Day 12 + 13: Cardiff and Oxford

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Talk Normal and Wire in Cardiff

We finally hit Wales proper, and if there's one thing I learned during my short stay in Cardiff, is that they like to party. This thursday night saw kids and adults alike strewn about the streets in festive bouts of drinking and the occasional shouting. So the mood was proper for a good show in this land where they spoke a different language.

Tunneling into Wales.

Let's talk about this language for a minute. I can pronounce most words that use the same alphabet as we do, if only phonetically, but will someone please tell me how to pronounce double F's followed by a Y and ending in a double GG. If you want to see a carful of people immaturely try to pronounce every road sign for an hour, just take the M4 over the Severn Bridge to Wales.

Bridging into Wales.

As the party-lined streets would suggest, Cardiff was a blast. Once again we had to end by 10 for the club night to start, but the 7:30 set time did little to hinder the audience's appreciation of Talk Normal's performance. In fact, this was easily the most autographing they've done all tour, with the widest range of ages. I even saw a Health t-shirt. Our trip back to the Travelodge was a happy one for sure. Until we realized our window overlooked the same street full of screaming drunkards.

I would be stealing that poster later.

talk normal tshirts
Arty merch shot.

Graham and Matt from Wire
Graham and Matt chilling post-show.

Dancing to the club music in the green room.

Told you I was going to steal that poster.

Pillows over our heads until 4am, we got some good sleep and headed over to Spillers, the “world's oldest record store”, to hawk some wares before hitting the road for Oxford. I will take this moment to brag that someone bought the Talk Normal / Lower Dens split Impose put out right in front of me. This meant I got my daily £2.50 Subway sandwich for free on this day.

Travelodge Bear
The Travelodge bear is always waiting up for you.

spiller records

While Wales saw us rolling into town immaturely trying to pronounce the signs, Oxford saw me trying to do my best WASP accent. Little did I know we'd be playing on the wrong side of the tracks, not the hoity toity side. Apparently Oxford is a city divided, with the obvious upper crust living in the college area, while the old millers and immigrants inhabit the town. This is where we were playing, so I thought the show would be worthy of some working class energy.

But Oxford's town was much like you would expect the city dwellers to be, dry and pretty subdued. In fact, the only people who were really talkative to us after the show were the door guy and some people who told us they drove in from out of town. To further illustrate my point, we were back in the hotel by 11pm watching Jet Li's Fearless on cable on a Friday Night. Yet another reason I'm glad I didn't go to an Ivy league school.

They did take care of us right in Oxford though.

Sheffield better bring it, because it's our last show with Wire. After three weeks, it's all coming to a head for one last night.