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Blog: Attack Of The Unnecessary Surtitles

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It's been a GRATE Easter this year i must say, especially Saturday's FESTIVAL of TELLY - The Football AND new Doctor Who? The BBC, you are SPOILING us, and Dr Who was FANTASTIC wasn't it? - and it was fitting to end it all with a GIG. I caught many trains to get to NEW CROSS last night (where i last spent an evening 15 years ago, when i went to see my school friend Scotty in his flat... all i remember is that it had a kitchen [yes] and was on a corner so i looked SUSPICIOUSLY around me all night but couldn't quite place it) to play at The New Cross Inn.

Everything seemed to go at EXTREME SPEED, and it felt like I'd only just sat down with CHARLIE de les Fighting Cocks for a chat when I was suddenly soundchecking, then MYLES arrived, and then it was pretty much time to begin. Before then, however, i noticed a poster in the LOO for a band called DOG COCK DILDO. The poster was mostly taken up with a GORY PICTURE and a truly RUBBISH logo - surely if you've gone to the trouble of calling yourself DOG COCK DILDO you'd like people to know about it, but the logo was so incomprehensible they had to put "Dog Dock Dildo!" in ARIAL underneath it, and THEN, below that, they put "Live Punk!"

Now how unnecessary is THAT? You're hardly likely to think "Hmmm, DOG COCK DILDO? What kind of music can THAT possibly be?" It's like calling yourself "Plastic Dreams Of Velcro" then adding "Live Romo!" or, as the Ink In My Printer pointed out later, "London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Live Classical!", and we spent a jolly ten minutes citing further examples before it was time to BEGIN. Here's what I played:
The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
Hey Hey 16K
Fucking Hippy
Good Luck In Your New Job
Looking At My Hands
Clubbing In The Week
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Boom Shake The Room

It seemed to go OK, though it was a little UNNERVING, as I was stood at one end of a PUB full of people chatting to each other and it was EXTREMELY obvious when i was LOSING people (such as during Hey Hey 16K) as you could SEE people turning away from me to talk to each other - usually it's dark so it has to be a BIG MOVE AWAY for me to notice, but this time i was micro-managing audience reaction, oh yes. Another thing i noticed was that i appeared to be slightly spoiling things for a young couple at the front. Now, as I'm sure you're aware, i have a special effect on THE LADIES. Oh yes, you know it etc etc - as I've said before, I usually find women to be a more responsive AUDIENCE at gigs because they're generally less UPTIGHT about LIKING things they've never heard before than blokes are. Not always, but it is often the way that i see a parties of pals with the women turned around to watch my SET, and the blokes with them getting a bit cheese off that someone else is getting the attention, especially when that someone else has a MASSIVE PA against which they cannot fight.

Yes, it is a terrible weight to bear, but i do it with fortitude - HA! This is of course GRATE, especially when the cheesed off blokes in question are Other Bands, and ESPECIALLY when it's Other Bands Who've Been A Bit Arsey And Had Long Sound Checks, but last night this was NOT the case! LAST night, right in front of me, were a young couple who, it seemed, were on if not their FIRST DATE then surely one of the very first evenings of their COURTSHIP, and had come in for a Quiet Drink. All through my set the GENTLEMAN was trying to engage to LADY in conversation, but she would not be DRAWN, as she was watching ME. I felt really guilty. Well, not that guilty - I've just gone on about it at some length haven't i?

ANYWAY, the rest of the set ebbed and flowed, I have a COLD on the go at the moment, so wasn't feeling my BEST, and things suddenly went WORSE during "Looking At My Hands" (getting it's DEBUT in the new FORMAT derived during last week's practice) when a STRING BROKE! GAH! This almost NEVER happens, but happen it did, and I had to STRUGGLE through to the end of the song. Playing after me was another guy with an acoustic guitar, who I thought might help me out, and indeed towards the end of the song he wandered over to his KIT... and got his JACKET out!! I was AGHAST - does FEALTY between SOLOISTS no longer exist in this AGE (NB I also spent much of the bank holiday watching Lord Of The Rings)? SURELY in such situations one should LEAP UP and LEND yr guitar to someone in need? I must say i was a little SHOCKED by that, although it DID mean that later on i could leave early without GUILT.

Anyway, that threw me a bit so i HACKED a couple of songs out of the setlist and drove forward to the end, THANKFUL that Myles and Charlie were there for "Boom Shake The Room", and STRODE off. I didn't mention "Warriors" being for sale because it didn't seem like anyone would be bothered, but afterwards quite a few people were GRINNING and giving the THUMBS UP, so maybe it was just the COLD, the VISIBLE AUDIENCE and the STRINGS INCIDENT that made me feel it hadn't gone too well - the promoters seemed quite pleased, so hopefully I'll be heading that way again.

And tonight - I'm off to The Royal Albert Hall! CORKS!

posted 29/3/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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