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Blog: The Loss Of Loss

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On Tuesday I received a message from Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey asking if I had any copies of The LollopaLeicester Mercury hidden away, leading me to have a sudden BRANE SURGE as my MIND went "Oh yeah The LollopaLeicester Mercury, I haven't thought about that THIS CENTURY!"

For LO! The LollopaLeicester Mercury was a sort of NEWSLETTER that went alongside the LollopaLeicester nights that Dave and I used to run at The Factory in Leicester (it's not there anymore) back in the twentieth century. These happened every month, generally with a Sorted and an Artists Against Success act, plus the HOUSE BAND, The Durham Ox Singers. I had completely forgotten that the newsletters existed, so was DELIGHTED to find that Dave has copies of nearly all of them and was only asking to see if I had the one he was missing.

For some MAD reason when I left Leicester I chucked away a TONNE of stuff, most of which was very sensible (e.g. a huge bin bag full of cassette tapes that I could no longer listen to) but SOME of which I have long regretted, including loads of gig posters and related paraphenalia that I wish I'd kept. I DID, however, have a back-up CD-R containing ALL the stuff I had ever done on my work computer, so dug that out to have a look see if there was anything there. In those long ago days I would occasionally DO personal stuff on my work computer, tho OF COURSE I would never do it now, OBVS.

I didn't find anything to do with LollopaLeicester, alas, but I DID find a couple of posters and more excitingly several SET LISTS! For the past ten years or so I've been recording my setlists on The Database Of ROCK, which means you see what I played at ALL my gigs for the past decade - something which comes in very handy when I go back somewhere and want to make sure i'm not COMPLETELY repeating myself. I'd LOVE to be able to do this going further back - when we recently brought You Will Be Hearing From My Solicitor back into the set I was AMAZED to find it had only apparently been played a couple of times, until Tim pointed out that it was played LOADS in our early days, but that that was before proper records were kept. As you can see for yourself, I have now been able to add SEVERAL more shows to its list, which is IMMENSELY satisfying.

I discussed this at home with The Songs In My Set and she pointed out that this was related to what The Artist Tom Smith had been saying in his talk last week about "the loss of loss" (NB this was what he was ACTUALLY talking about, rather than about how COOL his big brother is!). He was talking about how, these days, it's difficult to LOSE things as everything's backed up, or "in the cloud", or on a database somewhere. In OLDEN THYME you could easily lose touch with people, for instance, but now google can find pretty much everybody you ever went to school or worked with. In the world of ROCK it's PEASY to find out dates for every gig you've done this century, who played with you, and often there's pictures and even video. Before that though it's pretty much impossible - I know for a FACT there are LOADS of gigs that Voon did in the 1990s that I have NO idea where or when they were, let alone what we played or who we played with. To be fair, there are OTHER REASONS I have little memory of such things hem hem, but if they'd happened ten years it would be VERY different.

I guess some might say "aah but they were simpler times, do you see, and the lack of recordability made you appreciate things, do you see?" but I say "NO I want things written down and SEARCHABLE so I can do GRAPHS if I want to!" Imagine then my DELIGHT yesterday when, while MUSING about the above on the way to work, I suddenly realised that there were MORE records available. I hadn't thrown away ALL my cassette tapes, and had in fact KEPT all of the ones containing GIG recordings. Young People: back in pre-history bands used to take CASSETTE RECORDERS to gigs to TAPE themselves so that a) they could hear what they actually SOUNDED like and b) maybe use these recordings to give to PUBS in an attempt to get gigs. MAN, we were pretty much running round in bear skins trying to work out how to make FIRE weren't we?

ANYWAY I tended to write out the TRACKLISTINGS on these tapes which meant they were also SETLISTS! THUS last night I was not only able to add SETLISTS to some VERY old gigs, but also ADD some gigs previously unrecorded!! I was a) WELL CHUFFED but also b) astonished that I had never thought of this before. When I set up The Database Of ROCK to run this website I spent AGES trawling through old diaries to work out what gigs had been played, but it seems i never thought to go through the TAPE ARCHIVE.

THUS there is a whole HEAP more information available now should, for instance, anyone (me) wish to discover QUITE how long I've been playing The Perfect Love Song or indeed Boom Shake The Room. My only continuing regret is that there's still big GAPS in the DATA - otherwise it would DEFINITELY be GRAPH O'CLOCK!

posted 12/1/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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