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Blog: Carpe Diem

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Tom and I ZOOMED Northwards in The Tigermobile and got to Leeds in RECORD time. We were filled with fear as we approached the City Centre, as it has been our DOWNFALL on numerous occasions, but we were astonished to find that we got straight to the venue without a single wrong-turning. The Hibbett/McClure Navigation Team triumphs at LAST!

I left Tom guiding the gear and headed over to check in to my hotel, which was another Ibis and so A BIT WEIRD: i went into my room to find it was EXACTLY the same as the room I'd stayed in last night. I'm not complaining - i quite like the way they're all the same in a Utilitarian Stylee, and always think that people who like hotels with "character" should maybe LEAVE THE HOTEL and go and look at the ACTUAL CITY they've gone to, rather than admiring the wonky chandelier - but it was a little UNNERVING.

There was no time to CONSIDER the issue any further as I had to re-pack my backpack and nip back to Carpe Diem, arriving just as Tim got in. We settled down for BEER, and I was OVERJOYED to find that Carpe Diem now sells Drinkable Beer. Previously they sold the same horrible John Smiths On Tap (or equivalent) that is the nearest most venues GET to beer, but now they had Theakston's Best on tap, and it was LOVELY. HOORAH for Proper Beer: it's a health drink!

As we were discussing this and other issues Ren the promoter came over - it was her first gig promoting on her own, so of course we "hilariously" said "We usually get 500 quid - EACH!" and other BON MOTS. Rather than continue in this vein we wandered over to the stage and had a very slow, but ultimately Quite Good soundcheck.

That done we set off in search of ONION BHAJIS. LAST time we played there as a band we'd been to a place that sold the most DELICIOUS Onion Bhajis we'd ever had, and were thus DISAPPOINTED when we arrived to find it was closed down for renovation. HAPPILY one of the owners was in there and he pointed us over the road, where ZAM ZAM'S had relocated. ZAM ZAMS! Let its name live forever in GLORY, for LO! The Bhajis were STILL as fantastic! They also gave us POPPADOMS while we waited, and I had a BRILLIANT Falafel Kebab - "We're just waiting for your pitta", they said to me as they gave Tim his grub, and when it arrived it was a very UNUSUAL pitta indeed - it was, in fact, a NAAN! And it was BRILLIANT! I've been to a couple of places yesterday where I've eaten mad Indian Takeaway versions of Food Of The World, and it's almost always DELICIOUS, if MENTAL, like a REVENGE for the years of Weird English Curries (full of sweetcorns, raisins and banana) that decided at the last moment to be BRILLIANT.

We bumped into Ben Calvert and his band on the way back, RAVED at them about the grub, and then went back into the pub for some more of that tasty BEER. Emma soon arrived, as did Ms E Pemberton in an I VALIDATE! t-shirt and Mr W Pilkington in a Hey Hey 16K one. It was very exciting, and later on i took a picture on my phone!

LUSK played and were good - less INDIE than I'd expected, and more LEEDS - and Ben Calvert was a joy to watch, especially with that great big Double Bass, and then it was time for US. Here's what we did:
  • The Gay Train
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Mental Judo
  • Better Things To Do
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • It was a LOT of fun, DEAD good. Originally I'd been down to play this one on my own, but we'd decided to do it as (80% of) The Vlads so that Emma could get a run-up back in to singing again - she's had problems with the hearing in one of her ears, so this was a chance to see if she could ROCK still... And BY HECK i think we got the answer to that one: YES! As Tom pointed out later, HARMONIES were BEST YET and she sounded GRATE (especially when one takes into account who she was harmonising WITH), and LO! Relief and happiness spread around. The first couple of songs sounded a bit dodgy to me, but this is because, somewhere along the line, my MONSTROUS EGO has wiped the knowledge from my mind that sometimes it takes a couple of songs for the soundman to get it sorted out - on several occasions of late i have wanted to STORM OFF in a ROCK STAR STROP because I can't hear everything PERFECTLY in the first song, it is a STRANGE and ALARMING.

    After that though it all sounded GOOD and much fun was had - INDEED I found myself running out of time to make all the REMARKS i wished to make. The BEST bit of the gig was in the Future Music bit of Do The Indie Kid, which went on for a LONG time and ended up with Tim doing HILARIOUS DRUMMING. It's hard to explain really - it wasn't comedy drumming or silly, it was just VERY FUNNY INDEED. Earlier on we'd discussed the FACT that drummers can either be ACCURATE or SOULFUL and I'd said that Tim had "A LOT of Soul!" At the time it was AN HILARIOUS REMARK, but it is also SERIOUSLY TRUE, not many people have that kind of Comic Timing in Percussion!

    Afterwards we lurked around and chatted to people and generally ENJOYED ourselves. Various aspects of the band grouped together to discuss future plans, and much FUN was had by all. Next morning I got up at 7am to get the first train back to London and managed to be back at home with a cup of tea by NOON, KNACKERED but happy - the MIGHTY WEEKEND OF ROCK had gone like clockwork from start to finish, had been PACKED with action and, all round, end of the day, SMASHING!
    SOUL
    posted 4/6/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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