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Blog: Po! and Panic Pocket

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I was DELIVERING TRAINING at The London College Of Fashion on Thursday afternoon (if you want to take this to mean I was TEACHING FASHIONABILITY then I am powerless to stop you), which was extremely handy as it left me at the end of the day with a ten minute walk round the corner from Oxford Circus to The King & Queen, where Totally Acoustic was due to occur.

I was delighted, as ever, to discover Mr S Hewitt already in place, but then AMAZED to find BOTH of the evening's acts arriving shortly afterwards! All performers were in the building by 18:38 which is a definite record, although rather than reassuring me I was UNNERVED - surely this was AGAINST NATURE?!? My unnervedness continued when we went upstairs just after 19:00 to discover that the room was already set out, but in a Very Slightly Different way to how it usually is. It worked really well as it meant that the DRUMKIT (Drumkit!) could be put further away from the band and audience than usual, but it did feel odd (if only to me) to have the vast majority of the audience all in the same part of the room rather than, as usual, in two seperate ends of the "L".

My mind was taken off this issue by the arrival of MANY lovely people, notably almost ALL of the TA regulars (including Susan who had ONCE AGAIN brought a whole bag full of SNACKS for everybody) and Non-Performing Pop Stars all OVER the place. The room was pretty nicely filled up by the time I took to the stage and, after the traditional performance of the theme tune, did this:

  • I Think I Did OK
  • The Perfect Love Song

  • I Think I Did OK is a NEW song what I wrote a few days previously, the morning after seeing The Just Joans, and it seemed to go down quite well. I was very happy to be able to involve Mr G Gilchrist in the final verse, citing him as evidence that I have NEVER been, as the song suggests, "better at drinking" than I am now, and this led me to do The Perfect Love Song as a song from the far off days - surely at least a few years ago now hem hem - when Voon were playing in the same places as Po!

    After me Panic Pocket played and they were GRATE. I asked them to play because I've really enjoyed listening to their songs on Bandcamp, and they did not disappoint in The Live Arena. There is a WIT and a WAY with their songs that I really like, like they're talking ABOUT stuff but do so in an ENGAGING and often quite funny way. There's lots of bands around that do the talking ABOUT stuff thing, but I must admit I usually find the actual execution a bit DULL, like they've found an ISSUE to say, say that it exists, and don't do anything else with the information. Panic Pocket have a bit more STYLE about them - I did say I'd been teaching at LCF earlier, so surely I should KNOW!. INTERESTINGLY* (*to me) their songs came out sounding more TRADITIONAL when done with Guitar and Battery-powered keyboard than they seem on mp3 - I am pretty sure this is both a) a good thing and b) a fascinating insight. They were GRATE!

    After the break we got Po! on, who demonstrated that even a band who have been going since (as their BADGES stated) 1987 can STILL experiment with radical setlist methodologies. Ruth had prepared a SHEET like a PICTURE ROUND for a pub quiz, with each picture being a CLUE to one of their songs. There were a few of us who knew their songs who got SOME of them, but it quickly became a RANDOMISATION FUNCTION as people yelled out LETTERS and the band played whichever song it applied to - I don't think the rest of the band knew which songs were represented by which picture either, but luckily Ruth helped them out. There were UTTER CLASSICS of their earlier career, some new songs, and even a cover of The Ruts! It was BRILLO!

    With all that done the evening took its usual course of YACKING followed by WHISKY downstairs. It was a whole lot of fun, as will hopefully be demonstrated soon when I get the podcast done!

    posted 20/1/2020 by MJ Hibbett

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