Oxford. College Town. Felt like any Collegetown USA but with much better looking buildings, and much worse looking chicks. The venue was smack dab in the middle of “High Street” – across from Planet Thai and a skateboard shoppe. Man do College towns vary AT ALL? Down the street was a Tesco where I imagine the professors dread going and running into their students. The most notable part of the day was that our drerssing room was situated so that anyone going from the floor of the venue to the Wildhearts dressing room, the dressing room for the band playing in the smaller room upstairs, the venue managers office, or the production office, had to walk through our dresssing room. And between our dressing room and the venue floor was the EMT / Triage station. Awesome.
Our set was pretty uneventful. There was this weird overhang in the room, and people all stayed behind that while we played, for the most part. Except for the 10 people who run right up to the barricade the minute the doors open. But they weren’t so into us. Every now and then you just get a crowd that isn’t gonna get you. No matter what you do. We played hard and gave all the energy we had, but it didnt seem to matter. Though sometimes crowd reaction can be deceptive, especially in the UK. Cuz we did really well on merch, and Ginger and Gav both said they thought the crowd loved us. None of us did though. Oh well. You cant win them all.
When A started playing, I had to get out of there. The dressing room situation was a pain in the ass, and the venue floor didnt prove to be much better, mainly because it was crowded, but more so because it was crowded with hot sweaty dudes. Everyone in the band went to get dinner, but I wasnt really hungry so I decided to go and take a loot at the Oxford University campus. And I was super glad that I did. The University was GORGEOUS and past the Universtiy was whole other side of the town that didnt have a “college town” vibe , but felt like a classic British city center. Lots of shops, cobblestone streets, xmas decorations etc. and for some reason there was a large contingent of people dressed in costume, and at least 30 men dressed in neon day glow tutus. And not altogether, in groups of 2 or 3. Might have been some sort of fraternity hazing ritual. Weird, After walking for a while, I started to get cold so I thought I could jog a little bit to warm up. 30 minutes and 3 miles of zig zagging through the campus later, my sweaty ass made it back to the venue in time to catch the last half of the Wildhearts set. Sick as always.
After the gig, I went out in the alley to smoke and saw that Tom, the Wildhearts sound engineer – who also mixes Guns n Roses when Axl bothers to get out of bed – was smoking a cigar in a storage shed in the alley on the side of the venue. I popped in and chatted with him and scott Sorry for a minute when I saw the bins. Stashed in the bins were all the letters for the big marquee out front. Of course I liberated a few. T-R-A-G-E-D-Y.