Dave Best column: The unwritten rules of living on a tour bus

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People are often curious as to how a band manages to live on a bus for months on end whilst on tour.

It is a weird way to live and if you’re going to survive it there are certain rules that you must follow.

The first rule is one that is drilled into you by the driver the minute you first step foot on a tour bus – No number two’s on the bus! I think this kind of speaks for itself…

Moving swiftly on, rule number two – Your bunk is your castle. When sharing the tiny confines of a bus for months on end with a large group of people privacy is at a premium.

You can’t even make a cup of tea, without encountering a semi naked lighting engineer, or a trumping, hung-over drummer.

It can become extremely claustrophobic. Your little bunk may not be much larger than you (or, if your over six-foot three, like four members of my band, five inches too short for you…), but its your sanctuary, you’re safe haven.

If I’m ever in need of a bit of me time I get in my bunk, close my curtains, plug in my earphones and relax to a bit of Bob Dylan.

Rule three – keep a close eye on your food. I would say label your food, but that doesn’t work.

If your out for a post-gig pint and you’ve left a expertly constructed dressing-room sandwich marked “DAVE’S, DO NOT EAT!” in the tour bus fridge, you get bet your house that it wont be there when you get back.

A strict you snooze, you lose policy is in place when any food enters the confines of the bus and no-one, from singer to monitor engineer, is exempt.

There are many more rules that you must follow in order to make the most of bus life: Party animals sleep at the back, near the lounge – bring loads of socks (We swear there’s a sock-monster on our bus, eating all our socks whilst were asleep) – check your bunk before getting in, there may be a tipsy singer hiding in there, waiting to scare the bejeezus out of you.

If you making one brew, be prepared to make ten… I could go on.

The truth is this cramped, nomadic existence does take a while to get used to.

However, once you understand and master the rules of tour bus life, both written and unwritten, you fall in love with it.

Three weeks in you’ll wonder how you ever slept without the hum of the engine and the choir of snoring crewmembers serenading you.

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