The Ox Stu: What is Dreaming Squires promotions?
Dreaming Squires was formed in a field in Winchester by two pretty drunk blokes who like music that doesn’t visit Oxford. It seemed like a good idea in the morning, so we went ahead with it. It’s a labour of dirty, sweaty love aimed at fostering a scene for the music that we love by bringing in the best acts and pairing them up with local talent.
The Ox Stu: You mentioned in a recent article for The Oxford Student that you’re not doing it for the money. So what are you doing it for?
We love the scene. Nothing more, nothing less, Bar the slight ego trip we get from seeing a room of people go a wee bit mental because of us.
The Ox Stu: Is there much help out there for independent promoters starting up or have you had to figure it out as you go along?
We made it up as we went along. There may have been help, but we didn’t see any. Promoting independent music within the University isn’t what you’d call an easy job, especially given our music isn’t exactly vogue…
The Ox Stu: What tips would you give to anyone who wanted to establish themselves as a reputable promoter?
Put your morals in a small box and lock it. But also, spread through your friends and most importantly put on a good show from which to build your fanbase. Other than that, social media is a big plus but can’t be the whole thing. We like walking around with flyers in the cold, honest.
The Ox Stu: Do you think promoting needs to be a more personalised, tailored art than simply inviting everyone on your Facebook friends list to an event? How do you effectively engage with your audience?
Absolutely. This is why we still do flyering and other methods of buying tickets past seeing who clicks ‘going’ or ‘interested’. Because we’re also 7 years old, we create a lot of really really stupid memes that make us giggle, and hopefully make some other folk giggle too.
The Ox Stu: What’s been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Joe can tame birds using only a small kazoo. Adam the geographer was once commissioned to touch up the Sistine Chapel ceiling entirely in Crayola. But also, putting on our maiden gig with the Popes of Chillitown headlining. We lost money, but we also had a hell of a show.
The Ox Stu: You work a lot with independent venues – what’s your favourite venue in Oxford and why?
Our work so far has almost exclusively been with The Cellar: Tim (the owner) loves ska music and has been very accommodating of the promoting equivalent of baby giraffes trying to stand up when we were starting to do stuff.
The Ox Stu: Working closely with artists is often frustrating, as a music journalist with no musical ability of my own. Are either of you two musical?
Joe doubles as a handy support act, but Adam is about as musically talented as a tone-deaf macaroni. It’s not easy playing the music we love within Oxford University for a number of reasons, but for both of us it’s a chance to give something to the music scene far beyond what we could produce on our own.
The Ox Stu: In what ways can people find out about the events you’re putting on?
Facebook, and articles in student magazines made in the hope for publicity. As well as that, Nightshift Magazine is an independent music magazine that’s been running in Oxford for years, worth checking that out. Also, if you know who we are, we are a lot happier than you are to talk about our music.
The Ox Stu: How long does an event usually take to plan and organise?
Depends how many of our emails get replied to. We need to be thinking about a gig months before the date, what with booking bands and venue, finding supports etc. Factor this in with the fact that we also do our degrees every now and then, and we have to be at least relatively on the ball.
The Ox Stu: Have you got anything in the pipeline at the moment which you can tell us about?
Tasty little number coming up on the 30th, with some ska and pop-punk to celebrate Independent Venue Week in Ghouls and Fighting Evil is Cool! (yes the exclamation mark is needed). Alongside that, we’ve got an intimate little thing coming up at Hertford bar in late February, as well as ska-punk stalwarts Faintest Idea visiting the Cellar on the 24th. We’d humbly recommend all these things.