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Every tour is a small miracle. Each time a band heads out on a nationwide (or even continent-wide) trek to deliver their music to the masses in-person, there are so many variables that could go horribly awry. Illnesses, passport troubles, gear being lost or stolen and, of course, vehicle breakdowns are all things that could halt a touring group dead in its track. And the latter of these things is something that the progressive rock group Skyharbor became familiar with at the start of October. The beginning of the month saw the multi-national five-piece embark on a headlining jaunt across the UK. However, the very first show on the very first day was unceremoniously cancelled when their tour bus suddenly decided to stop working in the middle of Germany. “The bus got stuck in Cologne,” Skyharbor’s founder and guitarist Keshav Dhar recalls in Southampton a few days later. “It was day one. We literally saw the bus for a few minutes and then it broke down. Next thing we knew, we had to get another bus. It gave us an extra day at [Germany’s] Euroblast [Festival], which was nice, but I just feel really bad for the people in Reading who missed out.” Even though Skyharbor’s first headline tour of Blighty got off on rocky footing, it probably isn’t the most stressful time the band has had out on the road. “In Canada, we had to cancel one because we almost died crossing the Rocky Mountains,” says Keshav. “It was not even a bus, just a small, fifteen-seater Ford van. Those vehicles aren’t really designed for that kind of driving unless you have snow tyres or some kind of chains on your tyres, and we just didn’t because for some reason we just didn’t think that we’d need them. all of the bands really struggled; us and [supporting band] ERRA had to miss our sets, but [headliners] TesseracT and The Contortionist just about made it. But they had to miss, like, half their soundcheck.” Regardless, Skyharbor are still alive (barely), headlining a bill that also contains Modern Day Babylon and the solo project of guitarist Sithu Aye as support. Although, even that wasn’t really planned that far in advance. “This tour was put together fairly late in the day,” Dhar explains. “We weren’t planning on doing a headliner originally, we were pitching to support other bands, which took a while; there were a few tours where we thought we were in, but at the last minute it didn’t work out, for whatever reason. We were left with the choice of either going out on our own and picking support bands, or just not doing anything. “It’s been a while since we’ve played in Europe, so we figured we should do something; the last time we were here was March/April of last year. It’s been a while, especially since we’ve released three singles since then. It’s not like we have no material to tour off of.”
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