The life lessons you learn when you're in a band, eh? A gig in Brighton on Saturday night provided yet more priceless insight into the dos and don'ts of putting on a show and getting home afterwards, in one piece and without incident. Here's what I learned this time.
1) If you've got a DI box, take the DI box. Especially if you're the keyboard player (which I am). Don't rely on the engineer to bring the a DI box. Because, some of those synths really can be quite hissy on the outputs, can't they?
2) Driving to Brighton on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Whatever time you normally set off: you're going to need another hour. At least.
3) You can never have enough spare microphones. Fortunately, the sound engineer already knows that, and so will take a few with him. Just in case you happen to have put yours in the same forgotten bag you put the DI box in.
4) Does your van have a remote immobilisation system? It's not going to trigger at 3.15am in the morning, when you're halfway through unloading the vehicle, is it? Of course not! Anyway, you can always phone the van hire hotline and ask them to sort it out. While you try to stay awake.
5) That Avid S3L desk: looks good, sounds good, it's portable and fairly straightforward to pilot. Though, altering the foldback level for the keyboard player requires switching through several layers, maybe a couple more than you'd want to, according to the engineer.
6) Always lock the room where you keep your stuff. Especially during the get-out, when everyone's winding down and packing up, and no one's taking much notice of who's doing what. Otherwise, you might find himself one rucksack (...one pair of keys, one wallet, one mobile phone) short of a full van-load. Thank Heavens for the hotel CCTV...
Just another Saturday night, then!
Dave Robinson, editor, PSNEurope