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Blog: Damnably Christmas Party

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I strode out into the SNOW last night for my penultimate gig of 2009 at The Wilmington Arms. It was COLD! This year I have finally had to admit DEFEAT in the grim battle with AGE and HAIRLINE and get a HAT - last year I convinced myself it was just Unusually Cold at the level of My Head, but this time I faced the FACTS and became the proud owner of a Woolly Hat. It was bought for me by The Warmth In My Winter Warmer, I couldn't quite face going and buying one myself, and it's LOVELY. Oh the wintry walks I've walked in warmth since then!

But even WITH my new headgear it was BLOODY COLD and I arrived at the venue SHIVERING, to find Rob Airport Gurl and, inside, Mr George Damnably. We had a bit of an old chat about Issues Various while the last band soundchecked, then i did a LINE CHECK and went for some TEA before hunkering down for a PINT.

It was a bit of a Leicester reunion, with George AND Rob AND me all on the bill, and the Leicestery-NESS was reinforced when I realised, about two minutes before we kicked off, that there was precisely ONE paying customer in the room. More people came in just then tho and there was a gradual filling until, while not RAMMED or anything, the room was comfortably peopled.

The DISTANCE we've travelled since Leicester was brought into sharp focus for me by chats with George (who's hopefully about set up his own VENUE) and especially with Fortuna Pop! Generalissimo Mr S Price, who FINALLY, in the shape of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, has a band on his books on the verge of Making It. It's all very exciting, and he told me all SORTS of things about how it all works with the comings and goings of Major Label A&R Men and suchlike. I tried to muster up some jealousy that it was THIS Fortuna Pop! ARTISTE who was getting all the attention and now, say, an earlier one, but I couldn't quite manage it. It all sounded like a lot of effort and work BY and ON BEHALF of huge companies, with frightening amounts of money being bandied about, and I'm quite happy doing everything I do in my own little way. Disappointingly, for ROCK BIOG purposes, all I felt was GRATE PRIDE in Sean for having stuck it out this long and finally getting to do his Record Company DREAM!

All this thought and discussion took a couple of Strong Christmas BEERS to get through, and I was feeling slightly squiffy when it was time to go onstage and do THIS:
  • Walking In A Winter Wonderland
  • The Gay Train
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • The SQUIFFINESS was very much in evidence during the first song, which i totally mangled and didn't even manage to finish, but I SORTED myself out as I went through it. I'd had a discussion with The Excellent Soundman beforehand about how annoying it is when Solo Singer Songwriters TELL OFF audiences for not paying attention. "If people are talking it's because you're BORING!" we agreed... which is all well and good, but is a bit disturbing when you find yourself on stage later that same evening with 50% of the room TALKING while you're on, as happened to me in the next few songs. HOWEVER I managed to do enough SHOUTING and SENSUAL DANCING (what? always!) so that by the time I got to My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once everyone seemed to be paying attention - especially a couple in the front for whom it seemed to be EXTREMELY relevant, judging from their LARFS!

    After that it was all good fun, for me at least - having done the first half with MINIMAL introductions I ended by GABBING ON at EXTREME LENGTH about diverse topics, especially Advent Calendars before The Advent Calendar Of FACT, which I enjoy more and more every time I sing it. Would people REALLY mind if I sang a Christmas Song at other times of the year?

    With the job done there was just time to polish off a final beer before heading out into the SNOW. That was my 68th gig of 2009 done, with only one more to go before I get a month off. Roll on Oxford!

    posted 18/12/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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