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Songs: Last Orders

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<a href="http://mjhibbett.bandcamp.com/track/last-orders-2">Last Orders by MJ Hibbett &amp; The Validators</a>
Number one, but only 'cause it's near
Number two sells ridiculously over-priced beer
Tomorrow you'll be off to London, today we're on the piss
So call Last Orders on all of this.

Number three's where I saw you at your worst
Number four's where we went to watch you try to talk to those Spanish Girls
Five got knocked down months ago, now it's a hole in the ground
So call Last Orders on this town

Number six - I'm gagging for some chips
Number seven's where we went and played our first ever gig
Our history slides down a pint glass and my head's getting thin
So call Last Orders and get them in.

Number eight is full of farewell friends
Number nine's changed too much so drink your drinks and then we're
Off to Number Ten
We've saved the best 'til last because this is where we first met
So please don't call Last Orders yet
Don't call Last Orders yet
Don't call Last Orders yet


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

As wary watchers will be aware, a LOT of the songs on "This Is Not A Library" are about pubs, or about leaving for somewhere else, or relate to something I read in a magazine, or have the word "Last" in the title. This one scores 75%, so well done "Last Orders", Gold Star. It also, like "The Girl Who..." rather eerily predicted things that would happen to me at the end of 2002, well over a year before they actually happened.

In this case, however, that's not very spooky - when I left Leicester I DEMANDED I have a Testimonial Pub Crawl precisely BECAUSE Mr Simon Wilkinson (a.k.a. Simon From Voon) had had one when he'd left Leicester, and it'd been so good I had written a song about it, to whit, this one. The idea was that we'd visit every pub that had ever meant anything to him during his time in Leicester, but when we actually tried it we found lots of them were shut, knocked down, or too full of tossers. When we tried it for my testimonial we had such a nice time in the Pump & Tap that way stayed there until closing time!

So anyway, this is a slightly idealised version of a Testimonial, although the planned route sort of works, as follows:
  1. The Western, on Wilberforce Road (near to where Simon lived - actually closed, on the day)
  2. One Of The New Bars On Braunstone Gate (can't remember which now)
  3. The Pump & Tap (also shut in the daytime!)
  4. The Charlotte (though actually the particular incident mentioned was in The Magazine, and I think she was Danish)
  5. The Magazine R.I.P.
  6. The Last Plantaganet (shit pub, but it was open and serving food for the 7pm Rest Period which is essential for succesful All Day Drinking)
  7. The Spreadeagle
  8. The Rainbow & Dove
  9. Probably the Barley Mow... things were a bit hazy by this point...
  10. The Durham Ox. Not where Si and I first met (that was WH Smiths!), but definitely saving the best until last.
My initial idea for recording it was to have a Mexican Feel (not exactly the first time I'd thought of this I must admit), and I worked out a Rather Nice Riff to go with it, but for some reason it never ever worked when I played it with The Validators. Others suggested this is because it was "Rubbish" or "Wrong" (whatever that means), but still it perplexes me, as it sounded GRATE in my head, also in my kitchen. They would RUE their suggestions anyway, as it turned my BRANE to thinking of Other Things we could put into the song...

"Last Orders" was recorded in the second BATCH of songs for the album. The first BATCH had included "One Last Party", and it had been so much fun doing all the sound effect stuff that I wanted to do some MORE, hence the inclusion of the HUBBUBERY heard throughout this song. It was meant to sound a bit like "The Return Of The Los Palmos 7" by MADNESS (the hubbubery, that is) thus conveying the BOOZINESS of the song, and I rather think it does the job admirably. It was created by the five of us wandering around the live room, pacing in circles round a single microphone talking to ourselves, with the song itself playing quietly in the background so that (in theory at least) we'd know when to do the "Farewell Friends" bit. We also had some glasses to chink, a can to crunch, and a bell to ring, and to make it sound even MORE exiting, we did the whole thing twice.

As you can probably hear, some of us (i.e. me and Tim) got more into the idea of the Random Shouting than others, although if you listen on the headphones you'll find we're all in there somewhere. This was one of the first songs Emma was involved with as a Full Time Actual Validator, also as Mrs Pattison, so you can imagine the HILARITY during the mixing when we heard Tim clearly and confidently talking about "that blonde last night" booming out of the speakers again and again. I was also really pleased with the way we split the vocals up between us (especially the "La"'s in the background), also the fact that Rob's trumpet bit was EXACTLY what I'd thought it would be like.

Special mention should also be made of Mr Reverb's antics on this one. When I told him what I'd planned for us to do that evening he Frowned Deeply (like he always does at these times) and looked WOUNDED. However, five minutes later, he was digging through his Cupboard Of Delights for PROPS, worrying about the best placement of the microphone for In-Pub AMBIENCE, and when we mixed it spent an HOUR tweaking the noise of ONE of the cans crunching to get it JUST right. HOORAY for everyone!


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