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Blog: I've Never Seen A Ukelele Quite As Big As That Before

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On Sunday i CHARGED (defiantly) across town to pick up my guitar from work and then WALKED (in the sunshine) up to Camden, to play my gig at The Victoria, near Mornington Crescent. It was a lovely early evening for it, and I was amazed at how close to "town" Camden is, and also how you could actually SMELL Camden approaching - it's that gentle aroma of sweat, beer and KEBABS, i think. "Suddenly Camden, Is starting to Happen" i sang to myself.

The Victoria's a lovely pub, and a GRATE place to do the Fortuna Pop! Acousticola that i was heading for. The idea was that there were three Australian singers over, and Sean Fortuna Pop! had organised this lengthy afternoon and evening SESSION for them to play at. I arrived as Long Johnny Silver was playing, who was very nice, and then thoroughly enjoyed Matthew (i think that was his name) from The Ghosts, who was dead good. He played a TENOR UKELELE, which in the ukelele scheme of things is MASSIVE. "I've never seen a ukelele quite as big as that before" i sang, again, to myself. I continued to sing this song later that evening, at which point it GREW some ponderously punning RUDE VERSES which, thankfully, have disappeared from my BRANE.

To my surprise and JOY there were a few people there i KNEW who had come to see ME, which is always nice, and once again i was SURPRISED to find Sam Tasty, who lives in NOTTINGHAM for heaven's sake, was there. What the?!? I wonder if this will become a PATTERN? He was there mostly to see The Would Be Goods, who were on next, and had some EXTREMELY GENTEEL audience reaction. When, say, Macca strums the first few chords of "Yesterday" people go "WHOA! YEAH! HEY HEY!" and "WHOOP!" When the Would Be Goods started one of their songs someone quite quietly but distinctly went "Ooh!" It was lovely.

Then it was ME, and i had been STRUGGLING with what i was going to play - this WAS the Slightly Reverent AIR i had been expecting in Birmingham, so prepared a list accordingly, then WORRIED because there WERE some people NEW to me there (including a chap that Mr J Norledge had brought with him), and i didn't want their first experience of ME to be me fumbling about cocking it all up singing loads of quiet songs.

Also in my mind was THE PA system - last time i'd played there i had CAST IT ASIDE and done most of the gig completely UNPLUGGED. This had been DEAD GOOD - it had WORKED, and people seemed to remember me because of it, BUT this system is not ideally suited to the VERY QUIET songs i had planned. My BRANE, it RAGED! I went to set up, and spoke to the very nice chap in charge of the sound, who had a CUNNING IDEA - my guitar was plugged into an amp, so was VERY SLIGHTLY louder than it would otherwise have been, and the microphone was placed about TWO FOOT away, pointing in my general direction. This seemed a bit WEIRD to me, and felt odd to start with, but had the effect of VERY SLIGHTLY amplifying my voice, without distorting horribly, AND i could lean forward to get EMPHASIS if i wanted. HOLA! It worked GRATE, and here is what i actually played:
  • The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Hey William
  • Red And White Sockets
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • A MIXTURE then of UBER SET, new material, an OBSCURE(isH) song (which i decided to do as I'd brought loads of copies of "Warriors" with me) and at last the LIVE DEBUT of "Hey William". This latter seemed to go OK - i messed it up a bit, and it NEEDS WORK, but i DID get a bit TINGLY towards the end. A couple of people had ASKED me to do "Boom Shake The Room" too, HENCE that was still there... and went DEAD well, i must say. INDEED the whole set went (i hesitate to say it) REALLY WELL! HOORAH! People seemed to GET INTO IT, there was a whole BUNCH of people who seemed to know the stuff, and a GRATE deal of fun was had by ME! ZANG! Apparently Pete Hahndorf (of TWEENET!) was there and was CONFUSED by my VERNACULAR, but everyone else seemed to DIG it. Did i mention that i REALLY enjoyed it, also? I REALLY DID!

    Afterwards I spoke to a young lady called Jude, who runs a DO called The Light Programme in Stoke Newington, which i will hopefully be playing at in a couple of months time. HOORAH! I spoke, in fact, to MANY delightful people and had a LOVELY time swanning around, but was most moved when I spoke to a chap called JAMES, just as I was leaving. I'd noted him AIR DRUMMING along to "Easily Impressed", and thanked him. It turned out he had that song and "Leave My Brother Alone" from an old GoJohnnyGoGoGo compilation, and said that the latter had recently helped him, as he'd been through an Emotionally Unpleasant Situation recently, and it had remined him of his sister, and how she had helped him through it, especially as his name was the same as my own brother, as mentioned iN SONG. I may have the details a bit mixed up, but it WAS very moving and lovely. Aaah!

    I thus strode out into the night and for the tube station full of JOY and EMOTIONALITY, thinking what a GRATE gig that had been, singing "I've Never Seen A Ukelele Quite As Big As That Before" to myself. ACE!

    posted 25/7/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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    So they really are called the Would-Be-Goods. For some reason, I thought your previous entry was a typo and they were called the Would-Be Gods. Quite why, I don't know.
    posted 25/7/2005 by Dan

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