Tour Blues: facing up to ‘real life’ after a career defining gig

Singer-songwriter Rose Kimberley doesn’t feel high after a great gig, she feels hungry for more exhilarating performance experiences. She’s calls the struggle to adjust to “normal” life after a career high the Tour Blues and wants to hear from other singers about the issue.

Let’s face it, we musicians love the feeling of getting that super exciting job come in. It could be a big tour, a fun recording session or simply a gig at a really cool, renowned venue singing your favourite covers with awesome musicians.

But then what happens…

I recently got chatting with a fellow singer about that feeling you experience after that cool, confidence building, ego stroking, Instagram-tastic job! It was nice to know I wasn’t alone with how I felt.

I’m pretty content with my life; I have nothing to grumble about and everything to be grateful for. So why is it that when I think back to those golden moments (which, by the way, don’t even compare to some of the experiences of my colleagues and friends), I just want more? Just one more tour or credit-worthy session and then I’ll be a real/good/worthy/talented/ singer and I can eradicate any mistakes I’ve made along the way and make peace with and settle into “normal life”. Hmmmm.

I’ve always had an interest in psychology and from time to time have pondered the idea of writing a book, but never thought I necessarily would. But following this recent conversation, I felt inspired to put fingers to keypad and delve deeper into the subject.

So, I’m going to give it a try and write a book about the Tour Blues. I’m not a psychologist or author, but I like to write and believe sharing is a very powerful thing. My efforts may not generate definitive answers, but instead result in a book to which other musicians can relate.

Here’s where you come in.

If you’re a singer or musician and feel interested in the subject, I would love to hear from you. You don’t necessarily have to have experienced the Tour Blues personally to partake. It would be equally interesting to hear from performers that tour or do exciting work from time to time but feel totally fine and contented when at home.

Below are some questions I’ve been sending to my lovely musician chums in order to gather some stories/data to help me shape whatever this book may become. Please take a moment to give them some thought and let me know your views and experiences.

  1. How often do you go on tour or have big exciting musical opportunities?
  2. Do you think Tour Blues affects you?
  3. …if so, to what extent? would you say you suffer because of it?
  4. How would you describe Tour Blues in your own words?
  5. How do you feel when you get home and try to integrate yourself in to “normal life”?
  6. What do you feel like when you know you are booked to go on another tour or great gig?
  7. How would you describe living in a “bubble”?
  8. Do you have any stories you wish to share about being on tour/memorable work experiences??
  9. Do you have a constant craving for exciting jobs? Or is this something you just do for money and in fact you crave normality?
  10. Why do you think you feel this way? How much do you think your ego is/was involved? Do you miss the camaraderie and relationships you formed? Do you miss the feeling of playing bigger stages to larger audiences?
  11. Anything else you’d like to add…..

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Rose Kimberley is an accomplished singer-songwriter, session singer and vocal coach who has a publishing deal with Integrity Records.