Less than two weeks to go and I'm looking forward to my OxFringe gig with Project Adorno on 22nd (think cross between Raw Sex and Pet Shop Boys with some random philosophers and Dr Who's thrown in) and Philip Jeays, an English singer/songwriter in the chanson tradition. And then there's me, The Poet Laura-eate, with her 'inimitable offbeat take on life' as one reviewer put it.
I have no doubts this triage of talent (or 3-for-1) deal will prove a qualitative experience for our audience, not least in the wake of last year's rave review from the Oxford Times for 'Byron, Get One Free', the poetry show I did with fellow poet Oliver Gozzard.
However promoting gigs has become a hard slog in Oxford, not least as the majority of Oxford pubs and cafes have decided to go all minimalist, removing their friendly community 'What's On' boards, partly a response, no doubt, to the rise of the staple-gun terrorist who plasters every available noticeboard in multiple oversized posters of garish hue and even invades Oxford Colleges to staple them all over the antique oak panelling of each JCR/MCR, given half a chance. 'Bill Posters', that much persecuted figure of the 1970s/80s, it seems, is not prosecuted for irresponsible postering any more. Though a well-policed noticeboard with strict rules about single posters of no larger than A4 size with regular weeding for the out-of-date events is all that is needed. Even the scruffiest pub which made a feature of decorating its walls with What's On posters has gone upmarket to paper their walls with replica 1950s film posters instead, promoting films which have long ceased to require any promotion.
I ended up feeling quite dispirited after my trudge around Oxford with a bagful of posters earlier this week as it seems that anyone without a corporate-sized advertising budget to pay the companies who now own many of the poster and leaflet sites is being squeezed out. Nor do I have a convenient celebrity up my sleeve to make a free media splash with!
However a few gems remain such as Green's Cafe, which still rely on What's On posters for that welcoming Oxford feel.
On the electronic front, who looks at their barrage of Facebook invitations any more or notices their weekly e-mails from events listing sites? Needless to say I have spammed all my Facebook and other friends as much as I dare to invite each to either attend or print out a poster for me and put up on their work or public noticeboard as penance if they can't make it. ;- )
Anyway, before you ask: Upstairs at the Copa, George Street, Oxford, Wednesday 22nd June 2011 @ 9.30pm, admission £6/£5 concessions - look forward to seeing you there!