In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the folk pop duo, Smith & Thell, tells you about one of their stories from being on tour. You can check out their story and stream their newest single, Forgive Me Friend (feat. Swedish Jam Factory), after the break.
This is a story from our very early teenage years with the first band we had together. The years when we thought to get a six-pack of watery beers to share with 10 people backstage was living the rock ’n roll dream.
We had got contacted by a girl on Myspace wanting us to come to a small town in Sweden to play a gig. We thought that this was insanely cool, and we were SO proud that someone that was not a friend, family member or teacher wanted us to play for them. We even got paid, 100 bucks YEY! (it only covered petrol, cause it was 6 hours back and forth. But still! Making bizznizz here yo!) We checked out the place on the very hot new thing called the internet and found dope pictures of a big stage and a band playing in front of a big audience.
We rehearsed for days, crazy ready for our big break!
After a long car ride infused with a legendary taking-over-the-world-kind-of-vibe, we arrived at the venue. The windows were a little bit smashed and it was a few beer cans laying around on an empty parking lot in the shitty part of the shitty town, but hey – the inside might look awesome!
We got greeted by our myspace contact. (We referred to her as ’our booker’ cause it sounded awesome.) A very tired girl in ripped jeans and a sad emo-t-shirt showed us into the building. While in there she walked us through the venue. We saw the big stage, but quickly got confused when we saw that the room with the big stage was filled with cartoons and old junk. The stage had a big hole in the floor and had probably not been used since the 90’s. But we politely followed her around the venue of our dreams through the backdoor in the cafeteria. Maybe they had built a new stage somewhere else in there? We looked to see if there was a room behind that. But she just said ’Here it is’ and pointed to a minimal spot on the floor beside the cafeteria. There was a tiny drum kit. But taking a closer look, it was one of those plastic versions of drum kits that you buy for kids to play on that isn’t supposed to sound too much. One microphone, and a tiny amp. No bass-amp. (We had to use the same settings for guitar and bass. It sounded like a madhouse)
We had an emergency meeting with the band and decided to make the best out of the situation. 5 am sharp we played the gig in broad daylight and sung our hearts out for the audience. Wich consisted of ONE reggae-dude who danced some kind of backbeat dance to ALL our songs throughout the WHOLE gig. (Sidenote, our songs were not backbeat.) After our successful show, we got served coffee with milk that had passed the expiration date and then drove back home. At least we could tell our friends we had been on tour!
The next gig we played was in our hometown a few weeks later. We usually had more people coming to our shows there.
Around the third song into the set – we saw a guy in reggae clothes in the audience dancing to his own kind of tempo. We couldn’t believe it. IT WAS THE BACKBEAT DUDE! He had traveled 6 hours to come and see us! One fan at a time right? Guess the hard way is the real way after all!