[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Blog

 

The Giddy Whirl
It was a BUSY day of Bumping Into People Unexpectedly for me yesterday, starting with the Chris T-T gig at The Harrison in the afternoon. it was a little STRANGE as when I got in i gradually recognised TONS of people, including Jude From Smoke and The Light Programme Lot, Henry The Producer from off the radio, and Pat From The Action Time. This latter was perhaps MOST disconcerting as I had a quick chat to him and found him to be the same Nice Chap he was when i knew him YEARS ago when he was in a band with my pal Matthew, but LATER it emerged that in the interim he has, like Penny from Velodrome 2000, had a CAREER IN ROCK and is now - GULP! - an editor at the NME! How the HECK did that happen?!?

Anyway, Mr T-T started playing and was GRATE. He seemed to think he was a bit ropey, which he certainly WASN'T, but it wasn't as EXCITING and WOW as he'd been at The Borderline... BUT he did do "7 Hearts" which was UTTERLY LOVELY. INDEED i found myself Actually Really Welling Up when he was playing it. "Oh my", i thought, "Do not cry Hibbett! You will look a right prat!" It's SUCH a gorgeous song, it really GETS to me.

Afterwards i said a quick hello and handed over a copy of The Uberset - I'd been PALMING these off on various people already, and was by now becoming a little embarrassed by the fact that it does, after all, feature a big picture of me doing Karate on the front...

I then headed off back into town, for a SWIM, and then to meet my HOUSEHOLD for a HOUSE OUTING to Ronnie Scott's, to see Boo Hewerdine. I must admit i started to dislike the VENUE as soon as we went in and were told to take off our jackets, remove our bags, and switch our phones off. When we went in we were told to move our seats and be quiet, and then when I went to the bar I was told I should have sat still and waited to be served. It was all RATHER BOSSY and gave the impression that i really didn't BELONG here. Me, i prefer places where its NOISY and you can move around and get your own drinks, it is MUCH nicer, whereas here it felt like the sort of place people went to APPRECIATE the music, rather than actively ENJOY it.

STILL, the company was DELIGHTFUL, we DID get a couple of beers in the end, and after a while Mr Hewerdine came onstage, and was BLOODY GRATE. As with Chris TT, this wasn't quite as exciting as the previous time we'd seen him because, as with Chris TT, that previous time had been BLOODY AMAZING, but it WAS really brilliant, especially as he appeared to be in a much more CHIPPER mood this time, telling LENGTHY and FUNNY stories between the songs, and very obviously enjoying himself.

Shockingly, he played almost the same set as previously. Can you imagine? An acoustical solo artist playing pretty much the same set from gig to gig, i was appalled. I wonder if he has a name for it? Like The Boo-ber Set?

Me funny! So yes, it was GRATE, ESPECIALLY when he dedicated "Ontario" to ME! For LO! The Flattened Third In My Minor Chord had DISCOVERED him earlier lurking about, and got him to do it - this is the kind of LOVELY thing she goes around doing, and i was all TOUCHED. Aaah!

After the gig we chatted to Kevin The Promoter who'd put me on WITH Mr Hewerdine in Wimbledon, and whilst we were doing this someone ELSE appeared and said "Are you Mark Hibbett? I was in a band with you!" and LO! It was DAVID THE ROBOT!

He's not really a robot, we called him that because we kept trying to persuade him to wrap tinfoil around his head at gigs and... er... pretend to be a robot. This was in VOON, about 300,000,000 years ago (actually 15, which seems longer), in the very VERY early days in the band. I remember some very cold evenings spent in a very cold room in Brazil Street with me and Neil NODDING FURIOUSLY at him, as he played SYNTHS over the top of things and we thought THIS IS IT! It was very exciting, but a bit of a shock to see him again! It was Dave The RObot! WOW!

THUS we staggered out slightly shell-shocked from all the EVENTS, pausing briefly only to PUSH a CD into the hands of Mr Hewerdine, and stride out into the London Night. Nobody unexpected LOOMED out of the past at me on the way home after that. It was a RELIEF!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 31.10.05
(click here for permanent link)

(0) comments

 

Lovely Lovely Sheffield
I had a LOVELY day yesterday, as i was in Sheffield for The Fuzztival. The day had started EARLY, as The Bell On My Alarm and i had woken up at 5am to listen to Claire Dicko doing the 4-7am SHIFT on Xfm. She was dead good - GO CLAIRE! One further KIP later i was off to St Pancras, where i was OUTRAGED (again) to find that the Quick Ticket machine DOESN'T sell Cheap Day Returns - you have to queue up at the WINDOW for these, and after ten minutes i PANICKED and... er... rushed to WHSMiths to buy a BOOK.

The book I'd promised myself, as a TREAT, was "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett and I must say it helped a Surprisingly Easy Journey going EVEN EASIER. It is GRATE - i love his books anyway, and ESPECIALLY like the way that over the years they've got more thoughtful AND more compassionate AND more FUNNY. I was SURPRISED by just how WORKED UP he is about privatisation in this one, and it's INTEReSTING how quickly you accept the fact that it's a world full of ghosts and golems and trolls and MAGIC, and get on with the HUMAN (and otherwise) INTERACTION. When i first started reading his books EVERYBODY in them was one-dimensional and mean, only there for LAFF purposes, but now it's a whole HOST of real people and BIG LAFFS. Terry Pratchett is GRATE!

Anyway, I got to Sheffield, got on the TRAM, and was soon at Sheffield University Union feeling a bit embarrassed about people with walkie talkies going around the building shouting "MJ HIBBETT! MJ Hibbett is in the building!" While this was going on Tony and Mark and CO arrived i.e. the VELODROME 2000 POSSE. I'd just been talking about them the night before - 300 million years ago I used to play LOADS of gigs with them, along with Airport Gurl and John Sims, when I was doing my first ever gigs outside of Leicester. They are UTTERLY lovely people, and one of the nice things about playing in Sheffield is getting to see them all. Penny, the ENTS MANAGER of the Union, was ALSO in them, so it's always a bit odd to see her IN ACTION in official capacity, as she was five minutes later when she delved into her ARTISTE LIAISON BAG (oh yes!) to give me my FOOD VOUCHER and Special White ARTISTE'S arm band. SPECIAL!

I was already full of the JOYS OF SHEFFIELD, and this was only ADDED to by wandering around the building bumping into LoADS of other lovely people, it was BEAUTIFUL. All over the place were people i knew AND LIKED, and some of them were even wearing Hey Hey 16K t-shirts! I've always liked playing in Sheffield, and the more I do it the MORE GOOD it gets, it's like HULL or BIRMINGHAM or LEWISHAM, once of those places where the gig feels like HOME. This did not prevent me from getting THE NERVES, however, so i trotted back and forth between THE LOO many many times, until it was SOUNDCHECK TIME.

This done i LURKED AROUND before finally ascending the stage, where i played THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Red And White Sockets
  • The Fight For History
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Fucking Hippy
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It seemed to go pretty well! They're turned the room layout through 90 degrees since last time, so instead of looking out to THE BAR where people were chatting and drinking, i was looking out onto a PRETTY PACKED ROOM full of people LOOKING AT ME! I got a bit scared to start with and missed/forgot a few words, but HAD A WORD with myself (these words being: "Come on Hibbett! FOCUS!" as i am very STERN with myself about such things) and got back on track again. PHEW. I think i may have TALKED quite a bit, but that ALSO seemed to be OK, and by the end things were going WELL - JOLLY big "Oi Hibbett!" in "Easily Impressed" and, EXCELLENTLY, a "You don't really mean that" JUST as loud, which is RARE. I STAGGERED off stage and found myself EXHAUSTED and out of breath for about half an hour afterwards. Baby, i had WORKED!

    After that i got a LOVELY repeat of last year's QUEUE FOR CDs, including some people who had been here last time who wanted MORE! Copies of "The Uberset" (the cover of which had been on the TV screens around the building while i was on) FLEW from my hands, many of them getting SIGNED, and somebody even wanted a t-shirt. It was ACE! I wandered around afterwards shaking hands and, as the afternoon progressed, HUGGING PEOPLE (whether they wanted to be hugged or not). I also had a chat to Mr Steve Lamacq, who is a LOVELY man. I'd meant to ask for his ADVICE about who to send copies of the mixes for "A Fridge Full Of Nice Things" too, but in the end we seemed to talk about COMICS instead, especially "V For Vendetta" and "Hellblazer". It was GRATE! I also ended up sitting with some MORE lovely people out the back of The Interval Bar drinking REAL ALE and talking of Skin Disease and PALLANTOLOGY. Oh yes, it is the study of fossilised plankton don't you know, it is Quite Fascinating.

    Soon it was half past six and time for me to do one last CIRCUIT of the room to HUG the people I could find who i knew, many of whom were now in a similar state to me and quite up for a repeat performance, to thank Penny again, get me GEAR together, and go get on that TRAM. As is traditional i got LOST leaving the building, and as is equally traditional a lovely Sheffield Person helped me find it again. I made the last train home, ate a samosa, and arrived CHEZ MOI tired but very happy to find a MICRO PLATTER and two willing listeners waiting for me.

    What a lovely lovely LOVELY day it was!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 30.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Camden Town
    We had a household OUTING last night to CAMDEN, where we went to see The Fighting Cocks. I've said it a hundred times or more here, so we'll keep it brief, but they were GRATE. They pretty much always ARE these days, and once again it was a ACE mix of HARDCORE BEATS, POM POMS, and people trying to look TOUGH and FEIRCE whilst jumping up and down GRINNING with the FUN of it all. It was LOVELY!

    Also we saw The Comedian Jeremy Hardy, who was stood at the bar looking slightly confused by the proceedings. Aah, the GLAMOUR of LONDON!

    Right then, time to get my TRAM RIDING SHOES on, for LO! i am off to SHEFFIELD for THE FUZZTIVAL, one of the HIGHLIGHTS of my ROCKING YEAR. I am told by TEXTUAL that they were playing "The Lesson Of The Smiths" at OFFBEAT last night, it is a GOOD OMEN!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 29.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    A Trip To THE THEATRE
    I went to THE THEATRE last night - yes, get me, i am dead sophisticated, OH YES!

    It wasn't THAT posh to be honest, it was one of them Theatre Pubs in Islington, and it featured a COLLEAGUE of my friend Cathy with whom i went. I have known her since approx. 300 BC when we were at POLY, in The Leicester Polytechnic Poor Theatre Company (NB AM DRAM), so it was a bit of a stroll down memory lane for both of us, with the eager parents looking proud, the friends LAUGHING and/or CHEERING when the person they'd come to see first came on, and the general CHARM of the whole affair, of people having FUN. I also remembered that the bar gets PACKED in the interval, so LEAPT from my seat as soon as the lights started coming back on and was first at the BAR. HOORAH!

    It was lovely all round really, i remember from my own experiences that just getting THROUGH it is exciting enough, so that at the end you're on a MASSIVE HIGH, and everybody certainly seemed to be that way too. It's beautiful to see people doing ART STUFF for the sheer HECK and PALINESS of it - again, i remember thinking "COR, imagine if i get SPOTTED and become The Actor Of My Generation eh? LUMME!" at the time, but it was never as if my LIFE depended on it, and that always meant things went by much EASIER than, for example, when you do a GIG with bands who DO think that the entire future of Western Civilisation depends on them getting the EXACT level of treble on the high hats that they think they deserve.

    The word "amateur" gets such a bad press these days doesn't it? I am PROUD of my amateur status in the world of ROCK, it means we do it for LOVE not for CAREER ADVANCEMENT, come my friends, let us RECLAIM it!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 28.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    KARATE KLUB
    Here's an idea for you - now that several lovely people have bought Hey Hey 16K t-shirts, why don't we have a GALLERY of people wearing them? It's something I've seen elsewhere and I think it would be - hey! - FUN!

    HOWEVER, if we are going to DO this thing there has to be a RULE, and here it is: all photographs must feature the photgraphee demonstrating MARTIAL ARTS PROWESS. You know, like what i am in the pictures. It'll be GRATE! If you're UP FOR IT, EMAIL me with a picture of you DOING KARATE (or kung fu, judo etc...) whilst wearing a Hey Hey 16K t-shirt, and we shall create an awesome gallery of MIGHTINESS for future generations! OH YEAH!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    Close Up/Cut Music/Lighting Low
    We've hit a small SNAG in the development of our album... when we recorded everything we brought it back from Cornwall on DVDs. At the time i was AFEARED that something would go HORRIBLY WRONG, and in a funny kind of way I am relieved because it sort of HAS!

    We've just had WORD from Mr Francis Albert Machine in his Production Bunker that the files for "Better Things To Do" and "Never Going Back To Aldi's" have got CORRUPTED, and so are UNUSABLE. He rang Mark in Cornwall, and it turns out the original files have now been DELETED. URK! Also, DOUBLE URK!

    He's sending back the DVD concerned to see if it can be recovered at SOURCE, but it's not particularly hopeful that they will. This, by the way, will be the bit in THE FILM ("A Fridge Full Of ROCK - the STORY of MJ Hibbett & The Validators") when the soundtrack goes OFF suddenly, and there's a series of close-ups of our PAINED FACES, before we TAKE ON this challenge and - fantastically - come out the other side STRONGER. "Never Going Back To Aldi's" was one of the first songs we mixed so had some time spent on it, and really sounds FINE. I wouldn't like it to be on the ALBUM mixed differently from all the other things, and it's not really one of the REAL BIG HITTERS, so I am philosophically thinking that maybe it's nominated ITSELF to be one of the songs that DOESN'T go on the album.

    Oh yeah - we've got more songs than we need, so at least a couple will be removed and instead appear on the EP which we're thinking of putting out first, maybe in March. Did i mention that before? The THORT is to also have a band version of "Leave My Brother Alone" too, as we all like that one.

    So yes, that's OK, although "Better Things To Do" is a bit more of a BLOW, as that was the one many of us considered THE FIRST SINGLE, and the rough mix ISN'T really up to using in this case. HOWEVER (and this'll be a big rallying speech in the film - featuring WIND MACHINE) maybe this is the GODS OF ROCK saying unto us "LO! That's a really nice song, and you can do it a) better and b) without speeding up quite so much in the middle, thus get thee back and have another go, lest we SMITE you! LO!"

    We've got to record the aforementioned "Leave My Brother Alone" anyway, and ALSO there's a possibility that we'll do "Dino At The Sands" too (we have a UKELELE track recorded by Jimmy From The Bobby McGees to use as the basis, if we do it), so we'll have to do some recording next year whatever happens, so it's not the end of the world. In a funny KRAZY KINDA WAY i'm quite pleased, as it means the album sessions, which i REALLY enjoyed, haven't finished after all!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 27.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Fun With Robots
    Ah, the INTERWEB! How much FUN can it possibly GET?

    As regular visitors will know, last week the site got into TROUBLE. This happened because I had to change my banking details for payments to Tripod, who store this site, as my old card went out of date. I changed the details, but because I left the "State" field blank it automatically entered "New York" and gave me a New York Zipcode instead of my postcode. This invalidated my payment details, which meant Tripod didn't get their payment on the due date. Rather than tell me this, they downgraded my account to a "free" account, which had no .net address and much less memory. Due to the fact that I now had more files than allocated memory they deleted loads of files (years worth of work!), cancelled www.mjhibbett.net, and put adverts all over the place.

    I sent them several emails over several days to try and find out what had happened, before working it out for myself, changing the bank details, and getting things going again. I'd sent them three or four messages during this time to try and find out what was going one, and after I'd fixed things myself got a message from them saying "Your site appears to be working just fine."

    (this is the bit where Esther Rantzen looks WITHERINGLY into the camera, by the way).

    Thankful to at last have a name and email address to reply to (all the other correspondence had been sent via a form) I emailed back and explained, fairly patiently, that this was NOT the case, that they had deleted several years worth of work, and that I would like it back, please. For the past week they have replied saying, variously, "Everything with your site seems to be fine now", "Everything is working now!" and, yesterday "We do not delete Premium Members files".

    This last one was after I'd explained THREE TIMES what was going on, WITH all previous correspondence included. I sent an EXTREMELY long email reply back, going into IMMENSE detail once again, and today i got a reply:
    Dear Mark Hibbett,

    It appears that mjhibbett.net is working just fine.

    Sincerely,

    Jen
    This is the bit where Esther Rantzen goes into a BERZERKER RAGE and DESTROYS!!!

    But what should I do? I've already sent off an ENRAGED reply, but i'm getting close to the use of Bad Language, which is NEVER a good thing in these sort of dealings, and every time i get one of these replies it just makes me MORE ANNOYED. Should I just stop bothering? Quite clearly I'm going to be going over to a new service provider (after Christmas), so should i just Let It Go? I really would like to get my deleted files BACK at some point, but I'm beginning to think maybe i should just spend a couple of days going through my old files to FIND them, rather than get HET UP about it. Or, on the other hand, should i STRIKE A BLOW for the paying customer?

    All i know is that i have a short-term answer to hand: I'm off to the pub!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 26.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Lewisham HO!
    I had a lovely time in Lewisham last night, as i was playing once again at The Fox & Firkin, where I always seem to have a GOOD TIME. It was Sunday Acoustic Night, so I rolled up about 8.30pm and met Mr Johnny Yeah, ACE CHAP, and together we covered, pretty much, all vital and important ISSUES of the day. The world, i believe, can consider itself SORTED OUT - i only hope somebody was taking MINUTES of our discussions!

    We saw Neil from TV For Dogs, who was on first, and was dead good. NERVES started up on me after he'd played, and I spent the next half hour or so WORRYING and sensibly drinking COCA COLA. I was on LAST, so was also worrying about The Last TOOB - GLAMOUR!

    Anyway, I went on just before half past ten, and THIS is what I played:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Red & White Sockets
  • The Drummer's Lament
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Fucking Hippy
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I had the UBERSET CDs with me, so thought I ought to actually DO an Uberset, but also SLID IN the Live Debut of "The Drummer's Lament", which seemed to go down quite well. INDEED, the whole set did, although i was a bit SCARED to start with as i was a) convinced the people down the front HATED me then b) when i realised they DIDN'T, convinced myself everybody ELSE did. I don't think they did though, as they joined in with "Easily Impressed" and, actually, I thoroughly ENJOYED myself. It was LOVELY!

    After a bit of a chat i dashed off for the FUTURISTIC MONORAIL (i.e. the DLR), and ended up in the same carriage as one of the chap's who'd been sitting down the front, and we had a GRATE DISCUSSION on Teaching Methods: did you know that These Days, THE KIDS don't actually necessarily READ the books they're studying all the way through? Apparently with "pre-1914" novels they only read BITS of them! I was HORRIFIED, and then i was slightly horrified at my own reaction. Half of me thought "Hmm, maybe it is a wise introduction, to give them the idea of what it's about" and the other half thought "But what's the point of THAT?!? LITERATURE is GRATE and needs READING! And anyway, I had to do it!"

    OK, maybe MORE than half of me thought the latter... but anyway, it was ACE to have somebody to DISCUSS with in this way, and by the time i got to Stratford was in such a good mood i didn't mind missing the last Central Line home. It had been a GOOD night, a proper SUNDAY EVENING of ROCK and THOUGHT!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 24.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    The Uberset: Now In Stock
    I've just update the MJ HIBBETT ONLINE EMPORIUM with THE UBERSET, so if you can't get to one of the next few gigs and are EAGER to buy a copy... you can! It's six quid (which, as usual, includes packing anywhere in the world) and I must say I think it's RATHER lovely!

    The tracklisting is THUS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Red & White Sockets
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Work's All Right (when it's a proper job)
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I actually used MATH to get the basic running order - it's based on the songs I've done most often over the past year, in the ORDER that i've played them. Oh yes, i have a DATABASE of setlists my friends, it is a thing of JOY! It DID get rejigged a bit - for instance, "The Lesson Of The Smiths" is usually nearer the end, but it FLOWED a bit better with it near the start of the CD, "I Come From The Fens" doesn't get played THAT often, but now that we've nearly sold out of "Milk & Baubles" i wanted it SOMEWERE, and "Good Luck In Your New Job" is there because i fancied having something Actually NEW on there somewhere.

    Anyway, i am WELL CHUFFED with - it's a list devised USING MATHEMATICS for maximum ROCK, and it has a picture of me doing KARATE on the front cover! Why doesn't EVERYBODY do their live albums this way?

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    They're Here!
    Wahey! "The Uberset" CDs have finally arrived... and they look GORGEOUS. Obviously they couldn't FAIL to look nice, as they have a picture of ME doing KARATE on the front (hey! it's the first time i've had a COMPLETELY solo release EVER, it was an opportunity to good to miss!), but they've also come out really NICELY. They're YELLOW and have a sort of MATT finish and... ooh, they look GOOD. They also WORK properly as well, which is always a relief.

    THUS I'll have some copies to sell at The Fox & Firkin in LEWISHAM on Sunday night, and also at The Fuzztival next Saturday (i'm getting VERY excited about this now!), Northampton the Saturday after and then my (possibly!) FINAL UK GIG of 2005 at The Light Programme on the Sunday. They'll ALSO be in the SHOP soon, if anyone's EAGER to get their hands on them - more FACT when it's done, but until now i am busying myself with just LOOKING at them. OOH! They're EVER so nice!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 21.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    We're Getting There...
    Crumbs, who ever said ROCK AND ROLL was a lifestyle of decadence and glamour? Now i have tasted THE DARK SIDE i am full of sympathy for The Stones, The Crue et al, for LO! i have spent much of this week STRUGGLING against the forces of THE MAN!

    First of all we've had the SITE COLLAPSE, obviously instigated by THE MAN as a means of thwarting me and my ILK. Thanks ever so much to everyone for the Supportive Emails and Server Offers and TING, it's very much appreciated. I think the current plan is to MIGRATE to a different server in the new year, one that has SCRIPTING on it so's i can do Clever Stuff. This will also involve a SITE REDESIGN - i love the typewriter, but it WAS designed to go along with the design for "Say It With Words" over SIX YEARS AGO, and it IS a bit of a bugger to navigate round, so I'm going for a New Clean Look. There's a sneak preview of it over on the ANNOTATIONS page. The basic idea is to have something easy to update, FLEXIBLE, bookMARKable, Compliant With Health And Safety, and (Oh YES you fiends of modernity!) easy to do for one of them RSS feeds. It will, to be honesty, be the sort of SITE i tell OTHER people they should have! In the meantime I think I've got MOST things working again, which is, i must admit, something of a RELIEF!

    While all THAT was going on BLOGGER decided to introduce one of them "Enter the letters you see here" THINGS, that thing some places do to make sure you are not a ROBOT. I'd've thought it would have been more effective to have a question saying "What is the meaning of... EMOTION?" so that any ROBOTS would start to get smoke coming out of their ears and shout "ILLOGICAL!" but HEY! it seems to work for web companies... except for BLOGGER, so that i couldn't BLOG anything yesterday. I note they have now removed it, so expect to see a DALEKS start blogging about how the OTHER Daleks refuse to listen to his poetry etc etc any day now.

    And ALSO i've been on TENTERHOOKS for the last few days waiting for THE UBERSET CDs to finally turn up. It's nearly a month since i ordered them, i was expecting them on TUESDAY, but now apparently they're coming TOMORROW. THE MAN has obviously been letting down the tires on the VAN - i mean, it's ALWAYS at least three days of nervous waiting and Staying In Just In Case when CDs are supposed to be coming, but this is all A Bit Much.

    Never fear tho, THE KIDS - slowly we are prevailing, slowly but SURELY!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 20.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    Chris T-T
    The Wheels On My Bus and I went OUT last night, and part of our going out involved going to see Chris T-T playing at The Borderline. He was BLOODY GRATE!

    I've seen Chris play MANY times, and it's always felt like watching a Possible Future version of ME. He's always been a few years further ALONG than me, and seemed to be doing a couple of years BETTER than me (if you see what i mean), but it felt like he was WITHIN REACH... however last night it became clear that he was FAR FAR AHEAD. He's always been LOVELY onstage, but last night he was BRILLIANT, PACKED full of charisma, PASSIONATE, sounding ACE, and obviously CHARGED UP on the new album he's got coming out.

    He started with "Giraffes", which is one of the best! songs! EVER! and then went UPHILL from there. The new stuff ROCKED EXTREMELY HARD - I was looking forward to "The Huntsman Comes A-Marchin'" because Mr Ray Dann had told me it was GRATE, and he was not wrong. I've tried not to say this, but it MUST be said: with the hair standing up on the back of my neck, my entire MIND going "YES! RIGHT ON!" and my innards full of the urge to RUSH THE BARRICADES, it couldn't fail to remind me of how it USED to feel going to see Billy Bragg, before he went all WOMAD. I suspect I will not be the only person to make this comparison...

    And while I'm at it - I'd ALSO been eager to hear "Preaching To The Converted", and had sort of expected it to be a sort of quiet, introverted End Of An Album, more a song he was singing to himself. I was thus SURPRISED when he announced it as his last song, then AMAZED at what a HUGE SLAB OF ROCK it was. It was - GET READY! - the 21st Century "Waiting For The Great Leap Forward".

    It really was though! Honestly, comparing someone to Billy Bragg is usually the province of THE DULLARD and THE MUSIC HACK, it gets said about EVERYONE who sings a song on their own, in a regional accident, when the BPM gets about THIRTY, but in this case it is VALID. Chris was PASSIONATE, INCISIVE, RABBLE ROUSING, FUNNY, and BLOODY RIGHT! I stood watching feeling EXCITED, but also, i must admit, a little DEPRESSED - I'd thought of myself as in the same LEAGUE, but it was very clear to me watching him that i WASN'T.

    I felt this afterwards when I went to say WELL DONE. Previously it's been like going to chat to a COLLEAGUE, a fellow TRAVELLER on the ROAD OF ROCK, but this time i felt more like a FAN... and anybody who's seen me in ACTION will know my track record of embarrassing myself in these situations! He really DID need congratulating though, it was a STUNNING performance and i RECOMMEND everybody to go and see him as soon as you get the chance. It was FANTASTIC!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    And We're Back In The Room
    PHEW,things seem to be getting back to normal again now. What happened was that I got a new bank card, so had to change things on my billing information with Tripod. It APPEARS that their form automatically puts in an American State and ZIPCODE (ah! irony!), which made my banking information wrong, which meant they downgraded the site to a "free" account, thus closing down www.mjhibbett.net, putting adverts all over everything and destroying about half the files

    The site is now BACK and the adverts are GONE... but all those missing files are still missing! I've asked them to put them BACK, as it seems a bit RUDE to DELETE all that EFFORT without even mentioning it first, so we'll see what happens, but you might find things MISSING still for the next few days. I'm planning to FINALLY do the site redesign as a result though, so it will have a happy ending I'm sure.

    Meanwhile, we went to see Chris T-T last night... full report, LATER!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 19.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    What's Going On?
    Sorry for how appalling the site looks at the moment. I've had a Tripod account for about eight years, and have been paying for a Webmaster Account with them for several of those, but for some reason i got downgraded to a "Free" account over the weekend. This meant that i was suddenly over my storage quota, so loads of files have been deleted (mostly very important ones too!), adverts have reappeared all over the place, and the entire domain "www.mjhibbett.net" is no longer working.

    It's been a bit of a disaster all round really, and my attempts to get hold of Tripod have so far come to NAUGHT. I've sent three emails since yesterday morning, NONE of which have been answered, there's no telephone numbers anywhere for tech support, and when I rang their press centre (the only place WITH phone numbers listed) i got a series of "Press 1 for..." lists and EITHER the same lists AGANE when I pressed a number, or a message from somebody who no longer works there.

    It's pretty bloody appalling i reckon, i DO pay them CA$H MONEY every month so would expect a LITTLE bit better service than this i.e. SOME. In the end I GUESSED a phone number for somebody who MIGHT work there, and got a nice American Lady who took my number and passed it on to somebody who might help. No joy yet!

    More THRILLING UPDATES, as they occur!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 18.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    Busy Weekend
    PHEW, it is nice to be back at work where i can RELAX, for LO! it has been a busy weekend!

    Friday saw me travelling round various BOROUGHS of London with Mr Eddy Bewsher, who is a LOVELY LOVELY man. We ended up in an East End Pub like off the TELLY - it felt STRANGE as it was SO FRIENDLY and all around us people were meeting people they didn't know in a DELIGHTFUL way. Next day i was off to THE FENS to go and see GRANDPARENTS, which was obviously NICE but a bit knackering.

    And THEN on Sunday i zapped off to Leicester for the First International Horsefair. As is the LAW with All-Dayers things were running slightly late and somebody had dropped out, but as these pretty much cancelled each other out all was well, and Lee The Organiser seemed pretty pleased with how things were going. I know Lee from A MILLION YEARS AGO when we both used to drink in the MAG, and it was slightly ODD but very GOOD to realise we were both STILL AT IT, doing THE ROCK in very different ways to how we had been then, and still very much ENJOYING it.

    First on was Curtis Eller, who was ACE - he played on his own with a BANJO, and was EXCITING and FUN and MOVING. He was bellowing out the songs, and did a couple of them without PA. He finished SPECTACULARLY by running around the room and THEN outside and right round the building, still singing. It was EXCELLENT! After him was The Chemistry Experiment, who seem to move FORWARD EVER MORE whenever i see them towards being ROCK TITANS, such is their Being A Band NESS. Best bit was "Forever Autumn" as expected, and it was ACE again to see people just GRINNING when they played it.

    Then it was US! On we went, and played THIS:
  • Better Things To Do
  • Tell Me Something You DO Like
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Looking At My Hands
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • The Gay Train
  • Easily Impressed

  • It seemed to go pretty well - we were VERY LOUD, and so couldn't really hear the vocals, but after a few songs i RELAXED into it and just enjoyed us being HUGELY LOUD, which felt GOOD. I got a bit distracted during "Tell Me Something You Do Like" and forgot loads of words, and was IMPRESSED by Emma's ability to ADAPT. PHEW! The "OI! HIBBETT!" bit was dead good too, and at the end Tim pointed out that it had been our SECOND Good Gig In Leicester in a ROW - things, they be CHANGING!

    Afterwards I had a chat to some of the lovely people who had turned up, and INDEED spent much of the day doing the same. For a while i was FREAKED by how many people there were there who i KNEW, then realised that as i had actually LIVED there for so long it perhaps wasn't so surprising. Anyway, then Kev Hewick came on and was GRATE - he was ENERGISED and full of VIM, more INTO IT, it seemed to me, than I have seen him EVER, really. There's a whole NEW bunch of people in Leicester doing loads of gigs, and there seems to be a real SCENE going on, and it is a scene that has EMBRACED Mr Hewick as its Elder Statesman. Seeing him ENJOYING his own gig so much, and seeing so many other people enjoying it TOO was a thing of great beauty, LO! it was really rather moving!

    After Kev i had to go and get my TRANE, and so missed Lee's own band MisterLee, which was a bit of a shame. It was a LOVELY day tho, roll on SECOND International Horsefair!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 17.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Coming Soon...
    Slightly worried, i rang up THE MANUFACTURERS last night, to see when "The Uberset" will be arriving. My FEAR was based on the fact that i wanted to send a copy to South By SouthWest to apply to GO next year, and the deadline is heading this way FAST. Turns out they'll be turning up either next Tuesday or Wednesday, which is GRATE because I'll have them in time for my next few SOLO VENTURES, but a bit nerve wracking in terms of DEADLINES, so i BURNT myself a copy and posted THAT to America instead... anyway, yes, watch out kids, new solo album JOY coming this way soon!

    Meanwhile, i forgot to mention earlier on in the week, but there is some NEW SONG ACTION available over in the SONG BLOG and ANNOTATIONS. This one's called "Travelling By Train", it's about how GOOD it can be, and the chorus has a TOON that has revolved around my head all week.

    And now - the WEEKEND!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 14.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    What Was In My MIND At 5.45AM
    I woke up early today - possibly because i drank some LAGER last night and it always makes me Kinda Restless, but also because my BRANE was full of THORTS. These came from a VARIETY of sources - seeing Hank Wangford last night, reading some new Chris TT Lyrics, my last couple of gigs, and also that FORUM thing i mentioned yesterday. But where to start?

    WARNING: this goes on a bit.

    Let's try with That Forum Thing, where someone said they "hate MJ Hibbett". It seems this is someone who REALLY doesn't like my songs, which is not a reaction i get very often. I'd LIKE to think this is because I AM SO VERY GRATE, but obviously it's really cos to actually GET to hear my stuff you usually have to be pretty keen on the General Idea of it in the FIRST place, you're not going to ACCIDENTALLY hear me on the Playlist on Radio ONE, or in an ADVERT, or supporting U2 or anything. People who hear a Me & The VLADS track for the first time, these days, will either go "HA! I like this!" or "Hmm, this might fit into a category of music that usually appeals to me, but is not my cup of tea. NEXT!" HOWEVER, as the old ROCK CAREER continues to very slowly progress we do TEETER slightly on the brink of actually getting heard by people who will be ANNOYED by it, and, like practicing doing Radio Interviews whilst in the BATH, it is i suppose something that i should be get ready for, and i guess I should try thinking "This person does not like my music, but that is FINE, it is not FOR everybody" rather than EITHER "But WHY?!? Am i worthless and awful? OH NO!" or "BAH! This person is a WAZZOCK and POLTROON, i must FITE them!"

    I tell you what tho, it isn't easy, and REALLY makes me feel bad about times in the past when I've slagged off people that _I_ don't know. I was wandering about THIS the other day whilst reading some lyrics from Chris TT's new album, "9 Red Songs", and specifically Preaching To The Converted. There's a GRATE line about "Nobody's got any good red songs anymore. And Billy Bragg's gone fishing in his four by four" and I thought "YEAH!" and also "But poor old Billy Bragg, must we criticise him so?" My GUT reaction is "YES!" as i do know what he means - for me, Billy Bragg is OBVIOUSLY a MASSIVE influence, and i LOVE all his stuff right up to "William Bloke", after which it all goes a bit WOMAD and UPSETTING. It's this AMERICANA nonsense he got mixed up in - I have TRIED and TRIED, but the more i hear of it the more i think AMERICAN is just Country & Western music without the charm or humour, or indeed the Being American. Billy, i support your quest for new sounds, but could you try something else now please? Americana: i don't really like it.

    For instance, last night i went to Home Cookin', a weekly folk/c&W club THING in Leytonstone. In Leytonstone! The first band on were LOVELY, doing Actual COUNTRY & WESTERN music, which tho not something i would choose to listen to a lot, is a form of music i think is A GENERAL FORCE FOR GOOD - it's not afraid to be openly emotional, it's not afraid to have JOKES in it or laugh at itself, and by HECK it has some good tunes in it. What's not to like? Personally i can have ENOUGH of it after a while, but the band were lovely, and the place was ACE. It was really sweet actually, the room was FESTOONED with decoration and felt NICE, but it was PACKED and so the organisers were dashing round trying to find seating for everyone and make sure things were comfy... it seemed like the sort of night you could just GO to and know you'd have a good time. The next lot that came on though were AMERICANA, and thus just a bit DULL for me. It was very INTENSE and MUSICIANLY, but seemed to lack the TUNES and the GOOD HUMOUR that makes C&W something i LIKE. As a result people started CHATTING between themselves, and the VIBE was LOST it a bit.

    After that Hank Wangford came on - he was a lovely man, INDEED due to the HECTIC busy NESS of the room we'd ended up sat next to him for a bit, and he was MOST POLITE. Here was CHARISMA, here was CHARM and here was some more songs that... er... were lovely, but after four or five I was SATED. This was probably helped along by THE TEACHER'S LAUGH he was getting, and also the TEACHERS who kept doing it. Basically a huge crowd of people who MAY, charitably have been teachers (but from the way they were behaving were probably Social Workers - but let's not GO down that road) came and stood right in front of us, chatted LOUDLY to each other, tried to nick our seats, and were generally ANNOYING in a Swaying Self-Consciously With A Glass Of Red Wine To Make Sure Everyone Was Looking At Them Then Loudly Talking About Property Prices sort of way.

    ANYWAY, they kept doing THE TEACHER'S LAUGH. EXAMPLE: one of Hank Wangford's songs that he does is called "You Already Put These Big Tears In My Eyes, Must You Throw Dirt in My Face". It's a good title, and it's a lovely tune that sticks in your head, and YES, it makes you smile when you first hear it. OK. This was listed on all the flyers and the webpage, so we KNEW he was going to be singing it, it was NOT coming as a surprise, so when he said "Now a tune called 'You Already Put These Big Tears In My Eyes, Must You Throw Dirt in My Face'!" most of us SMILED or chuckled slightly in an appreciative "Yes that is a good title" OR "oho! we know this one, it is good" sort of WAY. EXCEPT for the people doing THE TEACHER'S LAUGH who all went "AHAHAHAA! HA! HAHA! HA HA HA!" in JUSt the way that TEACHERS always used to do when you go to see SHAKESPEARE on a School Trip and they get to one of the "funny" bits that are no longer even REMOTELY funny, but that the TEACHER wishes to FLAG UP not only as a FUNNY BIT, but more importantly a bit that they GET, and think is FUNNY. Maybe it is also so English Teachers can spot each other in a crowded auditorium and then GET IT ON with each other later, but that ALSO is a route down which we will not go.

    This was ENOUGH, but then the first line of the song was ALSO "You Already Put These Big Tears In My Eyes, Must You Throw Dirt in My Face"... and they all laughed AGANE!!! WHY!?!? You knew the title was coming, you already LAUGHED when he told you he was going to sing it, how can it possible be THAT hilarious again?!? It was a bit much for me, so we cleared off. It was a shame tho - The Lesson Of The Smiths and all that - as like I said, the place was LOVELY, it was a SMASHING night and the organisers did a GRATE job, but the great SPAN of my life has shown me that if you've had enough then it's better to go home than LURK. So we did, and i got to see NEXT week's episode of LOST on E4. HOOPLA!

    HOWEVER, this returns me back to Mr TT and his song, in which he sings this EXCELLENT verse which had me NODDING MY HEAD VIGOROUSLY, and thus i quote it in full:
    Poverty's bad war is bad racism's bad,
    Well done, have a biscuit
    Sing it out loud to a partisan crowd,
    If everybody here agrees with me
    Maybe I should go and sing to the enemies
    But no, I don't want to risk it.

    "Well done, have a biscuit" - FANTASTIC! He's right though - what IS the point of just singing songs to people who already agree with you and are DEFINITELY going to like you? And possibly do THE TEACHER'S LAUGH to prove it? I often feel this when I do some of my Political TYPE songs - there's no RISK in, for instance, singing about why Thatcherism was a bad thing to a room full of people in or around their 30's who have come out to an INDIE gig. Everybody in THAT room KNOWS it already, so why bother? INDEED, are you not just SHOWING OFF and going for the EASY WIN by doing so? Should you not try and CHALLENGE people?

    It is something that BOTHERS me i must say, and it's why i actively LOVE the fact that my ROCK CAREER is still at the stage mentioned earlier, where MANY of the gigs I do ARE to people who've never heard of me, couldn't usually care less, and are NOT necessarily of precisely the same social grouping as me, and so CAN be won over with a STRAY THOUGHT. LOADS of bands I've known over the years have preferred to play ONLY to crowds who already LIKE them, so they can act like The Rock Star, but it's worth SUFFERING THE IGNOMINY of getting yr name spelled wrong, going on first when hardly anybody's there, and being mistaken for the doorman by everybody else coming in later if it means you get to play to some NEW people who AREN'T there with your full lyric sheet in their back pocket. That's not just for POLITICAL type songs either - to SHOW OFF for a moment, some of the BEST BITS in my gigs of the past year have been doing "The Lesson Of The Smiths" and seeing people suddenly GET INTERESTED and start GRINNING and NODDING along with the sentiment, ESPECIALLY at Possibly My Best Gig EVER in Sheffield ON TOUR last year, when some people actually CHEERED during the "Peace And Love is still a bloody good idea" BIT. Aaaah! that was ACE! AHEM... sorry, yes, the JOY of the Live Performance for me is when you can get a LYRIC out at somebody and they find themselves AGREEING with something that until then they hadn't REALISED they agree with. THUS, i would say to Mr TT, don't worry chap, you do a whole LOAD of songs that REACH OUT to people, GRAB them by the innards and say "Here, let me ENCAPSULATE a whole CROWD of feelings for you and express them in a way that says not only are you not ALONE in feeling that way, but it is ALL RIGHT for you to do so. There there." I'm thinking particularly of 7 Hearts here, which is one of the most beautiful songs ever WRIT and is making me WELL up even now thinking about it...

    We're going to see him next week, i hope he plays it!

    So yes, doing gigs where hardly anybody knows you. Don't get me wrong though, I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE IT when we do gigs that AREN'T like that - when we play "Easily Impressed" and don't NEED to do the explanation at the start, MAN i am a Happy Hibbett on THOSE evenings, and it's lovely that things are moving in a direction where there usually ARE people who turn up knowing what they're getting, and i VERY VERY much appreciate it. INDEED Tim and I have ARGUED about this in the past, when he wants to do LOADS of new songs in the SET, and I think we should REPAY the people who've come on purpose by playing songs they actually KNOW. Mind you, he seems to think that these people would rather hear some songs they HADN'T heard before... it is a source of some debate among us!

    It was brought home to me how this is, gradually, happening more often these days (NB people coming to see US, not me and Tim debating setlists, although that IS happening more often too) when we played in LEICESTER the other week. After the gig I was talking to Nigel PickledEgg, who i hadn't seen in YONKS, and who hadn't seen me do a gig for YEARS and YEARS. He was all Amazed and, bless him, CHUFFED to see there were people there SINGING ALONG and getting excited to hear "Hey Hey 16K", and seeing him see it for the first time made ME see it all again, and think "Actually, YES, that is a BLOODY BRILLIANT thing, and i am EXTRAORDINARILY GRATEFUL for it! ZANG!"

    The funny thing was that it was also the first time I'd spoken to him in AGES, during which time Pickled Egg Records has gone from being Nigel In The Pub With His Slightly JAZZ Records to an INSTITUTION of QUALITY EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC and GROOVY SOUNDS, also a NAME that i hear dropped all the time, on radio, in print and in the WORLD. I always find this VERY exciting, and think "Hey! That's NIGEL that Stuart Maconie is LAUDING!". I told him about this, and it appeared to have much the same effect, and for a short time we both stood feeling HAPPY that we'd - CAREFUL! - FOLLOWED THE DREAM and were still having a whole HECK of fun doing so.

    So what conclusion can we draw from these mighty THORTS, OH brave person who's got to the end? Probably that I shouldn't drink LAGER then stay up late drinking TEA watching next week's LOST on E4, that is certainly a good conclusion. Possibly also that the world is a big old scary place full of fully functioning OTHER human beings who not only think differently to you but also OPPOSITELY, and that just because someone PASSIONATELY believes in something you passionately DON'T, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to hate each OTHER. Also that you while it's good to CHASE THE NEW, that doesn't mean you shouldn't appreciate what you've GOT. Well done Mark, have a biscuit!

    Sorry to go on so - back to Gentle Meandering later, but thanks for listening, and at least I didn't write a song about it!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 13.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    Hello Visitors!
    A big hello today to our visitors from the Dustins Bar Mitzvah forum! According to my WEBSTATS a huge CROWD of you have come here overnight after seeing a POST that claimed i was "the worst person in music ever" I'm not sure if they were SERIOUS about this - call me a CRAZED EGOMANIAC, but i've seen MUCH worse - but they DID provide helpful links AND spell my name right, so maybe not.

    I did wonder, from the TONE and the spelling mishaps later in the MISSIVE whether it was one of our old pals from Dog Cock Dildo, who you may remember sent me a VERY rude email complaining about my gentle criticism of their undecipherable logo. I sent a reply explaining my reasoning, and though they never got round to replying it seems they HAVE taken my advice to heart. A quick WEBSEARCH reveals they've changed their name to "UNT" AND have a logo you can READ. It's nice to know you've been of help isn't it?

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 12.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (1) comments

     

    More Live ACTION
    There's a few more gigs up now on the even newer, even MORE Improved GIGS PAGE. As well as links to the venue, address, phone number and details of what's happening it's ALSO now got PRICING. Yes, i know I should really have had all that on to start with, but still: i am CHUFFED by it's Tidy Appearance. NICE!

    The next gig's in Leicester at Bar Firefly (we're on at 6pm but I'm hoping to get there for The Chemistry Experiment at 4pm), then - JUST IN! - I'm off to Lewisham again on Sunday 23rd to play at The Fox & Firkin. This is always a LOVELY GIG... as is my appointment the NEXT weekend on October 29th when I'm back in Sheffield for The FUZZTIVAL. The following weekend there's another NEW ADDITION, I'm playing at "The Cattlemarket", a Winston Echo/Retro Spankees DO, at The Labour Club in Northampton. It's been YEARS since I played with Northampton - BOTH times I've played there were with VOON, and BOTH stand TALL in my memory. The first time was one of Voon Classic's BEST! GIGS! EVER! when GURLS stormed the stage and the promoter was so impressed he later tried to organise a FESTIVAL in our honour. The second time was one of the few times we played outside Leicester with the Hibbett/Wilkinson/Lawson lineup, and somewhere there is a video of us CLEARING THE PUB. Aaah, happy days!

    Hopefully that won't happen this time though... next day I'm at The Light Programme in Stoke Newington (which I seem to have been looking forward to for AGES) and then the NEXT gig i have booked is in FEBRUARY next year, with The Fighting Cocks!! It's nice to have something BOOKED that far ahead, but it does seem a while away. Obviously I'm AWAY from November 20th - December 20th, and should be doing a couple of gigs WORLDWIDE, but if there's anything else going, do let me know!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 11.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (3) comments

     

    Illustrated Version
    There's some photographs of Friday's gig, taken by the below mentioned Mr Breach, on the Give & Go site, and apparently there'll be a review of the whole SHEBANG written by Kevin The Promoter coming soon. I must say they're rather nice pictures, especially as they feature the results of my recent T-SHIRT SPLURGE: basically, i got fed up of having manky old t-shirts, so brought one from Daily Dinosaur Comics (picture HERE), a FANTASTIC FOUR t-shirt (as worn on Friday, and something i've wanted FORVER) and... er... about 50 Hey Hey 16K t-shirts, which i was able to SHARE. Indeed, if you look down the page at Give & Go you can JUST about see Mr Walker wearing one... if you squint. And use your imagination. It's a nice t-shirt tho, honest!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 10.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Hello Norbiton
    After work on Friday i RENDEZVOUSED with The Freeze Frame On My DVD at Waterloo, and together we headed for NORBITON and thence to Kingsmeadow, to the home of Wimbledon AFC, Kingstonian, and the Give & Go GIG night. As soon as we walked in it was pretty obvious that this was a GOOD PLACE, and we lurked about having a chat with Kevin The Organiser who was EXCITED about that FACT that he'd got Boo Hewerdine headlining. He was a BIG FAN, as would become apparent later...

    After a quick soundcheck and a BEER I was delighted to see not one but TWO people enter the room wearing Hey Hey 16K t-shirts - Mr Stephen Walker and Mr Matthew Breach, BOTH of whom had bought them at the Water Rats gig. Thanks chaps! Mr Breach had suggested the gig in the first place, and he came over and SAT WITH, he was a Nice Chap. People who WEREN'T wearing Hey Hey 16K t-shirts came in, and at 8.20pm i went up and played them THIS:
  • The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Red And White Sockets
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • I Come From The Fens
  • The Fight For History
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It was a LONG set - I'd been asked to do 40 minutes so i did, but it FELT like quite a long time too. Partly this was due to HEAVY COLD still being in effect, and partly it was because everyone was so very FAR AWAY, my dears i felt quite DETACHED from the audience. People DID seem to enjoy it tho, i certainly got some GRINS from various people later in the evening, but for me the best bit of the evening was yet to come.

    Now, I'd HEARD of Boo Hewerdine before, and I knew he'd written some songs with other people and been in The Bible, but I wasn't entirely sure WHO he'd written with or WHAT The Bible had played. To be honest I was expecting something Worthy But Not Particularly Interesting, and when he came on looking quite nervous and started strumming i sat back to Appreciate but not enjoy, and then make and excuse to get away early.

    Imagine my surprise then when he turned out to be ABSOLUTELY BLOODY FANTASTIC! I couldn't quite believe what i was hearing, or indeed FEELING, as he opened up a whole new LAND OF TUNE - all these gorgeous melodies came out of him that I'd never even THOUGHT of before, and the way he sang them made me get all MOVED. A couple of songs had me WELLING UP - "Ontario" was one of them, and when he did "The Patience Of Angels", my dears i was quite BESIDE myself with Emotion. I hadn't expected ANYTHING like this, and thus was quite AGOG. In a way it was like the first time I'd seen Belle & Sebastian - it was the first time I'd seen somebody play this kind of music and do it RIGHT, for me, so that it reached out and TOUCHED me. He may well have been an Excellent Musician and Craftsman, but the songs were beaming DIRECTLY INTO MY VERY SOUL. It was RIGHT, and it was BEAUTIFUL.

    One of the best bits was when he got Kevin The Organiser on stage to sing a song with him. I expected this to be a bit Charming and Loveable, but actually he was REALLY GOOD - it was lovely to see someone so HAPPY to be there, and also putting his ALL into the song he was singing, it cast a warm glow around the whole room. Mr Hewerdine finished off with "Gracelands", which was the second song of the night that made me go "Oh! Did he write that then?" after which we dashed off into the night, to spend a long train journey home full of me going "WOW! That was BRILLIANT!"

    Today's mission: H for Hewerdine in Virgin!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    People Are Living In Factories
    RIDDLED with cold I set off yesterday afternoon for Leicester, to play at the big Sorted Records gig at The Charlotte. Due to Midland Mainline MADNESS of Pricing i got to town about an hour early, so set off for a good old WANDER ROUND. I was amazed, also IMPRESSED, to see that the old Odeon has FINALLY been cleaned up and put to work, and that the whole area around there is BUSTLING with Urban Reinvention. Ever since i first moved to Leicester that part of town has been full of redundant factories gathering dust and cobwebs, so i was surprised to find that they're all reopening now as business centres and apartments and things. A row of knackered old shops had suddenly grown a rooftop TERRACE, CRANES abounded everywhere knocking down the unsaveable buildings and putting up new ones, and all was RENEWAL. Even in town, and Millstone Lane, I noticed that the closed down factories and Scary Old Buildings there are now turning into SHOPS and places to live. It was amazing!

    I reflected on this over a PINT in the Criterion - i thought i ought to get at least one pleasant drink inside me - then headed over to The Charlotte. Apart from Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey I was the first to arrive, so I had time for a quick look round, as I hadn't been there for AGES. Everything was pretty much the same, and I surprised myself by WELLING UP when I went into the upstairs bar, scene of MANY MANY Saturday nights at RAZZLE and The Tube Bar and various other events. I guess it was all the nostalgia welling up as I'd walked around earlier, I spent 14 years of my life in Leicester so there is a LOT of memories, not all of which are necessarily pleasant ones, and The Charlotte is this in MICROCOSM, for every time I thought "Aah, this is where me and Simon DANCED AT GURLS while wearing SUITS" I also thought "Hmm, that's where i sat, on my own, when nobody else came to the gig." BITTERSWEET, baby!

    Anyway, Tom and Tim soon turned up and, in the light of COMMENTS made, me and Tom had a go at setting up the drumkit whilst Mr Pattison parked his car. I think we did quite well, that stool stayed put up all night! We soundchecked, went for CHIPS, then Tim and I popped briefly into The Orange Tree, where Emma arrived, COMPLETING out line-up for the evening - young Frankie was in the NAUGHTY CORNER for the night, as he'd TRIPLE BOOKED himself for the evening so had had to pull out. When I got back to the Charlotte i BRAVED a pint of bitter, and found that this was still EXACTLY the same there as it always had been. Later on Andy The Manager would complain that people hadn't drunk enough over the course of the night - the reason for this is that the BEER there is HORRIBLE. My WORD, this morning i had ANOTHER type of Nostalgia, as my entire BODY tried to EXPEL the noxious NESS of the previous evening.

    We need not DWELL on that tho, let us return to last night, where I stood at the bar considering PREVIOUS gigs, our lack of bass player, and that hardly anyone was there. It did not AUGUR well... things started to warm up as the evening went along, and it was LOVELY seeing all the LOVELY people who gradually turned up, so i had MUCH fun wandering around chatting to people. I also enjoyed Flying Ant Day, who were Lazarus Clamp without their bass player. It was ODD seeing Tom play in a different band, but they were DEAD GOOD - i have always liked Lazarus Clamp's quieter songs best, and that's what we got, it was ACE.

    Soon it was time for us to get set up - bands played upstairs AND downstairs alternately, which made it a very RELAXED way of getting things together, and people were just drifting downstairs as we played THIS:
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Fight For History
  • Easily Impressed

  • It was GRATE!!! Much to my amazement, it all went really well - the sound was ACE, there suddenly seemed to be LOADS of people who'd turned up, we all played everything WELL, and people ENJOYED it. Near the front were a couple of lads DANCING, and i wasn't sure if they were enjoying it or Taking The Mick, but then they CHEERED when I introduced "Hey Hey 16K" and sung along to the whole song! Afterwards they told me they'd been in halls at University with a lad from Derby who'd played them LOTS of my stuff, and I was really rather TOUCHED. We also got a VERY LOUD bit of audience participation in "Easily Impressed" and my dears I dare say we WOULD have got an encore if i hadn't been so DILIGENT about telling everyone that another band was starting upstairs. It was just REALLY REALLY GOOD, and as i looked round I found similar looks on the faces of The Validators as on my own - AMAZEMENT!

    There was more lurking about and more chatting afterwards and also much HUGGING - it was lovely! I went to say thanks to Phil The Soundman for making it all sound so GOOD. He said he'd really liked it, so i have him a copy of "Warriors Of Nanpantan", which led to my FAVOURITE bit of the evening - after the last band had finished he played the first three songs off it VERY LOUDLY INDEED! It was FANTASTIC - as Chapter 24 came off stage (they were dead good, by the way - another of these young bands who BLYTHELY mix up PROG and PUNK, almost as if it doesn't matter! BLASPHEMY!) the voice of ME boomed out with "I was a binman, i was a road sweeper..." It filled me with GLEE i must confess, thanks Phil!

    We got a taxi back to the home of Dr Neil Brown, where I was staying, and over TEA we discussed how lovely it had been, for LO! It really really had.

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 7.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Forever Autumn
    Am i the only one to be currently feeling A Bit Christmassy? It's the fact that it's grey and wet outside, the nights are drawing in, and I've got a COLD that makes me feel this way, aaah! AUTUMN! How i love thee!

    Like the lady in the song, I have ALWAYS loved this time of year - the end of September/start of October is when things start to HAPPEN again. I even LIKE the fact that it gets dark earlier, because that means you definitely leave work earlier, and can get SNUG in a PUB and develop SCHEMES. This is also, i reckon, why the UK is such a HOTBED of MUSICAL FERVOUR, as unlike in THE MED there's not really much else to do for half the year than sit inside and either TALK about GRATE IDEAS or go out and DO them. If it's cold, dark, and raining outside it's a LOT more fun to get WARMED UP in a room playing MUSIC than trudge through the streets, AND it's a good excuse to drink Healthy Warming BEER-style BEER for the walk home.

    It's also when yr STUDENTS get going again, and they're like the PLANKTON that (in the nicest possible way) the WHALES OF ROCK feed upon - they get all excited to be back at COLLEGE and start organising GIGS, and that kick starts everybody ELSE into it too.

    The strange thing is how BRIEF the ROCK SEASON really is, when you think about it - things start happening in October, then have to gently glide to a halt at the end of November ready for Christmas - Christmas records, Christmas parties and Christmas GIGS. The Nothing EVER seems to happen in January (I'm not sure why - surely that's THE month when we all NEED some cheering up?) and then you get a swift RASN of activity through to the start of JUNE when it's EXAMS for half the audience and then FESTIVAL time. It's a RUM old do really isn't it?

    Still, that's all to come, for now let's get out and ROCK! I'm off to Leicester tonight for the Sorted 10th Birthday DO, then SURREY on Friday to play with Boo Hewerdine at the Wimbledon AFC (that's AFC) ground. Let's GO!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    A Thought
    Almost since i first LANDED on the DOCKS at St Pancras and strode into the fair port of THAT LONDON... er... sorry, ever since I've lived here in That London I've fancied the idea of putting on my own gigs, if nothing else so that I could GIVE a gig to some of the lovely people I've HAD them from in the past. This was a fairly easy thing to do in Leicester, as I knew several people who RAN pubs and/or who'd let you put an evening on for nothing if you fancied it, but down here things are very different and seem to be MUCH more serious. Every now and then I've looked around at venues and THORT about it, but it's always seemed such HASSLE, with having to guarantee audiences, or hire PAs, or put up CA$H to get the place, or persuade somebody that you'd have a decent audience... OY!

    But now i have a New Idea that I'd quite like some feedback on: at present it is called EITHER a) Enunciation b) Speak Up or c) CLUB BELLOW. It's based on the SEVERAL gigs I've done over the past year or so WITHOUT a PA system, almost all of which have been LOVELY, and have felt like a much more REAL and DIRECT interaction with the audience. It strikes me that if i ran a gig night that didn't HAVE a PA at all, and that only put on people playing SOLO performances, then I could have it pretty much anywhere, and cut out MOST of the hassle involved. All I'd need to do would be to find a nice ROOM somewhere, and we'd be set!

    I know that specifying ONLY solo people who could SPEAK UP a bit would curtail the sort of acts i could have on, but that might NOT be a Bad Thing. The more I've thought about it, the more EXTRA RULES I've come up with - for instance, I'd run it from 8pm PROMPT (no need for soundchecks!) to 10pm, leaving plenty of time for having a drink afterwards AND for getting home. I think I'd also specify Something Special, maybe having a THEME for the evening so that each ACT had to EITHER write a new song BASED on that theme, or perform a COVER of a song similarly related.

    Now, is that ACTUALLY a Good Idea, or am I missing something? I always worry that something that appears to ME to be STRIKINGLY BRILLIANT may not always BE so, so please do give me a COMMENT on it won't you? Also, if anybody knows anywhere in the middle of That London that is a nice friendly pub that, IMPORTANTLY, sells decent BEER (by which i mean BEER, not lager), I would really like to know about it. Actually, I'd like to know that last bit whether or not I do the gigs or not!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 4.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (3) comments

     

    Newsletter And Video
    It's slightly later than usual due to my HOLIDAYS, but this month's edition of The Last Working Day Of The Month has just been sent out and is up in the ARCHIVES to read NOW. It's a bumper pack of FACT this month and NO mistake!

    And if THAT'S not enough Monday Excitement for you, try popping over to the Sorted Records site, where you'll find a VIDEO of us playing "Easily Impressed" at the Victoria in Leicester back in June. There's also a video of one of the BEST GIGS i EVER saw - Dalmatian Rex & The Eigentones attempt at the world record for SHORTEST GIG. It was a MOST impressive occasion - they brought all their gear, set up, soundchecked, and then played for ONE SECOND. Truly a GRATE thing!

    Watch out for the huge hulking MASS of ME in my Late Elvis Period at the start too...

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 3.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

     

    Hola!
    Back from a week in Majorca, and my dears i fear i am turning into FRUITY OLD TRAVELLER as i say "Oh yes, it is simply DELIGHTFUL, i fell in LOVE with the island" for LO! me and My Own Balearic Sunrise had a BLOODY FANTASTIC time and were not entirely keen on returning to That London. Eee, it was like something off the telly, really it was, i'd expected it to be all English Pubs and Chip Shops and long stretches of tower block apartments, but it was GORGEOUS. We stayed near Port de Pollensa, and it was BEAUTIFUL all around - gently lapping clear blue sea, palm trees, EXTREMELY friendly people everywhere. GRATE! Going out of season was TOP PLAN too as, apart from the few young families with tiny wee babies, we were the youngest people there - it was SAGA TASTIC! Also it was thus VERY relaxed and cool.

    We LOLLED around quite a lot, went to the beach at Formentor (Judith Chalmers alert: it was LIKE PARADISE) on a BOAT, went to Pollenca itself (IDYLLIC), got a 100ish year old train through the mountains to the village of Soller (HEAVENLY) then a TRAM (TRAM!) to Port de Soller, and another bus through IMMENSE mountains to get home again. The Lounger By My Poolside had been before, and thus GUIDED us round the bnest bits - really, one's BRANE could hardly cope with so much loveliness, and that was even not including PALMA.

    Man ALIVE, Palma was BRILLIANT - it was actually AS ACE as all the descriptions I'd heard of Barcelona, but unlike Barcelona actually WAS that relaxed, GROOVY, and FUN. I have spent the time since plotting ways in which the Vlads can record our NEXT album there. In the evening we went to Bar Tomate for "Solo Concierto Acustico En Mallorca - Direct From Leicester UK".

    I have done some STRANGE GIGS in my life, but this was probably one of the MOST STRANGE. The Bar was LOVELY, it's run by some PALS we know from London, and the clientele was also nice - again, it was like being IN a guide book, as The Beer In My 33cl Can Of San Miguel and i sat at the end of the bar chatting to people of many races as the time sped towards midnight. At about 11.00pm (LATE!) i did the following set:

  • The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Red And White Sockets
  • Payday is The Best Day
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • Fly Me To The Moon

  • It was a fairly usual UBERSET... except hardly anybody had a CLUE what i was singing about! As the words EMERGED from my mouth i realised that not only were the songs ABOUT things that didn't necessarily translate, they used WORDS that probably weren't included in English Syllabuses for ANYONE, and at a very FAST RATE too. Everybody was very nice about it anyway, or nearly everybody - it seems that Man Who Talks Loudly IS translatable across international boundaries. This is the chap who OBJECTS to somebody ELSE being centre of attention, and so stands in front of The Artiste with his back turned, LOUDLY tries to engage other people in conversation, and uses his mobile phone as much as possible. Now, i was playing WITHOUT a PA, so it could have been a struggle, but luckily for me there were GIRLS there who seemed (for some reason) to enjoy the GIG, and Man Who Talks Loudly is ALWAYS swayed by that sort of thing, and BLESS HIM, by the end of the night he was enjoying it too, shook my hand as he left, and turned out to be a NICE CHAP. Aaah, crossing the language barrier with ROCK!

    I felt a little HOARSE and tired after the ODD experience, but a couple of requests and a couple of BEERS led me to do a SECOND SET, as follows:

  • Praise The Traffic Warden
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Too Good To Be True
  • Billy Jones Is Dead

  • As i say, it was a STRANGE experience, sat in the corner of the bar BELLOWING out the songs, grinning away and EMOTING each song, knowing that hardly anybody there had a CLUE what i was on about. I wonder how somebody SPANISH would have gone down in the corner of an English Bar if they'd sung a whole pile of songs in Very Complicated Catalan with EXTREMELY long monologues in between, during which they tried to explain what they were about to sing by shouting "Traffic Wardens? Traffic Wardens, yes?" and having to remember NOT to say "Trafficos Wardenios?" like Someebody's Dad? I was actually EMBARRASED by my lack of language, especially when "Buenos Nachos!" , "Gracias!", and "Mucho Cervesa!" stopped being useful.

    It was a very happy Hibbett who finished the SET though, and I felt very pleased to have done something so DERANGED as that - as The Cathedral In My City said, it was a bit of a MILESTONE, and it was also one chunk of LOVELINESS in a very lovely week. I love Holidays, Holidays are GRATE!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 2.10.05
    (click here for permanent link)

    (0) comments

    archives
    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
    View My Stats [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Make your own free website on Tripod.com