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Blog: The Midwinter Picnic

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I headed off to BRIGHTON on Sunday afternoon, away to play at Chris T-T's Midwinter picnic all-dayer. I was originally intending to do it as a Day Return... until I discovered that It Being Sunday meant the dreaded Rail Replacement BUSES were in action (actually they were fine - i spent the second half of the journey on the top front seat of a double decker, it was GRATE!) so booked myself into a B&B.

Thus I stomped across Brighton, through some Delightful Regency Squares to find about five POLICE CARS parked up. "Yikes!" i thought, "I hope that's not where my hotel is!" And, of course, it TOTALLY WAS - the next morning I saw on the news that there had been a MURDER about three doors down from where i was staying! EEK!

Happily (SPOILERS) I didn't get murdered myself, iNDEED the B&B was Quite Nice - it was one of these here BOUTIQUE places like you see on Property Shows and so forth, and had all been done out very nicely. A bit TOO nicely in places, as the room was quite small and on SEVERAL occasions I banged my head and other extremities on some of the Funky Little Personal Touches. Mind you, the breakfast next morning (PORRIDGE! and FRUIT! and COFFEE! delivered to my door!!) was BRILLIANT!

Anyway, I checked in, had a cup of tea and headed up to West Hill Hall (up a MASSIVE HILL) where the gig was well underway. I said hello to Chris and Rifa, who both seemed pretty COMPOSED for people running an all dayer, and went in to catch the end of Clara Barker's set, doing a cover version of "You Can Call Me Al". I was midly FREAKED by this as it had come up on my WalkPod on shuffle on the way there, and I'd been thinking about how the album Graceland seems to have been GRABBED by a whole generation of The Young People, in the same sort of way that "War Of The Worlds" or The Beatles' Red and Blue albums were by mine, as the records ALL our parents had and played.

I MUSED SIMILARLY for the next couple of acts - when Serafina Steer played an amazing set on the MASSIVE HARP I sat thinking "How does this WORK? How do you go about writing a song on a HARP?" I mean, on a guitar it's pretty easy, you go strum strum strum and a song APPEARS, but the harp songs had all sorts of BITS and PARTS and looked COMPLICATED. How do you even begin to embark on such a thing?

During Napoleon IIIrd (who were also dead good) I thought about HATS. They were all wearing HATS and seemed perfectly content to be doing so. Previously i've seen younger people in hats and thought it AFFECTED, but this time gently realised that LOADS of them see to do so now, and began to wonder if maybe my and my parents generations of gentlemen were just an historic BLIP of hatlessness. After all, my Grandads both wore hats quite happily, and in olden times EVERYONE did. Maybe WE are the trifling exception to a fashion trend that will continue quite happily long after we are lowered bare headed into the ground?

This is what happens when you leave me to sit in a Village Hall for a couple of hours.

Soon it was time to STOP my various trains of thought and hit the STAGE, where I did THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • The Gay Train
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room


  • It was a HECKLOAD of fun - I'd written out a setlist before i started but it SWERVED all over the place, especially when everybody joined in with Theme From Dinosaur Planet A LOT and i thought "HO! Let's do MORE of the joining in!" I was thus a bit taken aback when EVERYBODY did The Music Of The Future in Do The Indie Kid HUGELY... and without any real kind of guidance from me. It was strange, also EXCITING.

    Mostly though it was HUGE amounts of fun - I'd been a bit worried beforehand as MOST times I've played in Brighton everyone has been A Bit Stern About It All, but everyone seemed WELL up for it, and afterwards I had that lovely lovely thing where people come up to you for the rest of the evening to say how much they enjoyed it. HOORAH!

    posted 18/1/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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