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Blog: Handmade Festival

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We gathered together in LEICESTER on Friday, for The Validators to play our second gig of the year on Grace Petrie's stage at The Handmade Festival.

I rolled into town early and got myself settled into my usual suite at The Ibis. I was enjoying a particularly fine episode of Celebrity 15 To One when I got a text from Mr FA Machine informing me that he'd arrived in town EARLY ("unprecedented" as his message, correctly, stated) so I got myself together and we met up for a couple of VERY convivial pints in The Criterion. The call came through from The Tiger saying he was at the venue so we went over and met him, shortly followed by the arrival of The Pattisons. We were complete!

Also in attendance was Mr M Abbott, late of Skint & Demoralised and thus a former INTERNATIONAL TOUR BUDDY of ours. Drinks were had - we'd been given a HUGE pile of Free Drinks Tokens, but you could only get Cider, Coke or STELLA on them. We decided to all drink STELLA - it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it would be MUCH LESS SO next morning!

Things were running a bit late so we popped out to get some tea - Leicester City Centre is oddly DEVOID of convenient yet speedy food outlets, so for the first time in YEARS i found myself in MacDonalds. It took AGES to get served - I seem to recall this being the case every other time I've been in there - but it didn't really matter as the band who'd been soundchecking when we left were STILL soundchecking when we got back. I'd seen on the schedule that they'd been listed as having an hour long soundcheck for a half hour gig and thought it was a mistake - it probably was, but they seemed to have taken in literally!

We thus only had a couple of minutes to soundcheck before Matt came on and did a half hour of poetry. It was MARVELLOUS - i wouldn't dare stand up and just do WORDS at people for half an hour, but he had POISE and WORDS and RHYTHM and was all round GRATE. Oh man, some of the INTERNAL RHYMES were bloody brilliant, he was ACE!

Then it was us and we were A Bit Less Ace as the sound was VERY Crash Bang Wallop - the soundman was lovely, so maybe we require grumpy sods like the guy in York? It wasn't really his fault, he'd only had time to plug us in, but it did knock our confidence a bit as we did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • I Want To Find Out How It Ends
  • Burn It Down And Start Again
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • Note the debut of Burn It Down And Start Again there! It was all FINE, just a bit disappointing really, especially after our ROCKINGNESS in York a couple of weeks ago. Still, the main thing was that we were TOGETHER again, so went downstairs to enjoy some more FREE BOOZE, and also to take part in a vitally important ceremony: the presentation of the AAS Football Trophy! This had been won by Mr M Whitaker in the 2012/2013 season but we'd not got around to doing the presentation, and as this season ENDS very soon it seemed like it might be a good idea to get it DONE. He was duly impressed by the HANDSOMENESS of his award!

    With all these procedures completed we went back upstairs to watch Grace and her band who were, in the words of Mr Abbott, "sheer quality". Great songs, beautifully played and with CLASSY presentation, it was just ACE. I am on TOUR with her, in her solo incarnation, in a few weeks, it's going to be BRILL!

    The evening then devolved into further BEER and CHAT and general GOOD TIMES before I found myself STAGGERING back to the Ibis, WAY past my bedtime, full of the joys of ROCK, of PALS, and also a lingering idea that I might not be very well in the morning. I was right on ALL counts!

    posted 6/5/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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