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Blog: Hello Leeds!

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Things started going well this weekend, and just sort of stayed that way - I got an earlier (but slower) train to Leicester on Saturday, which was good as i got some BOOK TIME. The Roots of My Tree bought me "So You Wanna Be A Rock Star" for my birthday, and as it had to be shipped from MIAMI (oh yes, you can't get it over here you know, it is dead exclusive) it's only just arrived. It's GRATE - it's the ROCK biography of the drummer from Semisonic! No, i know, but it really is ACE, it's really quite sweet how he wanders through FAME and that a bit AFEARED, I am THOROUGHLY enjoying it. This makes it a run of TWO really good books in a row, as last week i finished "Star Of The Sea", which was BRILLIANT.

ANYWAY, i got to Leicester, met Tom, and off we headed to LEEDS, arriving well ahead of schedule at our HOTEL. HOLA! Rob and his LADY were staying over in The Queens Hotel, the big posh one at the railway station, and as Tim and Emma would be staying over in Leeds to, Tom and I decided we'd stay too, so that we could have some post-gig band DRINKING action. The Queens is DEAD POSH, although perhaps their computer systems need some updating, as we spent a FEARFUL 15 minutes waiting for them to find our booking. DREAD! All was well in the end, somehow we were down as two Mr Wilby's (which makes "Hibbert" look positively correct!), we went to our POSH rooms, reconvened in the Lobby, and headed to Carpe Diem.

Leeds has a very very strict one way system. Having found ourselves LITERALLY just round the corner from the venue it took us quarter of an hour to get back again, it was KER-RAZY. Nearly everyone else was there by then, so we sat with Johnny Domino for a few minutes whilst Being 747 finished their soundcheck, all the while wondering where Rob was, and whether he'd make it in time... as ever, he arrived about half a PICOSECOND before we were due to go on, as is his WONT, and casually wandered through to the stage. We were AMPED UP, as there was only a vocal PA, and BY GOLLY it didn't half feel good. I really LIKE playing this way, I think it makes the sound much nicer than walloping everything through the same mix. It is ORGAAAAANIC.

After that we popped next door for some GRUB, chatting to Being 747 about DIVERSE SUBJECTS and generally catching up and ... er... slagging off distribution companies. We got back just in time for Johnny Domino to play, and they were BLOODY GRATE. The set was nearly (or maybe completely) made up of songs from the new album, and it sounded FANTASTIC. Mr Fleay and i felt VERY SPECIAL because, as RECORD COMPANY EXECUTIVES we made up about 25% of ALL the people in the room who'd heard it, so sang along LUSTILY. Also, they LOOKED brilliant as well - Jim was doing this fluid yet JERKY movement experience, Giles was sort of CHUCK BERRY, Steve was smoking a pipe (apparently it was a They Might Be Giants HOMAGE, afterwards he kept trying to find someone who'd got it) and Marc was BOUNCING on his keyboards and pulling Actually Quite Disturbing faces. It looked like an ANGULAR ART POP MACHINE, with pistons flying in all directions, and it was BRILLIANT. They are good, Johnny Domino.

With them done, it was time for US. We started, as is now THE NORM, with "Post Subsonic Bass", and MAN OH MAN you should have heard my feedback at the start, it was GRATE! It made my GUITAR SHAKE, i felt like i was in GHOSTBUSTERS! We WHIPPED through the set, it seemed to be over FAR too soon - the sound was NICE, everything felt GOOD, and the band were ACE - i LOVE my band, by the way, they are totally brilliant and GROOVY. Anyway, one thing i have noticed is that The Power Of BEZ can be assumed by anyone brave enough to wear the MANTLE. For instance, lately i have realised that if Emma or I start DANCING a bit at the front then people in the AUDIENCE start dancing around a bit. It's STRANGE but EXCELLENT, and on Saturday night much of the ROOM was jigging about by the time we got to "Easily Impressed", it looked good and it FELT good.

Other notable things were a CHEER when I said "this is a song about the home computer boom of the mid-80's", Tim saying "Have you got a different setlist from me or something?" when actually i HAD (OK this is probably only interesting or amusing if you're in the band...), Me and Emma having to do a REVERSO WESTLIFE in Fairplay Trophy as we'd started in the wrong KEY, "Fair Play Trophy" ending too soon ("in tribute to England's Euro 2004 campaign" - i said that, well done me!), and Rob doing an Excessively Flamboyant BASS FILL. It was ALL GOOD, then we packed up, a couple of people bought CDs, Sam The Promoter gave us some CA$H and asked us if we'd like to come back some time (YES PLEASE!), and we settled down to watch Being 747.

I must admit I didn't pay as much attention at this point as i ought because a) i was swanning around b) i was dividing aforesaid CA$H c) i was talking to people and saying thank you for coming and d) i was talking to THE BAND and saying "Cor, eh?", but The 747 (er... as possibly THE KIDS might call them) are ACE. The strange thing i find with them is I find it hardly to believe there's only 3 of them, as it sounds like MUCH MORE. The main thing i ALWAYS remember from their gigs is The Brothers Morricone GRINNING throughout, and also "The Girl Who Fell Asleep Watching Her Life Flash Before Her Eyes", which has been LODGED in my BRANE since we played with them last year. They are GRATE!

And so we moved to part TWO of the evening, which involved BEER. Tim and I had a long conversation trying to work out which bands we'd been in (he'd completely forgotten drumming in the K-Stars, for instance... it was a LOOOOONG time ago), and ten minutes later Sam The Promoter mentioned seeing me in The Council when we'd supported Prolapse... turned out he was a MASSIVE Prolapse fan, but didn't realise Tim had been IN them, so we brought them together, for JOY and BEAUTY. The rest of us wandered around GRINNING at each other, and around about Midnight we had a BAND MEETING. The first thing we decided was that most of us needed the toilet, so we did that, and then AGREED on our PLAN OF ACTION: having urinated, we would MAYBE do a London gig in addition to Northampton next month, we'd worry about TV and USA things when they occurred, and then around October time we'd start the NEXT album! WHOO! PLAN is for me to do a demo of all the songs I've got, then we'll LEARN them up as a band, and go into Kev's and record them. HOWEVER, instead of THOSE being the final versions, as in previous time, we'd then do some GIGS, learn how to PLAY them, give Tom and Emma time to work out THEIR bits, and then some time next year ALL go into the studio for a couple of ACTUAL DAYS and record it properly!

Yes, I know that that's how most people have always done it, but it is new to us! Emma and Tim went home then, and the rest of us had MORE BOOZE, including some SHOTS. Urk! Eventually we went back to the hotel, where the four of us enjoyed THE PIANO BAR until quite late, sipping JD whilst around us YOUNG PEOPLE in suits celebrated their graduation. It was BLOODY BRILLIANT! I like being in a band, and i LOVE being in this particular band! OK, we didn't make enough money on the night to pay for ONE of our hotel rooms, but GOODNESS ME it wasn't half worth it! That night I settled into my ART DECO single bed a very happy man, knowing that the next day would be Pretty Groovy too...

posted 5/7/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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