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Blog: But Compared To What?

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So, it was a Surprisingly Lengthy tube journey over to KILBURN for me last night to The Loveliest Venue In London i.e. The Luminaire. It really IS a lovely place - not just because the sound's GRATE and the backstage room is dead nice and the venue itself is really well set out, but also because the people who run it are SO friendly - the soundman was not JUST really good at his job, but also dead helpful and NICE, and the people who run it always seem to be THERE enjoying the gigs, and always introduce themselves when you turn up. It's just GRATE - indeed, the only way it could be improved would be to have some proper beer-style BEER available!

I arrived on time, said hello various people and the wandered around looking for something to plug into. I got that sorted and then LURKED AROUND a bit longer as people gradually came in, then we BEGAN, about 15 minutes late, with me saying hello and doing Work's All Right (when it's a proper job) - chosen because of it's being on the Fortuna Pop single Work Is A 4 Letter Word. It's a long time since I've compered anything, and to be honest I don't really like it that much - nobody's really come to see you, in fact you're actively DELAYING bands they HAVE come to see, it's really difficult to get people ENGAGED that quickly, and if you do manage it you've got to get off straight away anyway! I thus decided to be as QUICK about it as possible, and got Finlay on. They were a very nice surprise - I'd expected something a bit twee and boring, but they were GRATE, really LOUD and EXCITING and full of ACTION. The soundman did a GRATE job with them too, it made the FANTASTIC RACKET they were making, especially at one point with many guitars and NOISES, sound INTERESTING and EXCITING and full of LIFE rather than, as is usually the case when bands try what they were doing, a bit of a self-indulgent mess. I was DEAD IMPRESSED.

It was time for me again then, so I did The Lesson Of The Smiths because i thought it'd FIT with the general air of the evening. Martin from The Chemistry Experiment was onstage already, so he joined in with me and, after a bit of a shakey start as it's got STOPS in it and stuff, it was a LOT of fun. Then The Chemistry Experiment themselves came on, and were lovely as ever - I have now given up on trying to rescue them from THE PROG, which is just as well really. They began their set with a five minute (ish) bit of instrumental jazz, featuring a FLUTE SOLO.

Next up were Comet Gain - Sean Fortuna Pop! was getting a bit worried about things running late, so I got on quick and did Easily Impressed, which, I guess, may not have been the best idea due to a) previous remarks RE: difficulty engaging with audience when compereing and b) pockets of "cool" in the audience. It was a bit of a funny old night in that way really - there were LOADS and LOADS of lovely people there, some of whom I'd seen recently and some, like SIR JOHN JERVIS who I'd not seen for FAR too long, and it was fantastic to wander round and bump into them, especially, for some reason, over near the merchandising stall where I had several chats with several very nice people - perhaps the AURA OF JERV was infecting people with NICENESS? However, there were also several people who were a bit Self-Consciously Cool (HATS were in evidence) and it unfortunately reminded me of my early gigs, especially with John Sims (themselves DELIGHTFUL people), when THOSE sorts of audiences were all I ever played to in London, and I'd come away frustrated and annoyed YET also desperate to do something to make them LIKE me. These days, hopefully, i'm not bothered about that, largely as I don't tend to play to those sort of audience anymore, but it brought those old feelings RIGHT back.

Hey! FEELINGS! This is like one of them BLOGS isn't it? That sort of thing does GET to me a bit, and it's daft really - in a room FULL of people I really like, like various BOWLIES, The Chemex and their PALS, Mr Ray Dann, Mr Matthew Jones AND MANY MORE, there was me worrying about the presence of a few Arsey People In Bands. For shame Hibbett!

At this point I realised I'd LOST my phone, and PANICKED a bit. Luckily Comet Gain hadn't got ready to start properly, so I was able to nip back on stage to be "helpful" and check if it was there. It wasn't, but i found it sat on the table where I'd been earlier - OH the JOY that spread around me then! And yet MORE really nice people had picked it up and gave it to me - HOORAH!

Finally it was time for The Butterflies Of Love - Sean was now officially BOTHERED by the lateness, so he asked me to drop my song and just introduce them, which was fine by me - although as i turned out I could have done it anyway, as they took a while to get sorted and I ended up standing around on stage with them, which I must say was ACE. They're really nice chaps, The Butterflies Of Love, and they're all AMERICAN with AMERICAN type accents, and they say AMERICAN things and I must confess i find it all Quite Exciting, so rather enjoyed a brief spell of pretending to be IN them. A quick thanks for the MIGHTY SEAN (without whom, it must be said, a great MANY people in that room and elsewhere would have lead significantly less interesting lives, me ESPECIALLY included - thanks Mr Price!), a speedy intro, and off they went, and my job was done.

PHEW! So, all in all, a rather groovy night. Soon I had to go, and sat listening to HELP! on the MyPod, thinking "deep" thoughts about how GRATE The Beatles are (a controversial opinion, i know...) and, all in all and in summary, how pretty GRATE my life is. When I eventually got home i WROUGHT HAVOC in the household by clattering around, falling over, babbling, and Placing Toiletries In Unusual Places - ROCK AND ROLL!

posted 1/9/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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you played with another drummer! aaaaah! you're going to make Tim CRY!!!

and it's "thoughts about how GRATE The Beatles WERE" not "are" - they split up ages ago - get with it daddio!

posted 1/9/2006 by Francis

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