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Blog: The Darling Gigs Of May

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The start of May found me LUXURIATING on the wonderful DLR as i ZOOMED out to Lewisham for my first gig of the day, at FOXFEST. Foxfest is a bit of a Lewisham institution, run by 2bob at The Fox & Firkin, home of SO MANY lovely gigs for me and, when I arrived, HEAVING with people on Day 2 of a weekend of BANDS and BEERS.

They really do a good all-dayer there - all the staff were in special Foxfest t-shirts, there were TWO stages (and "acoustic" and a main band-sized one) at opposite ends of the room and, between the two, TV screens for those who - I guess - were unable to turn their heads 90 degrees in the other directions to see it happening live. It was MARVELLOUS. When i arrived I discovered a band featuring the legendary Nathan Persad onstage, doing a BRILLIANT set which features two cellos, a violin and keyboard playing alongside the more usual line-up doing some AMAZING ELO-Squeeze FUSION songs. It was ACE!

I bumped into Mr Tim Eveleigh and we went out the back for a bit of an old chat, in amongst various CRAFT STALLS, before it was time to head back in and do my set, which went like this:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • The Gay Train
  • I'm Saying Yes
  • Fucking Hippy
  • The Fight For History
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I had a WHALE of a time - after a PARTICULARLY SPLENETIC version of I'm Saying Yes which featured A SPEECH I got even MORE enraged via Fucking Hippy and The Fight For History, which was a) lots of fun but b) a bit daft, as i totally buggered up my voice. I had to ask Mr Eveleigh to get me a PINT in order to soothe my tortured tonsils and when I came off was ALARMED to find that even this magical elixir had not sorted me out.

    I was AFEARED because I had another gig to head off to, so bought some COUGH SWEETS before heading back into town (via a NIP IN to my work office, where i utilised a bit of INTERWEB) and off to CAMDEN for our gig at The Camden Crawl. I've wanted to play the Camden Crawl for YEARS, so it felt a bit ODD that I'd FINALLY get to play it... but as part of the COMEDY Crawl. I'm sure there is a lesson there somewhere.

    I arrived to find Mr and Mrs Hewitt already in situ, and sat down for an hour or so of rather enjoyable comedy before it was our turn. My favourite was Nat Luurtsema, who was GRATE, but the whole evening was very pleasant... although the audience gradually DWINDLED until, halfway through OUR bit, we found ourselves with exactly HALF the tables in the room emptied. Here's what partly caused it:

  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • The Battle Of Peterborough
  • Dinosaurs Talk Like Pirates
  • Moon Horse
  • We're The Mars Men Of Jupiter
  • We've Done Something Evil
  • That Was Margaret Thatcher
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I'd been worried about this gig for WEEKS but actually ended up REALLY enjoying it. It was a small room with only about 15 people in so was something i was USED to, and the fact that we were a bit "loose" didn't seem to matter as much as it had done LAST time me and Steve did a Comedy gig. INDEED it seemed to make it all feel NICER and this time i RELAXED into it to the extent that there ended up being QUITE A LOT of chat between the songs. I _think_ this worked OK, if we ever do another thing like this I'll try it again!

    The songs seemed to work out pretty well too - we had spent AGES choosing them after all, and it seemed to pay off, although I think maybe we should try doing the FULL version of That Was Margaret Thatcher in future, rather than the "single mix" caused by me LEAPING to the last verse before the CODA.

    It was all JOLLY good fun, MUCH to my relief (i really have been worrying about this for AGES) and we settled back for the last act... only to find there wasn't going to be one! Apparently they didn't think there were enough people there to make it worthwhile - now, i am on RECORD as thinking this is NOT RIGHT, and have been SHOCKED when I've been at OTHER Comedy gigs where this has happened, but at least in this case by PUNK ROCK DISMAY was allayed a little by the organisers buying everyone a DRINK to say sorry! AND it meant that I could get the tube home without RUNNING, but still, i think it is a NAUGHTY thing to do. Why, if I'd had a policy of NOT doing gigs just because there were less than five paying customers in the room... well, I would have done SIGNIFICANTLY less gigs in my life, and missed out on many of the BEST EVER!

    posted 3/5/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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