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Blog: Forest Gate

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It was all very strange on Friday afternoon - I knew I had a gig on that evening, but it really didn't feel like it as I'd gone to work in the morning without my guitar, and even came home AFTER work, which is something I haven't been able to do before a gig for YEARS, for LO! i was playing in Forest Gate which is only about half an hour's WALK from my house.

However, as it was raining i decided to get the TRANE instead, which was ALSO weird. I got on the train at Leytonstone High Road Station, sent a TXT to The LifeGiving Water In My Rain Cloud... and then, just as i was clicking "SEND", got OFF the train and Wansted Park... it was WEIRD! A quick stroll through Forest Gate and five minutes later I was at the venue, BB's Social Club, which was also a little strange - much like The Hull Adelphi it was an ordinary HOUSE in an ordinary suburban street of JUST houses. I went through the side door and, again like The Hull Adelphi, I found myself in a great big VENUE - this time a proper SOCIAL CLUB with a bar, stage, seats and everything you'd expect to find, just not where you'd expect to find it.

UNLIKE The Hull Adeplhi, and with the greatest possible respect to that lovely venue, it SMELT absolutely LOVELY - BB, who runs the place, is also a COOK and there was the delicious aroma of Caribbean Cookery around the room - helped, I guess, by the fact that it was a totally non-smoking venue. It was DELICIOUS, and I there and then fell in LOVE with the place. It just felt RIGHT, COSY and happy and friendly and also (probably more to the point) reminding me of many many tea-times when I'd go round to Steve Carter's house during Junior School and his Auntie Gee would cook us STRANGE yet DELICIOUS foodstuffs. To be honest though, my main TASTE MEMORY of those times is not the Cooking Of A Different Culture, but VIMTO. We always used to have Sainsbury's Blackcurrent Drink (Ribena for special occasions) and I'd never tasted the exotic delights of VIMTO before.

ANYWAY, I was there to play at The Relay, a night run by Mr James Brown. No, not that one. Or that one - isn't odd how some names keep popping up? Michael Jackson also seems to be SIMILAR. No, he was James Brown who, it turns out, used to live in Leicester, so we had a nice chat about various venues, places and people we had in common, culminating in the traditional Leicester ex-pat discussion of When They Knocked Through At The Charlotte . Also there was Mr Paul Torbohm, brother of Ms Catherine Tornbohm, who I'd know since he was BUT A LAD when myself and Doctor Neil Brown used to share a house with his sister about 200,000,000 years ago when we were students, and one of the NICE things about the evening was that, after all this time i FINALLY got to see him playing a gig himself.

This all happened in the first half of the evening, the Open Mic night which, as these things usually do, seemed to feature a regularly bunch of people who turned up every night, and so it was actually all quite polished, also very supportive of each other and friendly. ALSO as these things usually do, everything over-ran by quite a long way, so it wasn't until 10.30 that we got FED the massive piles of cooking that I'd been smelling for the past few hours. It was ACE, and I was almost moved to TEARS to see the big tray full of CUBED VEGETABLES that you don't seem to GET these days.

It was all very jolly, but also LATE, and it was PAST ELEVEN O'CLOCK when I got to the stage and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Best Behaviour
  • Save A Meadow
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Gay Train
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • It seemed to go down OK - I was a bit nervous at the start, knowing i had a couple of NEW songs to play, but people seemed to like it, though the fact that everybody else there had EITHER performed earlier themselves OR had come with people doing the same made me feel a bit like i was being JUDGED, and I was VERY conscious of the fact that a) people had been calling me "the headliner" and "the main act" all night b) I was doing two or three times as much as all the regulars had and c) i was getting PAID! THUS I put my BACK into it and by the end it was all rollicking along very nicely.

    It was a little sad, then, that by the time i HAD finished there wasn't much time to sit around and chat, and I strolled along the road with George Former Utopia (who'd very nicely come to see me and give me a SMOG CD for his forthcoming SMOG All-Dayer) chatting of GIGS PASSIM. I got into a taxi and was almost INSTANTLY home and safe, to sit and have me a glass of WHISKY and RUMINATE on a Surprisingly Easy Gig!

    posted 5/3/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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