I spoke about using a rider a little in my BOOK but while I was at a gig yesterday I was reminded of how nice a fresh pair of socks on the rider* can be. In this festival’s trailer (our greenroom for the day) was an assortment of things for our comfort and pleasure; a few sticks of deodorant, some hair spray, packs of gum, hand towels AND a few pairs of socks! Now even though I’m pretty picky with my socks (I tend to only wear sports socks that just cover my ankles) it was nice to be able to change in to new socks after a hot and sweaty outdoors show. So even though I’m always happy to see a pack of gum on there, it’s less common rider items that I tend to get more excited about these days. Again, personally I don’t do big long tube socks because they take up twice the room in your suitcase as ankle socks, BUT in mosquito country, and when you are wearing shorts, and you didn’t pack them yourself, they come in pretty handy, ha!
Eon Sinclair, of the band Bedouin Soundclash, suggested to me that I add it to the rider all the time. Not a bad option at all. Actually he suggested putting socks and underwear on there… I think that might be a bit much as the only two people I allow to buy me underwear is my wife and my grandma! Something to think about at least.
If you are just traveling and don’t have a rider to pull from, maybe just plan to find a nice cheap pair at a local night market or something along those lines? Especially if you’ve been backpacking a while through Europe, try rewarding yourself with fresh new socks… it may sound ridiculous but they can be a real treat!
*A a rider is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for performance, and in this case I am referring to the hospitality side of the rider, so a list of requests for the comfort of the artist on the day of the show. If you want to read about some really great and ridiculous requests by super Huge Rock Stars, check out this great site full of actual band rider requests, THE SMOKING GUN.