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Blog: Gig 50!

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So at last it hath come to pass - my fiftieth gig of the year! I arrived at The Union Tavern on a WINDY night armed with a tape player, a guitar, a bag of candles and a big balloon saying "50" to find Mr C Flowers awaiting me. We went upstairs and, seasoned veterans of ROCK that we are, wordlessly got on with setting out the chairs and tables. With this achieved we set out the candles (AMBIENCE) and it was only after Mr P Knight arrived and asked what the POLICY was for setting them out that we realised that I was going round taking them OFF the tables and putting them onto window ledges at the same time as Charlie was going round REMOVING them from ledges and putting them onto tables.

Dr Neil Brown arrived, with his fine young lady, and he heralded a gentle STAMPEDE of pals and family members who came in just as I was popping out the the corner shop to buy BATTERIES for the tape player (as I'd forgotten the lead), thus to enable people to THRILL to the sounds of The Best Of Macca and The Colourblind James Experience, the two tapes which I had still in my drawer just before I left the house. Before long a mighty THRONG was in effect, and I was able to kick things off at 8pm (PROMPT, as threatened) to a nice cosy room of CHUMS, and play THIS:
  • Bands From London (are shit)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • Born With The Century
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Red & White Sockets
  • Give Us Kiss (for Christmas)

  • It all seemed to go quite nicely - I'd asked people for suggestions beforehand and that's what they'd come up with, and it was really nice to once again to be playing FREELY without a PA system. I partook of a BRANDY afterwards (bought for me by my BOSS, who'd very nicely turned up) to calm the old throat, and then settled in for Dr Neil Brown's ANNUAL GIG.

    It was the same as pretty much ALWAYS happens - for the past few days I'd been WORRYING about how he'd go down, whether he'd be nervous and/or out of practice, whether anything would go wrong, and whether people would GET it, but as usual I really shouldn't have bothered myself, as he COMPLETELY STOLE THE SHOW like he always does. It was BLOODY GRATE! It was like a Neil's GRATEST Hits set all leading up to a TRIUMPHANT closer of "Dog On The Horizon" which had the entire room - actually, literally, joyfully - BARKING.

    Shortly after THAT we I was beckoned to the table of Mr & Mrs Wilson, and asked if it'd be OK if Phil did a few songs - HOORAH! I'd wondered about asking but thought it might be a BOTHER, but happily i was wrong AGANE and so we were blessed with a real live ROCK LEGEND doing a three song set, ending with a version of "Every Conversation" that got me all GIDDY. I know other people have known The June Brides for DECADES, but to me they're my Favourite New Band Of 2006. My only regret is that I forgot to BOOTLEG it - BAH!

    After all THAT excitement it was time for me to slope on and do a MATHEMATICALLY PRECISE set, consisting of the top 10 songs I'd played in the year just gone, in their AVERAGE order of appearance in the set - numbers in brackets indicate the amount of times they'd previously been played in the year. To attain final scores for 2006, ADD ONE!
  • Better Things To Do (26)
  • Hey Hey 16K (30)
  • It Only Works Because You're Here (20)
  • The Gay Train (24)
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B) (26)
  • The Fight For History (27)
  • Leave My Brother Alone (22)
  • Billy Jones Is Dead (24)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths (47)
  • Easily Impressed (38)

  • Boom Shake The Room (16)

  • It seemed to go pretty well - I was ESPECIALLY pleased to be playing It Only Works Because You're Here and there was SOME satisfaction that i got to do Boom Shake The Room in it's RIGHTFUL place, as the extra ELEVENTH most played song of the year. It may have all GONE ON a bit, but HEY - it's MY party, and I'll GO ON if i want to! My sympathies, however, went out to Mr S Hewitt, who had been on a pub crawl all afternoon and was VISIBLY WANING towards the end - i hope he managed to get off the bus at the right stop!

    As promised it all finished at 10pm, and it was LOVELY to be able to stand at the door and have TIME to say cheerio as people went off to get their trains, and then to have MORE time to sit around afterwards and be able to chat to people. ALL gigs should be timed thusly! It also gave us time for Dr Brown to do an ENCORE, but only after the entire ROOM had shouted for it - just like he always used to do when we played together, he COMPLETELY won everybody over, and I heard several people singing "Dog On The Horizon" on the way out.

    So all in all it was a SMASHING evening, combining PALS with BEER and ROCK and a FAB way that really topped off what's been a MASSIVE year in ROCK for me. I felt PROUD and ENTITLED to wear the "Nifty 50" badge that Pete had presented me with, but also quite GLAD that in 2007 I'm not going to be doing QUITE as much. I've had a GRATE time, but OH BOY i is KNACKERED!

    posted 30/12/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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    Glad to hear the gig went well; I'm sorry that I couldn't make it myself but I've managed to crick something in my back and thought 2 hours on the tube wouldn't be very sensible :( Hope "The strings on your guitar" and your good self have a great New Year :)
    posted 31/12/2006 by AFCW Matt (aka Mr Breach)

    you'll be pleased to hear that i made it home with no falling asleep-related problems :)
    posted 2/1/2007 by CarsmileSteve

    My blog @
    posted 14/11/2012 by Sandra

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