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Beach Ready
Right then, I'm at home today getting PACKED UP, for LO! tomorrow i am off on HOLIDAY. Hopefully I'll be able to get online sometime to send the newsletter out, but otherwise things are likely to be fairly quite on here for the next seven days. The SHOP will remain open though, and I'll post any orders out when I get back.

OK then, have a nice week - I'm off to the BEACH!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 22.9.06
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Whatever next?
I was AGOG at the NEWS today - what kind of crazy world do we live in? First of all there's that guy off of Top Gear. Apparently doing REALLY DANGEROUS THINGS is - get this! - REALLY DANGEROUS!!! AMAZING! They had an expert on the telly to say that driving at hundreds of miles an hour is actually DANGEROUS, which I obviously knew, but he then went on to say that the trouble with DANGEROUS THINGS is that there's a risk of DANGER in them, sometimes the kind that hurts!

As you can imagine i was REELING from this news, when I saw a report from a school that reported that - you may wish to brace yourself for this - Teenagers can be a bit ARSEY, and give the choice between food that's good for them and food that a) isn't and b) is a bit cheaper, they MAY sometimes go for the latter option. I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE MY EYES AND EARS!! I mean - teenagers? Being arsey? And not necessarily doing the best thing for them, but instead doing something which will make them look "hard" in front of their idiot friends? ZOUNDS!

Happily it's nearly the weekend and we can all look forward to enjoying the innocent, incident free and completely above board and uncomplicated world of The Football. PHEW!

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The Halls Of Validation
I'm pleased (and RELIEVED) to announce that after MONTHS of Not Getting Round To Doing It, THE HALLS OF VALIDATION are now open for viewing!

For those who don't know/remember, this was a SCHEME i came up with prior to the release of WE VALIDATE!. It seemed like a good idea, at the time, to try and get people to buy the album from SHOPS as, so the theory went, this would make retailers think "Oho! A Phenomenom!" and stock LOADS, so that then OTHER people would pass by and think "Aha! What's this? Perhaps i shall buy it, as a CASUAL PURCHASE". HOWEVER it's actually a LOT easier to buy our stuff via Amazon or, better yet, DIRECT from us, so in order to REWARD people who could be bothered to order it from shops I offered free BADGES and a copy of The Uberset to anybody who could supply photographic documentation that they had done so, and ALSO, of course, IMMORTALITY in THE HALLS OF VALIDATION!

It didn't seem to have much effect! I know a few people DID go and buy copies from Proper Shops, for LO! i have seen the sales sheets from our distributors, but it doesn't seem to have caused a Casual Buying RUSH, and most people who, very kindly, bought a copy, did so from us or from Amazon. In retrospect it was a bit of a KRAZY IDEA really, but i SALUTE the people who did so - they were Mr Albert Wesker, Mr Mark Penrice, and Mrs Wilson (mother of the legendary Phil) - HEROES one and all!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 20.9.06
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Last One On One
It was Steve Lamacq's final Lamacq Live last night - a big occasion as it marks the end of one of the final BASTIONS of the anti-Hairy Cornflake LEAGUE on Radio One, as it gradually turns itself BACK into the "personality" and anti-music station it was during my YOUTH. HOWEVER, a NICE thing about it was his choice of FINAL SONG - US!!

YASS, the last hour of the show was a selection of some of the best sessions from Maida Vale, and for his PENULTIMATE track (the Online Tracklisting got it the wrong way round) he chose "You Know I Love You" by Pigeon Detectives - aaah! And then for his LAST EVER SONG on the show he played US doing The Lesson Of The Smiths! COR, eh? Also, COOL!

I must say it seems an odd choice tho. You'd've thought he would have chosen a song that could be seen to comment in some way about the fact he's leaving the show and his opinions about it, wouldn't you?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 19.9.06
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Sailing Under Two Flags
AVAST and YARR to one and all, SCURVY KNAVES OR NAY on this, International Pirate Day. If any of you ARE Pirates I hope you are having a lovely time, whether you be the type of pirate who sails the seven seas or, especially, if you're the sort who just stands around in pubs holding badly photocopied DVD covers, looking slightly depressed - not surprising really, i think i TOO would be depressed if I'd signed up for a life on the ocean wave and instead found myself trying to shift illegal copies of an Adam Sandler film.

ANYWAY, YO HO HO to one and all, for today is the day we commence CLONING this here blog. Me hearties. YASS, after much thought and a quick DRY RUN yesterday, I've decided I'm going to start sticking the daily BLOG bit over on the MYSPACE as well as the Usual Blog. My mentor ... sorry, CHIEF SWAB of Myspacing, Charlie Flowers of The Good Ship Fighting Cock, keeps telling me i gots to WORK the Myspace, so I thought this'd be as nice a way as any.

SO, if you're reading this in the usual place, FEAR NOT, all shall remain the same, and if you happen to be one of the YOUNG PEOPLE and are reading it on MYSPACE, why not pop over to www.mjhibbett.com when you've got a minute, and see all the exciting OTHER stuff we've got available?

Right then, I'm off to... um... splice the main brace?

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More Gigs
I've just had a bit of an update on the GIGS page, to add in trips to Cleator Moor and Woodhouse Eaves. The LATTER is the grand return of The Validators Christmas Party, which was so GRATE a couple of years ago. We're not sure whether or not we'll have ALL The Validators there, as one of our number is currently MOVING PENTHOUSE to a new SUITE, but however many of us are there it will surely be FULL OF FESTIVE CHEER. Cleator Moor, meanwhile, is almost definitely going to be the most ISOLATED AREA we've ever played in (NB not including times when the venue area has BECOME isolated once we've taken the stage) and as such is going to be a bit of an EXCITING ADVENTURE for me and Mr McClure to get to.

There's a few other gigs pending too - we'll hopefully be playing SOMEWHERE on October 12th (maybe Edinburgh, if not London) and MAYBE in Newcastle on October 14th if we can sort it out, and then there'll hopefully be a midweek ROCK EXTRAVAGANZA in Reading before the end of the year. I and/or WE would also be up for a LONDON gig towards Christmas time too - we got offered one somewhere lovely this very weekend, but unfortunately it clashed with Woodhouse Eaves... as is always the way.

ANYHOW, that's the ROCK ACTION update - more as we get it!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 18.9.06
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Enter Sandman
As promised the other day, I've put the first of my regular columns for Sandman Magazine up in the ARTICLES section. As there'll be at least three of them I thought I'd keep them all together, so if you look in the Tales From The Conference League bit you'll find the ARCHIVE of... well, just the one article so far, but there'll be more as time goes by!

I wasn't sure what they wanted me to write, so decided I'd do Lessons Learnt By ME From My Experiences In Conference League Level Bands, hence the title. ALSO hence the fact that it's basically a slightly better spelt and a LOT better proofread version of this blog, really, only usually written over the course of a weekend rather than as fast as my typing fingers can do it. The first one has, i think, quite a Good Point to make, see what you reckon!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 15.9.06
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Fortuna Pop Sells Out
I stayed at work late last night and had a THRILLING time Cleaning Data. I actually really enjoy this sort of thing, it's like DETECTIVE WORK trying to work out what's going wrong... even though usually it turns out to be ME that is the thing that's going wrong. With my BRANE ABUZZ with EFFORT I set off to Spitalfields to meet Mr Charlie De Fighing Cocks at a pub he's recommended called the Ten Bells. I read a review at Fancy A Pint that said it USED to be good but is now full of BUSINESS TYPES, and it turned out to be true. I was strolling there full of GRATITUDE for the new covered over market during a massive rainfall when Charlie rang to say it was full of BUSINESS TYPES, so we should go straight to the Spitz instead, where we were hoping to see The Lucksmiths, MichaelMas, and The Grave Architects, ALL of home I wanted to see. We met up and did just that... only to discover it had SOLD OUT.

CURSES! What is it with gigs these days and SELLING OUT? The last three or four I've been to have so done, what is the STORY eh? Luckily I've EITHER had tickets OR been playing at the last few so all has been well, but not so this time - ANNOYINGLY I saw Sean Fortuna Pop! on Friday night and could have maybe BLAGGED Guesty Places if I'd thought, but didn't. Whatever happened to gigs being empty deserts of DESPAIR?

Undeterred we drove back past the original meeting pub (all reviews appeared CORRECT) and then across town to The Bull & Gate, where we had a lovely night Setting The World To Rights (variously) and enjoying the sweet sweet nostalgia of watching other people doing their first gigs. You could tell this was the case for all bands playing last night, as there was an unusually large number of Proper Grown-Ups there, wearing their casual trousers and looking slightly uncomfortable, almost as if they HADN'T spent the past decade going to gigs.

On our table we found a flyer from one of the bands BEGGING their friends to turn up as "this could change the lives of all members of the band." We sort of worked out that they must have thought The Bull & Gate is always full of A&R MEN who, as everybody knows, are ALWAYS on the lookout for bands with a Committed Fan Base, also Attitude. The only problem I had with this particular band were that they were a particularly annoying KEANE rip-off, including not just line-up, song stylings and tunes but also on-stage poses and CLOTHING. I fully expect the singer to be dutifully hunting round for DRUGS in order to fulfill his emulation. I much preferred the second band on, who were similarly A Bit Ropey but at least sounded a bit original and were enjoying themselves in a half-arsed way. I LIKE bands who play Half-Arsed on stage, it's so BORING these days when EVERYONE you see is Uber Competent. Eeeh, when I were a lad that sort of thing was frowned upon, Bar Chords were illegal and being seen NEAR the black notes on a piano was punishable with a FLAYING.

So yes, we had a really good night discussing this and various topics - Gigs are GRATE, even (sometimes ESPECIALLY) when you don't see any bands!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 14.9.06
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The Mystery Train
After all the ROCKING and ROLLING that had been going on in the week I was looking forward to a bit of DOMESTIC RELAXATION over the weekend, and ended up having a LARGE DOLLOP of the above - myself and The Extra One Free In My BOGOF went supermarket shopping together, spent a LOVELY evening out in a PUB (on a Saturday night too - WHOO!!!), and even went for a bit of a WALK to enjoy the Indian Summer STYLE weather. It was GRATE!

Do not think, however, that THE ROCK was ignored during this time of BLISS. No indeed, for LO! I had WORK to do, including writing my latest column for SANDMAN and then finishing off a new song, The Mystery Train, which has lyrics and also long rambling annotations online now. There's quite a few song ideas RUMBLING AROUND at the moment, so hopefully there'll be a few more up soon!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 12.9.06
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The Language Of Flowers
It was a bit of a rarity for me on Friday night, as I went to a gig JUST FOR FUN. Not because any pals or people I knew were playing (although, as it turned out, some were) or because I thought I ought, or owed somebody a Gig Attendance, or even because I was playing MYSELF - this time I was going JUST because I wanted to see The Language Of Flowers. I got their album last year after hearing bits of it on Mark Radcliffe, and have since played it REALLY A LOT because it is SO VERY GRATE. They were supposed to play at The Buffalo Bar a little while ago and I was WELL displeased when it got cancelled, so got myself all excited at the prospect of finally seeing them. My excitement was slightly diminished by my MASSIVE HANGOVER from the Brighton gig (a bit MYSTERIOUS as I hadn't drunk THAT much), but only by a little bit.

I was also quite pleased/relieved to discover they were on SECOND, with The Gresham Flyers on first, which meant that I could see BOTH bands I wanted to and then nip off to get home and to bed at a reasonable hour. Er... I mean, nip off to an opium den to drink Jack Daniels and do KUNG FU. Yes.

The Gresham Flyers were as FUN and POPPY as ever, though they seemed to think they'd been BELOW PAR. It later arose that they thought this partly because there'd not been time for a soundcheck, and they felt unprepared. I found this a bit surprising, then realised that, although the confidence and General Demeanour of the band members leads one to think they are ROCK VETERANS the band itself is actually fairly YOUNG, and I think many of them haven't GIGGED that much beforehand, so tho they occupy the body of a HARD ROCKING COMBO inside they are actually about 19 years old and only just being allowed to play the Local Band Showcase (FREE ENTRY). THUS I suppose that up until now they'll have had the EASY LIFE that you DO tend to get for your first gigs, after which any MISHAP seems like HIDEOUS DOOM. BLESS! Don't worry chaps, if all goes well within a year or so you will come to view CALAMITY, DISASTER and DASHED HOPES as familiar companions on the ROAD OF ROCK, and LARF MERRILY at the memory of such minor setbacks! YARR! CLIMB ABOARD THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, ME HEARTIES!

Sorry, got a bit carried away with my own ROCK HARDNESS there. What I mean is, it was actually quite sweet to realise that they were feeling that way, and charged me with an odd little FRISSION of NOSTALGIA for the days when VOON would be wracked by CRISES at every gig. The only CRISES we face these days tend to be when the singer is having a strop because he's not got enough BRANDY...

ANYWAY, that little vignette over with, it was time for The Language Of Flowers to come on, and they were UTTERLY GRATE. They took AGES to get started, as there was much nervous fiddling around with tuning, and also going to the toilet, so much so that I started to get a bit annoyed. I thought they were being DIVA-ISH, but it seems they were just A BIT NERVOUS. Once they began tho it was AMAZING - the first three songs were all off of the album, and it reminded me how BRILLIANT it is going to gigs. I knew all the words, and to hear those VERY familiar bass and guitar riffs peeling out behind the vocals... well, it was very exciting INDEED. To me they're MASSIVELY FAMOUS and I always forget that, actually, not that many people have even heard of them, but on Friday night it felt like soon EVERYONE would have to know and LOVE them. The middle bit featured songs I didn't know, which to be honest took the wind out of me a bit, but then they finished with more from the album and it was back to it's TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING best. It was really them, I was really watching them, and it was really BRILLIANT!

The only disappointment was that I couldn't find a merchandising stand to buy the How Does It Feel To Be Loved compilation from, which was a bit daft as it was meant to be the Launch Night for it. I would have tried to complain to somebody, but goodness knows I've forgotten to set one up (or, more usually, decided I couldn't be bothered) enough times in the past, so decided to look for it online later, which i did, and bought it too!. I went home KNACKERED, but very happy - gigs are GRATE, aren't they?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 11.9.06
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Brighton
It was off to London Bridge and thence SOUTH to Brighton for me last night, followed by a very short stroll down the hill to The Albert, to play me a GIG. I said hello, soundchecked, had a beer, and watched a bloke being thrown out of the pub by several annoyed looking barstaff. He left shouting threats, then turned to a bunch of people sitting outside and shouted "I HAVEN'T GOT A CONTRACT WITH CHANNEL 4!" Only in Brighton, I feel, is this a point which needs to be made clear.

Soon it was time for me to play, and this is what I played:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Dino At The Sands
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Fight For History
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Clubbing In The Week

  • As ever in Brighton, it was a FUNNY OLD GIG. I've been determined to CRACK Brighton for ages - it's so easy to get to, it seems rude not to try, and I really like the feel of the places, but unlike, say, CAMBRIDGE, I don't feel I've ever got very far. For instance, I know LOADS of people in Brighton and yet this time none of them at all came along, altho Jimmy from The Bobby McGees did send an EMISSARY in his place, bless him! Also very few people ever seem to turn up on purpose - this time there was a couple of people, including an old pal of Emma, but otherwise it seemed to be all for the other band on. Neither of these things should really make a difference, and really it is just me being WEAK and also ROCK STAR PAMPERED to even think of such things - the big thing I always feel about Brighton Gigs is that the audience is always a bit stoney faced. People clap and that, but when I do bits that NORMALLY get a LAFF or SMILES in the room, in Brighton i get GLARED AT.

    HENCE the set changed a bit as it went through - planned attempts at The Gay Train and We Only Ever Meet In Church were replaced by songs I felt more confident about, and I swiftly decided to do Clubbing In The Week as the last song instead of risking Audience Participation Failure (again!) with Easily Impressed.

    I must say I rather got INTO the gig as I went along, and enjoyed the STONEY FACEDNESS of it all as a CHALLENGE, but when I came off stage I thought to myself "Maybe I should CEASE my CRACKAGE attempts?" I got myself a (LOVELY) pint of BEER (Pullman's Bitter, it's GRATE) and went back upstairs, thinking only of how long it was until the train came. Truly, at this point, i was as arms folded and face glaring at Brighton as, I thought, Brighton had been to me.

    BUT THEN - someone accosted me on the way in to say how much they'd enjoyed it. I got talking to the aforementioned couple featuring Old Friend of Emma, who both seemed to have liked it, and were dead nice people ALSO. During that a couple MORE people came over specifically to say they liked it, and then the soundman did too and then... well, then I felt a bit PLEASED and also a bit of a TWIT in my ROCK STAR HUFFING.

    As I went to get my train home, much happier now that I'd had the EGO FLUFFED a bit, I realised that it was much the same as when I've played Hull, another place where I've thought I've DIED on my FUNKY ASS, but then had people all chuffed afterwards. Maybe it is a SEASIDE thing, that the COLD SEA BREAZES make people more reticent in their applause. I don't know, but I take it as a LESSON to myself, not to get so arrogantly upset about a percieved lack of PLAUDITS, rather to just ENJOY what I'm doing and wait until afterwards to see what people think.

    This is the kind of telling off I've given myself MANY times in the past, but I never seem to listen! Oh well - it's about five weeks until my next gig now, let's see if it sinks in!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 8.9.06
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    Postbag!
    I was just about to post a comment REPLYING to a comment and realised I've not done an Answering Comments BIT for a while, so let's do that instead shall we? Here's some ISSUES raised in the comments - Let's GO!

  • First of all DAN said, re. the Plan B review yesterday: "That would be from up North London somewhere, I presume. " Well, Peterborough IS North of Brighton... but then so is everywhere apart from Cornwall, I guess.

  • Francis Albert Machine attempts to correct my remarks about The Beatles with "it's 'thoughts about how GRATE The Beatles WERE' not 'are' - they split up ages ago - get with it daddio!". For ShAME! they are STILL GRATE, that has not changed!

  • Simon asked about "Boom Shake The Room" after my Secret Garden Party GIG - it's on The Uberset! Also, no, sorry, Boo Hewerdine didn't make me a brandy tea. I'm sure if he had tho it would have been LOVELY.

  • ROCK Covers and indeed ANY cover version requests, are always welcome - I'm hoping to go back soon-ish to Sonic Studio to record some more demo tracks and will DO ONE if there's time. A cover, that is. Not go MENTAL BAD CRAZY.

  • In response to my new song about names being spelt incorrectly Jon asked about the spelling "HIBBERT" being used on the multimedia ASPECT for WE VALIDATE!. The sad, sad truth of the matter is that this was done on purpose by Mr Frankie Machine, as he thought it was funny. I know. He is one crazy guy.

    That SEEMS to be all the ones that need answering - thanks VERY much to everyone who DOES leave a comment, by the way, it's always EXCITING when they arrive in my inbox, and it's always GROOVY to know that someone's reading my MIGHTY THORTS!

    Right then, I'm off to Brighton in a bit - SEASIDE HO!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 7.9.06
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    Stocky?!?
    PERUSING the magazine stands in Borders today I discovered the following review in Plan B, of our gig in Brighton:
    He's stocky, personable, from up North somewhere. He wields a guitar and sharp observational lyrics like a man born and bred on John Peel's eighties shows (Serious Drinking, I Ludicrous, The Wedding Present). He has a femal mate upfront, colouring in his shouted exhortations with the odd "la-la-la" and "do-be-do". He engages the audience in banter about the forthcoming Pride march and the confusion of out-of-towners surrounded on public transport by lesbian activists ("The Gay Train"). He sings pellmell, 500 miles per hour, about not driving, or flying, or learning other languages, during a touching love song ("Better Things To Do") over violin and sheer electric noise, so frantic his words are lost. His band - casual looking, friendly - refuse to join in with his singalongs, genially embarrassed at their frontman's enthusiasm.

    His name is MJ Hibbett, his band are the Validators and - as the title of their new, download friendly album WE VALIDATE! states - he and they will validate your existence if you let them. I think he's ace.
    Aah, isn't that nice? It's by Everett True, who had to leave before the last song for BABYSITTING reasons, and so missed the bit when Mr Francis Albert Machine decided he WOULD join in... which is possibly just as well. I'm back in Brighton tomorrow night actually, at The Albert again, if anybody fancies coming along. I'll be on EARLY, that I might get the train and get home OK.

    The magazine also features an interview and HUGE PICTURE of The Bobby McGees. It's a very strange world we live in when lunchtime shopping off Oxford Street can be interrupted by the GRINNING FACE of Jimmy Cairney, but, in many ways, a GOOD one!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.9.06
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    We Have An Edit
    Off again to rural Kentish Town last night and the country estate of Lord Manuel Of B3ta for another SESSION on the video for The Gay Train. This was, I think, our FOURTH session, having recorded it, watched the "rushes" (FILM SPEAK), and made a start on the actual editting. THIS time we made an attempt on completing a full version of it, and THUS spent almost six HOURS glaring at the computer screen, breaking only briefly for childcare and GRUB.

    It took a long time, but we made it, and it's looking pretty good. There were moments during the evening when i faced CRISIS: "Is this actually any good?" I thought, after sitting STARING at my own GURNING FACE for hours, but then we'd have a look back at what we'd done and say "Yes, yes it is." The "then they let off all these balloons" bit took a bit of thinking about, but eventually we got something rather NICE, I thought. I also suggested a bit for the line immediately following it, and had the rather strange experience of being informed by The Ginger Fuhrer that perhaps it wasn't in the best taste, and we'd be better off doing something beautiful instead. It was a little ODD.

    There's still a bit of work to do - some sections stay FIXED on the same camera shot for over five seconds, which makes it look a bit boring in comparison to the rest, and the ending isn't quite the CARNIVAL CAVALCADE I'd expected just yet, but we DO have a complete version of the video with everything pretty much in the right place, and one more session of TWEAKING should see it done. Having looked at it so LONG I'm almost taking for granted how PROPER and Like A Video it is, but it really IS like a Proper Video, it's DEAD good!

    By shortly after ten o'clock we'd reached the stage where Rob was shouting "WHY DO YOU DEFY ME?!?" (or similar) at the computer and I was unable to answer even the simplest questions with anything other than an "UGH!" so we ceased tweaking and popped to the pub for a sneaky PINT. It was well deserved.

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 5.9.06
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    But Compared To What?
    So, it was a Surprisingly Lengthy tube journey over to KILBURN for me last night to The Loveliest Venue In London i.e. The Luminaire. It really IS a lovely place - not just because the sound's GRATE and the backstage room is dead nice and the venue itself is really well set out, but also because the people who run it are SO friendly - the soundman was not JUST really good at his job, but also dead helpful and NICE, and the people who run it always seem to be THERE enjoying the gigs, and always introduce themselves when you turn up. It's just GRATE - indeed, the only way it could be improved would be to have some proper beer-style BEER available!

    I arrived on time, said hello various people and the wandered around looking for something to plug into. I got that sorted and then LURKED AROUND a bit longer as people gradually came in, then we BEGAN, about 15 minutes late, with me saying hello and doing Work's All Right (when it's a proper job) - chosen because of it's being on the Fortuna Pop single Work Is A 4 Letter Word. It's a long time since I've compered anything, and to be honest I don't really like it that much - nobody's really come to see you, in fact you're actively DELAYING bands they HAVE come to see, it's really difficult to get people ENGAGED that quickly, and if you do manage it you've got to get off straight away anyway! I thus decided to be as QUICK about it as possible, and got Finlay on. They were a very nice surprise - I'd expected something a bit twee and boring, but they were GRATE, really LOUD and EXCITING and full of ACTION. The soundman did a GRATE job with them too, it made the FANTASTIC RACKET they were making, especially at one point with many guitars and NOISES, sound INTERESTING and EXCITING and full of LIFE rather than, as is usually the case when bands try what they were doing, a bit of a self-indulgent mess. I was DEAD IMPRESSED.

    It was time for me again then, so I did The Lesson Of The Smiths because i thought it'd FIT with the general air of the evening. Martin from The Chemistry Experiment was onstage already, so he joined in with me and, after a bit of a shakey start as it's got STOPS in it and stuff, it was a LOT of fun. Then The Chemistry Experiment themselves came on, and were lovely as ever - I have now given up on trying to rescue them from THE PROG, which is just as well really. They began their set with a five minute (ish) bit of instrumental jazz, featuring a FLUTE SOLO.

    Next up were Comet Gain - Sean Fortuna Pop! was getting a bit worried about things running late, so I got on quick and did Easily Impressed, which, I guess, may not have been the best idea due to a) previous remarks RE: difficulty engaging with audience when compereing and b) pockets of "cool" in the audience. It was a bit of a funny old night in that way really - there were LOADS and LOADS of lovely people there, some of whom I'd seen recently and some, like SIR JOHN JERVIS who I'd not seen for FAR too long, and it was fantastic to wander round and bump into them, especially, for some reason, over near the merchandising stall where I had several chats with several very nice people - perhaps the AURA OF JERV was infecting people with NICENESS? However, there were also several people who were a bit Self-Consciously Cool (HATS were in evidence) and it unfortunately reminded me of my early gigs, especially with John Sims (themselves DELIGHTFUL people), when THOSE sorts of audiences were all I ever played to in London, and I'd come away frustrated and annoyed YET also desperate to do something to make them LIKE me. These days, hopefully, i'm not bothered about that, largely as I don't tend to play to those sort of audience anymore, but it brought those old feelings RIGHT back.

    Hey! FEELINGS! This is like one of them BLOGS isn't it? That sort of thing does GET to me a bit, and it's daft really - in a room FULL of people I really like, like various BOWLIES, The Chemex and their PALS, Mr Ray Dann, Mr Matthew Jones AND MANY MORE, there was me worrying about the presence of a few Arsey People In Bands. For shame Hibbett!

    At this point I realised I'd LOST my phone, and PANICKED a bit. Luckily Comet Gain hadn't got ready to start properly, so I was able to nip back on stage to be "helpful" and check if it was there. It wasn't, but i found it sat on the table where I'd been earlier - OH the JOY that spread around me then! And yet MORE really nice people had picked it up and gave it to me - HOORAH!

    Finally it was time for The Butterflies Of Love - Sean was now officially BOTHERED by the lateness, so he asked me to drop my song and just introduce them, which was fine by me - although as i turned out I could have done it anyway, as they took a while to get sorted and I ended up standing around on stage with them, which I must say was ACE. They're really nice chaps, The Butterflies Of Love, and they're all AMERICAN with AMERICAN type accents, and they say AMERICAN things and I must confess i find it all Quite Exciting, so rather enjoyed a brief spell of pretending to be IN them. A quick thanks for the MIGHTY SEAN (without whom, it must be said, a great MANY people in that room and elsewhere would have lead significantly less interesting lives, me ESPECIALLY included - thanks Mr Price!), a speedy intro, and off they went, and my job was done.

    PHEW! So, all in all, a rather groovy night. Soon I had to go, and sat listening to HELP! on the MyPod, thinking "deep" thoughts about how GRATE The Beatles are (a controversial opinion, i know...) and, all in all and in summary, how pretty GRATE my life is. When I eventually got home i WROUGHT HAVOC in the household by clattering around, falling over, babbling, and Placing Toiletries In Unusual Places - ROCK AND ROLL!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 1.9.06
    (click here for permanent link)

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