SPINN’s winsome frontman Johnny Quinn gives us a peek at his tour diary as the band tour the UK in support of their debut album.
Hi! For the past month I’ve been hitting everyone interested enough to ask with the statistic that the band I’m in (SPINN) has played 31 gigs in 30 days. However, after completing the largest tour in our fancy haircut and jangly guitar spangled history, I was informed that my favourite catchphrase was factually incorrect and that we’d played a mere 26 gigs in 28 days. SHAMEFUL!
Last month we released our debut album. It’s called SPINN because we couldn’t think of a decent enough name. I implore you to listen to it. It’s not exactly rock ’n’ roll, and it’s mostly in a major key, but it will probably brighten your mood and it also has the word ‘transgressions’ in one of the songs, so there! Anyway, we booked a tour last month to promote the shit out of it, we thought a normal tour would be enough but we got booked to do an HMV tour on top of it. This was a logistical nightmare, but most of the time we got free Kettle Chips.
With that in mind, dear reader, I invite you to read a tour diary that I wrote one afternoon while fighting a mild red wine hangover.
Love from Johnny x
3rd May – Manchester
The first gig of the tour was in HMV Manchester. Picture the scene, dear reader: windowless backstage, no Kettle Chips on the rider and all topped off with a perilous 30-foot drop off the side of the stage because we were playing next to some stairs. We spent 20 minutes arguing about who was going to stand on the side with the drop; Andy had vertigo, so decided it would be Sean because he’s the bassist and, as everybody knows, they’re the easiest to replace. My little sister was present and asked, “Is it always this exciting, Johnny?” I said “Yes.”
I’d like to extend my thanks to HMV and their staff for having us; they were lovely to us and applauded us even if nobody came, ha!
5th May – Liverpool
Last year we played to 400 people at Sound City after just releasing our EP – this year we had just released our album and played to, like, 800 people. It felt like a homecoming to so many people who were just made up for us, kind of how Trent Alexander-Arnold must have felt when he was texting that girl while riding that Champions League victory bus. Unbelievable scenes. Liverpool is our home and the city that we love most, and we’ve been all over the UK, man, believe me; I’ve seen the bright lights of Bedford don’t you know? Can’t remember much of Sound City after the gig, we spent it with Nathan from The Peach Fuzz and all of Monks. For me, Confidence Man were the highlight – they’re just fab, aren’t they?
23rd May – Huddersfield; 24th May – Aberdeen
This set of dates was probably the biggest surprise I’ve had since my mum and dad got me Mousetrap for Christmas 2005, and the people who came the gig were probably more up for it than seven-year-old Johnny was when he opened his prezzies that fateful morning. To be completely honest, I didn’t even know where Huddersfield or Aberdeen were and I’m still not entirely sure. But I do know that they know how to do a gig right, absolute limbs throughout, the people were all dead friendly, too. In Aberdeen we stayed in some crazy hippy commune, there were twigs glued to the ceiling (cool) and a trapeze on the stairway (dangerous). That said, our hosts were fantastic and cooked us all some delicious cinnamon and apple French toast for breakfast, with a vegan option available for Louis, our loverly Brummie drummer.
Note: against our will, we found out the hard way what a ‘true Scotsman’ wears under his kilt in a smoking area in Aberdeen. Actually, it wasn’t hard but it would have been a lot more interesting if it was… snigger.
28th May – St Albans
We’re all human, so, alas, there comes a time in our life where we must all face some sort of gruelling and/or embarrassing moment. I thought my entire high school experience, or perhaps when I gracefully threw up on stage during last year’s Liverpool International Music Festival, was more than enough to cover my fair share of said moments. Surely, I mean surely, it couldn’t happen again… But as we all know too well, dear reader, life has a funny way of doing things. Perhaps it was a higher power trying to keep me humble, or perhaps it was an underlying stomach issue that needs addressing – who knows – but despite my hopes and prayers I did throw up again during a performance, and also managed to terrify the entire front row when I announced this. And this is how I will remember St Albans: terror-stricken faces and spew…
31st May – Manchester
Full circle! First gig of the tour – Manchester; last gig of the tour – Manchester.
However, two very different affairs: the most notable difference being the fact that there wasn’t a drop to certain death on one side of the stage. The gig was in The Deaf Institute with Manchester band Carpet and our mates Monks on the support. If you take anything away from this, let it be Monks – very talented young lads indeed. We went for a Nando’s off Oxford Road. I got the halloumi and portobello mushroom burger (hot) with peri chips and garlic bread. Free refills. Optimal hydration. My whole family was present for this one and one particularly sweet moment was when my mum saw that we were sweating on stage, got us all a cup of water each and handed them to us halfway through the set. The crowd were amazing, our long suffering roadie Alex Forster said that the floor was shaking, I think that’s a good thing. Anyway, that was the last date of the tour, when we got back we bumped into a load of Baltic Weekender goers, they were so barneted they didn’t know who was playing when we asked. Ended up out till 5am with Monks. Liverpool won the Champions League the day after. Stayed in the house all weekend, drinking myself out of the pit of misery Divock Origi caused me, while the rest of SPINN partied. Wrote this.
Up the Toffees.