At 7.30pm on Tuesday 2nd July, my life as knew it changed forever. I walked into a pub called The Enterprise where a number of strange looking teenagers had gone, and a flight of stairs later I found a room with Owen Hopkin's drums and bunch of guitars in. I sit down and five minutes later I hear the voice of an Irish man. I dunno how many Irish people there are in London but I know one who is. Looking up to my right, I see but a scruffy looking man in a green baseball cap. If I wasn't the only Crocketts fan in the room at that time, their might have been shouts of "Davey!" from other people. I just stayed where I was, keeping quiet, and waited for the music to begin. After Jon, Nim and her friends turn up and sit with me, people start singing.
Jeff Darnell sounded a bit like the Lighthouse Family, they were OK. Then Guess came on. They played nice songs and made me happy. Good backing singers. They reminded me of the Crocketts when Hannah was still there. Sometime in the middle of Guess playing, a guy with some nice looking hair came in the room and bend down to talk to the ticket lady. While I admire his hair, Nim say's "It's Owen!" and I look to my right again and find myself staring at another member of The Crocketts. If that wasn't good enough, he chucks his back down next to the bench I'm sitting on and sits down, talking to Nim and Jon about stuff. By this time I was in a daze and couldn't believe what was happening.
After a while, Owen dissapears, I'm thinking my life can't get much better, and in comes Davey asking if he can sit next to us. Jon doesn't have the heart to tell him to fuck off, and instead introduces me as a rather hardcore fan and goes on about a Crocketts website I've made. Davey rambles on about needing a new website, then goes downstairs to get a drink, giving me some time to wonder who the new members are.
About 10.30, the place starts getting packed with loads of Crox fans, and brings the total number of people in the room up to about 60. People start sound checking, Davey and Owen walk out of the band room clutching set lists, people cheer, and off they go.
This is when things really get weird, and it felt like I was watching another Crox video. I'm not sure if that's good or not, but it means I don't have much to say about the actual music playing bit. Anyway, they start off with Who Knows, sounding just like the recorded track. A few more tracks later, and I notice they sound pretty good for an acoustic set.
Maybe it was the new keyboardist. Well, it could have been, if he wasn't spending the whole time staring straight ahead, looking pretty lifeless. Chicken vs Macho is next, and the guy behind me starts going on about how Mary Hopkin sings on the track, and wonders who they're gonna get to sing this time. The backing singers from Guess would have been nice, but it didn't happen.
Davey sings some more, and La Sinoco comes and go's, but not before sounding pretty darn good. Around this time, Davey introduces everyone. Owen on drums, who get's the biggest cheer. Actually, people pretty much clapped at anything he did. Maybe it's the hair.
Geoff was on bass, the new thiner, older, lesser haired Rich.
Andy's on keyboard (who's still not doing much but staring at the wall) and it turns out he's only been in the band for 2 days, which would explain the odd wrong note here and there.
Finally, Davey gives their new name as The Next Door Niggers, which everyone finds rather amusing.
Halfway through the gig, Davey anounces Fred as the next song, at which point the crowd goes wild, or as wild as you're gonna get for 50 people in there late 20's. Everyone sings along, and I notice a slight similarity between the new bass player and an ex-guitarist. It was just the once, but I think Geoff is getting the hang of this face pulling thing.
Another song gets played, at which point Davey's guitar decides to stop working. He hadn't even been hitting himself with it. So the guitar tech gets another, and Davey spends about a minute trying to get the thing straped on to him. I dunno if he managed it or not, but it was time for some guitar smashing. Guitar number two gets chucked on the floor, along with a mic stand that ends up in Owens drumkit, and Davey grabs the mic and starts singing his wee heart out.
Next, he tells everyone that they have the right to remain orgasmic, shorty before deciding that we infact don't, and plays Utopia instead. Which sounds quite different to the MP3, but still another good Crox track. The next two songs were the best of the evening.
Yet again, everyone had the right to remain orgasmic, and Davey sings almost as good as he does on the next track, Dead Alcos Kidneys, which is the best of the evening. The band now decide to get up and go for a walk towads the band room, then walk back to play Opposite Ends. Usually the best track, it sounded kinda strange, different cords and stuff, it really wasn't as good as it usually is. The 60 year old next to me didn't think so either, and had his hands over his ears for most of the song. A guy at the front also realised the song didn't sound quite so good, and took matters into his own hands. He started screaming out the lyrics towards Davey, making Davey's screaming look rather tame. If only he'd got up and started jumping on things too.
After Opposite Ends, The Crocketts end their set, and walk back to the band room. I then rush forward to pick up a set list, and quickly discover there's no need to rush anywhere. The 50 strong crowd were more interested in drinking than getting their hands on some Crox memorebilia. Strange people. I get either Davey's or Geoff's set list, and it reads as follows.
GIRL JUST DIED
NO-ONE GETS IT RIGHT
DEAD ALCOS KIDNEYS
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, they clap lots, drink lots, and wait for the Crox to reapear.
When they do come back out, Owen and Davey get hassled for autographs. The other two have less of a problem, they're still a little unrecognizable. About 11.30 I find myself standing on the other side of the room, and the Irish voice I heard 4 hours ago looks over at me and says "Alright mate". I quickly make my way to the other side of the room before I wake up from whatever dream I'm in. After a bit more waiting, I look around to see where the crox have gone, just to see Davey sitting down next to me again. I spend a while wondering if he's just stalking me, at which point someone taps me in the stomach. I wonder what the hell's going on, and I hear Davey go "Alright" at me again. It's now all getting a bit much for me and I go and hide myself in the crowd.
Stupidly, I stand next to the band room door, and out comes Davey, shoving a CD into my hand. The guy next to me* in an "I want to tresspass on your heathe" top (fist time I've seen one) looks suprised, and I get out my CD player to listen to it. It didn't work at the time, but it turns out the thing had Who Knows, Fred Flintstone and Lottery Winners On Acid on it.
Nim and her friends now have autographs from all the Crockett members, but want even more. Nim spends about 5 minutes trying to get Davey to let her stay at the crox house. They get Owen to agree and after me and Jon have left to stay at his house for the night, they spend the night at one of Owen's mate's house.
I'm back home now, and trying to figure out what happened last night. I have a set list, a 3 track CD, and I think I just saw The Crocketts for the first time. For an acoustic show, it kicked arse. For The Crocketts, it was OK. But for a night out, well, maybe I'd have enjoyed it more if I didn't spend the time wishing and feeling like I was somewhere else. Not that I didn't like it, it just felt too weird to be true.
Review written July 3rd 2002 by Christopher Friend.
Photos by Elodie.