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Blog: An "In-Town" Day

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My colleague Mr J Dredge referred to my lifestyle as "The life of Riley" yesterday. I was mortally offended -is one to be slated simply for slipping into town to see one's hairdresser and take coffee with chums? Where is James Blunt to stick up for me when I need him?

Actually, my afternoon in town started off with some Serious Business as I needed to go to Denmark Street, the soon to be knocked down Street Of Guitar Shops, to try and buy a guitar case. These days I'm using my LOVELY Cort mini-travel guitar for gigs, as it is nice and SMALL so easy to lug around and also just the right size to fit into the overhead racks on trains. It came with its own gig bag but it isn't particularly sturdy or padded, meaning that the both bag and guitar have been knocked about a bit, so I thought I'd go and buy a NEW bag ready for the epic TOURING that is to come with Hey Hey 16K.

I went into every single shop that sells acoustical guitars and NOT ONE of them had a bag that would fit. I even took my guitar WITH me, to make it easy, but no. To be honest I felt rather LET DOWN. Surely when there's an ENTIRE STREET of shops selling guitars ONE of them would cater for a Slightly Different Sized But Still Fairly Popular type of guitars? Later that evening I would buy one on THE INTERWEB and not feel bad about it.

My next port of call was Store Street, where I undertook SEVERAL missions. I went into ANOTHER guitar shop which didn't have a gig bag to fit, got some posters done for our forthcoming Leicester shows, LOOKED at the big model of London in The Building Centre, got my hair cut (graduation next week, and thus graduation PICTURES) then went to meet the aforesaid Mr Dredge for a coffee. It was QUITE the giddy whirl and the giddiness only INCREASED as John and I discussed a Very Exciting Opportunity. Actually it is a VERY VERY exciting opportunity which I can't fully describe in public yet, but basically involves us PITCHING something to a TV/Radio company. Not getting PAID for anything so far, but still, a step in the right direction hopefully!

With all that done I left for my final appointment, in distant Tottenham Hale where myself and Mr S Hewitt were booked for our penultimate pre-Leicester practice. As mentioned before we've split the show up into four quarters and last night we were doing the final section, which seemed to go by in SECONDS. It IS quite a short bit, but also it's all songs we KNOW and tying up loose ends and so "all downhill". We ran through it a couple of times then decided to do THE WHOLE THING.

We've only ever done the WHOLE THING a couple of times, and then always with SCRIPTS, so this was quite exciting, also a bit FRIGHTENING, but do it we did and... crumbs, it worked! There were several spots where we had to stop, check we'd got it right (we usually had) and go back a bit, but we got through it all in just over 45 minutes and it was Actually Pretty Good. I'm already seeing where we'll need to make changes post-Leicester (a lot of songs are followed by Steve saying "So - " then asking a question, for instance) but all in all we were both PRETTY PLEASED with it.

We've got one more practice next week, which will be the DRESS REHEARSAL i.e. WIGS and PROPS and SECRET THINGS which on the one hand means another week of line learning, but on the other a whole range of new opportunities to get confused, and then we're off to Leicester. I've just heard that, on our first night, we've got some REVIEWERS in. Nothing can go wrong!

posted 23/1/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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