Thursday, 6 September 2012
Channel 5 and a Busking Tour
I've had quite a busy summer of touring and gigs, so I've been neglecting my blog a little bit. I thought I'd try and catch up by looking back to the start of the summer, and a busking tour we did. Hopefully I'll be able to remember it all.
After Kristyna Myles was featured in some national papers, we were asked to perform live on The Myleene Klass show on Channel 5. This was the first time I'd done a live national TV performance so I was slightly nervous. It was all very surreal in the green room as members of S-Club 7 and various other celebrities came and went. A woman came in and called me in to make-up, to try and stop me looking too 'pasty'.
Myleene was lovely and had a chat with Kristyna before the show to put her at ease. In her interview, Kristyna spoke about her record deal, and the upcoming busking tour to raise money for the homeless charity Centrepoint. She seemed very confident and relaxed like she'd been doing TV interviews for years. Then it was time to perform an acoustic version of Kristynas single 'I'm Not Going Back'. The TV show had requested that the performance was just over two minutes, so we'd worked out an arrangement of the tune that fitted into these time restraints. We had twenty seconds to get into position while they played a clip. And then we were off....
I can't remember much about the two minutes but when I watched it back it seemed to be ok. Someone said I couldn't have looked more relieved as i strummed the final chord, safe in the knowledge that I hadn't messed up. All in all it was a great experience. After the show I watched as Myleene Klass recorded three trailers for future shows, rattling through the words on the auto cue without slipping up, while a crowd of people waited to get a photo with her and T4 were banging on the door as they had the studio booked next. All after being live on the TV for three hours. I decided being a TV presenter looked like a fairly stressful job.
The next day we kicked off our busking tour. The idea was to busk in different cities all over the UK to raise money for the homeless charity Centrepoint, while fitting in as many radio stations as we could along the way. In the evenings we would perform at Malmaison hotels in each city, and this would serve as a showcase for the local press to come and see us perform.
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We started off in our hometown of Manchester. Unsurprisingly it was raining heavily so we couldn't busk, but the show at The Malmasion in the evening was great fun. The following day we travelled to Oxford where, luckily, the sun was out. We had a great busking session just by a bus-stop where there always seemed to be a long queue. So people had no choice but to listen to us if they wanted to catch their bus, haha. The hotel we stayed in in Oxford was an ex-prison. My room was made up of three cells and still had bars on the windows. Quirky.
Next we covered Newcastle where we did some busking on an open top bus. Then up to Scotland for Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. We busked on Buchanan Street in Glasgow which is apparently where KT Tunstall used to busk. We covered a lot of the country very quickly and often there wasn't much time to look around. For example, the next morning we woke up in Glasgow, then travelled to Liverpool to play at Soundcity festival in the afternoon, and then carried on to London for another gig in the evening. Tempers occasionally became a little short on the tour as there wasn't always much time for sleep, but the advantage of working with close friends is that it's easy to laugh about it the next day.
A few days later we had a big showcase at the Malmaison hotel in London. This was a slightly more nerve-wracking affair as the place was full of press and media types. The evening was a great success. While we played in one room, Kristyna's video for I'm Not Going Back played on repeat on a big screen in another room. Outside the hotel Kristyna's manager parked a big ad-van with a gigantic billboard of Kristyna's album on both sides. I couldn't help thinking it must have turned a few heads as it drove down the motorway.
After London we moved on to Birmingham, Reading, Liverpool and Leeds, busking in each. The tour was a fantastic experience and we met a lot of great people. Hopefully we managed to raise awareness of Centrepoint too. If you want to donate you can do so here.