I arrived in excellent time, and so took a detour to the chippy to get some TEA, where I met the bulk of Lazarus Clamp, doing the same. We got our chips and headed down the road to find i'd got there SPOT ON TIME for doing my soundcheck, which i went and done did.
On the way there I'd been thinking about the last time I'd done a gig with George, who was organising the evening and playing as Former Utopia. It was about eight years ago, the EPOCHAL GIG at The Physio with Sienna (Mr F Machine's former band) where NOBODY CAME. Well, one bloke did, but he'd been confused, and soon left. It was that night that finally decided me that i was going to seek gigs outside Leicester and not rely on anybody I knew there to do anything for me - a GRATE decision which has stood me in good stead ever since - and was ALSO the night that the GERM of AAS was planted.
It turned out that that was also the LAST time George had played a gig on his own, so he was feeling a bit nervous, and this wasn't helped by the fact that his guitar pickup was playing up - it's horrible when that sort of thing happens, it really throws you off balanace. I lent him my, the soundcheck got done, and we retired outside.
Not many people were there at this stage and we were beginning to sense a slight FLAW in the idea of Peel Day - if everyone's doing a gig, who's going to be left to go and SEE them all? Still, some people did arrive after a while, including Mr Stuart Baboon and Mr Stephen Walker, and also Mr Tom "Tiger" McClure who'd driven at BREAKNECK SPEED to get there for the Clamp gig. As ever he and I soon fell to discussing our COLOSSAL MIGHTINESS, not least some GRATE ideas for how we were going to carry on our ROCK in the new year. It's always fun to do that, and doubtless there will be MORE when we head to Cumbria in a fortnight.
George was soon onstage and BLESS him i wanted to run over and give him a HUG for LO! one could see his nerves. It was dead good though, he TRIUMPHED over it all, even tho he did the traditional actions of Man Who Hasn'T Gig Solo For Years i.e. tuned his guitar a lot and said "sorry i'm rubbish" when, patently, he wasn't. It was GOOD, and after that Wintergreen came on and were DEAD GOOD too. When I'd seen them at the Bowlie All-Dayer it all seemed a bit chaotic, they were trying to do all sorts of different things that were getting out of control, with samples and loops and all that, but last night it all came together and rather than having to imagine what they were TRYING to do you could actually here it. ACE!
Then it was me, and after getting to the first line of Hey Hey 16K and forgetting how it went I instead did THIS:
As intended, rather a LOT of new and different stuff there - a re-worked solo version of The Gay Train, which seemed to go quite well, and also I think the first time I've done We Only Ever Meet In Church on my own at a gig - it shall not be the last! ALSO a DEBUT for The Mystery Train, which seemed to go OK but there's an awful lot of WORDS in there, and I'm not sure it all comes across. It Only Works Because You're Here, however, went down really well (i love that song) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was LOVELY and i was GLAD to be back and gigging.
Finally Lazarus Clamp came on and, as ever, were dead good, despite Michael bringing up the fact that the first time we met he (sort of) got me and Simon From Voon evicted from our flat... i don't think he meant to though! Now that they are experiencing unprecedented levels of ROCK (this was their third gig of the year!) it's almost like they're getting their own UBERSET of CORE SONGS, most of which I recognised and really enjoyed. They were, and are, GRATE.
And that was that - all that was left was to HUG everyone goodbye and head into the night. I got back quite late and am thus feeling a bit bleary eyed, also SLIGHTLY ANNOYED by how ridiculous all these "security measures" are. A bloke in the queue in front of me, for instance, had a (sealed) bottle of wine confiscated. DANGEROUS! Walk through the gates and the first thing you see is a shop selling WINE. Brilliant! And the only way to avoid the RIGOROUS procedures to check your footwear is... er... just to walk roound it. Take that, OSAMA!
Right then, I'd best go and spend the rest of my waiting time queueing for expensive sandwiches. Next stop, SCOTLAND!
posted 13/10/2006 by MJ Hibbett
An Artists Against Success Presentation
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