Blog: Day 6: London
We got to the venue slightly earlier so had time to drag all the gear in and then sit around with some BEERS and have a BAND MEETING, wherein we pretty much sorted out how the next single will be put together. Stu from Let's Do Baboon arrived and later so did the soundman, and the soundcheck began.
Oh dear. It was at this point that i got THE FEAR for the first time on the tour. All day my voice had been croaky, and i'd got onto my second packet of lockets, but to no avail, as I discovered i couldn't sing AT ALL. "No Change There", a SATIRIST might remark, but it was really terrifying. When Rod Stewart gets croaky he sounds all HUSKY, when i do it i sound like ADRIAN MOLE. It was SQUEAKALICIOUS. It must be said I got myself into a RIGHT OLD STATE about it, and went ON and ON for ages while we went to get some pizza style grub for tea.
It got so bad that halfway through LARDPONY (who were ACE!) i had to go outside for a Bit Of A Walk, and old method I've used before for calming myself down... which didn't really help much this time, as I got TOTALLY LOST on a VERY SCARY ESTATE, and thus by the time i eventually got home I'd MISSED the second half of Lardpony's set (GRR!) and was even MORE stressed out.
I was chuffed, however, to find LOADS of LOVELY people had arrived including The Voice Of Film Four, Carsmile Steve, Mrs Skif, my entire audience from the Push gig (Jon!) and Mr & Mrs Wilson, amongst many others. The only trouble was I couldn't really talk to them as that meant shouting, which I couldn't do!
Michael from Lazarus Clamp gave me a Magic Throat Sweet, but even that didn't help, and foolishly I was drinking GUINESS, which tends to make me DEPRESSED anyway. Both Steve AND The Air In My Lungs told me just to explain the situation to people as i was Amongst Friends, and then Emma said that BOY GEORGE had always sworn by BRANDY. Mr Machine also agreed that this was a HELP, and even though I wasn't sure about how far i wished us to emulate Culture Club (i love Tim dearly, but not necessarily THAT much) i thought I might as well have a go.
Lazarus Clamp were on by now, and they were GRATE - it's always hard seeing a band you really like play before you, as most of the time you're thinking "Get off, i want to get on now!" but they were dead good - the sound was EXCELLENT, and the songs they did were surprisingly POPPY and accesible and the words were WITTY, they were GRATE - if only they did more than one gig a year more people would know so!
The brandy seemed to be having an effect, both on the throat AND on THE FEAR, so I had another double, and then got myself ANOTHER double before we went on, and did THIS:
Much to my amazement is was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! The guy on sound did a fantastic job so we could all hear ourselves without shouting or anything, Tom was on TOP FORM with his bionic hand (Frankie had given him a Wrist Support Device, which seemed to be doing the trick) and we were ROCKING through what turned out to be a bit of a HITS SET - as we agreed later, we've now got 6 or 7 songs which we "have" to do at every gig, which is pretty good going! ALSO i once again Introduced The Band, which seemed to work really well - I'd not done it recently because i, foolishly, thought it was a way of making it look like we weren't a SINGLE FIGHTING UNIT, but this was WRONG of me, and i shall not be omitting it in future. Also the audience were LOVELY, there was much cheering, shouting, singing along and DANCING, especially the latter from Jon, stood at the back dancing around, and we really DID feel we were among friends. OK, so the brandy had the side effect of making me FORGET the middle bit of Hey Hey 16K, but otherwise it was EXCELLENT, especially when we came back on for the encore and said "Are we OK to do another one?" The voice of Mr Phil Wilson boomed out "Yeah, go on!" and SUCH is his MIGHTY AUTHORITY that the room, venue, and indeed Gods Of ROCK did say "If Phil says it's OK, then LO! You must!"
Afterwards there was a LOT of happy banter, chat, and wandering around trying to HUG people with my immensely sweaty body, it was lovely. We set off to Leytonstone a very happy group, with some more BEER and an EXCELLENT set SPUN by DJ Frankie on the megapod. We arrived CHEZ MOIS and unloaded the van in beautiful SILENCE (in the process making our spare room look the COOLEST it ever has) and settled down to a big bowl of SOUP and some ROLLS and also some DRINK, prepared for us by my delightful housemates. It was ACE.
posted 29/7/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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