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Blog: Pic'n'Mixx

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I wandered very slightly Northwards after work on Friday to Highbury & Islington, where I was due to play the inaugral Pic'n'Mixx night. It was a KRAZY GOOD bill, and I got in to find one of my favourite bands in the world, The School, setting up their gear to soundcheck. The thing I like most about The School is that they've got this huge supply of ENORMOUS TUNES, and as they gradually soundchecked i kept hearing SNIPPETS and thinking "Oh! That's my favourite one. No, hang, THAT'S my favourite one".

The Lovely Eggs arrived just as they were finishing, HOT FOOT from a long car journey and did a SUPER QUICK soundcheck while I had a chat to Natalie, who was organising things. It was, as I say, the first night she'd done there but GOODNESS ME she'd put a lot of effort into with regular diverse mailings and a Mix CD Swapathon organised with various Indie Types contributing. If nobody came, I thought, after all THAT and with THIS bill, we might as well all pack in even trying.

I also got introduced to a number of the other acts, who'd diligently arrived well ahead of their scheduled soundcheck time, including members of The Grave Architects, who I felt I really should have met before. "We really should have met before" said Matt from them, and I was unable to disagree.

The Lovely Eggs finished in double quick time and I did my soundcheck in TREBLE quick time then nipped out to find something to EAT. I fancied something sitting down but the best bet looked like Weatherspoons. I had a nice pint and an APPALLINGLY DULL curry - my own fault for having it, really, when there were Standard Issue Veggie Burgers available, but I expected it to taste of SOMETHING more than Vague Yoghurt. The WORST part tho were the poppadoms - you know those really really really cheap ones you buy in as dusty corner of the corner shop that you put in the oven and forget about and slightly burn, which taste of plastic? It was THOSE, slightly burnt and tasting of plastic, with a SEALED plastic mini-tub of "MangO" Chutney on the side. RUBBISH!

I got back to The Buffalo Bar just in time for The Peryls, who LOOKED very different to how they sounded. They sounded like a harmony rich country band (a bit like The Smith Garrett band, in fact) but LOOKED like Grey Goths, with top hats and waistcoats. Although maybe that was because it was halloween? Anyway, it was all very good, especially when they did the HARMONIES.

Large numbers of people were coming in by this point and we all gathered round to watch The Grave Architects who were BLOODY AMAZING. I'd never seen or heard them before Friday night and was BLOWN AWAY by how GRATE they were. They're one of those bands where every song has loads and loads of different BITS to them, but rather than doing so PONDEROUSLY, like most of those do, they did it with IMMENSE JOY. They had a Dancing Drummer too, which made it even better (you know what I mean - if he wasn't sitting down behind a drumkit he'd have JIGGED all the way to the Emirates Stadium) and the sense of FUN and GOOD TIMES was contagious. The BEST THING they did was during The Bike Song, which was performed in it's (at least ten minutes) entirety. Towards the end it became clear that there were drum problems, so, with the song still going on, they asked for someone to bring a drum key to the stage. WHen this arrived they did a break down while it was fixed, and slowly but surely the ENTIRE ROOM was joining in, BELLOWING the song along with them as it built and built... "if this works it'll be amazing" said the drummer as he frantically repaired his kick pedal... before coming back in at EXACTLY the right moment.

It was, as stated, BLOODY AMAZING, and they left me with a HUGE grin for the rest of the evening. I will be going to see them AGANE!

And then it was my turn. I got ready QUICK and then paused, chatting to the DJ Guy, to ensure that I would go on BANG on time and do THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • (theme from) Dinosaur Planet
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It was LOTS of fun - The Buffalo Bar's one of those places where the sound of even ONE person WHISPERING right in the other corner gets MASSIVELY AMPLIFIED, so that even if you can SEE everyone watching you can HEAR what sounds like a thousand people talking/ignoring, but i KNEW this in advance from previous occasions so just got on with ENJOYING myself instead. As you can see from the listing I decided to JUMP on the JOINING IN BANDWAGON that had been so succesfully wheeled out by The Grave Architects and did a LOT of it, mostly succesfully although The Music Of The Future became more call and response and less FREESTYLE than usual.

    It was brilliant fun though, and I settled into the HUGE CROWD afterwards for BEERS and more chat, predominantly for the next hour or so to Mr Keith TOTP, who I've met on a number of occasions but never talked to for long. I am happy to report that he is a DELIGHTFUL chap and many BEERS were consumed during the MAGNIFICENT set by The School and ROCKALICIOUSNESS from The Lovely Eggs.

    Suddenly it was HALF PAST MIDNIGHT! LATE!! I was PROUD of myself for managing to stay until the very end and see ALL the GRATE bands, but knew that if I didn't get going soon I would turn into a pumpkin or something, so strode happily out to catch a Black Cab, where we enjoyed the traditional game of Racist Taxi Driver Conversation: Contestant A ("The Driver") tries to steer any conversation around to the topic of BEING RACIST, whilst Contestant B ("The Passenger") tries to steer it back towards cheery delightfulness. I won!

    So yes, it was a GRATE night - people, including me, doubted that you could PUT five bands on succesfully in a single night like that, but we were WRONG. Roll on the next one!

    posted 2/11/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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