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Blog: Bethnal Green

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After the comparitive EASE of the night before, Saturday's gig in Bethnal Green felt like a MILITARY CAMPAIGN. Lizzie from Strange Fascination, who organised it, had been ON THE CASE for several weeks making sure people were sharing KIT, getting there on time, BRINGING people and so forth, whilst we'd had several days of planning at OUR end to discover a way to get myself, The Foot Pedal On My Bass Drum, The Performing Pattisons, and all our GEAR (including drum kit) there and back again whilst enabling us all to a) have a curry on Brick Lane and b) have some BEER.

THUS at approximately 5pm i was trundling my GIG bag along Leytonstone High Road to meet The Pattisons in the pub car park at Green Man Roundabout. We drove to Bethnal Green, dropped Tim and all the gear off outside the pub, then went back to my house. The PLAN was to leave the gear there overnight and pick it up in the morning, however although we'd checked and been told that it was FINE to leave gear there, we HADN'T asked about picking it up again - it turned out nobody would actually BE there on Sunday, so really it was a good job we didn't leave the CAR in Bethnal Green too.

Anyway, me and Emma drove back, picked up The Jingles In My Tambourine, then headed off for the TUBE back back again to Bethnal Green. I feel that I now know the area a little better than I did before. We got there just in time for a quick soundcheck, at which point Tim's sister and family arrived, were told that they couldn't bring children in, replied that that was fine as we were going for a curry, and off we went to Brick Lane.

Tim was AGHAST at our Metropolitan Refusal to be SWAYED by all the men saying "We give you FREE BEER!" and we went into a place that Tim's sister's friend had been in before, and had a LOVELY meal - ooh, it was like being a GROWN UP or something as we all sat around drinking our various tigers, cobras and kingfishers, and having a RIGHT jolly old time. It was all a bit slow-moving, but everyone else seemed quite happy with this, and in the end it didn't really matter as we weren't on until LAST.

SIDEBAR! This seems to happen to us/me quite a lot at the moment - we're in a PECULIAR place where people seem to think we are Significantly More Famous Than We Actually Are. It's all due, i guess, to our RADIO ONE SESSION (also probably to the fact that any one of us is apt to blurt out "We did a Radio One Session!" at any moment, FOR KICKS - much like i did just then! WHOO!), along with the other various STRANGE and Slightly Krazy things that have happened to us in recent times, like the Rolling Stone recommendation and Hey Hey 16K. Whatever it is, it means that we seem to be playing a LOT later these days, but not always with the CROWD DRAWING APPEAL that people seem to expect.

THUS though the room was COMPLETELY RAMMED when we arrived (giving me THE FEAR), by the time we actually got to the stage it was significantly more roomy. Also, in our defence, it WAS 11.15pm, so a good deal of people had left for tubes and NIGHT CLUBS by the time we hit the stage and did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • City Centres
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Mental Judo
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • Better Things To Do
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • It all seemed to go all right - I think we were a bit CLATTERY for the first few songs, and I certainly felt NERVOUS as we were doing SEVERAL songs that I didn't know as well as others, and ESPECIALLY because we were doing the BAND DEBUT of My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once. Still, as we got into the second half of the set I relaxed and enjoyed it, and STOPPED looking at the people leaving and concentrated on the LOVELY bunch of people stood in the middle of the room with BIG GRINS on their faces. TOP TIP: if you go and see a band you like, it is always a NICE THING to stand in the middle of the room, especially near the front, with a BIG GRIN on your face, as it will REALLY cheer up the band and make them play better!

    So yes, we whizzed through to the end having quite a bit of fun with an "experimental" version of We Only Ever Meet In Church featuring BOTH an Excitingly Heavy last verse (Tim carried on with the middle longer than I did, so I joined in with STACCATO GUITAR and we just did it like that, which was Quite Exciting) and - bizarrely - a MASSED SINGALONG of "Happy Birthday" as we finished.

    When all was done we packed up, thanked Lizzie, said hello to a couple of people from other bands, then went outside to FLAG DOWN a taxi. A black cab came along so Tim and I GALLANTLY packed The Ladies off in it... with all the heavy gear. It was only as they pulled away that I realised that MAYBE it should have been us with the heavy stuff. "Clubbing then?" Tim said as we strolled off with a guitar and a snare drum between us...

    He JESTED of course, and we were soon mini-cabbed home and the four of us were enjoying a Sophisticated, also REALLY LATE, bit of DRINKING together around our kitchen table. Next morning there was tea and toast and CHAT and all in all a feeling of LOVELY SUNDAY-NESS pervaded the house.

    Mind you, i was KNACKERED for the rest of the day after they'd left - up past ONE A.M. for TWO nights in a row! ROCK AND ROLL BABYLON!

    posted 5/3/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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