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Blog: If You Can Remember The Nineties

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Sorry for the relative QUIET on this here blog of late, I hope it has not caused too much distress and rending of garments. The reasons for the silence are TWOFOLD.

Firstly, I am very gradually coming to the end of my current job - three month notice periods take FOREVER! All is well, but it does mean I've been spending a lot of my time tidying up things that, in the normal course of working life, would get gradually finished off and/or forgotten about over the course of months/years. It looks like there won't be a direct replacement for me in post for a while too, so I have been trying to HOOVER UP as many future TASKS as possible because I am DEAD PROFESSIONAL like that, which means I've not had so much time for my usual Wise Thoughts and Astounding Cultural Commentary.

Having said that, we're on season 3 of "Friends" now and have found that we can't remember ALL the episodes QUITE as clearly as previous seasons. It's still good though.

Secondly, there ARE items of ROCK occurring, but not items I am quite at liberty to talk about just yet. What I CAN say, however, is that much of them are based around the gig celebrating 20 years of The Validators, which will be happening on Saturday 5th May at The King & Queen in That London!

I'll be dishing out more details about this nearer the time, including THE EXCITING THING that we are going to be officially releasing that day, and also THE SECRET PROJECT which we intend to REVEAL that day too, but what I can say for now is that it is HAPPENING, we will probably be doing TWO sets, and that one of them will be accompanied by A Little Orchestra, so put it in your diary! NOW!!

I originally intended to herald this gig as the actual 20th Anniversary Of The Validators, as it takes place on the 20th anniversary of what I thought was our first ever gig, but now I am not so sure. I know for a FACT that we put together a LIVE BAND version of The Validators in order to support Half Man Half Biscuit at The Victoria Inn in Derby, and I also thought that this occurred on May 5 1998. My gigs page for that year says that I DID play that gig that night, and that The Validators played Abbey Park later that summer, which is another event I clearly remember. However, my gigs page for 1999 ALSO lists gigs supporting HMHB in Derby AND one at Abbey Park AND says the HMHB gig was our first one!

Normally when something like this arises I would simply consult the blog archives but ALAS I did not START the blog until 2003. I did do fortnightly updates of the webpage, but I did not start archiving these until late 1998, and they are to say the least UNCLEAR about what was going on. It's all very confusing.

"Hold on though," you may chuckle, "Why don't you just consult your BRANE?!? Surely you must REMEMBER?" I answer that with the simple truism that if you can remember the 1990s then baby you were not THERE. Or, if you were, you were clearly not as uniformly DRUNKENED and/or hungover as what I was for most of the decade. Hey! It was BRITPOP! Being leathered was COOL!

I definitely remember the events mentioned above HAPPENING, but I can't say for sure what ORDER they occurred in. I know that The Durham Ox Singers were doing their own gigs in early 1999, which I THINK means they must have done some gigs with The Validators before then too, but I could be wrong. I distinctly remember trying to get everyone to clap in time whilst recording one of the songs for Say It With Words and having to a) apologise to Kev Reverb (who was EXTREMELY PATIENT with us) and b) giving up, but have no idea when that actually was.

I do know for definite that Clubbing In The Week came out in the summer of 1998, and that I spoke to Frankie and Tim about recording Born With The Century as a BAND around then too, so whatever else happened The Validators definitely BEGAN in 1998, and so I am fairly confident that I can call May 5th the start of our twentieth anniversary YEAR, if nothing else!

What I'm basically saying is that I've booked the pub now so we're doing the gig, and that any inaccuracies in the timing simply prove that I was DEAD COOL at the turn of the century. That, at least, is IRREFUTABLE!

posted 21/2/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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You did a review for the HMHB gig in Derby on 26th April 1999, it is on Gez's site ( Gez's archive now only goes back to 1999, but you (or I) could ask him about a 1998 gig. I was at the 1999 one, I know I wasn't at the 1998 one.
posted 21/2/2018 by Mike Cresswell

Songkick has the gig on 5/5/98 listed. Don't know where they got the data from, but you're not on there so it can't have come from your site!
posted 21/2/2018 by John K

Thanks, TECH 'TECS! I think the 1999 one must have been the one we played at (which I didn't mention in the review) because we definitely spoke to Nigel afterwards then, and he gave us both a cough sweet!
posted 21/2/2018 by MJ Hibbett

Just for Mike, the old non-phone-friendly HMHB gig list that goes back to 1996 is still available at And yes you did play at the Victoria Inn on Tue 5th May (but there's no review).
posted 21/2/2018 by Gez

Thanks, Gez. I can just about remember those 1990s outings, but it was a long time ago! Mark - is the K&Q Anniversary gig an evening one? I hope so!
posted 22/2/2018 by Mike Cresswell

Bizarrely that was only a couple of weeks after Ludd Gang supported them in Leicester. Clearly EVERYONE was supporting them in those days! But just to confirm, I was first :-) We should track down the Bleenees and Tiny who supported at the gig in between.
posted 24/2/2018 by Tim P

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