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Blog: The Red House

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When I arrived in The Ibis, Sheffield last night I got a nasty surprise: my room was SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT to usual!

PANIC! FEAR! DOOM! Surely the whole POINT of the Ibis is that the rooms are always, give or take the odd stain or chipped formica, are EXACTLY the same where'ere you do wander? This one was a little bit larger, with a DOOR which could be opened into the next door room to make a SUITE! I was badly shaken, and it was all I could do to eat my TEA (cunningly pre-bought from Marks & Sparks in order to avoid Bad Chips/No Chips) before heading out to The Red House, where I was due to play a Sparklemotion Promotions night.

I got the tram most of the way there and arrived to find it was the same place me and The Validators played in a little while ago - we'd DRIVEN that time, which was why I was a bit confused about where it was. I got in to find Mr P Green, PROMOTER, on the door, and Slow Down Tallahassee soundchecking, and fell into light CHAT and a BEER.

Mr Green's Corporate Juggernaut soundchecked next, and I was AMUSED to see him "have" to go through the Guitar SOLO three times to get the pedal sound right. OK, it was the soundman making him do it, but the newly re-banded Pete could not hide his GLEE at getting to do this. I was JEALOUS!

My soundcheck was dead quick and then there was plenty of time for more CHAT with the lovely people who kept turning up. I'd been a bit worried about what to actually DO - it was advertised as a preview of The Show, but I only had half an hour to fill. I DID briefly toy with NOT doing and of The Show at ALL and just doing a normal set (NB The Easy Way Out) but decided to get up and just do some BITS. These are the BITS that I did:
  • (theme from) My Exciting Life in ROCK
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Easily Impressed

  • It all seemed to go pretty well - to start with it felt ODD, that I was just stood there GABBING ON, but after a while it changed so the singing bits felt like they were starting to get in the way of the stories, which I _think_ is a good thing. I did the setlist by asking (in a slightly leading way) which stories people would like - AMAZINGLY everyone went for the one with NUDITY in it straight away!

    The rest of the night was BRILLO. There was yet MORE chat (which may have featured SOME discussion of Doctor Who...) and some FANTASTIC bands. The Pete Green Corporate Juggernaut continues to get GROOVIER with each outing, and Slow Down Tallahassee were, as ever, GRATE - especially so for me this time, as all the excellent TUNES were familiar from their rather wonderful album. I was MOST excited tho to see The School, who I've HEARD lots of but never seen. They did not disappoint, it was a big proper set of big proper songs done A) BRILLIANTLY and B) CHARMINGLY.

    It was all really really good - so consistently so that you pretty much FORGOT how good it was while it was happening, only to look back later and think "WOW! That was an AMAZING line-up!" for lo! it was!

    Afterwards there was more chat of a, some would say, SLIGHTLY geeky, also RATHER BRILL, fashion, before it was time to go home. Foolishly I decided to take a shortcut, forgetting that I have never actually WALKED from this particular venue before... and got LOST! PROPERLY lost too - I had a map, but appeared to have walked off the end of it and couldn't see ANYTHING familiar. Luckily after about 15 minutes of trying to solve the problem by Walking Purposefully a taxi came by and SAVED me. I did appear to be going the WRONG WAY, which was a bit of a shocker, and was pleased to be secure in the back!

    A pretty bloody GRATE evening all round ... although the getting up early wasn't much fun, and the carriage PACKED with Leicester teenagers on a school trip to London, SQUEALING for an hour, wasn't very helpful either!

    posted 8/7/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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