- 27 Sep 19
We invited a chorus of artists, writers, musicians, broadcasters, sports stars and more to contribute to Now We’re Talking, a mental health campaign, run in partnership with Lyons Tea and Pieta House.
Thankfully, I’ve always been able to express my vulnerabilities. Singing is an outlet for me, and it’s a cathartic thing. If I’ve had a bad day on tour, I know that I’m going to have an hour-and-a-half on stage where I can just get rid of everything – and that’s a beautiful feeling.
Growing up, me and my friends probably wouldn’t have talked about mental health. At that age, you can feel bad, but not necessarily recognise what those feelings are. I’ve had the same group of friends since I was 11 years old, and we’re very close. Only recently, we had a conversation in our WhatsApp group where we were saying, ‘Look, if you any of you are ever feeling a shitty way, just talk’. It’s so important.
For some reason, it was always a very stupid, laddish thing not to talk. Obviously it depends what group of friends you’re in, but being able to talk openly about that kind of stuff shouldn’t be governed by what kind of people you hang out with. You should be able to talk to anyone. On top of that, gigging does take a toll, and you’ve got to look after yourself. People are always like, ‘Isn’t it mad the way you don’t drink much – when back in the day the musicians were all so wild?’ Well, back in the day they were selling records, so they didn’t have to tour non-stop like we do!
It really struck me when we played Seattle. We played the Paramount Theatre, which is this huge, palatial, golden room. My mam and dad came over for it. It was the most perfect gig – the place was dead quiet. But then you wake up in a tourbus in the lashing rain in Portland. You’re thinking, ‘Did that even happen?’ It’s quite a jarring thing, to be thinking that you just played the best gig of your life, and now you have to go off and soundcheck somewhere else. That back-and-forth can wear on you. You can feel like you’re being dragged a million ways.
There’s 12 of us on the road, and we’re all very close. We’re friends more than colleagues, so there’s always someone to talk to, and there’s always a strong support network. We actually had a little venting session in a tipi backstage when we played Glastonbury. Stuff like that’s so important – you should honestly schedule them when you’re on tour, just to check in on everybody, and see how people are feeling.
Now We're Talking 2019
A partnership between Lyons Tea, Pieta House & Hot Press.
Let’s break the stigma and take the dialogue about mental health issues onto a new level
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