Heavenly newcomers reveal touring tales...
Hooton Tennis Club

Try as it might, Clash can't quite wean itself away from the ideal of the classic seven inch single.

It doesn't help, of course, when Hooton Tennis Club are around. The band's Heavenly Recordings debut 'Jasper' arrived earlier this year, a sweetly melancholic piece of off kilter guitar pop, akin to Guided By Voices, Pavement or even Jonathan Richman.

A cult success, the record propelled the Merseyside group into a world of tour vans, load outs, riders and soundchecks.

Here are a few tales from the road...

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Best Trip...
I'm not sure about our best trip overall, but a nice recent trip was after a gig in Bristol. We were driving to our hostel in Bath and we were listening to 'Pet Sounds'. 'Pet Sounds' relaxes us, it's like giving kids warm milk before bedtime.

Beforehand we'll likely be excitedly dissecting the previous gig whilst doing Alan Partridge impressions and frantically seeing where we can buy some chocolate from, but then we slip 'Pet Sounds' into the CD player and we all calm down and take stock of our lives, man. When we get to 'God Only Knows' there's not a dry eye in the van.

Worst Trip...
Any trip that involves a motorway being closed in the early hours of the morning. Late night traffic jams on B-road diversions will suck the life out of you.

My Favourite Foreign Venue...
The only time we've played a show abroad was as our old band. We did a foreign exchange thing, we went over to Sweden to play a few shows, and then a Swedish band came over to play in Chester/Liverpool. I can't really remember much about the venues, but they are the only foreign venues we've played so far, so therefore they have to be our favourite AND least favourite foreign venues. Hopefully this will change pretty soon.

We Are Surprisingly Popular In...
Our music being popular anywhere would be surprising to us. We look forward to it hopefully happening someday.

Best Or Worst Exotic Food Stuff...
There was a curried banana pizza in Sweden that didn't go down too well.

The Most Interesting Individual I Have Met On The Road...
I'm not sure about the most interesting person that we've met, I can't really remember too many individuals, they all blend into one in my memory.

Worst On Tour Injury...
I can't remember if this was on the way to a gig or just a day trip somewhere, but James once had a ferocious unprompted nosebleed in the back of the car. It was like when those lift doors open in The Shining. We were on a motorway, so we couldn't stop, and all we had to clean it up with was some old receipts and an empty Werther's Originals bag. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Essential Travel Item...
A book of crosswords. CDs with titles like '101 Ultimate Rock Riffs!' (...if Track 01 is 'Smoke On The Water' then you're on to a winner.)

Essential Travel Tip...
Bring A LOT of CDs for the van. More than you think you'll need. And always go for a wee when you're at a service station.

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Catch Hooton Tennis Club at Liverpool International Music Festival, August 27th - 31st. For more information please visit, www.LIMFestival.com/

Related: Next Wave - Hooton Tennis Club

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