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Blog: Farewell, The Uber Set

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I headed off to fragrant ISLINGTON last night and to The Buffalo Bar, where I found things in slight disarray - The Loves were lost, Winston Echo was guarding the tupperware buffet, and the Retro Spankees were attempting to soundcheck whilst the entire staff of the bar tried to get the PA to work. Eventually we discovered that somebody had left the "MUTE" switch on - DOH! I'm always doing that with the telly, but never with an entire PA system...

Charlie De Fighting Cocks arrived and realising that there was some time to go before I'd be doing my soundcheck we repaired upstairs to the pub for a wide ranging discussion of gig politics and historical coups. We got back downstairs JUST in time for my soundcheck, which ended up being quite a long one - ten minutes of it was spent trying to work out what was wrong with the microphone, then 30 seconds was me Actually Soundchecking!

Sean The Promoter AKA Fortuna Pop! Svengali S. Price was LATE, so i volunteered to take charge and me and Charlie, being somewhat more... experienced, mature, OLDER thgan everyone else got ourselves set up to do the DOOR, but luckily Sean arrived so we didn't have to. We discussed the fact that in GIG situations people tend to TRUST us to take charge. We agreed that this is because we are so TRUSTWORTHY and HONEST LOOKING, and not because we are usually ten years older than anybody else in bands. No.

Anyway, the evening soon began with Winston Echo, who was GRATE. He started with "Winchester Cathedral Choir" which sounded EXCELLENT and then went through his whole set being quite ROCKY and extremely AFFABLE. He forgot chords and stuff and did it in such a loveable way that it only ADDED to the general aura of CHARM. I especially liked a song about everyone quitting their jobs - "we could go swimming" he sang, and I think that's brilliant. I mean, if we didn't have to work, surely we'd all go swimming, a LOT? I found it most INCISIVE.

Then it was ME, and i had THE FEAR. I had been drinking LAGER, which is never a good idea as it makes me a bit GIDDY and also SCARED, and I'd convinced myself that the sore throat I've had for the past two weeks was going to DESTROY my VOICE and it'd all be awful and I'd forget the words and everybody would hate me and... well, you get the idea. Thus QUAKING i did the following:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Gay Train
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It went pretty well - i started off with the quiet ones as I have done lately, including doing "The Gay Train" solo for the first time EVER, as I thought I'd best practice it in case the VIDEO does well, and similarly thought I'd best do "Better Things To Do" in preparation for it being THE SINGLE. I did "It Only Works..." just because i LOVE it. That CHUNK was OK, but i could hear people talking, applause was sporadic, and there were people near the front having a chat with their backs to me, which is never a very good sign.

    HOWEVER things changed when i went UBER - possibly for the LAST EVER TIME! For the past year and a half, since "Warriors Of Nanpantan" came out and then RE-INFORCED when "The Uberset" came out too, I've been doing pretty much the same SET, mostly because those were the songs I had available on CD. From now on I'll have a whole great BATCH of songs that'll need an airing that, hopefully, people will know and want to hear, and THUS it is time for a CHANGE! Obviously stuff like "Easily Impressed" and "Hey Hey 16K" are never likely to stray far from the regular set, but still this felt like the end of an era for me.

    But yes, it was JOLLY GOOD FUN and by the end of it i was having a RIGHT GOOD TIME. Afterwards I had a chat to a couple of people I'd emailed but not met before and also to GEORGE formerly of Lazarus Clamp who freaked me out by BEING there, as I'd not seen him for YONKS. Then we all watched The Retro Spankees who were UTTERLY GRATE. Somewhere in recent time they've TIGHTENED UP - previously they've seemed full of ideas and loveliness, but now they've ALIGNED that to being Actually Pretty Darn ROCKING. Like with Mr Echo, this was very much the best I've ever seen them and it was MIGHTY. They could now take on Dull Bands Who Pride Themselves On Being Tight And Rocking and WIN, and STILL have a massive surplus of ACENESS, IDEAS and Generally Being GRATE as surplus.

    They were really good! Unfortunately I had to dash for the TRAIN before The Loves, and it was a VERY happy Hibbett who eased himself onto the Eastbound Silverlink. It was a lovely night, and a lovely way to end THE ERA OF UBERSET.

    posted 27/5/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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