Kenne Blessin - Travelling with a band
Part of being a successful artist is the need to travel. You go where the show is, where your paying guests are. It is often viewed as a glamorous existence, but is it really?
We imagine the camaraderie between band members but is the reality of nights in hotels, days spent travelling all its cracked up to be? I asked Kenne to tell me his experience of moving with a band. The highs, the lows, the good and the bad. This is what he told me...
“When travelling for a show I like the discipline that you have to practice and rehearse to ensure that you keep the level of performance up. You also must make your set cohesive with the country you are in.
I enjoy going to different places, whether it be islands or countries, it’s good to keep my brand global. That said, I don’t get time to really explore but it never really worries me as I don’t like being ‘touristy’. I prefer to keep things simple and just be who I am.
I toured the islands with Da Bhann and travelled to Saint Johns with Taxic Band. We needed to take a private jet from Santa Domingo over the border of Haiti. I remember talking to some Haitian people and listening to their stories. It was heartfelt hearing what they had to say.
On the downside, you have a bunch of men sharing one bathroom, we have to be clever when we cook and, depending on the length of the tour, learn to share it smartly. Sometimes we run short on ingredients whilst waiting for our next paid show.
Often the person who runs the band, whether it be the band leader or manager, try to keep the performers away from the business side of things. There may also be conflict between band members. Some may be concerned about money, especially if they have family responsibilities and bills that need to be paid, whilst others may not see it that way yet have their own separate concerns. The expectation from friends, family and fans is often that we are going off to make lots of money but that isn’t always the reality. You have to learn to listen to every different story and respect each other.
As a front line singer it is important to know the personality traits of each band member. I can feel their energy...the bass, the guitar, drums...I can tell who is into it and who isn’t. You unconsciously learn stuff without realising - and they have to learn about me too. When I’m hyped after a show and want to rant, even if it is 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning and the guys want to sleep, I am not going to stop until I’m done.
But it can be lots of fun. I travelled with Revolution Band to Anguilla where Shayne, the leader of the band is from. The warm welcome and his good personality, made it really enjoyable.
It has its ups and downs, there can be lots of drama, testosterone flying and yet we still find lots to laugh about”.
Festival Del Mar, Anguilla with Revolution Band
South Carolina with Island Soul Band
Kenne with Da Bhann
Working with Itchtfeet
After opening for Morgan Heritage with Revolution Band