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Blog: We Did A Gig!

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On Saturday morning I packed my bags, and also my guitar, and set out to do an in-person, on purpose, GIG for the first time in SEVENTEEN MONTHS!

As with most things, the weirdest thing about this return to a post-covid activity was how it DIDN'T feel as weird as expected, although it DID feel a lot more anxious than I recall, as I went round and round in circles CHECKING everything approx 1,000,000 times before I left the house to make sure there wasn't a VITAL ASPECT that I'd forgotten. SPOILERS: there wasn't!

The gig was in Derby, and I was accompanied there by Mr S Hewitt, who like me was taking his first trip NORTH of the M25 for AGES. We met at Euston and travelled to TAMWORTH and changed there, due to this being both cheaper and quicker than the usually direct train from St Pancras. We got to the Premier Inn and after a bit of kerfuffle checking in (Premier Inn had sent multiple emails and even RUNG to advise/check on things, and this had mightily discombobulated the lady checking in before us) we were all sorted and off to THE PUB to meet The Validators.

The pub was The Furnace, where we played just over two years ago at another weekend beer festival. This time they had taken MASSIVE precautions to comply with regulations, including table service, advice on masks, and especially laminated sheets telling people THE RULES, including not singing along and not getting up to dance!

Frankie and Tom were already there, and the Pattisons arrived soon afterwards, and initially it was a bit OVERWHELMING. Travelling up with Steve had been fine because a) he is obviously a DELIGHT and b) there is only ONE of him, which is the number of people I've generally interacted with at any one time for the past year and a half. The Validators are similarly delightful but there are FOUR of them, so it took me a while to get used to it, but it was BLOODY LOVELY to see them again. It felt like no time at all since we'd all been together, but also it felt like FOREVER!

We got set up, did some IMMENSE BICKERING as per over setlists, said hello to whole HOSTS of lovely people who came to see us, and then did THIS:

  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • The Fair Play Trophy (again)
  • Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met)
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • People Are All Right (if they are given half a chance)
  • Easily Impressed
  • We Did It Anyway
  • The setlist was not that different to what we played last time, which was sort of on purpose, as we've only actually PLAYED together ONCE since then, back in July 2019, so it made sense to do songs that we (theoretically) knew. Actually, we did pretty well, especially as the last time we played The Fair Play Trophy (again) as a band was about SEVENTEEN YEARS ago! I was especially proud of myself for remembering ALL of the words to Hey Hey 16K in the right order, which was a rare triumph!

    We had a lovely time doing the gig, and then a similarly lovely time afterwards as we sat around in the Beer Garden for several hours drinking some EXCELLENT beer. I had a pint of Best Bitter, which I haven't had for AGES and it was LOVELY. Proper Brown Beer!! We also thoroughly enjoyed the band after us - Frankie pointed out that we'd seen them before in BERLIN and this led to some MARVELOUS Rock And Roll Chat with them. "Are you sure it was in Berlin, not Hamburg?" etc etc. ROCK!

    With all that done we went for a CURRY, during which the traditional Heated Political Debate took place, also much NATTER, then Tom got a taxi to the station while the rest of us went for just one last beer, which turned out to be KOLSCH(-style) which seemed awfully fitting. More YACKING, and then we all said our goodbyes. It had been a BRILLIANT evening!

    It was a somewhat subdued me and Steve who met for breakfast next morning - mysteriously, neither of us had slept well and were feeling Slightly Unwell - and sampled the Premier Inn's radical solution to a breakfast buffet in times of Covid i.e. you order what you want and they bring it to you. It was MUCH needed after such rock and roll excess - I used to do gigs like this ALL THE TIME, sometimes on consecutive evenings, it is a wonder I have got to the age I have looking so fresh and wholesome!

    The trains home were all fine and that was that, GIG DONE. To summarise: it was BLOODY GRATE to be back, can we do it again sometime please?

    posted 28/6/2021 by MJ Hibbett

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