The Rat then crashes out leaving me to load up on my own, bastard. No amount of hassling him will get him up again. I shout at him "Phil! you've got to get up to go to London" gets responses varying from "Mnnnmm", "Yeah", to bizarrely "WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!???!". Eventually I put Rage against the Machine on and turn it up to the threshold of pain and leave the house. Stu arrives. The Rat is still not budging. At last he condescends to get up only when we assure him that all the gear is loaded. GGrrr.
The Powerhaus is fab - a total bugger to get to, I get hung up on the kerb doing a U-turn accross two lanes of oncoming traffic in Seven Sisters Road, SAFE! NOT! usual London road nightmare... but it's a beautifully laid out venue, fab PA, a good laid back soundman (Dave - top bloke), nice atmos. and a DRESSING ROOM WITH A BOG! first ever! and special band passes! Shame we couldn't get anyone down to see us there 'cos my London mates were all on holiday. My Aunty and her bloke came and stayed all through it, but they hated it 'cos we were too "fast and loud", but as my Aunty's in her fifties I'll take that as a compliment, ta.
Skyhook and Thompson were on before us. Thompson are a v. Britpoppy band with a great line in slide guitar, very NICE and they had loads of mates, but we scared 'em all off once we lit our amps up. Arse. Still, we learnt some stuff:
Part of our "thing" is that the Rat and sometimes Stu jump off the stage and play in the audience, which works great in smaller venues, but here when the Rat jumped off he just disappeared into the darkness below the lights so we came over as a three piece with a disembodied guitarist who was out of time! 'cos being off the stage he COULD NOT HEAR THE MONITORS.
Another problem was that the stage was so high plus the audience barrier that the Rat had a hell of a job climbing back up.
And Stu (bass) and George drums have both got to demand more of what they need in their monitors, 'cos they couldn't hear sod all.
We also found out that we needed to re-work Sacred, 'cos the way it is I can't play and sing it at the same time, ouch. Waves of silence greeted the end of that song.
We got a live tape of the set, well what can I say, but - sucked.
Tour Day 4, 26/9/97 - LAST EXIT TO OXFORD
A lie-in, 'til 10.30am! at last, first decent kip I've had in ages. Rock n' Roll(ish).
Gig at the Elm Tree in Oxford, absolutely bloody brilliant! TraLala, the support band down from Coventry are Latino-Hardcore (or Spanish style punk if you like). We love 'em, loads of bizarre danceable beats and heavy basslines and ace distorted vocals. WOW.
And JOY! They are really into our stuff too - we've ironed out the wrinkles in last nights set and we play a blinder. We ARE jazz-punk/weirdcore! TraLala are well up for it's are the 9 or 10 paying punters in the place (it's tiny so this is enough for a good atmos.), I sling a couple of freebie singles out and everybody dances like fuck! Coool!
Bob (ex-bass of The Workhouse) appears on at the end of the set - he was well impressed, he hadn't seen us play in about a year, andhim and his mate buy a couple of records. A top gig!
The only downer is I put so much into these gigs that I'm exhausted and disorientated (even tho' I've had NOTHING to drink) for the drive home, while Phil the Rat is stoned and drunk out of his head, buzzing and shouting about everything... Halfway home and the Rat comes out with this:
the Rat "Can I steer?"
the Rat "Can I work the pedals then?"
After this the Rat falls asleep. Thank Christ. And so, despite flipping out into a Twilight Zone trance every now and then we make it back alive. Just. Best gig yet.
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