Dom Lawson - Oaf - Gig From Hell Print E-mail
Written by Dom Lawson   
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 06:00

Oaf_ClawAs Oaf, we have only done three gigs so far.


This whole thing has been a largely personal project between the two of us until this point, and opportunities for performing in public have been few and far between. We hope to rectify this situation shortly, but for the purposes of this question we'd better travel back in time to our teenage years when we were both members of a Hemel Hempstead-based band known as The Shatners. James and I have been friends since the age of 12/13 or so and The Shatners was our first attempt at forming a group, alongside a guitarist who went by the name of Leonard. We were a rather shambolic and puerile band (nothing much has changed!), but we unexpectedly and strangely became enormously popular in Hemel Hempstead, drawing sizeable crowds and earning a small amount of notoriety. We frequently performed wearing only y-fronts, which may have had something to do with our unexpected local hero status, but we had some great songs too, albeit mainly ones dedicated to subjects like poo, underpants and other unpleasantness. It seemed like a good idea at the time.


Anyway, a couple of gigs spring to mind. We once performed at a pub in Dunstable, Buckinghamshire...the name of which escapes me, but I'm not exactly recommending that you go there for lunch...and when we arrived, it was pretty obvious that we were not quite what the landlord had in mind. We were used to performing for other kids and/or drunk people who liked noisy music. When we turned up at this pub, we noticed that the "audience" comprised several hardened and avowedly middle-aged drinkers and committed Rothmans-smokers, most of whom also looked as if they would cheerfully slit our throats if we didn't immediately throw down with a set of Elvis covers. Quite what they made of our songs to begin with is anyone's guess, but it's safe to say that we were, as they say, "shitting it". Somehow, though, we won them round and even though it was slightly terrifying, we did end up with several of the pub regulars on stage with us, banging saucepans and clanking tankards in time with the music. It's all part of growing up, I suppose. Character building, you might say. Then there was the time we played at The Cellar in Hemel Hempstead. The venue was wildly oversold and breaking all manner of fire regulations, but no one seemed to care and the gig was riotous and rather joyful...until we discovered that someone had been stabbed midway through the show, and someone else had smeared shit all over the mirrors in the gents. Not quite the reaction we were hoping for, to be honest. We carry those memories around with us now that we have reconvened under a new name and modus operandi. The lessons we learned are (a) avoid Dunstable and (b) try not to entertain people too much, in case they forget themselves and return to some primitive and violent pre-evolutionary state.