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Blog: Plug At The Criterion

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I went to Leicester for a gig on Friday night, but NOT a gig I was actually playing at! This radical departure from the norm was due to the fact that Mr C Lawson's band "Plug" were playing and as a) i owe him a PILE of gigs b) after years of him hearing about Plug I was eager to SEE them and c) it was in The Criterion, so I thought it would be fun. It was!

My trip had another departure from the norm in that I DIDN'T stay in the Ibis, but instead at The Grand Hotel! I was quite excited, as when I was a student the Grand was the place where SWANKY STUDENT SOCIETIES had their annual Balls. Indeed, when I was PRESIDENT of the prestigious Leicester Polytechnic Poor Theatre Society (yes, that's right, it IS impressive) we had OUR ball there. I seem to recall we had chicken with gravy and CRISPS on top. 80's cuisines! It was also slighty cheaper than the Ibis on the accorhotels website, so I rolled up into the splendid entrance lobby and checked in to a rather jolly old fashioned Victorian Hotel. It felt a bit NAUGHTY to be there on my own but I don't think it's going to become a TREND, as it also featured quite a lot of old fashioned hotel NOISES from creaky plumbing and also showers that don't quite work properly. Be strong, The Ibis, I shall return!

Once checked in I set off to by some WINE, for I was heading out to see Dr N Brown's new house first, and bringing WINE is what us sophisticated types do. I had to negotiate my way through Leicester's Critical Mass Bike demo to GET to the shop, but once I had done so I made my purchase, hopped in a taxi, and was soon in scenic Braunstone, where Neil and Daniella showed me round their new house. It was very nice, tho i was a bit jealous of all their STORAGE! I was FED with Samosa Chaat and ROMANIAN PLUM VODKA, which made me feeling warmed through!

We then wobbled our way to the bus stop and into town, arriving at The Criterion to find that Chris had the sort of WORRIED FACE that made me even more pleased that I wasn't doing a gig myself! We were joined by Mr M Collins, late of the band Amphetamine Trash and Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey, which would have made for a VERY pleasant evening anyway, even without the addition of a RATHER EXCELLENT rocking combo.

For LO! PLUG were BLOODY GRATE! They are a proper covers band in that they do a LOAD of covers of EXCELLENT songs but DO NOT try and make them sound like the original record, so it was like seeing a band you really like doing an ENCORE for the ENTIRE EVENING. They did lots of songs that people of our age would have put on a tape to impress a GURL about 20 years ago, so Buzzcocks, The Cure, Elvis Costello etc etc, and a BRILL version of "Shaking All Over". The best bit though was when they did "This Charming Man". We could scarce CONTAIN ourselves, and there was an outbreak of DANCING at the back of the room - indeed, by the end of the evening, there was a LOT of ACTUAL DANCING going on all over the place. To make clear how amazing this was, it happened in a PUB in LEICESTER. People NEVER dance to bands in pubs in Leicester!

It was a HUGE amount of fun, made even more so by seeing Chris a) do the STAGECRAFT I remember from when I was in bands with him a million years ago and b) looking so happy knowing he was in a REALLY GOOD BAND. It was like everyone could sing and/or play their instruments, but didn't feel the need to go on about it. It was ACE - I must go to some MORE gigs like this, I had an EXCELLENT, and I didn't have to carry any gear out either!

posted 1/9/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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