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Blog Archive: May 2010

The Last Working Day Of The Month
Cor, they WHIP round these months don't they? Can it really be nearly a month since last I sent out a newsletter? Well, it must be, for LO! Today is newsletter day and so this month's newsletter has duly been sent out.

The big news this time around is that our second album, WE VALIDATE! is now available to stream for free or download for not free from our bandcamp site. We're planning to gradually put the LOT on here, one a month (it takes AGES to upload it all!) and maybe even do a couple of EXCLUSIVES.

And even more exciting - we sold our first mp3 today! WHOO!

posted 28/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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A World Premiere
I entered the back garden of The Lamb on Tuesday night to find a small MOB of people, all eager to see the World Premiere of Dinosaur Planet: THE MUSICAL, and one slightly nervous Mr S Hewitt. Looking at HIM made ME feel nervous as I suddenly realised we'd never DONE this in front of people before, and we'd ESPECIALLY not done so with the COSTUMES. EEK!

I calmed down a little as various people arrived, especially when Mr Ben Moor came, and soon we were all upstairs and ready to go. Almost TOO soon, in fact - at 7.20pm we had an almost full house, looking expectantly at me to start. Usually we end up starting LATE, this time we were on the verge of EARLY!

Only on the verge, however, for it was a few seconds after 7.30pm where I took to the stage and did a short introductory set, as follows:

  • The Gay Train
  • Rather Spooky
  • Easily Impressed

  • This was, in order, a song asked for by Steve, a song asked for by ME and a song asked for by Ben. It seemed to go OK, and then I gave the introduction for Ben himself to take the stage, with some READINGS.

    I must admit I was a bit NERVOUS about this. We've always had MUSIC, and often BELLOWED MUSIC, before, and I wasn't sure how something a bit more, well, POSH would go down with everyone. I needn't have worried, however, as he was AMAZING. Ben's stuff is always beautiful and enthralling on the page, but spoken out loud it was just GORGEOUS. Everyone sat AGOG, captivated by it all and also LARFING (i thought The Punchline In My Gag, for instance, was going to HURT herself chuckling at the Hadron Liner The Size Of A Bicycle Tyre bit) and generally LOVING it. For the first time ever there was a QUEUE afterwards for The Merchandising Table (or "where Ben was sitting", to give it its proper name), THAT is how much everyone loved it: A LOT. Best of all, he did an entirely NEW bit for a show he's just started writing. Thus I can legitimately claim to have PREMIERED [a bit of] IT in years to come! And it will be GRATE!

    After all that excitement and a short break it was finally time for Steve and I to don our matching Dinosaur T-shirts and do THIS:
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • Don't, Darren, Don't
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • A Little Bit
  • Here Come The Dinosaurs
  • The Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet
  • My Grandad Is Nuts
  • The Battle Of Peterborough
  • My Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet
  • We Are The Giant Robots
  • Dinosaurs Talk Like Pirates
  • We Are The Dinosaurs
  • Literature Search
  • Strangely Attractive
  • Please Don't Eat Us
  • For The Fate Of The Earth
  • A Little Bit More
  • Literature Search
  • Dinosaurs Talk Like Pirates
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet

  • It was GOOD! We were VERY nervous, especially near the start, and there were a couple of lines missed and slightly more "adapted for the live arena", and one verse of a song missed, but I think we probably more aware of that than anyone else. INDEED the general reaction afterwards was VERY favourable - I was quite surprised by how MUCH, in fact! It felt weird after all this thought and practicing to be having to WAIT because of LARFS, and also to find new bits to DO when there are people there, but it also felt GOOD. There's work still to do, but I think we have got ourselves a SHOW!

    Afterwards there was plenty of time for chat with the many and various lovely people who had come down to see and, in one case, FILM it - maybe for a trailer, we shall have to see! - so it was a very happy Hibbett who once again staggered back to the tube, clutching (and, all right, occasionally hugging) the BEST PROP EVER as he walked. I think it's all going to be all right!

    posted 27/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Shift Run Stop
    I strolled through a GORGEOUS sunny London (in my SHORTS! It was THAT sunny!) after work yesterday to Cavendish Square, to meet the people of the Shift Run Stop podcast. They'd asked me last week if I'd be able to come and do an interview, so I said "YES PLEASE!" and HENCE he we all were sat on the grass. I've known The Internet's Dave Green for MANY years (it was he who initially plugged the Hey Hey 16K Internet single in Need To Know, back in the long distant days when there were only 17 people on the interweb) and said hello to Leila and Roo, who did most of the interviewing.

    Not that there was much chance to DO any of that because, as usual, once asked a question I have about FIFTEEN ANSWERS, each delightfully nested inside the other as I remembered Another Fascinating Story about ME. Near the start I did Hey Hey 16K and, having said, "I get this song wrong more often than any other song" dutifully DID so, but once I'd eventually got it right they said "You don't seem to have much problem SINGING outside when there's people around." No. Because three people is a CROWD when you are an Utter Show-Off like what i am!

    Despite my OVER-GABBLING it all seemed to go rather well - they'd thought up a LOT of questions that I had a LOT of fun answering! The square was getting more crowded and noisy, so we moved over the sit near one of the London Elephants (NB sculptures scattered all over west central London), talking to a Slightly Strange Lady on the way who, I think, thought we were doing a Radio Feature about them. Here we sat down again and I did A Little Bit, having mentioned it earlier on, and then that was that! They were going to do a bit more, including SNACK REVIEWS, so i said a grateful goodbye (including apology for going on QUITE so much) then headed home.

    It was all rather good fun - the podcast is going to be online a week on Thursday, I think, and there should be a VIDEO TRAILER shortly before then. If you have PATIENCE, prepare to USE it whilst listening to me!

    posted 25/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Dress Rehearsal
    There was PANIC in Leytonstone over the weekend - the hot weather had engendered a PIMMS CRISIS! There was NONE to be had in Tesco, but luckily we were able to SOURCE some from nearby Leyton Asda. PHEW!

    This was needed because on Sunday The Hewitts came round for the DRESS REHEARSAL for Dinosaur Planet. We had a BUFFET ready for the post-rehearsal cool down, and not to have PIMMS available would have been, frankly, BARBARIC.

    Much like the AROMA coming out of the room we rehearsed in - MAN! It was HOT in there, especially for those of us wearing an array of HATS, WIGS, and ROBOT HEADS, and all the dancing about only exacerbated matters. However, we got through to the end in one piece with only a couple of slightly erratic sessions, and the costume changing was surprisingly easy. I kept telling Steve that this was due to the PLAYWRITING GENIUS what put in spaces for changeovers, but I don't think he was convinced.

    We also had a PHOTOSHOOT, under the eye of The Lens In My Camera. Last year we got a bit caught out with this, as a few places asked for publicity photos and I didn't have any, so we got a good few done. Here's one of my favourites:

    Do You Come Here Often?


    In addition we needed some pretty specific shots for the POSTER, which I've now started on. It's looking GRATE so far - similar to last year's but a bit more, well, EXCITING I think. I've certainly found it EXCITING enough to LOOK at every ten minutes, and I'll put the finished version up here as soon as it's done.

    We thus sat back and enjoyed our PIMMS safe in the knowledge that things were progressing satisfactorily, and that tomorrow night's preview at Totally Acoustic (also featuring the brilliant Ben Moor) wouldn't necessarily be a TOTAL disaster. Indeed, so excited we were that we had a DIARY meeting - if all goes to plan we've got three more practices and about FOUR gigs to sort ourselves out in. It's going to be GRATE!

    posted 24/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Full Story And Pics Inside
    As stated MANY MANY times over the past couple of months I've been hard at work lately redesigning the entire webpage. Most of the BIG JOBS were finished at the start of this month, and since then I've been beavering away tidying up some of the smaller aspects.

    One of these has been the discography section, which has had a THOROUGH going over. I've now got ALL the tracklists and brief explanation online and have also gone through filling in some GAPS, like the German tape Recoute Mark J Hibbett or The Durham Ox Singers album, neither of which had been on here before.

    Most excitingly of ALL, for me at least, is the fact that nearly EVERY release now has an accompanying IMAGE. I spent a happy couple of hours going through my tape boxes the other day digging out ALL the old cassettes I have and PHOTOGRAPHING them. I got EVERYTHING for the Releases With Other Bands section, but discovered that some of my old cassettes were missing. I hunted high and low for them all over the house, but eventually had to call in some help from Mr F A Machine, who very kindly went up to his ARCHIVE in the loft at Machine Mansions and dug the last few out for me. I was THRILLED by this - I'd actually completely forgotten what tapes like What's So Bad About Being A Grown-Up even LOOKED like, it had been so long since I'd seen them, and there was much NOSTALGIC JOY to be had from looking at them.

    The NEXT things to do will be bringing back the GALLERY and putting in a more organised way of sorting the VIDEOS. These might take a bit longer to do!

    posted 21/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Practicing/Upstairs At The Garage
    I was back in Camden, City Of A Thousand Wazzocks, after work yesterday for another Dinosaur Planet practice with Mr S Hewitt. We've both been hard at work learning lines and so we DOVE straight into a FULL RUN THROUGH.

    The word which most adequately describes it would be "ramshackle". Still, we got to the end, with only a few LUNGES for the script, and as Steve said we're in the middle of May with a fully written show, with a script AND costumes, and several months to HONE it, which is more than I would guest most people have. We just need to LEARN it properly - being UNSURE, as we were, made the whole thing a bit terrifying, and I think we will need to make sure that everyone attending Totally Acoustic next week is fully aware of the meaning of the term "Preview Show" i.e. "We will be cocking it up all the way through".

    The songs sound good tho!

    We left the building to the strains of THE WHITE STRIPES, who do seem to be VERY MUCH The Practicing Band's Band Of Choice, and heading over to ISLINGTON to meet Mrs M Hewitt. We were off to a GIG, but first we went down the road for a CURRY. I've been in Islington several times requiring GRUB but for some reason have always gone looking in the wrong direction, for LO! it turns out there is STANDARD TANDOORI five minutes down Holloway Road from the tube station, where we had a LOVELY meal. I had STANDARD BALTI (surprise surprise) and the standard was HIGH.

    And then it was off to Upstairs At The Garage, to see JimBob doing his book reading thing. I was EXCITED to be back Upstairs as I used to play there A LOT Back In The Day and have MANY fond memories of it - the "secret track" at the end of Say It With Words was recorded there, and it was also one of the first times I met The Sticky Floor Of My Venue. I was thus DELIGHTED to find that they'd carried out a huge expensive refit to make it look ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. The mixing desk had moved but otherwise it was as if they'd VACUUM SEALED it when it closed down - even the Slightly Fed Up Bar Staff were back in place.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the gig - Isy Suttie was GRATE and i HUNGER for a copy of JimBob's book - but my favourite bit was that there were a whole bunch of people there I knew, so we wandered round having a) a chat b) a lovely time doing the above. For some reason I had my photograph taken with, amongst others, Mr Chris T-T and Mr Keith TOTP. "It's like the line-up for Live Aid 2015" I remarked and, to be honest, when you find yourself saying daft things like that you know it is time to STOP drinking the lager and START going home. So I did, a song in my heart and a daft grin on my face, having had a LOVELY night out!

    posted 20/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    One Foot In The Spotlight
    As anyone who knows me will doubtless tell you, i am NOTHING if not shy of the limelight. "Quiet", is what my nearest and dearest will tell you. "Keeps a steady supply of bushels to hand for light concealment", they might add. "With Hibbett, it's all about letting others shine".

    But even one so humble as I does occasionally like to feel he is part of the ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS, and I must admit it's been a little QUIET on that front just lately. Although there has been a FRENETIC wave of activity it's all been away from the GLARE of The Watching Universe as we've been getting things ready - later this year we'll be out and about performing Dinosaur Planet, releasing the concept album version, and "Forest Moon Of Enderby", but this year so far has seen very little of us out and/or ABOUT.

    So it's been rather nice, these past couple of days, to have a couple of things happen that actually HAPPEN. For instance, on Monday I got an email from the nice people at Shift Run Stop asking me if I'd like to go and be on one of their podcasts. I said "YES PLEASE" and so am OFF there on Monday to... er... well, I'm not sure what I'm going to do exactly. Possibly bang on about myself and play some songs, which will be DELIGHTFUL, for me at least.

    Meanwhile I've also finally got round to doing a bit of re-plugging of our bandcamp site (which, as you may recall, I did a rather snazzy video for). I got a HUGE list of about 200 music blogs from Mr R Newman of The Snug, and have had a, to be honest, slightly depressing time gradually going through them. It's depressing because most of them have Gone The Way Of All Things, it's like trawling through a remake of GEOCITIES, although there ARE a few of them left standing which look quite groovy (and most of those are currently raving about Allo Darlin', funnily enough!) so I've been steadily EMAILING them.

    Imagine then my JOY when I saw that Side Ponytail have not only LISTENED to the album, not only LIKED it, but also had a right good proper THINK about it. Their review of it is one of my favourite EVER as it's clearly done with an THOUGHTFUL BRANE on - i do like it when someone DOESN'T really like a song AND explains why in a way that makes you think "Oh yes, fair enough". It's ACE, do pop over and have a look!

    And if all THAT wasn't more than enough excitement, yesterday when I was walking back to work from LUNCH someone said "You're MJ Hibbett!" AND THEY WERE RIGHT. It was a young man who had seen me play at Indietracks, who then APOLOGISED for drawing attention to it. I don't know why people say that sort of thing, especially to me as i LOVE it. It really rather made my day in fact, and I walked back to the office, having thanked him, with a big silly grin on my face. It was lovely!

    Maybe... maybe I could get USED to showing off?

    posted 19/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Bizarre Magazine
    Whilst out strolling the streets of London in search of LUNCH yesterday I walked past a newsagent and thought "Hang on, weren't we supposed to be in BIZARRE Magazine this month?"

    I went inside, had a FLICK through, and LO! we were! Here's what it said:
    This 40-something 'Database Ninja' from Lincolnshire performs ukulele covers of songs by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith when he was still the Fresh Prince. He also writes concept albums about Dinosaurs, and once had an internet hit called 'Hey! Hey! 16k!' He often plays gigs with his band The Validators - featuring Tim Pattison from 1990s indie group Prolapse on drums - and performs his anarchic songs at the Edinburgh Festival.

    "Lincolnshire?" I thought "Well, I suppose I do really but... HANG ON A MINUTE! FORTY SOMETHING?!?! Not for a few weeks yet young lady!!"

    But apart from that NEAR CORONARY INDUCING phrase I thought that was all rather nice. It's all due to the good offices of the ever marvellous Jude Rogers, who wrote their regular monthly "Bands You Probably Haven't Heard Of Section." The magazine DID email me for a photograph too, but they seem to have chosen some other of the other bands instead, POSSIBLY because they look a bit more in keeping with the magazine's general ethos than, well, a THIRTY something gentleman looking quite happy in a Beer Garden.

    Crikey though, it's a bit RACY, Bizarre Magazine, isn't it? It's a bit like NUTS or something, but with PIERCINGS - I had to wait until I got home to read it, as i DAREN'T at work!

    posted 18/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Important National Annoucement: The Opinion Of ME
    In these times of National Unity and Financial Emergency it is vital - VITAL - for the onward pursuance of fiscal AND monetary responsibilty that i throw in my MIGHTY OAR to the Great Debate that is GRIPPING the United Kingdom i.e. What About This Coalition Business then eh?

    Here then is my opinion:

    I think we all need to take a deep breath, calm down, and say "I don't suppose there was anything else anybody could have done, really, and I guess we'll just have to get on with it".

    For LO! there doesn't half seem to be a lot of HYSTERIA and GRIPING going on. My VIEW is perhaps biased because on holiday we read The Guardian every day which was PACKED to the GILLS with the aforesaid GRIPING, also HYSTERIA. BLIMEY! I am starting to think that the reason so many Brits Abroad seem to read the Daily Mail is that they BEGAN their holidays as Occasional Independent Readers who could only get hold of The Guardian and, over the course of a couple of weeks, became SO ANNOYED that they became PERMANENTLY RIGHT WING by the end of it. I know I got home DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to thinking that many journalists would not be harmed by a decent haircut and a spot of national service.

    The thing is, IN MY MIGHTY OPINION, neither D.Cameron nor N.Clegg nor anybody else had any real CHOICE in the matter. A minority Conservative government would have ground to a halt within MINUTES, probably leading to another general election which could well have THEN led to an ACTUAL MAJORITY for them, as a) The Labour Party would still be leaderless b) the Lib Dems would get the blame for not making it a proper government c) the Tories are the only ones with the CA$H to fight another campaign so soon.

    "Ooh, but what about The Rainbow Alliance eh?" say CERTAIN TYPES who, clearly, find MATHS to be a bit of a trial. If the current coalition government is looking A Bit Shaky due to the various LOONIEZ of both parties wanting to have their moment in the spotlight, shouting, then how on earth do you think it would be if we had not only Labour and the LibDems but ALSO the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists involved, ALL with different policies, and with a MUCH MUCH smaller minority? ANSWER: it would be shakier than Shakin' Stevens on The Boardwalk in an Earthquake, wearing a vest while it snows, and would result in the aforesaid early election and then a MASSIVE Tory Majority.

    So yes, really the only thing that COULD be done to minimise Horrible Tory Things in the long-term was to go into a coalition with them. It seems weird to me that this is something anybody would seriously dispute, and i begin to suspect that some of the complaining is just People Who Wish To Complain. The fact is, NOBODY got exactly what they wanted out of the election - NONE of the parties actually WON in the way they wanted to, and so EVERYBODY connected with the parties seems to feel cheated out of their Assumed Natural Right To Govern.

    Now, as a lifelong LibDem voter I a) might be slightly biased but b) get a bit annoyed about some of the bollocks that is currently being spoken, especially currently by Labour people who arrogantly suppose that the SOLE POINT of the LibDems is that they are NOT TORIES. "Ooh", they say, "What about people who voted LibDem thinking that it would prevent the Tories getting in eh? What about them?" Well a) any party who suddenly doesn't like tactical voting might possibly have thought about that when they spent 13 years NOT CHANGING THE VOTING SYSTEM b) was there anywhere at ALL where this actually happened and a Tory MP was deposed by a Liberal Democrat? c) and if so, well, it DID keep out a Tory, and by giving the Liberal Democrats one more MP gave them that little bit more leeway to get THEIR policies implemented rather than Tory ones.

    Because, the thing is, there's absolutely nothing unusual, difficult, unworkable or problematic about there BEING a Coalition nor about two parties who are VERY different actually managing to WORK TOGETHER. You know that great big land mass off the south coast? No, not the Isle Of Wight, i mean EUROPE - THERE? Turns out pretty much MOST of the countries over there have been managing this for DECADES and appear to have MORE different parties than us, not LESS, with all KINDS of different ideas. And quite a lot of THEM are weathering the Global Situation a lot better than we are.

    So, in conclusion, I say this: let's just see how it goes. It isn't the situation that ANYBODY would REALLY like to be in, but after the results we had it's the only one we really CAN be in, so we might as well get on with it. I hate the Tories as much as the next man (NB unless it's Boris Johnson or something) but not ALL of them are, necessarily (STEELS SELF to say something he doesn't really want to) COMPLETELY evil {terms and conditions apply} and, after 13 years of a New Labour government that spent much of its time trying to Out-Thatcher Thatcher, some of their plans might even be LESS AWFUL than if G.Brown was still in charge.

    I fully expect, now that I've said this, to find G.Osborne parading through The City Of London in a TANK, leading a FOX HUNT as he gleefully hands out WADS OF CASH to bankers whilst MAIMING the unemployed. If that happens, I take it all back!

    posted 17/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Back In The Country
    Hello everyone, I'm back from my holidays - I didn't miss anything did I? I'm sure it was all VERY QUIET after the election...

    I JEST, of course - we had BBC1 on the telly in our apartment, so every time we got back from LOUNGING AROUND in the sunshine we eagerly switched it on wanting to see what ON EARTH had happened next. It was a GRATE week in which to have time to sit and read the paper from cover to cover!

    But now that I'm back it's time to FLY into ACTION - i've spent most of this morning working out a SCHEDULE that'll allow me to finish publicising our bandcamp page, get our next b-sides compilation out in time for indietracks, get Dinosaur Planet ready for Edinburgh whilst recording the album version at the same time, get to the various GIGS that are turning up, and... well, there's LOADS more happening, but I think that'll be enough to worry about for now!

    The next thing here will be WE VALIDATE! appearing on the bandcamp page and maybe some of the long promised improvements to the new webpage, so do stick around - it's going to be a Summer of THRILLS!

    posted 16/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Out Of Office
    All sorts of things have been going on just lately that I'm not going to have time to tell you about properly. We had a GRATE rehearsal on Wednesday night, for instance, when Steve and I did a full run-through of "Dinosaur Planet" which left us HIGH FIVING with GLEE over the post-practice BUFFET. Yes, we have post-practice BUFFETS. That is how we roll.

    Meanwhile the concept album itself is moving forward - I spent a couple of HOURS the other day going through identifying the sound effects we'll need, which is now in the hands of TEAM SNUG. It ran to SEVEN PAGES!

    Even more excitingly i had a couple of sound files from Indie Legend and All-Round Good Guy Mr Phil Wilson, containing his contribution as SERGEANT PHIL, which sound AMAZING. These should now be safely inserted into the main BODY OF WORK, as last not Mr T McClure was up in Derby in the studio laying down some STRINGS. He tells me he has THREE more sessions booked in, and if I can get round to booking some more for ME to go in to do the final sections of DIALOGUE then by the time we hit INDIETRACKS we'll be well on the way to having the basics DONE.

    Talking of indietracks, we now have confirmation that we'll be playing our main WARM-UP GIG at The Musician in Leicester on July 22nd, with Standard Fare and The Lime Chalks. This is a HECK of a line-up, I just hope we manage to remember the words! The next night we might be playing ANOTHER gig in Leicestershire, this time for Tim's WORKS DO, so hopefully we'll be on TIP TOP FORM by the time we get to Ripley!

    But I can't BANG ON about all these at the length I'd like because tomorrow (VOLCANO PERMITTING) myself and the MAGMA in my MAGMA TUBE are heading off to MAJORCA on holiday. We'll be away for the week so please, PLAY NICELY while we're away, and hopefully see you in a week or so's time!

    posted 8/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    A Lasting Legacy
    I meant to say this the other day whilst discussing the SESSION in Derby, but somehow forgot. Goodness knows how I could, for it concerns what may be the LASTING LEGACY of entire careers in musical endevour: THE SPREADSHEET OF ROCK.

    As I've doubtless mentioned many times we have to be VERY ORGANISED about our recording sessions, as they rarely have Continuity Of Staff involved and can be several months apart, so we long ago developed THE SPREADSHEET OF ROCK as a means of keeping on top of things. I think the first OFFICAL one we used was for WE VALIDATE!, when we needed to make sure that everything that NEEDED doing WAS done while we were in Cornwall, but it proved so handy we've used them ever since. It's basically just a list of the basic things that need doing for each song which we tick off as we go along. Hardly ROCKET SCIENCE, but it does make you think about what you're going to do BEFORE you start doing it, and while not preventing ADDITIONS it does FOCUS everyone on what needs to happen.

    We've thus utilised them the entire time that we've been recording at SNUG, and Robbie and Rich have always been VERY keen on them. I recall their DELIGHTED FACES the first time they saw them, clearly thinking "But... this is going to make everything so clear! So simple! And clear up valuable time for ROCKING OUT with The Percussion Box later!"

    Every now and again one of them has said that they've had another band in who they've told to put a Spreadsheet Of ROCK together, and I've always thought they were either joking, or just referring to a list of songs or something. On Tuesday night, however, I discovered that it is NO JOKE, nor exaggeration - ALL bands entering Snug with the intention on doing A PROJECT are FORCED to complete a proper Spreadsheet Of ROCK before anything can even begin!

    This, I feel, is FANTASTIC - it's SUCH a good idea that it's BOUND to leave a lasting effect on these bands who, I am sure, will pass the idea on to all that they meet. In centuries to come when ROCK HISTORIANS speak of The Derby Scene of the 2010s they'll probably say "Ah yes, The Spreadsheet Of ROCK bands, as they are known by one and all. Here indeed is where 'The Age Of Everything Being Dead Good' TRULY began."

    I'm not asking for glory, nor official recognition - a mention in a Trivial Pursiut (BRANE HOLOGRAM EDITION) will suffice, and maybe a knighthood or something, that's all - for LO! I am just proud to know that something WE have done is helping THE YOUNG PEOPLE in their quest for creativity. It gives me a warm glow all over!

    posted 8/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    The State Of The Nation
    Cor, eh? I mean: BLIMEY. CRUMBS!

    This is pretty much the most cogent statement I can come up with today as a) I was up until 4am going "What? PLEASE MAKE SENSE!" and b) it's what everyone else is saying anyway, except in a more FANCY DAN kind of way.

    For LO! i find myself in a STRANGE STRANGE world where my BRANE comes up with utterly bizarre statements like "the right thing to do is to let the Tories try and form a government." What was that, BRANE? It is not something I expected myself to ever think, but there you go - hopefully CLEGGO is planning to let them have first POP, allow it to fall through, and then be able to form The Rainbow Coalition, or maybe it'll end up with 6 months of Tory's governing DISASTER, electoral reform, and then LOVELINESS. Word from NOTED THINKTANK The Validators (Francis A Machine Presiding) is that we may be in for a Summer Of Discontent, which sounds TERRIBLY exciting.

    Whatever happens, for someone who, shall we say, takes a perhaps over-excitable interest in constitutional politics, it's not going to be BORING. And it might, actually, in the end mean and end to the crappy ridiculous voting system that we've been labouring under. It might also mean politicians FINALLY have to stop saying "Well, exit polls often get it wrong don't they?"

    posted 7/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Just Like Radio 4
    On Tuesday I headed up to DERBY after work to get stuck into some more of Dinosaur Planet: THE CONCEPT ALBUM. Regular readers may recall a few weeks ago when we spent the day in Dean Street Studios recording vocals and dialogue with some of the Guest Cast. The next day I went in and downloaded THE LOT onto a hard drive and ever since then I have been PANICKING about LOSING it all. I wanted to get to Derby AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to get it glued into the rest of the stuff, and Tuesday was the first opportunity I'd had to do so.

    You can imagine my relief then when Rich EXTRACTED it all and put it into the system at SNUG. PHEW! With that done we spent a happy evening lining up the vocals onto songs and then stitching together the dialogue parts - VERY happy for me, as it all sounded so AMAZING! I sat there like a TWIT, giggling and bouncing up and down with GLEE as I listened to it. I know it's WRONG to LARF quite as much as I did at GAGS that I myself had written, but GOSH DARN IT i was PROUD of what we'd achieved! Also really lovely was the fact that I got to hear some of what Emma'd recorded when she was in the other week, and it sounds BRILLIANT.

    A warning though: anyone hoping for a return to the more stripped down, less over the top sound which we used to have before our last album - you may be slightly disappointed. Especially when you hear the Dialogue Scenes, one of which we had a go at next...

    The bit we did is "Grandad's House", the scene where Terry arrives at his Grandad's and tells him that the army needs his house. It's about 40 seconds of dialogue between myself as Terry and Mr Chris T-T who plays Grandad, so we thought it'd be quite simple. It took NINETY MINUTES!

    The reason for this, as we soon realised, is that Painting Pictures With Sound takes a LOT of AURAL PAINT! It starts with the sounds of distant battle, over which we hear a car drive up, stop, and someone gets out. We needed ALL those individual sounds and then someone SHUTTING the door, running up the drive, knocking on the door, the door SHUTTING (and then the sounds of battle becoming much quieter) as they go into the kitchen and put the kettle on.

    It was a LOT of work, but crikey it sounded INCREDIBLE. We did a quick mix of it (along with some other mixes I was taking away to allow other people to do their overdubs) as I was getting my coat on to go and get the train home, and realised we'd STILL not finished it properly. We suddenly noticed that once Grandad's closed his front door he appears to FLY into the kitchen, where the kettle gets switched on BY MAGIC. MORE sound effects are needed!

    So yes, it's going to be QUITE a THING when it's finished, this album, but I think it's going to be rather SPLENDID!

    posted 6/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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    Paris
    Sorry for the lack of UPDATES here this week, there's been a lot going on!

    First amongst these events has been a trip to PARIS. Oui oui, myself and The Seine In My Capital City Of France went over for the weekend with some PALS to help celebrate one of their's fortieth birthday. Is it me, or are there an awful lot of fortieth birthdays happening at the moment? One of my friends seems to be turning 40 every couple of weeks at the moment, i can't understand it at ALL.

    Anyway, we had a brilliant time STOMPING around the city, but I'll tell you this - NEXT time somebody decides to knock down most of Paris and rebuild it according to their ideas of an EMPIRE, maybe they should put the good bits a bit closer together. I mean, i live in That London where, really, most of the Cool Tourist Bits are within about 15 minutes of Trafalgar Square, so you can see all sorts without getting knackered. In Paris, however, everything is MILES apart. It's SO inconsiderate - if it hadn't been for all the eating and drinking we did I'd probably have lost weight!

    We saw some GRATE things, especially in the LOUVRE, which I'd never been into before. We followed the signs and saw The Mona Lisa, and it was a bit WEIRD to be actually stood near The Actual Mona Lisa after seeing it reproduced so many times. Even better was The Venus De Milo tho, that was AMAZING. Also we saw The Wreck Of The Medusa, which was good, and lots of FRENCH things. The FRENCHINESS of it all stood out quite a lot - I'm used to wandering about Galleries and Public Buildings seeing Shakespeare, various Kings and Queens, THE USUAL, so it was a bit odd to suddenly keep bumping into NAPOLEON all the time instead. The bit of my BRANE where i stored the European History bit of my History 'A' Level (D) got more use than it's had in over 20 years, especially when we went to The Bastille. COR! The Bastille! That's where the previous 200 odd years all BEGAN that is!

    The best bit though was when we went and sat in a park near The Eiffel Tower and drank RED WINE. That was GRATE - Actual Red Wine in Actual Paris with the Actual Eiffel Tower LOOMING behind us. Brilliant!

    So yes, a lovely time was had by all, but when I got back it was almost STRAIGHT out and off to Derby, for ROCK...

    posted 6/5/2010 by MJ Hibbett
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