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Blog: A Sophisticated Soiree

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On Thursday night myself and The Pages In My Chapter were back at The King & Queen, not for a Totally Acoustic, but rather for a BOOK LAUNCH!

For LO! when one does a BOOK, like what I have done (have I mentioned that I've got a book out?) it is DE RIGEUR to have some kind of launch event. The few such affairs that I have been to before have involved decadent things like free drinks and CANAPES and even sometimes free BOOKS, but I decided to ESCHEW all of these bourgeoise elements. Also, there was a budget of precisely zero quid for the whole thing, so I thought I'd just have A Bit Of A Do instead.

THUS I sent out invites to various people, including not only Glittering ROCK Chums but also people from the world of Comics Studies AND from my work at UAL. In the weeks leading up to it this decision came to the forefront of my BRANE, as I have never really mixed up these aspects of my LIFE before. Some comics people ALSO work at UAL and interact with my department, but I don't think any of them have ever been to an actual GIG by me before either, so it was all going to be a bit of an EYE OPENER for all concerned!

Also, the fact that it was an INVITES affair, rather than a usual gig, seemed sensible when I set it up that way but then came to PREY upon my mind, as ONLY the people who I'd specifically asked would know it was happening, and as I started to receive the Apologies In Advance that always come before these sort of events I began to wonder if anyone was actually coming. PANIC!

Happily, people DID come and the room upstairs gradually swelled to a very comfortable plumpness, with pretty much every seat filled and a DELIGHTFUL atmosphere ensuing. I spent the pre-gig half hour wandering round like an SOCIETY HOSTESS, introducing people from my different WORLDS to each other. I must say, I can see why these SOCIETY HOSTESSES get such a kick out of it, it was really good fun, although still a bit weird seeing someone from ROCK engaged in in-depth conversation with people I see on TEAMS nearly every day.

Eventually it was time for me to get up and do the LAUNCHING, which consisted of a twenty minute talk in which I tried to explain the "An Empirical Approach To Transmedia Studies" part of the book's title. I was a bit all over the place to start with, as I kept getting freaked out by seeing combinations of people that I'd never seen together before, but got into it fairly quickly and, I think, managed NOT to waffle on too much.

The BEST bit was after that when I opened the floor to questions. I had not expected people to ENGAGE here, but BY GOLLY did they ever and some ASTONISHING questions were asked which frankly BLEW MY MIND. It turns out I know some RIGHT BRAINBOXES and DEEP THINKERS who asked things I'd never even thought of before. It was amazing!

I finished off by doing a few songs - The House On The Borderland (making its live DEBUT), My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once (seemed appropriate for the occasion!), It Only Works Because You're here and Boom Shake The Room. It all seemed to go all right, although again it was STRANGE bellowing these out to people I variously work with!

With that all out of the way it was back to the SOIREE, with further conversations breaking out all over the place and more IDEAS being lobbed around. It is a lovely thing to talk about all this firstly AT people and then WITH people - I am really really hoping to be able to do more of this sort of thing in future, with or without Arts Council CA$H!

It was a flipping BRILLIANT evening I must say, and ruddy wonderful to see everybody there. I'm doing an ONLINE version on Tuesday evening next week which is open to ONE AND ALL, so if you'd like to come along to that please register for it on Teams, otherwise I hope to be getting out and about to do this some more later in the year, as it was GRATE!

posted 15/3/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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