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OXES European Tour Photo Diary

I said that it would take me a few months to get over this tour, and I think that was about right. It’s August and it’s raining outside and I can finally reflect upon two months of my life lost in the name of furthering international rock relations. From April through to June 2002, I took on the frankly (un)enviable task of guiding three Baltimorons through the highs and lows of a two-month European tour. We survived – at least, I did, I have no idea what they are up to now, although I could certainly guess – and this is the pictorial evidence of that tour.


Nat Fowler – rowdyist
Christopher Freeland – drummerist
Marc Miller – the only sane one (and it was all relative) -ist!
David Geraghty – driverist/merchboyist/tour managerist.

* * *

L-R Chris, Marc, Nat.

Bob Weston taking aim.

This is how rock it got

Chris was convinced he and Christina Files were meant to be together, as they were both drummers (of four piece kits) and had the same initials. Here he is, pictured molesting her, shortly after I had cried my eyes out watching Low.

Oxes on stage at ATP, first weekend. How the hell did they get there?

The venue in Dunkerque, which was actually some kids house. One of the best shows of the tour, with dancing afterwards, great food, great people and JOOOOOLIE, a hot French girl.

Naked Oxes

Den Haag

The van outside the venue in Den Haag. Unlike the previous year, we had no mechanical problems with the van (aside from running out of fuel) but we did manage to lose a window on the very last night of the tour. Apologies to the fucker who broke in and found there was fuck all in there to steal and got away with a $3 coat that Nat had been wearing for 2 months.

The show in Dunkerque, France.

The show in Den Haag, Holland.

Chris showing the family album to french kids, Dunkerque.

Launderette in Nantes. The show that night in Nantes was held in an old Nazi Bunker, and was attended by around 200 kids. Great show, great support band (whose name I forget, but they sounded like dEUS meets Fugazi meets Beefheart) and great food. Anthony looked after us and gave me some cool posters. He ruled.

Due to a number of shows in Spain being cancelled, we were left kicking our heels for a few days. Luckily, we met a great guy in Nancy, who suggested we drive down to his beach house near Bordeaux, and spend a night there, instead of paying for a hotel. Here is our trusty van being de-stinked (hence all the doors and windows are open) before we hit the road for a 1000km drive to Valencia.

Marc, Dunkerque, France

Nat and me on a wall in Granada, Spain. I was happy, honestly.

Nat and me sinking into sand.

BEST PICTURE EVER. Oxes on a beach, French Atlantic Coast, near Bordeaux.

Kafe Myzik, Lyon.

The van ran out of fuel on the way into France from Spain. Marc’s thumbs up means he has forgiven me, I think.

Granada, Spain. Nat had eaten all the curry sauce on his plate and was unable to walk. Cue running around carrying Nat. Another day off, we had earlier spent the day swimming in the med with our friends Sarah and Mary. Praise be to these fine ladies who ensured we weren’t sleeping in the van for two nights.

Marc inside Ernesto’s crazy house. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but he was the biggest collector of insane junk ever. Amazing house. Pretty much every touring band from the US has stayed there, and all marvel at the hospitality. We were no different.

This picture is fucking stupid. However, all the time to kill in Italy, plus the fact we had acquired a bike in Holland meant me and Chris could spend a whole day riding round the back lanes of a small Italian town. One of the best days of the tour.

Good food in Rome with Kyle and Agostino from Uzeda. Earlier, we had gone shoe shopping and Agostino made me keep my purchases on. ‘These are fine Italian shoes. You look so much better now’. Also, he helped me buy wine and cheese for my parents, for which they were extremely grateful. So thank you, chap. you know your cheese.

Chris’s party trick. Some Mountains. Italy. Not the most well attended show, in Schio, but we stayed in a lovely hotel and the weather was fantastic. Who cares about anything else?

Chris looking windswept on a balcony in Rome. The previous night myself and Chris had ran after a car of girls, for about half a mile. They didn’t stop. If they had they would have had a great time with two really awesome dudes!

Two drummers share some deep intellectual conversation, Rome.

Kyle from the Shipping News and Rachels came and met us in Italy. Here he is drinking some foul tasting alcoholic beverage. Marc is camping it up for the camera

A goat on the road, Italy. CRAZY!!

L-r Marc, Chris, Nat, Valentino, Valentino’s boyfriend. Valentino let us stay in her house for two days, in Rome. Her house was awesome. Rome was awesome.

The street where we stayed in Copurtino, Italy.

Marc on the Italian/Austrian border, wearing a horrific coat he bought at the Italian Festival we played the night before. Imagine Robin Hood meets the Wild West. Fucking horrible. Stunk to high heaven as well.

L-R: Ernesto, Marc, Nat, Giovanna, Chris. Due to a couple of days spare in Italy, we stayed at the house of Ernesto. He took a vow of silence sometime last year and communicates through gestures and noises. This meant we could steal his beer and he couldn’t argue with us about it. Only joking.

The name of the club in Berlin. Those wacky Germans.

The courtyard of the venue in Bielefeld. Even though we parked the van under a basketball hoop, this did not deter the kids from playing basketball, causing almighty dints in the roof. Alas, we had no comeback, as we encouraged them and joined in.

Your hero, pointing at the Czech Republic. Note seriously emo turn ups on jeans.

Kids queuing up outside the venue in Brighton, over an HOUR before the doors were even supposed to open. Props to Stevipus, who put on a top show.

I actually told the band (and our two guests at that point) that the quickest way to Groningen was to drive over this huge dam. It wasn’t really, but I wanted to see it, and they all believed me. That day’s show, at the Vera in Groningen, became infamous as the night Brian from 90 Day Men tried to get some HOTT DUTCH ACTION but instead got doused with a fire extinguisher for his trouble. Oh the JAPES!

This club was called PITTS. And it was in BELGIUM. It was the pits. I also managed to fall down the steepest flight of stairs in the world, which didn’t cheer me up too much. The venue was the smallest of the tour, and we left ‘gifts’ for Arab on Radar who were playing the next night. Most asked question of the tour (in a European accent) ‘Hey! For sure you’re totally friends with Arab on Radar, for sure, no? They say they think you are not funny! For sure!’

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

So there you have it. The actual tour took in the following cities, be it that we played there or stayed there – Camber Sands (ATP festival), Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Dunkerque, Nancy, Orleans, Bordeaux, Biscarosse, Valencia, Granada, Barcelona, Nantes, Lyon, Schio, Copurtino, Rome, Bologna, Linz, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, Bielefeld, Kortrijk, Groningen, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Dunkerque, London, Brighton, Birmingham, Peterborough, Derby, Leeds, Dundee, Glasgow, Dublin, Galway, Cork, London