Barely awake, I cannot process any thoughts. There are so many of them. My mind slips. It’s hard.

The last few days have been tough. Being away from home for long periods has an isolation to it that can be hard to understand from the outside. Some people would envy the chance to travel like we do sometimes but we also envy time spent at home. There’s always a tug towards home. Constantly battling in the background.

The travel is tiring, but the hardest thing is dealing with the tiredness. Late nights after the show and then the early morning drive to the airport. Collecting about 4 hours sleep each night. Not the healthiest way to live.

As part of a tour you’re surround by people all the time, so it does sound pretty strange to use the word isolation. You’re all good friends, a family of sorts who work towards the same goal every night; putting the best show you possibly can do, but how much can you actually share with these people? I’m lucky with this touring family because they are very welcoming and they are always around for you to talk to, but they aren’t the loved ones back at home.

Unfortunately this time when I left home I had some unfinished business. I’m not going to bore you with details and frankly they are personal. All this has played on my mind the entire time I’ve been away. Coupled with the pressure from starting this brand and the tiredness brought on from constantly moving it’s easy for the mind to slip into something less comfortable.

My mind is normally a playground of ideas. I’m usually buzzing around doing lots of different things and this helps focus those homesick feelings into something positive. This takes a lot of energy, yet when that energy is depleted and the fading light draws near, this is the time when you need that energy the most.

On Thursday I stepped into that fading light. I didn’t like it. I know how I work when I’m in my right mind and my right mind had taken a trip somewhere else. I was worn out. I couldn’t think. I was paranoid and anxious. I felt like giving up.

I’m lucky, I know how I think. I’ve had friends who haven’t been so. I had to open up and when you’re in those places of darkness that’s the last thing you want to do. I forced myself to. I had a singular drink and went to bed. Today is a different day.

Swallow Bain at Shepherds Empire for Amy Winehouse 2007
Dave Swallow and Jock Bain at Shepherds Empire for Amy Winehouse in 2007

Into my heart an air that kills,
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

AE Housman

As you are probably very aware there have been a few celebrity suicides of late. Music Minds Matter is a charity has been setup to help all those who work within the music industry, not just musicians, but touring crew too. If you can help, or just want to find out more information about them, here is the link:

Music Minds Matter

Does this sort of thing really need to be on a blog? On my blog? Well yes! It’s me. This is my brand and this is a part of what makes this brand happen. I’m not looking for sympathy, this is, I suppose, another way of flushing the system, but to bring a wider community into understanding the pressures of what these touring folk go through when you go and see a show.

Personally, I remember that I’ve been here before. Literally as well as figuratively. The light will always return. But sometimes it takes a little fumbling around in the dark before you find the light switch.