We hit the road with FHM hero and all-round top bloke Example as he set off on his Ultimate Weekender tour, performing in six packed-out gigs across three cities over the space of one mindbendingly awesome weekend.
Sounds mental, right?
We struggled to keep up the pace as the Nando's-loving rapper dazzled legions of sweat-soaked, boozed-up revellers in London, Manchester and Glasgow, and despite sleeping for a combined total of fuck-all hours, we managed to learn some valuable lessons along the way:
01 Example likes to treat his fans to ungodly amounts of chicken.
Sweet, merciful meat sweats.
*Disclaimer: All of the animals were harmed in the taking of this picture.*
02 He’s a big fan of hopping.
“When people see how much I’m enjoying it, jumping around, they start to get me. You can’t escape the energy. If I was just walking around stage like Jay Z, trying to be cool, they’d say ‘What the fuck are you doing, you bellend?’ I’m 31 now, and I just want to make uplifting dance music.”
03 He cares nothing for the laws of physics.
At one point during his Manchester show, Example literally straddled a beam of pure light and went flying around the room, topping-up drinks and dishing out £50 notes. It was bloody impressive. We didn’t film it, but just trust us on this one, yeah?
04 Life on the road can be a dirty business.
Putting on six ear-melting shows in only three short days would be the undoing of a lesser man, but Example has picked up a few tricks of the trade that have helped him over the years:
“When I’m on tour I always make sure to bring a credit card, a bottle opener and clean underwear. Loads of clean underwear. That way you’re covered whatever happens, whether you’re jumping in a lake, needing a beer or even shitting yourself.”
If only we’d known beforehand.
05 He appreciates the finer things in life.
Not a gluten-free kale cake or quinoa smoothie in sight. In an industry full of outlandish backstage demands, it’s refreshing to find a musician who understands the basic nutritional goodness of the three major food groups: fruit, beer and family-sized Quavers.
And of course, the Glasgow show called for some much needed Buckfast.
Example also claims to hold knowledge of the most lip-smackingly tasty, foolproof hangover cure known to man:
“A banana milkshake will see you through, I promise. Vanilla ice cream, a banana and some milk in a blender. Half an hour later, you’ll feel fucking amazing.”
Advice that came in useful after hanging out with him all weekend, because…
06 They get up to all manner of crazy shit backstage...
...mostly consisting of high-altitude drinking games.
07 But in the end, it’s all about the fans.
“It never ceases to amaze me how diverse they are. At the front you’ve got 16- to 18-year-olds, in the middle you’ve got people in their twenties, and then you’ve got the proper geezers, who are all, ‘Come on then!’. It’s fucking brilliant. I love it.”
Check out the video for Example's new single Kids Again.
Words by Nick Pope
Photography by Tom Chambers
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