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Nottingham
Crazy scenes of ROCKING MADNESS last night in Nottingham, from which I have just returned, sweaty, knackered, but happy.

I got there half an hour later than planned as half of the London Transport system is currently CLOSED and also it was National Walk Really Slowly And Annoying Five Abreast DAY in town and I missed my preferred train. As it happens it didn't really matter as Tom and Tim were still rattling down the M1 with the BASS AMP that everyone was using, so i had a gentle pint with my colleague Mr Machine and Sam The Promoter and remarked upon the unusual FACT that pretty much ALL the venues that I've played in that have lovely proper real BEER-style BEER are in Nottingham, the other being The Maze. Anyway, colleagues arrived, chat was had, soundcheck was undertaken, and then it was HO! for CHIPS. Emma couldn't make it and thus her civilising influence was also absent, and we resorted to the CHIPS - OPEN - fiends we always were.

We went round the corner to The Fish Market, a proper looking chip shop that didn't sell fish (they looked surprised when people asked) or indeed anything that needed much frying, but DID do a roaring trade in WRAPS. Wraps! There were about 500 YOUTHS in the queue in front of us who got so excited about them that Tim got caught up in the madness and bought one himself. It took about half an hour to get served (NB this is true), as they had a RUBBISH system of Meal Creation which seemed to involve one bloke making millions of WRAPS. The chips were nice though.

GRUB consumed we fell to discussing THE TOUR, and oh what a mighty load of THORT we had viz locations, routing, driving, merchandise, stock management and accomodation. By the end of it i was quite worn out and relieved to retire to the venue upstairs where we found BLOODY LOADS of lovely people. It was GRATE, although a bit nerve-wracking. Things were running slightly late so as soon as Julian Donkey-Boy had finished we had to RACE for the stage, get set up, and play. And this is what we played:
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • You Will Be Hearing From My Solicitor
  • The Gay Train
  • Easily Impressed

  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • No, thine eyes do not deceive you, that IS an encore there, because it went BLOODY AMAZINGLY WELL. Whoo! Right from the OFF there was dancing, and as things got going there was LOTS of dancing, it was ACE. Usually when Emma's not there i don't DANCE as much as it feels a bit daft when you're the only one, but with other people at it i think we may have DRIVEN OURSELVES to lurid heights of BUSTIN' SOME MOVES. I got so excited by how much fun I was having that I forgot the words to "Hey Hey 16k" (as Frankie said, it's not like we play it that often), there were cheers AGANE when I announced "QOLED" and "Leave My Brother Alone" was just MENTAL. I was SO CLOSE to saying "Hey! You sing it!" as it felt like EVERYONE was joining in. All four of us were LURCHING ABOUT in the nearest we get to synchronised dance moves and got so carried away that, towards the end of "The Gay Train" me and Mr Machine enacted the ROCK CLASSIC: Leaning into each other and ROCKING OUT!

    Oh, it was a whole lot of fun. "Easily Impressed" got a huge and beautiful "OI!" and when we came back on to do "Billy Jones Is Dead" the room was aglow with MUTUAL LOVE. It was ACE! Afterwards he had a bit of a RUSH on t-shirts and then we settled in to drinking BEER. We're doing new Band Questionnaires as part of the new look website, with the most hotly debated question being "What are your top 6 records that you bought within a year of them being released?" and we discussed this heavily, stopping only to break off to thank and often HUG some of the many many LOVELY people who had come to see us. I have said it already I know, but it was a LOVELY night made lovelier by the people who came - and it happened in Nottingham! Who'd've predicted THAT?

    We watched Dressy Bessy, who were ACE in that American Band In England way that makes you want to GRIN and say "Oh shucks, YOU GUYS!" a lot, and then headed home into the night to drop Tim off at his home and me at Tom's. We had a cup of tea and watched 27 minutes of an old "Doctor Who" (a record for us in these situations), before retiring. I woke at 8am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep as i was TOO EXCITED about what a GRATE gig it had been.

    So, now for a bath and a kip before heading out on the Midland Mainline again tomorrow for Sheffield University in the afternoon and The Victory in Leicester in the evening. ROCK-A-HOOLA baby!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 30.4.06
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    The News Is Out
    As some of you may have noticed, it's The Last Working Day Of The Month, which means that this month's Newsletter has just gone out, reaching 450 people this time whoo! If you'd like to be one of these LUCKY LUCKY people, please head over to the Newsletter page and get yrself signed up, as in the next couple of months there's going to be all sorts of Exciting Things going on - possibly including BADGES!

    And talk of exciting things, today we APPROVED the final artwork for the album and the single - this means that PRODUCTION can now go ahead at FULL SPEED and, in theory at least, we should get copies of both within the next 10 working days. It all seems a bit bizarre to be honest, to think that we'll actually HAVE real live physical copies of the album so soon, it is a THRILL i cannot wait to ENDURE.

    Meanwhile it's all hands on deck for a ROCKING WEEKEND - me and The Validators are in Nottingham at Bunker's Hill Inn with Dressy Bessy on Saturday night, then I'm playing at Sheffield University Students' Union on Monday afternoon at about four o'clock then hopping on the Midland Mainline to play at The Victory in Leicester at about nine. If you're around, do pop along won't you?

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 28.4.06
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    Great Homosexuals Of Our Time
    As mentioned a while back, instead of doing that Hey Hey 64K thing, me and Mr And Mrs Manuel are going to be doing a VIDEO of "The Gay Train" soon, to come out when the ALBUM does. As part of this we're going to try and create CROWD SCENES using household implements, cuddly toys, action men etc etc, and I thought one way of doing this would be to create MASKS of some kind, featuring Well Known Homosexuals.

    Now, as also previously mentioned, what i REALLY REALLY want to avoid with this is doing ANYTHING that implies laughing AT people, or pandering to dreary old conventional stereotypes of The Gayness - that's NOT what the song's about, for one thing, and anyway it's a sneery sort of Easy Laffs attitude that i think we see too much of In This Day And Age. What I'm after is people who are GRATE and ALSO Gay, and I thought I might THROW OPEN the doors of THORT to people reading the site.

    My main examples are two GRATE HEROES of mine, Peter Tatchell and Russell T Davies (especially the latter as hopefully he will see the vidoe, become my new best friend, and make me the new ASSISTANT in Series 3 - this is BOUND to happen), but i just wondered if anybody else had some TOP QUALITY PEOPLE they would like to nominate? I'm going to be making the masks next week some time, so an early nomination would be helpful.

    Oh yeah, and also it'd need to be people who are actually OUT, LEST anyone gets upset and we end up in a Tom Hanks's Oscar Speech TEACHER Guy Farrago. Thus Matthew Paris: OK, Leading Film Actor That Even The Six O'Clock News Sniggers About: NOT SO MUCH.

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 27.4.06
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    ART!
    Sorry for the lack of updates lately, i have been WELL BUSY with doing the New Look Webpage and also the MAILING LIST. I think I've pretty much GOT every single local radio indie show in the UK on my mighty database now, as well as quite a few BBC National shows and - for CUNNING REASONS - some New York shows too. This last one was a bit spooky actually. I was looking through the schedule for one station and had NO IDEA which shows to send stuff to. Eventually I thought "Well, i like the name of this one, 'Three Chord Monte', let's HAVE them." THEN i realised i could GOOGLE the station's site on the off-chance that anybody'd played our stuff before... ONE show of the thirty or so came up, they'd played "Give us A Kiss For Christmas". It was Three Chord Monte! Ooh! SPOOKY!

    Maybe i am TELEPATHIC or something. We DID watch "Murder City" last night, and right at the start i thought "Maybe these two cases will be somehow linked?!? It seems KRAZY, but it is a HUNCH i cannot shake". Really i should go into CRIME DETECTION, it would be for the greater good of the nation.

    With all this going on, however, i still found time for some ART - my young brother is at THE ROYAL ACADEMY (yes, i know) doing THE ART so i went over to Kensington to see their Interim Show. It was Actually Quite Good: unlike previous student shows I've been to it WASN'T full of really annoying people who'd done incredibly obvious things, it actually had some LIFE and FUN to it, and Thomas's stuff had a really nice light WIT to it that, personally, i thought was GOOD. Some of the other stuff was dead good to - despite myself i really liked a SCALETRIX thing someone had done, where the cars had cameras on top and WHIZZED through Polystyrene CAVES. I felt like i ought NOT like it somehow as it was too easy, but it was GRATE.

    Some poor sod had made some window blinds by putting those tiny little paper circle ring binder stickers together into great big sheets. It looked like something massively painful and annoying to have to do, and also rather pointless as nobody realised it was THE ART, as it looked like window blinds. I expect at this juncture someone might say "AH! But AH! Don't you SEE? It is THE ART!" but it seemed a bit pointless to me.

    Oh yes, and THE BEER was quite cheap. ART! REVIEWED!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Billericay
    A tube and a train and I was in Billericay yesterday afternoon, Essex heartland, home of Harvey Proctor, and eerily reminiscent of the edges of PETERBOROUGH, at least to MINE EYES. It was a lovely afternoon, and I strolled round the edge of the town with bird song all around, it was all SPRINGY and DELIGHTFUL.

    I was there to play at the launch party for Phoenix FM's Creative Sessions CD, which has my solo version of "The Symbol Of Our Nation". The organisers had specifically told the manufacturers of the CD that it HAD to be ready for this gig and had given them plenty of time to do so, so of course, as is THE LAW in such cases, the manufacturers had messed it up and not got it ready in time. This sort of thing is like GRAVITY: it is a CONSTANT in the universe.

    Still, they had order forms for people and the gig was in full swing when i arrived to see Mr Charles Fighting Cocks enjoying iDou, new band of FRUITY from The Carters. The venue itself was a Community Centre, with obligatory basketball hoops at either end, so it felt like being on one of the minor stages at LollopaLooza, except with less tatoos and more small children running about. I said hello to Steve and Paul, the organisers of the event, CD, and indeed BROADCASTING LICENCE, and also to the nice chap from Creative Studio, who'd recorded all the bands. After doing 30 orso bands in three days I'd've thought he'd never want to look at a drumkit again, but he was a BRAVER MAN than I would have been in his situation!

    After iDou there was another of the local bands from the CD, then it was ME. Here is the setlist:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Girlfriend Alarmed
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • Quite a bit of UNUSUALLITY in there - I haven't done "Girlfriend Alarmed" for AGES, and that's the first time I've done QOLED on my own. It seemed to go OK - the band before me and all their friends LEFT as soon as I'd started, which pretty much HALVED the audience, and it felt a bit odd being MILES away from everyone (the tables at which everybody say were against the walls, so it really did feel like a festival gig, with a big GAP down the front and a big ECHO in the room), but people seemed to get into it and there was a LOUD if CHAOTIC "Oi! Hibbett!" at the end.

    Afterwards the PA guy said I was like "Early Jasper Carrott" which I took as it was meant, as a compliment, and then Charlie and me watched a bit of the next band before it was time for a LIFT back to the station for me to travel on my merry way home. It had been a slightly peculiar night, all told, but a GOOD one!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 24.4.06
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    Finsbury Park
    A brilliantly easy trip to the gig last night, made all the nicer by the fact that i caught the tube from one of my favourite stations, Russell Square. It is the SELFRIDGES of tube stations, i reckon, it feels GENTEEL and full of confused tourists, looking for doorways and tops of stairs to read their maps on.

    Finsbury Park itself is not the most salubrious of areas, although AMAZINGLY it does play host to an Actual Real CHIPPY, which is quite a rare thing in That London. Before i visited it, however, i went to the venue where all was in slight disarray. The Red Rose is a BIG room, it's pretty much exactly like a church hall, and of the same size, so immediately I was a little worried about how we were going to fill it. The Graham Parsnip chaps were there already, but the organiser (BEN from The Lovely Brothers) wasn't, he was stuck in a VAN in Brixton. We were meant to be getting set up by 6 o'clock but it was 7.30pm by the time they arrived, which meant we had half an hour to soundcheck five bands... I found myself EERILY CALM. Shamefully I'd thought "It isn't my fault if it doesn't work out", and SLUNK OFF with my SHAME to the chippy.

    I was right to be calm though, as everything very easily sorted itself out in that way that Good Gigs DO. Charlie de la Fighting Cocks arrived as did The Vinegar On My Chips, as did a whole LOAD of people shortly afterwards. By nine o'clock, our revised starting time, the room was FULL! I was AMAZED - OK, tables had been put out which always helps, but there were a whole LOAD of people there. HOORAH!

    After some jiggery pokery with the running order - Project Adorno hadn't arrived, so somebody else had to start us off - the Amateur Transplants guy went on. He was DEAD FUNNY - he's a Proper Doctor doing Musical Skits, which sounds the sort of thing that ought to REPEL crazy rock and roll rebels like you and i, but it was REALLY FUNNY. "Kit and The Widow!" said Charlie, but i was too anarchic and anti-establishment to know what he meant. Then The Graham Parsnip Liquidiser Torture Think Tank (project) came on, and were again ACE. They're such lovely chaps and it really comes across when they play, and they play HARD. Ish. It was MOST jolly though, and it worried me a little because I was on next - everyone was LAUGHING and having Fun Times, how was I going to go down with my Not Actually Comedy Songs? I decided to go for the LIGHTER side of my OUVRE, and here is what i played:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Back to THE UBERSET! I was very nervous for the first few songs and felt a little UNCOMFORTABLE, but by the second half i was BACK IN THE SADDLE and enjoying myself very much indeed. I was going direct into an AMP that wasn't mic'd up, which felt a bit weird as it was so LOUD behind me, and also most of the audience was sititng down, which took a bit of getting used to, but it seemed to go down pretty well, and it was a happy Hibbett who cavorted round the room handing out flyers afterwards.

    Finally The Lovely Brothers took to the stage and were their usual ROCKING SELVES. There seemed to be a bit MORE Performance Art in the show than previously, which i sometimes wonder about - personally I think they'd be best to wear no costumes AT ALL and go on with the appearance of a STRAIGHT BAND. This I feel would FREAK people out entirely and give MORE weight to the songs themselves, but HEY! it was a GRATE show whatever and especially the NEW stuff is rocking hard. Unfortunately we had to LEAVE during the last song for the Last Tube, but we did get to see The Magical Duck On A Fishing Rod, which is something i had not previously witnessed.

    A lovely evening then with a whole HEAP of lovely people - GIGS! They am GOOD!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 22.4.06
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    And They're Off...
    I went to the post office at lunchtime to send of the COMPONENTS for the single and album to the manufacturers. It's the culmination of the last several MONTHS of work and effort from the whole lot of us, and now all we have to do is wait! Next week hopefully we'll get the artwork proofs, then a couple of weeks after that I'll be doing the DELIVERY FANDANGO, sitting at my desk LEAPING into the air every time anybody comes to the front door in case it's MY DELIVERY! Wahey!

    It's EXCITING in an EERILY CALM way - it means it's all finally going to happen, and that i DON'T need to (and indeed CAN'T) do any more work on the multimedia, or get Mr F A Machine to redo a mix, or force Tim to resize any fonts. What's done, it is DONE!

    So now it's on to writing press releases, sorting out mailing lists, and trying to book THE TOUR! LET'S ROCK!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 21.4.06
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    Discography Enlargement
    Exciting news today as we welcome a NEW MEMBER to the Complete Discography: it's the Phoenix FM Creative Sessions CD! This is the stuff that they recorded at the beginning of the year in ESSEX when they had about 15,000 bands going through Creative Studio one every hour. My track is the version of "The Symbol Of Our Nation" that I recorded with the chaps from the station singing backing vocals, which I think went quite well. It costs a fiver plus 99p P&P, and it's all in aid of funding the station, which has just got it's full-time broadcasting licence - more details HERE!

    I'm also playing at their all-dayer on Sunday at Hannakin's Farm in Billericay, so if anybody's in the ESSEX area do come along won't you? I should be on about 7.30pm, I think. I shall ALSO be on in the LONDON ZONE again this Friday when I play at "The Most Pointless Night Of Your Life" at The Red Rose Comedy Club in Finsbury Park. This should be quite an interesting night, also a GOOD one as not only The Lovely Brothers but ALSO The Graham Parsnip (etc) Experiment are playing, BOTH of whom are ace. I'm doing a 20 minute set of the more jolly songs, though I'm not sure which those are yet!

    In amongst all this LIVE ROCKING I've also spent the past couple of days working on ADMIN. You'll be pleased to hear that the artwork for the single and album is in CMYK format now - I'm sure many of you will have been worrying about that - and that I've now FINALLY finished the fully discography for the new version of the website. It took a LOT of work that bit - I've been on a few CDs with VERY lengthy tracklists, which even the labels involved couldn't bring themselves to type out and put online, and an alarmingly large number of releases who only seem to exist HERE on this website. It is also a truth VERIFIED by experience (by ME) that the more bands you HAVE on a compilation, the more complicated their names will be, the longer their song titles will become, and the less sense any of them will make.

    You'll see what I mean when it all Goes Live hopefully - it does look rather good though!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 19.4.06
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    Lewisham
    After the KRAZY events of Saturday night I was ready for a bath and an early night but this was NOT TO BE for i had duties of ROCK in South East London, so i yawned my way along the DLR and then staggered down the road to The Fox & Firkin. I must admit that when Carl from 2Bob had sent me a TXT earlier in the day I'd been half hoping he'd tell me it was all cancelled, as i was DONE IN, but no - the show would go on!

    He's a nice chap that Carl, and we had a good old chat about the GOOD WORK he and his colleagues are doing down there. After he went to get things going someone else approached me. "Are you Mark?" he said - it was PHIL WILSON from out of THE JUNE BRIDES!!! He's bought a copy of the Work EP a month or so ago, liked my song, and then bought The Back Catalogue. I was all excited - here was a LIVING LEGEND of THE INDIE POP, at MY gig!

    Better than that, he was a really lovely chap, and I went and sat with him and his wife Pam for the rest of the evening, who was ALSO lovely. They were just GRATE people to chat to - we swapped tales of ROCK and then tales of Proper Jobs. Sometimes you meet people who've been in bands and then that was IT, they felt they've done ENOUGH and sail forth into later life nested in LAURELS, becoming increasingly bitter and hateful of anything that comes afterward. THUS it's LOVELY to meet people who've DONE all the Being In Bands Stuff and go on to do something ELSE. Phil and Pam are INFLUENCING THE GOVERNMENT, and Phil's even got his own TAX - he's saving the world with The Climate Change Tax, he INVENTED it. How cool is THAT? Answer: VERY COOL. How many other inventors of a TAX have also just had Jeffrey Lewis and The Manic Street Preachers of a tribute album to THEM? Not many, i shall warrant.

    Anyway, soon it was MY TURN, and this is what i did:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • She's A Spaceman
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • Work's All Right (if it's a proper job)
  • The Fight For History
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Peterborough All Saints' Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Easily Impressed

  • Boom Shake The Room
  • Once again I stuck to my guns and did NEW stuff, starting quiet and BUILDING UP. It seemed to go WELL, i had a REALLY good time doing it, and by the time I got to the UBERSET stuff in the second half ADRENALAINE was flowing through my veins and all thoughts of early nights and hangovers were GONE. You may notice a couple of odditied in there - i wasn't going to do "Work's All Right" but thought I ought in the circumstances i ought. ALSO the song "She's A Spaceman" may APPEAR new but is actually pretty much the OLDEST song i've mine I've ever done, as it was written in 1989 with Dr Neil Brown for VOON. Oh yes - it felt right to do it, so i DID. Halfway through the KOOBA KREW had appeared - they may have got there a bit earlier, but I only realised at that point, and things SWUNG. I was all chuffed that the New Stuff went well (and people seem to quite like "Better Things To Do", which is a relife - not in a "WAHEY!" way, in an "aaaah!" way, which is unusual for me, also NICE) and BOUNCED AROUND for quite a bit afterwards all excited about EVENTS.

    Suddenly the ADRENALAINE seeped out of my toes and i was KNACKERED again, so decided to get a TAXI home. It was AMAZING - he had the Sat Nav, which appears to be coming de rigeour in the futuristic panorama of life in the 21st Century, but also VOICE DIRECTIONS! I was settling into the back seat when a calm ladylike voice said "At the roundabout, bear right". "The wha... the who... whassat!?!?" i remarked, and we pulled over so he could show me how it worked. We programmed my EXACT ADDRESS into it, and for the next twenty minutes the nice ROBOT LADY guided us to my front door. It was like being in KNIGHT RIDER. Especially when we had to use the turbo boost to leap over the car of the corrupt sheriff, and thus saved the lone mother and her elderly father and young tyke of a son from having to sell their farmstead so that the big oil company could start mining and destroy the native american reservation. That was a really good bit.

    YEAH! In summary then: i was REALLY glad I made it, i had a BRILLIANT time!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 17.4.06
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    STAG!
    I got back on the train on Saturday afternoon and zipped up to Leicester for the STAG night of my good friend Mr C M Lawson which, technically at least, I was supposed to be organising. I've only walked in company to his house so wasn't entirely sure how to get there from the station, but the taxi driver refused to believe this - he kept trying to catch me out by saying "Is it left here?" and even though I said "I don't know - I've only ever walked there" he STILL said, at the end of the trip "How much do they usually charge you to get here?" I was not to be trapped - where is my MI5 application?

    We began with a tasteful glass of the whisky, then Mr Simon Wilkinson arrived and we headed off to The Pump & Tap. This is pretty much the ONLY pub LEFT in Leicester from our twenties - almost ALL of the others have been closed, changed to flats, or in alarmingly numerous occasions, DEMOLISHED. It's as if pub landlords would rather SCUPPER their own businesses than risk having VOON reform and come and play at them. For LO! it was a bit of a VOON TASTIC NIGHT - we were soon joined by Mr Jamieson Sutcliffe, who served time in the group many years ago and also Founder Member Dr Neil Brown. I'd expected much of the evening to be a nostalgic look back over those days, but rather wonderfully it wasn't like that at all. We discussed house prices and TAXES for ten minutes at the start of the evening and then settled into talking UTTER BOLLOCKS for the rest of the night. It was GRATE.

    Discussion moved to where we should go and eat - "we don't HAVE to have curry..." i said, but as soon as the words left my mouth i realised this was a FIB. Of COURSE we HAD to have curry - we were STAG! And more than that, we were on TRADITIONAL STAG - none of this rubbish about go-karting or camping or any of that, we were out for BEER! CURRY! BEER! DANCING! PROPER STAG! We wandered up Narborough Road and ended up at a place called Barcode, which was a bar AND a curry house, one of those places where the waitress comes and sits at your table to take your order, which I thought was rather nice. We NOTED that we'd arrived in UNIFORM - all of us (except for Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey who'd been delayed by watching Dr Who and so possibly hadn't recieved the stylists memo) were in Dad On A Saturday Night GARB - nice jeans, sensible shoes and a shirt with a SLIMMING STRIPE, not tucked in. We looked like a boy band reunion or, less kindly and more accurately, a line-up from Never Mind the Buzzcocks. We were SPLENDID!

    Curry done we wandered back into town for some more BEER before the culmination of the night - THE NIGHTCLUB! Oh yeah! We decided to go to THE FAN CLUB, scene of SO VERY MANY nights of our younger years. In those days we'd turn up, drink loads of beer, try to look at girls, not dance, and then go home depressed. This time it was very different - we had FUN. The whole night, in fact, was like this - we weren't re-living our youth, we were re-DOING it, and this time doing it PROPERLY. Bouyed up by the general jollity so far we all THREW ourselves into the dancing THRONG. The Arctic Monkeys came on pretty early, which we being Dads On A Saturday Night LOVED, and we spent the next couple of hours LEAPING AROUND and having a RIGHT GOOD LARF. Simon and Jamie got a packet of cigarrettes which only ADDED to the air of X-TREME KRAZINESS, and when they played "This Charming Man" young people SCATTERED as our arms came out wide and we SHOWED THESE YOUNG PEOPLE A THING OR TWO ABOUT DANCING. HA!

    It was a brilliant and lovely night, topped off by getting a taxi back to Chris's where a select few of us completed the stag experience by watching a Very Special Video. Oh yes! David Tennant's going to be GRATE isn't he?

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Kilburn
    THRILLING FACTS OF ROCK: It's really really easy to get to The Luminaire in Kilburn from my house: two minutes to my local TRANE station, two TRANES then two minutes walk down Kilburn High Road. ACE!

    The INTENSE DELIGHT continued when I got there, as The Luminaire is LOVELY. Every time you read about it everyone goes on and on about what a nice place it is, and it turns out that that's because it REALLY IS. When we got there one of the people who run it (BOTH of whom are dead nice) took me on a Guided Tour - i wondered why, but it turns out to be just because they are rightfully proud of what they've got. The Actual Venue's lovely, and backstage there's a proper big DJ booth with TONS of CLEAN space for bags and stuff, AND there's a proper real-live GREEN ROOM with plush comfy seats, CLEAN NESS, and FRESH TOWELS!! Fresh Towels!!! We couldn't believe it!

    The Pattisons arrived shortly after me, and Emma remarked how much nicer it is to be somewhere where the "dressing room" floor isn't covered in piss. She's such a Diva! Tim then made me... sorry, I happily volunteered to help Tim set up his drum kit, which the last band were also using, and then we sat around discussing crimpers and tour dates in that comfortable backstage room. It was lovely - Tom and Rob were stuck in traffic, the soundchecks were running late, but we were calm and relaxed as we had nice chairs to sit in and cups of COFFEE. It was LOVELY.

    This kept on being the case when we did the soundcheck, as not only is the sound system DEAD GOOD but the soundguy was a really nice bloke who was a pleasure to deal with - I have to say it's not THAT unusual a thing to happen as soundguys ARE generally quite nice (especially if you're not a complete arsehole - they react quite badly to that sort of behaviour) but they don't tend to be quite as RELAXED as he was - turns out this was because he didn't have a watch on. AHA!

    Soundcheck done we wandered down the road to SPEEDY NOODLE where we had some Very Quickly Served GRUB and REGALED each other with Tales Of The Road before returning to a venue that was very quickly filing with a broad range of LOVELY people. As I may have hinted, it was a very very nice venue indeed and this was only added to by the influx of generally nice people who came to see us - my dears it was like a giddy social whirl of wandering around chatting, it was dead nice.

    Anyway, soon it was time to tear ourselves away from the pleasant company and cosy seating arrangements and play our GIG, and this is what we played:
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Better Things To Do
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Fight For History
  • The Gay Train
  • Tell Me Something You Do Like
  • Easily Impressed
  • I had to SQUINT to read that, as for some reason our SETLISTMEISTER has gone down from A4 sheets to A7, perhaps it is for THE ENVIRONMENT? Anyway, the set was ACE - it felt REALLY good to us, Tom especially was DELIGHTED with the sound that he was getting, and we seemed to play the whole thing GOOD. I enjoyed myself because I'd brought RENIE, my Electrical Guitar, with me and THOROUGHLY enjoyed throwing SHAPES with it - there is a whole new DANCE during "The Gay Train", for instance. Oh yes!

    It was thus a Happy Band afterwards who realised that - AHA! - those Fresh Towels were going to come in very handy for de-SWEAT-ifying our more sweaty team members. There was more chat and then we watched "My Sad Captains" who were actually dead good - a lot more Proper Indie than I'd expected, in a VERY GOOD WAY - even though their guitarist looked like a bass player and their bass player looked like a guitarist. Sort it out eh chaps?

    The evening ended with discussion of our touring itinerary, hopefully at least some of which will feature The Fighting Cocks (Charlie Of Them came down and it was HEART WARMING to see that he had now got THE ROAD IN HIS BLOOD after their recent triumphant tour - THE ROAD, it is an ADDICTION!), before closing finally with Hugs In The Car Park. The Pouring Of My Guinness and I then made for the TOOB full of the joys of ROCK and looking forward to said tour immensely, for LO! it had been a LOVELY evening.

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 14.4.06
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    Jazz/Panic
    Today i am trying not to PANIC, because i have no reason whatsoever to do so. As I may have casually mentioned, we got the album mastered on Sunday, and in a week or two I'm going to send it off to the manufacturers so that they can go forth and multiply it. In the meantime all I have to do is create a new disc with the Multimedia bit on it too.

    PANIC! Usually this all gets done at the very last minute, with me spending hours SWEATING over whether it'll work or not followed by WEEKS of delirious FEAR that it'll all go wrong, as in many cases I don't have time to check things properly. I was convinced that "Warriors of Nanpantan" would come back as as data disc of mp3s the whole time it was out of my hands, and the moment when Tom put it in his car to play it for the first time and we found that it WORKED was, to say the least, a happy moment for me.

    But this time there's no need for fear and worry, I've got WEEKS in which to do it, yet already i am PALPITATING with DREAD. Yesterday I tried to copy it all over and found that my CD copier put standard two second gaps in INSTEAD of the ones we'd toiled so long over. The next time i tried it it took all the gaps OUT. AGH! NGG! DOOM! If i could work out how long the gaps SHOULD be then all would be fine, but it only shows up on my CD played as in Full Seconds. Does anyone know how i can get the exact gaps? Or another way to do it?

    As I say, I've got AGES before this needs to be done and PLENTY of AVENUES to pursue before DOOM sets in, so i guess it is just HABIT that is making me react this way.But the FEAR, my friends, the FEAR is REAL!

    In other news, i travelled to distant South East London last night to see The Bobby McGees at The New Cross Inn. They've got a double bass player now, which suddenly made them FIRM and MULTI-LAYERED, and also really JAZZ. It was dead good tho, especially one I hadn't heard before about going to France ("it's so far away it feels like another country") which sounded lovely. It was also lovely to see Mr Jimmy McGee GRAPPLING with the fact that things were going WELL and getting worried about it, it was a beautiful thing.

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 12.4.06
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    WE VALIDATE!
    Here we go then, as promised last week, this is the full and final tracklisting for WE VALIDATE!
    01 Tell Me Something You Do Like
    02 Looking At My Hands
    03 Better Things To Do
    04 Girlfriend Alarmed
    05 The Gay Train
    06 Dino At The Sands

    07 Breaks In The Journey
    08 The Fight For History
    09 Mental Judo
    10 Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
    11 The Lesson Of The Smiths
    12 We Only Ever Meet In Church

    Hopefully it'll be out at the start of July, with "Better Things To Do" coming a couple of weeks before that as a single. It all sounds GRATE!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 10.4.06
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    A GRATE Weekend In The History Of ROCK
    I was back on the Midland Mainline on Saturday afternoon and heading for distant DERBY, where we were due to do Many Things. First of all i went to the shop to get some BEER for later, then strolled back to The Music Shed for item ONE on our official agenda: BAND PRACTICE.

    Some things had changed since our last visit - there was, for instance, a big sign asking people NOT to go and wee behind the skip in the car park, which seemed a bit mean... or maybe someone needed a better view? - but most things were THE SAME. The huge piles of GEAR were still in the room we use, and the studio stuff that was going to be set up for use this time last year was still gathering dust in the corner. It felt GOOD to be back, and we LAUNCHED into practice by playing the ENTIRE NEW ALBUM from start to finish. We were a bit ropey in places, especially on songs like "Dino At The Sands" and "Mental Judo" which we've hardly ever played - "Dino" had NEVER been played by all five of us together, I don't think. It was also nice to be being a BAND again, and LARKS, also HILARITY, ensued as the always will in such company. My two favourite BITS of the evening were as follows: firstly, whilst playing "Quality Of Life Enhancement Device" Mr R Fleay RIPPED OUT a FANCY LICK, which i noted by saying "Oooh!" Hearing this Mr T McClure EASED THROUGH a ROCKING LICK on his electrical violin. We all turned to Mr T Pattison, who dutifully engineered a COLOSSAL FILL. Then we all giggled a lot, and felt pleased with ourselves, it was LOVELY. My second favourite bit was at the end, when we did "Hey Hey 16K". Mrs E Pattison wanted to try out a new vocal bit, and I think we all ENJOYED playing something that we KNEW quite well. It was also PLEASANT to go back and play the original verse, free of any HINT of Commercial Sellout.

    Happy and slightly moist with sweat we got into convoy, picked up Mrs Machine, and went for a BAND CURRY. This was GRATE. After that myself and the machines went back to their house for a NIGHT CAP of BOOZE.

    Not quite enough hours later myself and Messrs Machine and Pattison were together again at THE HIVE with Mr Robbie Newman, where we were gathered to MASTER the album and single. Rob had come down to make sure we got off to a flying start, but for some reason he didn't want to listen to the whole thing all over again. It seems strange - having mixed it all he's surely had hour upon hour of pleasure hearing every track hundreds of times, you'd think he'd only be EAGER for MORE. We did "Better Things To Do" and he FLED, leaving Tim, Robbie and I to WORK - Tom and Emma had already been EXCUSED pleasing having the aforesaid Better Things To Do.

    Over the next few very relaxing hours we went through the seventeen tracks needed, with Robbie getting things sorted, then me and Tim saying "Hmm, it sounds a bit Dobly to me - can you de-fuzz the middle?" and similar INCISIVE remarks. We MULTI-TASKED the whole way through, with Tim working on finalising the album artwork and me getting a bit carried away - after spending time asking for microscopic levels of extra treble on certain tracks it was very easy to then say "Can we have the second paragraph ONE MICRON higher up please?"

    By about 3 o'clock everything was done and we got to THE BEST BIT of the Mastering, if not the entire ALBUM CREATION PROCESS: THE GAPS! Now, some bands just say "Yeah, Standard Two Seconds Between Songs, that's fine with us, for we neither CARE about nor LOVE our listeners, and are happy to fob them off with thoughtless gaps", but that is NOT OUR WAY. We spent a very enjoyable hour or so making sure the gap between each song was EXACTLY the right length, AND that the track markings came at the right place. Robbie, bless him, was both patient and CORRECT about the whole thing, so that it now flows rather SUPERBLY, especially the tracks that have - oh my! - CROSS FADES between them. OH YEAH!

    We finished about 4.30pm, Tim dropped me off at the station, and I headed back to London with a MIGHTY CARGO OF ROCK! All we need to do now is make a few adjustments to the multimedia, finalise the artwork, get some QUOTES, and then next Tuesday (hopefully) send it off to the Manufacturers. THEN it's a few weeks updating our MEDIA DATABASE while we wait for the product to come back, then it's OFF TO THE POST OFFICE! It's all a bit strange to be honest, to think that this HUGE PHASE OF ACTION is coming to an end, and also that soon Other People will be hearing the ALBUM! After all this, I hope people like it...

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    New Set Alert
    A tube, a queue, a train, a stroll and I was at The Fans' Stadium, Kingsmeadow, in Kingston (That London) last night to play at the Give And Go Night with Mr Boo Hewerdine. When I got their I couldn't find the door, so waved my guitar through the window as ID and got let in. The Sound Guy was eager so I strode straight to the stage, soundchecked, and then sat down with a BEER and my book of Japanese Puzzles. Yes, i am THAT Rock & Roll, i have gone BEYOND Soduku before gigs, i am onto THE HARD STUFF.

    I was doing a PUZZLE when they turned the house lights down, so that self same Sound Guy very kindly brought me over a LAMP, like the sort he was using to see his controls, so I could carry on. I thought that was really nice of him! Mr Matthew Breach turned up shortly afterwards - I tried to show off by telling him I'd seen Denis Norden in town earlier in the day (and i had - it had really cheered me up too, he was a reminder of cosy Saturday evenings long gone with cups of tea and white bread cheese sandwiches round my Nan and Grandad's) and he TRUMPED me mightily by telling me about the time Omar Sharrif had rung his sister's doorbell. I was STUNNED.

    The venue was still fairly empty when the first act went on, which meant that the compere got to do a GRATE thing - first of all he introduced the band to the audience, then went round and introduce the audience, one by one, to the band. It was COOL. We sat and watched and chatted, and then i went to the loo three times in five minutes for LO! It had been over five weeks since last I gigged and i was getting THE NERVES.

    The compere went on and said "We love live music - we love the mistakes and the sweat" which meant, as I then pointed out, they were in for a TREAT seeing me, as there was going to be a lot of BOTH, as I'd decided i was going to do a NEW set. And i did - WITNESS:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Dino At The Sands
  • The Fight For History
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • CORKS! Now that's NOT an uberset is it? I'd actually meant to do "Clubbing In The Week" and end with "Easily Impressed" and "Boom Shake The Room" as usual, but I soon realised I wouldn't have time to play them so, rather than get scared and drop the newer songs I dropped the old ones instead. WELL DONE ME - GIG BRAVERY MEDAL AHOY! It all seemed to work really well anyway - I started off QUIET with a Very New Version of "Better Things To Do", which has never worked very well when played solo before, but now DOES. I was PLEASE as I've spent ages trying to work it out, as if we release it as a single I'm pretty much going to HAVE to play it. I then did the WORLD PREMIERE of "It Only Works Because You're Here" and, again, that seemed to go DEAD well. I REALLY like this song, so was CHUFFED to see people GRINNING back at me throughout.

    The only bit that didn't work very well was nearly stopping in "Dino At The Sands" to explain that the instrumental bit had a lot more on it on the album - that was a bit crappy - otherwise i had a GRATE time. It felt a bit WEIRD to end with "Peterborough All-Saints" tho, i had the uneasy feeling that I would have to start all over again.

    The room had filled up quite a bit by the time I was on, and there were lots of smiling faces. It was LOVELY, such a relief that the new version of the set had gone well. As I was packing away a Young Man came to speak to me, and told me that a) him and his mate had come specifically to see ME and b) that he recognised where my "Books Rule" t-shirt came from, and LIKED it. This made me Even More Happy, and I went back and sat down to watch Mr Hewerdine.

    He was BLOODY GRATE. The first time I'd seen him there he'd seemed a bit edgy, but this time he sat down, still wearing his specs, and just CHATTED between the songs. It was ACE, especially his hilarious Steve Earle/Soldering story, that was FUNNY. Also the songs sounded fabulous - you know when dreary sods at folk nights drone on for ages because they think they're the Bees Knees? Boo Hewerdine is what they THINK they sound like in their heads, he's to THEM as Belle & Sebastian are to ageing indie kids trying to be Twee i.e. the one who actually does it properly and makes it all WORK. I know some of the songs now so got to sing along with all of them AMAZING MELODIES and GORGEOUS TUNES. It was all 3D and TECHNICOLOUR, it really is like he's found a SECRET VAT OF SONG that nobody else has ever had access to, he's amazing.

    The best bit was when he rang Kev The Promoter, who last time had DUETTED with but this time was in a taxi on the way back from an airport. They tried to do a duet by mobile phone, which didn't really work, but was all round lovely just to see everyone trying. His mate Calum (i think), Formerly Of The Bible, was brought on stage to hold the phone for him - last time he played there this was the same chap who got dragged on stage to play a guitar that was neither tuned up nor plugged in, so ended up just sort of dancing, but he seemed to take it all in good humour, and was very nice to me too when I spoke to him.

    So yes, it was a LOVELY night. Mr Breach gave me a lift to the station and it was a very happy Hibbett who chuntered back to Waterloo and the long voyage home.

    And tonight - DERBY! Band Practice! CURRY!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 8.4.06
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    A Cracking Wheeze
    Excitement gathers here at Chez Validator, as we move ever close to COMPLETION. The multimedia is now in FINAL DRAFT form (i got up at 6.45am this morning to finish it off, and now am awaiting any amendments from Vlads), Mr Machine last night ALMOST completed the mixes, with his FINAL SESSION coming on Friday, and Tim now has ALL FUNCTIONALITY REQUIRED to complete the artwork. If all goes to plan we're going to be finished nearly A WEEK ahead of schedule! Give US the Olympics!

    With all this in mind, i've had a GRATE idea - on Monday, I'm going to announce the... sorry, i mean OFFICIALLY Announce The Tracklisting. With a press release, and EVERYTHING! Well, I listen to 6Music and there's always someone announcing something or other, and it's obviously NEVER as exciting as The Tracklisting To Our Album - NONE of them ever have The Greatest Guitar Solo Ever Recorded, for instance - so why not eh? We're going to go ALL OUT for publicity this time, so we might as well start early!

    Other ideas are troubling my BRANE too, and doubtless MORE will arise after Saturday's curry, so I say this: let us enjoy this last remnant of CALM, for LO! soon things will be MOVING!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.4.06
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    Progress Report: PROGRESS
    Though these webpages may exude an airy of icy calm and urban cool, beneath this thin veneer there is ACTIVITY going on like Nobody's Business, as we THUNDER MAJESTICALLY towards Sunday's mastering session. We've got a FINAL list of adjustments to be made, which Mr Frankie Machine is now embarking on. Only "Mental Judo" has anything large to be sorted out, a few other songs need TWEAKS and most of the others are DONE. The end is tantalisingly within reach!

    With that in mind we've moved on to arguing about the tracklisting... although, slightly disappointingly, this has all come together rather easily. We agreed some RULES for how this'd be worked out early on, and have been occasionally discussing it on our MESSAGE BOARD (yes, that's right, there is a Validators Message Board which we're using to sort all this stuff out ON THE INTERWEB. Brian Eno - SUFFER!) mostly with me and Tim going different running orders.

    Last night we had a bit more discussion which led me, this morning, to try out a new version of the running order on my futuristic NanoPod (oh Eno, stop your CRYING) which sounded BLOODY GRATE. I emailed Tim to tell him I'd put this new order on the BOARD, he emailed back to say HE had a new order too, which sounded GRATE also. We both readied ourselves for BATTLE... and then found out that we'd both come up with EXACTLY the same running order!

    Ooooh, Rather Spooky! Well, all right, not that spooky, but still it feels as if THE GODS OF ROCK are looking down upon us and smiling. We've ALSO got the cover for the single pretty much sorted out too, and in a LANDMARK FIRST for us, it features ALL members of The Validators, in photographic format. I'll post it up here when it's done. It's all very exciting though - our deadline for completing all this stuff is our gig in Kilburn next week, so we're WELL on schedule for me to have an Easter of NOT doing any of this, before we get going on manufacturing and Publicity Planning afterwards. If all goes to plan we'll be celebrating with a BAND CURRY on Saturday night - my dears, I feel we shall DESERVE it!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 5.4.06
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    DAMN YOU, CAMERON!
    He's at it again, somebody make him stop!
    David Cameron today refused to apologise for describing the UK Independence party as "fruitcakes", "loonies" and "closet racists".
    (from The Guardian)

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 4.4.06
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    Who's Bringing The Dry Ice?
    I headed up to Kentish Town after work last night - I like going up there, it's a place full of memories of GRATE nights out, pretty much all of which occurred at The Bull & Gate, but this time I was off to B3ta Towers to talk VIDOES.

    To summarise the current position: we were going to do an update of "Hey Hey 16K" to tie in with the launch of this joystick thing that had Commodore 64 games in it. That doesn't look like it's actually happening any more, but I'd sent Rob and Lucy From B3ta a rough copy of the new album and they'd become quite KEEN on doing "The Gay Train" instead. And now, on with today's exciting episode...

    Rob had explained their idea to me on email as me sitting in the middle of a toy train set, singing the song, with some Barbie Dolls. HOWEVER, when they explained it to me a bit more it became something more GROOVY - the basic idea is going to be that i am A Guy who went to the Pride Festival years ago, had a Life Changing Experience, and is trying to RECREATE the whole thing using Items from his flat to explain it. SUDDENLY i imagined it being like one of those "white room" vidoes from the 1980s, you know the sort of thing I mean, where there's the band, some props, and a lot of messing around. Billy Bragg and co in "Sexuality" is the example I would give - like THAT.

    We talked over IDEAS and it all sounded rather GOOD. I'd been a bit worried that if we were going for LARFS then it might go a bit "Ooh, The Gays! They are funny!" which is not the point of the song AT ALL, and I think we're going to be OK, especially if we get to have the choir of moustachioed teddy bear ANGELS in the middle bit. That'll be ACE!

    I left with a head full of THORTS, rather excited about the prospect of A PROPER VIDOE. It was only on the tube home I realised that, really, a Meeting With The Vidoe Directors is supposed to be a bit more... well, ROCK AND ROLL. Yes, it was nice to meet their young son, and also Rocky The B3ta Cat, and all was domestic activity and loveliness, but where were the tequilas? Eh? Were they out of SWIMMING POOLS in Tesco? Had no-one even ASKED Pepsi and Shirely to come round?

    Sometimes the Rock And Roll, it's not like on the telly. Now, where did i park my YACHT?

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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    Dance Fever
    In the midst of all the Record Company Business I got a text message AND an email from two seperate people, both telling me that they played "Things'll Be Different" and our version of "Boom Shake The Room" at "Don't Start Feeling All Romantic" at The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham on Saturday night. FANTASTIC! Apparently there was even some DANCING!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 3.4.06
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    Knackered
    You find me this Monday morning pretty much DONE IN, for LO! it was a weekend of High Activity and also some PANIC.

    It all started shortly after I sent out this month's Newsletter, which prompted a few EMAILS to fly... and it turned out we might NOT now be doing Hey Hey 64K, or at least not tied into the advert. Not sure which way it'll go yet, but I thought "Hey! We could still do it though, couldn't we?" As we shall see, I have changed my mind about this about 10,000,000 times, and shortly after THAT I thought "Or what if we did a DIFFERENT song instead?"

    I posted a copy of the nearly-finished album to Mr Rob Manuel of B3ta... who said he'd still like to do "Hey Hey 64K". I decided I might as well have a go at writing it, and spent a LOT of Saturday TOILING over it. I felt a bit dubious about the COMMERCIALITY of it, and DIDN'T want to just swap words over from a Spectrum to a C64, so tried to move it on and do something a bit different... in the end I was VERY PLEASED INDEED with what I'd come up with, so recorded a demo and headed to my computer...

    Where I found that Rob had GOT the CD, really liked it, and had loads of ideas for what we could do instead!! Obviously this was LOVELY and also something of a RELIEF (especially after last week when the PR Lady we'd sent it to didn't really like it - OH MY but my tender artistic ego is susceptible to such things) and he DID have some exciting ideas, but it threw me into CONFUSION and PANIC. What should we do?

    And of course the best way to DEAL with confusion and panic is to spread it around a bit, and THUS began a whole SERIES of increasingly DERANGED emails sent to The Validators. We're booked into the studio next weekend to do SOMETHING, and I oscillated wildly between wanting to record "Hey Hey 64K", have it on the new single and album, and GO for the Commercial Angle, or alternatively having something ELSE on the single and video.

    It was only at a quarter to midnight last night, after a LENGTHY discussion with The North In My Compass (who is VERY good at this sort of thing) and half an hour of lying wide awake in bed thinking about it that actually i didn't need to do ANY of those things. We could release "Better Things To Do" ALONE as the single, and let whatever Rob wants to do as a VIDOE do it's OWN work. After all, it'll still be on the album. Alongside that we can LEAVE "Hey Hey 64K" for now and come back to it if we ever need it - we don't NEED an extra song on the album as it's sounding pretty bloody GRATE as it is, and in some ways sticking something else on the end could be a bit of a SELL OUT. Far better really, as far as INDIE CRED is concerned, to stick with what we've already got. After all, it IS really DEAD GOOD!

    So far The Vlads seem to be DOWN with that opinion, especially as it means that we can now use our studio time next Sunday to MASTER the album and single! That means we've got to get the mixes and tracklisting sorted this week, but rather astoundingly it means that SUDDENLY we'll have FINISHED it, several weeks ahead of when we thought we would! We'll have LOADS of extra time to get the manufacturing sorted out, AND we can get started on thinking about EXCITING things like THE TOUR!!

    Also, while all THAT was going on, my fingers were flying across the keyboard working on the Multimedia bits for both the single and the album, both of which are now BURNT onto CDs to go to The Vlads for final checking. I've been working hard on both of these for MONTHS now, and it was a very strange sensation at about five o'clock yesterday to think "Hang on, I've pretty much FINISHED this!" There's bits and bobs to correct and some changes to make here and there, but we're really at the FINAL DRAFT now - how did THAT happen?

    I REALLY hope people read the Multimedia when the CDs come out, there is a TON of stuff on them. The album's got a lyrics, LENGTHY sleeve notes, recording credits AND at least one demo version for EVERY song, plus loads of photographs, several BIG articles, mini-interviews with all of the band and... well, all sorts of things. I am PROUD of it.

    So, today I'm sending out CDs of the Multimedia to The Vlads for checking, tonight I'm off to meet The Ginger Fuhrer to discuss IDEAS, and then the rest of the week will be spent going over MIXES and - if there's time - having a practice ready for my GIG on Friday. Yes, a GIG! You know, that thing that people in BANDS do!

    posted by MJ Hibbett,
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