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If things suddenly go quiet on here over the next week, don't worry - i shall just have COLLOPSED and DIED of WHAMMAZAM, for LO! It really really is ALL GO just at the moment.

And for once it's not ALL about The ROCK, WORK is busy too - indeed, yesterday afternoon I was relaxing over a Late Lunch, having done Something Quite Clever when the phone rang to remind me of a MEETING I was supposed to be in. I RAN round the corner and did an hour of so of More Quite Clever Things before my phone went AGANE to remind me of ANOTHER meeting I was supposed to be having.

All right, this was for a rather more DELIGHTFUL meeting with my friend and erstwhile ROCK colleague Mr C Lawson, but still, there was a LOT of running between meetings. We had a LOVELY couple of hours in the ALWAYS pleasant pub The Museum Tavern (it's directly opposite The British Museum so you'd expect it to be horrible and touristy, but it's actually dead food - last night there were SIX Guest Beers on, including one from WISBECH!) before it was time to dash off once again - he back to Leicester, me off to CROYDON.

I was due to COMPERE at Freedom Of Expression as Mr T Eveleigh, the usual host, was celebrating his 40th Birthday by PLAYING for a change. I really really wanted to get there early but EVENTS conspired - you know when you go on a journey with multiple trains/tubes/buses and everything just WORKS? When your connection pulls in at the opposite platform JUST as you alight and you never actually stop moving? It WASN'T like that - I had to wait 7 minutes for EACH tube journey, the corridors were long and CRAMPED, and London Bridge Station put up a DARN GOOD FIGHT to be recognised as Most Unpleasant Railway Station (Southern England) by having ticket machines HIDDEN and FAR AWAY, grotty platforms, confusing signs and screens and, in a title winning display of FLAIR, always having a HINT OF VIOLENCE not far away.

I thus FINALLY got to Croydon LATE and struggled MANFULLY through a HOWLING GALE to get to The Green Dragon, where I nearly FELL OVER. I felt AWFUL when I did get in as Tim had gone round and sorted out all the Open Mic slot people, one of the BIG JOBS that I was supposed to be doing, and I felt a bit of a LOUSE for leaving him to sort it out on his BIRTHDAY.

Looking at said list i was a bit worried by the amount of people DOING the Open Mic - there were SEVEN of them, and Tim said that everybody'd be doing THREE songs. I've BEEN to lots of Open Mic nights and I know that that usually means everybody will do their LONGEST three songs, but this wasn't the case this time - INDEED it all rather flew by. I even enjoyed doing the compereing bit - usually i don't like it AT ALL, but I think the key this time was that I was JUST hosting, not doing any songs in between or anything so it was just a case of coming on, saying "Give A Big Hand for (X)! Next we have (Y), but could (Z) get ready as they're after them. Now, here's (Y)!!!" and then dashing off again. PEASY.

My favourite bit tho was introducing TIM in the second half, when he was doing his full set, as it mean i got to ask HIM the traditional Three Questions - Do you have a website? Do you have a CD to sell? Do you have a Fascinating Fact about yourself to tell everyone? AMAZINGLY his Fascinating Fact was that it was his BIRTHDAY, which i think everyone had guessed from all the SAYING it, the SINGING of "Happy Birthday" (twice) and the CAKE which Jenny bought, and it was all the LOVELIER because of it.

His set was FAB too - he can really sing, can Tim, and he was AUGMENTED by BASS this time around, good BOINGY bass too, the kind i like MOST. After him was a chap called Mississipi McDonald - when he came on I must admit I thought "HMM! An young English bloke doing The Blues? I am SUSPICIOUS!" but he was DEAD good, especially the guitar playing, and it made me think how AMAZING it is that these songs, made up by someone to get them through the working day, which just so happened to be recorded one evening, could still be being sung a hundred years later and thousands of miles away by someone with a life so utterly different.

We discussed this a bit on the way home, as once I'd HUGGED my goodbyes, ran to the station and HOPPED on a train I found myself sat with the aforesaid Mississipe McDonald, who turned out to be a really nice chap with THORTFUL THORTS on the above. Our journey back (to Victoria this time) was a relaxing way to end a very NOT relaxing day, a day of ZOOMING ABOUT!

posted 25/11/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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