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Blog: New Set Alert

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A tube, a queue, a train, a stroll and I was at The Fans' Stadium, Kingsmeadow, in Kingston (That London) last night to play at the Give And Go Night with Mr Boo Hewerdine. When I got their I couldn't find the door, so waved my guitar through the window as ID and got let in. The Sound Guy was eager so I strode straight to the stage, soundchecked, and then sat down with a BEER and my book of Japanese Puzzles. Yes, i am THAT Rock & Roll, i have gone BEYOND Soduku before gigs, i am onto THE HARD STUFF.

I was doing a PUZZLE when they turned the house lights down, so that self same Sound Guy very kindly brought me over a LAMP, like the sort he was using to see his controls, so I could carry on. I thought that was really nice of him! Mr Matthew Breach turned up shortly afterwards - I tried to show off by telling him I'd seen Denis Norden in town earlier in the day (and i had - it had really cheered me up too, he was a reminder of cosy Saturday evenings long gone with cups of tea and white bread cheese sandwiches round my Nan and Grandad's) and he TRUMPED me mightily by telling me about the time Omar Sharrif had rung his sister's doorbell. I was STUNNED.

The venue was still fairly empty when the first act went on, which meant that the compere got to do a GRATE thing - first of all he introduced the band to the audience, then went round and introduce the audience, one by one, to the band. It was COOL. We sat and watched and chatted, and then i went to the loo three times in five minutes for LO! It had been over five weeks since last I gigged and i was getting THE NERVES.

The compere went on and said "We love live music - we love the mistakes and the sweat" which meant, as I then pointed out, they were in for a TREAT seeing me, as there was going to be a lot of BOTH, as I'd decided i was going to do a NEW set. And i did - WITNESS:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Dino At The Sands
  • The Fight For History
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • CORKS! Now that's NOT an uberset is it? I'd actually meant to do "Clubbing In The Week" and end with "Easily Impressed" and "Boom Shake The Room" as usual, but I soon realised I wouldn't have time to play them so, rather than get scared and drop the newer songs I dropped the old ones instead. WELL DONE ME - GIG BRAVERY MEDAL AHOY! It all seemed to work really well anyway - I started off QUIET with a Very New Version of "Better Things To Do", which has never worked very well when played solo before, but now DOES. I was PLEASE as I've spent ages trying to work it out, as if we release it as a single I'm pretty much going to HAVE to play it. I then did the WORLD PREMIERE of "It Only Works Because You're Here" and, again, that seemed to go DEAD well. I REALLY like this song, so was CHUFFED to see people GRINNING back at me throughout.

    The only bit that didn't work very well was nearly stopping in "Dino At The Sands" to explain that the instrumental bit had a lot more on it on the album - that was a bit crappy - otherwise i had a GRATE time. It felt a bit WEIRD to end with "Peterborough All-Saints" tho, i had the uneasy feeling that I would have to start all over again.

    The room had filled up quite a bit by the time I was on, and there were lots of smiling faces. It was LOVELY, such a relief that the new version of the set had gone well. As I was packing away a Young Man came to speak to me, and told me that a) him and his mate had come specifically to see ME and b) that he recognised where my "Books Rule" t-shirt came from, and LIKED it. This made me Even More Happy, and I went back and sat down to watch Mr Hewerdine.

    He was BLOODY GRATE. The first time I'd seen him there he'd seemed a bit edgy, but this time he sat down, still wearing his specs, and just CHATTED between the songs. It was ACE, especially his hilarious Steve Earle/Soldering story, that was FUNNY. Also the songs sounded fabulous - you know when dreary sods at folk nights drone on for ages because they think they're the Bees Knees? Boo Hewerdine is what they THINK they sound like in their heads, he's to THEM as Belle & Sebastian are to ageing indie kids trying to be Twee i.e. the one who actually does it properly and makes it all WORK. I know some of the songs now so got to sing along with all of them AMAZING MELODIES and GORGEOUS TUNES. It was all 3D and TECHNICOLOUR, it really is like he's found a SECRET VAT OF SONG that nobody else has ever had access to, he's amazing.

    The best bit was when he rang Kev The Promoter, who last time had DUETTED with but this time was in a taxi on the way back from an airport. They tried to do a duet by mobile phone, which didn't really work, but was all round lovely just to see everyone trying. His mate Calum (i think), Formerly Of The Bible, was brought on stage to hold the phone for him - last time he played there this was the same chap who got dragged on stage to play a guitar that was neither tuned up nor plugged in, so ended up just sort of dancing, but he seemed to take it all in good humour, and was very nice to me too when I spoke to him.

    So yes, it was a LOVELY night. Mr Breach gave me a lift to the station and it was a very happy Hibbett who chuntered back to Waterloo and the long voyage home.

    And tonight - DERBY! Band Practice! CURRY!

    posted 8/4/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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    Thanks for the nice comments Mark, glad you enjoyed it as much as me! One thing thou', Omar turned up at my cousin's rather than my sister's - she lived in a much posher house!!
    posted 8/4/2006 by Matt (AFCW)

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