On Tour

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The Independent Culture
The Royal Albert Hall will be the most prestigious venue we've played in London. We just wanted to pick out a few main shows and then get on with the next record. We still feel that we haven't connected our live sound onto record. You are pressurised into getting on the road, but we know it wouldn't do us that much good. We did loads of toilet venues in the early days, although I really enjoyed those gigs.

The first one ever was in 1988 in Banbury Art College, where we all met. It was a complete shambles, but it was still brilliant - a nice contrast to what's happening now. Other gigs that really stick in the mind are when we played in Yugoslavia just before the war, because the people appreciated the fact that we'd made the effort to go and play there. It's like that in Belfast too. The vibe is always great in places that don't get to see that many bands. The last American tour we did was the worst. You feel that it's make or break: we were doing five or six interviews a day, it got ridiculous.

The weirdest moment was in Warsaw last year when we ended up in a 'battle of the bands' event. All these Polish bands were trying to get a record contract and we were the only overseas band, it was surreal.

It's pretty much straight on the coach after the gig and on to the next. The decadence just happens through being stuck on the coach and being in constant motion. I don't like doing it for too long, it sends you a bit mad.

Mark Gardener is lead singer of Ride. September tour: Portsmouth Guildhall 15, Wolverhampton Civic Hall 16, Glasgow Barrowlands 17, Leeds Town & Country 18, Manchester Academy 19, London Royal Albert Hall 21

(Photograph omitted)