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Blog Archive: January 2021

Write The Theme Tune
Last month I got a lovely message from Mr N Hutchings of Velvet Sheep, asking about Jane and John and informing me that he was starting a new radio show on The Neon Hospice. Velvet Sheep started off as a fanzine but I first knew of it as a GIG NIGHT what I played at, at the Whitechapel Gallery many moons ago, but since then I've done a few articles for his "Song For Ewe" feature, recommending tracks by other artistes that I thought were GRATE.

He wasn't offering gigs this time, obviously, nor asking for recommendations, but he WAS asking for a JINGLE for his radio show. I put this proposal to The Brief For My Campaign and she very rapidly came up with a TUNE and WORDS which we then crafted into the RATHER EXCELLENT theme tune that you can hear right at the start of the first episode, HERE:



It sounds DEAD GOOD if I do say so meself as shouldn't, and there's a whole HEAP of good stuff in the rest of the show, including but not limited to Our Year. Have a listen!

posted 18/1/2021 by MJ Hibbett
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Family Wedding 2021
I would like to begin today with a formal apology to all of those who turned on "The Jools Holland New Year Hootenanny Programme" (or whatever it's called) at the end of 2020 expecting to see me performing on it. If you then turned over to BBC1 on the understanding that I must have been commissioned to do one of those concerts from Broadcasting house and were further disappointed, or indeed looked on any of the other channels to see whatever it is they do on New Year's Eve and been dismayed at the complete lack of Hibbett or Hibbet-adjacent music, I can only say that the situation was as bemusing to me as it surely was to you.

For LO! like Prince with "1999" and Pulp with "Disco 2000" I have a song from many years ago which has THIS year in the title, and so I was under the impression that it is THE LAW that such things should be played all over radio and telly as soon as it BECOMES that year? Admittedly, Family Wedding 2021 is not as much of a DISCO BANGER as those two songs, but then one might argue that this particular year requires a bit more INTROSPECTION instead. Have a listen for yourself and see what you think.



The song was originally written in 1997 (nearly TWENTY FOUR years ago!!) for my cassette A Church Hall Of Sound, re-recorded in the Space-Year 2000 for the EP A Church Hall Of Sound (revisited), and finally plonked onto the compilation Warriors Of Nanpantan in 2005. According to The Database Of ROCK I haven't ever played it at a gig, at least not since the database itself was inaugrated (although I know I DID when the EP came out), but there have been various PLANS to over the years. The first time we played in DRESDEN someone requested it, so we resolved to LEARN it for when we returned but... um... forgot, and it's always on my Big List when I think "what old songs should I have another go at?" If we ever get to do gigs again this year I solemnly pledge to do it!

The LYRICS are about me imagining what life would be like in the futuristic era of 2021, and now that we're actually IN that space-time zone I thought I'd have a look and see how my predictive skills worked out. There's nothing about current affairs or world politics - which was a wise choice as I doubt ANYBODY would have been able to predict The Current Situation in all its myriad forms of nonsense back then - instead it focuses on the NIGHTMARE SCENARIO of things remaining pretty much the same for me. I'm glad to say that pretty much NOTHING of it worked out!

Sadly this means that, though I AM, I would suggest, a CUDDLY FUN-PACKED UNCLE (please check with any nephews or nieces of mine you have to hand) there do not appear to be any family weddings booked this year at which I can dance to late eighties hits. That is not really mine or my family's fault though, there are not currently many family weddings at ALL going on!

In the song's APOCALYPTIC VISION the future version of me buys me of 1997 a drink (which I would happily do - also some more clothes, a functioning washing machine, and instructions on how to use it) and tells him to stop messing around with time travel and generally BE NICER so he doesn't end up a lonely old git. 1997-me then has a bit of an old dance before returning to his own time to... well, have a bit of an old dance again. UNUSUALLY for my songs it's not clear what THE MORAL of the story is, but looking back now I think I kind of DID try to be a bit nicer after the song was written. I certainly extended my RANGE of SOCIABILITY anyway, getting out and about meeting DELIGHTFUL people rather than sitting in the same pubs moaning about it with the small group of LOVELY PALS I did have back then. Getting out and about led to me having all SORTS of adventures with all manner of GRATE people, and within a few years it led to the glamorous lifestyle in That London what I have now. So maybe, in a SPOOKY kind of way, there really was a bit of FUTURE ME in the song, advising that drunken twit in his 20s to get out and about and MEET people a bit more. It is THE POWER OF ROCK!

The only problem now is, do I write a song about 2045? I think maybe I'll wait a bit to see how the present day pans out before launching into that one!

posted 7/1/2021 by MJ Hibbett
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Words To Lose In 2021
Sometime around the end of the year we usually find out that The Dictionary People have added some special new words for their next editions to reflect the way the language has developed. I'm not quite sure why this is always such big news - adding new words is pretty much the entire point of a dictionary, and it's not like there's a big news story every year saying that a MAP has added some new streets - so I thought I'd instead suggest some words we can start getting RID of next year.

The first of these words is "TRUMP" as in "DONALD". GOOD LORD how I long for January 20th when he STOPS being President and we can finally all know the blessed relief of NOT waking up every morning wondering what world-endangering idiocy he's dreamt up to get our attention that day. I mean, I know there doubtless still WILL be idiocy every day from him, for LO! such is the way of idiots, but at least it won't be gently nudging us towards the APOCALYPSE quite so much.

Similary I very much look forward to the word "BREXIT" not being in the vocabulary so much. I found myself surprisingly RELIEVED on Christmas Eve when the "deal" finally got agreed - not because it is a GOOD deal, as it manifestly is NOT, especially compared to the ACTUAL deal we had as part of the EU and not even compared to the lies that our own idiocracy are trying to put around, but it did at least mean I could stop worrying about the entire country grinding to a miserable lettuce-free halt quite so quickly. In the couple of weeks or so since then I have found myself MUSING upon STOCKPILING and thinking "Oh hang on, we don't need to do that now", which has been LOVELY.

"Stockpiling" is another one - not that I have ever stockpiled of course, I have MADE PREPARATIONS. Other people have stockpiled, and we've all done it because of those idiots PANIC BUYING. These are three ENTIRELY different things, and hopefully we won't need to worry about them QUITE so much in 2021.

We don't seem to be losing the words "LOCKDOWN" or "COVID" just yet, but OH MY LORD I hope we do by the end of the year - sorry, I mean by mid-February, or Easter, or whenever it's supposed to be now (I haven't checked the news in half an hour so it's probably changed). With any luck we'll all be saying "VACCINE" a lot more, but if that works (and the aforementioned idiots don't mess up the rollout process - possibly a forlorn hope) then we can start getting back to... well, not "normal", I sincerely hope we get some CHANGE out of all of this, so let's instead say we can get back to THE PUB.

And finally, I hope we lose the words "BORIS" and "JOHNSON" this year, and that The Tories do the one and only thing they're actually good for i.e. getting rid of Tory Prime Ministers. I'm sure the next idiot to come along will be just as bad, but it will at least mean we'll have less torturously stupid bloody METAPPHORS to wade through. I flipping LOVE metaphors, but the way he manhandles them makes me want to stick to plain English.

In summary then, I'm sure that the coming year will be full of wobbles, weirdness and problems so far unforseen, but I do hope that most of the ABOVE will come to be a thing of the past by this time next year. If it turns out that Donald Trump is STILL President in 2022, and we're all stockpiling because Covid meant we had to DE-and then RE-Brexit under Prime Minister for Life Johnson, then I will take it all back!

posted 5/1/2021 by MJ Hibbett
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