So, after three-plus months of lockin and going through your vinyl collection several times, you are crawling the walls. Looking at the fact that vacation has been curtailed for many people, travel restrictions and concerns over COVID have created a very limited travel situation and forced us to put trips outside the country on hold. So, what can you do? Plan for that really big “the world has opened up again” tour? And since you love music, head for the music cities.
Being a musical fiend, a traditional tour just won’t do. It’s alternative tours for you. If you are starting your next trip in the UK when quarantine rules stop, there are several large cities that have great music scenes. Starting in London, you’ll want to hit up Aidan McManus at Flipside Tours. Flipside Tours features a David Bowie Soho Tour, Strummer Walk Tour, and Westway Walkin Notting Hill. And if you want to get some local insight on what’s going on in the Portabello Road area before you go, start listening to Portabello Radio.
Interview with Aidan McManus
How did Flipside Tours Come about? What drove you to make music tours come about?
Nobody else was covering punk, I thought there was a market for it, I was looking for a new way to make a living.
With the current COVID crisis, tourism has of course shut down. Have you been able to adapt your tours at all, or still in lockdown?
I haven’t done any tours since March due to lockdown.
Have you thought of doing virtual tours as some people are mad for travel, crawling the walls but restricted right now?
I have, and had a little go but it looked shit.
You have a great digital presence, a great following, and there’s a radio show?
FlipsideLondon Radio on Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/aidan-mcmanus/ and live on Portobello Radio.
What are some future projects you may be developing, a new tour, or a show?
Always trying to think up new tours, it usually comes to me when I’m not expecting it.
How do you develop one of your tours?
I only do stuff I’m interested in, so I have the basics and then immerse myself in the subject, it never really stops as you’re always finding new stuff. It’s like The Ramones, don’t worry about how good it is, just get out there and do it and it works or it doesn’t.
Have you met any of your music heroes as a result of your tours?
On the show and Glen Matlock, Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible have all walked past while I’m doing it and said hello.
Any great followers you were astounded checked you out? Decided to come on a tour?
Joe Strummer’s widow, Campino from Die Toten Hosen, and Micky Gallagher’s daughter.
Is it hard to get information sometimes for research?
Not sure what this means, some books are just unobtainable
Anything you can tell us about your daily routine to stay sane in our current global lockdown? How have your music habits been affected?
I’ve been listening to lots of stuff I’d nearly forgotten about and I’m still doing the radio show.
What famous music places and venues have been ‘gentrified’ out that you really wish you could show people on your tours, the way it was?
What blogs, Twitter/Instagram, or Zines are you obsessed with right now?
The first record bought? Hunky Dory
How did you listen to new music when you were young? Records
First gig you went to? Bad Company, Earls Court, 1976, it was shit
Favorite bands or artists in your youth? Bowie, Bolan, Sex Pistols, The Clash
What are your favorite new artist/s? Warmduscher, Fat White Family, Sleaford Mods, Eight Rounds Rapid
What Twitter or other social media accounts are you hooked on lately? None
Favorite music venues? The 100 Club
Music venues you are dying to go to? The 100 Club
What would be your fantasy gig if space and time continuum allowed? Hendrix, The Pistols in 1976
If money were no object, who would you go see and where? (If you were the booking agent) Not really sure
Plan your emergence from the chrysalis post-COVID.
New York, NY
Glasgow, Edinburgh Scotland