I would like to begin today with a formal apology to all of those who turned on "The Jools Holland New Year Hootenanny Programme" (or whatever it's called) at the end of 2020 expecting to see me performing on it. If you then turned over to BBC1 on the understanding that I must have been commissioned to do one of those concerts from Broadcasting house and were further disappointed, or indeed looked on any of the other channels to see whatever it is they do on New Year's Eve and been dismayed at the complete lack of Hibbett or Hibbet-adjacent music, I can only say that the situation was as bemusing to me as it surely was to you.
For LO! like Prince with "1999" and Pulp with "Disco 2000" I have a song from many years ago which has THIS year in the title, and so I was under the impression that it is THE LAW that such things should be played all over radio and telly as soon as it BECOMES that year? Admittedly, Family Wedding 2021 is not as much of a DISCO BANGER as those two songs, but then one might argue that this particular year requires a bit more INTROSPECTION instead. Have a listen for yourself and see what you think.
The song was originally written in 1997 (nearly TWENTY FOUR years ago!!) for my cassette A Church Hall Of Sound, re-recorded in the Space-Year 2000 for the EP A Church Hall Of Sound (revisited), and finally plonked onto the compilation Warriors Of Nanpantan in 2005. According to The Database Of ROCK I haven't ever played it at a gig, at least not since the database itself was inaugrated (although I know I DID when the EP came out), but there have been various PLANS to over the years. The first time we played in DRESDEN someone requested it, so we resolved to LEARN it for when we returned but... um... forgot, and it's always on my Big List when I think "what old songs should I have another go at?" If we ever get to do gigs again this year I solemnly pledge to do it!
The LYRICS are about me imagining what life would be like in the futuristic era of 2021, and now that we're actually IN that space-time zone I thought I'd have a look and see how my predictive skills worked out. There's nothing about current affairs or world politics - which was a wise choice as I doubt ANYBODY would have been able to predict The Current Situation in all its myriad forms of nonsense back then - instead it focuses on the NIGHTMARE SCENARIO of things remaining pretty much the same for me. I'm glad to say that pretty much NOTHING of it worked out!
Sadly this means that, though I AM, I would suggest, a CUDDLY FUN-PACKED UNCLE (please check with any nephews or nieces of mine you have to hand) there do not appear to be any family weddings booked this year at which I can dance to late eighties hits. That is not really mine or my family's fault though, there are not currently many family weddings at ALL going on!
In the song's APOCALYPTIC VISION the future version of me buys me of 1997 a drink (which I would happily do - also some more clothes, a functioning washing machine, and instructions on how to use it) and tells him to stop messing around with time travel and generally BE NICER so he doesn't end up a lonely old git. 1997-me then has a bit of an old dance before returning to his own time to... well, have a bit of an old dance again. UNUSUALLY for my songs it's not clear what THE MORAL of the story is, but looking back now I think I kind of DID try to be a bit nicer after the song was written. I certainly extended my RANGE of SOCIABILITY anyway, getting out and about meeting DELIGHTFUL people rather than sitting in the same pubs moaning about it with the small group of LOVELY PALS I did have back then. Getting out and about led to me having all SORTS of adventures with all manner of GRATE people, and within a few years it led to the glamorous lifestyle in That London what I have now. So maybe, in a SPOOKY kind of way, there really was a bit of FUTURE ME in the song, advising that drunken twit in his 20s to get out and about and MEET people a bit more. It is THE POWER OF ROCK!
The only problem now is, do I write a song about 2045? I think maybe I'll wait a bit to see how the present day pans out before launching into that one!