In gig terms, Monday is probably the nadir of the week, coming a close second to Sunday (cf the last Shadow Orchestra gig…). So when Sunday Driver were booked for the Oxford Steampunk Soiree on Monday night, I had a few misgivings.
For a start, I was meant to be at a scientific conference in Warwick. And half the band had to make it over from Cambridge to Oxford – a nightmare route at any time – in the rush hour. But in the end my worst fears were unfounded. The boys arrived in the nick of time and with barely ten minutes to plug in and line-check, we were on.
Thanks to a hugely enthusiastic crowd – and Rainbow Joe’s super skills with the mixing desk – it was a fabulous night. With only the minimum bribery with sugar mice, people conga-ed around like bizarre arachnids during Black Spider, there was some 50s-stylehand-jiving going on, and I think I spotted an outbreak of the Polka. Big props to Scary Boots, who was leading the charge at the front. Lovely to see you, missus!
In a slight deviation from the usual Sunday Driver style, we also played a traditional folk tune – the Female Saylor (pdf) – to accompany a set dance that some of the punters had spent the afternoon learning. The atmosphere was utterly joyous as couples sashayed, twirled and galloped across the room with abandon. Forget standing around moodily staring at your pint at an Indie gig, Steampunks know how to have fun and they do it with relish.
I treated myself to a selection of fine comestibles purchased from Messrs Marks and Spencer emporium in Oxford station, purveyors of dry gin, hummus and sticky buns to hungry lady musicians.
That was our last gig for a while, as I’m off to Canada in January, then Joel and Chandy are going to South America. So we’re looking for gigs for March and beyond. If you’d like to book us, please get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org