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Blog: Hugging Your Heroes

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On Friday evening, as most other people in London were heading home from work, I was heading OUT to Euston and then to distant Northampton to play a gig with Mr Robin Ince and Mr Alan Moore!

It was all very short notice - this was meant to be the first in a podcast series which would usually feature Ms G Petrie, but she had a prior booking so they decided to get me in as UNDERSTUDY. Unfortunately Robin forgot to tell ME about it until he came back from holiday, but luckily I was still FREE. Lucky for me, that is, as I wouldn't want to pass up a chance to do an Actual Gig with Alan Moore!

I'd been asked to get there before eight, which I thought was when soundcheck would be, but when I rolled up at ten to I was surprised to see that the room was full of people. I knew it had sold out (before they'd told anyone I'd be playing: CUNNING) but didn't expect everyone to get there so early. As I entered the building Tamsin Who Runs It All told me there was FREE BEER as a new local brewery was launching, and then Mr Ince THRUST CA$H into my hands before I could even take my coat off. It was already turning into a pretty good night!

The three of us then marched into the front room, for LO! 8pm was the time the GIG was starting! Robin then did "a quick intro" (25 minutes!) and I was ON. I'd been asked to do 2 songs at the start of each set, so did It Only Works Because You're here and then (because it seemed to very easily lead into it) That Guy. It all seemed to go well, much to my relief as I'd had NERVES all day. This is unusual for me, but then I've not done many gigs this year so far and THIS one was with Alan Moore!!

After that Alan and Robin came and sat on big comfy chairs and had about 40 minutes of CHAT about a Very Very Wide range of topics - the show was being recorded for a podcast, so I guess it would all end up being very Radio 4-y, if Radio 4 could cope with the MIGHTY BRANE of Alan Moore.

At half-time I enjoyed a free beer while chatting about DARK MATTER and The History Of Science Fiction with the two of them. All the time this was happening my brain was going "Holy HECK you are talking about that with ALAN FLIPPING MOORE!!!" but I think I managed to keep it under control. The second half was much the same as the first, with me doing 20 Things To Do Before You're 30 and The Ballad Of Alan Moore (it would have been rude not to) before another half hour of DISCUSSION.

It was DELIGHTFUL, and also finished about an hour before I expected. I went to get sorted out backstage and witness Mr Moore being MARVELLOUS with people who wanted to talk to him about old stuff which he probably didn't want to talk about but he was CHARMING and, really, everything you could wish for in one of your all time heroes. Before he headed off we shared a MANLY HUG and then, when he was definitely out of the room, I allowed my brain to FREAK OUT. ALAN MOORE!!!

After further goodbyes and hugs Mr Ince and I headed for the station and the London train, where we had a VERY pleasant chat on Diverse Topics, almost like we were two similarly aged people swapping SHOP TALK about our different, yet sometimes complimentary, entertainment backgrounds. It was lovely, even when I stood up to let him off at his station and realised that I was a BIT more drunk than I realised, knocking over a bottle, clanking my glasses against another seat and seeing them FLY off. He didn't seem to mind. PHEW!

Things continued in this Turning Out Well VEIN when I got back to That London. I'd PLANNED for getting a night bus but I managed to get The Last Train Out Of Euston, walk from Moorgate to Liverpool Street, and then get the last train leaving THERE as well! I thus got home VERY late but in one piece, a bit tiddly but very happy. What a GRATE night out!

posted 2/3/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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