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Blog: A Weekend Of ROCK

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My exhausting weekend of ROCKING HARD began on Friday afternoon when The Cork In My Champers and I got the train to Peterborough, and were thence WHISKED to my Parents' House for TEA. They live in the village of Maxey, which is literally five minutes from Tallington, where Blyth Power have their annual "Ashes" DO at The Whistlestop. This is the pub next to the railway crossing where, many MANY times as a child, me and my brother would sit with our Nan and Grandad in their car, trying to guess which direction the next train would come from - HEY! anyone who's been to Peterborough will KNOW this is what we think of as X-TREME ENTERTAINMENT!

When we arrived we met Eddy The Manager, who'd got me the gig in the first place, and spent a lot of time saying "Aaah! She's lovely!" at his dog Tinker, who is surely the PLATOAN IDEAL of Crusty Dog: Eddy first met her at a Poll Tax demo, when she was attached to a piece of string. She is GRATE. We also met loads of other people, from all SORTS of different areas of my ROCKING LIFE, it was all a bit mad, especially when I bumped into someone I'd last seen nearly 15 years ago in Leicester! Less odd was seeing my PALS Mileage, Katherine and Robin, as I knew they were coming. I'd asked them too.

Anyway, I got sorted and DASHED onstage, and this is what I played:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • I was very conscious of the fact that things were running ten minutes late, and that everyone had to RUN onstage after the previous person had finished to try and keep to schedule, so dropped a couple of songs, but it all seemed to go pretty well. I always like it when people REALLY get into "Peterborough All-Saints" and a group of Bearded Gentlemen certainly did, and was also CHUFFED that a bunch of people liked hearing Ken Charlery (NB noted Peterborough Utd HERO of yore) mentioned in "Boom Shake The Room". "Better Things To Do" didn't seem to work, I guess it needs WORK before it can sit comfortably within The Uber Set, but I'm very conscious at the moment of the need to SHAKE IT UP a bit, as now i occasionally get people come back for MORE gigs I'd hate for them to get bored of hearing the same old stuff.

    Also weird, it must be said, was playing songs like "Billy Jones Is Dead" and "Lesson Of The Smiths" in front of people like Mileage and Robin with whom i went to school, and so were THERE at the time! Anyway, the set seemed to go pretty well and my Mum was impressed by the fact that people had stopped to listen, so we then DRANK BEER. HOORAH! This was lovely, as indeed was the whole event - much like GOTHS, your Crusty Types are almost universally LOVELY and HOSPITABLE people who, for some reason, get categorised as the opposite by people who've never met them, and we felt very much at home. It DID start to get a bit cold towards the end, so we nipped off a bit early for a swift one in my parents' nearly-local, where our WHOOPING and LARFING was only drowned out in the end by the Pub Singer and Raffle.

    Next morning i was awoken at 6am by THE HOUSEMARTINS. No - ahahaa! - there wasn't - GUFFAW! - a reunion concert going on next door (CHORTLE!), but there WERE four housemartin's nests in the EAVES of the house, all of which were full with VERY HUNGRY CHICKS, who chirruped and THROSTLED pretty much non-stop. NATURE! BE STILL! THUS i was up and ready and very much on-schedule for us ZOOMING back to London and then, after a Delicious Farewell Pasty each (MAN! Do you remember the days BEFORE there was a Delicious Pasty [farewell or otherwise] stall at every London railway station? Those days were DARK!) i strode down the road to the Thameslink station, and there caught the train to BRIGHTON.

    All went well, although I'd forgotten quite how LONG a walk it was to the venue, which was actually in HOVE. How relieved i was when - GUMPH! - it finally "HOVE" into view. NURSE! THE STITCHES!

    Sorry... i was playing at the afternoon section of the UK Anti-Folk all-dayer, at the Sanctuary Cafe. It's a nice place, although it was a bit of a shame to be sat in a CELLAR on such a nice day, and also they ARE a bit INSANE with their pricing. Three pound fifty for an ordinary bottle of Fuller's Honeydew BEER!!! I BAULKED at this, and the guy said "It's because it's organic!" Yes, it's also organic for half that price at Tesco, and it's also organic for two quid out of the taps in a pub! BAULK with me, why don't you?

    Other than that all was well, and there were MANY GRATE BITS. My favourite was the band Oil Rig Catering who were VERY PROG, but in a GOOD way. They sounded like "Caravan" to me, but then anything vaguely twee, rum, but GOOD tends to sound like "Caravan" to me as my PROG knowledge is, thankfully, rather limited. Also GRATE was a chap who did a LOVELY version of "Crazy Nights" by The Kiss, Mr Bobby McGee, Winston Echo (who didn't get to play until REALLY late, i was getting worried), and the ANNUAL GIG of Dr Neil Brown. My old favourite "Dog On The Horizon" was brought out again, along with a GRATE new one called "Sea Hedge". See him in 2006!

    My set was about halfway through, and i did the UBER-CUBED-SET, as below:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room
  • Yes, I know I said earlier i was going to try and SHAKE IT UP a bit, but i did only have 15 minutes, and hardly anyone there had seen me before, so I thought it'd be OK. All went well, I think, as indeed did the rest of the day. I really like the anti-folk scene, there's LOADS of good stuff going on, and it's lovely to see people being so supportive of each other. My only CAVEAT is i do worry that, like all SCENES, it might prohibit people from going out and playing to NEW and DIFFERENT audiences - when you've got a guaranteed crowd who LIKE you, i imagine it would be difficult to persuade yourself to play to people who probably WON'T.

    I imagine this to be the case anyway - i have little experience of the former, but MUCH of the latter! Anyway, they is GOOD PEOPLE, and it was with WARMTH in my heart that i STRODE off back to the station, and thence home for CURRY. Aaah! LOVELY!

    On Sunday i DEFIED THE ELEMENTS by getting up late-ish and sitting indoors watching THE INCREDIBLES on DVD instead of sitting in the sunshine. HA! One of the MANY GRATE THINGS about being an ADULT is that you can two this without anybody switching the telly off and making you go and play outside. COOL! Later that day we had some FAMILY round, so i DID go outside and spent much of my evening drinking CHAMPERS and being Comedy Uncle i.e. dangling children by the legs from great heights, and playing with LEGO. For a GRAND FINALE of ADULT FUN, we finished off the curry for TEA (Mmm! Last night's curry! Even better the second time round!) and watched "School Of Rock" on DVD. It's a BRILLIANT film - if you've not seen it, i know it SEEMS like you won't like it, but believe me, you will!

    All in all, an ACTION PACKED and LOVELY weekend. I'm just glad to be back at work, i could do with some REST!

    posted 18/7/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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