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I Don't Even LOOK Like Miley Cyrus
The tranquility of yesterday evening was ROCKED somewhat when I got TWO messages from a Mr Hobson of Warrington. The first ENRAGED me - he'd been FLEECED by The Post Office for extra postage on the delivery of his copy of the new album even though IT WAS PERFECTLY PROPERLY STAMPED. Ooh, it ANNOYS me when that happened - it's basically BLACKMAIL, as they have chosen to take a DISLIKE to your package and there's nothing you can do except COUGH UP. GRR!

The next message, however, was more ALARMING. He had placed the CD in his CD player and had heard NOT the gentle lilting sounds of The Validators but rather the NOISY ROCK AND ROLL of HANNAH MONTANA!

HANNAH MONTANA!

PANIC! I know that sometimes there can be a mix up at CD Pressing Plants, but I've had a couple of hundred CDs listened to so far without this problem - could it be only certain boxes? And if so, would I need to go through ALL of them to check? DOOM!

I emailed the Pressing Plant to check and, BLESS them, they RANG not half an hour later, EXCITED, AFEARED, but also CALMING, to say that this would definitely be a one-off, not to worry, and that they were VERY SORRY. I was much relieved, and also THANKFUL to have a pressing plant who would be so bothered as to ring up long after working hours had finished, they are DEAD good.

I've sent off a replacement CD (which i CHECKED!) to Mr Hobson with MANY apologies (sorry!) for his multiple problems and hopefully nobody else will be affected. Although, I can't help wondering, does this mean that, somewhere in the world, a pre-teen pop fan is getting a sudden, very unexpected, introduction to the world of OLD SKOOL INDIE?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 30.4.09
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More Reviews
As suspected, the Bad Review of the other day has shepherded in a couple more, from Warren and from Tell The Internet. Thanks chaps, and also thanks to all the people who have said, in response to the other review, words to the effect "as a woman, I do not find MJ Hibbett entirely REPELLENT". I feel like Tom Selleck!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 29.4.09
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At Last, The Bad Review
Well, not that bad, but bare with me... whenEVER we release an album the first review we get is pretty much ALWAYS a bad one. I was a bit confused this time to have a couple of PLEASANT ones, and also ALARMED that there'd been so few so far. CLEARLY everyone else had been politely waiting for the Bad Or At Least Slightly Arsey Review!

And here it is!

Usually I am able to happily DISMISS The First Bad Review because a) it's stupid and b) they spell my name wrong, but annoyingly this one doesn't fall into EITHER category. He does conflate Hey Hey 16K with later 6Music plays and is incorrect about EVERY song having the title repeated in it (alhough there IS only one exception) but otherwise for the most part I guess it's fair enough, if a little GEEKOPHOBIC.

Except for, that is, "you couldn’t create an album with less female appeal than this if you’d tried" - believe, if I tried I could be a LOT less appealing!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 27.4.09
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Being Happy download available... NOW!
I've just updated www.mjhibbett.net/beinghappy, the page where you can now download Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid for FREE!

As I'm sure you're MORE than aware, this is a preview of our THRILLING new album Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez. It's officially out on May 11th, when it'll be available from online retailers and download sites, but you can order it directly from us RIGHT NOW... and may well get sent out a bit early!

Excitment Levels: RISING!!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 26.4.09
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Monsters From The Ego
This will doubtless come as a terrific shock to anybody who knows me, but I do sometimes labour under something of a ROCK STAR EGO. Hard to believe, I know.

Only on rare occasions does this break out into the wild showing its full glorious plumage - my most cherished memories of this where on the WE VALIDATE! TOUR, when, in Brixton, i FLOUNCED out of the venue OUTRAGED that my sore throat was not BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY ENOUGH by everybody else... and promptly got lost. The next day in Leicester I kept accidently stealing other people's drinks from the bar, naturally assuming that ALL BEER WAS FRO ME.

It does, however, have other manifestations and these past couple of days have seen at least TWO. On Wednesday morning, when the new album was first on sale and SALES were WHOOSHING through my inbox the ROCK STAR EGO was in its ELEMENT, DELIGHTING in the fact that people actually WANTED the album - this was especially GRATE for me as I'd spent the previous week thinking "BUt what if nobody wants it?"

As ever with the ROCK STAR EGO, however, it wasn't long before things turned around, and I started to WORRY. We've had a couple of really nice reviews so far and a few radio plays, but only from a very small percentage of people I've sent copies out to. Now, the LOGICAL BRANE tells me that the album isn't even OUT for a fortnight yet, and of COURSE people are probably waiting until nearer the time to publish and/or play, but unfortunately LOGICAL BRANE is then drowned out by ROCK STAR EGO who says "But what if everybody HATES IT?!? What if THAT'S the reason? DOOM! FEAR! AGONY! Bring me fifteen chihuahau and some orange smarties NOW!"

This happens EVERY time we put a new record out, and every time it happens I chant my mantra of "this happens EVERY time we put a new record out", and eventually more things toddle around and I wonder what I was ever worried about... until the NEXT time when I think "what if this time is DIFFERENT?"

Usually at this point I would say "I bet this never happens to Bruce Springsteen/Morrissey/Madonna" but I think perhaps it DOES. They may not have to lick their own stamps or buy their own envelopes, but i bet they have a right old panic at this point TOO. I hope so anyway!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 24.4.09
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A World Without T-Shirts
I've just got back from another trip to the post office, LADEN with parcels - thanks again to everyone who's LEAPT for a CD, it's VERY VERY VERY much appreciated! I underestimated the number of booklets I had, so everyone so far has been able to have one, but there's only about 20 left now, if anyone would still like one.

Of t-shirts, however, there are nearly NONE. This morning the last Ukelele T-Shirt went off to the USA, and there are only THREE of the small Hey Hey 16K t-shirts left too. Only a couple of days ago I had a MASSIVE PILE of t-shirts BLIGHTING the view from the desk in my Home Office, sitting looking at me, as if to say "you pillock, why on earth did you order so many of us?" but now they are GONE!

In some ways it feels rather sad, especially getting down to the last few Hey Hey 16K t-shirts - they've been one of the most succesful and LIKED things we've ever done, and are the only items of MERCHANDISING that i've EVER had to re-order, but I feel it is time at last to CEASE the re-ordering. The video was SEVERAL years ago now, after all, and until it gets re-released on Three Dimensional Brain Holograms when we hit Web 5.0 I doubt they'll be much call for them any further.

And also it means there's PLENTY of room for the boxes and boxes and boxes of copies of the new album that sit lined up against the wall at the moment. I wonder if they'll FLY out to new homes quickly, or whether they'll still be with me when the Hey Hey 16K t-shirts are released in an Outer Space Friendly variant?

posted by MJ Hibbett, 23.4.09
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A BLUR Of Activity
PHEW! It's been a VERY busy day, thanks to EVERYONE who's bought a copy of the album from the Secret Earlybird Page so far, it's very much appreciated! If anybody's still after one I'm afraid we've nearly sold out of t-shirts - there's only SMALL ones left (i had FAR too many of these due to me forgetting I'd left a pile of them at Tiger Towers after a gig and ordering loads more) - but we DO have a few more booklets left. I found another batch in the box, so I've been able to get copies out to everyone so far, but there's not all that many left so do get in soon if you'd like one!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 22.4.09
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Finally Ready To Be Released Into The Wild
I've just sent out a big email to people on the newsletter mailing list to let them know that the EARLY BIRD OFFER for the new album will FINALLY be online at ten o'clock this morning.

To sum my feelings on this matter up: HOORAH! Also, PHEW! It's felt like YEARS since we got the actual real life CDs back, and now they're FINALLY going to start going out for people to listen to. I am EXTREMELY excited about this, also RELIEVED that it's finally happening - as you may have noticed, I think this album is really rather good and am DEAD proud of it, so can't wait for it to be in people's hands, also EARS, and find out what they think.

If you're on the mailing list you should have had an email this morning reminding you of where the early bird page is, and if you look now you should be able to see the EXCITING COMBO OFFERS that will be available. The first 50 or so sold will come with a proper printed copy of the LOVELY accompanying booklet (which otherwise appears on the CD multi-media), and there are a few t-shirts left in various sizes for the super-keen. Mostly though I hope a few people leap in and buy the album - it's waited a LONG time to be heard!

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The Gruelling Preparation Ritual Of A Touring Band
Off to sunshiney DERBY last night, where we were due to begin (also END) our preparations for the forthcoming tour with a big BAND PRACTICE. Things got off to a frankly disappointing start when i arrived to find The Nice Chippy Opposite The Station was CLOSED. I'd been looking forward to chips ALL DAY (AND MORE), and was WRACKED with DEVASTATION to think I'd not be getting any. I rang The Tiger, who I knew was also headed that way, to warn him, and he went off to another chippy instead... promising to get ME some too. HOORAH!

I arrived at Machine Mansions to find Francis BEMOANING the fact that he was going to have to drive to the practice, as there was a nice pub nearby, and after several repetitions of his WOES Mrs Machine took the hint and gave us a LIFT. HOORAH!

We were booked in at a different practice room from usual, as our previous place was all booked up. Practice rooms are like The Ibis - wherever you go, however the look from the outside, they are always IDENTICAL on the inside. They will be dark, they will smell of MAN SWEAT, there will be a bin overflowing with beer cans, signs all over the place telling you NOT to take bits of drums away, a noticeboard for bands requiring a drummer (no time wasters) a broken drinks machine and a man with many tatoos will take your money off you.

Our old place was EXACTLY like that, but when we arrived at the new one I felt a glimmer of HOPE. It was near the old Abbey, an area of Derby I'd never been to before, and all was TWEE and DELIGHTFUL. As we crossed the sun-dappled river to a gently quaint set of old buildings I thought "Could this be the mythical Quite Nice Rehearsal Room?" and when we pulled up outside my hopes were raised yet further. Scattered around the old barn were various MGBs and MG Midgets in various states of repair, and we clambered up some centuries old stairs to get into the building itself...

... where we found IBIS. It was quite a nice Ibis, but still, it was an Ibis, right down to the filthy toilet and the corridor littered with broken old amps. Don't get me wrong, i LIKE Ibis, and I am USED to rehearsal rooms, but still, when you've built yourself up to hope for whicker chairs and a sandwich selection it takes a while to get over it.

The Tiger arrived, bearing CHIPS, followed swiftly by The Pattisons, and we got ourselves loaded in and began THE ROCK. We'd spent the week or so beforehand in heated Interweb Conference, WRESTLING over the songs that we'd be learning up, and had come up with a pretty decent list. It had been HOTLY debated and I must admit I had my doubts about some of the choices, but they all turned out really rather well. In order to maintain some SURPRISE for the tour I'll not say exactly what they are, but it works out in album terms as follows:

Say It With Words: TWO songs
(including one we've never done before)

This Is Not A Library: ONE song
(CLUE: we pretty much ALWAYS play it. Other songs PENDING until we do the SURELY INEVITABLE album in full ... on its fiftieth anniversary)

Warriors Of Nanpantan: TWO songs
(one we do a lot, one from before The Validators EVEN EXISTED, and which I'm VERY excited about finally doing with The Vlads)

WE VALIDATE!: THREE songs
(one of which is Just In Case Somebody Dies - "Wouldn't it be AMAZING if she died while we were on tour?" I asked. "THAT'S WHAT WE WERE ALL THINKING")

Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez: NINE (9) songs - NINE!



Obviously we'll not be doing THE WHOLE LOT at any point, but it'll be nice to go out with some CHOICE again... although there's always a chance that we'll forget how to play them all between now and the actual gigs!

It was a GRATE practice I must say - we got everything done we needed to do, to everybody's satisfaction, and it sounded really good. The rehearsal studio advertised itself as having The Best PA In The Midlands and it has to be said that it was probably the BEST I'd ever used in a rehearsal room. Clearly that isn't the HUGEST compliment, but it was very nice iNDEED ot actually be able to hear myself... even if other Validators did not seem to appreciate it quite so much. At times it also felt like there were SIX of us there - Tom had worked out the TRUMPETS for one of the songs, which sounded LOVELY and LIKE TRUMPETS, despite him claiming he wasn't using special effects, but then we could hear trumpets on OTHER songs later on too. STRANGE.

Anyway, we got packed up and left what appeared to be a DESERTED BUILDING - we took EXTREME care with our Idiot Checks, as it didn't look like we'd be able to get back in once we'd shut the door behind them - and went our seperate ways, The Pattisons to relieve a babysitter, the rest of us to The Abbey, a REALLY nice pub in a SURPRISINGLY nice bit of Derby. Do not misunderstand, I have GRATE affection for this fine city, but I've never seen a bit of it that looks quite so DELIGHTFUL before. Inside was really nice too, and we passed the final part of a CHARMING evening in convivial conversation, all looking forward to the tour, when we'd be able to do this sort of thing for five days in a row.

I can't wait!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 21.4.09
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Polishing The Mantlepiece Before People Come Round
I spent most of the last day of my LOVELY LOVELY EASTER HOLIDAYS doing further ROCK ADMIN, of various HUES.

One particularly NICE bit was rejigging the AAS Website, which has lain fallow for SEVERAL YEARS now. I decided to HACK the weeds away and MOW it down to something a bit more manageable than the VAST OVERGROWN JUNGLE of decade old FACT that it had become, so now it JUST lists the releases and links to the bands that are either still going (NOT MANY) or have some kind of web presence remaining.

It was a little disquieting to see how FEW of our original bands are still going, and how LONG AGO it all was that we used to have our monthly minuted meetings. It all began over ten years ago - surely that can't be right? - which perhaps explains why most people have packed it in. It was lovely to go and look back through all those releases, especially when I found a video for 'Be A Celebrity' by Pala and thought "that was a FAB song, why was it never a MASSIVE HIT?" It must have been the record company's fault.

I ALSO updated a couple of bits on this fair site, not least uploading the snazzy set of photographs that Mr W Stone took of us in Derby a couple of weeks ago. I'm rather KEEN on these, as we seem to have managed to look like a BAND without ALSO looking like a range of PILLOCKS. It's a tricky one to pull off, that is, but I think we managed it. JUST.

posted by MJ Hibbett, 15.4.09
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Happy Easter Comrades
Isn't Easter GRATE? A nice big long weekend when all you really have to do is MOOCH AROUND, possibly drinking BEER, possibly eating CHOCOLATE, generally NOT going to work. Unless you have to, of course, but very much NOT if you happen to work in The University Sector where we get an extra TWO WHOLE DAYS either side. Thanks, The Baby Jesus!

We've been making the most of it at this end - on Thursday The Soles Of My Shoes and I went for a MASSIVE HIKE across The Chilterns, walking from Princes Risborough to Wendover. It was a) GRATE b) KNACKERING, and the well-earned pints we had along the way were EXTREMELY well earned.

On Friday we went a-visiting, going to see my parents and also Peterborough United - like most people there I enjoyed the first half IMMENSELY, thinking "This is BRILL - I've spent YEARS visiting London Road every year or so and leaving ANGRY and DISAPPOINTED, but now they are GRATE!" An hour or so later, after a POOR goal from Lowly Cheltenham/cock-up from our goalkeeper, the old feelings were present and correct once more. NOOO!!

And now we're back home and I've got THREE WHOLE DAYS during which I am making with The Preparations. There's SO much going on over the next few weeks that I thought I'd best get on an get as ready for it as I can do, THUS this morning I have BOOKED and/or CHECKED TIMES for most of my forthcoming travels and accomodation needs, which was VERY satisfying. I'm now building up to a re-design of the AAS website, finishing some songs for Dinosaur Planet (and doing a first draft of the poster), recording a Jonathan Richman song for a compilation, and doing some Rock Admin (general). All GARLANDED with quite a bit of watching telly and the aforementioned MOOCHING.

Hopefully this will ready me for whatever happens as we start the build-up to the release of the new album, which, hopefully again, will include a few more reviews as nice as THIS rather lovely one in this weekend's Morning Star. Thanks, comrades!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 12.4.09
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Announcements Announced
While everything's a bit slow, let's have a couple of Well Timed Announcements, shall we? The first is a FESTIVAL DATE, my presence at which was Officially Announced last night - sing HOOPLA, for LO! I am playing at this year's Indietracks Festival. This year it'll be just me on my own playing on The Train on Sunday. Last year we did the big premiere of My Exciting Life In ROCK, this year may feature some snippets of Dinosaur Planet... or, to be honest, by that point in the proceedings it may just be me saying "SHHH! I'm feeling poorly" and trying to go to sleep. ROCK AND ROLL!

Even MORE ROCK than that is the fact that we have a FULLY CONFIRMED TOUR all sorted out and ready to go with the release of Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez. Here's those dates in FULL:
Saturday 9 May - The Fly, London (album launch)

Friday 22 May - Mother's Ruin, Bristol
Saturday 23 May - The Criterion, Leicester
Sunday 24 May - The Wilmington Arms, London
Monday 25 May - The Packhorse, Leeds
Tuesday 26 May - The Stockroom, Sheffield


Saturday 13 June - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Looks pretty PROPER doesn't it? These are ALL full band gigs, some of which will involve us beadling around in a VAN, and one of which, in Leicester, occurs slap bang in the middle of a BEER FESTIVAl. ZANG!

There's also quite a few other gigs around there, including the Fuzz Club BBQ in Sheffield on the first May Bank Holiday anda trip to Brighton for the final (for now) performance of My Exciting Life In ROCK, all listed over on the GIGS PAGE. It's going to be a SUMMER OF ROCK!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 7.4.09
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Through The Secret Window
Very exciting events this morning, as myself and The Stamp On My Letter headed to the POST OFFICE. On the way we stopped at a couple of post boxes on Leytonstone High Road to post batches of the final promo mailout for the new album - I always like to post big batches in several different post boxes, just in case one of them CATCHES FIRE or something, and also to - OK A BIT SUPERSTITIOUSLY - say "Good Luck" to each individual enevelope as it heads off on its mission.

At the post office we sent off the first (well, hopefully just the first) batch of CDs to The Distributor then posted the final batch of promo CDs. Usually at this point I get EXTREMELY EXCITED as I realise that THAT'S IT, but this time the feeling was slightly muted. "Why is that?" I wondered... the PANICKED! The big bag of BBC CDS! ARGH! Where were they?!?

They were in The Groceries In My Shopping Backet's SHOLLEY, of course - I took the bag and we said our fond farewells, her to A Local Supermarket (week off), me into London's Fashionable West End, where I had one final DROP to make, at The Secret BBC Window.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before - it's WINDOW in a car park just near Broadcasting House where you can save TONS in postage by handing in all your BBC envelopes. I'm not sure if you can send ALL BBC post through here - I've never risked, say, a CD for for BBC Bristol here - but even just posting your 6Music, Radio 1, 2 and - BELIEVE IT - 4 post here saves a whole HEAP of stamps. It IS a bit strange tho, as there's no signage or anything. The only way you know it's definitely a BBC Secret Window is by the LANYARDS.

I handed in my packages to a Polite(ish) Young Man who sorted through them to check that they were all OK, and then I said cheerio, turned around, and INSTANTLY found myself having to suppress the urge to GIGGLE like a LOONIE. Aha! HERE was the RUSH OF EXCITEMENT! HERE was the sudden realisation that (nearly) all the Hard Work was now DONE - there's some webpage updating to do, quite a lot of emails and various sundry other bits and bats, but The Visit To The Secret Window is a HUGE milestone on the road towards ACTUALLY GETTING PEOPLE TO HEAR THE ALBUM! After THREE YEARS of writing, practicing, recording, mixing, mastering, designing, researching, press-release writing, negotiation and PAYING FOR STUFF it's FINALLY time to think about what songs we're going to play ON TOUR! HOORAH!

And best of all, the next week, when all is usually at its MOST quiet, before whatever's going to happen starts happening, is EASTER! EASTER! The holiday for grown-ups! One of the BEST THINGS about working for a University! SIX DAYS OFF WORK! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZANG!!!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 6.4.09
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Stoke
I had to set off for scenic Stoke extra super early on Friday, due to Richard Branson's attempts to FLEEECE ridiculous amounts of CA$H out of anyone who wants to travel at ANY kind of reasonable time on his, frankly, UNPLEASANT trains.

The upside of this was that I had PLENTY of time for wandering about and sitting around, much of which was spent in The White Star, the pub where I was going to be doing My Exciting Life In ROCK. It was a nice place to sit, as everyone was DEAD friendly - and friendly in The Midlands Way, i.e. the BEST way. Pete Horowitz had put up several posters around the room and then mystically appeared distributing photocopies of that article in The Stoke Sentinel, so every time I'd look up from my book I'd see someone looking at the piece of paper, then at me, gesticulating "Is that you?" and giving the thumbs up when I nodded. One chap came over and told me about the time he'd been to the Fringe in 1965 and, after a brief chat, said "I'll not bother you tho", and moved away again. The Midlands: FRIENDLY to precisely the right amount!

I went off for a DELICIOUS curry, had another beer, collected The People In My City from the station, and arrived back to find our PALS had arrived. We had MORE beer, then went back upstairs to watch The Fabulous Nobody, who was fab - LOADS of very short, old-fashioned sounding songs CROONED in a lovely voice.

And then it was ME! I have to confess, I initially found it a bit HARD WORK. Downstairs there was a full band playing proper old ROCK SONGS, and VERY LOUDLY so there was a constant THUMP of them from below. Also there were people talking -now, as I have said MILLIONS of times, you can't complain about people talking, especially when they've paid to get in, and so i WON'T. A lot of the time I think people don't realise you can hear them - we're all so used to watching TELLY, or being at gigs where the band is HUGELY LOUD, that we forget that, in close confines, the person "performing" is only at the same volume as your own voice, and so think nothing of chatting away throughout. It does make it a bit NERVE WRACKING if you're the one "performing", and so I found myself a) shouting a bit b) WORKING HARD to get over the top of it all AND to try and persuade people into hearing me. This is especially difficult doing The Show - at a normal gig you can play a song which IS louder than talking and had no GAPS, but when there's lots of TALKY bits you're suddenly in direct competition with conversations and HAVE to leave big gaps for air between sentences.

I think it worked out OK - a few people at the back who may even have come as a result of the feature in the paper seemed to get fed up and leave, and the band downstairs had a LONG gap, so it got a lot easier just as I got to the halfway mark where the BEST bits start happening, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride downhill to the end. I decided to stop early, before The Epilogue, as I all the SHOUTING had given me a sore throat, but then got an ENCORE to did it anyway! HOORAH!

And then there was some more DELICIOUS beer, some CHIPS, and the next day we played Star Wars Lego on the WII. It was BRILL!!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 5.4.09
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Big In Stoke
It's all rather quiet at the moment - it's the Quiet Bit that ALWAYS happens around now. Nearly all the WORK is done, the albums are recorded, mixed, mastered and manufactured, the sending out of promo copies is nearly finished (The Press and Online done last week, i'm halfway through the Envelope Stuffing for the MASSIVE radio mailout for next week), the gigs are booked, distributors are (hopefully) POISED, and all I have to do now is sit around and wait a bit.

Previously I've found this period a bit WEIRD, coming after FRENETIC activity as it does, but I must say I'm rather enjoying it this time, especially as it coincides so nicely with EASTER - THE ADULT CHRISTMAS. Working for a University means I get the Thursday and Monday off too, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing some pals, watching some telly, and generally LOAFING.

That's not to say things aren't happening mind you - Dinosaur Planet is LURCHING threateningly towards completion, for instance. Yesterday I had a BRANESTORM, coming up with a final new song ("FOR THE FATE OF THE EARTH" - it's like Bon Jovi MULTIPLIED by Bryan Adams TO THE POWER OF MEATLOAF), several ACTUAL GAGS and, just as The Riff In My Rock Song was trying to get to sleep, a BLINDING VISION came to me of how to do the ending. It features a CLOSING MEDLEY!

And if all THAT wasn't exciting enough, tonight I'm off to do the PENULTIMATE PERFORMANCE of My Exciting Life In ROCK in STOKE, where, rather brilliantly, The Stoke Sentinel has a BIG FEATURE all about ME! It's a bit fantastic I must say - we did the interview over the phone first thing on Wednesday morning when I was SIGNIFICANTLY hungover from Totally Acoustic the night before, but it seems to have all come out pretty well. There's even a bit of a SCOOP in there!

So yes, in summary, it's quiet... but not THAT quiet!

posted by MJ Hibbett, 3.4.09
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Totally Acoustic
Off to The Lamb again last night for Totally Acoustic, where I was DELIGHTED to find ACTS already there - Mr George Death had set off ESPECIALLY early, having been told by the radio that central London would be in RIOT, due to all the World Leaders and Protestors, but instead found it merely SUNNY and easily navigable. The Gresham Flyers, meanwhile, were so punctual they had members there who weren't even PLAYING!

There then followed BEER and a steady tho forceful trickle of people arriving, until at 7.30pm it had become one of the most attended for AGES, and so it was to a full room that I performed THIS:
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • My Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet
  • Here Come The Dinosaurs
  • My Grandad Is Nuts
  • My Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet (reprise)
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • I can't speak for anybody else, but I have to say i had a WHALE of a time! I especially enjoyed doing the chunk of Dinosaur Planet - I may have said this before, but I've recently had a mini, not CRISIS, but WOBBLE about it, wondering if it might actually WORK, but in trying it out at GIGS I am somewhat relieved to find it is taking SHAPE and gaining JOKES along the way. We got our Accomodation booked for Edinburgh yesterday too, so we're WELL on the way. All I have to do now is finish writing it!

    Next Mr George Death took to the stage, and was GRATE. I've seen him several times playing with a backing tape but this was the first time I'd seen him JUST on guitar, and it was FANTASTIC - he was full of CHAT and STORIES and the songs SHONE - as I watched him I thought "This is the BEST thing about Totally Acoustic, watching people i think are brilliant BE brilliant, in front of people who wouldn't normally see them." It was ACE.

    As indeed were The Gresham Flyers, who finished the official bit of the evening off after a break. I'd originally thought that Totally Acoustic would be a way of getting people to do DIFFERENT stuff than they usually do, but it's never really gone very far in that way, largely because most of the people I've asked to play have tended to be Solo Artistes who are already doing the Songs And Stories thing. The Gresham Flyers, however, GRASPED this particular METTLE and did a LOVELY set where their songs became sunshiney, slightly folky, very TUNEY melodies, like something out of The Fictional Sixties where everything was DELIGHTFUL. It was GRATE to watch it happening, and a FAB way to draw the music to a close.

    The evening itself, as usual, carried on significantly longer, with MUCH discussion of... er... all sorts of things I expect. For some reason my memory becomes clouded for this section - it's probably caused by the same thing as is giving me a DICKY TUMMY and slight headache this morning!

    posted by MJ Hibbett, 1.4.09
    (click here for permanent link)

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