Communion's regular New Faces tour has become a vital platform for breaking talent.
The format is simple: four relative unknowns hop into a tour bus, and head out on the road. Reputations are made, friendships fostered, and success (generally speaking) follows swiftly afterwards.
The latest instalment features The Beach, Adam French, and Matt Woods, who will be joined by charismatic newcomer Rukhsana Merrise.
Deeply soulful and devoutly independent, Rukhsana Merrise is definitely a talent to watch out for in 2016.
Ahead of the shows Clash tracked down the rising singer for a few quick tales from her touring life.
The first day supporting James Bay we headed to Madrid after leaving dreary London and ended up sitting under blue skies with the sun shining. The day got even better when we found this tiny restaurant opposite the venue that charged us €22 for eight courses and free jugs of beer. It set the tone and let me know that this was going to be a great tour!
Last year we were driving from Denmark after a gig to Sweden in our fully loaded splitter van with plenty luggage and gear and it was probably the worst time to travel across the øresund bridge as it was very windy! It literally felt like somebody was kicking the van. I was shitting myself. I closed my eyes and prayed to god we'd get over that bridge safely. It takes a lot to scare me but I was absolutely frightened.
Our favourite foreign venue…
Milan. We got to drive into the venue. [side note - we believe the venue she’s talking about is L'Alcatraz di Milano]
I'm surprisingly popular in...
Best or worst exotic foodstuff...
Probably the Tesco value cashew nuts that broke my wisdom tooth which kept me up until 4am in the morningg in Cologne. I was in so much pain. By far the worst food I've ever had and its something I will never forget!
Most interesting individual you've met on the road...
I played a gig in Denmark and was having a cigarette after a gig and heard this voice from a man that intrigued me so much I walked into the packed room still armed with my cigarette to be stood amongst a crowd watching Jamie Lawson. At the time I had heard his name and his songs but never knew who he was or what he looked like. It was so nice to meet him and chat about music. He's such a lad!
Worst on-tour injury, or infection, or accident…
Tooth pain!!! Cheers Tesco! Haha!
My essential travel item…
Travel pillow. It's a need.
My essential travel tip…
Pack everything. Don't be modest. Don't worry about the extra weight, just bring it all. Theres nothing worse than being on the road and then realising that you've got a blowdryer but no straighteners and six pairs of jeans and three tops! Mistakes I have made. Take my advice TAKE IT ALL.
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Communion x New Faces stops at the following shows:
23 Liverpool The Loft at Arts Club
24 Manchester Ruby Lounge
25 Birmingham Rainbow
27 London St Stephen's Church
28 Oxford The Bullingdon
29 Brighton Green Door Store
30 Bristol Louisiana