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When I got in I found Gareth, the organiser, dashing around trying to sort things out, whilst the band soundchecking were THE VERY EPITOME of The Local Band. Over-excited singer? CHECK? Singing in American Accent? CHECK! Not quite understanding how soundchecks work? CHECK? Guitar player sullenly playing JAZZ during the soundcheck of other instruments? CHECK? Bass player wearing a hat? Do you need to even ask?
Bless them though, it was ever THUS, and I had to CHECK my own MEANNESS. "Be not such an Old Sod, Hibbett" I chastised myself, "Were not you yourself like that once?" "No, inner voice," I replied, "I wasn't really, but I know what you mean - these bands have always been with us and always will be, to be upset about them is like being upset about the very WEATHER." Me and my inner voice, we speak like that to each other, it is a relationship of MUTUAL TRUST.
Time moved on and soon it was 7.20pm, so off i went to do my gig, and this is what I played:
I'm calling it the nascent stages of THE NEW-BER SET! Oh yes! You'll note that it's ALL new material from the album and single, along with a new song which I learnt a couple of weeks ago. Not that many people seemed to care either way - I'd had a lot of sicknotes over the course of the afternoon, so when I begun there was precisely NOBODY there to see me. The Local Band gamely sat and watched me, despite the best efforts of The Lead Singer to get as much attention as he could - sat with his back to me he talked animatedly throughout my set, breaking off only to try and clap along and then to wander the room trying to talk to the other guy who was playing and thus distract HIM from my set. I don't say this unkindly, it's just what he was like, and again, IT WAS EVER THUS. Also watching were a couple of Friends Of The (other) Band who'd got there early, and who wisely moved from their position RIGHT down the front after a couple of songs, and Gareth The Organiser, who, GOD BLESS HIM, seemed to really enjoy it!
Better Things To Do
Dino At The Sands
Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
Breaks In The Journey
The Fight For History
The Lesson Of The Smiths
He wasn't the only one, for LO! i really enjoyed it to - i found inter-song BANTER a bit difficult considering that most people were studiously ignoring me, but I enjoyed the loudness of it and the chance to run through all these songs. Still, I did feel a bit ... not AGGRIEVED exactly, nor upset, perhaps PERTURBED about the whole thing. Was this how all the forthcoming gigs were going to be? Had all the preparation and effort for the new albums been but for NAUGHT? "Hibbett, don't be such a berk!" said my inner voice, correctly and also quoting itself, but i felt a bit ODD about the whole thing.
I sat down next to someone I thought I recognised, who turned out to be Mr Jon Pennycook with whom I had recently corresponded about a Parcel Mislabelled (I'll not BREAK YOUR THRILL RECEPTORS by recounting the full story, suffice to say two trips to the post office were required). Not only had he paid to get in but had actually travelled all the way from READING to be here. Suddenly i felt immensely guilty about him making all that effort when all I'd done is trudge round the corner from work, and resolved to SORT THINGS OUT.
THUS we left behind our rather pricey beers, said cheerio to Gareth, and headed round the corner to THE JOHN SNOW, one of my most favourite pubs in all of That London, for a couple of PINTS and a jolly good chat, where we discovered that NOT ONLY did he live in Leicester during much of the 1990's (and had been to many of the same gigs as I had, including the GRATEST GIG EVER by The Council) but also had family in Bourne, near Peterborough.
On the way home I considered the FACT that there is no such thing as a Pointless Gig, nor should you just pass off "unsuccesful" gigs as "Good Practice!" (people always say that). Like - GET READY FOR HE-MAN'S SPECIAL MORAL MESSAGE AT THE END OF THE EPISODE! - so many things in THIS LIFE OF OURS, there's nearly always an opportunity to rescue something GROOVY from the night out, and thanks to Jon turning up that's exactly what we did. HOORAH for GIGS, Reliable Rail Services, and THE PUB!
posted 22/6/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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