MJ Hibbett & The Validators

Blog: The Perseverance

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Across town, under a flyover and round the corner and I was at The Perseverance last night, for my gig at Freedom Of Expression. They have a BRILLIANT system for booking gigs - you log onto their online Gig Booking programme which shows you where there's free slots and you just book yourself in. PEASY! I got upstairs to find Tim, the architect of this system, fiddling about with leads so popped downstairs to the pub, a PROPER BOOZE, for a much needed supply of Hair Of The Dog.

We had a soundcheck and gradually the other acts appeared, and when we were all sorted out he asked if anyone had any preference for where they wanted to go in the line up. Everyone else was being polite, so i said "SECOND!" The others GROANED as i had BAGSIED the best spot but all was WELL, and I nipped out again for some CHIPS.

Chips came from one of the poshest chippies i have EVER been in - too posh, really. In the "kitchen area" (chip shops shouldn't really HAVE a "kitchen area") lots of men dressed like CHEFS darted around shouting orders at each other - it was still a CHIP SHOP for heaven's sake, it's not like they're going to do anything particularly difficult is it? "Chef, what shall I do with this?" "Batter it and fry it." "And what about this dish?" "Batter it and fry it." "And the cordon bleu Mars Bar?" ALSO it meant the queue took AGES, and it took me about 10% of the time to EAT my chips and mushy peas as it did to BUY them. Do not misunderstand me, they were very nice chips and mushy peas but really, not THAT nice.

Back to the venue and things were soon commencing, and people started coming in including Stephen who'd heard me on XFM the night before and, DYNAMICALLY, rounded up some pals and come along. Also arriving was Alex from Southampton who's been getting stuff from me for yonks and happened to be in town and so, also DYNAMICALLY, rounded up some pals and come along. Both of them: DEAD COOL.

Soon it was time for me to get started, and we began with a CHAT between me and Tim, when he asked a couple of questions - he'd emailed me them before (Have you anything to sell? Have you a website? What is a fascinating fact about you?) but I didn't know it was for recreating live, so had to struggle to remember. The fascinating fact was that I went to Poly with the new voice of Mr Tickle from The Mr Men, which i have recently discovered, and got to NICK a joke from Gideon Coe's show ("For the young people - a Polytechnic was like a University, only MUCH cooler"). He also got everyone to raise and lower their arms to indicate whether the temperature was too warm or too cold... which made it look like a slightly camp Nazi rally.

ANYWAY, soon i was OFF, and this is what i did:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It was really good. Oh HANG it - let the ego run rampant, it was REALLY REALLY DEAD GOOD, and I had a LOVELY time. Beforehand I had been pondering as follows: I have always had a hang-up about bands who play to the same audiences, as they're SAFE and REASSURING and thus can make you SLACK, so I always TRY to do gigs outside the "scene" (As It Were), like this one. HOWEVER: the thing is, "scene" gigs ARE safe and reassuring because they're usually GOOD, whereas playing a night like this - which, to be honest, was more or less a FOLK NIGHT - can be a bit SCARY and, if everything goes wrong, it can be REALLY DEPRESSING.

    SO, i was worried about it, also still HUNGOVER from the night before... but as ever, The Healing Power Of ROCK did its magic, and I was soon feeling in FINE FETTLE. I knew it was going to be good when people started laughing during the VERSE of The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B), and so rather than do the planned song next (The Gay Train) I decided to have a go at a MUCH (MUCH!) shorter version of the STORY around I Did A Gig In New York that I'll be doing for "My Exciting Life In ROCK". It seemed to work, and after that it was all GAGS and SINGING ALONG and just an all round GOOD TIME. HOORAY! My favourite bit was when I introduced It Only Works Because You're Here as a song about love in the IT community, "a subject not covered very much in popular song, for some reason." A woman near the front LARFED and I said "Aaah... the cruel laughter of women!" I know it doesn't seem particularly funny now, but at the time it WAS, honest!

    So yes, a lovely time was had by ME and hopefully other people, and Tim the promoter seemed please. The next act came on with a rather GROOVY box thing that was miked up as an ENTIRE DRUMKIT, which was rather impressive, and I sat back happily to watch them - I was feeling SO much better by this point, and anyway I had to stay to the end as my iPod was being used to supply the interval music! THUS i also got to enjoy "The Temptations: The Ultimate Collection" sporadically through the night and, at the end of the evening, a blast of Wings' "Venus And Mars".

    If only all gigs could end that way! If only all gigs were as LOVELY as this one - HOORAH!

    posted 12/4/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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