Jaff from The Futureheads offers advice of the three things you need to know to get along on their tour bus and probably any tour bus you might ever happen to find yourself trying to pass the time upon.
WHO'S BIG BLIND?
This competition within bands must be very common. Surely? The first thing we ask any new crew member, promoter or interviewer is, ‘do you play poker?’ If it’s not poker it’s Fifa: or the latest game we have on the bus. We’ve even invented a game of football tennis to play in venue car parks in order to get one up (in the nicest possible way) over each other.
What’s nice about all these different forms of competing is that different people get involved in everything. Poker is Me, Barry and Dave with whomever from the crew fancies it, whereas Fifa is Millard’s forte. What’s surprising is how seriously people take it: mainly me. It started off that I was the best at Texas Hold ‘em...I looked shady for bringing in the old adage of ‘you have to play for money or it’s not worth it’. These days I never bloody win, Dave Hyde’s icy poker face has done for me many a time and I never know what he’s got. Same with Barry. Much as I enjoy a higher standard of game, I would be lying if I said I was happy not to win every night. Was it not worth me reading all those books on Poker odds and tactics? No, is the simple answer.
The Fifa leagues are fraught with talk of controversial refereeing decisions, unfair team allocations and negative tactics; and offer no respite from heckling and/or trying to win. Many a can of slightly warm lager has been supped on the bus watching people try and score outrageous free kicks from crazy positions complaining that they’re not easy enough, or you don’t get full compensation for the ‘cynical cynical’ (to be crowed) foul.
What I’m trying to say, I think, is that it’s brilliant that there are so many fun ways to pass time together on the bus. Barry will watch Fifa when he doesn’t fancy playing, and Ross is always asking ‘who’s big blind?’ in a way that makes him look as though he knows what he’s talking about as regards the poker. It encourages a fun competitive streak within everyone and means that if you are finally sick of reading that book that never seems to end, or that DVD series that won’t finish you can always beat your mates at something. Or die trying.