The Sad Song Co. the new album.

Worth - the new album

Add your email to the list to keep up to date with everything!

The Sad Song Co: Blog

Nigel Powell: Attack the Blog!

The Crew's Ship

Thursday 25th July, 2013

Just got a little while in the middle of the night before we leave for Heathrow to start another tour. Although they never stop. It's one continuous tour.

But I was having some thoughts about work and working and who does what. I've been both sides of the touring fence multiple times - being crew and being the 'artist'. And it's a strange co-existence that the two sides inhabit.

When it comes down to it the crew are the people who are actually working on the road. I don't know of any sane musicians who would argue. Their hours are longer, their tasks are more arduous, and they don't get the high-pitched adulation that the band gets. I used to love being crew, particularly lighting. On a tour, only the caterers have longer hours. Lighting are in first and out last, and on a couple of tours I did there was hardly any break between those two things.

The band, by contrast, do little in terms of hours. A hour, maybe 90 minutes soundchecking during the afternoon. Another 90 minutes or a little more playing in the evening. It's not so hard. But at the same time none of the crew's work would be happening were it not for the 'artist' and their endeavours. Some crew people do end up bitter or envious of band members, but everyone's relying on each other for the betterment of the show.

And in many cases you'll find band members who are not coasting their way through things. FT busies himself deeply throughout any day. If he's not doing externally mandated activities (radio sessions, press interviews, TV appearances organised by the record label) then he's working through his day's mountain of email, both keeping an eye on business affairs and personally replying to every fan or otherwise person who wants to write to him. Tarrant and Ben have both also worked the other side of the fence (Tarrant has been a tour manager and FOH engineer of some repute in the past, and Ben has more than once earned a crust as a guitar tech) so they are also wont to roll some sleeves up and make sure stuff is being done - in Ben's case looking after his gear lovingly (and somewhat anally, to be sure), for Tarrant remotely managing his band van hire business hoovers up more time than he strictly has available.

So what's my point? There isn't one. Lame. But it's 2 am and I wanted to be in bed and asleep two hours ago and I'm not going to see a bed for another 26 hours so no there's no point and what are you going to do about it?

Becki, Fri 26th July 2013, 05:48:24 PM
I have spent more than enough time as Crew in my life as well as being a qualified pyrotechnican, I know more of my fair share of not being recognised after a show. I respect, more than most people, the things that go on back of house. As well as this, I really wish I could meet some of them, despite their busy schedules, to thank them for all the hard work they put in. I get to meet the bands - I don't get to meet the people who make it all tick. Don't get me wrong - I'm hugely grateful that I get to see the shows and meet the bands - I'd just like to thank more people because I know how much it meant to me.

Hope to see you at a show soon :)
Becki x
Leah, Thu 25th July 2013, 03:23:25 AM
Don't know if it helps at all, but as a fan, I see some of the work you do; setting up before, during bands, and after the show. When you're on stage you and there are no drums in a moment in a song, you're bouncing around, clapping, shaking a tambourine, or perhaps jumping up on speakers (careful with that, by the way). You always show an extreme presence and much character that inspires the crowd (or at least me). I admire that about you. You're probably exhausted all the time, but you never show it. As I was lucky enough to get to tell you one before, you are my favorite :). And I greatly look forward to seeing you be awesome one again in a few weeks. Best wishes.
Bella, Thu 25th July 2013, 02:28:04 AM

I have seen all of you crew at your own gigs, even the larger ones, you guys always seem to be involved. It is just one of the many things I love about you guys - that you know so many aspects of your work and do all of them really, really well!

Don't under estimate yourself, or your skills :-)

I wonder sometimes if you are so used to what you do that don't think of all of it as "work"?

I hope you get some useful sleep. Take care of yourself.

Bella, Thu 25th July 2013, 02:16:27 AM

I have seen all of you crew at your own gigs, even the larger ones, you guys always seem to be involved. It is just one of the many things I love about you guys - that you know so many aspects of your work and do all of them really, really well!

Don't under estimate yourself, or your skills :-)

I wonder sometimes if you are so used to what you do that don't think of all of it as "work"?

I hope you get some useful sleep. Take care of yourself.


More Blogs

Recording The Bigger Picture

Saturday 23rd January, 2016

It's been a long time since my last blog. Yeah, sure, I know. Sorry. Just leave it. OK? Something came up yesterday though that seemed worthy of talking about. Apparently it's 10 years since Milow's album The Bigger Picture was released, and album that I produced and played on. I thought it be...   read

Some Drumming Videos

Saturday 20th September, 2014

Been concentrating on updating the site to include contact links for hiring me as a session drummer. But over the summer I did a couple of shows with my old pals in the Genesis tribute band Los Endos. Here's a couple of drum views of songs from those with...   read

Puritan Chapter 4

Wednesday 18th June, 2014

1989 - 1992: Once Around The Park My dad, still with his eye on solid academic achievement, insisted that I at least consider university. Out of respect I applied for places on a number of courses, but the interview process was somewhat unusual, since the hardening of my ambition to be somehow with...   read

Feed The Tree

Monday 12th May, 2014

Sorry it's been so long since the last time I blogged here. I have been busy, that much is true, but it would be a lie to pretend that was entirely the reason. Many days I wonder the worth of adding to the ever-growing mountain of unsolicited writing out there, of my...   read

It's been a long long time

Friday 25th April, 2014

Hello everyone. Sorry, this blog has been long neglected. My next thing to post was the next chapter of Puritan, but I was waiting until I could get some relevant audio tracks into the computer world, which involved borrowing a DAT machine and finding time between tours to record it and blah...   read

Massively long pseudo intellectual discourse

Tuesday 29th October, 2013

I was intending my next blog to be another "Bloggin' The Shuffle", but something happened that took me elsewhere. A friend who is studying screenwriting asked me about musical structure. Most screenplays follow a three act format, roughly akin to sonata form in music, and her thought was to compare other forms...   read

Know thyself

Thursday 10th October, 2013

Been a while since the last blog. I guess I've been putting this one off because... well it's odd. For starters I'm aware that I would suggest to others not doing this - you let people take what they want from music you make, and your opinion doesn't matter so much it's...   read

You've changed, man

Friday 6th September, 2013

I said over there on the albums page that my next blog would be my own self-assessment of my solo work, but I think I'm going to postpone that. It's something I struggle with in a way - I want to talk about it, but I would encourage anyone else away that...   read

Puritan Chapter 3

Sunday 11th August, 2013

1985 - 1989: Sentimental Mercenary In A Free Fire Zone After a summer of unpacking boxes and trying to make the new house a home I started at Abingdon School in September 1985. With the determination for morbidity that only a teenager can muster, I hated it and was depressed in a I...   read

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights

Thursday 11th July, 2013

As many of you here may know apart from being a drummer I was once a lighting designer, the guy who makes the lights do their thing at a rock show (there's many other kinds of LD of course, but rock was what I did). So with that in my background have...   read

Puritan Chapter Two

Tuesday 4th June, 2013

1982 - 1985: Above The Riverbed The World's Run Dry More gigs, better gigs. After the party we started to get a bit more serious with the school band, or as serious as you can be when you're 12 years old. We called ourselves Nightshade and had a stable lineup of Adrian guitar,...   read

I've been so far from here, far from your loving arms

Sunday 26th May, 2013

Some things are curious to me. Things which appear to be a lack of analysis, opinions not properly thought through. Then again that sometimes is just me and my Spock-ness, not appreciating the random foible of desire. I read about the band that I play in on the internet. There, I've admitted In...   read

Bloggin' The Shuffle #2

Monday 29th April, 2013

Hello from Hamburg! Ich Bein Eine Hamburger. Or something. Got an hour after breakfast on the bus before we have to travel to record a German TV show called Ina's Nacht, so what better way to make GOOD USE of my time than another quick session of bloggin' the shuffle. This off...   read

Puritan Chapter One

Monday 22nd April, 2013

1971 - 1982: It's Cold Outside, But It Gets So Hot In Here Oh shit. That's mum and dad. Keep your head, don't giggle, just keep tidying up the bottles and cans into the bin bag in the garage. I think they're angry, but I'm finding it curiously hard to read these who...   read

It hardly seems to matter now

Monday 8th April, 2013

So here's another in what I anticipate to be a series. Jeez, what a lot of series we have running - Puritan (to be continues when I get access to my old photos and a scanner, so I can make it a bit more visually interesting), Blogging The Shuffle (which will when...   read

Left, right, left, right, present arms

Sunday 24th March, 2013

I'm writing this from Shanghai in China, my first visit to this country. I'm not going to give you my impressions. I'm not Michael Palin, nor indeed Bill Bryson (although I can recommend all of Mr. Bryson's travel books as some of the most amusing writing I've ever had the pleasure embarrassingly...   read

Bloggin' the Shuffle! #1

Thursday 14th March, 2013

This is the original reason that it occurred to me to start blogging. I'd find myself on the tourbus with my iPod on having memories and thoughts triggered as shuffle offered up various tidbits that I wouldn't have put on of my own accord. So I'm going to give that a at...   read

Puritan - Introduction

Sunday 10th March, 2013

Introduction October 12th 2010, Albuquerque, NM, USA I'm 39 and 11 days old, which is clearly much too old to be any kind of musician on the road with a rock band. I'm playing with English musician Frank Turner as a member of his backing band. The distinction is necessary, since things are to...   read

Literary Pretensions

Saturday 9th March, 2013

So, the thing is, when I was on tour a couple of years back I wrote a 'book'. It's definitely a 'book' and not a book though. It's an autobiography with the initial intention of a certain angle on the subject, although as it went along the focus drifted a bit. I...   read

Hey Self Defeater

Monday 4th March, 2013

We started a tour in Northampton, MA on 2nd March and, being as it was not far from his hometown of Springfield, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my friend Mark Mulcahy. His name is not familiar to many, but anyone out there who knows him or his work probably...   read

Talking about myself

Saturday 2nd March, 2013

I don't really talk about myself much. Not just on the internet, but in life. I have an English paranoia about being seen to complain, or about troubling anyone else ("a friend troubled is a problem doubled", as someone once said to me). But I don't think that it's healthy. Don't me...   read