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It didn't start out looking that way though - on the train over i got myself a bit MAUDLIN due to THINKING about things, largely relating to the fact i got some rather bad news about my Nan last time I was there, and got myself A Bit Worked Up. I was thus in a bit of a Funny Old Mood when I arrived and walked round to the B&B I was booked into e.g. i got Really Rather Annoyed about the fact that I had to walk for about 2 minutes longer than I thought i would, as a footpath on my map was no longer there.
This wasn't helped when I arrived at the B&B to find that there was NO ROOM AT THE INN! There'd been a problem with another guest, or something, so I was driven round to another B&B - it was about AS far from the venue as my original (i.e. FAR AWAY), but a bit further from the station for next morning, which was Slightly Annoying. When i got there I was left in the LOBBY for five minutes and so looked at the Guest Book, which, as ever, featured a couple of DAMNING REMARKS. They ALWAYS have these in, but in my Funny Old Mood it made me a bit AFEARED of staying there. It was a perfectly fine place, like any B&B really, but the F.O.M. was working it's DREAD MAGIC upon me.
One of the comments was quite RUM tho, i thought. The place was advertised as being "half an hour from town", which it was, if you MARCHED at a decidedly BRISK pace, but someone had taken UMBRAGE: "Half an hour's walk? Not if you're EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!!!" it said. Was it the fault of the B&B that she was in this condition? Actually, POSSIBLY YES!
Anyway, I got myself sorted and set off for my HIKE into town. It was a long way, and gave me pause to think, yet again, what an Unusual Place Cambridge is. It LOOKS very much like Peterborough, until you notice that there's really a LOT of posters in windows, MILLIONS of bicycles everywhere, and that people are just ODD. Waiting at the train station this morning I couldn't help but NOTE that there were more BERETS, CRAVATS, SILK SCARVES, CAPES, RED NOSES and BRAYING LARFS than anywhere else in the country (NB in a nice way) and it looked as if they give The Independent out free there like elsewhere you get the Metro, as EVERYBODY seemed to be reading it. Verily, it is like a pilot scheme for a GENIOCRACY.
Eventually I made it to the Living Room, to find Phil, Steve, and young Mr Stott gathered and waiting. I soundchecked then went upstairs to get some GRUB and was ANNOYED to find that the cafe bit had the TEMERITY to be fully booked. HOW DARE THEY! The F.O.M. was obviously still in effect (EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!) and I tried to CALM myself with a Veggie Burger in the place over the road. The CONSUMED I popped back to find the venue gently filling, with the first band soon on - they finished with a Bill Withers song, and when announcing it someone (i.e. ME) pointed out that BY LAW they had to tell The Bill Withers Joke beforehand. The singer laughed and benignly said "Hey, OK then..." and launched into a long story about how Bill Withers used to fit toilets in aeroplanes, even when he'd started having hits, and how this was an example of someone staying true to their dreams while being cautious in everyday life. He told the story a LOT better than I am here (obviously), but it WASN'T The Bill Withers Joke.
THUS I began MY set (after a quick Mince Pie - my first of the festive season!) with The Bill Withers Joke (complete with audience participation for the punchline) and then did THIS:
The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
The Gay Train
The Advent Calendar Of FACT
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
It Only Works Because You're Here
Leave My Brother Alone
My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
The Lesson Of The Smiths
I had a BLOODY GRATE time! I really REALLY enjoyed myself, evidenced by a LOT of talking between songs. I particularly enjoyed the FACT that there was another member of The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B) IN THE ROOM, Mr D Boschi, and later discovered it was actually the first time he'd heard it. I've sung it so often I come close to forgetting it was REAL, and so it was extremely nice to talk to him about it, and have bits that I'd complete forgotten REMEMBERED by him.
The Advent Calendar Of FACT seemed to work pretty well - i think this was the first time I'd played it a gig on my own - and I ESPECIALLY had fun doing It Only Works Because You're Here - i think it is my FAVOURITE of all my songs... EVER!
Before the gig started Phil The Organiser had told me to be ready for a KNOCK ON THE DOOR heralding a "Surprise, Bearded, Guest" after my set, so when he arrived EARLY and started knocking two songs before the end of the set i knew who it would be... so you can imagine my HORROR when Phil opened the door and told him to come back later. I WAS KEEPING SANTA OUT IN THE COLD! MUCH fun was had with this, and like i say, i REALLY enjoyed myself.
After me there was Edwina Hayes, who was DEAD good - lovely songs which sounded quite Boo Hewerdine-y to me. This MAY be because he's pretty much the only person who i've seen before DOING that sort of thing, or at least doing it well, but it turns out she HAS written songs with him, so maybe i was being CLEVER. Anyway, her and Gtr Chap did a LOVELY set, with LOTS of talking also, and i was HAPPY.
After THEM it was Moe Foe, who I was told were a Drum N Bass Act Doing An Acoustic Set. My Funny Old Mood was nearly gone, but obviously had some FIGHT left in it, as I found myself getting a bit GRUMPY. "Pah!" i thought, "Drum N Bass, doing acoustic - bet this'll be RUBBISH!" and when they did their first song i got Unnecessarily Annoyed. "Grr!" i snarled, inwardly, "Once again, Dance Music becomes BLOODY JAZZ. PAH!"
HOWEVER. Their second song was an AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT cover of "Justified And Ancient" by The KLF and OH BABY my F.O.M. knew it was DEFEATED. There was then MORE talking, MORE fun, MORE lovely tunes and general HAPPINESS, and they finished with a FANTASTIC Christmas Medley which featured that BRAVEST of Christmas Covers: "Do They Know It's Christmas". OH YES! The only thing that may have spoilt it was some twit at the back, BELLOWING THE WORDS, WRONGLY - but HEY! I was feeling Christmassy, OK?
The evening finished with me and the Hope Street Music lot rolling up all the carpets and piling up cushions in a very small space... AHA! and then me climbing a chair and leaping on top, to try and squash them down. Hmm... maybe this explains the MYSTERIOUS TROUSER TEARING? I was very kindly given a lift back to my B&B, and went to bed full of JOY, also MINCE PIES.
I LOVE doing Christmas Gigs, Christmas Gigs are GRATE!
posted 8/12/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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