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Old News: July - December 2002

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10th July 2002
Q: SO much ROCK, which man could withstand it?

A: It's ME!

For LO! there has been a DEAL of ROCK to contend with, i have seen a LOT of bands just lately. The biggest deal was Finsbury Park, where My Lucky Break, her sister, my Old School (also, Old Skool) Pal, me and about 40,000 other people saw OASIS. I tell you this, i quite like the new album (oh stop pulling faces!), but it PALED in comparison compared to the WHOLE FIELD singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" at FULL BELLOW. The old songs were FANTASTIC.

It made all the other bands look shit, but then that's probably because they were - thousands of people seemed excited about The Charlatans, for instance, but i couldn't for the life of me see why. Anyway, also GRATE were Lazarus Clamp the other week, they really are ACE and everybody should go and see them. As with Oasis, funnily enough, they were preceded by other bands doing The Same Sort Of Thing, but WITHOUT that Special Thing - i'm sure Lazarus Clamp would LOVE the idea of being compared to Oasis, but there we go - both are bands operating in a GENRE populated by Dullards and Oafs, but BOTH manage to MAGNIFICENTLY transcend it and produce something beautiful.

Phew, slap my face and call me Rock Journalist eh? Also saw The Fighting Cocks, ACTUALLY Fighting with each other, and i went all the way to HACKNEY to do a gig, only to find it called off - hey, i was ANNOYED, but then went to the PUB with Pauly & Mrs Pauly Popex, FRESH from an Celebrity Appearance and all was WELL.

The MOST GRATE thing of the whole past couple of weeks tho was visiting the British Library - they have an exhibition of their "Treasures" there which DID MY HEAD IN. It's as if someone has compiled "The Best Museum In The World ... EVER!" purely to annoy other curators. It's got TWO of the THREE first ever collected bibles, the first map of America, The MAGNA BLOODY CARTA, the only example of Shakespeare's handwriting, a whole display of Beatles lyrics, including some i'd NEVER SEEN BEFORE, HANDWRITTEN drafts of Alice in Wonderland, Persuasion, Finnegan's Wake and more, pages from Leonardo's sketchbook, and LOADS AND LOADS MORE. Honestly - next time yr in That London just bloody GO THERE - it's on the other side of St Pancras from King's Cross, and it's FREE.

Yes, i WAS excited about it. Also of HIGH CULTURAL IMPORTANCE was Totally Tom, our recent recording session dedicated entirely to the work of Mr T McClure, during which he a) strode masterfully between control room and live room BRANDISHING a score and b) then HOE-DOWN did a GRATE track for "Good Cooking". It was all sounding ACE and i was EXCITED, so am now lining up Totally Tom II, when we'll (hopefully) HOOVER UP his remaining bits, and then maybe even REMAKE a couple of tracks.

All this is AFTER tomorrow night, when all things being GOOD we'll be in again, to FINALLY lay down the FINAL remaining three songs - "(insert title here)", "Things'll Be Different" and "Holdalls". I'm just about to SCHEDULE a series of sessions in July and August as a BIG PUSH to get it all finished... so it'll probably be done some time in 2056. On the moon.

That's the ROCK news for now kids, be good until next time!

1st August 2002
It says fortnightly ish at the top, doesn't it?

Apologies if anyone in the world was bothered by the lack of an update - but my DEARS, things have been happening! Just this very morning i went to look at THE QUEEN and it was Actually Quite Exciting. People kept talking about how, yesterday, she'd had an egg thrown at her - there was much consternation until someone would say "It was in Nottingham"...

But enough REGAL SHENANIGANS, what of THE ROCK? There has been some - there has been a LOT. Messrs Pattison, Fleay and i were in with Mr Reverb a couple of weeks ago, where we recorded the FINAL three basic tracks for the album - for "Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)", "Holdalls Is The New Name For Midland Mainline Lost Property" and "(insert title here)". And it sounded BLOODY FANTASTIC - our new, streamlined recording methodology (i.e. playing them the song, them having a go, then recording it straight away) was ROCKING HARD. Then, last week, i returned ALONE to do all my guitar and vocal tracks, and now we are POISED for overdubs. In theory we should have everything done by the end of August, in THEORY it could all be mixed and finished by the time we get to October, but it's been a long road here so far, let's not get too excited shall we?

The world of AAS has been rocking too, with Mr Fleay and I going to That London to try and get some information from our distributors. And we DID get some. The next release will do is now likely to be through AGENT ALICE instead, and hopefully by the time "This Is Not A Library" comes out you'll be able to buy it with EASE and SIMPLICITY. COOL.

In other news, the Pastry Of My Pastie and i have enjoyed an ACE weekend on the Isle of Wight, seeing my cousins (one of them getting married) and uncles and aunties and generally swanning round having an ace time in the sunshine. It was GRATE.

And now we look forward to a month of some SERIOUS ROCKING - stay true, dear friends, the wait is almost over!

14th August 2002
POW! Bang on time and ready to ROCK - here is the FAST FACT. Basically, RECORDINGS are moving on APACE and LO! i see a light! The light of the album being FINISHED! Yes, it's far away, and i might not get there with you, but it's there, it WILL happen.

For instance, last week the entire Pattison Family descended variously upon the studio, where we had a GRATE night a) looking at Edie and going "aaah!" and b) recording pretty much ALL of Emma's remaining vocals. My friends, it sounded BLOODY GRATE, and now Tom isn't the only one to "enjoy" the traditional Drunken Lecture About How GRATE We Are on the way home. Next session is TOMORROW night for a bit of a mix, then a Whole Band Session for bits and bobs at the end of the month. Unfortunately Totally Tom II has been postponed, as poor old Tom's been rocking a bit TOO hard and HURT himself so doing, but i dare to dream that September will see its rescheduling.

Then we mix, then that's IT! It'll be DONE! Can you BELIEVE?!?

One (of MANY) Good Thing about nearly finishing is that soon the self-imposed SONG PLUG can be removed - my dears, there is LEAKAGE around it, as MANY new ideas try to seep through, but i'm IGNORING them for the moment. THESE now are the last of the songs for the album, let none more try and persuade themselves aboard!

On the LIVE ROCK front, we're rapidly approaching my Private Party gig in BERKS, which will be FUN, and then in November i travel to WINCHESTER to finally get to see Chris T-T, of whom i have heard much. Hopefully there'll be some more ROCK between here and there, but as well you know, gentle reader, recording is Priority UNE at le present.

HENCE the lack of any more ROCK FACT. In other news, it's the Beer Festi soon, Myself and The Love That Illuminates My Life are off to see some BANDS and ting, and this weekend sees a Voon Reunion of the best kind i.e. us sitting in a pub, NOT dragging amps and stuff around. Let's ROCK!

30th August 2002
You find me shuddering in the aftermath of a LENGTHY DEBATE, held last night in Memphis Studio. The participants - Myself, Mr Reverb, and ALL of The Validators. The Question - that age old conundrum, "Who is more shit? Andrew Lloyd Webber, or Queen?"

For LO! We were in the studio for the long awaited Nearly Finished SESSION, and my friends it was BRILLIANT. The first half of the evening was composed of TWO things - mostly looking at Edie Pattison going "Oh BLESS" whilst trying to look ROCK, but also recording GROUP vocals and a bit of RAPPING. This was ACE. We did a rather special MONTAGE of vocals for the start of "Holdalls", some paired vocalising for "Things'll Be Different" and some TOP QUALITY RAPPING for "Everything's Turning Out All Right". Also some LESS quality "harmonising", but never mind. We then moved on, in the second half of the evening, to laying down some rather beautiful trumpet music. Listening to the combination of Rob's Trumpet and Emma's vocals on "Insert Title Here", at the end of the evening, did leave me feeling rather moved i must confess.

This was all following a SESSION the week before last when we mixed "Good Cooking" and "The Back Of The Sofa", the latter especially sounding FANTASTIC, nestling beneath the LUSH DUVET of its string arrangement. I tell you this, i'm starting to see signs for home, i'm beginning to recognise the streets, we're nearly there! There's still quite a bit of STRINGS to do, a couple of bits of vocals and gtr for me, then there's the mixing but still - we spoke last night of the VENUE for this album's BAND SUMMIT, it's getting CLOSE!

Also for the album, i've been working hard on the MULTI-MEDIA side of the MULTI-MEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA that it shall be. As well as a fully annotated BOOK of lyrics (in .PDF), there'll be a vast Library of information, pictures, Annoying Things Making A Racket, and two OTHER albums full of material. One of these will be unused tracks and spare things lying around, the other will be an DEMO version of the album - that is, all the demo's i did of all the tracks. Some of them are "quite" "interesting", most of them are pretty different to the finished product, and nearly ALL of them manage to combine HORRIBLE gtr sounds with CONFUSED backing vocals. Can you STAND to wait, gentle reader?

In other news, AGENT ALICE, the new distribution arm of AAS is POISED to commence action, with the utterly UTTERLY beautiful new Frankie Machine album "Francis Albert Machine and Friends". More news of that here when it's officially out, but for now i can tell you that there's a LOVELY picture on the back that ALONE makes it worth buying... hem hem.

Meanwhile, i attended the Peterborough Beer Festival last week, and in the taxi home my family were left in no doubt about a) how much i liked BEER b) how much i love my GIRLFRIEND c) how happy i was to be there and d) did i mention how GRATE my girlfriend is? I may have been a bit tipsy. And finally, in the FUTURE, it looks like i will be going on HOLIDAY for the first time in nearly 15 years with the previously mentioned Leaves On My Tree - a whole week of being HOT, reading BOOKS!

The future is on it's way my friends, let's clean the flat and get ready for it!

17th September 2002
With apologies for lateness, i say HOWDY! I speak to you relaxing after a COMFORTABLE gig last night at London's Fashionable Bull & Gate, it was jolly nice but you can read much more about that and OTHER recent ROCK ACTION on the Finally Updated GIGS WE HAVE KNOWN section.

Things have pleasantly dawdled since last we were together, tho i am pleased to report that Totally Tom's wrist is finally getting better, so much so indeed that last week we has a SESSION chez moi during which we laid down the basics for his remaining tracks on the album. It's sounding GOOD - so good in fact that Tom has been playing me demo versions down the phone, and that's MY job! It's all VERY exciting tho, i can't BELIEVE that me might soon have actually FINISHED the album - we've got two sessions BOOKED with Mr Reverb in early October which should take care of the remaining recordings, and then - MY WORD! - it'll just be the mixing to do!

But that's about it this time for ROCK - in other news, DON'T bother seeing "Reign of Fire", as it's shit, and if you go to see "Signs" leave before the last 15 minutes, it'll be MUCH better that way. Oh yeah, and don't forget to buy OTWAY'S new single when it comes out on September 30th - go HERE for more details why, me and the On Switch To My Amp went to see him LIVE and IN CONCERT at the weekend and he was BLOODY FANTASTIC!

Right then, i'm off - am going on HOLIDAYS next week, next time you see me i shall be TANNED!

4th October 2002
Greetings, from a Happy Hibbett! Be thankful this was not written yesterday, for LO! it would have been a very different situation - back from Holiday and forced to go to WORK, i was positively GRUMPY, but today all is good... the reason? Why, The Healing Power of ROCK, of course!

Yes, last night i was back in the studio with the esteemed Mr Reverb - it was meant to be Totally Tom III, but unfortunately Mr McClure is STILL knacked, and so i ventured in for a Bits & Bobs night, worried that there might not be enough to do to make it worthwhile...

I need not have worried. We spent a GRATE evening TOILING at turning "Everything's Turning Out All Right" into a GIGANTIC HIT - vocals were redone, and an ACE guitar LICK was eventually appended (only hindered by me getting overexcited by the fact i was playing a GIBSON through a MARSHALL, trying to do something Extra And Clever, and failing), but we spent most of our time on the ACE PHONE BREAK in the middle. I am loath to disclose too much in case the GRATE IDEA gets robbed by Agents Of The Man, suffice to say it began by Mr Reverb saying "fcuking hell Hibbett, this will tax ALL my resouces" and ending with us both BOBBING DELIRIOUSLY to something you have NEVER HEARD IN A RECORDING BEFORE.

Oh yes! Then Kev told me a story about sharing chips with Joe Strummer, and a JOLLY evening was finished perfectly. Hopefully Tom will be better enough to do some recording in a couple of weeks - i've heard what he's got worked out, and it is MIGHTY - and then, THEN! will be The Time Of Mixing.

In other news, i have been on HOLIDAY, to MENORCA, with The Sun In My Sky, and OH MY did we have a good time! Having not been on Holiday for 15 years (as i have mentioned to EVERYONE, MANY times) i didn't know what to expect, but very soon fell into a BRILLIANT regime of eating, drinking, Looking At Sights, and generally arsing about. Among the highlights were a 60 minute tour of a capital city (with time for BEER included), NUDE NAKED swimming in the sea (brilliant!) and, on the last night, seeing THE BEATLES!

They were a lot younger, alive, and strangely GERMAN than i'd've expected.

It was ACE anyway, as in fact are MANY things at the moment. The OTWAY HIT campaign looks like it's going to work - i trust anyone reading this knows of it already, otherwise please vist the HIT website IMMEDIATELY - and the new Half Man Half Biscuit a) is GRATE and b) seems to mention ME! In the world of ROCK, there'll be some recording again soon, some BOOKING of recordings, and who knows what else? All i DO know is that there is a REAL CHANCE of the album being finished before the end of the year so, as our Spanish Friends say, HOLA!

18th October 2002
Welcome to a strange new world... a world where OTWAY is now a TWO hit wonder! I can hardly believe it, i must say - doesn't this mean he'll have to change his set, or something? For those who don't know/aren't arsed, his Birthday Hit "Bunsen Burner" got to Number 9 in the charts, FANTASTICALLY due to the efforts of all the fans who love him, and despite the best efforts of Woolworths, Asda, WHSmiths etc who REFUSE to stock anything not designed to appeal solely to 13 year old girls and backed by millions of pounds of A&R Bribe Money. Don't think me an old sod for this latter - 13 year old girls are the LIFE of Pop Music, it'd be nice if the Major Label Halfwits credited them with the intelligence they have, and the High Street Stores actually gave them a CHANCE to buy something apart from Will, Gareth and the heavily processed Rebellion-Lite of Nu/Un-Metal.

YEAH! MJ Hibbett, sticking it to the MAN! The main point tho is that it is a BEAUTIFUL THING that so much love gets generated by and around Otway that it can propel him into the centre of the Nation's pop consciousness - GO OTWAY! Seeing him on TOTP last week was a wonderful wonderful thing, and you'd have to be a Poor Cold Soul not to Get Happy because of it.

In other news, THE ALBUM PROGRESSES! Tom's wrist is still officially Knackered, so he's having a MONTH off of Violining. We'd already arranged to go into the studio this week, and i was RELUCTANT to put it off, so in we went and REDID things, not with VIOLIN, but with KEYBOARDS! It was ace, also MODERN - we did a complete remix/rejig of "The Girl Who" (including finally double-tracking some of my vocals - i LOVE doing that, but don't seem to have don't it hardly at all on these recordings) which makes it sound ACE, and also finished off "Holdalls". There's only 3 more songs to finish, and one to redo, and honestly, goodness me, then it'll be DONE!

A world where Otway gets two hits and we get to record two albums? What a wonderful world that would be!

Otherwise, all has been fairly quiet... the AMP of my STACK and i went to see Coldplay at the N.I.A. last week (and for future reference - it's NOT, as any Reasonable Person might think, near the N.E.C. No. It's in fact near the railway station which you might have left half an hour ago...) and they were All Right and OK. The singles were nice, but my personal high points were a) me and the NECK of my AXE singing along in Humourous Style b) the clever plastic BEER bottles and c) getting CHIPS, which leads me to believe that Stadium Indie may not be for us... other people seemed to really think it was something SPECIAL, but we were a bit nonplussed really.

And that's pretty much it, i think - in the near future there'll be another trip to the studio to MIX IT UP, more recordings, and in a few weeks a GIG! It's all rolling on baby, believe it and it will be so!

30th October 2002
I write to you EVER so slightly early this time so that, if you'd care to, you can listen to a LIVE broadcast of some NEW material! Yes yes yes, Mr John Kell, EXCELLENT chap and all round ALLY is going to be broadcasting three of the tracks from the new album on his show this Friday night on CUR, the same show for which i did a session last year, from which that Mysterious Hidden Track on "Milk and Baubles" came. Tune in, on 1350kHz anywhere in central Cambridge!

What? You don't live in Cambridge, but still want to listen? Hey hey - go to listen live on Friday night at 8pm! What? Your home interweb is held together with bits of string, takes 15 minutes just to get your email and costs 15,000,000 a minute? Yes, me too - so why not SNEAKILY listen to it on the archive, also on the site, when it goes there next week, say, at work, or something?

All needs are catered to! The whole thing sounds dead exciting anyway - as you'll see on the site, it's the "first play ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD" of these songs. I mean, even I'M excited, and i've already heard them!

In other news, album progression progresses slowly but surely - we're in next week to mix up "Holdalls" and "The Girl Who..." then hopefully three weeks from now, if Tom's wrist allows, we'll try and finish the actual recording. Be patient my darlings, it will be done when it is done and when it IS done it will SHIT on everything else! EVER!

Possibly. Also next week I'm off to WINCHESTER, for a gig which should be ROCKING. I'm playing at the Railway Inn on the Thursday with Chris T-T, who i've heard a lot about but only recently actually heard (funnily enough, on the above mentioned John Kell show...). Before that it's the Derby Inner City Crawl on Sunday, with the very VERY marvellous Frankie Machine on about 6.45. THEN we move forward to the glorious day of Friday 15th November, when the Biscuit in my Biscuit Barrel finishes her current (opion removed) JOB! HOORAH! This is a VERY Good Thing, and will hopefully Herald fun times and exciting developments for all... but more of that in the future, for now, my proud beauties, tune in, and prepare for victory!

14th November 2002

You find me at a time of GRATE CHANGE - why, you ask? Well, for one thing The Spice In My Samosa has finished her JOB, a time for GRATE rejoicing. For another thing... aha! Well, the other thing will have to wait until next time i think, but i am VERY HAPPY about it INDEED!

Oh stop it, NO! It's not that, who are you, my mother?

Anyway, much ELSE has occurred in the world of ROCK since last we spoke. Mixing did indeed take place, and everything sounds BRILLIANT. Hopefully Mr McClure will be in VERY soon, and then we'll get a-fixing and finishing. I must say though, i don't want to PROMISE anything. I'm currently working on a Recording Diary for the MULTIMEDIA ASPECT of the next CD, by editing together bits from these very epistles over the past two years that mention recordings, and since about 18 months ago i've been saying "It's Nearly Done! It's Nearly Done!" But it nearly is, honest.

The CUR radio play of new stuff was GRATE - John played "BBC2", "Fat Was A Feminist Issue" and "World Go Blind", which was in itself DEEPLY FASCINATING to me, finding out what someone else thought were the bestest tracks. BRILLIANTLY he said things like "Momentous stuff - the first play ANYWHERE in THE WORLD" and "A very SINISTER Hibbett", which made me, at least, feel VERY important and thrilled.

Gig in Winchester was really really nice too, especially because i finally got to see Chris T-T, referred to me time and time again as "like you. but good". He WAS like me too, i must say, and WHAT a lovely chap he was too. It was an ACE thing to meet someone ALSO doing what i'm doing, there really aren't many of us around. Wonder why?

In other ROCK news, "50,000,000 Elves Fans Can't Be Wrong" FINALLY gets released in the UK on December 2nd. This is the original home for "Give Us A Kiss For Christmas", plus LOADS of other GRATE stuff from the likes of the Weisstronauts, Velodrome 2000 and MORE, and is ACE, also CHRISTMASSY.

It has, i must say, been a rather exciting couple of weeks full of ACTION. There may be less occuring in the next fortnight or so, but we'll find out about that when we get there, shall we?

28th November 2002

You find me standing atop the CLIFF OF CHANGE, and ready and raring to JUMP! As mentioned last time, The Rising Of My Souffle finished her rotten job the other week, and LO! there was much celebrating. What i DIDN'T mention was that she's got a new job, in That London! And, indeed, So! Have! I!

It's all very exciting, as you can probably well imagine! Even as we speak i am merrily touring my current workplace saying "Oh no, i'm sure not everything will collapse into doom and terror after i leave. Not straight away, anyway" and later this evening i shall continue the process of filling up bin bag after bin bag with unwanted Objects from the flat. After 10 years working for the University of Leicester, and 8 years in my current home, it's time for CHANGE! KERZANG! A nice place to live! With the woman i love! "Career" "Advancement"! Near my brothers! Handy for GIGS! Not relying on The Odeon for films! And MUCH! MUCH! MORE!

I'm WELL up for it - the only dim note of foreboding is that ALREADY people have started saying "Aha! But then you'll be in London!!! Doesn't! That! Mean!!!! You will have to say YOUR band are shit?!?!? Eh? Eh?" I am thinking of having cards printed saying "it's FROM London", but we shall see.

Anyway, DOUBTLESS more on this next time, for now it remains only to hoover up the small morsel of ROCK NEWS remaining, which is Quite Rock so let's Get It On. Totally Tom III FINALLY occurred this week, when Mr McClure and I visited Mr Reverb for a night of violins and EXPLOSIONS - baby, we ROCKED so very hard that the STUDIO exploded! YES!

Well, OK, it's was more of a four-way plug, and it melted rather than exploded, and it was because Kev was feeling chilly and had plugged two heaters into an otherwise full four-way, which was in turn plugged into an otherwise full four-way, which was itself plugged into ANOTHER otherwise full four way, but still, rock and roll eh? It really MELTED, it was ACE!

Also we recorded three songs (leaving only "Insert Title Here" to finish!), drank some beer, and i read "Asterix and the Roman Agent" and "Asterix and The Big Fight", so everyone was happy! Between now and Christmas i hope to at least record that one last song, and hopefully even get them all mixed, and then, believe it or not, that'll be that DONE! With the exception of remixing, ordering, and mastering, it'll be FINISHED!

And ho ho ho say The Gods of ROCK, that WOULD be a Merry Christmas!

19th December 2002

It's nearly done.

Let's say that again, shall we? With feeling this time - IT'S! NEARLY! DONE! I've said it before, i know, but this time, well, it's REALLY nearly done!!

For LO! last night i was in yet again (actually, for the 40th session for this album! SHIT ON A BRICK!) with Mr Reverb and WHAT a jolly time we had. As well as a general singalong, Christmas and otherwise, we did START-UP mixes for "Things'll Be Different", "Nothing In Common" and, most remarkably of all, "Everything's Turning Out All Right". They're not finished mixes by any means, and there's a couple of other songs need re-re-mixing, but we did reach the LANDMARK stage where, for the first time EVER, it was actually possible to complete a FULL CD of ALL the tracks!

And, in fact, i'm listening to it right now. There's 18 tracks on it, it's well over an hour long, and my dears it's sounding BLOODY GRATE! The plan is now to take a few weeks off the whole thing, and return to Leicester around February time to do some finishing off. We'll then have the traditional Big Band Meeting to finalise the running order, and extra bits, and then... well, then it really WILL be completely finished. I'm saying April for the release date, but long-time readers will know that it would be UNWISE to say which year that April will be in.

So yeah, there is a lot of CHUFFED-NESS here. Also this is the last time i'll EVER be updating from my current job - this morning i managed to make a Leaving Speech without upsetting anybody, tonight i'm off on the Work's Christmas Piss-Up, and then tomorrow, after TEN YEARS, i'll finally be leaving the University of Leicester! It's off down to That London in a week and a bit when AT LAST i shall be permanently ensconced with the absolute utter love of my life in Domestic Bliss. Kids, i CANNOT WAIT!

And that's the news! All that remains is to wish everyone who comes and reads this page a VERY Merry Christmas and an extremely ROCK New Year. Also, thanks for coming, i really do appreciate knowing that there's a couple of people out there who actually give a toss! And while we're thanking, let's thank Mr Kev Reverb, Mr Rob Fleay, Mr Tom McClure, Mrs Emma Pattison, Mr Tim Pattison, Mr Matthew Whitaker, and from the very bottom of my heart, Miss Charlotte Wadsworth, for making this year in ROCK such an exciting and fun one. Hey, i love you all!

... there's seems to be some dust in my eye now... happy christmas everyone - get pissed! DESTROY!
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