5th October 2017

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BIMM Manchester’s Olly Flavell is studying a BA Hons degree in Songwriting. This September, he took his latest material on the road for a five-date tour across the North West and was kind enough to write this blog post about the experience.  

“My name is Olly Flavell, I’m 20 years old and I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester. I’ve been working in the industry now for about 10 years and I recently went out on tour with a full backing band and an incredible support act called Lizzie Jane. As a band, we consist of drums – Will Raybould, guitar – Owen Andres, bass – Ben Holmes/backing vocals plus driver – Tanisha Hanna-beards. We are all either current or ex BIMM students meeting in 2016, where we have all been together around a year and a half now.

The tour kicked off with full backline including PA, drums, guitars, amps and 6 people crammed into a Ford KA, Toyota Auris and a Ford Fiesta. Organising the entire tour ourselves, we had a small budget of £150 just to cover fuel expenses and nothing else. It took me around a month and half to contact each venue and book in the entire tour. I did this by asking friends in each city that we played for their best venue recommendations. Some of my connections were made through 6 friends of friends.

Our first night started in Manchester at the Stage & Radio, followed by Alexander’s Live – Chester, Lennon’s Bar – Liverpool, Hey Jude’s – Newport and finishing in Nottingham at the Jamcafe all back to back. Being our second tour we still didn’t know what to expect of each venue. Some nights were quiet but others were ecstatic! People were so down to earth and every crowd big and small were supportive.

If I had any advice for anyone setting out on touring as an independent artist/band, it would be to just go for it! Don’t let little things get in your way. As a band, we had the best time together we have ever had!”


Photo by Mercurial Creative


James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.