The Saga of the Photo Shoot

The evening began with Andrew, Rob, Owen, Doctor Volcano and David assembled in Owen's room. No Dan? We attracted his attention and hung about until he arrived: he then spent the next 15 minutes doing his eyeliner and tying ribbons in his hair. Fortunately, Rob spent the time instructing the rest of the band in which end of a guitar was which...

We left Owen's and made our way to Parker's Piece, for photos in front of the Reality Checkpoint. Two interested people watched this process - presumably fans - unfortunately, they weren't personal acquaintances of Dan's to embarrass him in front of.

During this process it became apparent that there was something of a personality conflict between Dan and Dr. Volcano - perhaps something to do with David's relationship with the good Doctor?

Returning to the centre of town, Rob, Andrew and David went for burgers while Owen and Dan returned to Owen's, promising to let us in in 15 minutes. Of course, they forgot all about it: luckily the eaters only had to fend off one or two porters before Andrew phoned Owen and got him to let us in. Steve MacIntyre having been good enough to agree to lend us a car, we left Cauis in search of both it and more film.

While passing Trinity, Elder Sign met Ian Jackson, and said "Hello" as he cycled off: luckily for him, he took no further part in the escapade.

Arriving at the Texaco, Rob, Dan and Owen decided to enquire after some film. Next came the argument over who was to go in - Dan was adamant that it would not be he, and Owen only slightly less so. So Rob was the only one left to enter the Texaco. After being advised to leave the guitar box behind, as it may upset the staff, Rob proceeded into the Texaco. Upon entry Rob peered around for some film, but couldn't see any - at this point he decided to bug one of the poor shop assistants. So he walked up to the assistant and asked 'Do you have any camera film?', to which the reply was 'Yes, it's over there'. Upon hearing this Rob thanked the assistant and left the Texaco, leaving a bemused assistant watching his exit, to rejoin the rest outside. Indeed, later David was to experience similar difficulty in actually spotting the film...

Andrew and David made their way to Churchill, and collected the keys. 10 minutes later they were in the car park: David wasn't sure which of the Astras was Steve's, but Andrew headed confidently to one, and sure enough after a struggle with the ice, the doors were unlocked and opened. Andrew used up quite a lot of the de-icer de-icing the windows, but then discovered the car wouldn't start: none of the keys would turn in the ignition. 10 minutes later they were back with Steve, who was good enough to walk back to the car park with them: he pointed out that they had been trying to start the wrong Astra. They were a little baffled, but sure enough Steve's keys still unlocked the doors on the wrong one, and more to the point started the right one. Over screams of terror from David, who could see absolutely nothing out of his side of the windscreen, Andrew drove to the Texaco, where we had agreed to meet the other three.

At first, the wait outside of the Texaco was not unbearable for Rob, Owen, Dr. Volcano and Dan, for although the temperature was low, there were a number of distractions - namely the build up of tension every time a car came near, namely in the form of 'Is it, is it? No, it's another taxi'. What is about 2am? Why is nearly every car that goes past a taxi? The only ones that aren't are police cars - and they are a story in themselves. After the quartet had been idly standing outside the texaco, innocently next to a nice green Mercedes for about 15 minutes a police car arrived at the Texaco. At this point the band, or such as was present, looked about themselves and decided that standing next to a Mercedes wearing black was suspicious enough, but three people, with a case you could probably fit a baseball bat in....... Luckily for Elder Sign, the police were only visiting to buy supplies and so we were not dragged away for questioning.

The next occasion of a police car doing something interesting (after many boring drive-bys), was when a woman on a bike pulled up at the nearby lights. The second bike, that she was managing in her left hand also stopped. At this point a car pulled up behind, the window was wound down and a voice said 'Green means go' to the female with two bikes. She then proceeded past the garage for a short way before being pulled over. But that was it for the entertainment.

As time passed and it grew cold, it was decided to send out a search party to find the long-missing Andrew and David. As Dan and Owen set out for Churchill, Dr.Volcano was left on the top of a carwash sign in the able care of the band's esteemed manager, Rob. Taking what has to be one of the more unusual routes to Churchill, Owen and Dan arrived and made their way to Steve MacIntyre's room. There he revealed the bizarre truth that Andrew and David had only just left, having spent twenty minutes trying to start the wrong car. Bemused, Owen and Dan returned to the front of Churchill, where, lo and behold, the car was waiting. Not a minute later Rob appeared >from the front of Churchill, and the band and manager were reunited once more.

Andrew and David, of course, found only Rob on arrival at the Texaco, so film was purchased and we returned to Churchill - David discovering that changing a film on a little used camera in the back seat of a moving car is difficult, especially while sharing with a guitar case. However, he also discovered the lack of a leader on the film, and there was much cursing.

At Churchill, Rob was despatched to find Dan and Owen, who found the car 2 minutes later: fortunately Rob was not far behind.

Returning to the Tex, the film was exchanged: the car left, with David, Dan and Owen all in the back seat, with the guitar case across them, gasping for breath. And David still trying to change the film.

It may have been as a result of this confusion that the car left the garage the wrong way, and found a police car following it - of course, when the band pulled into another garage 100 yards further on to turn round, the police went shooting past... and turned around in a side road and tailed Elder Sign back to the Tex, stopping them a little further down on Castle Hill in front of the County Council offices. David had just got the back on the camera at this point.

"Are you the owner of this vehicle?"

Despite this, Andrew forgetting his own name, getting Steve's college address wrong, the car being full of loonies, and someone stating that Elder Sign were going off 'to take photos', the police left, baffled at such activity at half past two on a cold morning.

A policeman on the other side of the car had asked the remainder of the band "Who was from Wigan?". An unusual question, they thought. A number of answers flashed through their minds `wasn't that Ucalayli player from Wigan?' `wasn't there an Irish bloke who wrote a book about something in Wigan?'. After a few baffled seconds they realised, Ah, "Steve McIntyre is >from Wigan". Possibly if they had answered George Formby or James Joyce it wouldn't have gone down quite as well.

At this point it struck David that it was as well that Steve's ignition key had not worked on the other Astra.

Navigation to Grantchester proved simple enough: the walk down the path to find some decent trees was dark, but uneventful. The band was photographed in front of these trees: then Doctor Volcano was left sitting on the path shining out to make the return easier, and the remainder of the band staggered down to the Cam. Despite attempts on the part of Rob and Andrew to fall into the Cam, the photos were taken before anyone froze to death, so Elder Sign made their way back to the car: Dr. Volcano being held by first David and Dan: in spite of David's warning about relationships with Dr. Volcano, Dan got his fingers burnt: still, he's not the first.

Later, David said: "Quite frankly, I am rather concerned about Dr. Volcano: he seems to be taking matches - not just for the first inspiration, but lying in his pool of wax to increase the flame. I fear this can only result in him burning out young."