There’s a joke in there somewhere about lights, but I’ll leave you to work one out for yourselves…
One of the strangest gig titles I think we’ve ever had the opportunity to write about, but Community Fridge Opening it was, so play it we did, although it was in cut-down form as Stu couldn’t make it. Part of a series of events taking place in Wolverton to commemorate something or other, we were situated in the Old Bath House, which contained a number of artworks that were part of an art trail.
I’m not sure we’ve ever played a non-festival gig on a Saturday afternoon and with people regularly walking in, viewing the artwork, dancing sideways at us for a little bit and then moving off to the next stop on the trail, it was certainly one of the strangest. Having said that, it was surprisingly good fun – sets from The Outside This, Mark Owen (not that one) and Mick and Steve made a strange afternoon fly by.
The Craufurd is a great venue, and the mix of bands in the back room and bands in the bar always gives you choice of styles. It was a Saturday night, and we were playing on the bar stage, and we had quite a turnout of people come along to see us.
The stage was ours for the night, so we were able to do a couple of 45-50 minute sets, which was great fun. We threw a few covers in, but most of the evening was us doing our thing, and it went down really well. One key point for me was that if there was a dip in the energy during either set, it was when the covers came on, which suggests to me that we can be bolder with our set lists moving forward.
We’ve got photos of the set list somewhere on Instagram, which I’ll find and link to later, but for now, key highlights for me were the two newer ones – Lucky and Every Seven Seconds. They’re really coming into their own and becoming staples of the live set, and I can’t wait to get in the studio to record them.
We did Kebab Van for Jason (guvnor of The Craufurd) as it’s his favourite song, and we felt comfortable enough on stage to play fast and loose with the setlist when the mood took us. We’ve got a number of songs that just seem to ‘go’ well after other songs, so while we might have one of them on the setlist, it’s just as likely that Steve (it’s always Steve!) will kick in to one of the others.
It’s good to have people dancing, even if they are the drunkest couple in Wolverton, so thanks for getting down to it. It’s also great to have people singing along to our songs – that warms the cockles and gives us warm and tingly feelings, so please don’t stop.
Well it looked as if the glorious British weather would put paid to the gig, as the heavens opened for hours in the run up to this one, but as the three Boxers left Steve Box’s house for the short walk to the Square, the rain slowed, and very shortly stopped altogether.
It was a sign I tell thee!
Any of the local festivals can be slightly difficult gigs to play, because by definition they’re always going to be attended by people who won’t know our stuff, and who would, if truth be told, rather be listening to a covers band. Having said that, there are always a few reasons why playing “It’s In The Square” is always such good fun:
The sound guys really, really know their stuff, and manage to make us sound pretty great
The guys with the cameras near the front of the stage always get some great photos and videos that we can link to later on
Due to the wonderfully varied acts on the setlist, we get to hype ourselves up pre-gig by saying things like “let’s go and blow those belly dancers off of the stage”
We went on after the Radcliffe Rollers steel band but sadly, the belly dancers weren’t there, so a large part of the hilarious stage-banter that we’d rehearsed (anyone who knows us will know this isn’t true of course – we never actually rehearse) never got to see the light of day.
Anyway, the set we played went as follows, although possibly not entirely in this order:
Waves of Temptation (Soundcheck)
Swords of a Thousand Men
It’s always difficult to gauge how you went down in this sort of gig, but from the number of people who were:
Paying some sort of attention
Nodding their heads
Shuffling their feet (if standing)
Swaying gently in the breeze (if sitting)
Clapping with something other than general politeness at the end
Smiling in appreciation at the sheer majesty of the lyrics