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Blog: Poptimism

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The giddy whirl of ROCK (or in this case, POP) continued to whirl giddily yesterday as myself and the Day Off In My Bank Holiday Weekend headed over to scenic Clerkenwell for the POPTIMISM ALL-DAYER, as organised by King Of All Chaps Mr Carsmile Steve. We arrived to find young Myles, of the Kooba Radio, in the bar and then went upstairs to find a whole HEAP of other people loafing around playing board games and drinking beer, and also listening to a chap called ELI playing guitar. He was playing, it seemed to us, a bunch of old country and western tunes (tho I'm not sure if they were actually his own songs) and it was all round a DELIGHTFUL way to spend a slightly boozy Good Friday afternoon.

I'd been alerted earlier to ISSUES with the venue, in that the chap next door had been complaining about the noise, so things needed to be kept down to a quieter level of SOUND than normal. Rather than being FRUSTRATING or YOKED DOWN BY THE MAN, this actually made for a very pleasant AMBIENCE, as nothing was ever too loud to blot out CHAT, and all was very nice indeed. After some low level DJing it was then time for a young lady whose name I can't remember who did some very nice FOLKY type playing, then some more music and then a trio who were an electronic-ISH type of band, who played GAMELY through with electric guitar, mandolin, and a MAC full of samples. It was so quiet that you could hear the STRINGS being played on the electric guitar louder than the noise it was meant to be making, and this was UTILISED to excellent effect when they said "The guitar should sound like this: GRRRRRR!! Use your imagination". This was a VERY good thing.

And then it was time for ME to go on - as the PA was a) so quite and b) a bit dodgy, it was a pretty PEASY decision to go Totally Acoustic and do THIS:
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Red And White Sockets
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Oh boy, i had a GRATE time! Being unfettered by electricity meant I could have a bit of a DANCE AROUND, and being in the corner of the room meant I could turn and play different bits to different groups of people. It was just a LOT of FUN, and people ALSO seemed to enjoy it - there was singing along, there was LARFS and there was even - rather brilliantly - a GROAN as someone realised how the last chorus was going to be RE-APPRAISED just before it happened in My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once. My favourite favourite bit though was Mr C Steve SINGING ALONG LOUDLY to the "Peace and love is still a bloody good idea" bit in The Lesson Of The Smiths - he'd been making an excellent job of HOSTING all afternoon, and suddenly here we were JAMMING like Jools and Weller on the telly. Except, you know, a lot nicer. I also did an ENCORE of Hey Hey 16K BEFORE the end, when someone requested it before I did my last song, which actualy worked out rather nicely.

    So yes, it was a very happy Hibbett who sat down after the set, to be presented with a form for the LIVE FOCUS GROUP. This was to be a live version of something I've occasionally taken part in by email, where Tom from Freaky Trigger sends out a list of 20 songs which people mark out of 10 and then post COMMENTS. I'd envisioned the LIVE version being a bit - sorry to say - dreary, with people taking it in turns to POSIT OPINIONS. How WRONG i was - it was INSANELY GRATE! It was like a Bits 'n' Pieces POP QUIZ round but - believe it or not - EVEN BETTER! He'd play a song, we'd write down our SCORE, argue between ourselves in small groups about what each of us was going to comment and then, when we'd had enough, hold up a picture of a SAD KITTEN to indicate this. It was ACE - FURIOUSLY displaying a picture of a sad kitten in the face of crap songs is a LOT of fun, singing along LOUDLY to Take That when other people have raised the kitten is ALSO hilarity GUARANTEED, and there's a bit of NERVES involved in looking around to see what everybody ELSE is doing with their kittens before decided when to raise yours. The only disappointment, frankly, was that NOBODY (well, except me) wrote or drew anything on the REVERSE of the kitten. In a pub situation it would surely be only SECONDS before someone was holding up a picture of a willy, but last night there was only i showing "GRATE!" during Take That. Maybe next time eh?

    After all that fun it was time for us to leave, escorting young Myles as we left. It was a lovely lovely way to spend a Bank Holiday and, in the words of The Carpenters, it's only just begun!

    posted 7/4/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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    hullo there

    thanks again for coming down mate, although clearly you missed this poor kitty

    glad you enjoyed yourself :)
    posted 7/4/2007 by CarsmileSteve

    Faith in human nature: RESTORED!
    posted 8/4/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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