Reading seven-piece, A Genuine Freakshow, have been busy since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Oftentimes. This year, they released the single Hopscotch Machine Gun Madness, which caused a mini storm online. The band are about to head off on tour next month but before they do, AGF cellist Mel, stopped by to give us a little inside into their foodie habits on the road.
Foodie likes and dislikes?
Personally, I’ll eat anything, but then I’m a glutton! I particularly love sushi, Thai and Indian flavours, anything spicy. I make a mean Thai noodle soup, and chilli con carne. I grow my own veg too - partly out of necessity, being a poor musician and all, but mostly because I love it and it’s something I can feel smug about.
Your “go to” road food?
We rarely get food provided at gigs (it’s always a pleasant surprise when we do!) so cheap is the word. We all like to eat well though, especially if we’re on tour for a while, so try to go for healthy options if we can. I, for one, will soon run out of steam if I don’t get some vitamins inside me! Wetherspoons have done very well out of us over the years - we’ll always go there if there’s one nearby. Nando’s is also a band favourite. Some of us will often bring our own food to gigs, depending on how organised and/or skint we are!
Oh, and how could I forget Berocca and Innocent smoothies - both instant pick-me-ups. (Just had the idea of dissolving a Berocca tablet in an Innocent smoothie. Perhaps that would be overkill).
Cardinal “road food” sins?
Eating a huge curry just before going onstage. Not pretty. Any fast food / takeaway places really, McDonalds included. We do try to avoid them but sometimes it’s all there is or all we have time for. The occasional extra-large pizza can’t hurt…
Road food” guilty pleasures?
Fry-ups for breakfast at supermarket cafes - heaven.
Food you miss the most when on tour?
Fruit and veg - anything healthy really. If we’re away on tour for a while I’ll bring a stash to keep me going.
Any “road food” stories to share?
Dunce (our trumpeter) once ate a whole 8” cherry pie before a show and seemingly suffered no ill effects. I think he has hollow legs. We recently spent a week together in Cornwall writing the next album. On the final day we had these ingredients left to cook with: 15 eggs, 30 rashers of bacon, a dozen potatoes, 3 peppers, 1kg pasta. Carbonara, omelettes and jacket potatoes it was! No lack of carbs that day…
Stylusboy is the acoustic creation of Steve Jones, a Coventry bred guitarist and vocalist. He cut his teeth playing guitar and bass for a number of bands, and gigging extensively before finally stripping down his sound, and venturing into the wilderness to produce his own personal blend of lo-fi alternative folk. He’s about to release his EP Whole Picture via Lazy Acre Records on June 6th and dropped us an email recently about some of his foodie stories from the road.
I am a big fan of food. I am a vegetarian and have been for a number years. There aren’t many foods that I don’t like apart from celery and olives, unless they are chopped up into tiny, tiny, tiny pieces and mixed in with other things! I love to cook at home and I am big fan of pastas, salads cheeses and roasted vegetables! Quite often when I play gigs I arrive to soundcheck around the times when I get hungry!
Sometimes I will have had something to eat before I head out which is often cheese on toast and the good old jam on toast. I play a regular gig at restaurant and bar called Ego in Kenilworth. They serve amazing Mediterranean foods so I often eat there and order a mozzarella, beef tomato and basil salad!
I drink a lot of fruit teas and often enjoy lemon and ginger tea before gigs as it really helps my throat. I remember playing at the Tin Angel in Coventry one December when I had a pretty rough voice so I spent the time beforeI was due to play not saying a lot and drinking lots of ginger tea. It really did the trick and my voice was fine throughout the gig.
Feta cheese sandwiches with carrot pickle are amazing. Often on the way back from gigs I get peckish and stop at garages and get chocolate which often keeps my going. I am very much a dairy milk man!
Food is not only love, it’s also betrayal. An award-winning cook shares the story of his mother, betrayal and her last supper.
Road Food is a new feature where we ask touring bands - past and present - about their foodie experiences.
Kerrie McEvoy is the bassist in London band Gin Panic. She also happens to be a massive foodie so we decided to chat to her about her road food experiences…
I love food. There’s very little food that I don’t like, bananas and tripe are about my only culinary no nos. My absolute favourite way to eat is Mediterranean style – with lots of little tapas dishes, olives, fresh baked bread, salads and beautifully seasoned, simply grilled meat. Sit me down with some flat bread, hummus and olives and I’m happy as a pig in shit!
It’s hard to eat well on the road, you spend so much time in a van or at a venue you normally end up with cold chips and a battered sausage, however, there are some exceptions to the rule. We played in the Cowley Club in Brighton a few months ago and they prepared a lovely vegan curry, even if I do live by the mantra “no meat no meal” this curry was very tasty and much needed. I like it when promoters make an effort to feed a band, between travelling and sound-checking you don’t get much time to eat!
When we toured northern Europe we were looked after like kings, I particularly remember the Hannover show – we were given a cold meat and cheese buffet on arrival, a roast chicken dinner before we went on stage, all the booze and chocolate we could consume and breakfast the next morning. Needless to say, by the time I went onstage my stomach was the size of a football and I seriously needed to reconsider my pink body-con stage outfit.
My only problem with touring in Northern Europe is their love of meat, eggs and cheese for lunch and breakfast – 9 people in a van, living on that diet does not make for a pleasant smelling tour bus!
Delicious tapas that capture the vibrancy of Spain. Order the passion fruit daiquiri - beautiful.
Yo Yo Ma and the lyrical street stylings of Lil Buck — what dish does this inspire you to think of that mixes up the classical and the urban?
…cRAVE: mixing up unexpected tastes in food, art and music.
We asked bands, musicians and music folk via the wondrous magic of the Twitterverse, what their dream rider would be. Here are the results…
"Chocolate peanut protein bars, cold cut deli meats, wholegrain bread, extra light mayo, mixed salad, beer and water."
Wee rolls, cheese, ham, orange juice, water, 72 beers, 2 bottles whiskey, 1 bottle rum.”
Perfect food/drink based rider: A Sliver platter with a mountain of nose sherbert and 6 crates of nondescript BROWN BOOZE.”
"Belvadere Vodka, Tiger Beer and Thai food!"
What about you? Are you in a band, are you a musician or DJ, technician, roadie or touring comedian? What would be your dream rider? Please tweet us @cravegrub or email cravegrub (at) gmail (dot) com.
We’re hosting our first cRAVE tasting in May (in Dundee, Scotland!) - an evening of animations, prose and live music… and food of course. Here’s one of our shorts — what food/drink would you pair with it?
Q: What’s your dream rider?
A:@birdseatbaby Belvadere Vodka, Tiger Beer and Thai food!
ooh. Good combination. Sleek and sexy at the same time. Since your musical stylings also veers toward the unusual, dark and sexy, we at cRAVE say take this little nibble along with you on your next tour: green mango dipped in spicy salt. A handful of thai chilies will stay fresh for most of your tour. Slice up a chili and mash it with some sea salt — you can even use a drumstick — and dip in a slice of fresh mango, take a swig of tiger beer — and there you have it. Something like paradise on the road. xx, cRAVE
Birds Eat Baby’s classical alt prog punk gorgeousness can be found at http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk/