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Blog: Back On The Road, Back In Northampton

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Saturday afternoon found me meeting Mr S Hewitt in our usual pre-Euston=train meeting place, The Euston Tap. I discovered Steve sitting near a DRIP - no, not a particularly weedy hipster, but an ACTUAL drip, coming from the vicinity of the upstairs toilets! Luckily there was only time for me to have a half before we left, as I didn't want to be there if anything else came through the ceiling!

Instead we did LINEZ (i.e. the two of us mumbling our way through the show together at high speed to make sure we remembered it) on the train to Northampton, for LO! we off to that fine city to perform Hey Hey 16K at the NN Cafe, the first of our post-Fringe TOURING dates. In accordance with being back on the road again we had booked Our Usual Rooms at the Ibis, arriving there in time not only to see Pointless Celebrities but also to catch the start of STRICTLY. I realise this may go against my HARD ROCKING image but CRUMBS, I do love Strictly. It's like a warm wave of Everything's All Right on a Saturday night!

ANYWAY, we regrouped and headed to the cafe where we were greeted by Ms T Payne and Mr J Brown (PROPRIETORS) and met Mr C East aka Winston Echo who would be playing later in the evening, accompanied by Mr R Nesbitt on percussion. After saying helloes we went for some TEA, eschewing a Turkish Restaurant (looked a bit scary) and Pizza Express (full) to go to a tiny little Italian Place i know that we international rock and roll jetsetters like to frequent, it is called ASK. It was very nice!

We returned to the cafe where we met MORE pals and soon it was SHOWTIME. A couple of times when I've played the NN Cafe it's been with Robin Ince, and so when I was asked to introduce the evening The Spirit Of Ince was in me i.e. i waffled on about whatever was in my BRANE for five minutes before saying "But don't get me going about Strictly - here's Winston Echo!"

I haven't seen an Actual Winston Echo Gig for AGES, possibly because there hasn't BEEN one for ages, but I was reminded at once how GRATE he is. He started off with "Winchester Cathedral Choir" and I thought "But this is the BIG HIT, where can he go from here?!?" I need not have worried - it was 20 minutes of EXCELLENT, pithy, funny and all round BRILLIANT songs. It was a shame he had to finish so that we could get on really!

But, after a swift break, that is exactly what happened and, actually, it was FAB. The show fell back into place and I remembered how much FUN it is to perform. I've probably said this here before, but the DELIGHT of Hey Hey 16K is that it's so EASY to a) do b) follow, which means that there's breathing space for REMARKS and ENJOYING it, as opposed to previous shows where you had to keep going at full speed throughout in ordernto get all the PLOT in. We really enjoyed it, and it looked like the audience did too. PHEW!

Afterwards we had a beer and then headed over to Phipps Brewery with Mr M and Mrs S Tudno-Jones and it was GRATE! "This is a real old fashioned Midland Ale" said Mel to which I replied "GIMME". Ooh it was a lovely pint!

The evening closed with my traditional purchase of a Dirty Pizza, this time from a handily placed Pizza Shop over the road from our hotel. Thus te next day began with the traditional on-tour breakfast of The Remain Of Dirty Pizza which, as ever, tasted a) delicious b) GUILTY.

We had to get a Rail Replacement Bus back as far as Milton Keynes which featured the MOST Officious Prick EVER taking tickets. Usually when you get on one of these buses staff steer clear, presumably out of GUILT, but this guy was checking everybody's ticket as they got on, making it take FOREVER to get going. Not only that but he also checked PASSES and THEN insisted on being shown OTHER IDENTIFICATION if people had a slightly different haircut in the photograph!

Still, in a funny way this made it all feel MORE like we were Back On The Road, as I used to end up on rail replacement buses all the time in my HEYDAY of national travel, and it felt sort of NICE to be doing it again, especially as I know it's a week until the next time, which'll be in BRIGHTON at The Caroline Of Brunswick on Sunday (PLENTY of tickets remain!). Why not pop along if you're in the area? It'll be FUN!

posted 19/10/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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