Opinion

Why Every Aussie Band Should Tour Regional Australia

Though they’ve already more than earned the title with their recent, 30-date RAW Tour across Australia, acclaimed Sydney five-piece Lepers & Crooks are cementing their place as Australia’s hardest working band by doing what they do best and hitting the highways once again on their biggest tour to date.

“2014 was an amazing year for us, we have learnt so much and keep developing our craft under the watchful eye and guidance of (ex-INXS manager) CM Murphy and his team,” said the band. “We are so excited to get back out on the road, to re-connect with existing and new fans and perform the songs from our EP, as well as a bunch of new songs we have just written up in Ballina.”

Allergic to slowing down, the band are currently on an extensive and incredibly ambitious 50-date tour around the country, in support of their recent Her Kiss EP, which is available viaiTunes and Spotify. These days with discussion about the financial benefits of playing live, and strengthening a loyal fanbase, we chatted with the hardworking band’s vocalist and guitarist Pat ‘Pat’ Reuter-Town about the benefits of regional touring.

Punters In Small Towns Love Music Too

“To us touring regionally is a no brainier, it’s just like an extended pub crawl really, if you’re going from A to B you may as well take a detour and see what’s in between; that’s where the magic happens a lot of the time, in these small towns that most bands don’t manage to make it to. There’s plenty of people out in these areas that love live music and love rock and it’s a matter of just getting organised enough to get out to these places.”

It’s All In The Numbers

“There are only a dozen or so big cities in Australia and there are hundreds of regional towns, having the chance to play in front of a broader audience is so valuable for a number of reasons. Playing shows and interacting with such a wide range of different audiences can give you a great amount of perspective on not only your music but also your personal experience which will then go on to influence the song writing. Also winning over crowds in places that other touring bands haven’t managed to get to can really make a difference in making a presence in across the whole nation.”

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You’ll Experience Things You’d Otherwise Miss

“On of our recent tour highlights was New Years Eve in Byron Bay, it was the best way to open up a tour, we’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time up in the Northern Rivers this year writing new material so it really has become a home away from home. We were staying on a property just out of town and Sam thought it was a good idea to go mushroom picking as the New Years sun was coming up, he came back from his expedition with a smile across his face, this changed pretty fast when we showed him the days headline of the local paper the Northern Star – ‘BEWARE OF DEADLY MUSHROOMS’, Sam was freaking out for a good while before he thought to himself ‘you know what? If I’m gonna die then there’s nothing I can do about it now, may as well enjoy this trip while it lasts’ and so he did, although next time I think he’ll be asking our friends in Nimbin instead of taking matters into his own hands.”

The Audiences Are More Appreciative

“There’s a laid back vibe of a country town that we love, we’re able to just cruise in during the day and everyone’s friendly enough to stop and have a chat with strangers so it’s really easy to make new friends fast and rally up a good crowd for the show. But don’t let the relaxed attitude deceive you, most people we’ve played to in regional areas really get into the music and let loose for the night. When we played in Griffith (Damo’s home town) the front row of the audience took to smashing the foldback speakers in time with the music, it was all so high energy and in the moment that we were loving it and luckily the venue had such a good night there was just a bit of shoulder shrugging over the damage.

Most of us grew up in a regional area so we know what it’s like when your favourite band is passing through, first and foremost it’s a great reason to go out and have a good time and that’s what live music is all about. It’s a beautiful thing following a band from the ground up and no one should be denied that opportunity but when you’re in a town that rarely has bands come through then you get a vibe that’s unlike that of a city crowd, and you get the feeling that in those cases that the whole experience is something special.”

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It Can Become A Paid Holiday

“Life on the road you’ll find yourself ever grateful for the simple things: a roof over your head and a nice meal in your tummy goes a long way, when we first started touring regionally this is all we would ask for from a venue and that gave us the opportunity to travel across the country, makings friends, gaining fans and playing music at a very low cost, like an extended holiday. We always put on our best show so the next time the crowds are bigger, buying drinks, musics pumping – everyone’s having a good time and the venue has an incentive to reward you and now we get to do this for a living, sacrifices always pay off, it still feels like a holiday.”

The Networks You Build Are Invaluable

“Meeting people from different areas and all different walks of life is one of the most enriching experiences of touring. If you respect people and respect the place that they are from then you never have trouble making good friends on the road. Without local friends you really miss out on what most places have to offer.

It’s great when playing with local support acts as they’re always so accommodating. We played with a band called EKKO from Milton, we had rocked up the night before the gig to check things out but when the pub closed at 8pm we were freaking out about the following night as our set was set for 10pm. We gave EKKO a call and they told us to chill, invited us over to their beautiful rehearsal studio on a quiet 30 acre property and we jammed and danced the night away and forgot all our worries, it was the perfect pretence to the show we were playing together the following night, and sure enough come 8pm people started flooding into the venue and we played to one of the most energetic audiences of the tour so far! ”

If You’re Not Touring Regionally You’re Missing Out

“It pays to roll your sleeves up and take the road less travelled. Australia is such a vast and extraordinarily beautiful country and I think anyone would love the opportunity to explore it. So if you’re in a van headed to the next capital city then take a break, stretch your legs, check out what every place has to offer because you might be missing out on fans, friends and good times!”

Upcoming Tour Dates

Wednesday, 28th January 2015
Rad Bar, Wollongong

Friday, 30th January 2015
Transit Bar, Canberra

Saturday, 31st January 2015
Home Tavern, Wagga

Thursday, 5th February 2015
Musicman, Bendigo

Saturday, 7th February 2015
Baha Tacos, Rye

Sunday, 8th February 2015
Lucky Coq, Prahran

Monday, 9th February 2015
Old Bar, Fitzroy

Friday, 13th February 2015
The Westernport, San Remo

Saturday, 14th February 2015
Great Britain, Richmond

Thursday, 19th February 2015
Oak Hotel, Launceston

Friday, 20th February 2015
The Homestead, Hobart

Saturday, 21st February 2015
Party in the Paddock TAS

Friday, 27th February 2015
The Loft, Warnambool

Friday, 6th March 2015
Mount Gambier Hotel, Mount Gambier

Saturday, 7th March 2015
Area Hotel, Griffith

Sunday, 8th March 2015
The Birdhouse, Wagga

Thursday, 12th March 2015
UNI NSW, Beergarden

Friday, 13th March 2015
The Lass, Newcastle

Saturday, 14th March 2015
Federal Hotel, Bellingen

Wednesday, 18th March 2015
SCU Unibar, Lismore

Thursday, 19th March 2015
The Stro, Armidale

Friday, 20th March 2015
Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

Saturday, 21st March 2015
Brisbane

Sunday, 22nd March 2015
Cooroy Originals, Cooroy

Friday, 27th March 2015
Dalby

Saturday, 28th March 2015
Roma

Sunday, 29th March 2015
Sounds of Sunday, Gold Coast

Friday, 3rd April 2015
Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin

Saturday, 4th April 2015
The Northern, Byron Bay

Sunday, 5th April 2015
Aussie Hotel, Ballina

Thursday, 9th April 2015
Airlie Beach

Friday, 10th April 2015
The Jack, Cairns

Saturday, 11th April 2015
Port Douglas

Friday, 17th April 2015
Exeter Hotel, Adelaide

Saturday, 18th April 2015
Glenelg

Thursday, 23rd April 2015
Mojos, Fremantle

Friday, 24th April 2015
Prince of Wales, Bunbury

Saturday, 25th April 2015
Whitestar, Albany

Sunday, 26th April 2015
Indy Bar, Scarborough

Friday, 1st May 2015
Sydney

For tickets and info visit: www.lepersandcrooks.com.au

 

Sourced from Tone Deaf

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