Without a doubt, going on tour is exciting - traveling to different cities, meeting and connecting with fans from all over the world, and collaborating with other musicians. We chatted with Sparkplug renter and singer-songwriter Susan Herndon, who recently played with her band Bella Counsel at the Filey Folk Festival and toured around Yorkshire, England, to learn more about Susan's experiences on the road.
On the three-week tour, Bella Counsel performed in eight different cities across Yorkshire, at venues such as Evron Center, Charlotte’s, Monk’s Walk, Woodend Gallery, The Winning Post, Hales Bar, The Topic, Roots Music Club, and at Inkwell Arts.
Recalling her most memorable moments, the Oklahoma native said it was a playing for a small audience at Beverley, in an upstairs room at the Monk’s Walk in front of a wall that had been built in the 12th Century. She found the experience at the Filey Folk Festival very enjoyable in general, and even got to go kayaking on the North Sea. Susan was also able to meet and collaborate with musicians such as Steve Chapman Smith, Tom Mason, Tom McConville, Ade Payne and Rob Reynolds. Met Hungrytown, Bric-a-Brac, and Lauren Housley.
Despite all the fun, touring is not without its challenges. When asked about what kinds of challenges Susan faced on the road, she said, "the biggest challenge is always that travel isn’t really easy, so making sure the bandmates are happy and that everything is running smoothly is important." It was also packing the van with gear and instruments, transporting everything between venues, and parking the van.
Through Sparkplug, Susan and her band were able to rent the instruments and other equipment they needed for the tour from a Manchester-based company, Big Fish Rentals. "Sparkplug was, in fact, an answer to a prayer…. we had this tour to England in the works and needed some
instruments," Susan told us about when she first heard about Sparkplug. "The experience was great. All seemed to come together very smoothly and swiftly and they were very professional to
work with. The rental company in Manchester was wonderful, as well."
This was Susan’s fourth tour in Europe, and her first time touring with her band, Bella Counsel. “Artistically, I think the time together touring made our band tighter, musically and in spirit," Susan told us about how the trip impacted her as an artist. "I definitely gained some strength in being a road warrior! I really appreciated the confidence that Sparkplug gave me, knowing that all was going as planned with regards to renting our instruments and that the quality of instruments and gear was excellent.”
Currently, Susan and her band Bella Counsel are working on their new album, which is going to be released next year. You can find out more about Susan at www.susanherndon.com, and Susan Herndon Music on Facebook, and @SusanHerndonGLO on Twitter.
By: Linan Chen