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Blog: The Oval Tavern

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I don't think I'd ever have expected Croydon to become one of the places I've played most, but over the past few years I have been there a LOT, especially to The Green Dragon where I've played a whopping FIFTEEN TIMES over the past five years, always under the watchful eye of Mr T Eveleigh and his Freedom Of Expression nights.

However, change must always come and last night change DID, as I was playing at a TOTALLY DIFFERENT pub in Croydon, under the watchful eye of Mr T Eveleigh at his NEW Freedom Of Expression night at The Oval Tavern. The change has occurred because Esther Who Used To Run The Green Dragon has moved to The Oval Tavern - it's a LOVELY change I must say, it was like wandering into a country pub plonked in the middle of town, with ACE beer and a very very pleasant atmosphere. LIKE!

There were Pals Aplenty Too, not least Mr & Mrs Superman Revenge Squad, Mr Dave Green, and Ms J Lockyer, so I spent a LOT of time bobbing around YAKKING to chums. However, it was eventually time for me to do MY spot, and this is what I did:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • If You're Too Turned On
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • It all went pretty well - unfortunately there was a group of people RIGHT at the front talking REALLY loudly. Well, I say "group", it was one of those situations where there's ONE person who is DETERMINED to talk to everybody at their table throughout - in this case she didn't even LOOK at me until the very end of the set, and then only for a glance, concentrating on gathering all her pals towards her. However, I have come across this a LOT of times in the past, it is the downside of playing gigs actually IN pubs where anyone can come in. It used to happen quite often at The Fox & Firkin in Lewisham, for instance, so I did what I ALWAYS do and kept reminding that the UPSIDE of these gigs is that there's LOTS of other people who've not heard me before who WERE listening and could hear me a lot more than anyone talking. Also I could amuse myself by catching the eye of her pals and doing BATTLE for attention! THUS it all went off good, and I was ESPECIALLY pleased to revive If You're Too Turned On - Markie in Sheffield has asked me to play it nearly every time I've played up there, and as he's putting me ON next month I thought I ought to have a go!

    After me it was Martin Austwick and The Sound Of The Ladies, who I'd never MET let alone SEEN before. INDEED when I was getting on the tube at Euston I saw somebody I thought MIGHT be him walking just ahead, but said nothing just in case. It turned out that it WAS - he works just round the corner, so after their marvellous set we had a chat during which i RAVED about the convenience of working in this part of That London. ALL of The Midlands is within PEASY striking distance for gigs, I said, and most places have an IBIS. Man, Ibis should be paying me commission!

    Soon it was time to ZOOM off for the last train back to London Bridge before The End Of Tubes, and I toddled off round the corner full of BEER and SMILES. I wonder if I'll end up doing fifteen gigs at THIS pub? I do hope so!

    posted 25/10/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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