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Blog: A Day At The Seaside

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On Thursday myself and The Crest Of My Waves headed SOUTH to distant Brighton, there to play a gig for Mr J Walsh, longtime all-round good guy and promoter of the This Machine Kills Wasps evening. We met with Mr S Hewitt upon arrival, and then after some readying we variously arrived at The Quadrant pub, home to The Folklore Rooms where the gig was set to happen.

As soon as I walked into the gig room I was ASTONISHED to find it was UTTERLY RAMMED with people. James had told me that tickets had SOLD OUT but I assumed that meant about 20 people (it may surprise the casual reader to know that SOLD OUT gigs are not something I am hugely familiar with) not the SEVERAL THOUSAND what had crammed into this tiddly upstairs room. It was so full that all night long the body heat of everybody kept setting off the fire alarm!

The idea of the night is that there is COMEDY in the first half and MUSIC in the second which, as James's new and exciting catchphrase put it, means "a jarring shift in tone". I must confess that, as I watched the first half, I was rather worried about how I would get on as people WHOOPED and CHEERED with laughter - I mean, I do sometimes get a LARF but nothing like that, so what was I to do? It brought back memories of playing mixed bills many moons ago at the Edinburgh Fringe and my position as Not A Comedy Act But Not Dour Either leading to CONFUSION and Perplexed Faces in the audience.

However, it all worked really well because a) the other acts in the second half (including James's new band The High Churches being ANNOYINGLY GOOD for a first performance) did all the hard work getting people round and b) it turns out that a big chunk of the audience were from The Brighton Folk Choir who were quite happy to switch from one to the other and, INDEED, join in if they could.

Thus it was a rather more RELAXED version of me who went on and done THIS:

  • Fire Drill
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I'd already been planning to give Fire Drill its DEBUT in the Live Arena, but as you can imagine I was VERY excited to have it available to me due to the BODY HEAT-induced fire alarms that kept going off. It was also nice to get I Did A Gig In New York out of the cupboard after a little while, and it was ALSO also nice just to do a gig again at all. I LIKED it. A LOT!

    After I'd finished, the evening concluded rather spectacularly with the singing of a Cornish Sailing Song - the reason I know that half the audience was from the folk choir is because they all JOINED IN and it sounded MIGHTY and WONDERFUL!

    After that I had a chat with The Prudens who I had not see for nigh on two decades. It was GRATE to see them, and especially GRATE to be able to go "Oh yes, all my gigs for the past twenty years have definitely been this busy." The evening fully ended with a bunch of us - including International Rock Star (retired) Mr Chris T-T - having a good old YACK and a few beers. It was ACE!

    The next day myself and The Chips With My Mushy Peas and I had a delightful SEASIDE day. We went down to the seafront and had a good old walk back and forth in gorgeous sunshine and then, on the advice of the aforesaid Mr T-T, popped into No Catch for some Vegan Fish And Chips. It was very nice, although WEIRDLY I then spent the rest of the day paranoid that I had somehow eaten FISHBONES. My conscious BRANE kept saying "No, Vegan Pretend Cod does not have bones in it" but an ANCIENT MEMORY from when we used to have fish and chips as kids had been awoken, so I guess that shows how much they'd got the taste right!

    It was a rather wonderful CODA to an actually really lovely trip. Gigs are GRATE!

    posted 12/2/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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    Comments:

    My favourite bit of the evening was James's, "Hellooooooooo - are you ready for a jarring shift in tone?", which is surely the best way to ready people for such a thing. What a pro!
    posted 11/2/2024 by Charlotte

    Hate to be that guy but I’ve done the maths and only 10% of the audience were members of the Brighton Folk Choir. I guess some people must have just joined in! Best gig ever. Xx
    posted 16/2/2024 by James

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