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Blog: Back in CB2

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After all the fun and frolics of Total Hero Team at the various Fringe Festivals I've enjoyed/NEEDED a LONG old lay-off from ROCK. It'd been nearly SIX WEEKS since last I gigged when I met with Mr S Hewitt at St Pancras yesterday, ready to kick off the NEXT batch of shows in Cambridge.

I do like playing in Cambridge, it's like a version of Peterborough run by ACADEMICS, with everything full of WISPY HAIR, bicycles, and posters in the windows of houses. For years I've been doing my Cambridge gigs at The Portland Arms but as this has now DOUBLED its capacity our esteemed promoter Mr S Macallister thought it might be a rather big ASK. Thus he'd booked us into CB2, a lovely lovely place that I played regularly for a while about seven years ago, at gigs run by The Living Room. I always had a WONDERFUL time there so was very happy to be back, although it did mean we had to ESCHEW our usual B&B and find somewhere different.

The one we ended up at was INCREDIBLY handy - about halfway along the route from station to venue, in fact - and VERY old-fashioned. You know how B&Bs always appear in 1970s TV shows? It was like THAT - we both experienced DEJA VU as we spotted LINO or SHEETS or WALLPAPER that our parents (or our parents' friends) had once owned. I slept in a super-tightly made bed of SHEETS and QUILT for the first in about 30 years which, delightfully, SMELT of the same washing powder used by my Nan!

Safely ensconced we headed for the venue, with me having to DRAG Steve past a Famous Bottled Beer pub, with him casting longing looks backwards at the FRIDGE weeping "Got! NEED! NEED! Got!" We met Steve M at the cafe , dropped our gear off, and enjoyed a leisurely PINT before show time. During this I was astounded to meet She Who Must Not Be Named from Kooba Radio Days, who is now a proper REGISTRAR at Addenbrookes - she was not to be named in their podcasts LEST the associated HIJINKS got her in trouble at medical school, so it was lovely to see she'd got through unscathed, and indeed lovely to see her again - it was SWMNBN who first listened to "Milk & Baubles" all those years ago and made the rest of the Kooba crew listen to it, so if not for her I would have missed out on MANY adventures!

The gig kicked off with an EXCITING NEW TALENT (hem hem) supporting us... all right it was ME, doing my first proper full solo gig since... wow, APRIL! If I'd known that before I'd started I might have worried more, as i stood (pretty much) in the middle of the room and did THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • I Come From The Fens
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • I had a FINE old time - much to my amazement i KNEW all of the words, including those to (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock which got its LIVE DEBUT. I was VERY HAPPY INDEED about how that went, especially when the audience very gamely tried to do PUNCHING THE AIR. I think I might need to explain that more at future gigs - I appear to have a STRING of solo gigs ahead, plenty of time to work up a BIT!

    Steve and I went upstairs to have some TEA and then came back down for Mr Gaz Jones, who did a selection of cover versions, all of which seemed to come from The Britpop Era, thus forcing me to realise that they were all about TWENTY YEARS OLD. I especially enjoyed his versions of "Great Things" (even though he sang the WRONG WORDS in the chorus - it's "I don't wanna compromise" not "I JUST want to compromise", tho SCHOLARS might argue that the latter is more apt to Britpop hem hem KULTURAL INSITE) and "The Outdoors Type", though I was surprised to hear him say that "The Boy Done Good" was his favourite Billy Bragg song. Come on chaps, it's on the same album as "Brickbat"!!

    ANYWAY then it was time for me and Steve to take the stage - the actual proper stage, as CB2 HAS one, and launch into the show. Short version of events: it was BLOODY GRATE.

    Slightly longer version: it REALLY WAS! It turned out that we TOTALLY still remembered how it went, and the audience WENT for it - there were BIG LARFS pretty much EVERYWHERE we'd ever hoped there'd be, from people getting The Watchmen "Joke" to HUGE GUFFAWS throughout "Come On Pussy". Steve said to them halfway through, "where were you guys in Edinburgh?" for LO! it was like a DREAM AUDIENCE. We even got to do that thing where you have to WAIT for the laughter to die down, and get to RIDE it, like a HILARITY SURFER. It was JOYOUS!

    We finished the evening with beer, chat, and generally saying "COR! that was FUN!" Steve M said we could come back whenever we wanted and BY CRIKEY i certainly want to. It was brilliant!

    posted 4/10/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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    was ace to get the whole "Hibbett in the flesh" experience Am available as a professional Laugher for Edinburgh next year
    posted 4/10/2013 by AlNapp

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