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Blog: Leicester Indiepop All-Dayer

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On Saturday I was up bright and early to head to Leicester for my first gig of the year. It's nearly March and I was doing my first gig - how things have CHANGED!

There were rail replacement buses on the direct route to Leicester, but I discovered that if I got two day returns, one from London to Peterborough and one from Peterborough to Leicester, I could do the journey in ten minutes LONGER for five pounds LESS and with 100% less BUSES, so that's what I did. The journey from Peterborough to Leicester is one I made hundreds of times when I lived in Leicester and it was never exactly salubrious, and I can report that it has not become any more so in the years since my last trip. It did, however, mean I got to witness a SCENE between the (very pleasant) ticket inspector and two teenage girls Trying It On. The girls claimed that their tickets were on their phone, but that the battery had died (despite them very clearly using it 30 seconds ago to have a RIGHT old go at one of their Mums). The ticket inspector was MOST polite, but clearly did not believe them. Brilliantly someone nearby said "they can borrow my charger!" so she handed it to the, said "You can charge it in first class," then went to check other passengers. The LOOKS on their faces were HILARIOUS as they stumbled towards first class, DESPERATELY struggling to think of a way out - in the end they hannded the charger back and got off at OAKHAM, a dire fate for ANY traveller.

At Leicester I met Mr F Machine, who had further phone news - he had FORGOTTEN to bring his! THUS was he transported back to the 1990s, bereft of time-knowledge, contactability and interweb, but it worked out OK in the end - Mrs Machine texted ME for details of his whereabouts, and Tim told him how Derby had got on!

Our taxi driver kindly gave us a tour of all the cul-de-sacs in the industrial estate where Quad Rehearsal Studios are based, but after consulting the MAP on my phone we eventually got there. Mr T McClure was setting up when we arrived and Mr T Pattison got there soon after. Mrs E Pattison was unable to attend, which is just as well as it was RUDDY FREEZING in there! We thought ROCK would heat us up but I am sorry to report that it did not, although WOOLLY HATS somehow did. A tip there, for future ROCKERS in cold climates: put your HAT on. Maybe that's where The Edge got the idea?

We had a delightful three hours of LEWD REMARKS and cups of tea (which we thought were free but, it turns out, we just didn't pay for!), very occasionally interrupted by practicing some songs. We tried out one of the new ones in an ELECTRICAL arrangement for the first time, and it sounded GRATE, but we agreed that the title was a bit rubbish. THUS after some serious BRANESTORMING we decided to change the name of "In The Pub (Talking Crap)" to Two Nights, One Pub. Much better! We also had a first ELECTRICAL go at Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met) too and COR it sounded BRILLO!

Last time we did a gig - incredibly SEVEN months ago, at Indietracks - we practiced the whole set in advance, which seemed to work well, so we decided to try that again. This meant working out the setlist which, as ever, took AGES. It took especially long this time because we decided NOT to finish with Easily Impressed and The Lesson Of The Smiths as we have since time immemorial, so had two extra songs to argue about!

Eventually it was time to head over to the Firebug, and we arrived to find Mr Simon Tyers, organiser and all-round DOLL FACE, in full control and Emma Kupa onstage in full song. She was one of the very few people we'd EVER played with before who were on the bill though, so it was all a bit weird going backstage and NOT seeing people we knew. We've only stepped off the MERRYGOROUND of INDIEPOP for a little while, but already all the names and faces have changed - when Mr Pete Dale arrived later on in the day, his familiar face was a JOY to behold!

Our Emma arrived shortly after we did, so there was some time for us all to catch up before we went on stage and did THIS:

  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Two Nights, One Pub
  • Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met)
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • We Did It Anyway
  • The whole thing FLEW by - maybe NOT doing our traditional closing songs made it feel like we had finished early, or maybe it was just because it was so much FUN. I couldn't see out into the crowd (which I always can at my usual, fully lit, acoustical gigs) so wasn't sure if there was actually any audience, and thus was UTTERLY MOVED when suddenly a whole bunch of people joined in with the end of Two Nights, One Pub. Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met) went down well (which is a good sign for our NEXT gig, in Cologne!), me and Frankie did the Leaning Against Each Other In ROCK bit in (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock and managed NOT to fall over, The Tiger's Roar was heard, Emma disagreed with me A LOT during the intro to 20 Things To Do Before You're 30, and Tim took his jumper off. I do hope the audience enjoyed it as much as we did!

    Afterwards we went downstairs to get a drink and had a chat to Mr James Indiehorse, who had been taking some pictures of the gig, as is his WONT. Emma was keen to see the one he'd taken of me and Rob ROCKING OUT (which you can now see HERE), but we couldn't chat for long as we had to go and get our pictures taken for one of the forthcoming SECRET PROJECTS. "How are we going to do this picture?" we kept saying. "If only we knew someone here who took pictures."

    It honestly took several minutes before I realised that - HANG ON - somebody who was VERY GOOD at taking pictures was standing right there with us! James very kindly agreed to photograph us as ZERO notice, so we all piled upstairs to the Pool Room for ten minutes of us titting about pulling faces and him being Very Patient. I saw some of the IMAGES thus created and they were GRATE!

    After that we watched Fightmilk, a band who I have heard lots about from various people but never actually seen. They were ACE - I especially liked the way they were CLEARLY enjoying a) being on stage b) doing so with each other, and ALSO the way they had Things To Say. It was GRATE!

    And then it was time for us to go. We said our goodbyes to each other, rather thrillingly getting to say "See you in COLOGNE!" and then I headed off for the train station. Gigs are ACE!

    posted 26/2/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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