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Blog: A Quarter Of A Century In The Making

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Friday afternoon found me heading to Leicester for a gig TWENTY FIVE YEARS in the making, for LO! A quarter of a century after first seeing PO! at The Magazine Hotel in Leicester I was FINALLY going to be sharing a stage with them. My excitement was HIGH!

There was, however, other business to attend to first. This time I was NOT staying in My Usual Suite at The Ibis but had decided to try out the Premier Inn instead. It was EVEN closer to the Railway Station BUT, crucially, did NOT overlook the platforms which meant I WOULDN'T get woken up at 6am by station announcements. ALSO they do have nice beds and ALSO ALSO a Comfy Chair in the room, which I was going to use for VIDOE filming.

Living in the Modern World as wot we do I am aware that the VIDOE is an essential tool in the modern media arsenal, so had planned to spend a happy hour or so filming a framing section for the forthcoming video for We Did It Anyway, which required a) a comfy chair and b) a COMEDY WIG, which I had extricated from my large box of Fringe Show-based WIGS. The plan was SUCCESSFUL!

That done I popped back to the train station to collect Mr F A Machine and the two of us strolled across town for a pint in The Criterion - well, it'd be rude not to - before returning to The Firebug were Mr T 'The Tiger' McClure had just finished listening to Po! soundcheck. PO! Soundchecking! I still found it WEIRD that we really WERE going to be supporting Po!

Tim then arrived saying "Didn't you hear me shouting? I need help carrying gear upstairs!" I genuinely HADN'T heard him, perhaps my BRANE was just filtering it out for me? We duly trooped downstairs where the INDIGNITY of having to lug drum bits around was at least a little assuaged by the fact we got to see Emma's NEW MINI. She's got a MINI! I still refer to these as "the new Mini" but I guess maybe they're not so new anymore? Anyway, it was ACE!

We lugged, we set up, and then we did the SOUNDCHECK what we RECORDED for use in ANOTHER video - we are nothing if not EFFICIENT in utilising our together time! This will be used for (you make me feel) Soft Rock, which meant that we had to EMOTE a bit while we were doing it, which always feels a bit WRONG for a soundcheck. When it is eventually ISSUED there may be a bit at the start where I appear to be having an HILARIOUS conversation with Frankie. What was actually happening was I was saying "You have to stand up or else we won't be able to see you."

That done it was time to do discuss the setlist, and chat to the LARGE variety of lovely people who had rolled up, including Ms A Bates, late of The Durham Ox Singers. I hadn't seen Ann for YEARS so it was a DELIGHT to do so again - there was actually quite a LOT of that going round!

Soon it was SHOWTIME, with The Sunbathers on first. I've seen them lots of times but this was definitely the best, possibly due to the addition of VIBRASLAP to a couple of the songs, It was FAB, and reminded me that I need to get them down for Totally Acoustic next season. I've made a note!

Then it was US and this is what we did:
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • That Guy
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • We Did It Anyway
  • It was, I must say, PRETTY DARN GOOD. The EXCELLENT soundman at The Firebug, who's done us quite a few times now, was again EXCELLENT, especially a couple of songs in when, for me, everything sounded GRATE. Also the FACT that we have now played together several times in the space of a month made it all feel quite RELAXED. Everyone was on fully their game so we sounded ROCK and I was also able to relae enjoy some CHAT with the audience. I do like a bit of that!

    Also, I have to say, finishing with We Did It Anyway is BRILLIANT. We'd been joking about how we should have split up a few years ago so we could now be doing a COMEBACK. I introduced the song saying "This is why we never split up" and, my dears, I MOVED myself!

    So yes, it was great fun and then after that Po! were a) FANTASTIC and b) like they'd never been away. I am very much looking forward to seeing them again, not in another 25 years but in a WEEK at Indietracks!

    The evening finished with Validators being parted once again, for what felt like AGES this time. Me, Frankie and The Tiger will be seeing each other on Saturday at the aforesaid Indietracks, but we'll not be seeing The Pattisons until the week after, when we play in Leeds. That's AGES away!

    posted 25/7/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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