My friends, Oppenheimer have posted a big news item on their website, and all over their online presence.
you can read it here: Oppenheimer website
Back in, oh, I don’t remember when…but I used to randomly scan local venue sites and check out bands I’d never heard of, and read descriptions, etc. Anytime a UK band would be listed at one of the smaller venues in DC, I’d make a point to check them out and if I like their music try to go the gig. I’ve got a few of friends from Belfast, thanks to spending a few years in a bar in Atlantic City (basically, where I’m from) many many years ago. So naturally, a band from Belfast would stand out. I checked out their music, loved them, and then saw they were playing a gig in Philly with friends too.
I met Rocky, Shaun, & sound legend that he is, Gerry at DC9 and they didn’t think I was a freak. I’d offered up my living room as a place for them to sleep, but they were finishing up a tour that involved a horrible experience for a portion of it with one band that I can’t remember the name of and instead of staying in DC area, they drove back to NYC.
It was the first of many gigs I’d see, and I’d learn that there would sometimes be police involvement. I can’t find the video of the pool party at my friends’ home in NJ a few summers ago, but the police showed up at the end of the party, while Oppenheimer played their last song, and the police officer made it on camera dancing along with us.
Here’s a video from an all ages show at a gallery in Fredericksburg, VA when it was Rocky’s birthday…we went to a local bar and downed many pints before the show, which made it interesting, and then went back afterward. It’s only a portion of “Look Up” and it was before it was released on record:
Then there was the time they played again at DC9, and I was having a bad day, so I left work early, took the next day off, and took metro into the city, knowing I could get a lift in the van back…I spent the last of the little cash I had on 2 drinks (DC is expensive) and while I’m not a wine drinker, really, Gerry had a bottle that he brought in from the van (fuzzy old camera phone photos to follow):
He and I finished the bottle:
I managed to give good enough directions to get us from DC9 to my home without getting us stuck at the Pentagon, but not enough to be able for us to give their friend, Mark (aka Skibunny) who DJ’d that night back to his Dupont Circle hotel, although that could’ve been an entirely different night all together!
Then there was the time they played Atlantic City, and were on their way back from SXSW 2007, and their friends, LaFaro were with them. I knew Fireworks are illegal in NJ, but who was I to spoil the fun, so I took them to the beach where I stood with 3 Oppenheimers, 3 LaFaros and watched the beautiful fireworks. And within seconds AC police were there by bicycle, car and probably other means. poor Gerry took the heat for it all, and thankfully all he had to do was clean up the fireworks and some beer bottles that weren’t ours!
I think they played IOTA too…and then I got to see the very first gig of their long tour with They Might Be Giants in Baltimore, and then close to the end of that tour here in DC at 9:30 club, and then again opening for TMBG just earlier this year!
I’ve been in my current place coming up on 4 years and in that time I’ve had a number of bands here. It’s tapered off in the last year & a half, but the Oppenheimers stayed here enough I could almost give them their own key!
I wish I could be in Belfast next week to see them play that last gig, and I wish I had met up with Rocky & Angie when I was in Belfast back in May, but it just never worked out. I know I’ll see Rocky again, not sure what Shaun’s plans are, but I wish them the best of luck! They’re a part of my musical family and I’m glad I could be there as much as I was these past few years!