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Blog: Back On The Road

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Saturday morning found me getting up SUPER early, still a bit tired out by the late night on Thursday, in order to meet Mr S Hewitt at Euston Station for the slow train to Birmingham, for LO! It was the weekend of HIBBETTFEST!

After a CHARMING journey we rolled in to New Street, found Mr FA Machine, and together strolled over to Moor Street for the train to Cradley Heath. Setting something of a TONE for the whole weekend, our conversation was mostly of POLITICS, with me REVELLING in the idea that I am almost always WRONG in my predictions and that, therefore, pretty much anything could happen!

We were collected by Ray's Mum and headed for Kingswinford and the festival site, stopping en route for BOOZE. It was here that I faced the implications of my No Real Ale rule - the others got BOOZE while I got... bottles of water. Well, all right, I DID get myself a bottle of Corona for later, but it did feel a bit odd. As it happened though I was entirely FINE with water for the rest of the afternoon, which surprised no-one more than it did ME.

We arrived on site to discover Tim and Tom waiting for us (Emma would not be joining us until the second date of the TOUR {two dates totally counts as a tour} the following day) along with Mr R Kirkham, PROMOTER, and a whole heap of other delightful people. Apparently this was the FOURTEENTH (!) Hibbettfest, and over the years it has become a DELIGHTFUL afternoon full of fantastic food (prepared by Ray in a GINORMOUS BUFFET), nice people, dogs, children, and LARKS. This time it also feature Mr Dan Ransome as Official Support, ROCKING the Patio to no small degree while we wolfed down Vegan Jaffa Cake.

Then it was time for The Validators to take to the stage* (*area just in front of the kitchen window) where we did THIS:
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • In The North Stand
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • We Did It Anyway

  • Boom Shake The Room

  • The set was not without incident, including DOGS going WILD and racing through the performance area, knocking over a recycling bin and smashing a couple of glass bottles. MAYHEM! More sedately, just before We Did It Anyway we dragged Steve on to present him with The Artists Against Success Football Trophy, which he had WON for this year, and then as he was there ANYWAY we got him to sing the song with us, which sounded GRATE.

    After THAT we had officially finished, and I was AMUSED to see that The Validators had all trooped off through the patio doors and into the living room, like it was a DRESSING ROOM or something, and thus were able to stride back out for an ENCORE. It was FAB!

    With all that done there was time for chat, yet more GRUB, and for Mr Kirkham Senior to present me with a bottle of RUM, before it was time for us to get into The Tigermobile and head for MACCLESFIELD - we were booked to play at the Going Up The Country festival next day, and this was the closest place we could find any accommodation. On the way there we listened to the last twenty minutes of England VS Scotland. As Frankie remarked, it was the first interesting England game in about 300 years and we weren't watching in!

    We arrived at Macclesfield Travelodge and checked ourselves in before heading out for the evening. We found a GRATE micro-pub called The Treacle Tap, where once again I was faced with the fact that I would be drinking LAGER. Luckily they had some REALLY nice German lager, which I enjoyed while we spent the next HOUR discussing (in turn) our various AILMENTS. I think if you put the four of us together you could probably make about THREE healthy adult males, although two of them would probably have a bit of a bad back. We then went round the corner to Balti Kitchen where we had a BLOODY GRATE curry. Ooh, it was lovely, one of the nicest I've had ON TOUR!

    At this point I really wanted to go clubbing, totally, but the others are dead square and old, yeah, and tired from staying up later on Thursday, so instead we went back to the hotel and gathered in Tim's room to a) drink RUM b) plan next year's European Tour (NB this is an Actual Thing) c) discuss future recording and performance options d) agree that we are now a FESTIVAL BAND. It was an EXCELLENT meeting and I feel that ALL future such discussions would be greatly enhanced by RUM!

    And thus the evening ended. The next day would be another day of ROCK, for LO! we were on TOUR!

    posted 14/6/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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