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Blog: The Return To Totally Acoustic

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I found myself back in the King & Queen for the first time in AGES last night, for a special one-off edition of Totally Acoustic. I'd originally booked this particular evening because an American Artiste had asked for a gig while he was touring, but when he had to pull out I decided to carry on anyway and a) use half of it as a preview for Total Hero Team and b) book Enderby's Room for the other.

When I got there I found Steve AFEARED as the aforementioned Enderby's Room were already upstairs with HUGE INSTRUMENTS, and he was worried they might be a whole other band, double booked. We're used to people turning up with a GUITAR or a UKELELE or something, so when you see a mini drum kit, DOUBLE BASE, entire KEYBOARD THING and a RANGE of guitars, it can be a bit alarming.

We got set up and a Very Respectably Sized audience arrived, including not only Totally Acoustic veterans Mr M Tiller and Mr T Eveleigh, but ALSO a rare sighting of Fran From Cheshire For Life, our PAL from The Buffs Club of 2011 - he's writing a musical for this year's Fringe, and had come by to pick up TIPS! No, honest, he really had!

I kicked the evening off with a couple of songs - partly because I don't like to just LAUNCH our guests onstage first of all, but mostly so that I had a chance to play The Fight For History at SOME point close to the actual funeral. I then did Clubbing In The Week, as I'd been LEARNING it back up this week, before introducing Enderby's Room.

They were ACE - beautiful songs played beautifully, with all SORTS of tunes and instruments going on. I've said it MANY times before, but it always strikes me that these instruments we play were DESIGNED to be played together, so when you get rid of artifical amplification it always sounds EXACTLY RIGHT. The double bass was especially GRATE, this mighty LUGUBRIOUS sound that made everything sound wonderful.

I liked them a LOT, and as we sat and listened I realised that I'd rather MISSED these evenings. Since I stopped doing them regularly I must admit I haven't THORT that i HAD missed it - doing them regularly tends to turn into a bit of a HASSLE as you're forever trying to get bands sorted out, get people to come, organise promotion and then do the podcast, so my MEMORIES have often focussed on THAT part of it, forgetting sometimes the MIGHTY JOY of sitting in a really nice pub with a load of FRIENDS, listening to ACE music. It was brilliant!

And then Steve and I took to the stage to do the latest version of Total Hero Team. We had a PRACTICE the other night during which we DROPPED two whole songs, as part of our continuing attempt to squeeze it into the hour long slot we'll have in Edinburgh. It all worked FINE without those two songs (you wouldn't notice they weren't there if you didn't know they had been) and it DID get in under an hour... but only just. MAYBE it was because of all the LARFS... although it might also because there was a little bit of MESSING ABOUT, also some bits that didn't go as SMOOTHLY as they might. Still, we have several months in which to exert THEATRICAL ALLEN KEYS and tighten it all up a bit!

The evening ending with the oft-heralded BEST BIT of these shows i.e. the ability to sit around afterwards and have a bit of an old chat, which was LOVELY. The Acts On My Bill and I strolled out into the London evening both thinking the same thing: these gigs are GRATE!

posted 19/4/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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