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Blog: Leicester Oxjam

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I rose EARLY on Sunday (though obviously not as early as I would have if the clocks hadn't changed) for I had a LONG journey ahead of me. For LO! our SECOND jam-based gig of the week was happening in Leicester, where we were due on at 4.30pm to play as part of NINE (9) gigs happening there that day for Oxjam.

We'd arranged a Kit Share with the other bands in our section and so, as Tim was going to be there for 2.30pm to set it up I thought that I ought to make the effort to get there early too. The only trouble with this was that i was trying to use Public Transport on a SUNDAY. As we know, THE MAN believes that the SOLE PURPOSE of public transport is to move WORKER DRONES from their sleeping quarters to their work stations and back again, and so deems any use of same on weekends as, at best, WHIMSY. The upshot of this for me was that there was no Central Line NOR any Overground from Leytonstone so it took nearly TWICE as long as normal to get to Kings Cross (including a 35 minute WALK to Stratford). When I got on the train it once again took nearly TWICE as long as normal to get to Leicester, due to it stopping EVERYWHERE (Luton AND Luton Airport, for instance) and then taking a scenic route to avoid Market Harborough.

I also ended up in the "Quiet Carriage" with a load of people who were doing that "Let's all talk really loudly so everyone can hear how HILARIOUS we aren't, and the LAUGH constantly, fakely, to demonstrate to each other what a brilliant time we're having" thing, FOR TWO AND A HALF HOURS so was in a bit of a grump when I finally reach my old hometown. As I walked through the rain to the venue i kept thinking "Come on now, this could all turn out to be really good fun."

I got to Firebug, went upstairs to see if Tim had arrived with the drums yet... to find no Tim, but ANOTHER DRUMKIT being set up. I have to admit, I was ANNOYED and tho I tried to hide it to the organiser, don't think I did. Oh dear. I later felt a RIGHT MOODY SOD about it too. The Pattisons arrived and we bumped into another band who'd ALSO thought they needed to bring a drum kit, so were also a bit fed up about LUGGING it all the way there without needing to. We went upstairs and the organiser was EXTREMELY apologetic - he also was a drummer and fully realised how annoying it could be and, basically, was so nice about it that i felt like a COMPLETE GIT, also some kind of ROCK STAR PRIMA DONNA.

We retired to The Criterion for a CHAT and to DE-SHAME and were joined after a while by Mr F Machine and Mr T "Tiger" McClure - originally we'd been intending to do the gig as a POWER TRIO as Tom was already booked to play in Brixton with Lazarus Clamp and Emma was taking the girls to THE PICTURES, but Tom's gig had been cancelled at the last but one minute, so he was with us after all.

After several DELICIOUS beers we strode back just in time to find the band before us had finished and we were due to set up. The usual Nice Soundman at The Firebug was there and he got us sorted out in super fast time so we were able to go on with XTREME PUNCTUALITY and do THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • We Are The Giant Robots
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • It was, frankly, GRATE, which I hadn't been expecting at all! I didn't think anybody would be there, but there was a SUPER HARDCORE tiny group at the front who'd come on purpose, and there seemed to be LOTS of people watching behind them - though it was a very migratory audience, I noticed people LEAVING throughout but the fact that at the end there were LOADS there means people must have come in too! Also the sound was EXCELLENT, we could hear everything clearly and we appeared to ALL be at precisely the right level of DRINK to have a jolly good time. AND I made not one but TWO AMUSING REMARKS (let's not spoil my memory of the occasion by repeating them here tho), which is ALWAYS the sign of a good gig, as far as I'm concerned!

    So it was a happy, if slightly surprised to be so, band who regrouped downstairs to finish off our beers before it was time to depart, Frankie and I strolling over to the station to go our seperate ways. It was quite a pleasant journey home, fueled by the memory of a gig well ROCKED, and such was my good mood that when I got to Stratford I decided to HANG the EXPENSE and get a taxi. It was good that I did, as I ended up having an illuminating chat with a lovely driver who turned out to have had CHART HITS with a band called Animal Nightlife. I thought "I bet he's a bass player" and indeed he WAS - Mr Steve Shanley, if you google yourself, HELLO! It was very nice indeed to meet you!

    posted 26/10/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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