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Blog: STOKE!

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It was AWAY from work and HO! for the super-delightful St Pancrac INTERNATIONAL on Friday night, where I discovered that in all the delight and excitement of setting uop nobody remembered that it MIGHT be an IDEA to put any signs up pointing to where to domestic tickets were on sale, so i nearly missed my train. I ALSO nearly went and had a bit of a COMPLAIN about it all, but that would have made me miss it altogether, so SILENCE, i felt, was the best policy.

In Leicester I was met from the station by Mr T McClure and we headed back to his house, on the way getting a call from Mr T Pattison telling us to get some Mince Pies on the way. I'm sure George Martin was always ringing The Beatles with JUST such demands, so we were powerless to deny him and set off for the local TESCO EXPRESS to get some. I was filled with NOSTALGIA when we went in, as this was the very same Tesco Express I would stagger to of a Sunday morning when I lived round the corner, to buy POSH THINGS for my Sunday Breakfast, but this nostalgia was slightly broken by the SMALL ROW I had at the counter where it took five minutes and two staff members before anybody would believe that £1.28 is NOT the correct change from a twenty for six quid. It felt as if The Dark Gods Of Being A Bit Middle Class And Stoppy were trying to TEMPT me over to there side, but I would not relent.

Next stop was Woodhouse Eaves to pick up Mrs E Pattison, where I popped in and said hello to Miss E and Miss L Pattison, the former of whom rather kindly made me a cheese sandwich. I was TOUCHED!

We headed NORTH to Stoke, SINGING all the way... partly due to Christmassy NESS, partly due to the FACT that me and Emma needed to learn the words to the Festive Tunes. We arrived after a small argument with Tom's SatNav to discover Mr F Machine and Mr Pattison just unpacking. They both appeared rosy cheeked and full of yuletide high spirits, largely because they'd spent their journey listening to, and discussing, The Fall, and once we got inside Frankie was DELIGHTED to find a painting of their OTHER mutual favourite (and the only band the rest of the Validators DEMANDED should be turned off whilst on tour), MARILLION. There were photographs taken.

We said hello to everyone and got ourselves set up and soundchecked nice and quickly, MOSTLY because we are SO PROFESSIONAL also CARING for the needs of other bands, and also very very slightly so that we could go off and have a CURRY. We went to Planet Bollywood (RAH!) and I must say it was LOVELY. We VALIDATE it as a place to visit should you find yourself in Stoke, the staff were dead nice, the food was GRATE, and we had a LOVELY time. I'm sure we were meant to discuss band policy, but I don't think we ever got around to it. EVERYBODY ELSE (not me) was too busy making RUDE JOKES. As you can probably gather, i was APPALLED.

We got back to find all SORTS of smashing people had turned up, like Mr Ray Dann, Rocker, and The Nottingham Posse, although there weren't QUITE enough people to eat the HUGE pile of Mince Pies we'd bought, so some ended up coming home with me. We'd arrived just in time for The Deirdres, who were EXCELLENT, and then those lovely Horowitz chaps, and then it was time for US to take to the stage and do THIS:
  • Give Us Kiss (for Christmas)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • The Gay Train
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • The Symbol Of Our Nation
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT

  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • It was BRILLIANT. There was a BIG singalong during Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid, and after that i thought "I need a WEE". This NEVER happens to me during gigs, so maybe it is a sign of AGE, but during the FUTURE MUSIC section of Do The Indie Kid I thought "I might as well go then", and DID. I was just making my DRAMATIC RETURN to the stage afterwards when I was RUGBY TACKLED by Fairy, Drummer Of The Deirdres. Despite his nickname, he's a STRONG LAD, and I had visions of never making it back but eventually he RELEASED me, and I was able to get to the end of the song. It was BRILL!

    There was a LOT of chat, a BIG (untutored) "Oi Hibbett!" in Easily Impressed and then we did YET ANOTHER of Tim's Christmas Ideas (see also Mince Pies, Tinselly Drum Kit, BUT NOT me being tied up in Christmas Wrapping during the first song) for The Advent Calendar Of FACT. Emma handed round song sheets and we made everyone join in on the chorus, ESPECIALLY at the end where we stopped playing, Tim came out to do lead vocals, and i CONDUCTED THE CROWD - if you're on Facebook (and haven't left due to overdoses of zombies throwing snowballs at you or whatever) i THINK you'll be able to see a VIDOE of it HERE. The best bit, I reckon, is right at the end when Tim RUNS back to the kit to come back in just in time for a ROUSING final chorus. It was GRATE!

    After that we came back for an encore and did TWO songs, just because I wanted to, and then settled down to packing up and A Bit Of A Chat. As I say, there were a LOT of nice people so it took a little while, and it was rather late by the time me and Tom re-entered THE TIGERMOBILE for the voyage South. Next day I was bloody knackered, but by GOLLY it was worth it, what a LOVELY final Validators Gig of 2007 it had been!

    posted 17/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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