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Cheeky Holiday
HOORAY! I'm off on my holiday tomorrow, so expect no FACT for the next week or so - look after each other while I'm gone won't you?

During my absence, why not visit Lord Litter Dittmar? Not only is he GRATE and a glimmering beacon of ROCK in the world of The Music, he is also doing a great GRATE big retrospective on AAS in his shows this month. God bless him, and God Bless every one of you, dear readers.

Right, now where did I put my passport?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 31.8.03
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You Came To The Wrong Place
RIFLING through my referral logs (I've got a BLOG, I've got to mention this at some point, right?) I found possibly the least appropriate search possible. Some poor sod using AOL Search came here after looking for "how to start my own record lable and make money fast". Bless. I wonder if he found anything helpful?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 30.8.03
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Honey Honey, You Work Too Hard
Yes, it's ANOTHER new song, fresh this morning, in Song Blog and in Annotations.

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Even When You're Glad It's Gone
ANOTHER new song?!? Yes indeedy, in the song blog AND in the Annotations too. Song Bungs are SO last year.

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JUSTICE!
Hooray! At last the Kooba Radio show I did is online and available to download. Indeed, I'm listening to it as I type this out and very much enjoying the general jollity - do note that I appear to have taken a while to get going, but by the time we start talking about The Mighty Thor then the HILARITY runs riot. WHAT a lovely evening it was!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 29.8.03
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Annotations Added
By the way, Annotations are now available for "Young People Bring Me Your Problems" and "Why Hasn't Your Email Come In?", if you're interested.

posted by MJ Hibbett, 28.8.03
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Uncle Mark
It was HO! for Far Flung Peterborough last night, to have a look at my brand new nephew. He was absolutely lovely, my dears it was all rather moving. My mum cried, many pictures were taken, my sister GLOWED and us uncles stood around looking pleased. LOVELY. Less lovely was the length of time it too me, the sunshine in my sky, and my brother, to get there and back - leaving work just before five, we got home around midnight having spent just over 90 minutes in the bosom of my family. It was TRAVELASTEROUS!

I must say, I quite like this Uncle lark. As far as I can see, looking as if you are about to say something frightful (but never actually so doing) and being prepared to hang small boys upside down is about all there is to it. Later I may develop a sports car and moustache (like my Great Uncle Jack - the QUINTESSENTIAL Uncle, he was The Man Who Saved Bass Breweries, buy me a pint and i shall tell you ALL), and make sure I have a SHINY SHILLING to hand out when necessary, but give me time, I have only just started.

Also I went and bought some baby clothes from John Lewis's. I expected to find the baby clothes department full of WOMEN, coo-ing, aah-ing and blubb-ing. What I DIDN'T expect was to find it full of ME going "Ooh, isn't it so... oh, excuse me, I have something in my eye." I took me an HOUR to get back to the usual levels of HUSKY MANLINESS, it were right RUM.

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Kooba Radio
On Saturday I headed out to Distant Lewisham, to meet up with the chaps from Kooba Radio. I had a BRILLIANT time. We started off sat in the pub for an hour or two, before going off to the studio i.e. Johnny Yeah's FLAT. It were like PIRATE radio, like in that Lenny Henry sitcom 300 years ago, except not. We dillied and dallied a bit, then it was HO! for recording the show. WHAT fun it was - people actually WANTED me to go on and on about the label, the album, and to tell HILARIOUS ANECDOTES of ROCK! We ROLLOCKED through the hour long show, recording it AS LIVE, and as well as BANGING ON about various ISSUES, I also played "I Come From The Fens" and "Easily Impressed" (also "Bands From London, to illustrate a POINT, but that wasn't recorded). When asked to set a Prize Question I believe I showed my TRUE COLOURS ("What is the Secret Identity of The Mighty Thor?") but was relieved to find at least one person in the room knew the answer... other people went Strangely Quiet. There was much LARKS and JOKES, and at the end, as mentioned elsewhere, I recorded a Station Ident and a JINGLE. It was BLOODY GRATE.

Afterwards we went to the pub (it would've been rude not to) for some MORE fun and discussion, and it was with some SADNESS that I made my excuses and began the long journey home. It really was an AWFUL lot of fun, and I hope that a) that comes across when the show goes online and b) that I get to do it again sometime. HOORAY for INTERWEB RADIO!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 26.8.03
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Not Just Hibbett's Golden Rules
After work on Friday I HOT FOOTED it to King's Cross to commence my Annual Pilgrimage to The Only Good Thing That Ever Happens In Peterborough: THE BEER FESTIVAL! As ever, it was BLOODY GRATE. I met up with the same people I have met up with every year since 1987, and as with every since 1990 they said "Why do you only come on one day?", PURELY so that I would have to re-mention What Happened After The Beer Festival of 1989 when I got the MOST drunk I ever have and was BANNED from going again that year by my parents. Being an Grown Up myself now, I have voluntarily self-imposed this continued ban from attending for more than one night (this time when I got home I appeared to pull down a curtain, knock over a mirror, break a lamp and cover the room with Pot Pourri, so it is still a VALID embargo) - one year I went for the whole of the Saturday, as an experiment, and ended up joining the Peterborough United Supporters Club, and having to see them play MORE than once ever five years, so once again I learnt my lesson well.

Anyway, I had an absolutely LOVELY time, and me, Robin and Mileage applied The Golden Rules THROUGHOUT, reminding me that I may well have CODIFIED them, but certainly didn't come up with them on my own. We also met some people from the year below us in school, who were IMPRESSED when I showed off about having a new CD about - nobody else was, although they WERE, rightfully, VERY impressed when I told them about the possibility of playing Olympia, who wouldn't be? - and generally wandered about talking the usual bollocks we have done since we were at school. It was BRILLIANT.

The next day I felt a little beleagured and confused, but after a cup of tea, lots of toast, and some aspirin, I was feeling pretty good again. I feel this PROVES that The Golden Rules are GOOD for you - properly made BEER without nasty additives that's kept properly is practically HEALTH FOOD! Sort of!

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Metaphor Realignment
Whilst at Kooba Radio on Saturday, two things happened. Well, lots of things happened, but we'll deal with them elsewhere - for the purposes of this bit, there are two important occurrences which occurred. Firstly, I expounded AT GRATE LENGTH about The Song Bung which was inserted a year or more ago to stop loads and loads more songs appearing and thus delaying album sessions even further. The metaphor I usually use for this is, at best, slightly unsavoury, and during In Pub discussions it became even more so. A few tunes and dribbles of ideas have continued to emerge from AROUND the bung, and I was comparing these to the apparent incontinence of elderly people who are in fact constipated...

Yes, I know, it's not very nice is it?

The second thing that occurred was right at the end of The Session, when I was about to do a Radio Ident (you know, "Hi! This is MJ Hibbett, and you're listening to Kooba Radio!"). SUDDENLY into my head popped a JINGLE, which i instantly played on my guitar. This was the last straw for the song bung which POPPED OUT there and then, and over the rest of the weekend I wrote not one but TWO brand new songs (both in the Song Blog)! Actually, I wrote bits of SEVERAL, and formulated a massive LIST of Songs To Come. Even whilst shaving this morning and thence on the way into work, a few thoughts re. BEARDS started to gather overhead.

And with this in mind I have decided to apply a Metereological Metaphorical Realignment. Where previously I would have said that the Radio Jingle had been the last stubborn "firm lump" that had to come out in order to allow the firm freshly made New Songs to flow out of the Song Chute (I am paraphrasing like made for delicacy's sake here), INSTEAD I would NOW like to say that it was the first few drops of light rain that falls a few minutes before the MIGHTY THUNDERSTORM begins. I am now standing in a DELUGE, with ripe dark clouds still forming overhead, and rather than searching for my brolly I'm dragging out BUCKETS to catch as much of it as I can.

So go and get your trunks - we're going swimming!

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Bank Holiday Bonanza
There's a brand new song, "Why Hasn't Your Email Come In?" in the Song Blog today. More details when I get back to work and free interweb!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 25.8.03
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Interweb Madness
Well, how peculiar - just as Hey Hey 16K gets mentioned in The Guardian (see below), it also gets played on this week's marvelous Kooba Radio show... what's going on eh?

I shall have to ASK them I guess - for LO! I am going to SEE them this Saturday, to do some of the Interview Talk and the Playing Music with them. GROOVY!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 22.8.03
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The Guardian
Give thanks once again to the ever-marvellous Mr Dave Green - not content with plugging the album in NTK and the London Gig on Lauren Laverne's show, he yesterday gave a BIG UPS to Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time in the Guardian Online Section. Thanks Dave! AGANE!

So, if you're a Guardian Online reader who's happened along here after reading that - welcome! You can actually LISTEN to the song by visiting The Album Sampler, where you'll find three other songs that were recorded PROPERLY, not just in my old LOFT one afternoon, like Programming was. Go on, it's NICE, you'll LIKE it!

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The Legend of Voon
I went out for a BEER with my good friend and former partner in VOON, Mr Simon Wilkinson, on Monday night. I hadn't seen him for AGES, since well before my birthday in fact, and thus he presented me with a GIFT. It was a BOX SET of the COMPLETE Voon Recordings!

Simon being Simon this was LOVINGLY packaged - this is the same person who was FORBIDDEN from writing setlists, as he used to use a RULER to underline the date at the top of the page, and thus we would be sitting back at home having a cup of tea after the gig had finished by the time he'd managed to write out three setlists. Each tape (for lo! it was a really long time ago that we made these recordings) is beautifully reproduced as a CD, with original artwork REMASTERED and a picture of the original cassette tape itself behind the CD. It all came in a BOX, with a booklet reprinting The Curse Of Voon (the book I wrote about our EXPLOITS, available to read online at www.mjhibbett.net/voonc.html) and Simon's own discussion about the Voon Reunion gigs. It was BEAUTIFUL.

Best of all, he included a single CD containing MP3s of the WHOLE 4 HOURS of Sonic Noise Terror. THUS I have been able to sit at work listening to VOON. It's been BRILLIANT. I always go on and on about a tape that Dr Neil Brown and I recorded in around 1991-92 called "Modern and Vivid" as being the best thing we did, and listening to it again now I was most chuffed and SURPRISED to find that, yes, it actually is BLOODY GRATE. I mean, don't get me started on how ACE it is and Before It's Time, we'll be here all day, but it only INCREASED my intention to one day re-release this on an unsuspecting world. It was all done on an old four-track, and nowadays the mind BOGGLES trying to work out how we got SO MUCH recorded onto it. It's an hour long, has 23 songs, and it took us about a month to do. YOINKS!

The most HUMBLING thing about listening to it now is realising that, actually, Neil's songs were always the best. My ones are all right, but they do tend to try a bit too hard - it was only when we came back to do the Voon Reunion that i RELAXED and wrote my BEST Voon songs (like "Bands From London", for instance) whilst Neil's stuff was just BRILLIANT throughout.

It's a terrible shame he doesn't really make much music anymore, and when he does he rarely sits down and writes the kind of beautiful, moving, catchy, imaginative and just bloody FUNNY songs he wrote in Voon. That's the main reason I got him to play at the AAS 5th Birthday, just to show people what GRATE songs he writes - "Dog On The Horizon" may not be up there with the likes of "My Nan's Groin", "Never Fall In Love With Your Dentist", "Dexion Head", "I Like It Outdoors", "Surfing Monsters" or the immortal "Domestic Bliss", but it was a timely reminder that one man with a head BURSTING full of IDEAS can STRIKE DOWN any other musical form that stands against it.

I really am going to have to find the space to put some of these songs up, aren't i?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 21.8.03
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Your Letters
Reader John Kell, writes in:
"Alea Jacta Est" can indeed be correctly translated as "the die is cast", although rendering the letter i in the Latin as a j in English is rather old-fashioned, and most people just use i nowadays. The phrase "Alae Jacta Est", however, is ungrammatical and does not make any sense: "alae" is the nominative plural of "ala", meaning wing (of a creature or army) or, at a push, armpit, and cannot be used with the participle "jacta", which is either feminine singlar (as in "alea") or neuter plural. If the subtitle did indeed say "Alae Jacta Est", therefore, it was not genuine Latin at all! Sorry, I'll stop now.

By Toutatis! You don't get this sort of communication on the Busted Homepage do you?

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Alae Jacta Est
Readers of the Recording Diary on the album will doubtless be aware how VERY much I like Asterix, and so can imagine my GLEE when I discovered that BBC2 (aah...) are showing four Asterix films during the daytime this week. Last night I settled down to watch the first of them, and though it was LOVELY to watch it again (I think I've seen at least some of them before - I certainly remember the rather scarily WRONG voices) it was a bit rubbish. This was largely because it was redubbed in a weird way, without much reference to what the characters were saying, so lots of people were off screen when they were saying things, and also because it was a different (American!) translation from the ACE and HILARIOUS ones you get in the books. THUS the Romans had boring Proper Roman names, and the jokes were all pretty basic.

HOWEVER, for some reason, just before I gave up watching, the subtitle "Alae Jacta Est" popped up, and a Centurion on screen said "Aah, 'The Die Is Cast' - that's your genuine latin". GOODNESS knows why this happened, but i was glad it did, for it cleared up a mystery that has plagued me for about 25 years. In loads of the books a glum centurion says Alea Jacta Est, and I've always remembered it, and wondered what it really meant. And now I know!

GIRD yourselves, dear reader, for at some point very soon i am BOUND to find a way to SHOE HORN this in somewhere...

posted by MJ Hibbett, 20.8.03
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End Of Part One
Well, that's the end of Part One of the Touring Season for us now, although even as we speak Part TWO is taking shape. From the end of September into October I'm planning to do a LOT more gigs, both with The Validators and (on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, mostly) on my own. I'm sort of hoping that with all the Nice Things Said about the album it'll be a bit easier to BOOK these gigs (and maybe even get people to turn up!), and use the TOUR as a means of REPROMOTING the whole to try and nudge that totaliser up...

Mind you, the main reason is because i LIKE doing gigs and LOVE the idea of doing a PROPER TOUR - WAHEY! So yes, in the next few weeks it's Gig Sorting Out and an APPRAISAL of The Promotional Campaign So Far, then I'm off on HOLIDAYS with The Hot Water In My Tea Cup, and then there'll be ANOTHER sending out of press releases to try and drum up some more interest. After that it'll be time for CHRISTMAS, and after that... the NEXT album can begin! HOORAH!

Set the controls for... THE FUTURE!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 18.8.03
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There's a Windmill in Brixton, I saw it!
Thursday night was a BRILLIANT night - it was the London Leg of our 5th Birthday party, and to be honest I was a bit worried about it. Well, to be perfectly honest I was in a STATE OF PANIC about the whole thing, but it all seemed to go OK in the end. There was a bus full of The Kids from Derby come down to see Plans & Apologies, and us more Mature Bands managed to drag a good few over between us (even though some of the people that I'd persuaded to come came the NEXT night - the date on the original press release was wrong, oops!).

There was something a little ODD about Frankie Machine all night - during their set they seemed to be chatting amongst themselves, making jokes no-one else could hear, and generally pottering about. What could it all mean? Later on Frankie Machine HIMSELF, during his bass stint with me, was found wandering apparently lost around the stage - was he unwell? Or had SOMETHING happened during the four hour coach trip from Derby and ensuing four hours IN A PUB before the gig began?

Our bit was WELL GOOD, I must say - somehow we seem to have become A PROPER BAND, I blame those PRACTICES! The sound, I thought, was ACE, it felt like we were ROCKING, and afterwards many people shook me by the hand. It was GRATE! LOTS of people I hadn't seen for ages came down too, and I also got to see Johnny Domino for the first time in FAR FAR too long.

It should also be noted that the venue was LOVELY - Tim the promoter took me and Tom on a bit of a guided tour to see the ACTUAL WINDMILL round the corner, and everybody there, especially the sound man, was REALLY REALLY NICE. I think we may RETURN there sometime, it was fun. We had to get away before Plans & Apologies finished, as The Heart Of My Existence had to work next morning, and also because Tom was driving us back and it seemed like a good idea to get going before he passed out, so we said our farewells and sped off, to explore various parts of London that we meant to drive through all along, no really, we did.

Next day Tom and I discussed the NEXT album. It's going to be brilliant - it's going to sound like Rubber Soul!

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Unkempt?!?
Another review arrived in the post in top fanzine Vanity Project, and it's another good one, even if it does call me an "unkempt busker" - DAMMIT i am a Computing Professiona, we're MEANT to look like this! Anyway, it's pretty ACE - check it out in the reviews section.

posted by MJ Hibbett, 13.8.03
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Talking About Songs About Beer...
There's a demo version of Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer available, if you fancy it. Just go to the page for the lyrics and download it there - it's a little bit rough and ready, but it's heart's in the right place.

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After this, we might as well retire
I had an email this morning from someone asking whether they could book us for an event - this ALONE sounded exciting, as nobody's EVER asked such a thing before. Yes, we'd (very occasionally) been asked to play the odd gig, but booked? For an event? INTRIGUED, i asked for more information.

Oh my word - it was someone asking us if we'd like to be considered to play at next year's Great British Beer Festival! HOLEY MOLEY! I replied very MUCH in the affirmative - it's the DREAM GIG of a LIFETIME surely?

Wonderfully enough, the chap in question had heard me (and us) on Radio 6 - as Tim pointed out, that means he hasn't even HEARD The Symbol Of Our Nation, let ALONE all the other songs on the album about PUBS. We're on to a winner here! WAHEY!

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Target Audience
Long-term readers (ahem) will know how much i DIG the very mighty Freaky Trigger - a couple of years ago I WROTE a couple of articles for them, but let's not worry about that, for LO! they have recently "relaunched" i.e. started putting LOADS of new articles on it. This also involves one of my very favourite BLOGS, Pumpkin Publog coming under the Freaky Trigger umbrella. Some might say, or suggest, that a series of articles about PUBS, written by people who also love MUSIC, might be the IDEAL place for a mention of our album, made by people who love MUSIC and filled with a series of songs about PUBS.

Well you would be right, as it appears they have just given us a big old PLUG! HOORAH!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 12.8.03
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More Radio 6, More Kooba, More Gigs!
I got into work EARLY this morning, so that I could listen to The Breakfast Show on my favourite radio station, the marvellous Radio 6, as Mr Dave Green was on, and he was BIG UPPING our gig on Thursday - HOORAH! It was all very exciting, and he even quoted some CHUNKS out of Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time , and got Quite Emotional about the subject matter too, bless! He then told Lauren Laverne, from me, that she should stop messing around with this Presenting Lark and record a new album - well, somebody's got to haven't they?

Meanwhile, the ever-lovely people at Kooba Radio have asked me to go in and do a SESSION with them. ACE! As mentioned before, we are ARTISTES OF THE MONTH on their show, which is terribly nice of them, so I am going in to CHAT and give them FACT. This is happening on 23rd August (and will be broadcast shortly after), which is all well and good except that on the 22nd August I'm making my annual pilgrimage back to my home town for the Peterborough Beer Festival. Hopefully I won't fall prey to that Bad Pint I always seem to get that makes my all poorly the next day - surely, after 14 years of attending, this time it will be different?

And finally, there's a few more GIGS coming along, which I'll be adding to the GIGS page when they're confirmed - one looking pretty definite in Leeds, maybe one in Wakefield, and hopefully one in Leicester a little while later. These'll all be happening in October, and it's looking a bit like a Mini-Tour will be happening around then - The Students will be back too, so we might also Re-Promote the album a bit around then to coincide with it.

It's all go, isn't it? The WEIRD thing is that, although we're getting more publicity than we ever have before, we've still yet to break the 30 Sales Barrier! Come on, The Kids, be brave!

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My Favourite Review
Logo Magazine have just put up a whole RAFT of new reviews, including one of US - HERE!

I'm really REALLY chuffed with this one, especially as it ARCHES an eyebrow at the involvement of Tim and Rob - go on, go and read it! HOORAH!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 11.8.03
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Payment In BEER
I went to Winchester yesterday - originally this was going to be for a GIG, but in the end it was for a VEGAN BARBECUE, and very nice it was too. The journey was a bit CRUMMY, as the train I sat on was very much NOT air conditioned (even though the windows were firmly SHUT and the doors automatically SHUT so as not to disable the air conditioning which wasn't there) and so it was a distinctly SWEATY Hibbett he tumbled down the sloping car park out of the station.

The rest was lovely though - I did three SETS (two songs for The Parents before they left, later a Full Set in the back garden, and finally a trot through "Boom Shake The Room" before I went) and got paid in BEER. Ray Whose Birthday It Was had read "Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer" and applied them to my RIDER, so today I am feeling a little PECULIAR around the innards. Ooh it was lovely BEER though!

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Summer Sundae
We went to Summer Sundae in Leicester on Saturday, and we had a LOVELY time. To start with the TRANES there not only worked out pretty well, but the Midland Mainline one was AIR CONDITIONED. Aaah, what bliss to be alive! The rest of the day was Significantly Warmer, but very nice - me and the Breeze Through My Window had a happy time wandering around bumping into people, eating food, drinking BEER, and looking at bands. The only downside (and it wasn't really much of one) was that nearly all the Money For Good Bands seemed to have been spent on the Sunday, so the artistes available to us were... shall we say... "variable".

There WAS some good stuff on - we mainly went to see Lazarus Clamp feat. T.McClure, who were first on and dead good, slipping a little TOO easily into STADIUM! ROCKSHOW! with LIGHTS! We also saw Laura Cantrell, who was ACE, especially when they Unleashed The Rickenbackers. Much of the rest was pretty dull though - ENTHUSED with how good Laura Cantrell was we went to see Kathryn Williams. Mmm. I'm sure it's all very valid, worthy, and proficient, it was, however, also monumentally boring, slow, and seemingly pointless. The massed folkies seemed to like it...

Unlike Longview who NOBODY seemed to like, probably because they were so UNBELIEVABLY awful - godawful dirge followed by-the-numbers PLOD as people FLED the stage area, WARY that they might fall asleep and get sunburnt. Like all such dullards, the singer blamed the audience for not enjoying it - "Maybe THIS'll live you up" he droned, before collapsing into a very slightly less slow DIRGE. RUBBISH!

Later on it was announced that Chumbawumba were about to take the stage - 60% of our party immediately ROSE, and made to RUN AWAY. 40% of us, however, had never seen them, so we stayed. "Maybe they are right", I thought, "Maybe I am falling prey to old fashioned indie snobbery, maybe they are NOT the most irritating band who ever lived - yes, come on, let's go and see them!"

They were the most irritating, patronising, self-satisfied bunch of smug twats I have EVER seen on stage - every utterance a self-serving statement of easy corporate rebellion! Every gesture so pasic it would make a teenager cringe! Every song approx. 9000 times less clever than it thought it was! At one point they BOASTED about having an argument with New Labour Youth! ROCK AND ROLL!

So we left them, and went in search of BEER and PALS - HOORAH! This was much better and soon all was joy and LOVE and sunshine fun. I also bumped into Mr Steve Lamacq again, this was GROOVY and I think I just about managed NOT to make a twit of myself, I think. It was all lovely anyway, and we relaxed on the way home on our delightful air conditioned train tired, but happy.

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God Bless Kooba
Those LOVELY people at Kooba have been playing our songs again, this time it was "BBC2 (A New Hope)" which makes me happy because it's LOVELY that one, but they're apparently going to be playing loads more, as they've made us Album Of The Month. BRILLIANT!

Go on, go and have a listen at www.koobaradio.co.uk, the bits without us on it are GRATE too!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 8.8.03
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Can You Feel The Lovely?
I had a BRILLIANT night last night. I went out for a drink with the Love Of My Life. BRILLIANT! We went to see a JOHN OTWAY! FANTASTIC! At a BEER FESTIVAL - I HAVE DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN!

It was the first time I'd seen him since The Hit, and was thus amazed to hear NEW JOKES! and DIFFERENT SONGS! I've been going to see him for nearly 15 years, so it was all a bit much to take really, but it was BEAUTIFUL. When he did "Geneva" the song took on a whole new meaning, especially "when I walk across the stage to the applause", and the whole room ERUPTED. And towards the end he came out and just thanked everyone for The Hit, I know Other Performers thank The Fans, but good lord this time it really MEANT something.

We love you Otway, we do.

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Marching Out Of Servitude
At some point, hopefully, within the next few days or week, a Mighty Event will occur - I will come out of debt with my record company.

What? Yes, I know, it IS my own record company (well, me and Mat and Rob's, but you get the idea), and the idea of me owing money to myself MAY WELL appear a bit daft, but it IS a true thing. Many many years ago, when "Say It With Words" first came out, we took an advert out in the NME (needless to say, this is the only time I have ever BEEN in the NME... how StRANGE that it should be when I actually paid for it, eh?) as part of a regular ad our distributors had. This cost quite a bit of CA$H, but we hoped to make it back in record sales...

Fast forward a couple of years, and we're trying to get out of our dealings with our distributors, largely because they owed us loads of money, still had loads of our records, and had never really bothered much to try and sell them. Unbeknownst to us (because our lying contact at the company told us it wasn't happening) they PRE-EMPTED this by recalling all our stock from the shops, which otherwise would have stayed on a long-term sale or return basis. THUS, all of a sudden, lots of the records we'd thought we'd sold, we suddenly hadn't. And lots of them were mine...

These two events combined meant that I ended up owing the lable about 150 quid - not a lot, in the great scheme of things, but still a FESTERING BOIL on the pretty face of our legendarily Open Accounting. It IRKED me to think of having to pay it into our account, as that felt like paying MORE money, indirectly, to the lying gits at the distributors, and obviously we couldn't just write it off, as that would be unfair to everbody involved with the label - most bands pay for 100% of the cost of their releases with us, and get all the money they make back, so just writing off my debt would be BAD. And so it remained.

That is, until (nearly) now. Online sales of the new album go directly into the AAS Bank Account, and every time a record is bought that way not only does the totaliser go UP, but the debt goes DOWN. Exact figures are not yet available, but somewhere along the line within the next few sales I shall actually be out of DEBT! HOORAH!

And then I'll be free to ... er.. spend more money again on the next record! BRILLIANT!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 7.8.03
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Pictures of DELIGHT
Photographs of the FANTASTIC AAS 5th Birthday Party (Derby Leg) are available NOW by clicking here. As you will see, there was a lot of love, also a lot of BEER in the room...

It's the London Leg next Thursday, so do come along if you can. It's at The Windmill in Brixton, with Plans & Apologies, Frankie Machine, Johnny Domino, and The Validators - entry 3 quid, first band about 8.30. It's going to be GRATE!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.8.03
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Rock Round Up
Due to heat melting my BRANE, today's news in BRIEF:
  • More GIGS added - do come, won't you?
  • More Sales coming through - please join in!
  • AAS 5th Birthday Picture Gallery coming soon!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 5.8.03
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    Need To Know
    While all this LIVE ROCK was going on, the INTERWEB was ALIVE with people downloading songs from the sampler - the ever groovy Need To Know gave us a BIG plug, especially to the song "Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time" on the Sampler. Hoorah! At least 150 people came to have a listen over the weekend, and already it's seeping out into the Computer Orientated Fraternity, almost like "Hey Hey 16K" did before it. Aaah, I love it when a plan comes together!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 4.8.03
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    We Created A Beautiful Thing
    The AAS 5th Birthday All-Dayer was UTTERLY FANTASTIC. To semi-quote the mighty Darius, there was SO MUCH love in the room, it was OVERPOWERING. Seeing so many of our lovely bands in the same place was wonderful, seeing them PLAY was even better, seeing them TALK to each other and DISCOVER new friendships was more beautiful than I can really express. All the people who came seemed a bit STUNNED to discover that, not only was it merely a QUID to get in, but also that they were getting a great big bag full of FREE records. Suitable AWE was expressed by everyone upon seeing the compilation album too...

    The gig bits were BRILLIANT. Our set seemed to go down rather well, and i REALLY enjoyed it. You could hear the words! It was ACE! Tom especially seems to have impressed the Derby Massive with his skills, as well they should be. I managed to see The Chemistry Experiment, who just get better and better every time you see them (the second, EPIC, song they did was ASTOUNDING), and after them The Frightened Prisoners Of The Kraken did one of the best gigs i have EVER seen in my life - myself and Messrs Whitaker and Fleay stood down the front for the whole gig, GRINNING and, occasionally, HUGGING each other, so excited were we in the knowledge that WE had caused such a BEAUTIFUL thing to happen.

    All the bands were ACE, actually - I kept trying to go and get something to eat, then thinking "Oh, I like this band though - I'll wait until the next one's on" before finally realising that i liked ALL of them. That's why we released their records, really. Another high spot though was the All Star Okey Cokey Karaoke (that was MY idea!). I kicked it off with "Clubbing In The Week", and then I bore witnessed to the triumphant return to the stage of Dr N Brown, who FINALLY showed The Kids Of Derby how it should be done with an GRATE version of "Dog On The Horizon".

    Fantastic. From start to finish it was a thing of JOY and WONDER. Evening spending six HOURS hungover on trains trying to get home the next morning could not DIM The Light Of LOVE.

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Something VERY Exciting
    After all the EXCITEMENT of Friday, who was to know MORE thrills were on the way? But they were, for LO! I went to get the post on Saturday morning, and discovered a POSTCARD thanking me for sending a CD... from Nigel Blackwell, out of Half Man Half Biscuit!!

    Would getting a FRAME be too much, do you think?

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Waving Away
    Funnily enoguh, on the way to the gig on Friday, who should I see going the other way on the escalators, but Production Guy Gary and Mr Steve Lamacq? Every other time I have ever seen Mr Steve Lamacq (well, apart from earlier that afternoon) our meetings have begun with me waving my arm and bellowing "STEVE!" as LO! I have usually been drunkened - he didn't seem to remember any of this tho, ALMOST AS IF he is OFTEN approached by slightly drunk, slightly overweight men in their thirties profferring CDs/Tapes/Vinyl... could this possibly be the case? Anyway, someone called "Mark!" and there they were, so I waved back, and thought Yes, That Is A Different Way Round.

    The next morning, something even MORE exciting happened...

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Local Band ATAK
    After all the EXCITEMENT on Friday afternoon, I was gently lowered towards the Earth in the evening. Don't get me wrong, it was GOOD and NICE to play, and it's always LOVELY to go to Silver Rocket gigs anyway (although Rachel Stupidcat FREAKED my MIND with her Animated T-Shirt Sticker - YEARGH!), but the bit where I did my singing wasn't the most fun ever. Partly this was because there was a bit much "Interaction"... the first band were a VERY Local Indie Band type band, every song they did SEEMED to be about to go somewhere but never did, like there were the right BITS in their, THEY seemed to like it, but it all seemed rather pointless. As with all Local Indie Bands they had some RAUCOUS mates who, to be honest, pissed me off. Bad Hibbett, WEAK Hibbett, this is NOT the way forward!

    So yeah, then Lapsus Lingae came on... crikey! They were one of the LEAST Local Indie Band types you're ever likely to see - LOOKED like they were going to be metal, but very much WERE NOT. Aforementioned Audience Wankers tried to heckle, but rather failed... and it all felt a bit SPLIT. Lapsus were LOVELY chaps - is often the way, the more OUT THERE the band, the nicer the people. Maybe knowing you are doing something ACTUALLY imaginative and INTERESTING means you don't HAVE to act like ignorant tossers (i.e. like approx.70% of all bands who think this means they are The New Stone Roses), but they were really nice. I, however, wasn't really in the mood for lengthy post-rock, so went home.

    When I GOT home, interestingly enough, after an HOUR of travelling, i had the longest piss I have ever had in my life! FEEL the GLAMOUR!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    More Voon
    By the way, if, after hearing me bang on about VOON on the radio the other day, anybody would like to know more, you can read the full gory story of our rise and fall here, at Nearly Made It.com. It is a moving story.

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Wahey!
    Well that was GRATE! Had a thoroughly enjoyable time at The BBC, and even got a FREE glass of celebratory WINE! COol! Everyone was really nice and EXTREMELY enthusiastic, i forgot words but COVERED it by... er... asking Mr Steve Lamacq what the right words were, and spoke TRUTH to THE KIDS! ZANG!

    And already it's having a DIRECT EFFECT - sales have increased by 6.7% ALREADY! YES! We have sold... er... A copy of the album since broadcast! HOLA!

    Off in a bit for Hot Gig Action (Upstairs At The Garage, tonight, me on stage about 9.15ish), then MORE Hot Gig Action tomorrow in Derby - I'm actually going to make an effort to ask people if they'd like to buy an album, rather than hiding in a corner, so who knows? By Monday the Totaliser could be FLYING! Maybe!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 1.8.03
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    On Air today!
    Cor, this is all very exciting isn't it? I'm sat at work in my GOOD SHIRT (on Radio, it is VITAL that you wear a Good Shirt) trying to think of AMUSING and WRY, also ENIGMATIC, things to say about this Parliament of Pop thing that Mr Steve Lamacq has been talking about all week... I am hoping to get in my GRATE Arts Funding scheme "Hibbett Tickets", as i think The Kids need to KNOW about it. Other than that, I guess I shall just have to refer people to my MANIFESTO!

    Yoinks! Radio 6, about 3 o'clock - let's GO!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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