Gill Maxwell Tour Manager
Over The Land And The City 1989
Gill Maxwell was one of the first people to champion the cause of Deacon Blue in Glasgow, and before the band signed their record deal she was responsible for management. This has subsequently developed into a more specialist role, looking after tour management and personal management in particular, while Peter Felstead, who is based in London,takes care of business matters,
"What I do, as tour manager, starts in very basic planning done by Jeff Craft, the agent," she explained, "As soon as all the contracts are negotiated the dates are passed on to me, and we begin tour planning something like four to five months in advance In my position, I have to pull together the entire organisation of nineteen crew and do all the financial planning, which involves getting quotes for all the different areas covered by the tour, i,e. PA , lighting, catering, hotel bookings, vans and crew transport, equipment hire and any other miscellaneous things that crop up at the time "
The organisation that is required is colossal, from early planning to last minute changes on carefully prepared itineraries, but it's the days on the road which are possibly the most hectic for Gill, The daily routine for any one tour date is roughly as follows, as she explains:
(1 ) "An average day begins with the crew getting in at 8 o'clock with the catering people, who prepare a hot, Scottish breakfast before they set about unloading the trucks, of which we have two articulated forty foot lorriesand another independent one carrying the merchandise,"
(2) "Things usually begin with Derek rigging the light show, and as soon as that is up and running the P,A. and backline are put up in time for the band's soundcheck which is usually between four and five o' clock,"
(3) "1 spend most of my time with the band, so that means that when we get to the hotel in which ever town we are in, l'll book them into their rooms, check that the rooms are OK and make sure that there is any necessary security. "
(4) "When we get to the venue, l'll be checking the dressing rooms, to ensure that everything is as specified, and to see that the rider (part of the band's payment, normally in the form of several crates of continental lager) is correct. It has been known for Mr Nobody to try and nick as many tins of beer from the band's dressing room as possible. If there is anything missing, l'll go straight to the crew bus, but he must have some pretty imaginative hiding places because I never rind anything..."
(5) "As far as the band's welfare is concerned, l'll also be making sure that Patsy, who does wardrobe. has dealt with whatever they require for the show. And after the soundcheck, l'll make sure that the band get back to the hotel in relative safety."
(6) "When we get back to do the actual show, there are several areas where I have to look after the band's comfort. That is things like making sure that there are drinks and towels on stage, and combing Jim's hair into a pony tail "
(7) "When the band are on stage, l'll usually be found in the production office, sorting out financial business with the promoter - exchanging invoices, and checking that everything has been done to my satisfaction..." Summing up Gill's role as a personal manager, she ensures that the band are comfortable when on tour, although she would deny that this is 'pampering', preferring to look on it as making sure that the trivial details and practicalities of going on tour are arranged and sorted out without difficulty As tour manger, the planning that is required for a successful tour is huge, and with a band like Deacon Blue, the tasks are becoming bigger and bigger each time round.