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On Saturday I got a train, a tube, a train, another train and then a TRAM to SHEFFIELD, to play at the annual FUZZTIVAL all dayer at the Students' Union. It was BLOODY GRATE.

I rolled up at the Union and, whilst waiting for the Lovely Penny (organiser of the whole thing, also the Student Union Events Impressario, also, back in the mists of time, organiser of POP-A-GO-GO), in came Mr Steve Lamacq. Penny arrived, we went down to the venue, and i made the first of my ROCK STAR DEMANDS - they only had Cider or Stella available for RIDER REQUIREMENTS, and as a) i don't like Cider and b) me drinking Stella is a REALLY BAD IDEA, I asked if there was any GUINESS. Someone went to the shop and bought me some! FANTASTIC!

It wasn't long until my SET was due, so I stood and had a chat to Mr Steve Lamacq - what a lovely chap he is. He even went up and did me an INTRODUCTION for my set, and LO! The Gig BEGAN.

I was worrying on the way up about doing THE UBER SET again. This is my "All Winners" set that I've been doing quite a lot lately, when I stick to songs i know usually go down pretty well - since I got a review BEMOANING the fact that I didn't do more "obscure" songs (i.e. even more obscure than all the other ones) I have been WRACKED with ARTISTIC ANGST about the whole thing... however, I reasoned that a FESTIVAL GIG like this one is THE place above ALL where an UBER SET can be played, and so i DID, and here is what it was:
The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
Hey Hey 16K
Billy Jones Is Dead
Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
Breaks In The Journey
The Fight For History
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Payday Is The Best Day
Clubbing In The Week
Easily Impressed
Boom Shake The Room

Hey! There's three unreleased songs in there, maybe I'm NOT such a corporate lackey after all! Anyway, things started off OK, even though I felt a bit shakey and full of THE FEAR. I got "Hey Hey 16K" out of the way early, because I feel like i SHOULD do it just in case there's anyone there who came SPECIFICALLY for that song (and also because i like it when people looked AMAZED to hear it - at the back of the room I saw someone almost FALL OVER when they did a dramatic DOUBLE TAKE when i started playing it), but it's not the sort of song that's going to win over people who haven't heard it - especially at gigs like this when most of the audience weren't even BORN in 1982! Anyway, after that things rolled along and got better and better - "The Fight For History" and "The Lesson Of The Smiths" both went down REALLY well, as they seem to do, there was a MIGHTY roar of Audience Participation (and also some rather ACE heckling) in "Easily Impressed", and "Boom Shake The Room" was just GRATE. I had a FANTASTIC TIME - doing gigs is really NICE at the moment, as I think I've got a bit better at DOING them this past year or two, but my own impression of what it's like hasn't caught up yet. There's occasionally people at gigs who haven't seen me for several years, who always look a bit shocked that I'm not quite as rubbish as singing as I used to be, are AMAZED that some of the audience know the words, and are AGOG at the fact that I can now speak whole sentences between songs. Oddly, given the fact that I've been to ALL my own gigs, I feel exactly the same way!

Anyway, gig done i STAGGERED off stage, when GOD BLESS HIM Mr Steve Lamacq ran over and gave me a big sweaty hug - the sweat, obviously, being MINE, but he didn't seem to mind, and appeared to have really enjoyed it. He was just saying that, yes, he had enjoyed it and, no, he didn't really mind all the sweat, when he was practically CAST ASIDE by a WAVE OF GIRLS, approaching with FIVERS at the ready wanting to buy some CDS!! It was like a CRAZY DREAM, as an ACTUAL QUEUE developed of people wanting to buy records of me! WOW!

A! QUEUE!!!

It was absolutely brilliant - and it was an EXTRAORDINARILY HAPPY Hibbett who went into the main room to the dressing room to put a clean t-shirt on... where I found the guitarist from the next band saying "Oh good, people are finally coming through from the other room now - what was going on in there?" It was ME!

I then got a bit freaked when I saw that THE DOORS had been playing at the same time as me... then realised that the running order for the main hall said "Doors: 3pm", not "THE Doors: 3pm". Oh yeah. I wonder if that's really how they got their name? Never mind all this William Blake nonsense, could Jim and Ray have just got themselves involved in a traditional in-pub What Shall We Call The Band argument, rejected "Beer Mat", "To Be Announced", "Free Sex", "Pint Glass", "The Band With No Name" and all the other usual desperate options, and picked the first thing they saw on top of a poster?

ANYWAY, I packed up, went and got my FREE LUNCH (Mmm... delicious Veggie Fajita!), and wandered round the venue a few times... you know... just in case anyone wanted to say "Ooh, that was good". I'm very helpful like that. Some of the Sheffield Lot (i.e. the former Velodrome 2000 MASSIVE) had had to go home, so I didn't get a chance to say thanks to them for coming, but I DID manage to track down Penny so at least got to thank HER again for a lovely day, before heading off for the TRAM again, then a TRAIN (which, between Sheffield and Chesterfield was FULL of an initially frightening but actually quite sweet MOB of Football Supporters), a tube and a tube and then HOME. I got back JUST in time for CURRY.

What a BRILLIANT day!

posted 1/11/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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