’s own way – Manchester for getting to hang with everyone afterwards. Glasgow was fun for how lovely everyone was, after hanging out with AJ and Sky for a short while after the show a few of us headed to a bar. Cathouse had been the place to go at first, it was where Ty disappeared to – worrying everyone about it – but we picked out a bar a little closer to the venue and there were some of the coolest Scottish guys taking us. Bus call only permitted a couple of drinks but we had a great time in the short time we had. One wonderful thing that came out of this tour, has been meeting so many wonderful people.
Birmingham I was given a photo pass to shoot the show for Substream, while the lighting wasn’t the best I worked with what I had. A little bad lighting was not going to ruin my night. Not only was it great to hang with the guys from the band, the guys manning merch for Issues and Beartooth were hilarious and wonderful to be around every night. I had to chance to meet Abbi and Rachel for the first time and the five of us had a great time during Of Mice & Men’s set chatting together.
I ended tour on a high note in Cardiff. From doing the full tour and seeing the guys so much before, they worked at getting me AAA for the last show. I met with Chris who took me through to the guys, we hung for a while back stage before sound check. We then went to dinner together, Noodle Box seemed to be the place to go and four of the guys came along. It was nice to sit and talk to the guys in that environment, Sky and Michael taught me how to practice drumming with my hands and it’s something I have been practising since I got home. I was pretty quiet for the majority of it, I was mostly sad that for me the tour was over and a couple of them were nice enough to check on me when I’d expressed that. They were almost like big brothers for a lot of the tour looking after me and talking to me as much as they did. They’re the most lovely bunch of guys I’ve had the pleasure to meet and see live and I really can’t wait to see them again at Warped and in Dublin.