This is Tom Seaward's review of the Tailenders podcast live show at Oxford's New Theatre on Saturday night.

As play closes on Saturday night I have learned three things. 

First, Jimmy Anderson, England’s best ever Test bowler, douses his feet in his own urine.

 Second, that Oxford-born footballing legend Martin Keown bumped into Radio 1 Breakfast Show DJ Greg James and Anderson at North Oxford boozer the Rose and Crown. The former Arsenal defender was convinced that Jimmy Anderson had retired.

READ MORE: Felix White speaks on Tailenders tour and Cricket World Cup

But that Jimmy Anderson is definitely, absolutely, indubitably not retiring.

Welcome to the dizzying world of Tailenders, the cricket podcast featuring sportsman Anderson, radio DJ James and 2000s indie band guitarist Felix White

Launched in 2017, the show has a cult following from diehard cricket fans as well as those who have never picked up a lathed and linseed oil-lashed length of willow in their lives. 

Now, in common with a growing collection of podcasts, it is making the jump from fans’ headphones to the stage – with a series of live shows around the country.

Spread across the New Theatre’s sprawling stage, the set looks like something the creators of a Friday night talk show might have developed. 

Instead of the usual sofas, there is a pair of wooden benches, looking across at the audience across a makeshift cricket wicket imagined-up by placing sets of stumps at opposite sides of the stage.

Oxford Mail: The Tailenders gang is touring across the UKThe Tailenders gang is touring across the UK (Image: TEG Europe)A live band, led by White’s impressive guitar work, has been set up in the opposite corner of the stage, popping up at points for a series of singalongs.

Fan favourite Matt ‘Mattchin’ Horan – so-nicknamed because of his distant family connection to Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar – contributes a series of quiz questions, answered with the help of the audience.

It is in one of these segments that we learn about Anderson’s apparent use of urine to harden his feet, a practise employed by former England spinner Graeme Swann to toughen up battered fingers.

“Jimmy, do you piss on your feet?” he is asked. Yes, comes the bashful reply.

For a man so at home running up to a wicket in front of a crowd of thousands, Anderson is the least comfortable with wooden boards beneath his feet. 

But he comes out of his shell when pretending to be someone else; an American, US Major League Cricket-inspired Young Turk of a fast bowler called Timmy Banderson who claims not to have heard of Golden Age cricketers like Anderson.
Legends, at least, recognise other legends.

We hear that the Tailenders presenters bumped into Oxford-born Premier League hero Martin Keown at North Oxford pub the Rose and Crown the night before the show. 

Keown was said to have been convinced Anderson had retired and was working on a farm, confusing him for ex-England captain Alastair Cook. The record run scorer helps out on his wife’s family farm in Essex.

It will surprise nobody who saw White’s frenetic fingerpicking frolics with the 2000s most underrated indie band, The Maccabees, that the cricket fanatic can play.

He leads the crowd in a series of singalongs, including multiple renditions of The Proclaimers hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) replacing the chorus with hoarse-shouts of ‘Tailenders’. 

But the show’s glue is Greg James. Much like his radio shows, this is 90 minutes to two hours of silliness, chat and music – compered with a deft hand by James. 

Oxford Mail: Greg James Greg James (Image: Archant)

If you’re the donnish type who wants to read cricket bible Wisden in silence, Tailenders might not be the show for you. 

It’s more Edgbaston Hollies stand than Lord's Long Room, with a few of the audience members dressed up in podcast in-joke inspired costumes.

You’ll have an enjoyable evening, though. And who knows? You might just learn something about cricket.