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Blog: MJ Hibbett & The Validators SELL OUT

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It's felt like a long time coming but this weekend it was finally time to head to Leicester for our two night "run" at The Leicester Comedy Festival. There's been LOADS of organising to do to get us all there for this, gig for gig I think it's the most effort I've put in for ANY gigs we've EVER done!

The weekend got off to a good start meeting my colleague Mr S Hewitt in The Betjeman at St Pancras for a DELICIOUS pint before getting the Super Fast Train to Leicester. We wandered across town, me FASCINATING him with a guided tour of Pubs That Aren't There Any More, climaxing in me standing outside the building that once was The Durham Ox, PEERING through the window almost WEEPING for the loss of The Windmill in The Corner.

We arrived at The Criterion and had a quick chat with Russell The Landlord before settling in for MORE BEER. I checked my email on my phone and was STUNNED to see an email from The Comedy Festival saying that we'd sold out of ALL the allocated tickets for that night, all 40 of them. What on EARTH was going on? There were another 20 or so places available on the door, so people couldn still get in, but still - EH? What?

The Validators arrived and LO! there was much sitting around chatting and drinking of THE BEER while we gradually got ourselves set up. There were also three young ladies who were working as our Front Of Staff, who were FANTASTIC. When I'd been told there would be STUDENTS doing WORK EXPERIENCE on the door for us I thought "Whoo. Three surly youths with their trousers drooping round their arse, picking their noses sullenly". I could not have been more wrong, they were BRILLIANT, and basically sorted out EVERYTHING for us, not least gently persuading all the people comfortably seated in the front bar to get up and go into the other room so that they could let people IN.

A LOT of people came in - so MANY that we ended up COMPLETELY SELLING OUT and had to turn people away!!! It was ASTOUNDING, all the more so in the fact that I only recognised ten or so people, including my friend Scotty from school who I've not seen for AGES. Everybody else there had just come on the off-chance - THIS, i think, and indeed said MANY times over the weekend, is the big difference between music and comedy gigs. Nobody EVER says "Hey! Shall we go and see some BANDS? At random?" whereas that seems to be EXACTLY what comedy punters love doing most.

A little AWESTRUCK by the crowd we went on - slightly EARLY, as everyone was IN - and did THIS:
  • (theme from) My Exciting Life in ROCK
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid

  • My oh my but we had a LOVELY time - I think there were more LARFS as we got to the second half than the first, possibly just because people found those stories funnier, possibly because I got a bit more into the swing of it then. Mind you, I must have already been enjoying it quite early in as I was so busy YACKING that i COMPLETELY forgot to do Professional, Competetent, Rocking And Tight.

    EAGLE EYED READERS will note that we DIDN'T do "Boom Shake The Room" at the end, as I used to do in the Edinburgh Version - I cut that story out because it's not really necessary to the NARRATIVE FLOW and we really needed to make the whole thing a bit shorter to fit more comfortably into the hour we had. Not that that stopped us doing an ENCORE of course, and we did Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid largely because we were a bit EXCITED about finishing the album next day.

    Job done we said our farewells, collected the sign saying "SOLD OUT", and headed off EN MASSE to London Road for the long dreamt of VALIDATORS CHRISTMAS CURRY. There was BEER, there was TAWA (a kind of curry I'd never heard of before, but appears to be BALTI in frying pan rather than a wok) and DISCUSSION. We were quite well behaved about the discussion this time - usually when we're all together it dissolves into SHOUTING and LARKS but we did manage to sort out some things, mostly to do with the album tracklisting. Mr F A Machine rarely dallies in the email-based chitter chat that has formed much of the decision making process for this album, choosing instead to SAIL IN at important moments and LAY DOWN THE LAW. He did this a few weeks ago when we were discussing the tracklisting and did so again on this occasion when we were debating the inclusion of IT Guy Addendum. The entire table - indeed, RESTAURANT - HUSHED when he said "I've been thinking about this..." His decision? TO BE REVEALED!

    By midnight we had drunk and eaten SUFFICIENT, and set off on our seperate ways. Frankie home to Derby, Messrs Hewitt and MacClure to THE TIGERCAVE, and me with The Pattisons to Woodhouse Eave. Tonight we had SOLD OUT, tomorrow we were finishing THE ALBUM!

    posted 9/2/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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