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Blog: Album LAUNCHED

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Yesterday afternoon I sat at my desk getting all EXCITED about the ALBUM LAUNCH GIG that was about to happen. My excitement was INCREASED by watching my Facebook and Twitter timelines FIZZ with various people on their way to London and/or the gig, although it was a bit STRANGE to see nearly ALL The Validators (NB Tim was driving, but otherwise he'd've been on it too) TWITTING and COMMENTING away. It was MODERN.

JUST as I was about to set off for The Wilmington my BOSS came in and ASKED me things - it was OUTRAGEOUS! Didn't he know I had a launch gig to get to? Well, he soon did, I WAS a bit excited!

I thus got to the Wilmo a bit later than planned, to find The Vlads had already got the gear loaded in. Luckily - LUCKILY - I had arrived in time for the drum soundcheck which, as anyone knows, is THE BEST BIT. We stood around having a bit of an old chat - including discovering that most of us had taken THE SAME AMOUNT of The Ecasticies back in The Day (i.e. half) - before doing the full band soundcheck. This passed VERY easily - it was our usual chap doing the sound there and he was, as ever, GRATE at it, also TACTFUL about some of our sound.

Mr K Top Of The Pops had already arrived, so I introduced him to the sound guy so they could sort themselves out, then popped next door where Mr S Hewitt was holding court. He kindly agreed to act as RESPONSIBLE ADULT, while The Validators and I nipped round the corner to Gulshan for our traditional BAND CURRY. We'd been to this place last time we played the Wilmo, and it was ACE then too - they even gave us WHISKY at the end!

As ever we processed the BUSINESS swiftly - we agreed the set-up for the Dinosaur Planet section, and that we'd probably do a VIDEO for A Little Bit and/or Please Don't Eat Us next - and then spent the rest of the meal talking nonsense, re-telling stories of The German Tour, and... er... making the hot flannels into origami penii. Sorry.

Back at the venue all was progressing well, and I got back to find that Mr T Eveleigh and Ms J Lockyer had soundchecked, and a wide variety of GUESTS had arrived. They were soon joined by The Names On My Guestlist and Mr M Sutton, and together we set up the MERCH table. Steve got on the DOOR, joined for much of the evening by Mr C Flowers, and soon we were ready to BEGIN.

I had, as I say, been WORRIED about how things would go, but it later struck me that this was foolish - if I had to pick a team of people to do, well, pretty much ANYTHING, then this was the SQUAD I would go for. You know when you do a gig and some people are a bit flakey, or have to be hassled into getting on stage? That happened NEVER last night - everywhere I looked people were diligently tuning up, appearing in front of the stage several minutes before their time, and generally BEING ACE.

So it was that we kicked off bang on time with Tim Eveleigh (aka Captain Keith) and Jenny Lockyer (aka WPC Jenny), doing a MIXED COMBO of some of Tim's songs, some of Jenny's, and some COVERS. They don't usually play as a duo, but I asked them to do so this time just so's i could get them BOTH on the bill, as they are KEY PARTS of the album. It worked really well, especially when they finished with the Kirsty MacColl version of "A New England". The ENTIRE CROWD sang THE WHOLE SONG except, as is traditional, for The Extra Kirsty Verse. It was BRILLIANT!

Then we had Keith Top Of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie All-Star Celebrity Backing Band, featuring a VERY SPECIAL Minor UK Indie Celebrity, for LO! on the drums was Mr Tim "Most Important Punk In The Country 1907" Pattison! Diligent chap that he was he'd done some revision earlier on but was mostly WINGING it, and GOODNESS ME but DIDN'T HE DO WELL! It reminded me of when he soundchecked with Half Man Half Biscuit, watching other band members appreciating his SKILLZ, nodding at each other and generally enjoying the chance to ROCK OUT. I think I speak for all his fellow band members when I say we were SO VERY PROUD!

The whole SET was ace too - it not only sounded but LOOKED brilliant, as everyone was squashed onto the rather small stage. There were french horns, trumpets, saws, and hundreds of guitars poking in all directions making a KRAZY sound which came together especially well for THE HIT at the end, i.e. "Two Of The Beatles Are Dead". It was gorgeous!

And then, at last, it was our turn. Here's what we played:

  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet (overture)
  • Better Things To Do
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Don't, Darren, Don't
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • A Little Bit
  • We Are The Giant Robots
  • Please Don't Eat Us
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • Billy Jones Is Dead


  • Mr Jonny Yeah had calculated how many SECONDS it had been since we last played London, which rather marvellously was around 71 MILLION, so he came on and used that as the INTRO to the whole set over the top of the OVERTURE, before we LAUNCHED into a few older songs to get us going. It was HECKLOADS of fun - very NOISY on stage, as usual, but there were a LOT of people in the room who seemed to know the back catalogue and there was dancing, joining in and ALL SORTS.

    We'd decided to do the Dinosaur Planet songs in SEQUENCE, so kicked off with Jenny, Steve and Big Tim (as he was referred to throughout the evening to distinguish him from our "Little Tim") joining us for Don't, Darren, Don't. Steve had brought the PROPS from our version of the show with him, so everyone was in COSTUME, which was GRATE, not least when he and Big Tim acted out the EVISCERATION in Theme From Dinosaur Planet next. That one got off to a SLIGHTLY bumpy start due in part to Jonny not being able to read the SCRIPT in the dark, as we did the LONG INTRO version of the song, but it actually just added to the DELIGHT of the evening - everyone was enjoying themselves, and if things got a bit ramshackle that seemed to be FINE.

    We were joined on stage by two GIANT ROBOTS for We Are The Giant Robots, which is something I've often thought of and was VERY pleased to see finally happen, especially when the Robots began fighting, and then making friends with, each other in the end section. It was THEATRE!

    We ended this section with Please Don't Eat Us, featuring Mrs C Gibb as General Truelove and Mr FA Machine as Corporal Shaw. Frankie had been a little WORRIED about his ability to play bass AND sing but he managed it with APLOMB, and Claire was BRILLIANT - the song seemed to FLY by at MEGA-SPEED which was my only disappointment of the night, i wanted it to go on for AGES!

    We finished with MORE back catalogue, and it turned out to be one of those gigs where i DIDN'T have to explain the audience participation for Easily Impressed. I really LIKE those sort of gigs! We did the one encore and then that was it - DONE!

    The rest of the evening featured quite a lot of HUGGING and thanking, and MUCH too quickly it was time for everyone to head off. I ended up sat in the kitchen talking to The Crisps In My Packet and drinking The Whisky until MUCH too late in the evening which has, I must say, contributed to making today a rather DIFFICULT day to be in work!

    It was all bloody worth it though - crikey! You know those days when you wander about with a GRIN on your face, thinking of all the brilliant things that happened yesterday and all the lovely people who were involved with it? This is one of those!

    posted 27/1/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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    Comments:

    I had a MEGA time - weirdly a colleague was there, as a friend of Muriel Truelove, and fortunately her recording of the gig missed out my indie dancing at the front. When doing the indie kid it's very hard to not accidentally do the riverdance
    posted 27/1/2012 by James

    It was GRATE!
    posted 28/1/2012 by Charlie

    GUTTED I couldn't make it. Was looking forward to it for ages but then got told by my boss I had to go to UTRECHT for four days. Just as well YOUR boss doesn't do that!
    posted 28/1/2012 by Gareth

    Well p***ed off that I couldn't make it; glad to HERE you had a GRATE time :)
    posted 28/1/2012 by Matt

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