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Blog: A Busy Night

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Last Thursday I rolled up to The King & Queen to find it RAMMED with people. When I'd popped in a few days earlier I'd been warned that this might be the case, but apparently it was even MORE packed than expected as an EXTRA leaving do had arrived, wearing fezzes. The bar staff were BUSY, but being the bar staff of The King & Queen they handled it ADMIRABLY.

All of the acts arrived in very good time - Ay Carmela, Ivor Game, and NJ Hibbett (and Lin) i.e. some PARENTS! Dad and Lin were over for the weekend and had been collected by The Branches In My Tree and brought over for the occasion. They play in FOLK bands, so we thought it might be fun to have them come and play at Totally Acoustic some time. SPOILERS: it was!

We retreated from the THRONG, got set up upstairs, and welcomed a small but DELIGHTFUL group of people to the show. I'd spent a lot of my commuting time over the past couple of days listening to mixes of the new Validators' album (more on which later in the week) so thought I'd kick off with a couple of songs from that. As it happened the two songs I chose - We Did It Anyway and 20 Things To Do Before You're 30 also appear in Hey Hey 16K so it was a bit odd doing them SOLO, especially with Mr S Hewitt sat in his usual front row seat!

After that Dad and Lin came and on did ANOTHER two songs from the show, I Come From The Fens and Hibbett's Golden Rules Of Beer! It just so happened that these are the two of my songs they do ANYWAY, but it was still a funny coincidence. This was their first proper gig as a DUO (they usually play in a BAND - ROCK parents!) and they did really well, finishing with a rousing singalong version of "Streets Of London" which was GRATE. I was very proud!

Next up was Ivor Game, who I'd never seen play before. He emailed a few months ago to ask about playing, with links to some of his songs. This does occasionally happen and often I think "OH NO" because it's almost always from people who've never been to Totally Acoustic and think it's a stern faced folk club where everybody sits in glum silence looking at finger picking, so send me lengthy songs lacking much in the way of humour or choruses. Imagine my DELIGHT then when Ivor's stuff turned out to be WONDERFUL - the songs stayed with me for DAYS after listening to them then, and they are still with me four days later NOW, for LO! Live he was a REVELATION. Hugely tuneful, beautifully performed - he was ACE!

As indeed were Ay Carmela, who came on last. As an aged VETERAN of The Indie it is always heartening for me to meet some of these Young People who are doing the bands of now and LIKE them, and as members of Ay Carmela are a) in pretty much ALL the current Indie bands and b) LOVELY, I was very heartened indeed. They even joined in with a game of What Kind Of Publican Would You Be? (where you stand behind a bar and everyone works out, well, what kind of publican you'd be) which, to me, marks them out as GOOD SORTS. The gig was FAB, although there was CONFUSION amongst the audience as to where on earth the TAMBOURINE was coming from. The drummer was sat on one of those drum box things, and it was only after several songs that we all worked out that he had the tambourine on his FOOT. The relief in the room to have this answered was PALPABLE.

In summary then it was a BRILLIANT evening, which concluded as ever with CHAT before we made our way downstairs to find a scene of MADNESS. The pub is often BUSY downstairs after a gig but this time it was CRAZY. DANCE MUSIC was playing loudly, drunken people were staggering around and there was ACTUAL DANCING! It was weird, but rather nice - back in the day, approx 1,000,000 years ago when I started going out, everyone young or old went to the same pubs and so sometimes it would happen that a BOOZER would turn into an impromptu disco. I've not seen it happen for AGES and, though I was happy to see it could still occur, I was glad to be going home!

posted 9/11/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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