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Blog: Shoreditch

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First, the GOOD NEWS for Foolish Hat Factories and Sadistic Barbers: I was in Shoreditch last night, and i can BELAY any fears that the IDIOTIC HAIRCUT Event Horizon has been reached - there were even MORE woefully stupid haircuts on display than ever before! The current trend appears to be "Hitler, if he's lived to the early 1970's, and been a GROOVER", featuring as it does a FUHRER FRINGE combined with puffed up hippy hair, like Shaggy after a shower and a blow dry. I would have thought that the simultaneous RISE in WAZZOCK'S HATS would cover it up, but no indeed it doesn't. The over-riding THEME appears to be "I ran out of the house putting as many clothes on as i could as i left, forgetting that my elderly uncle was staying, with his lover, who works at the fair, and that it was THEIR clothes i picked up mostly."

The nice thing about Shoreditch is that it EXCEEDS your expectations of what it will be like, but that's about IT. Anyway, I was there because I was doing a GIG at Catch 22, organised by Winston Echo. Mr Echo had asked me to be there by 6pm - usually these days I ignore this advice, knowing full well I'll spend two hours hanging around, but i felt bad so turned up on time... and spend two hours hanging around. STILL, it was in very pleasant company, as as well as Winston and Jamie from Undereducated there were The Bobby McGees, who were also playing, young Myles from Lewisham, and there was fine READING MATERIAL. Last week Undereducated got in touch to say there were putting together a FANZINE to sell at gigs to get The Diskettes (who were the headline act) some petrol money on tour. Several people wrote stuff, and i must say it looked DEAD GOOD - a lot better than an awful lot of fanzines that have had DECADES of gestation in people's bedrooms - and was full of ACE stuff. It also features an article by ME about QOLEDs, which I'll put up here sometime. It was LOVELY, and it made me think that maybe I'd do something the same - talking to Jimmy from The Bobby McGees about our History In ROCK i thought maybe I might write something about BANDS I HAVE KNOWN - not only would it be quite jolly to DO, but it'd fill in the RELEASE GAP a bit between "Warriors Of Nanpantan" coming out at the start of this year and "Mental Judo" coming out in 2006. I got quite a) EXCITED and b) KEEN about the idea, but obviously i have yet to write it. Stay tuned for updates!

The Diskettes also had CDs in 3.5inch floppy packs, which look LOVELY, and better yet actual normal size computer discs with songs on them. This is SUCH an UTTERLY COOL idea i think i may at some point have to NICK it.

Anyway, we got sound checked and I nipped out for TEA - falafel! DELICIOUS! - then came back and made good use of SODUKU. Like about half the people in the country i TOO have got a bit OBSESSED by them, and actually bought myself a BOOK at the weekend, which worked out a GRATE way of spending the otherwise pretty DREARY bit post-tea and pre-gig. It's not very rock and roll, but hey! It was BRANE FOOD!

The evening then kicked off with Winston Echo on first - he's dead good but always seems to play VERY short sets. This time he included possibly THE MOST INDIE THING EVER when he got the whole room clapping along with "My Favourite Wrestler", and everybody struggled to stay in time to the end. It was lovely - we didn't manage it, but we TRIED VERY HARD. Next it was The Bobby McGees. The first time i saw them I found it all a bit TOO TWEE (well, a LOT too twee) and left before they'd finish, and Jimmy has NEVER LET ME FORGET this. Nowadays they seem to have reached TIPPING POINT and instead become rather LOVELY and heartfelt, especially with some new songs which are LESS about getting an audience reaction/laugh, and are MORE about being lovely songs in their own right. However, as Jimmy said afterwards, you need to have MUCH more guts to do those sort of songs rather than more smart-alecky stuff... anyone who has seen ME will know which way I usually go!

Then there was a French Guy who... er... was pretty much what you'd STEREOTYPICALLY expect a FrencH Indie Guy to be. His first song had a two minute strumming intro before the words, which were "de dum de dum" in a slight, whispy voice, and later he played keyboards, singing about "the birds they came to visit, they played such lovely music". Saying anything NASTY about it makes me feel MEAN and NASTY, as if i would then give him a CHINESE BURN and steal his lunch money, but it was not really for ME, and by the time he'd finished i was RARING to go. I thought I would seem like ALICE COOPER in comparison (as opposed to Tommy Cooper like usual, ho ho ho) so was DISTRESSED when i had to wait five minutes before going on. LET ME ON! I WISH TO ROCK!

Well, with all due humility etc etc i must say i think i RATHER DID. I was GAGGING for some ROCK ACTION, and RIPPED through the set, as follows:
The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Hey Hey 16K
Better Things To Do
Things'll Be Different
Billy Jones Is Dead
Clubbing In The Week
Fucking Hippy
Easily Impressed
Boom Shake The Room

A pretty standard UBER SET then, but with the LIVE DEBUT of "Better Things To Do" in the middle, which seemed to go pretty well. It felt like i was on stage for AGES, even tho i was going at EXTREME SPEED, and i REALLY REALLY enjoyed it. BEST bits were some people getting VERY excited at "Hey Hey 16K", an EXCELLENT "Oi Hibbett!", a man looking ASHAMED for laughing when I said everybody in Canada had ADAMANTIUM SKELETONS, and me forgetting the start of the second verse of "Boom Shake The Room" and (almost) making it look like I'd meant to do so. It was GRATE!

Finally The Diskettes played, and were BRILLIANT. As I'm sure 300,000 people have said before, they're very like Jonathan Richman, but also like a BEACH PARTY band in a film. It was simple and pure and LOVELY and I bought one of their CDs at the end for listening pleasure. They were GRATE - i wish i could see them next time they play That London, but can't. Boo! If only people would check MY diary before they book gigs, things would be MUCH more efficient!

I strolled through the alternately SEEDY and PRETENTIOUS streets of Shoreditch towards home, carrying reading AND listening material, full of IDEAS and also of PLEASURE. It had been a REALLY good night out!

posted 1/6/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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aw, sorry i missed this i was oop north seeing me mam, like. i was talking to ms attomickbrane last night and she showed me an text from a friend of hers who knew not of you, but was at Catch and thought sarah would be just the sort of person to like "lesson of the smiths"!
posted 3/6/2005 by CarsmileSteve

Had I been there, I would have cheered in recognition and agreement when you mentioned Canada, even though I traded in my adamantium skeleton long ago.

-The guy from Thunder Bay
posted 3/6/2005 by Robin

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