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Blog: Lovely Lovely Sheffield

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I had a LOVELY day yesterday, as i was in Sheffield for The Fuzztival. The day had started EARLY, as The Bell On My Alarm and i had woken up at 5am to listen to Claire Dicko doing the 4-7am SHIFT on Xfm. She was dead good - GO CLAIRE! One further KIP later i was off to St Pancras, where i was OUTRAGED (again) to find that the Quick Ticket machine DOESN'T sell Cheap Day Returns - you have to queue up at the WINDOW for these, and after ten minutes i PANICKED and... er... rushed to WHSMiths to buy a BOOK.

The book I'd promised myself, as a TREAT, was "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett and I must say it helped a Surprisingly Easy Journey going EVEN EASIER. It is GRATE - i love his books anyway, and ESPECIALLY like the way that over the years they've got more thoughtful AND more compassionate AND more FUNNY. I was SURPRISED by just how WORKED UP he is about privatisation in this one, and it's INTEReSTING how quickly you accept the fact that it's a world full of ghosts and golems and trolls and MAGIC, and get on with the HUMAN (and otherwise) INTERACTION. When i first started reading his books EVERYBODY in them was one-dimensional and mean, only there for LAFF purposes, but now it's a whole HOST of real people and BIG LAFFS. Terry Pratchett is GRATE!

Anyway, I got to Sheffield, got on the TRAM, and was soon at Sheffield University Union feeling a bit embarrassed about people with walkie talkies going around the building shouting "MJ HIBBETT! MJ Hibbett is in the building!" While this was going on Tony and Mark and CO arrived i.e. the VELODROME 2000 POSSE. I'd just been talking about them the night before - 300 million years ago I used to play LOADS of gigs with them, along with Airport Gurl and John Sims, when I was doing my first ever gigs outside of Leicester. They are UTTERLY lovely people, and one of the nice things about playing in Sheffield is getting to see them all. Penny, the ENTS MANAGER of the Union, was ALSO in them, so it's always a bit odd to see her IN ACTION in official capacity, as she was five minutes later when she delved into her ARTISTE LIAISON BAG (oh yes!) to give me my FOOD VOUCHER and Special White ARTISTE'S arm band. SPECIAL!

I was already full of the JOYS OF SHEFFIELD, and this was only ADDED to by wandering around the building bumping into LoADS of other lovely people, it was BEAUTIFUL. All over the place were people i knew AND LIKED, and some of them were even wearing Hey Hey 16K t-shirts! I've always liked playing in Sheffield, and the more I do it the MORE GOOD it gets, it's like HULL or BIRMINGHAM or LEWISHAM, once of those places where the gig feels like HOME. This did not prevent me from getting THE NERVES, however, so i trotted back and forth between THE LOO many many times, until it was SOUNDCHECK TIME.

This done i LURKED AROUND before finally ascending the stage, where i played THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Red And White Sockets
  • The Fight For History
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Fucking Hippy
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It seemed to go pretty well! They're turned the room layout through 90 degrees since last time, so instead of looking out to THE BAR where people were chatting and drinking, i was looking out onto a PRETTY PACKED ROOM full of people LOOKING AT ME! I got a bit scared to start with and missed/forgot a few words, but HAD A WORD with myself (these words being: "Come on Hibbett! FOCUS!" as i am very STERN with myself about such things) and got back on track again. PHEW. I think i may have TALKED quite a bit, but that ALSO seemed to be OK, and by the end things were going WELL - JOLLY big "Oi Hibbett!" in "Easily Impressed" and, EXCELLENTLY, a "You don't really mean that" JUST as loud, which is RARE. I STAGGERED off stage and found myself EXHAUSTED and out of breath for about half an hour afterwards. Baby, i had WORKED!

    After that i got a LOVELY repeat of last year's QUEUE FOR CDs, including some people who had been here last time who wanted MORE! Copies of "The Uberset" (the cover of which had been on the TV screens around the building while i was on) FLEW from my hands, many of them getting SIGNED, and somebody even wanted a t-shirt. It was ACE! I wandered around afterwards shaking hands and, as the afternoon progressed, HUGGING PEOPLE (whether they wanted to be hugged or not). I also had a chat to Mr Steve Lamacq, who is a LOVELY man. I'd meant to ask for his ADVICE about who to send copies of the mixes for "A Fridge Full Of Nice Things" too, but in the end we seemed to talk about COMICS instead, especially "V For Vendetta" and "Hellblazer". It was GRATE! I also ended up sitting with some MORE lovely people out the back of The Interval Bar drinking REAL ALE and talking of Skin Disease and PALLANTOLOGY. Oh yes, it is the study of fossilised plankton don't you know, it is Quite Fascinating.

    Soon it was half past six and time for me to do one last CIRCUIT of the room to HUG the people I could find who i knew, many of whom were now in a similar state to me and quite up for a repeat performance, to thank Penny again, get me GEAR together, and go get on that TRAM. As is traditional i got LOST leaving the building, and as is equally traditional a lovely Sheffield Person helped me find it again. I made the last train home, ate a samosa, and arrived CHEZ MOI tired but very happy to find a MICRO PLATTER and two willing listeners waiting for me.

    What a lovely lovely LOVELY day it was!

    posted 30/10/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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