Traveller Tip: If you are visiting a ‘closed’ country like Vietnam or China, get some VPN software on your phone/tablet before leaving.
We rehearsed for 6 hours on the 24th and another 5 on the 25th before our first gig that night. That first gig at Beer Mania was 2x 60 minute sets. Given the hectic schedule we have for this tour (10 cities, 15 gigs in 24 days), I really really need to look after myself and my voice. So I turned in early for that first night while some of the others went out and we took it fairly easy for the second days rehearsal.
My main concern with my voice isn’t so much the schedule though; my voice is strong and I sing properly, so as long as I don’t have too many beers beforehand and remember to not overdo it when singing and avoid talking in loud settings outside of the gig, I should be able to do this every day. By ‘properly’, I mean that singing isn’t like shouting; the effort and strain is really closer to talking. No, the main concern is the pollution in Beijing…
…and getting sick from the travel. The Hong Kong -> Beijing plane sounded like a cross between a piggery and a hospital with the snorting and coughing going on. Coughing is the main voice killer for me.
What this means is that my downtime, at least in Beijing, isn’t doing the tourist-y stuff. I did a bit of that last visit seeing the Great Wall, Tianamin Square etc. This time my downtime is sitting in a cafe next to the hostel eating a salad with way too much sauce/dressing and writing this.
OK peeps, gotta shoot. We’re playing tonight at a venue we had to cancel on last year because it was torrential rain and the roof was leaking onto the stage. Oh, and it’s raining outside now – hopefully they’ve fixed the roof!