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Blog: The Warm-Up

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I headed up to Leicester once again on Saturday for a Weekend Warm-Up. The Validators were booked for a REHEARSAL and also a GIG as part of our ongoing preparations for Indietracks in a couple of weeks so, after checking into my usual suite at the Ibis, I collected Mr FA Machine off the train, went for a cheeky pint, then met up with everybody else in Stayfree.

We had a JOLLY GOOD rehearsal during which we worked through most of our MENU of new songs, had a runthrough of lots of older songs, and even had a first attempt at That Guy. It's become so much fun doing the current batch of new songs that I'd forgotten how much EFFORT it takes to learn them. Can't we all just KNOW them right from the start? It would be a LOT more efficient. I think we'll get there with this one, though The Pattisons did object to part of the lyrics. It may end up being "weeping in a bush" for the radio edit!

We finished with a surprisingly MATURE and ADULT setlist discussion (i.e. nobody cried) then headed off to The Cookie, where we were due to play later that evening. The High Street in Leicester has been pedestrianised, so this meant a TERRIFYING crawl through crowds of people setting off for their Saturday night. It was SCARY!

We unloaded, then helped Tim set the drumkit up - logically I don't mind this at all, but I can't help feeling PERSONALLY SLIGHTED whenever we do this. Surely I should be backstage drinking cocktails from the jacket pockets of supermodels, not fastening the seat of a drum stool?

That done we popped over the road to the Orange Tree for TEA, where I marvelled at how glamorous people in Leicester seem to have become these days. I'm sure it wasn't like this when I lived there - maybe I was bringing the average down? Back at the venue we watched Sweet Baboo and H Hawkline do their soundchecks (NB they are the same people, but in different orders) and then we did ours. It all took AGES. It's weird - when this happens I always feel a bit aggrieved at having such a pernickety soundman, but actually this is DAFT. A soundman who's BOTHERED and takes a while to get it right always makes for MUCH better sound, especially when you're as Crash Bang Wallop as what we are. He did a GRATE job in the end, it sounded lovely!

We were on first, and this is what we did:
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • I Want To Find Out How It Ends
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • We Did It Anyway
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • It was highly enjoyable, also VERY HOT INDEED. I remember the cellar of the Cookie from A MILLION YEARS AGO when it was The Cellar Bar, and I don't remember it ever being like that. Mind you I don't remember it being a pleasant place to hang around in either! There were Proper Lights, so we couldn't see the audience, but they seemed to like it, I think. There was quite a good few by the end, including Andy and Nat from Indietracks, who'd clearly decided they wouldn't be seeing ENOUGH bands this weekend!

    Sweet Baboo and H Hawkline were GRATE, tho we did have to occasionally have to keep nipping upstairs, just to get some AIR. During one of these sorties I discovered Leicester Legend Stevie Marmite, who I'd not seen for YEARS, and who was on VERY fine form. It turned out that Tim hadn't seen him since before him and Emma had got MARRIED - crikey!

    With the gig done there was some beer, some chat, and then quite a lot of LUGGING of gear before everyone set off in their seperate directions. I stuck around for a chat, and then thought I should maybe go and ask about CA$H. The deal was that they'd give us two quid per person who'd come to see us - this would have amounted to about twenty quid, which is hardly OODLES (I'm sure most of us spent that much on BOOZE each!) but it was still a bit upsetting when the venue told me they wouldn't be paying us at all. Apparently they hadn't counted who'd come to see what, so "couldn't" pay us. I was a) stunned b) annoyed, not least because I'd just seen them paying the other acts, but there wasn't a huge amount I could do about it. I guess this is why Chuck Berry demands payment in CA$H before he goes on!

    Apart from that slightly sour note it was a DELIGHTFUL evening, and I strolled home in a cooling drizzle thinking thoughts of Indietracks. Not long now!

    posted 14/7/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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