After a productive weekend rehearsing at Glasshouse Studios in Cumnor in September 2018, we decided to drop in on the popular open mic night on Sunday evening at the Harcourt Arms in Jericho to see if we could play a few songs. We arrived good and early so it was soon sorted. After our first mini-set, one of the other musical contributors approached us.
“I’ve seen you guys before,” he said.
“We’ve been here a couple of times.”
“No, I mean before before”.
“St Peter’s College JCR. October 1978, I think.”
He could remember several of our song titles – bear in mind that then as now we were playing original material – and even quote some of the words! He remembered we had some difficulty with the fold-back monitors. He wondered if we were going to play “I’m So Lazy” later… maybe in the hope that we might finally be able to get it right!
In those days a high proportion of our audience would have been loyal friends, or friends of friends, who would have seen us on more than one occasion and come to know the songs. But none of us recognised him. Perhaps he was just a member of St Peter’s JCR and had chanced on the gig? No, he was at another college. “I saw it advertised, and it sounded interesting.”
And who was Mr Memory? Jonathan Luxmoore, now of the noted Oxford-based folk trio Jesters. What were the chances of him and us being in the same venue 40 years later? And why did we not leave such a favourable impression on anyone else, and become successful and famous?
During the gig, someone posted a video on social media. At the end of the evening, we were shown a response: “I remember them – I’ve still got a cassette they made in the 1980s!” Two former fans found in one evening. This one is now living in Venezuela…