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Blog: Southend

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A slight diversion from my usual journey Eastwards found me in SOUTHEND last night, to play at the Anti-folk night, as part of the Southend Fringe. When i got off the train I had a similar experience to the one I had in Cardiff when I walked down The Wrong Side Of The Tracks - I went turned slightly left and walked down to the sea front through what seemed like pretty Dodgy Areas that looked a bit run down, but when I came back along the next street along at the end of the evening it all looked MUCH more spruced up and tidy. Are towns and citys these days creating SUPER STREETS for outsider consumption and allowing others to go downhill? And if so, why do I keep getting it wrong?

Anyway, I arrived at the seafront to find a WIDE RANGE of Actual Proper Amusement Arcades, all flashing their lights and BLARING away so it was VERY difficult not to just GO IN and blow literally POUNDS in 2p pieces. But that way lies MADNESS and DEBT, so instead I went into Chinnery's, the venue for the gig.

It was BIG. PROPER Big - The Wedding Present played there recently and Chart Topper LA ROUX was playing there next week, and it was all very CLEAN and SHINEY and NOT the sort of place I'm used to playing. I said hello to everyone, had a pint, and then went to the GRUMPIEST CHIP SHOP EVER. "Have you got any curry sauce, please?" I asked with my best FRESH FACED AND EAGER YOUNG MAN face. "NO." said the women behind the fryers. "WE AIN'T." This despite the big sign saying "CURRY SAUCE!". "Oh dear. How about some mushy peas?" "PEAS?" She shouted from the other end of the shop (I was leaning through a window, as they'd put CHAIRS in the door to stop people entering the main shop. "Mushy peas please!" I called back. "HUH." "Thanks", I said, "And could I have a pickled egg too?" "WE AIN'T GOT NONE."

Maybe she was just grumpy about their Stock Control Issues, but they were VERY nice chips. Back to the venue and I had a quick chat with the bloke from Deferred Success, and band whose NAME I have admired for a while (they're on the Phoenix FM CD that I'm also on) but who turned out to be a) good when I saw the first ten minutes of their set late on b) nice chaps c) friends with the MIGHTY MEDIA HUB that is Miss Kat Kennedy, all round Good Egg and NIECE of Mrs E Pattison. The world of ROCK, it is a small ROCK!

The evening commenced, and soon I was watching The Tumbledryer Babies, OUR HOSTS, who played with TWO basses. I had my doubts about the wisdom of this but I was proved wrong as it worked really well, especially as the second (or lead?) BASS had loads of effects, and the overal sound sounded NOINGY. You know what I mean - NOINGY. Sort of RUBBERY and OUTER SPACE. It was GOOD!

After them was Charlotte Webster who played a VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE Electric Ukelele. NOT an electro-acoustic like my posh one, but a proper actual Electric Ukelele like as in an Electric Guitar. It was VERY NICE INDEED: WANT!

And then it was me, and this is what I did:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • It was a short set as there were quite a few bands playing, but it seemed to go all right. There were about 20-30 people there, which usually would have felt like a LOT, but seemed a bit spaced out in such a HUGE room so I didn't feel BRAVE enough to do any Audience Participation. I had meant to do Boom Shake The Room, as the first duo on had done an NWA song, with FLUTE, but I was AFEARED of a SILENCE feeling EXTRA SILENT a) during the middle of that song b) in such a big room.
    As I say, it all seemed to go OK, and I was able to catch 10 minutes of Deferred Success before it was time for goodbyes and a DART across town through the aforementioned Nicer Street to the train. I got off at Stratford and waited for a bus, which is where I was when the clocks passed MIDNIGHT and I became a 39 year old.

    THIRTY NINE! Holy crap! I've just worked out that, as a 38 year old, I did SEVENTY EIGHT GIGS - I sincerely hope it's not QUITE that many during the next Hibbett Year, it's KNACKERING for a man of my age!

    posted 19/6/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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    Happy birthday, player!

    I think the Southend chip shop lady was moonlighting from her usual job at the Blundell Park ticket office.
    posted 19/6/2009 by Pete Green

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