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Life on the Road: IST IST’s Adventures through Europe

IST IST The Kiss

From Scandinavian fans being, “very quiet between songs”, to a, “bigger, better, faster, stronger”, future, IST IST tell us of their experiences on the road during their Spring European tour.

On the 19th March, Manchester’s hottest band of the moment, IST IST, set out on a European Tour that would take them through 9 countries, including Norway, Germany and the Netherlands before finally arriving back in the U.K. at the start of April. For The Love of Bands caught up with them to see exactly what life is like on the road: the U.K. is home after all, and, as we speak, the boys are obviously excited about performing in packed arenas up and down the country.

Check IST IST – The Kiss, released April 26th with live footage of the tour below.

“The tour’s been pretty regimented,” frontman Adam Houghton tells me as the guys trundle along yet another motorway, on the way to yet another sold out venue; tonight’s show is at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms, before the band head south again, visiting York, Leeds, Liverpool and Norwich.

“We have a schedule that we have to stick to. It’s gruelling but fun,” bassist Andy Keating continues, before revealing their typical day.

“It normally starts with us checking out of a hotel, before driving for a few hours, arriving in time for the sound check. Then it’s chill out, have a bite to eat and a few beers, do the show, pack up and on to the next hotel.” But what about being with each other, all day, every day? That must be hard?

“Nah, it’s easy,” the guys insist.

“Everyone’s sound,” Adam assures me in that confident Mancunian way, and you really do get the idea that he, Andy, Mat Peters and drummer Joel Kay are indeed extremely relaxed around each other, and comfortable in each other’s company, both on and off stage. “Luckily!”

So, have they found spending the last few weeks on the road inspiring?

“Are you writing new material on the road?” 

“It’s such a tight schedule there’s been no time for that.”

How though, have audiences responded to their new songs, “written remotely”, during the worldwide pandemic? A period that the guys have already described as both, “inspiring and productive”, and which will feature on their upcoming, and as-yet-untitled new album? What was the response for their new single, Lost My Shadow?

“They’ve responded really well!” Adam reveals, with that understandable sense of excitement and relief.

“It seems to get as good a response as any of the others,” Mat readily agrees.

Lost My Shadow was released as a single on the 8th March, and a review can be found on our website, here.

“What have been the highlights so far?”

“Definitely Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. Big room, selling out 1100 tickets!” That must be amazing? Do the audiences differ across Europe?

“Not really,” Adam insists. Although, he adds after some thought, “Scandinavian audiences are very, very quiet between songs,” he reveals.

Is it easy to lose track of where you are sometimes, as you travel through so many countries?

“Yes, sometimes. Some places in the Netherlands are very close to the German border,” so they can be very similar.

“So you’ve had your own Spinal Tap moment?”

“Of course,” Joel confirms with what seems to be a reminiscent laugh. “It’s a very accurate film,” he quickly adds.

“Any rock n roll stories you can reveal exclusively to us? Tales of trashed hotel rooms perhaps? Or tellies being thrown into swimming pools from a third floor window?” I ask, ever hopeful.

“Er… Me and Mat played mini golf once,” Adam laughs. Where? I was eager to know. Along a hotel corridor, or in a crowded foyer?

IST IST have been supported throughout Europe by October Drift? What are those guys like to tour with? Do the two bands have time to socialise together between gigs? Is there any competition perhaps? Healthy, of course!

“Nah, no competition. They are the nicest guys available on this planet!”

IST IST Lost My Shadow

If you were in my place, I prompt them, are there any questions they would ask each other?

“No idea,” Adam admits, taking a moment before adding: “I’d ask Joel how he can be arsed to go running everyday?”

“What’s it been like touring across Europe after Brexit?”

“There is certain legislation that makes it more difficult, but we just manage it the best we can, you know?”

And the future? What does the future hold for IST IST?

“Bigger, better, faster, stronger, everything!” the guys tell me, confidently.

If you didn’t manage to catch the tour – it finishes at the Waterfront Studios in Norwich on the 20th April – the guys will be performing at various festivals throughout the summer, including the Bearded Theory Festival and the Y Not Festival, both in Derbyshire, and at Whitby’s Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival at the beginning of November. If you can, try and catch them, their reputation is growing so you won’t be disappointed! But I’ll leave the final word to Adam a they prepare to take to the stage:

“There isn’t a better live band on planet Earth!”

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Simon Gale
the authorSimon Gale
Simon was born in London but now lives in beautiful Cornwall. Whilst waiting for his first novel to be discovered by the rest of the world, he spends his time reading anything and everything, and listening to and writing about the music he is passionate about.

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