Whether you’re a fully-fledged band or just starting out as a solo artist, every musicians life includes a degree of travelling, being on the road, performing and attempting to get their music heard. As such its integral to plan your trips ahead, sometimes way in advance. Aside from researching venues you’d like to play at / contacting them with your demo (ensuring you’re pinpointing the right crowd), planning is essential to lessen the likelihood of any unexpected additional costs creeping up on you.
The countries capital, London is a hot spot for travelling musicians from all over the world, with thousands flocking here each and every year in search of a gig, to promote their music or to just check things out. While there may be some unexpected challenges to be faced along the way, London is still one of the greatest cities in the world to get noticed in as a musician!
Here at TinMan London, we’re all for alternative, but also realise expenses must be spared, particularly for those just starting out. After some careful research, we’ve gathered details for our top five venues (to perform at or equally just have a great night out), and our top five hotels (all with rooms under £100 per night). Although it might seem obvious, when choosing a venue you want to play at, it’s important to ensure you’re targeting the right crowed.
Anyway, here’s our top five VENUES in London:
1. XOYO – www.xoyo.co.uk
2. THE NEST – www.ilovethenest.com
3. THE GARAGE – www.mamacolive.com/thegarage
4. PLAN B – www.plan-brixton.co.uk
5. JAZZ CAFE – www.jazzcafe.co.uk( The Nest, London – image courtesy of I Love The Nest)
1. HOXTON HOTEL – www.hoxtonhotels.com
2. Generator London – www.generatorhostels.com
3. STRAND PALACE HOTEL – www.strandpalacehotel.co.uk
4. THE Z HOTEL VICTORIA – www.thezhotels.com/victoria
5. HOTEL 55 – www.hotel55-london.com
Unless you’re a solo artist with nothing but an acoustic guitar for company, chances are, at some point during the tour, you’re going to be faced with the challenge of transporting equipment from one location to another. Asides from the hefty workout this is likely to give you, there can also be some further potential issues, particularly if you have a lot of equipment and you’re travelling by flight.
Although it might seem like a feasible solution, leaving instruments and other equipment in the cargo part of the plane can subject them to damage, something we strongly recommend you try and avoid. Getting to the airport is another thing! While London’s travel links are pretty efficient, you should consider taking advantage of the great parking facilities available at the British capital airports, with Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Parking available. So renting a car might seem like an unnecessary expense, but could lessen the risk of further financial pain!
Straight back to your travelling plans! Ever thought about buying your instrument its own seat? Although it may seem slightly crazy, for musicians that aren’t into taking risks, it can be the perfect solution! Typically, small instruments count as carry-on luggage, but some airlines do in fact charge a baggage fee. If you don’t mind the chance of things getting knocked slightly, invest in some protective padding and of course a lockable case for additional security!
Finally, we also recommend purchasing some sort of musical instrument insurance, to safeguard your pride and joy. There are a host of options available online, all searchable via Google!
Want some extra help or further info? Visit:www.musiciansunion.org.uk