“I’m really excited to get back at it,” beams SEAN MCGOWAN ahead of his extensive UK tour next month.
After a brief period of time off over Christmas – a time which is now filled with “lots of catching up with old faces and generally overindulging” – he is happy to be back travelling around the country, revealing “I only really have routine in my life when I’m on the road.” This time around, especially, “we’re covering a lot of ground and doing some of our biggest headline shows so it’s going to be nuts!”
When prompted which of the shows will be most “nuts,” McGowan is quick to point out “Bristol and Manchester always stick out to me. Nottingham, too!” but swiftly adds “every show has its own merits. The reality is you’re running round the place playing music you wrote in your bedroom – playing absolutely anywhere else other than there is a total win.”
There are no towns or cities that McGowan is fearing, but instead his worry turns to the in between drives, jokingly telling us “from the perspective of me as ‘tour manager’ I’m a little concerned about how I’ll get diesel for the van and feed my band!” Fear not, though, because “we always manage to work that out somehow!” The roads that will consume diesel (or not as is feared) connect a month’s worth of headline shows, but these have been preluded by 2018 support slots alongside legends Frank Turner and The Levellers – stints that have been beneficial to the way McGowan approaches life.
“The Levellers were fantastic. I travelled on their tour bus with them and just soaked up their knowledge. They definitely taught me to be more in control of my career.” The ‘control’ factor was also present when in the company of Frank Turner, whose advise that “you need to be prolific and obsessed, but also to make time for a normal life” resonates what The Levellers offered.
Away from touring with iconic artists, Son of the Smith was released in May last year. Content with the reaction so far, he explains that “you spend so long writing, tweaking, rewriting, tweaking, recording, rerecording then recording again before mastering etc. that by the time of release you’re exhausted.” Reminiscing about the whole process, he proudly points out that “when you don’t have much budget for a record it can be really limiting. I feel like my band, my studio team and I, pulled it out the bag and went above and beyond on the project,” before suggesting with a hopeful tone “I think people have related to the honesty of the record!”
Putting excitement back into the art of buying a record, McGowan offered a limited edition Oyster Card holder to the first few people that ordered a physical copy of Son of the Smith – a move he now laughs about. “well I can’t lie – that was my label’s idea. My song ‘Mind the Gap’ is about a tube journey through London. They deserve all the credit for that one. I had very little to do with it.” Although the Oyster Card holder will go down in history as one of the more strange incentives to buy a record, he hopes to one day have Sean McGowan branded “football boots. I love Football and I love Football Boots, but don’t get to wear them these days sadly. I used to design them all the time as a kid.“
Sean‘s closing message of what to expect next is simple: “more releases, more tours and more of trying my hardest.”