Thursday 13th March15h39
Your host hands in an essay and takes to the mean streets for a few days of conscience-free frolicking.16h58
A packet of Steak McCoy’s I later regret17h04
The bus to London is boarded. During the journey the lyrics to a new, as-yet-untitled song (which have been written slowly over the last four months) are finally finished – publishing them soon on this very site.18h41
Step off the bus and on to Shepherd’s Bush Green, home of Ginglik – serious Top 5 Venue contender.18h53
Chop chop, a chinese on Shepherd’s Bush Green, is a good place for aspiring artistes on an extreme budget.18h59
Greeting the Swindler19h20
Playing the new FaceOmeter World Of FaceOmeter Top Trumps Card Game with the Swindler19h26
Running across busy four-lane roads carrying Magic Lantern’s equipment20h03 Gig: FaceOmeter / Magic Lantern / Gabby Young / Hooverville
Incredibly fun, a video launch for Gabby, with Balloons and terrifying clowns aplenty. We didn’t play very well but we had a great time!
23h45 The Dapper Swindler and I board the bus for a return to Oxford. The Swindler stops for Jerk chicken, I for Ginger Beer.
Friday 14th March
02h00 Vigorous South Park / Super Mario Galaxy Session chez moi
09h00 Arising for the Exeter Haaj. Waking the Jones proves complicated.
09h44 Dale arrives whilst I’m showering.
10h13 Speedy departure officially abandoned in favour of Wii Golf.
11h03 Coffee at Coco’s followed by a walk to the Peug
11h42 Greeting the Peug, loving the Peug, packing the Peug
12h12 Departing Oxford
13h50 Slow trundle along the M4 – Marks and Spenser service station. Why? Sandwiches. Sushi for the Swindler. Dale procures Rhubarb and Custards.
14h15 In thick rain, Peug windscreen wipers which should have been replaced about a year ago almost completely useless. Quest to find new ones.
15h10 Quest not going well
15h33 Quest abandoned. It’s stopped raining anyway.
15h59 Having ditched Dale, we sit in the Peug rinsing internet. We await George.
16h03 Arrival of George, including characteristic walk.
16h10 Mission to retrieve Genevieve.
16h40 Recording session for the narrations of the Irritating Maze begins.
17h30 With 6 o’clock deadline looming, ideas of recording abandoned in favour of practice for a record the next day. This is because when English students write srama we use long, confusing words (sorry!). It’s all quite… Irritating. Excellent.
18h05 Dropping the Drama kids off for Icarus and Daedalus slightly late (sorry Sam!). To the North Bridge!
18h27 Arriving at the North Bridge, we see a handwritten sign advertising “FaceOmeter (Will Tattersdill and the Dapper Swindler): Multi-Instrumental Folk duo”. Excellent.
18h46 We can do our own sound! We are men!
19h04 Best Pub Ever
19h37 Beer Garden rehearsal vibes
21h00 Gig: FaceOmeter
A two part gig, the first with me on my own, the second with the Swindler and other guests. A slow burner which eventually went really well – I messed my voice up and it was a mixed crowd reaction but this was still one of my favourite gigs ever, if only because it saw the live debut of the Irritating Maze. Some video will be along at some point.
Saturday 15th March
00h27 Equipment packing up. Gig must have been good – we got booked for someone’s wedding (!) (?) (!)
01h23 House party eject for tea party at Lucy’s – she agrees to put us up for the night. How kind! She also has a blue piano.
02h51 Sleep, with thoughts of Let’s Do riding the brain.
12h00-15h30 Sitting in Let’s Do, the traditional Saturday breakfast locale. Salmon ciabatta and scrambled egg happens. Also much tea. Brief walks to fill up car meter in irritating rain due to irritating town being irritating full on irritating saturday thanks to opening of irritating new shopping mall.
15h37 Coffee in Zizzi’s; spying on George
15h50 Wiper blades mission finally successful thanks to legendary Halfords man and Jones Tech Technology
16h13 Another lift for Genevieve who reveals unexpected eject plans owing to parental pickup schedule. Sunday’s performance of Irritating Maze jeopardised!
16h30-18h00 Recording the Irritating Maze. Much faster than recording music due to consummate professionalism of the two actors involved. The Swindler fluked it. Would have been quicker if we’d done some warm-ups, sung Rose Red, and so on, first. I enjoy my first insight into the world of the director. My hints: 1) steal all george’s ideas, 2) tell everyone to do it again, all the time.
19h30 Watching the latest Theatre Alchemists production, Icarus and Daedalus. Incredible use of space (no, really). George’s improvisation skills apparently know no limits, adapting themselves to collapsing sets.
20h41 Thai House scoped in interval
21h53 Thai House visited. Good results. Car eat.
22h30 Meet Phil, Lucy and Dale at the Odeon to give them a lift to somwhere that turns out to be about fifty feet from there. We drive via the fire house to get rid of the Swindler for the evening. We don’t need him. No-one explains the distance thing to me when they board the Peug for some reason.
23h07 Party has kicked off instantly for a frenchman who spends most of it singing happy birthday (it isn’t anyone’s birthday) and trying to paint my face and pour beer over people’s cleavages.
Sunday 17th March
00h32 A brilliant game of Just a Minute marred by questionable umpiring decisions from D
ale and a frenchman who spends most of it singing happy birthday (it isn’t anyone’s birthday) and trying to paint my face and pour beer over people’s cleavages. Gaming George(TM) makes a welcome appearance.
01h33 The eject. Lucy’s again for me – this time I create a wholesome night light zone on the understanding that we’ll all meet for tipple in the park the next morning at 10h30. Bed.
10h30 Everyone else did it as well.
11h21 Tipple abandoned. Rain a contributing factor, George (the Frisbee bearer) carries partial blame for going back to sleep – ultimate blame rests with Nokia, for making my shitty, shitty “sporty” phone, the 5500. NEVER BUY IT.
11h32 Dale proposes a bacon sandwich for those of us who actually made it to the park in the rain. From a shop called “Roy’s Rolls”. This excites me very greatly.
11h51 “Roy’s Rolls” turns out to be called “Martin’s Pie Shop”. I restrain myself from killing Dale.
12h00 “Martin’s Pie Shop” turns out to be closed. I restrain myself from killing Dale.
12h16 Breakfast in Terry’s Brutal Greaser (possibly actually called that) on Sidwell Street. Violent amounts of bacon-ridden grease further choke the killing urge, as well as, at the age of 37, me. I want Bjðrk to sing at my funeral if she’s hasn’t sold out.
12h06 Departure of Lucy. Surprise encounter with Ottalie, she of the Princess Bride, visiting Iceland.
12h11 New peug quest – for a new cassette adaptor. Dixon’s have nothing.
12h18 “Zavvi” have one! (You’ll never persuade me not to use the inverted commas)
12h46 Perving technological goods in the Apple store, also running into faitful ally Jon Chatwin. Am even less convinced now than ever about the MacBook Air and Games for Mac; coming round to the idea of the iPhone (the screen is amazing); iPod nanos are for complete idiots; the new Brian Davidson equivalents are very swish but I’ll clutch onto him until he’s a complete doorstop. A cassette adaptor in Apple costs £17.50, the one from “Zavvi” was £5. Lesson learnt.
13h21 Dale on leaving the Apple store: “That shop made me feel old, stupid, and poor”
13h47 Poundland. This is more like it.
14h10 An extensive series of ‘tests’ of the new cassette adaptor (Video footage forthcoming). Dale can’t section us by himself because we outnumber him.
14h50 Dale dispensed with. Voyage to Tamsin’s house soundtracked entirely by the Swindler and the Doctor.
15h10+ A welcoming Tamsin loads us up with tea, internet, food and, best of all, showers. Three-wheeler parked outside. Sun fliters through the clouds. Clean clothes. Woodstock DVD. Extreme contentment.
18h30 Departing for Tiggas bar. ‘Power Out’ on the stereo system, Looe Road passed and paid homage to, Peug experiences an almost empty parking lot for once.
20h00 Gig: Stephen Jago / Jonathan Chatwin & Hannah Martin / Sonic Raj & Confucius Jefferson / FaceOmeter
A gig sadly let down by an illness of the Swindler’s which I had assumed was faked, and my voice, which at this point is well beyond ‘proper fucked’. In addition, the unexpected and unwelcome early appearance of our sworn foes Sonic and Confucius leaves a sour taste in our mouths for the evening. Sections from Love It magazine save the day, comined with a big final Irritating Maze finish, Sam Morris graciously (and expertly) reading in for Genevieve. Final chorus brings venue to its knees; our work here is done; Max passes out and is revived with Red Bull.
23h30 Favourable comparisons to Jeff Lewis from stranger: never bad. Also good that Jeff is becoming more of a household name! Slight ice effect on peug negated by its powerful heat vents. Sorrowful goodbye to most of our Exeter friends (the ones remaining: many had already left over the preceding days, driven from the Swindler’s face like rats from a sinking ship).
Monday 18th March
00h03 Max beeps the horn repeatedly at departing Princess Brideys just as a really really well illuminated police car drives past. I watch my rear-view mirror the whole way back, but they must have decided we weren’t worth it. Or the vibe came down and turned their wheels into squares. I prefer this explanation. The Jones finds all of this really fucking funny, which is just great.
00h12 Back to Tamsin’s. Minor dark regarding a near-wrong turn to somewhere I used to live. The Swindler’s MacBook and phone create a safety zone.
01h59 As Dale’s head hits the pillow, he remembers that Roy’s Rolls is in Coronation Street.
09h58 Dale arrives, two minutes early.
10h11 The Jones has forgotten his scarf.
10h30 Departure again.
10h43 Fiasco re: which side of the Peug the petrol cap is on. I’ve only had it two years.
11h15 England is a really beautiful country.
12h31 Coming off a junction early. Mad antics.
13h28 Return to Oxford – division of spoils, incredible Wagamama, Ben’s Cookies and Blackwells experiences, Boot shop windows, Mario Strikers, more buses… many things are to occupy our heroes as they prepare for the beakening once again, but this record must close here.
1) At no point during the special did anyone wait longer than 10 minutes for an Oxford Tube
2) Another two Oxford trips for the Swindler without tapheads assaulting either of us
3) The whole trip paid for itself exactly
The proprietors of FaceOmeter Inc wish to thank Tamsin and Lucy, the generous souls who put us up in the evenings, as well as Eddie of North Bridge Inn fame, a most radical chiller as ever there was, and all the generous patrons of both the North Bridge and Tiggas whose donations made our trip possible!