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Blog: Return Of The Validators

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I had two rather different strolls down Memory Lane last week. The first was on Thursday when I went to the last of the "15 Years Of Fortuna Pop" gigs at The Scala. I had a LOVELY night - not least going to The Lamb with a bunch of PALS and TERRIFYING Leigh The Landlord who thought I'd come to do a GIG and he'd lost the booking - but I felt oddly MELANCHOLIC. The gig itself was GRATE - we saw Darren Hayman and Allo Darlin', both of whom were ACE, and I bumped into several PALS, but it all felt a bit like going back to your old school. Things looked sort of the same - same Headmaster, Mr Jervis still behind his desk and so on, but everywhere you looked there were different people who knew nothing of what had gone on Back In The Day, and in the nicest possible way, didn't really care. I came away CONFUSED - it's not like I was ever a big part of ANY era of Fortuna Pop!, I'd always been on the sidelines of it, and I'm very VERY happy that Sean's made such a success of it all and all that, it just felt like a bit of a POIGNANT reminder of a time that's long gone.

Or maybe it was just seeing my HUGE FACE up on the cinema screen during the Messages Of Congratulations. That WAS a bit discombobulating!

The second Return To The Old House was ENTIRELY free of Complex Emotions, for LO! The Validators were back together playing our first gig since Indietracks 2010 and JOY was UNLEASHED. Oh but we had a LOVELY time, right from soundchecking (with the MASSIVE PA system in the TINY upstairs room of The Chameleon Cafe, which sounded ACE) right through to the end of the evening, sat watching TIM listen like a small child on Christmas Day to someone telling him tales of the time they'd played in BOGSHED, it was all bloody brilliant.

Well, nearly all - when Tom arrived Alex The Promoter said "Don't park there, you'll get a parking ticket!" and sure enough HE DID. It was awful - the lady Traffic Warden was being so friendly about it, explaining what was wrong, that i was SURE she'd let us off. I HATE it when i see people shouting at Traffic Wardens in the street, as they're Only Doing Their Job but NGGG! It was only ten minutes until we WOULD have been fine! YARGLE!

Everyone else arrived shortly afterwards, and were pleased to find we had a RIDER. I'd thought it might be best to wait until we got to the PUB later before drinking, but Emma was having NONE of this. "I WANT BEER!" she exclaimed, and it seemed rude not to join in.

After soundcheck we went to the pub underneath The Pattisons' hotel, and then to ASK for our tea - we are RIGHT posh these days - during which we conducted a big old BAND MEETING. I'd done us a proper AGENDA, as there was a LOT to get through, and over the next couple of hours many IDEAS and THORTS were proposed and DISCUSSED fully. We may not be the world's MOST rocking outfit (MAYBE) nor perhaps the greatest ICONOCLASTS of FASHION (possibly) but GOODNESS ME if you want a band to run and effective meeting then we are you GUYS. It was EXCELLENT - the future of ROCK is safe in our hands!

We got back to the venue all RELAXED and ready for DELIGHT except for Frankie, who was a bit WORRIED, as he feared Frankie Jr (15), who was staying HOME ALONE, might bring a MOB OF TEENAGERS back to WRECK the place. All through the evening he was nervously checking his phone for a call from THE COPS or THE FIRE SERVICE, tho when he got home he found that all that had been damaged was a Pot Noodle. PHEW.

And so the night ROCKED on, with most of us getting up on stage with August Actually to play Toy Percussion (or, in Frankie's case, Lead Plastic Saxophone) with their "Lighthouse Song", which was a) fun b) SO INSANELY CATCHY that it's STILL in my head this morning! After this it was OUR turn to go on, at the ungodly hour of 11.15pm, and THIS is what we did:
  • Better Things To Do
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • Don't, Darren, Don't
  • A Little Bit
  • We Are The Giant Robots
  • Please Don't Eat Us
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • The Gay Train

  • Given the lateness of the hour and the Mild Tiddliness of 60% of the band it went AMAZINGLY well, and even an Unbiased Observer might say we ROCKED PRETTY HARD. Beforehand I'd been worrying that we'd not have time to get ALL the songs on our list performed, but we just about did - I managed to keep the BANTER and CHAT to a reasonable MINIMUM throughout, which felt pretty DARN GOOD as it mean we ROCKED through the set. I'm not sure doing FIVE songs from the new album ALL IN A ROW was necessarily the best way to do it, but it did mean we had a ROARING end to the set. My favourite bit of all was when Sam ALayerOfChips shouted for Billy Jones Is Dead in EXACTLY the right part of the setlist (about 3 seconds before we started it) so it sounded like we were just playing ANY REQUESTS at the drop of a hat.

    It was LOVELY to be all back together and bodes well for next years plan of a Mild Increase In Gigs - we still won't be doing LOADS of gigs, due to COMMITMENTS VARIOUS, but we're hoping to do a few FESTIVALS and a couple of SPECIAL NIGHTS in 2012 and if they're anything like as ACE as last night was I would highly recommend popping along. Next year is going to be GRATE!

    posted 7/11/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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