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Blog: Hibbettfest 13

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Saturday morning found me up bright and early to head to The Midlands for the annual extravaganza known as HIBBETTFEST!

When I had consulted with Mr R Kirkham about dates earlier in the year I had been well aware that this was the day of the World Cup third-place play-offs, but thought that a) there was no way England would still be in the tournament by then and b) who cares about the third place play-offs anyway? I had not banked on a) England doing really well and b) me loving the World Cup quite as much as I have, so I must admit there was a small part of me who would have quite liked to watch a bit more of it. However, all worked out well and my day turned out to be MUCH more fun than watching England getting beaten by (according to Match Of The Day later on iPlayer) a better team!

The fun commenced at Marylebone station, with my trouser pocket breaking and all my change falling on the floor. People FLOCKED to the area to help me, picking it all up and handing it over. A lady sitting nearby handed my the last pound coin and said. "Everybody helped - aren't people lovely?" and I had to agree that they were.

Talking of lovely people, I then bumped into Mr M Tiller, who was this year's special guest. Being sensible grown-ups we had both arrived SUPER EARLY and so had plenty of time for a cuppa before hopping onto the slow train to Birmingham Moor Street. The journey passed at high speed due to NATTERING all the way up, and we were soon changing and on our way to Cradley Heath where Venue Owner Mr K Kirkham (aka Ray's Dad) picked us up and took us, as is traditional, to the Offy to get some booze. This was the THIRTEENTH (!) Hibbettfest, and I think it's important to maintain some of these ancient traditions!

We rolled up at the venue not long after to find a whole bunch of lovely folk there, including the usual assortment of dogs and BABIES, although this time several of the babies appear to have become CHILDREN, and children who were more than happy to JOIN IN too. One of the aforesaid was Ray's nephew Luke who this year was wearing a high vis jacket, t-shirt labelled "security", dark glasses, a walky-talky and an earpiece. He even had a FLAG for guiding in traffic, I have never felt so well protected at a gig before!

After quite a lot of sitting around in the baking sunshine chatting, drinking beer, and eating the ENORMOUS Vegan buffet which Ray had supplied (featuring some particularly brilliant sausage rolls this year, also CURRY) Matt took to the stage - or, rather, awning of the SHED - to perform. He was joined not only by the security officer but also three DANCERS who FLOSSED and DABBED throughout his performance, which he coped with MANFULLY! It was GRATE!

After returning to the buffet area for DESSERT we then gathered outside once more for ME to take to the awning and do THIS:
  • The Fair Play Trophy (again)
  • Cheer Up Love
  • Two Nights, One Pub
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • We Did It Anyway
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • I had a LOVELY time, especially with my dancers helping me, and I think it went OK. I had been a bit worried in the days leading up to the festival that I would FORGET how to do a gig, as I have done so few lately, but it all came back!

    There was then more time for sitting around and BEER before a select group of us got on the PARTY BUS back to town for an INTELLECTUAL round table discussion in the pub on diverse topics, after which Matt and I said our goodbyes and headed to Snow Hill Station, where we JUST got into Waitrose before it closed to get some TRAIN BEERS. HA! The journey home passed, if anything, even more quickly, partly due to the BEER and partly due to the extensive chats we had on MEN'S ISSUES and POLITICS... which were probably also partly due to the BEER!

    It was a lovely lovely day all round - roll on number fourteen!

    posted 16/7/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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