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Blog: The Week Of Gigs

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I'm going to a LOT of gigs just at the moment. This is GOOD, because i really LIKE going to gigs, but a bit knackering... on Friday evening The Oxygen In My Atmosphere and I went to Deal Real Records in Soho to see an Hip Hop Show. Yes, we are DOWN with the kids and EVERYTHING... although it turned out I'd got a bit confused and thought I was going to see Will who I used to be in the K-Stars with, but he wasn't playing at all. We DID see a bit of Infinite Livez, who was GRATE and dead funny - I stood there thinking "YES! Of course! He's talking in his OWN accent about things that matter to HIM, and it's FUNNY and GRATE and BRILLIANT! AHA!" It was ACE, and just when I was about to EULOGISE the world of Hip Hop as opposed to The Indie as one where this sort of thing was THE NORM, then next guy came on, who was wearing an American Baseball Top, and American Hat, big gold chains and SHOUTED at us in a fake American way about i don't know what. It was agressive and pretty boring - so not that diferent to The Indie World after all then. Infinite Livez tho, he was GRATE.

We then nearly went to see Hamish Stuart from The Average White Band, who was playing nearby, on a WHIM, but it was sold out... I'd seen him before when he used to be in Paul McCartney's band, but I'm not entirely sure whether that's something one could boast about even if Macca WAS on the cover of last week's NME. So instead we had a SLAP UP FEED, and LO! it was very nice.

Saturday saw me in Leeds, as "briefly" mentioned below, and then on Sunday night we headed on over to distant PUTNEY to see John Otway. This was a Special Gig, as they were going to do a Different Set! With most bands this might not sound that special, but I've been going to see Otway for about 15 years now, and in all that time The Set Has Remained (pretty much) The Same. As, indeed, have the jokes. I thought it was going to be new material, but Otway himself put us right when we got there, saying it was actually a different choice of stuff from his back catalogue that didn't get aired often. This was when we'd just walked in the pub, nearly bumped into him, and smiled hello, so he stopped for a quick chat, as he is LOVELY. More than anybody else EVER in the History of Rock, Otway has always been an inspiration to me - the very first time I ever saw him [NB i have probably told this story before, but it BEARS REPETITION] i found myself stood next to him at the bar of the Princess Charlotte. I said "Shouldn't you be in the backstage area drinking the free rider?" and he said "No - if I come out here people come and tell me I'm great and buy me drinks". He was bloody right too, although, as I remember it, he then bought ME a drink! Since then, every time I've seen him, he's almost ALWAYS been in the pub beforehand, happily talking to everyone whose turned up, and that, I reckon, is one of the main reasons there's so much LOVE for him at his gigs. He's GRATE.

So yes, it was a New Set, which also meant there'd have to be New Jokes, and once they got going he REVELLED in it. Another of the JOYS of his shows is knowing all the gags and joining in with them, so it was RATHER EXCITING this time not to know what was coming next, and the band also seemed to be quite gee-ed up about it, especially Murray the "second guitarist". The songs were FAB too - you know when you go to see a band you've seen a LOT, and halfway through they do a song you LOVE but you've never seen them play live? That's what EVERY SONG was like on Sunday night, FANTASTIC. There were a group of people next to us who didn't seem to have read the posters properly, and kept shouting out for "House Of The Rising Sun", but they also seemed to be a bunch of students, two of whom had obviously seen him recently (I'm guessing at a festival) and dragged a bunch of friends along. Bless.

Rather groovily, the bulk of the set seemed to come from his recent releases, especially the "Hit Voting CD" (just before The Hit, FANS paid a fiver each to get this CD, which contained about 10 songs, and we voted for which one would be The Hit - personally I went for "Poetry & Jazz", but there we go) and the b-sides to said HIT. BEST thing of ALL for the WHOLE NIGHT was "A413 Revisited", one of said b-sides, which is also ABOUT The Hit. It's him thinking about going home, feeling VALIDATED by the fact that his fans have got together to do this thing for him, about how all the LONG years of trying are finally paying off in such a massive obvious way, and how his old friends are surprised and pleased about it for him. It's a beautiful song, it's PLEASED, but not triumphal, and it reminds me of how the gigs always feel, ESPECIALLY around the time of The Hit, and again how much love there always is there. It was BRILLIANT, and goodness me there were tears in my eyes by the end.

This happened AGAIN last night, when we went to see Amy Rigby at The Borderline - I'd never seen her before (Top Promoter Mr Eddy Bewsher recomended we go, so we OBEYED) so didn't know what to expect, so was PLEASED and RELIEVED when she got into the set and did a whole bunch of songs that had something to SAY, and were pretty FUNNY. The WELLING UP moment came when she did a song called "Don't Ever Change", which was basically a love song for... well, for all the people she loved. It was just BEAUTIFUL, and I turned to the Subject Of My Song and saw that SHE was nearly welling up too. ACE.

And THUS has the Week Of Gigs commenced. It's a night off for me tonight, then tomorrow I'm off to Stafford to see Half Man Half Biscuit, to Camden on Thursday for The Fighting Cocks, then on Friday it'll be Nathan Persad at the Redwire Design Party over near London Bridge. Come, let us ROCK!

posted 6/7/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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