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Sometimes I suffer from a CRISIS OF INTEGRITY! It is, frankly, a bit daft but it works like THIS: when i/we do a few really nice gigs in a row, when people we know and like turn up and everyone's friendly and it's a pleasant place to be and the WORDS are known and we go down well, then i PANIC. "BUT!" I think, "Are we not turning into one of those bands I always use to DISDAIN?" A band who only play to their friends, who only do EASY gigs, and never make an effort to reach out further? FOR LO! if we only EVER play to people who like us, doesn't that make us SOFT? Doesn't that mean we become UNUSED to WORKING, and so when TOUGH GIGS do come up, we will be unable to COPE?"

Now, i know there is a Simple Logical Flaw in all this: sometimes bands play gigs to people who like them BECAUSE MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE LIKE THEM, but most of my thoughts in this direction were during the (long long long time) when this was very much NOT the case for this, and it became INGRAINED. Nowadays we are in the FANTASTIC position whereby almost TEN people cam be named who DO like us, as so GOOD/FUN Gigs tend to crop up more often. But still, when people come to more than one gig in the space of a year, i start to get my INTEGRITY CRISIS.

With this in mind, let me escort you back in time to LEICESTER on Friday night, where we'd gathered for Mr Steve Haggis's Birthday DO. It was just the Cleator Moor Validators, and as we weren't required to do a soundcheck we spent a CHARMING hour or so sitting around having a CHAT and discussing BUSINESS - this was actually DEAD GOOD and between us we managed to pretty well SCHEDULE all the forthcoming ROCK PROJECTS for the year ahead. It needed doing.

We ambled upstairs to see Eastfield who, I MUST BE TOTALLY HONEST, i was not expecting to enjoy particularly. I was expecting a Typical Punk Band, playing everything VERY FAST, VERY LOUD and VERY BORINGLY. You see those sort of bands A LOT, and though I'm sure it was very TERRIFYING to the state in 1978 nowadays it is a bit dull. HOWEVER! They were NOTHING LIKE THAT AT ALL. The sound was (almost bizarrely) GRATE and everything was AUDIBLE, and also SOUNDING GRATE! It was all TUNES and SHOUTY BITS and CHORUSES and ... well, they may not thank me for thinking it, but it was all DEAD POPPY, also FUN, also ACE. Oh they were really good, and I fear i may have gone ON a bit about it to them later. It was GRATE!

Our set was a bit less so, I think. I think we PLAYED all right, the delightful people who'd asked us/come to see us seemed to like it, but for the rest of the audience, we were NOT what they were after. Nobody was IMPOLITE or anything, but it very much did NOT feel like one of those "easy" gigs I was so disparaging of as a YOUTH. THIS is what we played:
  • The Gay Train
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • Do not misunderstand me - we had a LOVELY night, it was GRATE to be asked to and also TO play at Steve's Do, it was just one of those times when we did not CROSS OVER to a Different Audience. Or maybe it was just that we didn't do the CMV THEME TUNE, Mental Judo - perhaps THAT was what was required to win over THE PUNKS?

    Anyway, there was more BEER, more DISCUSSION, and more CHAT to the various lovely people who'd asked us over and/or come to watch us, and it was a happy Hibbett who got a lift back to HIS HOTEL (ROCK! STAR!) that night.

    posted 24/2/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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