SOMETIMES you have to go through days so dark, you think you’ll never come out of them again.
But the darker those days, the brighter the limelight seems when you finally get your moment to shine.
Fourpiece band Lawson have certainly seen their fair share of light and shade over the last few years.
The band, featuring bassist Ryan Fletcher from Chesterfield, remember lots of bad gigs - including a Cambridge show where the audience numbered just three.
“We did so many terrible gigs, that it defined us as a band,” Ryan explained.
But those tough times helped develop the band as they paid their dues and honed their craft.
“This time last year, things were bad,” he added.
“We’d been together two years and we had no gigs, no jobs - we wondered what we were going to do.”
But the new year brought a chance of luck for the band and out of the blue, even though they were still unsigned, they landed a support slot opening for The Wanted on a nationwide tour.
From there, things moved ridiculously quickly, with the band signed to Polydor and support tours with Avril Lavigne and Will Young.
Next week they start their debut headline tour and are putting the finishing touches to their first album.
Ryan admitted that sometimes he feels like pinching himself to make sure it’s all real.
“It’s just been unbelievable,” he said.
“I remember being in my room learning the riffs to Avril Lavigne’s Complicated and then here I am backstage at a gig chatting to her - unbelievable!”
Ryan is certainly no stranger to the big stage, having first got a taste for the limelight while playing with Chesterfield band Reminiscence.
The group won a compeitition to support US rock legends Bon Jovi, opening for them at Hull’s KC Stadium.
And the experience left Ryan hooked.
“It was the first time I thought: ‘I could actually do this!’” he said.
Ryan went off to music college before getting together with the Lawson lads and then deciding to jack in his studies so he could concentrate on the band full-time - even though they were still unsigned.
But that faith - despite the dodgy gigs and dark days - has definitely paid off as the band start their debut headline tour in Brighton on Monday.
And with the band putting the finishing touches to their first album, the future is looking bright for Ryan and Lawson.
For more on the band, check out www.lawsonofficial.com.