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Blog: Terrified By Instruments

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I'm in the midst of starting a NEW JOB at the moment, so life is a whirligig of Not Remembering Names and Trying To Understand New Things, but last time I found time for some distinctly sophisticated ROCK ACTION.

For LO! I was in distant TOTTENHAM for a practice with A Little Orchestra in preperation for our forthcoming gig at The King & Queen on Saturday 5 May. The gig is to celebrate twenty years of The Validators, and thus will feature a set of us playing some of our mighty discography, followed by a performance with the aforesaid A Little Orchestra. There may also be an ANNOUNCEMENT of one or more Secret Projects!

I'd been over that way a few years ago for a similar practice, but in the meantime Spurs had built (or started to build) a GINORMOUS HYPERDROME which LOOMS over the entire neighbourgood like a spaceship from the planet DOUGHNUT which has crash landed into North London. It's very impressive, but also UTTERLY MAD!

I got round to the house to find Nicola and Alex from ALO already there, and the front room set out with chairs and music stands. It is a very different proposition, playing with these lot, to my usual Validators action. Not only was there CHEESE and BISCUITS and WINE laid on, but the discussion seemed to be of a much more elevated nature. Where we would say things like "Do it again, but less rubbish, and not as fast" they said "Is this perhaps a litte legatto? Should we be using minims, or crotchets?" For all I know that may be LATIN for "slower and less rubbish" but it sounded WELL CLEVER!

More ALO-ers arrived and we went through four songs that we'd not played together before, and I struggled not to a) burst into tears and run away or b) laugh my head off. The first reaction was because this was Serious Music, where you have to concentrate because everyone is listening to you and you have to do it RIGHT because everyone else has it written down, and that is NOT what I am used to. The second reaction was because it sounded SO lovely that it was ludicrous. I tried to explain later that it sounded like playing music in a garden, as it was so fresh and clear and it felt like there were all sorts of other things going on around me. I guess this is why Music Types have special words for things, so they don't have to spend ages trying to explain what they're on about.

It sounded LOVELY but, as I say, it was also a bit terrifying. USUALLY, when I'm in a social situation that makes me nervous, I have to constantly stop myself from mentioning The Strings On My Instrument - I guess mentioning her is a way of INVOKING a reassuring presence - but last night I had to force myself NOT to keep mentioning The Validators! I am reliably informed that it's good to get out of your comfort zone, but it will be nice to have The Vlads around when we actually DO the show!

The gig is, as I say, on 5 May, and will be in the Totally Acoustic format with doors at 7pm and the show commencing shortly after that. Do come along if you can, if nothing else you will get a chance to see my GRAPPLING with my fears to an delightful accompaniment!

posted 27/3/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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