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Early Blues Interview
Glenn Povey Tour Manager, Classic Legends of Rock

Glenn Povey, Tour Manager of the recent Classic Legends of Rock tour, featuring The Groundhogs, Wishbone Ash and Focus, kindly allowed me to interview him on life as a tour manager....

Glenn , thank you for sparing me a few moments.  I just want to ask you one question Ė  what is a day in the life of a tour manager like?Very varied, very different.  Challenging, exciting.  Many different things. Itís an interesting job which I love doing. 

Tell me about a typical day Ė what goes on?
My typical day starts about 6 weeks before the show.  Iím preparing for the show when I receive the tour dates from the promoter and then Iíll have to co-ordinate with the venue all of our technical requirements including bringing the PA into the venue, what our electricity supplies are, arranging crews to be on hand for the load in and load out and sorting out the running times of the show.  Iím involved in talking to the technical manager and the house manager quite some way in advance and Iíll prepare the tour itinerary based on that for distribution to all the bands.  Hopefully, we are then all on the same page. 

Tell me some interesting stories about your experiences.
Well, I could write a book on this!  Well, actually I suppose when you break it down to its bones, it really quite boring!  But funny, quirky things happen all the time on tours and you build up a rapport with the band and the crew and you can often have a great amount of fun on tour.  But sometimes it can be a complete nightmare, depending on who you are working with and what the circumstances are.  This tour is doing theatres around the UK and itís relatively straightforward with everybody transporting themselves.  Iíve done tours where weíve had a tour bus and everybody needs to be  checked in and out of hotels and you spend loads of time trying to drag people out of hotel rooms and dragging other people out of hotel rooms who shouldnít be there.  Or youíll get 30 miles down the road and somebody realises theyíve left their false teeth by the side of the bed Ė Iíve had that.  Tonight we had a band member lose a boot under mysterious circumstances.  Silly things happen and itís a bit like trying to move house every day. 

Iím sure you have to keep looking at your watch.
You do.  Iíve got 18 people to manage and itís quite a lot to co-ordinate it all and make sure that people turn up on time and go on stage on time. 

What attracted you to this kind of work in the first place? 
I suppose, like most people, I kind of drifted in to it.  Apart from tour managing, Iíve also promoted and Iíve done booking agency work and I still do these.  Some people are dedicated to just one type of work but Iíve involved myself in all sorts of bits and bobs and managing bands along the way.  But I find touring exciting and it throws up a different challenge every day. 

Do you plan to continue? 
Oh yes,  I couldnít see myself doing anything else.  I do enjoy it, although itís not a great bundle of laughs every day.  Every venue has its own challenges.  Today, for example, I arrived and then the PA truck arrived and got a parking ticket.  So they arenít happy straightaway. There isnít enough parking spaces for all the vehicles so that upsets some. Then we had a problem with the power supply because we didnít have the right connectors with us.  So every day throws up different challenges but thatís what makes it exciting.  And it always happens, we always have a show.  Iíve never not had a show because things have conspired against us.  But circumstances can conspire Ė there might be a breakdown on the motorway or somebody misses a flight or the promoter cancels. 

Do you do tours all over Europe? 
Oh yes, Iíve done it all.  The States as well as Europe and Japan. 

What was your favourite tour? 
It was probably doing a tour of America with a band called Gong.  That was a joy, really fabulous.  A really nice bunch of people to work with.  I also toured with, and managed Love for about 4 years so I was on the road a lot with them.  That had itís moments but we did some amazing concerts.   After this tour Iíll be working with a different band and the variety is great.  New challenges and a new bunch of people all the time.  By and large, everybody rubs along together quite well.  This tour has been an absolute joy. They are all a great bunch of people. 

Glenn, thank you very much.

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