Blog: Many Trains To Catford
ANYWAY, my use of THE SYSTEM went pretty well, and after an early lunch and brief RECORDING SESSION (on Saturday I'd had MUCH SUCCESS recording Backwards Guitars for "Breaks In The Journey" but on Sunday i had MUCH LESS SUCCESS trying to record UKELELE for "Dino At The Sands") i TOOBED it over to London Bridge, and got the TRANE out to Catford. Maybe it was the GLORIOUS weather, but i was amazed at how LEAFY and DELIGHTFUL it is when you head out that way. OK, it is significantly LESS so when you get off the train, but still, it was very pleasant. I was going down there for MALCFEST the annual festival run by Malcolm of Orange and Blue Studios in his HOUSE. I'd heard that it really WAS a festival in a HOUSE, but was still unprepared for the reality. I went through a gate in the back garden to find the patio FLANKED by covered seating areas for viewing the Outdoor Stage. Behind the seats was the CAMPSITE - his back garden with about 10 tents in it - and through the patio doors was the main stage, his living room with FULL PA in it! Even though you could only fit about 15 people in the room when the band was on, there was still a VIDEO PROJECTION SCREEN behind the band, with at least TWO cameras in use, perhaps more. Also the organisers were using WALKIE TALKIES.
It was pretty amazing! I watched the first band, who had a nice SOUND with violin, cello and ACCORDIAN, then faced my PHOBIA and watched THE MORRIS DANCING. As i may have mentioned previously, Morris Dancing tends to bring me out in either FEAR or UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE, but i managed to FIGHT it this time, and just find it A Bit Funny Looking. This was helped by the FACT that it wasn't an actual Morris TROUPE, and that i knew some of the people in it, but flipping heck, it isn't half DAFT looking. I guess our yeoman ancestors must have been VERY secure in their masculinity to celebrate it thus.
I then popped to the shops for a LOLLY, and when i got back it was pretty much my turn to go on. I was set up with a microphone on the PATIO, and did a lengthy soundcheck comprising "Back For Good" and "Too Good To Be True" with the eerie impression that an alternate universe ME was playing in the room next door - everything was being recorded for use on DVD, so my vocals and guitar were coming out of the PA in the living room. It was apparently very LOUD in there, but not so much outdoors as the DOORS were largely closed so as not to annoy the neighbours!
It felt a bit odd, but i soon got used to it, and did THIS:
It was, purposefully, the UBER SET to end all UBER SETS, as I'd harboured thoughts of using the recording of same for a LIVE ALBUM. It soon became clear as i went through that this WASN'T a good idea, not least because there was a HUGE pause in "Things'll Be Different" when I had to be reminded of the second verse, so i quickly gave up on that idea and had a REAL GOOD TIME instead. I REALLY enjoyed it - there seemed to be a small LULL half way through when i Took It Down A Little, but it was still fun THEN, and "Easily Impressed" and "Boom Shake The Room" were ACE. Ooh, it looks good on the DVD too, I must say, even though I seem to be wearing a papier mache version of my own head, so LARGE does it appear. Anyway, I then ENCORED with "Billy Jones" and cheekily did "I Come From The Fens" too in HONOUR of some fellow Peterbrugians who were in attendance.
The rest of the afternoon was spent very pleasantly chatting to the KOOBA KREW, who were in attendance, and especially in pursuing my usual hobby when Johnny Yeah is in THE HOUSE of swapping Interesting FACTS and Talking Bollocks with him. It was GRATE! I also spoke to MALCOLM about going and doing some recording with him soon - I'm still thinking of recording a SOLO album of the live set for selling at gigs (and getting them done in Cardboard Wallets, as that'd make it MUCH easier to carry them round in my rucksack), and I need to record a session for Another Nice Mess TOO,
After Mr Nathan Persad had done his GRATE set i thought it was probably time to get home, arriving back at Catford Bridge to find i'd just missed a train. South London is all well and good, but it isn't half a PAIN when this sort of thing happens, so i had an half hour WANDER ABOUT the area to pass the time (and avoid thinking of the need for a WEE) before i got back ABOARD. By this time it was becoming clear that I'd be returning to an empty house, as The Folkestone Expedition was going VERY WRONG (they were put on a bus to DOVER for heaven's sake, as there were no trains going to London for Folkestone, where they had to wait ANOTHER hour for a TWO HOUR train journey home!) so decided i might as well head for STOKE NEWINGTON, to have a look at The Light Programme, where I'm going to be playing in November. A train, a tube, a walk, a tube, another train and more walking and i was THERE. It looked DEAD GOOD, and I especially liked the way a couple of people said "Are you MJ Hibbett?" OOH it was like being very very slightly famous, as there were a few people there who'd been at the gig at The Victoria a few weeks ago. I managed to stay for half an hour or so before having to DASH OFF HOME as i realised that there would be CATS awaiting food.
A walk, a train, a train, a tube and a walk and i was HOME! The cats were FED, the DVD went IN the telly, and i had some TEA marvelling at the aforementioned Large Head and actually quite ENJOYING the set. Our beleagured travellers got home just after eleven o'clock, so i cheered them up by MAKING them watch it with me. I am sure it was LOVELY and much like watching it with the commentary on as i said, repeatedly, "Ooh, hang on, there's a good bit here... AHAHAA! Did you hear my HILARIOUS JOKE? Shall i rewind it?"
All in all then, a LENGTHY but JOLLY day, for me at least. Next stop - CAMBRIDGE!
posted 5/9/2005 by MJ Hibbett
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