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Newsletter/Topicality Corner
It's the last working day of the month, which of course means that the latest issue of our newsletter, The Last Working Day Of The Month has just gone out. Everybody is obviously HARD AT IT at the moment, as I've only so far received ONE Out Of Office AutoReply, and that was just for today while someone was in a meeting... come one, Newsletter Mailing List, don't we DESERVE a break?

Anyway, if you're NOT on the mailing list you can always read it from the Newsletter Archive where you'll also find a rather WHIZZY new form so you can sign up for the next issue, if you'd like to.

And while I'm here - all this stuff about Tessa Jowell's husband, is it me or is it a bit ODD that everyone's quite happy to say the Prime Minister of Italy goes around BRIBING people, as if that's quite normal and acceptable? And isn't he the bloke who OUR Prime Minister goes on holiday with? It's a bit RUM, that's what it is.

And finally - if anyone's coming along to the LSE gig tonight, I'm on at about 8.30pm, but i HEARTILY recommend getting there for eight o'clock to see Winston Echo, he is ACE!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 28.2.06
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Leicester Again
I was back on the train again on Friday night to head back to Leicester, and on the way I did a little WORK, proof-reading the lyrics for the multimedia aspects of the new EP and album. I am very diligent.

I got to The Firefly to find that one of 7 Seconds Of Love was singing one of my songs, and he was TERRIFIED to discover that I had MATERIALISED as he was doing so. It was a bit spooky. Mr McClure arrived, and he and I had a DISCUSSION about the recording he'll be doing this Friday, before other people started arriving and LO! there was CHAT and good times. I had a chat to Mr J Veitch from 7 Seconds Of Love and then the rest of his band, and WHAT a LOVELY bunch of chaps they were too. Much fun and pleasure was spreading around the room, and I managed to FORGET that I was supposed to be doing a gig later.

This forgetfulness meant I wasn't worried about the fact that only Tom and I were there, with twenty minutes to go before we were due on stage. Mr Machine wasn't able to attend - i understand he spent the evening consoling himself with TILING - but Tim and Emma were also having trouble, this time with babysitters. Yes, i know, as a group we ARE extraordinarily rock and roll. Tom and I thus did half a soundcheck, and then went back to CHAT and that.

The Pattisons arrived in good time in the end, and together we went upstairs to play. There seemed to be an announcement just after we went, as we found the venue filling up rapidly - indeed, at one point there was a QUEUE. Mr Chris Lawson stated that it was the first time he had ever queued to get into one of my gigs, which is factually inaccurate - I have a photograph of a gig he attened in 1992 which also had a queue. Why does saying that sound so unimpressive?

Anyway, there were soon LOADS of people there - Steve The Organiser tells me it was the first ever complete SELLOUT gig at The Firefly which, while not really anything to do with us playing, was nice to be a part of. Here's what we played:
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Fight For History
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Easily Impressed
  • I felt a bit uneasy and nervous for the first few songs, as I wasn't sure how it was going, but after "Hey Hey 16K" it started to feel REAL GOOD and i Visibly Relaxed. There was VERY enjoyable heckling (especially Miss E Kawasaki calling out for Voon songs) and some DIALOGUE, there was Sustaining Whooping from the crowd, and I happily regaled the assemblage with my review of the new Neil Diamond album, it was LOVELY. Best of all, a small clutch of people cheered when I announced "Quality Of Life Enhancement Device" - that's NEVER happened before!

    All in all it was GRATE, and after we'd finished Tom and I had a quick burst of RETAIL ACTION, which is always fun, before retiring downstairs for more BEER and more CHAT. A little while later we went back up for 7 Seconds Of Love, who were SURPRISING. I'd been especting some sort of fairly humble, self-effacing, jokey band made up of Blokes From The Interweb, but actually they were a rather POWERFUL and ROCKING SKA UNIT, it was ACE! I went downstairs to collect some more BEER at one point and was terrified to find that the ceiling was SHAKING. Light fittings and speakers attached to it were swinging away, and even the pot plant in the corner was vibrating, like one of the aliens off of "The Adventure Game". THAT is how much dancing was going on upstairs.

    The night ended with more loafing around and chatting and general PLEASANTNESS. WHAT a nice night!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 27.2.06
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    GIG TASM
    It's funny, sometimes you go WEEKS without any GIGS coming in, and then suddenly THREE arrive at once! The gig in Cambridge with Colonel Bastard has now been rescheduled for July 8th, I'm playing with Winston Echo and The Retro Spankees on May 26th at The Buffalo Bar, and I'm now playing in the afternoon at the Fuzzclub BBQ in Sheffield on May 1st. I am EXTREMELY pleased about this latter one - I have played EVERY all-dayer they've had at the Student Union for the past few years (there will come a time when knowing the audience participation bit for "Easily Impressed" is a condition for graduation) so was UPSET to realise that I was already BOOKED that day in Leicester, so wouldn't be able to do it. However, both Penny (in Sheffield) and Dr Neil (in Leicester) have been very pleasant about it and now I am playing BOTH, Sheffield in the afternoon and Leicester in the evening. It will be a BANK HOLIDAY OF ROCK!

    All details, as ever, are on the GIGS page. Whilst researching some DETAILS I also came across this review of last year's fuzztival. It doesn't mention me actually playing, but does report that Eddie from Art Brut claimed to be ME at the end of their set! I wonder if that actually happened? If so - COR! I mean, that's pretty GRATE isn't it? I was quite excited about that!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 23.2.06
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    Group Think
    There's been a HEATED DEBATE this morning on The Validators' email accounts. When i say heated, I mean "gently warming" rather than rife with rage, as we have been discussing the contents of our new EP, "A Fridge Full Of Nice Things".

    Just in case anybody's been keeping score, yes, that WAS originally going to be the title of the album, which before that was supposed to be called "Mental Judo". However, as the song "Never Going Back To Aldi's", which features "A Fridge Full Of Nice Things" in its lyrics, is now going to be on the EP and NOT the album, it seemed best to move things around. The album, in case I haven't mentioned it before, is now going to be called "WE VALIDATE!"

    I'm starting to confuse MYSELF now... anyway, we have been discussing tracks to go onto it, and the VALUE FOR MONEY effects of the songs we choose. Currently the tracklisting is as follows:
  • Better Things To Do
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • The Other Rush Hour
  • I was a little worried about VFM as "Better Things To Do" will be on the album, "Never Going Back To Aldi's" has already been on the free Christmas CD, and the ORIGINAL version of "Sod It Let's Get Pissed" is on "Warriors Of Nanpantan". We were thus discussing trying to get into a studio to record some EXTRA stuff, somehow, when Rob suggested putting a whole OTHER EP of BONUS TRACKS on the CD-R EXTRAS section - the long mentioned but little heard "ZIPCODES" Cassette!

    Again, for those not taking notes, this is a set of songs I recorded nearly a year ago for Popgun Recordings in America, who have stopped doing much, it seems, for the time being. This strikes me as A REALLY GOOD IDEA - the songs are there WAITING to get out, it's MUCHO added value for all concerned, and putting them on the EXTRAS section means they don't collide SONICALLY with the main tracks. The tracklisting for THESE would therefore be:
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Closer To You
  • Born Yesterday
  • Hey William
  • If You Need Loving
  • Zipcodes
  • All I need to do now is record an ACOUSTICAL version of "Sod It, Let's Get Pissed" in the Exciting New Arrangement I was on about the other day, and we are GO! for LAUNCH!

    Well, we've got to get it all mastered too, and get the artwork done, and manufacture it, and work out how the publicity's going to work, and see if we're going to do shop distribution, and sort out tour dates, but other than THAT we're practically DONE! HOOP-LA!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 21.2.06
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    An Exceptionally Busy Weekend
    You find me today WORN OUT, physically, emotionally, and geographically, as I have ROCKED the LENGTH (tho not, to be honest, much of the breadth) of this fair nation of ours, all within the past few short days.

    On Friday I was in SHEFFIELD, to play at a benefit for No Sweat (who campaign against sweat shops). It was happening in a sort of abandoned factory SPACE that's been taken over by a local collective... er... for some reason that I read about on a poster but have since forgotten. Anyway, it was a GROOVY building, with lots of stairs and mysterious rooms, but it was a BIT COLD. The people organising it were NOT normally gig organisers, so as is the way of such things it was all a bit HECTIC but everything worked out rather nicely in the end. I hit the stage just before nine o'clock and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • The Girl Who…
  • The Fight For History
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Fucking Hippy
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It's still FAIRLY standard Uberset, but there ARE a couple of songs not played for a while in there - INDEED I was rather surprised to find it's the first time I've done "The Girl Who..." in The Live Arena for a couple of years, and I also did the Exciting New Arrangement of "Sod It, Let's Get Pissed" that I worked out the other night whilst - oh my! - PRACTICING. It seemed to go down quite well, as did the whole thing, really. The only odd thing was the people who were listening were at the back, and the people talking were down the front. Now, i must make clear and explicit that i have no objection WHATSOEVER to people talking at gigs, I HATE it when you go to a gig and people TELL YOU OFF for wishing to interact with other living breathing human beings, and after all if you have paid to get into the room it's up to you what you do when you get there. It just surprises me that people inconvenience themselves by trying to talk right next to the PA system, when it's much easier just to go to the back and chat, especially when that's where THE BAR is. THE KIDS! Harken to my wisdom!

    Anyway, it was all lovely and I very much enjoyed it, the only thing that disturbed me was that it was SO VERY COLD that i couldn't play with my FINGERS like normally and had to clench a plectrum. GIG DONE I hung around and chatted to the lovely people there for a bit, before getting my gear together to head for Offbeat, only stopping for a quick chat with a gentleman of similar age to me to discuss recent political developments e.g. The Tories becoming more like Human Beings, especially when stood next to Labour Politicians. It is, we agreed, a world gone mad.

    My next stop, a mere half hour later that evening via SUPERTRAM, was legendary Indie Disco OFFBEAT. It takes place in a sort of cupboard just off the main Student Night, so it's like a TELEPORTER ACCIDENT of DISCO, with both evenings intersecting at the toilets. You leave a room full of lovely, slightly twee, people dancing to The Cure and find yourself in a huge sweaty room with much louder indecipherable music playing, urinate next to insanely drunk people in "smart" shirts, then walk past a parade of women dressed in masking tape and ribbons to get back. It was WEIRD.

    Offbeat itself was GRATE tho - i got to see LOADS of the lovely SHEFFIELD MASSIVE, many of whom were a bit surprised to see me, and enjoyed the latest exciting innovation in Disco Technology: THE LIVE SETLIST. They'd set up a video projector, so every time they played a new song the band and song title appeared on it. After a while everyone had got used to it, and automatically turned to look at what was playing every time something new started. It was like Disco Dancing with THE RED BUTTON from the telly, and certainly cut down on many minutes of wasted dancing/drinking time. No more prevaricating, wandering if it was the song you thought or something much worse, the answer appeared before your very eyes!!

    Also I scored FASHION POINTS by wearing my lovely new "Books RULE!" t-shirt from Scary-Go-Round. Many many times people came up to me GRINNING. I was just about to say, "Yes, you're right, it is ME!" for LO! i have played SHeffield A LOT, hopefully soon it will be part of the DEGREE CEREMONY to have a singalong to "Easily Impressed", so i was ready to be recognised, but every time people said "Ooh! I like your t-shirt!"

    Next day I was back in London for a few hours before heading down to BRIGHTON. I was playing with The Lovely Brothers at The Marlborough Theatre, and walking there took me past THE PAVILION. It's great, The Brighton Pavilion, especially lit up so that you can see how UTTERLY LUDICROUS it is. I like it A LOT.

    I like Brighton too, especially when it is being VERY BRIGHTON like it was on Saturday night. As soon as I left the station the warm smell of MARIJUANA hit me, and followed me through the streets, where Men did kiss each other, percussion bands performed in doorways, and the clothes were all home knitted. The pub below the theatre was a proper Lesbian Bar too, and I even considered DANCING in it, in homage to Jonathan Richman but... um... it didn't seem appropriate. It was a LOVELY pub, and the beer was MIGHTY FINE. I REMARKED, later on during the gig, that it was a teenage dream of mine to find such a pub, PACKED with women, but it didn't seem to go down very well.

    The gig was GOOD though - it felt like a TOUGH CROWD to start with, as people didn't seem to know what to make of me. That's the only explanation i can think of for my between song GAGS to fall so flat (and there were a LOT of them), but towards the end i feel they had WARMED. My favourite bit was the new version of "Sod It, Let's Get Pissed", which some people got so excited about they even JOINED IN, it was ACE. Here's that setlist in full:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Drummer's Lament
  • The Fight For History
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Again, it was fairly uberset-ISH, but with some new stuff stuck in. I had a LOT of fun doing it, I must say, but i fear I went on a bit long so the Lovely Brothers had to DASH on stage. They were ACE, as ever - they were a bit quiet on stage, but this did not stop the last song, "Elixir Of Life" being a complete EPIC. My drinking companion, Jimmy From The Bobby McGees, was moved by this to comment that it was a fallacy to say that PUNK could only ever be a few-chord THRASH, as that song managed to be both PUNK and INCREDIBLY MUSICALLY EXCITING, which is not band going for a song which is basically about drinking cheap cider.

    Afterwards there was much lurking around in the BAR downstairs and joyous CHAT, before heading off for a KIP on a rather nice air-bed. Next morning I was up early to head for home, rather pleased with how the weekend was progressing and ESPECIALLY happy to have little or no hangover, due to the DELICIOUS beer at The Marlborough.

    I got home, bathed, and had an AFTERNOON NAP, for LO! i was knackered. The ROCK of the weekend had yet to finish its business with me, however, and in the evening The Sand On My Seafront and I were of to ISLINGTON, to see Frankie Machine play at The Buffalo Bar. There was a queue outside to get in - EERIE, as the LAST time i had queued to get into a gig like this was several years ago at the Garage... in ISLINGTON... when I'd been to see FRANKIE MACHINE. Spooky huh?

    We queued with Mr John Kell and his GIG PAL Dan, and had a very illuminating discussion re. Liberal Democrats. I voted for Chris Huhne, and was quite excited to hear that MY GUY might win - we shall see. Once inside we soon found a Slightly Nervous Francis Albert, nervous not least because the place was rapidly becoming PACKED.

    I too was filled with SYMPATHETIC FEAR, which was alleviated somewhat when he did an ACE version of "Black Eyes" to start with. I FELT HIS PAIN over the next few songs, however, when his lovely songs were accompanied by some CHAT at the back of the room. As i say, i have no objection to this, but it can be a bit UNNERVING when you're onstage, and i felt his pain ESPECIALLY when he said "You probably can't even hear what I'm playing".

    We COULD hear tho, and this was good as he then took the GIG BULL by the ROCK HORNS. Rather than a) GIVING IN TO FEAR or b) having a bit of a STROP he c) took out a plectrum and started playing LOUD. This was still Frankie Machine, mind, so it was still TUNES, WISTFUL SADNESS and EXTREME RUDENESS, but now suddenly with POWER. He was really really good, WRESTED control of the gig, MADE people listen, and by JOVE sang with a lot of HEART in them there vocals, so that by the end he was able to do "54th & 3rd" and "My Funny Valentine", two VERY quiet songs, and have pretty much the whole room HANGING on his words. It was REALLY GOOD, and i felt we had borne witness to a bit of a MOMENT in ROCK.

    Not long afterwards we headed home, where i was very happy to hit THE DUVET, for i was done in. It had been a LONG weekend, but by golly it had been GRATE!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 20.2.06
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    Like The Lifting Of A Rucksack
    You find me (mostly) full of the joys of spring today, as i am feeling Rather Better than I have done lately. Like SO MANY people just lately i have had a COLD, and spent the past couple of days SNEEZING and MOPING in equal measure. My ill-health was aided and abetted by the fact that I started back on WEIGHTS and stuff in the gym on Monday, and as usual comprehensively KNACKERED my arms in, so felt very sorry for myself indeed. Today, however, i feel MUCH better, which is always a GRATE feeling after The Mopes, and something of a relief as I am off ROCKING this weekend. Tonight I'm in Sheffiled at Matilda, and then tomorrow night I'm playing The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton. Do come, if you can!

    Indeed, the only dark cloud in the blue spring sky of my day is that I'm going to be away from home until Sunday lunchtime now. Yesterday I stayed at home and spent the whole day pottering around in close proximity to The Snowdrops In My Pasture, so it is an even more keenly felt WRENCH to be going away from her for the next 48 hours. But hey! THE GODS OF ROCK demand their sacrifices, so it is RAILWAY STATION HO! for me in a few short hours. Let's hope that there Nano iPod thingy's still working!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 17.2.06
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    Exciting Stock Update
    Phew! As if all those tables weren't THRILL POWERED enough, here's an update on the STOCK situation - maybe you should sit down before reading on...

    News has recently come in from The Attic Of Frankie Machine that there are a few more copies of "Milk & Baubles" left, so it is now BACK BACK BACK in The Shop. However, and not related to Francis Albert's Voyage Into Loft Space, we have now SOLD OUT completely of "This Is Not A Library". Lofts have been checked, beds have been looked under, and even Gig Bags have been rifled through, but there are now officially NO copies left for sale.

    I must say, I am quite saddened by this news - it's nice to know so many people have COPIES of it out there, but I wish we had a few more as i REALLY like it and enjoy handing copies out. There's always a chance of a reissue, I guess, if things go well with the next album, but for the time being that's a set of songs that it'll be difficult for anybody new to hear. We're investigating iTunes and all that, in which case it'll be available once more, but until then, if you've got a copy, hold onto it!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 16.2.06
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    TABLE 11: Names
    For our final table, and Just For A Bit Of Fun, here's a list of the top 19 names for people who are subscribed to the newsletter. See if you can spot what they've all got in common!
    Name Number
    1 Paul (21)
    2= John (14)
    2= Mark (14)
    4 Andrew (13)
    5 Chris (11)
    6= David (10)
    6= Steve (10)
    8= Dave (9)
    8= Tom (9)
    10= Matthew (7)
    10= James (7)
    10= Stephen (7)
    10= Rob (7)
    14= Tim (6)
    14= Simon (6)
    16= Lee (5)
    16= Graham (5)
    16= Sam (5)
    16= Stuart (5)

    Yes, they are all BUTCH and MANLY names - we don't get any lady's names until we get down to the early thirties of the chart with three Janes, then two each of Julia, Sara, Rachel and Louise.

    We did a similar exercise to this at my work a little while ago. We're surveying three year olds, and MY WORD but they don't half have a different set of names! In fact, the only name in the list above that appears in the top 20 of male names for 3 year olds is "James", with "Matthew" just outside the top 30. It's even more pronounced for female names, with Rachel being the first to appear, just outside the top 50.

    It's a rum old do isn't it? I guess our grandparents felt the same when MY generation was named and suddenly there was a DIRTH of Harold, Alberts, Gladys and Ethels, but before then it's always appeared to me that names stayed pretty much the same - the same first names pop up in Dickens and Shakespeare, hundreds of years apart, for instance.

    I have absolutely no idea why this all is, therefore i shall HAVE A GUESS and say it's something to do with post-WAR stuff and people wanting to give kids new names for a new WORLD, and then that idea catching on for the sixties. This, however, could be a load of old nonsense.

    It's also just struck me that, bearing in mind that the average age of somebody on the mailing list is probably around the same as my age, naming your kids after pop stars didn't start with Kylie, and in this battle at least, Macca was victorious!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 15.2.06
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    TABLE 10: Sales at Gigs (adjusted)
    OOh yes, this IS quite a bit more interesting - this is the table of the same cities, ordered by AVERAGE sales PER GIG. Let's FACT!
    City (Gigs)
    1 Manchester (1)
    2 Hull (5)
    3 Glasgow (2)
    4 Sheffield (9)
    5 Cork (1)
    6 Nottingham (4)
    7 Winchester (3)
    8 Northampton (1)
    9 Cambridge (2)
    10 Leicester (9)
    11= Edinburgh (1)
    11= Leeds (5)
    11= Ipswich (1)
    14 Derby (4)
    15 London (36)
    16 Peterborough (2)
    17 Brighton (5)
    18 Birmingham (4)
    19 Motherwell (1)

    Now THAT'S informative! As stated earlier, Manchester wins EASILY due to the nature of the gig I played there, but just look at Hull go! And GOR BLIMEY, Glasgow isn't far behind - i must surely return there. Poor old London sinks low, but who'd've thought that NOTTINGHAM could be so keen? Not me, that's for sure.

    Clearly the lesson of all this is that, once I've booked myself a gig in Glasgow I should really try and get some in Glasgow and Nottingham too. Telephone, HO!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 14.2.06
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    TABLE 9: Sales at Gigs (unadjusted)
    This table shows the Top 19 Cities for Sales Actually At Gigs. There's 19 cities because I've only managed to sell things in these particular cities, according to my records. I only started keeping these records in July 2003, however, so some places will be missed out, and obviously some places have had more gigs than others, but that'll be adjusted for in the NEXT table. For now, however, witness the SHEER RAW FACTS:
    1 Hull
    2 London
    3 Sheffield
    4 Manchester
    5 Leicester
    6 Glasgow
    7 Nottingham
    8 Winchester
    9 Leeds
    10 Derby
    11 Brighton
    12 Cork
    13= Birmingham
    13= Cambridge
    15= Northampton
    15= Peterborough
    17 Edinburgh
    17= Ipswich
    19 Motherwell

    Hull is WAY ahead of London, by almost 100% - they like their product bought IN THE FLESH up on the Humber! Manchester comes VERY high up the list, even though I've hardly ever played there, because the last time we DID was when we took the Hey Hey 16K t-shirts to the retrovision convention. Aaah! That was a fine evening! Next up is the table where these figures get ADJUSTED for the number of gigs played in these places, which ought to be EVEN MORE fascinating!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    TABLE 8: Sales In Other Countries
    Really that should be "Units In Other Territories" shouldn't it? Anyway, here's the Top Eleven (it worked out that way) non-UK countries for digging the Hibbett/Validator goodness:
    1 United States Of America
    2 Canada
    3 Sweden
    4 Republic Of Ireland
    5 Australia
    6 Italy
    7 Germany
    8= Greece
    8= Finland
    8= Israel
    8= South Africa

    USA and Canada are pretty expected at the top - hey, they have all the CA$H, right? - but look, i am MEDIUM in SWEDEN! How lovely! Also quite jolly are the assortment of countries tying for eighth place - between you and me, there's not an awful lot of sales behind those placings, but they still bought more stuff than SPAIN, for instance, and I've GIGGED there! Greece, Finland, Israel and South Africa - it sounds like a list of delegate nations at a Prog Rock Convention doesn't it?

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    TABLE 7: Online Sales By City
    Today's first table shows the top 20 most excitable cities in the UK for buying our stuff online.
    1 London
    2 Ipswich
    3 Sheffield
    4 Leicester
    5 Glasgow
    6 Kingston Upon Thames
    7 Birmingham
    8 Nottingham
    9 Leeds
    10 Stoke-on-Trent
    11 Warrington
    12 Motherwell
    13 Guildford
    14 St Albans
    15 Blackburn
    16 Liverpool
    17 Walsall
    18 Milton Keynes
    19 Edinburgh Fife
    20= Coventry
    20= Derby

    Please note that this is JUST UK cities and JUST online sales - sales at gigs and in other nations will be coming later. No VAST surprises here, especially as I know who some of the people are who are very nicely BOOSTING the figures for certain cities, but it does make me think there are some places I really ought to play more often - especially Ipswich. To me, my telephone!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Hello Essex
    Afternoon all, and especially hello to anyone who's turned up after hearing me on Phoenix FM this afternoon - today they played the session tracks I recorded out at Creative Studios a few weeks ago, and they seem to have come out Quite Well, i think.

    There's a couple more gigs on the GIGS page today, including a re-re-scheduling of the Songbird gig I was meant to play in April, which'll now be in June. The OTHER new gig is one of my FAVOURITE types: Gigs I Was Going To Go To Anyway But Now Don't Have To Pay To Get Into. Previous VICTORIES of this kind have seen me supporting Brave Captain, Half Man Half Biscuit and John Otway when, if not on the bill, I would have paid for a ticket anyway, and THIS time it's Chris T-T at the LSE on February 28th - I even tried to BUY tickets for this a week or so ago, so it's a good job i didn't manage it! Even MORE better, the bill also features Winston Echo, so that's really TWO gigs I would have paid for, now beautifully turned into FREE-NESS.

    In other news: That Johnny Cash film's dead good isn't it? I really enjoyed it, tho mostly I guess because of the music. My favourite bit, as in all ROCK BIOPICS, was when Future TITANS OF ROCK Get Together - the Sun Records TOUR with Johnny Cash, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis etc, WHAT a night that must have been. Almost, indeed, as the one available at the end of the month at the LSE. But... er... with ROCK TITANS.

    Hopefully more tables tomorrow STAT FANS!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 13.2.06
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    Tables 4-6: Songs Played
    Here we go then, here's the top twenty songs played in various permutations of personnel. Please note that this ONLY includes gigs from 2005 onwards, and then not ALL of them as I didn't always remember to keep my setlist. With that in mind, let's STAT!

    Top Twenty Songs Played At Gigs By Any Validatory Combination
    Title % gigs (N)
    1 Easily Impressed 93.18 (41)
    2 The Lesson Of The Smiths 81.81 (36)
    3 The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B) 70.45 (31)
    4 Boom Shake The Room 68.18 (30)
    5 Hey Hey 16K 68.18 (30)
    6 Clubbing In The Week 59.09 (26)
    7 Fucking Hippy 47.72 (21)
    8 Billy Jones Is Dead 43.18 (19)
    9 Red & White Sockets 40.9 (18)
    10 Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge) 38.63 (17)
    11 Never Going Back To Aldi's 34.09 (15)
    12 The Fight For History 31.81 (14)
    13 Quality Of Life Enhancement Device 27.27 (12)
    14 The Perfect Love Song 25 (11)
    15 Better Things To Do 22.72 (10)
    16 The Gay Train 22.72 (10)
    17 Good Luck In Your New Job 18.18 (8)
    18 The Symbol Of Our Nation 15.9 (7)
    19= Breaks In The Journey 13.63 (6)
    19= I Come From The Fens 13.63 (6)
    19= Payday Is The Best Day 13.63 (6)
    19= Tell Me Something You DO Like 13.63 (6)


    Top Twenty Songs Played At Solo Gigs
    Title % gigs (N)
    1 The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B) 93.54 (29)
    2= Boom Shake The Room 90.32 (28)
    2= Easily Impressed 90.32 (28)
    2= The Lesson Of The Smiths 90.32 (28)
    5 Clubbing In The Week 80.64 (25)
    6 Fucking Hippy 67.74 (21)
    7 Red & White Sockets 58.06 (18)
    8 Hey Hey 16K 54.83 (17)
    9= Billy Jones Is Dead 32.25 (10)
    9= The Perfect Love Song 32.25 (10)
    11 Good Luck In Your New Job 25.8 (8)
    12= Never Going Back To Aldi's 22.58 (7)
    12= Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge) 22.58 (7)
    14 The Fight For History 19.35 (6)
    15= I Come From The Fens 16.12 (5)
    15= Work's All Right (when it's a proper job) 16.12 (5)
    17= Better Things To Do 9.67 (3)
    17= Dino At The Sands 9.67 (3)
    17= Fly Me To The Moon 9.67 (3)
    17= Payday Is The Best Day 9.67 (3)
    17= The Drummer's Lament 9.67 (3)


    Top Twenty Songs Played With The Validators
    Title % gigs (N)
    1= Easily Impressed 100 (13)
    1= Hey Hey 16K 100 (13)
    3 Quality Of Life Enhancement Device 84.61 (11)
    4 Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge) 76.92 (10)
    5 Billy Jones Is Dead 69.23 (9)
    5= The Gay Train 69.23 (9)
    7= Never Going Back To Aldi's 61.53 (8)
    7= The Fight For History 61.53 (8)
    7= The Lesson Of The Smiths 61.53 (8)
    10 Better Things To Do 53.84 (7)
    11 Tell Me Something You DO Like 46.15 (6)
    11= The Symbol Of Our Nation 46.15 (6)
    13 Breaks In The Journey 30.76 (4)
    14 Payday Is The Best Day 23.07 (3)
    15= Boom Shake The Room 15.38 (2)
    15= Leave My Brother Alone 15.38 (2)
    15= Looking At My Hands 15.38 (2)
    15= Mental Judo 15.38 (2)
    15= Song For Cookie Boy 15.38 (2)
    15= The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B) 15.38 (2)


    Excuse me for saying so, but THAT is what i call some QUALITY FACTS!

    It also fills me with dread for when Tim sees it - as SETLIST MEISTER he is FOREVER saying we always play the same songs in the Vlads, and i fear this may prove to be AMMUNITION for his cause. Still, it's noticeable that there's a lot more NEW STUFF in the Vlads set than in my solo one. This is for two reasons: firstly we've PRACTICED the new ones a lot more and have only ever played a lot of the old ones as a band when we actually recorded them, and secondly - with a wider palate to choose from on my own I'm able to play more stuff that's already OUT and... er... available to buy from a friendly retailer at the end of the gig!

    Also, if you're wondering - "Song For Cookie Boy" is the cover of "Sugar Spun Sister" we playe (twice!) at Nic and Emma's wedding last year!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 10.2.06
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    News Updates
    Before we enjoy some more STATS, I have some NEWS ITEMS to share. First of all there's a couple of changes to GIGS - the gig previously thought to be at The Garage on April 13th is now going to be at The Luminaire in Kilburn, while I'm now NOT playing at The Harrison on April 15th, as they've had to move it in TIME and SPACE to another date which I can't do. It's a bit of a shame, and also WEIRD - there's so many days in the year when i'm NOT playing gigs, how come other things always seem to happen when I AM?

    Meanwhile, over on our Myspace Pages there's two NEW tracks up there. The first is the title track for "Warriors Of Nanpantan" which only appeared on the MultiMedia BIT. I heard it this morning and LIKED it, so that's up there along with an EXCITING PREVIEW of one of the songs from the new album. It's an acoustical version of "We Only Ever Meet In Church" which i recorded for Marcelle Van Hoef's show, at the same time as I did THE UBERSET. I think it's Quite Good, even tho it doesn't feature the GRATEST GUITAR SOLO EVER. For that I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the album version.

    Talking of which, we've pretty much decided that it's going to be called "We Validate!" now, while the old name "A Fridge Full Of Nice Things" is being used for the EP which will precede it instead. Tim has taken on the role of ARTISTIC DIRECTOR for both, and so far they are looking NICE.

    Finally, I went to a PUB QUIZ last night that was put on to celebrate Claire Dicko from Kooba's birthday. It was ACE, altho our team suffered the consequences of having me AND Johnny Yeah on it. When we started the other team members were AGOG - "Wow!" they said, "You two seem to know all the answers!" but they soon found out that SEEMING to know them is not quite the same as ACTUALLY knowing them. I had a LOVELY time tho, and even got a bit excited towards the end when the team who DID know that the last Prime Minister NOT to have a husband was Margaret Thatcher (and not Ted Heath) but DIDN'T know that the fourth square on the Monopoly board with a double L in it is "Go To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not COLLECT 200 quid". There was shouting, and indeed a little whooping. Pub Quizes are GRATE!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Underground Action
    A swift pop round the corner from work last night saw me at Chicken Royale, at PUSH on Dean Street in That London. Push is a tiny wee place which is, basically, a cellar, the sort of dark slightly NAUGHTY feeling DEN that you expect to find in Soho but which I, at least, don't ever seem to get to. It was a night run by Charlie and Asha of The Fighting Cocks, and i had been looking forward to it IMMENSELY.

    Soundcheck was fine, if a bit ODD cos the room is SO tiny that there's more room BEHIND the speakers than in front of it, but we all recited The Soundman's Incantation ("Lo, it'll sound find when there's some people in") and all was well. A quick bite to eat at Red Veg, a slightly less quick drink with my brother and pals at The John Snow (i LIKE that pub, it's like combining my CAREER in The Epidemiology with my HOBBY in The Booze) then back in time to find a lovely Modular Audience arriving.

    It's lovely having a Modular Audience - it used to be, long long ago, that there was A Crowd or A Scene of people that I'd ask to come to gigs. If you could persuade the Alpha Indie Kids to come them most of them would, but i rarely managed to do so. Nowadays I seem to get small groups of people in twos and threes coming, and it's REALLY nice. When ALL groups come, like they did at the Bull & Gate last year, it's a right proper CROWD, but usually I get a random selection of groups, and it's REALLY lovely as I can wander around saying hello - it's like a SOIREE really, and it's even BETTER when different groups meet each other again. I LIKE it.

    ANyway, The Fighting Cocks were on first and they were BRILLIANT. I know I always say that, but it's because it is TRUE. They sounded particularly GRATE last night, even playing some song unfamiliar to me, and it was a powerful ROCKING PACKAGE all round. They even managed to LOOK even better than usual - the ladies always make a big effort, of course, but this time Charlie was BESUITED and he looked positively DAPPER. They're off on tour next month too, so heaven help the rest of us when they return for LO! none shall be able to stand in their way.

    The only trouble was that I had to go on next, and I must say I felt a little inadequate. Still, i was BRAVE, and for once stuck to my plan of doing some different songs from usual, as follows:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B))
  • The Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers
  • The Symbol Of Our Nation
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • It was a FESTIVAL OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE! I noticed at the time there were a lot of "The" songs, but didn't realise it featured in all but ONE of them. Crumbs! It felt a bit SERIOUS in the middle, but I'm pleased I stuck with it, and still had my usual starting and ending songs to rely on, so it all seemed to go quite well in the end. The nicest bits were talking to people afterwards, many of whom hadn't seen me before and had come from Lands Quite Distant to be there, which is always appreciated. Also really nice was the fact that The Dates On My Calendar was there too, so I had someone to talk EXCITEDLY to about the past events on the way home, rather than having to either wake her up or wait until the morning. That was GRATE!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 9.2.06
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    Plans For This Evening
    I've had quite a bit of EMAIL about tonight's gig at Chicken Royale (PUSH, 93 Dean Street, That London), largely because the flyer says "8.30-01.30", which seems to have caused GENERAL PANIC with the idea of a LATE NIGHT. I say unto thee, FEAR NOT! For LO! The Fighting Cocks are on at 9.30pm, and then I'm on at 10 o'clock. I share you pain though, when Charlie from The Fighting Cocks told me about it i was filled with DREAD at the prospect of being up so late.

    I find it reassuring to find that The Fanbase is so similarly minded. A Mr Hewitt of London Town suggests that I should have AGE on The Rock Database so as to gauge the causes of this behaviour. If only!

    And for those who are not in That London tonight, might I recommend a listen to this week's Johnny Yeah Show on Kooba Radio? It's all very jolly as ever, and this week features ZIPCODES by ME, and a Fascinating FACT of STATS.

    Talking of which, more to come soon!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 8.2.06
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    Who'd've Thought It?
    I watched "The IT Crowd" on Friday night, and rather enjoyed it, and part of me DID wander, excitedly, if maybe "Hey Hey 16K" would appear somewhere in the background... and LO! here it is on their webpage! Cool huh?


    posted by MJ Hibbett, 7.2.06
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    Tables 1-3: Where The Magic Has Happened
    As promised, today we start the TABLES, with the first three showing the top ten (ish) venues for all gigs, then solo gigs, then Validators gigs. As usual, this is ONLY for gigs from 1998-2005 inclusive, as that's when full records are available. With those CAVEATS in mind, let's tabulate!
    All Gigs
    1. Bull & Gate, London (9)
    2. The Charlotte, Leicester (7)
    3. Victoria Inn, Derby (6)
    3. The 12 Bar Club, London (6)
    3. Jug of Ale, Birmingham (6)
    6. University of Sheffield Students' Union, Sheffield (5)
    6. The Adelphi, Hull (5)
    6. Bar Firefly, Leicester (5)
    9. Upstairs At The Garage, London (4)
    9. Fox & Firkin, London (4)

    Solo Gigs
    1. The 12 Bar Club, London (6)
    2. Jug of Ale, Birmingham (5)
    2. University of Sheffield Students' Union, Sheffield (5)
    4. Fox & Firkin, London (4)
    4. Bull & Gate, London (4)
    6. Upstairs At The Garage, London (3)
    6. Railway Inn, Winchester (3)
    8. The Durham Ox, Leicester (2)
    8. Orange & Blue Studios, London (2)
    8. Ray's Mum's Back Garden, Stourbridge (2)
    8. The Boardwalk, Sheffield (2)
    8. Betsy Trotwood, London (2)
    8. The Adelphi, Hull (2)
    8. Raffles, Derby (2)
    8. The Victoria, London (2)
    8. The Windmill, London (2)
    8. Sanctuary Café, Brighton (2)
    8. The Charlotte, Leicester (2)

    Validators Gigs*
    1. Victoria Inn, Derby (6)
    2. The Charlotte, Leicester (5)
    2. Bull & Gate, London (5)
    2. Bar Firefly, Leicester (5)
    5. The Adelphi, Hull (3)
    6. The Social, Nottingham (2)
    6. Carpe Diem, Leeds (2)
    * including gigs without full band but with one or more non-Hibbett Validators present

    As you can see, there's less than ten venues for the Vlads gigs, as all the rest are places where we only played the once, and I can't be arsed to put them all in. The main surprise in all this, for me anyway, was how highly placed The Vic comes, it's AGES since we last played there! Also, look how many venues appear in BOTH Solo and Validators top tens - ONE! I didn't realise the allocation of TYPES OF ROCK was quite that clear cut, but it's nice to know it's the very lovely Bull & Gate which is BLESSED with all varieties of our ROCK.

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    A Review
    I've just seen the first and only (as far as i know) review of THE UBERSET, in Vanity Project. It's rather nice!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.2.06
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    The Lovely Brothers
    I headed out to Camden on Saturday night to see The Lovely Brothers at The Bull & Gate, and had a LOVELY night of it. They'd only just arrived, as there were no trains from Brighton to London running (of course not! Who'd want to travel from Brighton to London on a SATURDAY for heaven's sake?!? Well done, once again, railway companies, for improving the network in such a sensible fashion!) so they were still soundchecking when I arrived. We sat down shortly afterwards for a BUSINESS CHAT, and after the financial and work function ASPECTS of them releasing their new album on AAS were dealt with they leapt straight to the VITAL Question that all bands on AAS ask: "Can we do a signing please? And can we have our photograph taken doing so?"

    A band that doesn't want to do this is, in my opinion, NOT a band fit to be on the label. Being more concerned about getting your photograph taken sitting at a table GRINNING like a gigantic Wazzock, possibly whilst smoking a CIGAR, signing a totally NOT legally binding document just because it looks like FUN, than about unit shifting, advertising revenues, and market throughput, THAT is what makes an AAS band an AAS band, and I was filled with a warm glow.

    This carried on through the evening. Later on I wandered into the PUB for a sit down for a bit, and realised that i MUST be getting well entrenched into adulthood and Looking Grown-Up, because the blokes behind the bar were PERFECTLY CIVIL to me, and even exchanged brief conversation. I didn't know whether to be pleased or distraught at a youth nearly lost. I sat there for a while and thought of all the other times I'd been to The Bull & Gate, whether to see bands, play a gig myself or, the first time I ever went there, quite by accident on a day trip to London, not realising what an important place it would become in my later life. I love the Bull & Gate, I don't think I've EVER had ANYTHING but fun and good times in there.

    Gentle TIP for increasing happiness of bar staff in there though: put up a SIGN telling people where the venue is. I was sat there for fifteen minutes, during which at least FIVE groups of people came up to the bar and asked where the bands were. The Friendly Man With White Hair said "Outside and through the next door" and then, if he liked the look of them, "Or, to be honest, you can just cut through the toilets". He didn't seem to MIND, but THINK of how much hassle they could cut out if they just put up a sign!

    ANYWAY, I wandered around a bit more, was pleased to find She Who Must Not Be Named and The Boy Malloy from KOOBA had arrived, and then we went in to watch The Lovely Brothers. They were, as ever, BLOODY GRATE, and it was especially nice to see them going down so well with all the people who'd hung around after seeing the other bands. It was PACKED in there, and they ROCKED the room.

    It was thus a happy Hibbett who strode home, and my Exciting Futuristic Nano IPod seemed to sense this, playing me a great deal of The Frightened Prisoners Of The Kraken, Johnny Domino, Lovely Brothers, and WINGS on the way home. "Venus And Mars" - hey! Now THERE'S an album we could have put out!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    GRAPH 5: Percentage Of Gigs In Each City, By Year
    I know I said I was going to do tables this week, but i had a GRATE idea for another graph over the weekend, so here it is. Today's graph shows the percentages of gigs each year that happened in specific cities:

    click here to make it bigger!

    If you click the graph you can see it a bit bigger... So, what can we see from the graph this time? Well, clearly I've done gigs in a much wider variety of places as time has gone by. This is because, of course, I have wanted to spread the love, and NOT because I've had to search further afield for places that would have me. That would be an erroneous, also naughty, conclusion to draw. We can also see that levels of gigs in London have remained surprisingly constant, not increasing in percentage in any great amount after I started living here, although gigs in Leicester itself have gone down a bit. The main thing though is that the lines get STRIPIER as time goes on - this is a technical term what I used in my day job, honest. STRIPIER. It means I'm playing in more different places.

    Hmm... i think i shall try and use that phrase in daily parlance. "How's the tour itinerary looking?" "Ooh, it's getting STRIPIER!" "Easy journey to work this morning?" "No, the Central Line was down, so things got a bit STRIPEY." "Did you enjoy helping your Mum with her Christmas Shopping?" "No, there is not a shop in Queensgate Shopping Centre we DIDN'T visit, i am totally STRIPED."

    Come on kids! Let's get STRIPING!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Away Supporters Only
    I headed North last night to Glorious Derby, there to go and see Half Man Half Biscuit in the company of Mr Frankie Machine. It was GRATE. We had an AAS Board Reunion, as Mr Whitaker was there too, and generally swanned around feeling very young, slender and hirsute in comparison to the heaving mass of Biscuit fans.

    It's always a bit of a funny atmosphere at biscuit gigs - you get a few of THE KIDS there, and a smattering of us Indie Types, but the majority of the audience are Older Blokes who look like this is their only gig of the year, and spend most of their time, money and energy following lower league football teams around the country. It does feel VERY MUCH like being in the Away End at some League Two ground - most people have travelled a good distance to be there, they go to almost every game/gig they can, and they all look a bit hard. None of them would ever START a fight at a gig, but if anybody else came in and did so you get the impression they'd LEAP on the chance to Sort It Out.

    It's also a bit weird because everyone looks DEAD STERN most of the time, but then when they go off to the bar you can see that this huge sweaty bald guy is actually singing along with every word. The only thing that's REALLY a bit annoying is that Bloke Who Shouts "What Did God Give Us Nigel" Throughout The ENTIRE GIG has obviously re-invested in a Season Ticket. For GOODNESS SAKE, they're NOT going to play it!

    What they DID play, however, was BLOODY GRATE. I'd gone off "Achtung Bono" after a few listens, but the tracks they played off it last night were BLOODY ACE. They also did TWO of my favourite songs of there's which they never/hardly ever play, at least not when I see them - "Doreen" and "Mathematically Safe". This last one was a bit of a shocker, as I'd confidently informed The Transformer Of My Scaletrix only yesterday morning that they NEVER play that song. Still no "A Country Practice" tho!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 3.2.06
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    GRAPH 4: Mailing List Members
    The mailing list for the newsletter currently stands at around 440 people... but where, in the big wide Real World, do all these people live?



    This is a MUCH simplified version of a graph showing ALL the countries people live in, but it was horribly complicated. Look out for that information in a different format soon though, when we do TABLES!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 2.2.06
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    GRAPH 3: Gigs By Month
    Continuing our excursion into STATS, here's a graph showing the time of year I've played most gigs:



    No surprises here - September and October are the busiest months for ROCK as that's when everybody's back at work from their summer holidays, all the students are back, and the festivals have finished. Similarly SPRING is busier than Summer, and December and January are QUIET because it's Christmas, also it is far too cold to go outside.

    Interesting Personal FACTOID: 2005 is the only year so far when I've played a gig in every calendar month!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Best. Mailout. EVER.
    The other day I sent out the latest issue of our newsletter and felt quite pleased with myself. I always put a bit of EFFORT into writing them, and thought it was quite good. However, yesterday i was SHAMED by a mass email recieved from the very very excellent LOVELY BROTHERS, promoting their gigs on Saturday in London (at which i shall be in ATTENDANCE) and in a couple of weeks in Brighton (which i shall be ROCKING). I reprint it below in all it's majestic glory:
    1. Do you like THE LOVELY BROTHERS?
    “Yes” – go to paragraph 2.
    “No” – go to paragraph 3.

    2. Do you want to see them play a gig?
    “Yes, of course, they are my favourite band!” – go to paragraph 4.

    3. Why are you on their mailing list then, you wally?
    “I’m related to them” – go to paragraph 5.
    “They got my address through illicit means” – go to paragraph 5.

    4. Where do you live?
    “London, that’s where all the cool people live” – go to paragraph 6.
    “Brighton, that’s where all the cool people live” – go to paragraph 7.
    “Somewhere else” – go to paragraph 9.

    5. Sorry.

    6. THE LOVELY BROTHERS are playing a gig in London this Saturday (Feb 4) at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town. Do you want to know who else is playing?
    “Go on then...” – go to paragraph 10.
    “No I only care about The Lovely Brothers” – go to paragraph 14.

    7. THE LOVELY BROTHERS are playing a gig in Brighton quite soon! It will take place at the Marlborough Theatre on Princes Street the Saturday after next (Feb 18). Do you want to know more?
    “Please furnish me with more details” – go to paragraph 12.
    “Do I have a choice?” – go to paragraph 12.

    9. You will not be able to see THE LOVELY BROTHERS unless you get the train. Alternatively, why not arrange a gig for us in your shed?
    “I can’t be arsed” – go to paragraph 11.
    “My shed is too small to house a neo-cabaret ironic punk band” – go to paragraph 13.
    “A theatre company have already booked it for their stage version of Wurzel Gummidge” – go to paragraph 17.

    10. MR G & RICH and some band called THE DUVETS. It costs £4. Do you think you’ll come?
    “Dare you question my devotion?” – go to paragraph 14.
    “No” – go to paragraph 15.

    11. Okay, but I’ll remember that next time you come knocking on my shed door.
    “What do I do know? You didn’t ask me a question?” – go to paragraph 16.

    12. Also on the bill is MC FASHION (An all-singing, all-dancing chav in need of Ritalin), and MJ HIBBETT (A protest singer for the geek generation). It costs £4 and starts at around 8pm. Do you think you’ll come?
    “Dare you question my devotion?” – go to paragraph 14.
    “No” – go to paragraph 15.

    13. What about your garage, then?
    “Look, I’m not interested” – go to paragraph 5.

    14. You are truly a good fan. Well done! To see how much of a fan you are, would you care to do a short test?
    “Yes, my liege” – go to paragraph 1.

    15. Why not?
    “I don’t really like neo-cabaret ironic punk music” – go to paragraph 1.
    “I’m going to a shed in Hastings to see a stage version of Wurzel Gummidge” – go to paragraph 17.

    16. I don’t know. What do you fancy doing?
    “I want to play a game about pigs”
    – go to www.pigfarming3.cjb.net
    “I want to read a story about Britney Spears”
    – go to www.collective-lust-of-mankind.cjb.net
    “I want to peruse THE LOVELY BROTHERS website”
    – go to www.thelovelybrothers.co.uk

    17. Really? I’ve always thought that would make a great show. Can I come?
    “No, it’s quite experimental, you wouldn’t like it” – go to paragraph 11.
    “No you can’t make it because you’ve got a gig to play!” – go to paragraph 18.

    18. I’d forgotten about that, where’s the gig?
    “The one in Brighton?” ­ – go to paragraph 7.
    “Or the one in London? – go to paragraph 6.
    It kept me busy for HOURS!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Living In A Theme Bar
    How MODERN am I eh? Not only have i got a MYSPACE, but I'm just now setting up the playlist on my NANOPOD! Ooh! Get Me! I actually caught myself thinking What Everyone Thinks When They Get An MP3 Player: "Why, there's music here I haven't listened to for AGES, what a marvellous contraption that enables me to surprise myself with my own music collection!"

    I feel like one of the extras in Life On Mars or something, like I'm SCENE DRESSING as part of some distant future costume drama. Quick, let's all download screensavers onto our mobile phones!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    GRAPH 1: Average Day Of The Week For Gigs
    Here's the first of the GRAPHS i threatened yesterday, it shows the average day of the week upon which I have GIGGED in every year since 1998, when full records were available. Sunday is counted as Day 1, up to Saturday as Day 7.



    As you can see, in 1998 I was generally playing gigs on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, moving up to Thursdays in 2004 and then, this year, to generally playing on a Friday. Obviously this year's data contains a lot of gigs that haven't happened yet, but I left it in because it looked good.

    What inferences, then, can we draw from this information? Mainly I think we can say that I am obviously playing more gigs that one might quantify as "Good". As anyone in BANDS and that will tell you, Sunday and Mondays are the quiet nights for gigs, and so tend to be Local Band Showcases, or run by promoters who don't mind if not many people turn up. Fridays and Saturdays are the nights that people DO tend to go out, so these tend to be the more sought after times to play.

    It's the same as the difference between first and second support and then headlining - it doesn't always make a difference to anything, and sometimes going on earlier/playing on a Sunday night can be a really GOOD thing, but as a general rule of thumb playing later in the week is BETTER.

    Of course, this all goes out the window when you're TOURING regularly, but I'm not! So hey hey - look at my graph! It goes UP!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 1.2.06
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