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Tom had been up the day before, but had had to park his car at the Butterley end of the train line. It had been suggested that, if he said he was in a band, then the staff would let him park up near the main gates. I had terrible visions of me leaning out of the car saying "Don't You Know Who I Am?!?" then turning round to see a crowd of disappointed faces glaring back at me.
This did not happen - instead I got VERY EXCITED INDEED as we whooshed past the Golden Valley Campsite and along the familiar road to the festival. When we got to the gates I overheard a security guard explaining what was happening to a family who'd come for the Railway Museum. "It's like Rock Music, but softer", he said. "Not too much swearing either. It's great - a thoroughly good day for all the family!" I couldn't agree more!
When we'd been wristbanded I was alarmed to find that everyone seemed to be in a REALLY BAD MOOD. But this was indietracks, what on earth was going on? It slowly dawned on me that, whereas I'd rolled up fresh and ready to rock, everyone else was on their SECOND MASSIVE HANGOVER of the weekend and were not yet ready to be talked to. An hour or so later, though, after that vital first hair of the dog, and all was DELIGHT as usual, and there was a LOT of hugging!
I spent most of my GIG TIME in the Church this year, first of all watching Anguish Sandwich featuring Mr Chris East aka Winston Echo. They were ACE - especially once the bass player noticed he'd been turning the volume up on the wrong amp, turned the RIGHT one up, and it all got ROCKING. Chris is also an EXCELLENT front man, getting the day of to a GRATE start.
I emerged to discover The Pattisons in full effect - the BIG excitement for me about the day was that it would see the first proper Validators Reunion in well over a year. It took AGES to actually happen though, as we all kept wandering off to SEE stuff. We did at least manage to be in the same BUILDING for half an hour though, as we trooped in to watch our very own Francis Albert Machine and BAND play in the church. It was FANTASTIC! It was nearly all new stuff - tho "Black Eyes", one of my FAVOURITES, got a playing - and sounded AMAZING. I loved one called "Cheap Shots At The Bless", which I'd not heard before, and the HUGE GRIN on Frankie's face when the whole church went KRAZY at the end of "How Grate Thou Art" was one of the highlights of the festival. Also DELIGHTFUL was watching Evan Machine playing with The Pattison Girls. Aaah!
Not long after the gig we FINALLY managed to all get together for a bit, before more WANDERING occurred. There was curry from Gopal's (FESTIVAL TRADITION), beer, waving at people, HUGGING people, and general Not Managing To See Bands. The BEST thing about Indietracks, I always think, is that it's a huge meeting point for all the Indie Clans from around the country and indeed THE WORLD. I ended up chatting to people from Spain, Greece and France at various points during the day, in glorious sunshine and a happy happy atmosphere. Ooh, it was good!
On Saturday night I'd had a TEXT from Paul ScaredToDance, asking if I'd be up for a SPOT in The Merchandise Tent, and I said "YES PLEASE". I popped back to Tom's car for my bag then came down to the tent, to find it RAMMED. "Very busy!" I said out. "Yes," said a young man next to me. "It's rammed because MJ Hibbett's going to play." GOLLY!
Frankie lent me his guitar which, we later discovered, was still in drop-D tuning, so sounded a bit ODD, but didn't really matter as I stood in the corner and bellowed THIS:
The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Boom Shake The Room
A SUPER COMPRESSED set, as I had a definite deadline: when the next band started on the main stage i'd have to stop because I couldn't compete with VOLUME! It was all a bit back to front as I wanted to make sure I did "Boom Shake The Room", but also wanted to wait for Markie Velodrome (who was watching The Sweet Nothings) to get there before doing Easily Impressed. It all seemed to work out in the end, I was IMMENSELY CHUFFED to get such a good turn out, and I went back to the TigerMobile for a WET WIPE WASH very happy indeed.
More lurking, more chatting, more beer and before long we were gathering again outside the church for A Little Orchestra. There was a big queue to get in and it was HOT, so we waited outside the side door, listening for our turn to stride in. Me and Emma were singing It Only Works Because You're Here, and I suddenly felt NERVOUS as we stumbled in, trying not to stand on any instruments. I'd been looking forward to this for ages, and it ZOOMED by in four minutes of utter JOY - the orchestra sounded GORGEOUS, and it was a dream come true to actually be singing like this. It felt odd to be using a microphone again, funnily enough, but me and Emma THOROUGHLY enjoyed ourselves - OH! the glancing! the acting! the emoting! It was FAB - and you don't need to take my word for it, here's a RECORDING!
A Little Orchestra - Indietracks 310711 by Kylenene
With that done we began our departures, with Family Featuring Validators leaving first and then Team Tigermobile not long after (following some traditional extended Bumping Into and Hugging on the way back from the bar in the train shed), back to Leicester for WHISKY. As anyone who's ever (EVER) been to Indietracks will tell you, it really is a bit bloody MAGICAL, and this year was no different. I had a completely lovely time - well done, Indietracks, see you next year!
posted 1/8/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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