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Blog: Tour Diary 1: Cardiff

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Last Wednesday was auspicious for many reasons - it was the 40th Birthday of Mr S Hewitt, my final day officially at work, and also the start of my tour with Gavin Osborn and Grace Petrie. AND it was dead sunny - who could ask for more?

Well, i COULD have asked to have been back in My Usual Suite at the Cardiff Ibis, but for some reason (I _think_ cost) I'd booked into the Mercure, which turned out to be MILES away and VERY difficult to get to on foot. Thus at 5pm I officially finished 22 years of non-stop employment by standing by the side of a busy motorway, desperately trying to get me, my guitar and my wheely suitcase to the other side. It wasn't how I envisaged it happening, but I guess it's not a bad way to kick off your mid-life crisis!

My room was GIGANTIC, with TWO (2) king sized beds, but I didn't have time to bounce around on them as I had to get back into town to "The Welsh Club", as everyone called it, where I met Gavin, had HUGZ and a CHAT and then did the first Solo Soundcheck i've done in AGES. It felt WEIRD - I'm so used to doing everything Totally Acoustically these days, plugging in has become ALIEN to me!

We moved tables and chairs around to form a CAFE STYLE layout then popped round the corner to see Mr and Mrs Hodgkiss for BEER, and got back to the venue just in time to see Grace, who'd battled her way in VALIANTLY through heavy traffic. After more hugs and another quick soundcheck the three of us went over the road to eat HUGE piles of GRUB in Weatherspoons, which meant that when we got back to the venue i felt a BIT FULL as I went on stage and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Work's All Right (if it's a proper job)
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • We Did It Anyway
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • Get Over It
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Despite the BLOATING it went pretty well, I think. I thought i ought to do Work's All Right (if it's a proper job) to mark the occasion of the END of the period of working which that song celebrated, and I was very glad I did because later on somebody thanked me for playing it, as it was his FAVOURITE. I also went WRONG during We Did It Anyway, but nobody seemed to mind/notice, and once again 20 Things To Do Before You're 30 seemed to go down BEST.

    Then it was Gavin and Grace who were both AMAZING. *SPOILER ALERT* - they would continue to be like this for all the nights of this TOUR LEG. I particularly enjoyed two songs that I'd not heard before - Gav's one about sharing a bath, and Grace's about causing a flood. They're very different performers but both a JOY to watch - you feel SAFE in their presence, confident that they know what they're doing like Old School SHOWBIZ, yet also full of IDEAS and THORTS. It was brilliant!

    Afterwards Gav and I stood nervously to one side of the HUGE QUEUE of people who wanted to talk to Grace and buy CDs - this also would continue to happen, and I felt IMMENSELY and possibly UNDESERVEDLY proud of her. Grace played with us LOADS years and years ago, and to see her become this TITAN of ROCK and POLITICS and yet stay lovely and also FUNNY between the songs, it does a middle-aged pillock's heart good to see it!

    With that all done we said farewell to Gav, who was heading home, then me and Grace went for a couple more drinks round the corner with Mr C Evans, before heading into a taxi to go to our hotels, which turned out to be close by. It had been a DELIGHTFUL start to the tour!

    posted 19/5/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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