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Blog: Totally Acoustic

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I arrived at The Lamb last night to find there had been NO talk this time of any double bookings. PHEW! I DID notice that the bar manager now had his arm in a SLING though, so maybe there had been other, less DELIGHTFUL, altercations?

Anyway, Mr S Hewitt and I went upstairs and got the room sorted out as The Acts speedily arrived along with a whole bunch of OTHER people. I'd been worrying (as usual) beforehand that nobody'd be there, but in the end it was quite PLUMPLY STUFFED. I was still nervous when I went on to get things started - see if you can work out why from my setlist:

  • Totally Acoustic
  • Praise The Traffic Warden
  • Call The Lyric Police
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Everybody Let's Get Together
  • We're The Mars Men Of Jupiter
  • Where Is My Torch?
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone

  • Yes, it was a set containing a MASSIVE pile of songs I'd not done for YEARS or, in a couple of cases, EVER BEFORE in the live environment. I'm going to TRY and do this whole run of Totally Acoustics without repeating a song - this seemed like a COOL PLAN when i thought of it, but it does have some arguments against e.g. it's not like many people are going to COME to all of them, and for everyone on the podcast MOST of my stuff gets edited out anyway, so i COULD repeat myself and try and do some of the songs I did WRONG the first time around RIGHT.

    On the other hand, consciously having to think of different songs to do has led to a LOVELY trip through my back catalogue, bringing out LOTS of songs that, actually, it'd be nice to do a bit more often anyway. The three old songs I dragged out of retirement tonight (Praise The Traffic Warden, Where Is My Torch? and ESPECIALLY Call The Lyric Police) are ones I'd LOVE to get back into the normal set... if there ever comes a time after Dinosaur Planet, Moon Horse, etc etc when i DO normal gigs again, of course!

    It also means i'm a bit more likely to try out EXPERIMENTAL STUFF, like CROWDSOURCING a version of Everybody Let's Get Together that made up for that song's lack of verses (AT ALL) by getting everybody in the room to join in in various different ways. It was surprisingly ACE, especially the recorded version (I'm MULTITASKING by listening to the recording as i type this!)... which is perhaps more than can be said for my RASH decision to try out We're The Mars Men Of Jupiter in the LIVE ARENA. Hmm. That's a song which, i think, does not work quite as well without The Breakdancing.

    Next up were Fakebit Polytechnic, doing not only THEIR debut gig, but Totally Acoustic's debut ELECTRONIC performance. We'd had some intense NEGOTIATION about how this would work - I'd initially insisted they use BATTERIES, but was brought round to the use of adaptors for the use of THE ENVIRONMENT and eventually agreed that as they weren't plugging anything into an amplifier and singing in our normal way then it was FINE.

    Actually, it was more than just fine, it was FANTASTIC. I had no idea what'd be happening - all I knew that they had been doing quite a LOT of practicing, and that The Dave Green had been comprehensively CASING THE JOINT by coming to all the other shows this time around. Imagine my relief, then, when they started up with a brilliant set of rather HILARIOUS, generally tech-based songs mixing beats, keyboards, acoustical guitars, SINGING and general WARMTH and GOOD TIMES. Surely the most GRATE "Confrontational Electroclash Duo" that I've ever seen!

    After the usual short break (during which i got alarmingly EMOTIONAL about the prospect of the Queen dying...) Ms Jenny Lockyer took to the stage. BY HECK but she was good - listening back to her tracks I've been amazed by the guitar playing and how lovely her singing is, because you don't actually NOTICE those things when she's playing, as you get all caught up in the stories she's telling. I always ALWAYS say that there is a J Lockyer shaped GAP in our national television schedules, which should be filled by her CHARMING and entire NATION. Nobody who'd seen her getting a whole room full of Gruff London Types to BLOW like a GENTLE WIND on her direction - or, indeed, see her descend to the floor at the CLIMAX of "Chocolate Cake" - would be in any doubt of her POWER. I've rarely seen a room full of such GRINS as I did after she'd finished her set, it was LOVELY.

    With all that done proceedings proceeded as usual to a bit of an old chat. We were BLESSED to have the presence of Mr Paul Clarke aka Nice Guy Pauly aka Pauly Popex, and as we REMINISCED at some volume about The Early Days Of The Interweb we realised that, actually, much of the very earliest UK Interweb people were here in the room. Still going to pubs, still talking a load of old bollocks, still shouting about the precise moment that Belle & Sebastian stopped being brilliant, and still having a whole lot of fun. Long may it continue!

    posted 24/11/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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    Comments:

    Yay!
    posted 26/11/2010 by Pauly

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