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Blog: The Final Gig Of The Year

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I was all ready and KEYED UP on Saturday to do my Final Gig Of The Year, until I realised it was ALSO my Final Gig Of The Decade! It's been a long long KRAZY ROAD OF ROCK AND ROLL for me in The Noughties - ten years ago I was getting excited about releasing Say It With Words and was mostly gigging in Leicester, where I lived. A Decade on I am getting excited about releasing Dinosaur Planet and mostly gigging in London, where I live. We've come a long way!

Well, we have really - I'll do a PROPER look back at the year when I've finished work and maybe even a DEWY EYED look at the decade too, but every time I try to THINK about what I'd say I get distracted by all the INCREDIBLY GRATE things that have happened - being on the radio! The Hey Hey 16K business! Doing gigs abroad! Rolling Stone! Going to Edinburgh! And Many Many More! Most of all it's been ten years of ENJOYING doing gigs, meeting loads of lovely people, and having FUN. I think if the 29 year old me had looked forward to NOW he would have been amazed at all the ADVENTURES he was going to have, and a bit AWESTRUCK by how happy it would make him.

So yes, with all that in mind as I hopped on the train to Oxford, I was sort of hoping that this final gig would be all right really! Things were looking good for travel anyway - there's been so much talk of Travel Chaos I was surprised to find tubes AND trains running smoothly, and I arrived at The Jericho Tavern EXACTLY on time. I wanted to get there by 5.15pm as that was when Project Adorno were on. As I walked through the doors ON THE DOT i thought "Ho! But this is an all-dayer, everything will be late anyway, IT IS THE LAW!" and was DOUBLE AGOG to find them JUST THAT SECOND going onstage!

They were dead good - I'd heard of them in many ways before but never seen them, and thoroughly enjoyed their set, especially the DANCING, and managed to contain my urge to HECKLE when they did a song about Commodore 64s. Well done me!

Next up was Superman Revenge Squad - I was a bit worried about how he'd go down, as the room was COLD (the heating didn't - COULDN'T - come on until 7pm, apparently) and people were spaced out around the room, and I thought they might not "get" the way Ben's stuff works but he CAPTURED them, HELD them, and was BRILLIANT. The host described him as "mordant", an excellent word I shall use in all future descriptions of him, and the whole thing was GRATE. Full of songs and LARFS and all round GOOD TIMES.

After his set we gathered downstairs for a COUNSELLING SESSION. This was IMMENSE fun as we took it in turns to VENT and AGREE with each other about various Issues Relating To Solo Singer Songwriters. People like us should do this more often - when you're with a band you can MOAN about things together as and when they happen, but when it's just you on your own you have to a) be polite to other people at gigs but b) can BORE people RIGID if you try to talk about it later. Between us we covered about five years' worth of GIG MOANING (not about the gig we were AT, i should say, but ones we'd done). Our IRE was especially raised with regards to Acts Or Bands Who Don't At Least Make A Show Of Watching Other Acts Or Bands. If you're playing with other people you should ALWAYS watch a BIT of their set - it's polite, but more to the point if you just SWAN OFF then you make precisely ZERO new friends and nobody will feel obliged to watch YOU.

We then realised that we were saying this in the downstairs room, while other people were playing upstairs. Ah.

At this point The Songs In My Set arrived, accompanied by our friend Helena, as did Mr J Pennycook (seperately). Things were looking, also feeling, VERY Christmassy so, after a beer or two, I made my way to the stage to do THIS. FOR CHRISTMAS!
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Gay Train
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • It seemed to go WELL - at the start people were standing FAR AWAY and there was lots of talking from the back. The room was gently filling with people although, as is the way of The All Dayer, lots of them had come to see a specific band and so weren't hugely bothered about watching me. THUS I did something i have RARELY done on stage - i said "People who want to see me, how about coming forward a bit?" I'm always a bit nervous about things like that, but was DELIGHTED to find a Large Body Of People DID move forward and together, I think, we had a FINE old time. As before there was a bit of CHAT, there was joining in, and there was Setlist Alteration - I'd previously thought of finishing on "Boom Shake The Room", but swapped it when i GOT to the end, as I thought I'd rather end the decade doing one of my OWN songs.

    I also HURT MYSELF - the end of my right index finger is STILL chopped to pieces, due to playing without plectrum in cold weather, but i BRAVELY a) carried on b) use it to type now. Pop Music IS suffering! Especially when it features me!

    With the gig done we hung around a bit to watch some of the next band then said our farewells and marched a few doors down to enjoy a well-earned Post-Gig CURRY! It was DELICIOUS, and a wonderful way to sign off ten years of ROCK. If at the end of 2020 I find myself doing something similar I will not be disappointed!

    posted 21/12/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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    I was thinking, shortly after you said that you had bought a hat, that I'm sure you were wearing a rain hat in a long-ago gig at the Princess Charlotte.
    There were indeed some people talking noisily, but they were sitting reasonably close to the front, and they did want to talk louder than you.
    Merry Christmas/Yuletide/etc. If I remember, I'm going to see what my 2 year old nephew makes of your music...
    posted 23/12/2009 by Jon Pennycook

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