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I realised things were going to be different as soon as I entered Ray's Mum And Dad's House, to see two VALIDATORS, Mr T Pattison and Mr T McClure waiting there. It was, of course, delightful to see them, but they'd never been before, and there were various other people around who were new to the event. I mean, it's a GRATE day out and I would heartily suggest EVERYONE comes along, but there were quite a lot more than usual.
We were greeted by our host, Mr R Kirkham, and had various chats and beers until everyone gathered in the back garden. Ray welcomed everyone to Hibbettfest - we all cheered! He said that the event was about ME - I CHEERED - and then suddenly produced a pile of CDs. I can't remember his exact words because it was All A Bit Much, but basically he said that this was the LAUNCH of a BRAND NEW CD featuring loads of people covering my songs (as blogged seperately a couple of days ago).
I could NOT believe it - that anybody would think to do such a wonderful thing, but also that so many of my PALS could be involved in it and not ONE of them let slip that it was happening! Ray told me there were 300 CDs, all PROPERLY, GORGEOUSLY made, and as I read down the tracklist I found myself, for once in my life, utterly SPEECHLESS. Also unusually, I was hugely aware of everyone LOOKING at me - usually this is what i like MOST, but I found myself OVERWHELMED and, another first, asked them to stop!!
It really was utterly amazing - I've still not really fully come to terms with it all - and I staggered around in a bit of a STATE for the rest of the day, not wholly, for once, because of BEER. We enjoyed the FINE BUFFET, people snuck up and told me which songs were their favourites (apparently everyone involved had been on a Secret Facebook Group together!) and I hugged as many of them as I could catch.
Then, around 3.30pm, it was SHOWTIME, and we began with a short set by The Cleator Moor Validators - the plan had originally been to have ALL The Validators there, I was told, but Frankie's car had EXPIRED that very morning and Emma had become otherwise engaged, so it was just the three of us who rattled through The Lesson Of The Smiths and Easily Impressed. It was a LOT of fun!
And then it was Total Hero Team time! This was the first proper outing for the new improved SHORTER version, and it was MUCH better, although we STILL had a bit of panic during the first 10 minutes as we got a bit confused about where we were. As Steve later commented, the more we cut out the bits we don't know, the easier it gets!
After all that there was a few minutes for some BOOZE and some GRUB before we all piled into two buses into TOWN. When we arrived I dropped The Pint In My Pint Glass off at the station before heading back for a couple of CHARMING hours in the pub, having a RIGHT old natter to various pals before copying Steve and buying myself a TRANE BEER for the way back. UNLIKE Steve I didn't remember to bring said TRANE BEER with me, so ended up WITHOUT on the long journey home... which, to be honest, was probably for the best. I also forgot to pick up a big pile of CDs which I'd promised to give to some of the contributors for the album, almost as if BOOZE had been involved somewhere!
I got home to find that the CD was NOT a dream and really existed. I still can't believe it - being FLATTERED doesn't begin to cover it, it feels wonderful to know that so many ACE people spent so long doing this, and it's also good to report that it sounds GRATE! Hey! It would, right? There's some fabulous versions on there and I can't WAIT for people outside it all to be able to have a listen - Ray's hoping to get it ready this week, so I shall OF COURSE pass on news when I hear some.
In the meantime though I'd like to express an entirely HEARTFELT and HUGE thanks to everyone who was part of it, it means an ENORMOUS amount to me. Thanks you guys!
posted 26/6/2013 by MJ Hibbett
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Coolness! Nice to have good mates like that :D
posted 26/6/2013 by markp
And now the album is available on CD and/or download from here: http://showyrinlove.bandcamp.com/ (Sorry for the spam but it really all about YOU, Mark)
posted 28/6/2013 by Ray
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