Okay, so I really didn’t want to write this. I had hoped that some kind soul would have written a beautifully scripted review of the Augustines gig at the 02 Academy in Oxford on Monday 12th May. And all I would need to do was link, add a few of my photos and video and there was my aide-mémoire. But no such luck. I have searched the web and cannot believe no one has written about one of those “I was there” gigs.
So here goes. Apologies to all those learned and accomplished reviewers but thanks to the person who put the set list on Setlist.fm.
Decided not to get there in time to see Neon Waltz so can’t comment. Arrived about 10 minutes before set time at 8.45 pm. Showed our tickets, proceeded into the venue to find that downstairs was completely empty. What? They took our tickets, didn’t say anything about the gig being cancelled. What’s going on? Hmm, there was an upstairs! Much smaller than downstairs, so it looked as though it was going to be a pretty intimate gig.
Quick beer, find our places and we’re set! Lots of warm up prep. by the roadie, who we later learnt was called Alex. There’ll be more on Alex later.
About 10 minutes after they were due on stage, we heard the opening bars of’Into the Abyss’, lights went down and we’re off. An internet friend of mine made a great suggestion about gigs and that was to check on Setlist and make a playlist to listen to before the gig, so if you are not that familiar with all the songs, it’s a great way to prepare for the gig! So, first 2 songs were as expected but the band kept running off to the side and talking to the roadie and, as we later found out, the tour manager. So, after Chapel Song we were treated to an unplugged version of Toots and the Maytals Pressure Drop, while the acoustics were sorted.
The gig then got underway, with Billy McCarthy and the band giving their all, despite a “fucked up voice. Not that you’d think it as he had us all singing along “The Oxford Choir”! We were regaled with a story of how they had to cancel a gig in Salt Lake City as they only sold 11 tickets!! Don’t think you’d get many bands admitting that – would you?
Thanks to people and their video phones, here are some of the songs from the night on YouTube.
Philadelphia – City of Brotherly Love
Hold Onto Anything
Now You Are Free
Ballad of a Patient Man
So, if you’ve got this far! It was almost almost 11 o’clock and Curfew time. Billy announced they had 15 minutes left, while the crowd tried to persuade him that ‘the establishment’ said he had an extra 35 minutes! We were all having a great time, Billy drinking “men’s flowers” – whiskey! and no one wanted to leave. So, it was suggested we went outside and carry on out there. Really? “You wanna do this?”
“Yes” we cried and off we went into the Cowley Rd.
The rest, they say, is history!
I got this close! It was tremendous. Heard the security guards moaning, the tour manager being given a hard time and after this, saw the band disappear into The Library to continue.
We left, as The Library is small and we’d had a never to be repeated experience.
AUGUSTINES ROCK – OFFICIALLY!