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Blog Archive: July 2011

Moon Horse: The Final Preview
I met Mr S Hewitt in downtown BALHAM last night to take part in the Balham Free Fringe event at The Bedford - this is an AMAZING thing where the PBH Free Fringe have taken over three rooms for the whole weekend for people to do Edinburgh Previews. As soon as I stepped in I was ACCOSTED by two strangely dressed gentelemen saying "Award winning theatre at 6 o'clock?" CONFUSED I said "No no, we're on at quarter to seven" thinking they meant ME, but they were actually trying to get PUNTERS in to their show. Aaah, it felt like we were there already!

In fact the feeling of Fringiness grew over the course of the next couple of hours, as we BUMPED INTO various people we knew, gave directions to those lost and in search of shows, and drank BEER. It was lovely, and VERY VERY EXCITING INDEED - why, this time next week we'll be just about to start! EEK!

I was a little trepidatious about even doing our show, as I wasn't expecting anybody at all to be there at 6.45pm, but we started off with about eight people from another show and when the lights came on at the end were surprised to discover that our audience had at least TRIPLED! Cor! How did that happen? Best of ALL was the fact that it went really WELL - it seemed that nobody had any idea what we were going to DO, nor knew us nor our previous OUVRE nor nothing, but still LARFED throughout. I thought to myself "Hang on, this might actually be QUITE GOOD!"

Afterwards there was a little more chat and a finishing of drinks before we headed off to the tube. As Steve disembarked at Stockwell we realised the next time we saw each other we'd be THERE. "See you in Scotland", we said, with looks of EXCITEMENT and AMAZEMENT on our faces. YIKES!!

posted 30/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Moon Horse In The West End
So, after my practice with A Little Orchestra i HURTLED back into central London to The Old Coffee House, the venue for our penultimate Moon Horse preview. Steve was already there and various people filtered in over the course of the next couple of hours, until we were really rather FULL. It was noticeable that the audience was mostly LADIES, but HEY! With two crazy hunks of manliness like me and Mr S Hewitt in the show, what do you expect?

That said, the presence of our top quality support act, Jim'll's Brain might feasibly have been an explanation. He had to get changed/painted in the room itself, as the toilets were too small for his purposes - he joked about this destroying the magic and i LARFED, only to be HORRIFIED ten minutes later when I realised he didn't paint his BACK green! THAT'S WHY HE WEARS A CAPE!!

I was actually really properly a bit taken aback! HOWEVER this didn't stop him being SUPERB. He's just brilliant, is Jim'll, there's nobody like him. The things he sings about could easily come over a bit RUM but he does it all with such charm, delight and presence you can't help but love him, and when he launches into the Entirely Gag Free songs it feels RIGHT. He sings lots of stuff about stalking and general mental illness which lesser performers might (well, DO) play for laughs AGAINST/AT the people he's singing about, but with Jim'll it's background, giving a window into completely different ideas that nobody else looks at. I'm explaining it in a bit of a po-faced way I think, but basically: go and see him, he's ACE!

After a short break it was US, and we got off to a slightly NERVOUS start. I reckon it is the ROOM, as EXACTLY the same thing happened when we did the Dinosaur Planet West End Finale there a few months ago. Words which we KNOW were forgotten and there was the hint of FEAR in a LOVELY room, but after five or ten minutes we got into our STRIDE and it was GRATE. When we did Dinosaur Planet there were several patches that I knew NEVER got LARFS, where there'd be stretches of SILENCE as the audience listened and waited for the GAGS to start agin, but this time there was laughing and GIGGLES all the way through. I know it was a very FRIENDLY audience mostly of CHUMS but still, the single section where everyone was QUIETENED (i think it's when Geoffrey and Sir Wilberforce discuss following the trail of acorns - gosh, that sounds INTRIGUING, right kids?) stuck out like the proverbial sore BUM.

So yes, we were very very pleased, not least because in front of an audience who CLAPPED and LARFED as much as we could possibly hope for we still brought it in at 56 minutes. PHEW! That should make us FINE for our hour long slot at the Fringe, which is a MIGHT relief!

With the gig complete we retired downstairs for some delicious Brodey's Beer, and the evening descended into CHAT. It was a lovely evening, a fantastic bit of build up for Edinburgh. A week from now we'll be there! EEK!

posted 29/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Martin Skidmore
I'd just like to take a moment to pay tribute to the mighty Martin Skidmore, who passed away yesterday, aged just 52.

The name "Martin Skidmore" was a LEGEND throughout my teenage years, appearing under numerous articles and as editor of the comics fanzine Fantasy Advertiser. Every month or so a new issue would arrive at The House On The Borderland, the only comics shop in Peterborough, and the three or four of us still reading comics in my school year would DEVOUR it, angrily discussing the articles, mocking or stealing ideas as we saw fit, and marvelling at the idea that somehow, somewhere, there was a community of people who also read comics, who not only knew the creators, but had informed and intellectual opinions about them. As many people have said, it was kind of like an internet message board in paper form, and it blew our tiny minds.

I stopped reading comics in the early 90s, when Martin started up his own comics company (which featured very early comics work by Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Mark Millar - clearly he knew his stuff!) but the idea he'd put in my brain, that comics and science fiction COULD be something Proper and Worthwhile, stayed with me. When I moved on to reading the NME and especially Melody Maker their attempts to analyse pop music in the same way Martin and co had analysed comics seemed ridiculously childish and show-offy in comparison. I always got the feeling that when FA contributors were conducting feminist marxist critiques of Silver Ages comics they actually knew what they were talking about, and thought it might be a good idea to try.

Many years later I found myself living in London, reading Freaky Trigger and occasionally meeting contributors when in the pub with Mr S Hewitt. One day I was AMAZED to find that a "Martin Skidmore" was a regular writer of articles - I asked Steve if he could possibly be the same Martin Skidmore who'd inspired me so many years ago, and Steve said yes, yes he was. Over the next few months I was incrediby AFEARED of bumping into him - clearly I owed a huge amount of my continuing and open love of science fiction to him (and therefore an awful lot of FUN) but I didn't know if I dared to ever actually SPEAK to him.

When i DID finally actually meet him he was LOVELY, and took me BLURTING "I spent all my pocket money on you!" as my opening conversational gambit very kindly. I bumped into him several times over the next few years - most often on New Comics Day when I'd see him on his way back from Gosh as I was heading in, and he'd always have bought something interesting and have something to say about it. The GRATE thing about these meetings was that he'd ALSO have bought something ridiculously populist (i.e. the sort of thing that I buy) by one of the Big Two and be excited about THAT too. It's a rare gift in any field to meet someone who is secure enough in their own BRAINPOWER to be able to apply Intellectual Rigour to the POP stuff, and LOVE it honestly at the same time.

He came to see Dinosaur Planet at one of the previews, and much to my immense relief LARFED and, at the end, said how much he'd enjoyed it. I was overjoyed - if it wasn't for Martin and a very few other people I'd never have even considered doing stuff like this, and the fact that he'd come out to see it meant the world to me.

I didn't actually SAY that at the time - I felt that my somewhat over-excited babbling about how much he'd meant to me as a teenager was probably enough for anyone to put up with- but I know he meant an awful lot to a huge amount of other people in that and the various other fields in which he spread his enthusiasm. It's all we can really hope for in life to make a positive difference to other people, and goodness knows he did that A LOT. I hope he knew it - RIP Martin, you were GRATE!

posted 28/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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A Little Orchestra
I zoomed off on the Overground to Kilburn last night for a REHEARSAL. I was keeping it a big secret at the time, but now it can be revealed: I am going to be doing a song with A Little Orchestra at Indietracks! HOORAY!

I am, obviously, EXTREMELY excited about it, but was feeling a bit NERVOUS as I walked over to the Community Centre where the practice was occuring. I met a BASSOONIST outside and together we went in to find a small room with a laminated floor, circle of plastic seats, and various people milling about, occasionally eating biscuits. I WELLED UP with PATRIOTIC PRIDE to see such a Quintessentially British Scene before me!

The group had had a practice of my song a couple of weeks before, with Andy Pocketbooks filling in for me on vocals, and the tape I'd heard sounded GORGEOUS. Having the office to myself earlier on in the day I'd INDULGED myself in imaginings of me SWINGING OUT with the BIG BAND behind me, RAFFISHLY clutching a champagne bottle in one hand, undoing my bow-tie with the other. It wasn't QUITE like that in the community centre, although I did end up taking my Denim Jacket off halfway through. Dean Martin eat your heart out!

I had a Vital Appointment later on in the evening so we got started STRAIGHT away - about half the orchestra wasn't there yet but it still sounded BIG and GORGEOUS. REALLY gorgeous! When they started playing I had to keep a tight grip on myself NOT to start dancing around/CRYING, and also to try and hang on to the WORDS in my head while my entire BRANE was singing out "YES! THIS is how it's meant to be!" like an understudy from the wrong side of the tracks finally getting her big break on Broadway. It was FABOULOUS!

After the first run through they asked me if I had any comments about dynamics/speed but all I could think of was "IT WAS WONDERFUL". We had another go through which was even MORE fun, but that had to be IT really - much as I wanted to stay and sing with them all night - NAY, FOREVER - I had a Moon Horse preview to get to, and though I might well have been able to spare the TIME, I could already feel my VOICE starting to struggle.

And crikey - VOICE! Now that i was competing with an ORCHESTRA I found myself singing from all sorts of different parts of my body, and when I left not only did my throat feel GRITTY but my INSIDES felt like they'd been roughed up. Ooh, my DIAPHRAGM felt like it'd been lifting WEIGHTS!

It was an AMAZING experience, and I'm looking forward to doing it again at Indietracks IMMENSELY. In the meantime though I had to dash for the tube, for LO! London's Fashionable West End was calling me!

posted 27/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Two Weeks Today
It's that exciting/terrifying time of the year again where, all over the country, People Of A Certain Hobby are thinking "Ooh! Two weeks today I'll be seeing a show/doing my show/packing up my show/getting out of bed/getting in to bed/having the first curry of the day in EDINBURGH!" for LO! the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is LOOMING over though of us who are attending like a KINDLY SCHOOLMASTER hoping not to use THE SLIPPER.

It is traditionally a time of PANIC, when comedians all over the nation realise they haven't done ANYTHING and OH GOODNESS ME it is less than a fortnight to go, but here in Moon Horse HQ it is a period of odd QUIET, as we got everything done AGES ago. I think it is because of our origin in ROCK rather than COMEDY or indeed THEATRE, but we have always got ourselves ready WELL in advance - it's not like it's difficult to do. The Fringe Festival is always at the same time, you have a WHOLE YEAR to get ready for it and the final listings have to be done by APRIL, so it amazes me that some ACTS leave until NOW to worry about things. We do things differently in the world of ROCK, where VANS must be booked at least a LITTLE bit in advance so you can concentrate on the vital business of BEER and TOUR FOOD.

HENCE the eerie air of QUIET that lies around us, BEGGING to be filled up with ACTION. I have thus been busily working on varioud Dinosaur Planet ALBUM preparations this weekend, including a rather SPIFFING promo video that I'm going to spend the next four months WISHING I could show you. Ooh, it's lovely!

We - that is myself, The Cells In My Spreadsheet, and Mr and Mrs Hewitt - have also been compiling LISTS of SHOWS we want to see, which this year we are COMPILING into an UBERLIST. My oh my it is a thing of WORTH and BEAUTY, but also somewhat OVER-ENTHUSIATIC. If we wanted to get to EVERY show on the list we'd have to go and see at least five shows a day EVERY day that me and Steve are up there! Obviously there is some room to divide our forces, but still, it is a LOT! I didn't think it would be half as much, as there's TONS of stuff we all want to see happening when our own show is on, but between us we have managed to find MORE.

I know that we WON'T get to see most of it, and will probably end up seeing a ton of stuff just because it's ON and NEAR or because we get an interesting flyer or just by ACCIDENT, but it isn't half fun to think about it. Cor! Two weeks today we might even be SEEING one of them!

posted 25/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Pocketbooks - Carousel
In all the Listening To My Own Record JOY... er... i mean, WORK going on at the moment, it's lovely to get a chance to listen to something new by someone ELSE, especially when it's something GRATE by a band who are ACE.

Imagine then my excitement the other day when I saw online that the marvellous Pocketbooks had a new album ready to roll, along with a free download single Promises Promises, ready for download now. Reader, I downloaded it.

And - PHEW! - it was FAB. As usual with this lot it's a bouncy pop word-filled thrill ride, but with a marked UPPING on the Production side of things. One of the downsides of my current position Listening Critically to our own MIXES all the time means that I end up doing it with other people too - I got quite annoyed by DONOVAN the other week, for instance, for his criminally LACKADAISICAL attitude to mixing. Honestly! Listen to some of his late 60's singles, it's as if he said "Yeah, whatever, the first mix'll probably DO, I've got a yoga class to get to".

ANYWAY, you probably don't need to be in a State Of Enhanced Listening to notice how LUSH the song and, indeed, the whole ALBUM sounds (I "pre-ordered" mine, TWITTED about the fact that i could have got it much quicker by getting it at Indietracks next week, then LO! it arrived through my door two days later! HOORAH for MOANING!). They've got some of A Little Orchestra on board for STRINGS, which bumps the whole sound up a LOT, but the whole production sounds lovelier, not least on account of an increase (i think) in the multi-tracking of Emma's vocals. Hmm... lots of violins and multi-tracked Emmas, who'd've guessed I might like the sound of THAT? But everything else sounds UPPED too, there's a THROB to the whole thing that carries through on the promise of the EXCITING LIVE SOUND of the first gigs of theirs I saw. It basically sounds like they've always been SUPPOSED to sound, which is GRATE!

The WORDS have also fallen into more of a GROOVE too - they've always had LOTS of words in their songs, and I am OBVIOUSLY not going to complain about THAT (if I did i suspect Mr S Hewitt and Mrs E Pattison would come round my house and FITE me for denying it all these years), but on the first album there were occasions where they seemed to clatter together a bit. I don't mean this as ADVERSE CRITICISM, more as a STYLE POINT, but this time around it feels as if someone's come round beforehand and, METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING, tidied the seating up a bit. There are still lots of words but they all fit smoothly, like well planed carpentry gliding together, which accentuates the individual character of it all. Again with the Critical Noticing, but there's one song that ends with the word "dissipates" and I thought "Ooh, i wouldn't have chosen that word Andy" and then realised that that is RATHER THE POINT. I don't think anyone else would - the lyrics have blossomed into a kind of POINTED DELICACY that mark them out as a style unique.

That said, there is one glaring omission I can't help but point out - one of my favourite songs is "The Sky At Night", which rather brilliantly concerns losing your loved one to a telescope, but which CRIMINALLY skirts close to, but never actually USES, the phrase "Lost In Space". Come on! "Lost In Space!" It's not too late to repress the entire run and stick that in!

Apart from that it is a DELIGHT from start to finish, and I get the feeling it may get BETTER too - four or five listens in I'm starting to wonder whether some of the songs might be LINKED? I'd heartily recommend downloading the single and also getting the album, which is, as I say, available to pre-order now and will be on sale next week at indietracks. Go on, you will like it, it's GRATE!

posted 22/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Ten Years!
I met with The Years In My Decade last night for an evening of ROMANCE and EXCITEMENT, for LO! It was our tenth - TENTH! TENTH!! - Anniversary!

TEN YEARS! Shackled to ME! I hope the entire interweb will rise as one and salute/commisserate with this amazing achievement! We met at St Pancras as it is a) LOVELY b) very important to our Early Courting, what with us travelling between Leicester and London a lot. It struck us that they must get LOADS of Anniversary Business, as MILLIONS of people must have commuted thus in the past, and it's got SO MANY decent places for a drink and/or snacks. We tried to get into The Booking Office but it was RAMMED, so strolled down to The Champagne Bar instead. I've said it before and will continue to state it LOUDLY and PROUDLY: COR! St Pancras is just ACE isn't it? I bet people who courted via London Bridge go to RESTAURANTS in SHAME instead.

We then ZIPPED to London's Fashionable West End to try and buy some TICKETS for "Jersey Boys" the MUSICAL. It was HEAVING it down with rain when we got off the tube and we had to HOP and DASH through the DELUGE, arriving at 19:55 SOAKING WET but happy to have arrived before the box office closing at 20:00... only to find they'd closed it early. ANNOYING. Nobody appeared to want to re-open it either, despite the show having STARTED and LOADS of STAFF standing around in the foyer. UNIMPRESSED, Prince Of Wales Theatre, see me SCOWLING! Our business, it may well go ELSEWHERE!

Thus ENRAGED we sped through downtown SOHO to the PUB for some very pleasurable beer and RANTING and then to the brilliant Tibits, a totally GRATE Veggie Restaurant which, I may have mentioned before, does not seem like one. It's probably the lack of a community noticeboard that does it. MAN ALIVE but it was good!

All in all it was an Anniversary Evening very SUITED to the decade it was celebrating - full of ACTION, ADVENTURE, BOOZE, GRUB, RANTS and GOOD TIMES. I'm already looking forward to 2021!

posted 21/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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I didn't have very good night's sleep on Sunday, as I was EXCITED about the next morning's trip to DERBY also WORRIED in case I slept through my alarm. I thus lay abed AGES too soon, wide awake, waiting for it to be time to get up and GO. It was going to be a BIG DAY!

I made my train OK - despite DELAYS VARIOUS on the underground - and SPED Northwards, diligently doing a bit of PREP on the way, listening to previous mixes and checking through my notes to see what needed doing and what I might have missed. The carriage was full of BUSINESSMEN doing the similar. Why, I must have appeared to them to be one of their own, little did they know I was plotting ROCK HISTORY!

Rich met me at the studio and we got pretty much STRAIGHT down to business, very speedily doing the final SONG mix, for A Little Bit More, which we hadn't had time for when me and Tom were in a few weeks ago. We then got started on the dialogue sections - I thought this would be PEASY, but it took AGES. The trouble with doing FOLEY is that, once you get in to it, you find loads of OTHER stuff you need to put in. For instance, we were editing a dialogue track called "A Moment Of History" which features Giant Robots fighting Dinosaurs as people run screaming then ZOOMS down to the inside of Grandad's house where they're listening to the radio. They turn this off and run outside, straight into a Space Dinosaur. Now, you might think the battle sounds, roars, explosions and whatnot would be the hard part, but those were OBVIOUS and done AGES ago. Having listened to the last batch of mixes I'd realised that we needed to hear people running down the corridor to GET to the front door... and when we'd done that we suddenly saw that we needed to change the relative volumes of Terry and Grandad as they called to each other across the front drive... and that we'd ALSO need to hear them running on gravel ACROSS the drive and... well, you get the idea. Plastering EXPLOSIONS over EVERYTHING was lots of fun, but the IMPORTANT stuff is tons of TINY bits that I doubt anyone will ever notice, but make it all sound suddenly a LOT more real. Which is pretty important when everything else is full of SPACE DINOSAURS!

We had a break for lunch before plugging on for another couple of hourse, finishing with one final bit of sound effects recording, simulating the sound of a pair of BINOCULARS being handed over using a WATER BOTTLE. Again, this was in the middle of a parade with a brass band, fleeing crowds, roaring dinosaurs and the destruction of a planetoid, but it had to be RIGHT to make it all work properly!

After that the PRESSURE suddenly RATCHETED UP as it was time to do the SEGUES. The day before at home The Landlady had demonstrated BREATHING EXERCISES and GOODNESS ME i needed them, as it became clear to my SUBCONSCIOUS that THIS WAS (nearly) IT! These segues were probably going to be the (nearly) FINAL ACT in over TWO YEARS of WORK, creating something which would hopefully last for DECADES!! "Hibbett!" I said to myself, "Don't panic! You've got a final final FINAL mixing session in September to tidy up any errors, it doesn't have to be PERFECT!" but it didn't really help. I found myself SCREECHING in HORROR when one track was A Bit Louder Than Its Predecessor and had to apologise to Rich for getting KRAZY!

Eventually it was done, and all that was left was to BURN the CD - I could scarce believe it when it was DONE, so took the following picture for the purposes of HISTORY:


There were congratulations, a MANLY HUG, and then I headed round the corner to meet The Family Machine for a much needed PINT and also some BABY GRAPPLING. Frankie gave me a lift to the station and soon I was back on the train. It turns out that going Advance First Class (oh yes!) on a WEEK DAY EVENING is different from my usual weekend or morning trips in that you get FREE BOOZE. This, added to the general excitement, put me in a somewhat HEIGHTENED STATE to be reading Grant Morrison's AMAZING "Supergods" book. At one point, reading about some of his EXPERIENCES, I suddenly found that i ALSO could see the cup in front of me in FIVE DIMENSIONS. It was a bit RUM, also rather BRILLIANT - I'd recommend a read of it to anyone interested in not just comics but also CREATIVITY and ESPECIALLY if you have even a passing interest in AMAZING IDEAS and SUDDEN HILARIOUS REALISATIONS. Several parts of the book keep leaping back out at me to go "HA! Remember THIS Incredible Insight?"

It was a fantastic mind expanding part of a fantastic mind expanding day, which came to a close later on that evening with me listening, incredulously, to the entire finished album on my MyPod. I'd been AFEARED that I'd get home and find LOADS of mistakes and things that needed fixing, but NO! There's a few places where the relative volumes need fixing, but otherwise: COR! We appear to have created something AMAZING!!

posted 19/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Totally Acoustic Podcast is GO!
I've just uploaded the latest Totally Acoustic podcast, recorded on Thursday night, featuring A Fine Day For Sailing and Mr David Barnett And Friends. It is rather an EXCELLENT fun time of joy I must say - go on, go and have a listen!
posted 17/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Hibbettfest 2011
I met with Mr S Hewitt at Euston Station on Saturday morning to set off for our final non-London preview of Moon Horse at the (surely?) LEGENDARY Annual Event that men know only as "Hibbettfest". Well, they also know it as "A bit of a do in Ray's Mum's back garden" but I think Hibbettfest is PUNCHIER!

We arrived in Birmingham in good time and then set off across town to Moor Street, as station I've never been to before, apart from to travel through. People have always told me how LOVELY it is but I was still unprepared for quite HOW lovely, it's like something out of a COSTUME DRAMA or indeed INDIETRACKS, a gorgeous IDEA of what Railway Stations might perhaps one day ASPIRE to, if they all tried really hard and stayed tidy. Beautiful!

Ray's Dad picked us up from Stourbridge Junction and soon we were Chez Dann for - i think - the seventh of eighth regular visit. Mr R Dann himself was stood proudly by the plentiful BUFFET, worrying about people turning up. He needn't have worried - by the time we got started I think it was the BIGGEST audience we've EVER had for Hibbettfest, maybe because the audience is GROWING its own additional members. The patio area was COVERED with babies and TOTS, it was DELIGHTFUL!

The show itself went pretty well - we WHIPPED through the whole thing in 52 minutes, which was a GRATE relief, and everyone seemed to a) understand b) enjoy it, although I do think that the SMALL CHILDREN enjoyed Dinosaur Planet more - kids! they seem to prefer DINOSAURS and ROBOTS to BROAD POLITICAL SATIRE! Who knew? Thank goodness we didn't go straight to "Tebbs" as originally planned, I'm pretty sure they'd've enjoyed The Heartwarming Story Of The Oldest Olympic Medal Winner even less - at least there's Tiddy The Tin Man in Moon Horse, Tebbs just had people from Melton Mowbray!

With the show finished we drank some more beer, ate some more of the buffet, and the braver amongst us tried the VODKA JELLY. I've somehow managed to get to my great age WITHOUT having Vodka Jelly, so was pleased to find it RATHER NICE. Hic!

Various parents and others headed home while a small select band of us hopped into a taxi for the TRADITIONAL trip to The Wellington, for some Posh/Unusual/TASTY beer. It was DELIGHTFUL, and once again I was reminded how lucky I am to live this kind of KRAZY LIFE, meeting and RE-meeting all manner of nice people all over the country. All right, i was a bit tiddly, but it still counts, and it was ESPECIALLY good to be saying "See you at indietracks!" to so many people as we left.

On the train back a table full of people next to us had a Lengthy, Loud, BORING, and Annoying "discussion" about RELIGION, featuring not just SCRIPTURE but also A PRECOCIOUS CHILD. Luckily we had HEADPHONES to wear and arrived back in London in HIGH SPIRITS. It looks like this show is actually going to work! PHEW!

posted 17/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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Totally Acoustic In Fitzrovia
With all the other arrangements, rehearsals and occurrences occuring in the ongoing situation that is ME, I hadn't really thought too much about last night's Totally Acoustic. This became clear when I set off and, halfway there, realised I'd forgotten to print out the lyrics for the theme song - CuRSES!

Things picked up almost immediately, however, when I bumped into The Lyrics On My Songsheet and we headed off to our new venue, The King And Queen, together, stopping briefly at a MOPED shop to find that a) people who work in MOPED shops are dead helpful and b) they're generally called SCOOTERS these days - who knew? We Were the first to arrive and, at last, I had a little bit of a PANIC. This was a whole new VENUE for Totally Acoustic, what if it didn't work out? What if nobody came? What if it all went HORRIBLY WRONG?

The panic didn't last long as Delightful Chums began arriving and soon it was time to go upstairs (noticing as we did that the pub had put our POSTER on the door - EXCELLENT!) and work out how to set up the room. I think we did it MOSTLY right, in the CABARET style, but it may require some FINESSING in future (SPOILERS!).

We sat around having a chat, marvelling at the way that all manner of seemingly unconnected people turned out to be PALS, and soon it was WAY past time for me to get the evening going, which I did in the following fashion:

  • Totally Acoustic
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • A Little Bit
  • We Did It Anyway
  • Lazarus

  • It all worked out pretty well I think - I'd consulted previous podcasts to try and make sure I was doing SOME songs that hadn't been on it before and I think they were all right, and it was DELIGHTFUL to get Mr S Hewitt on for the last two songs. We Did It Anyway took a LONG time to get going due to HAPPY BICKERING re: the listing for our gig in BALHAM (Steve Hewitt's Moon Horse) and we finished with Steve accompanying me on KAZOO for Lazarus, a song which came up on the MyPod shuffle the other night and made me realise it has been YEARS since I did it at a gig.

    Next up were A Fine Day For Sailing, who were BLOODY WONDERFUL. There's just so many songs! There was NEW STUFF galore, all of which was GRATE, but "Ballad Of The Bedsit" is the one that LODGED in my BRANE. Actually, not just mine - for the rest of the evening you could hear people inadvertently singing it, and this morning myself AND The Melody Of My Song were BOTH still singing it. It's ACE - here, have a LISTEN:

    Our final act was Mr David Barnett, doing his first solo show, apparently, for over TWENTY FIVE YEARS! Well, I say "solo" - before he started I'd been a bit worried about cramming everyone in who WANTED to get in, as the room was FULL, but he seemed to have about half the audience playing with him by the end! It was BRILL - I'd heard him do "Slag For Love" with Mr Keith Top Of The Pops at a previous gig, but this time it was all his songs. These were songs, he said, that various other bands had dismissed as "too funny" but they were all ACE - full of STORIES as well as INSIGHT and TUNES. He seemed PLEASED afterwards and words were spoken about putting together a band - I really hope he does, it was, and WOULD BE, brilliant!

    With that all done things turned to the traditional CHAT, and once again The King And Queen turned out to be an EXCELLENT venue for this - having a nice big open ROOM for the main bar meant people were able to spread about a bit and MINGLE like it was some kind of DO, rather than returning to the GROUPS they came with.

    It was LOVELY and, after a beer or two, some LARFS and some HUGZ, I STRODE out into the Fitzrovia night, the Post Office Tower smiling benevolently down on me, thinking how lucky I am to be able to DO things like this with such GRATE people in such nice places. I'm going back next week to see the landlord and, if all goes well, we shall return in a) GLORY b) THE AUTUMN to start regular nights there. HOORAH!

    posted 15/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    A Froth Of Ideas
    I'm trying really really hard NOT to take on anything NEW at the moment. We're only three weeks away from Moon Horse at the Edinburgh Fringe and between now and then we've got another THREE preview shows, the return of Totally Acoustic TONIGHT (do come along if you can, we've got A Fine Day For Sailing and the return to the live arena of Mr David Barnett, it'll be GRATE), the podcasts of same, a Secret Practice with a Secret Ensemble for a Secret Thing in a couple of weeks (it's a SECRET), a HUGE mixing session for Dinosaur Planet on Monday when we'll FINALLY have the whole thing segued together, and the long-awaited Validators reunion on the Sunday of Indietracks when we're gathering to watch our very own Frankie Machine play in the Church. There's also loads to do for the DESIGN of the next album, some possible gigs in GERMANY, and the whole business of getting the band together to PRACTICE all these new songs.

    To put it bluntly: I'm quite busy.

    HOWEVER, as is always the way, my BRANE has picked this time to go "OOH! OOH! Here's an idea! How about THIS?!?" persistently from waking up to laying me down to sleep. I've had a rather EXCELLENT idea for a Songwriter NETWORKING (yes!) EVENT which I'm going to start sorting out soon, a STORY that I'm going to turn into a SPEC SCRIPT for next year's planned Mid-Life Crisis, and this very I had a STUNNING REVELATION about exactly how the aforesaid Dinosaur Planet could be made to work as a stage musical. The other night Mr T Eveleigh repeated his assertation that he might know an Amateur Dramatic TROUPE who could be up for doing it, and ever since then I have been thinking about how BRILLIANT that would be. I can see the big DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA of the GIANT ROBOTS in glorious technicolour!

    It's all very delightful, and much preferable to having NO ideas, but it isn't half exhausting. The thing I am MOST PLEASED ABOUT for Edinburgh this year is the fact that we're on at 5pm, so I can once again have MASSIVE LIE-INS every day. If the BRANE continues at this rate I think i'm going to need them!

    posted 14/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    Moon Horse In Croydon
    After work yesterday i met a PAL for TEA and CAKE in Covent Garden - it was WELL SWISH, and included the traditional Sighting Of A Celebrity When A Pal From Not London Is Down. This time it was Gok Wan, who I was VERY pleased to realise has a personalised number plate featuring his own name. Well done Gok Wan - he is from LEICESTER so, as far as I am concerned, can do what the HECK he likes!

    Less delightful was a HORRIBLE journey to Croydon on ludicrously CRAMMED trains, so I arrived at the Green Dragon WREATHED in sweat, not all of it my own. Mr S Hewitt was already there, and over some MUCH needed beers we discussed the plan for the evening. Incredibly this was ALREADY the FOURTH time we would be performing Moon Horse and we had a few adjustments to agree and learn up.

    Soon it was time for the gig, a Freedom Of Expression night, to commence, and it did this with the traditional Sam's Advice. Sam is now eight years old, so you'd expect his advice to start to become more Grown-Up and Thoughtful, but I don't think anyone was expecting him to start off with "There is no purpose in life." GOOD LORD. Blue Peter is clearly a lot BLEAKER than it was in my day!

    The only other act on were a "band" called ruM who were like a cross between FREE JAZZ and Proper Old Folk Singers In A Rural Area. That MAY sound like the worst thing ever, but in fact it was BRILLIANT - two blokes armed with a trombone and a saxophone doing, well, FREE JAZZ with the occasional bit of Old Folk (a version of "Nobby Hall" which EXHAUSTED the audience with LARFS) and even POETRY which was done with such CHARM and PLEASURE that it all worked BEAUTIFULLY. It's not often you see something THAT different from the norm at gigs, and it's even rarer to enjoy any kind of act THAT much. We had quite an act to follow!

    I'm not sure that we DID follow it entirely adequately, but we certainly gave it a good go. The new abbreviated ending seemed to work pretty well and we finally got the whole show done in under an hour. PHEW! There were a couple of bits where there were ERRORS - i ALWAYS seem to go wrong with We'll Be Such Friends and there's ALWAYS confusion around the final verse of Let's Have A Go - but we got through at a CRACKING pace and seem to be getting quite confident at it now. It's GOOD to be doing these early gigs in busy Actual Pubs where people may not have come to see us on purpose, as it's TRAINING US UP to keep going and DO it - nobody was being DIFFICULT in any way shape or form, but it did feel like we had to put some EFFORT in to keep everyone on side, and I think we managed it.

    It was GOOD, and once again I was reassured to find that there are MORE LARFS than in Dinosaur Planet and also DELIGHTED to find that Everyone Likes Tiddy. I sense a spin-off sitcom in the offing!

    We had another VERY MUCH needed beer, chatted to Mr T Eveleigh and Miss J Lockyer, and then headed off for the train and home. TERRIFYINGLY this now puts us over half way through our preperations for Edinburgh - I reckon we're going to be FINE, but CRUMBS, it isn't half heading our way FAST!

    posted 13/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    Getting Better Acquainted
    On Saturday morning I LITERALLY crossed over to the other side of the tracks, venturing from my home in downtown Lower Leytonstone into the scenic scented glades of Upper Leytonstone. Come to think of it, I actually went UNDER the tracks (of the tube line) to get there, but still, it was a voyage into a different world, where things were Slightly Tidier.

    I was off on this adventure to meet Mr D Pickering, who'd asked me to take part in his podcast PROJECT Getting Better Acquainted. The idea of this is for him to Get Better Acquainted with various people he knows, from people he LIVES with to... well, people like me, who've met him only a couple of times in Real Life, and several more on The Interweb.

    I arrived at his house and we went up to the ATTIC where he had a microphone set up for our chat and, rather brilliantly, a FRUIT PLATTER. I felt like a Hollywood A-Lister - there were GRAPES! PINEAPPLE! Also FRESH COFFEE! We started chatting away about Items Various and then realised that, actually, this was exactly the sort of thing we should be RECORDING, so DID. There then followed nearly 90 minutes of amiable DISCUSSION, ranging over all SORTS of subjects, and it was GRATE! As anyone who knows me personally will tell you I really HATE to talk about myself - can't bear it - and will often stop for breath after only an hour or so (hem hem) but there was no stopping the THORTS between us as we discussed ART, POLITICS and ZX SPECTRUMS. I could FEEL my brain tingling as we strode manfully through the subject areas, and was even slightly disappointed when we had to wind up.

    I had an EXCELLENT time - the interview should be up in about 3 weeks, I think, and I will obviously ALERT THE WORLD when it's available. There's plenty of others that are well worth a listen over on the webpage tho - it's a really simple idea for a THING, basically just interviewing someone for the HECK of it, and Dave does it really well.

    He also knows a thing or two about our shared HOOD, advising me that The Red Lion (or maybe just The Lion now) on Leytonstone High Road has changed for THE VERY MUCH BETTER. It used to be a terrifying/loud South African themed pub that had been SHUT for a year or two, but when The Beer In My Pint Glass and I popped in on Sunday afternoon for a RECCE we discovered that, as Mr Pickering had said, it was LOVELY. There were TEN (10) - TEN!! - real ales on tap! In Leytonstone! I think I might have to go and have another look, just to check I didn't DREAM it!

    posted 11/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    Moon Horse In Lewisham
    I knew we were in for a good night in Lewisham last night when I arrived at The Fox And Firkin to find THIS standing outside:

    The Moon Horse poster hand drawn in CHALK!

    GRATE, isn't it? Mr S Hewitt arrived at the very same moment (we had unknowingly come on the same train) and we entered the pub for a much-needed PINT - needed ESPECIALLY in Steve's case as he had been ABROAD drinking Continental Lagers. There was catching up a little bit of discussion of THE SHOW (we hadn't done it for over a FORTNIGHT, which is the longest time with Moon Horse either of us have gone since we began rehearsals!) before PALS VARIOUS arrived and CHAT commenced.

    I was a little NERVOUS about the whole thing - we'd not gone through it for a couple of weeks, so I was unsure ANYWAY, and then we found that my guitar pick-up was playing up again, so I'd need to be miked up. This isn't a problem really, but the need for amplification ANYWAY was a bit of a worry. We usually do these shows Totally Acoustically because it allows for much more LARKING ABOUT, but The Fox is quite big AND not exclusively being used as a venue for US, so we needed it.

    In addition we'd discussed some CHANGES, to try and speed things up/cut the running time a little, but hadn't really had time to go through them properly. Neither of us were entirely sure WHICH we were going to change and which we'd leave as they were for now.

    All these things combined to make the start of proceedings SHAKEY - I realise now it probably wasn't helped by us spending the introduction saying "This probably isn't going to be all that GOOD" (paraphrasing, but still) - and for the first ten minutes ago I was thinking "Hang on! This is RUBBISH! OH NO! WHAT HAVE WE DONE!" In discussions with my colleague afterwards it turns out I was not alone on stage in thinking this, but as we got into our stride the LARFS started to come and FUN started to be had. In fact, by the time we got to Episode Two we, and indeed the audience, were THOROUGHLY enjoying ourselves, and the final Episode was a FESTIVAL of GUFFAWS.

    Crikey tho, it just shows how important it is to Start Confidently! But once that hurdle was over, as I say, it went surprisingly well. I was especially gratified, once again, by how much everyone seemed to like TIDDY... which, once again, led to me being Genuinely Upset when, during "Only A Robot", Tiddy's BIG MOMENT, everyone was laughing at the ANTICS going on behind me. We were like some kind of Little And Large for the 21st Century - the temptation to say "Eddy! Stop spoiling my song!" was almost overwhelming.

    Afterwards everyone seemed VERY keen - "funnier than Dinosaur Planet" seemed to be a general consensus, which was MOST PLEASING as that had been the Core Intent! Interestingly the big NOTE we got from Mr Johnny Yeah was that we should do PROPER Tap Dancing during the Tap Dancing Interlude. We'd always PLANNED to do this, but never really got round to it. Clearly some TAP VIDEOS needed to be sourced from YouTube this weekend!

    So yes, all in all it was ACE - we learnt a LOT about what we need to do with the show, which is the whole POINT of Previews, I guess - and were also relieved to find that yes, it IS funny and DOES sort of work.

    The most interesting thing for ME tho is how SILLY the whole thing is, and how we - or rather, I - are quite happy to be LOOSE about the whole thing. I must admit that I was a bit STERN about sticking to THE SCRIPT for a lot of the time doing Dinosaur Planet but this time around I find that I'm not too bothered at ALL when we deviate or change bits. Maybe it's because we have MATURED as a DOUBLE ACT... or maybe it's just that I haven't already LIVES with this one for a year, nor RECORDED the whole thing already for an album!

    Anyway, we finished off the evening with an INTERVIEW for Kooba Radio with Mr J Yeah and then we headed out into the night. Based on our DLR discussions I have drafted an EIGHTH (8th!) version of the script, ready for us to give it a go in CROYDON on Tuesday. We're playing The Green Dragon, do pop along if you're around that area, it is pretty much guaranteed to be DAFT!

    posted 8/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    Farewell, University Of Space
    A few years ago I started getting emails asking me to join a LinkedIn. "Bloody heck", i thought, "Another social media site? I Cannot Be Bothered." So I didn't.

    Then a few more came in and, eventually, one bored afternoon, I thought it would probably be easier to say "ALL RIGHT" to the various emails and create myself a profile. I couldn't really see the point and so set my profession as "ASTRONAUT" and my workplace as "The University Of Space". Such larks!

    Imagine my surprise, then, when I pressed "SAVE" and instantly got a web page saying "Here are some colleagues you may know at The University Of Space"! HOOPLA!

    Anyway, a couple of years later and I find myself in the position of finally maybe Seeing The Point of LinkedIn. It's like Social Networking, but for people who work in a Freelance-ish manner, is that right? As I've mentioned before, there's a strong possibility that, after nearly 20 years of working on temporary contracts for Universities THIS temporary contract might actually END in March, without a new one to go on to, so I am considering the possibility of MAYBE trying to do some of this music/writing stuff FOR MONEY.

    Imagine that! MONEY! for SONGS! That's ... well, that's Freelancing isn't it? And so, today, with a sense of slight regret, I have EDITED my Linkedin page to the slightly LESS exciting settings of the TRUTH, and have had to resign my position at The University Of Space. I feel a bit sad about this, but have been cheered up by the fact that I can now SHOW OFF all over again by badgering people to be my Social Network Frie... sorry, CONTACTS. HOOPLA AGANE!

    It also turns out I know LOADS of people who do Freelance Fun for CA$H, so maybe it's NOT such a daft idea as I am almost constantly convinced that it is? I know that I'll probably end up chickening out and trying to get another University job, but for the moment I am enjoying the tantalising prospect that, though a KRAZY PLAN, it might - might - just work!

    posted 7/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    Secrets Of The Pop Song
    There is a GRATE documentary series on the telly at the moment called Secrets Of The Pop Song which is so OBVIOUSLY BRILLIANT i find it amazing that so few, if any, programmes have done the same thing.

    If you haven't seen it yet... well, you can watch it on iPlayer, but basically they look at the process of writing pop songs. That's it really, and you'd think it's SUCH an obvious thing to do that it would have been covered in several series every week since the start of telly. We all LISTEN to these songs, millions of us are fascinated by the people who write and perform them, and whole showbusiness industries are devoted to telling us about them, but there's very little we actually ever see about how it's DONE. I know you occasionally get documentaries about the making of an album, but they always seem to end up focussing on the relationships between the artists, rather than how they actually wrote the music.

    The first episode (and only one so far, which I just finished watching) showed Guy Chambers and Rufus Wainwright sitting down together to come up with a song. It was interspersed by Actual Pop Song Writers talking about their own songs, and that itself was FASCINATING. Again, we're used to seeing pop stars on chat shows joking around about their lives and telling stories, but this time people like Diane Warren, Sting, Boy George and Neil Tennant were talking seriously but VERY ENTHUSIASTICALLY about how they actually wrote them, what they mean, and the ARCANE MYSTERIES of it all. It was fantastic - each of them was like every 14 year old who's just written his or her first proper song, wanting to share the ideas behind them and keen to share their delight in accessing The Magical Wonderland Of Inspiration. Why on earth don't TV shows ask them this more OFTEN?

    The overriding NARRATIVE tho is Messrs Chambers and Wainwright's attempt to write a song, and it was BEAUTIFUL to watch them doing so, in EXACTLY the same way that everyone else does. You could see how uncomfortable they were at the start, the struggle to think of rhymes (I was shouting at the telly "RUFUS! 'Matters'! It sort of rhymes with 'Battle', use THAT instead) and worrying about whether certain lines were any good - I loved the fact that even by the end Guy Chambers was still wittling about whether "Don't bore us/Get to the chorus" was too in-jokey.

    There were two bits that really stood out though. The first was when Guy Chambers was playing some riffs on his piano and Rufus Wainwright started singing along... and suddenly GOT something. You could FEEL it at the other end of the telly tube and you could SEE them realising it too. It's that moment that ANYONE who's ever written a song will recognise, when you've been piddling away for ages and suddenly HANG ON A MINUTE you've GOT something, and you know it's the RIGHT thing that's going to make the whole song work. It's a wonderful feeling and I don't think I've ever seen it captured on film before. And again, even though they're too immensely succesful very very wealthy men, you could see them getting all excited about it, just like the archetypal teenager with their first chorus.

    As the programme carried on it was heartening to watch them fiddle around with the sounds, worrying about it all, and then spending ages on the Traditional Daft Idea, in this case sticking a bit of the 1812 overture over the end which, in common with most Traditional Daft Ideas, came out sounding GRATE. The OTHER best bit I mentioned tho was towards the end, when they performed the song in front of a small audience. Guy Chambers was nervously staring at the piano throughout and Rufus Wainwright was CRACKING GAGS, both obviously unsure if it was any good... and then it WAS! Afterwards they sat together in the dressing room clearly REALLY REALLY CHUFFED, also RELIEVED that it had all worked out - as I said, this is two men who have HUGE mounds of evidence that they CAN write songs that people will love, but who still a) worry about it and b) enjoy it.

    It was a lovely programme all round, and I wish more TV Types would realise you CAN do programmes about music without being EITHER po-faced and boring OR silly and dismissive. I also wish I could get the bloody song out of my head too!

    posted 6/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    A Gavin Osborn Gig
    I headed out to distant WEST London on Friday night, to go and see the delightful Mr Gavin Osborn playing a GIG. When I arrived I was slightly alarmed to find that the venue was a WINE BAR, not a pub. I know things are a bit FANCY, Out West, but I hadn't been prepared for THIS.

    I eventually discovered that the GIG bit was downstairs, so went down expecting a much more homely affair... only to find that it was one of those gig venues that do not wear their history LIGHTLY. There were huge murals EVERYWHERE of the Famous Faces that had played there Back In The Day (Paul Simon figured prominently), a fancy PA system (which the tiny room didn't really need, but still), DIMMED lights, table service and later on some people in CRAVATS. It was like they'd read a book about BOHEMIAN BARS and tried to recreate it. I get a bit On Edge about that sort of thing, mostly because it reminds me of ghastly places like KOKO in Camden that scream "OOH WE ARE A GIG VENUE! THAT'LL BE FIVE POUNDS FOR A COCA COLA!" and expect you to be excited just because they've booked a band. It wasn't as bad as THAT of course, it just felt like a bit weird to have a place try SO VERY HARD to be BOHEMIAN, but then charge prices at the bar that no ACTUAL bohemian would ever be able to afford. MOANING!

    Everything became JOY and MAGIC once I stepped into the room and said hello to Gavin, who was just off to do his soundcheck. He's one of those people I only ever see very rarely but wish I saw a lot more off, on account of him being a GRATE CHAP and also being BRILLIANT at doing the songs. I sat down with his PALS, where I discovered that I wasn't the only one who'd been STRONGARMED into having a COCKTAIL by the nice, if STERN, bar lady. I have POSSIBLY mentioned this before, but man alive - cocktails! they're so annoying! They take AGES to make, cost about a MILLION QUID, are not actually all that nice, and you've drunk the LOT within about five minutes! I stood my ground for the rest of the evening and had PINTS instead, and GOLLY I was glad I did - they had some Proper German Purity Law LAGER on the go, and not only was it DELICIOUS but the next morning I felt fresh as a daisy. ACE!

    Gavin was on first and he was ACE. What I love about his songs is that they're not just funny, or Searingly Accurate, but they're also really TOUCHING. I honestly welled up THREE (3) times during his set, especially during "Sweet Bedford" when i thought I was going to just BLUB. It's such a shame he's not better known on the MUSIC side of things, rather than the COMEDY circuit, as he's a MAGIC songwriter and also DEAD GOOD at performing them too.

    After he'd finished things took a bit of a turn towards the FOLK-JAZZ so people moved into a BOOTH at the back of the room. I know i have MOANED about the venue being a bit Posh-BOHO but it was ACE having these little seating areas, as a group of us could sit together and have a GOOD OLD CHAT, which we did for another hour or so. I had a LOVELY time, it was like going to the PUB or something, not least towards the end when Mr Osborn came back and we did some SHOP TALK. Man, i LOVE Talking Shop! It's something i RARELY get to do, and when I do it's generally in a RUSH at the end of gig or something, so it was GRATE, also INTERESTING to get to Talk Shop with someone who seems to be facing the similar RUMINATIONS to what I am. SO interesting was it, in fact, that it later gave me an IDEA for a TALKING SHOP FORUM that I might actually get round to DOING later in the year... when everything ELSE is done and dusted anyway.

    But that would wait for another time - as it was I finished my DELICIOUS beer and headed back to the tube and the OLD EAST END. See you again, West London!

    posted 5/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Fight For History
    I saw on the news that a new statue of Ronald Reagan was being unveiled in London today, and it reminded me of our song The Fight For History. I wrote it shortly after Reagan died, when the media was full of pundits saying what a great statesman and peacemaker he was, which, as the songs says "is not how I remember it."

    The song then goes on to imagine all the lies and nonsense that those same Establishment-invested pundits will come out with when Thatcher dies, and though it does concentrate QUITE A BIT on that aspect, it isn't ALL that it's about. As the title (hopefully) suggests, it's meant to be concerned with the way history is distorted by the aforesaid Establishment to paint its heroes as very different, more philanthropic less misanthropic, characters than they actually were. It's easy to let this sort of thing slide, especially as time moves on and the anger becomes more difficult to muster (I doubt there'll be much furore over the statue being unveiled today - twenty years ago there would probably have been RIOTS), but I think it is IMPORTANT, also VALID to try and hold on to the ACTUAL memory, rather than let The Man get away with it.

    Which is a long winded way of saying that I think today is as good a day as any to unveil the VIDEO that I made a little while ago for the song. Here it is!

    I must admit I put it together in a bit of a hurry - when Thatcher was ill a little while ago a few people whether I had a video they could link to ready for when the Bullshit Deluge began, so I spent most of a weekend hurriedly putting this one together. I then felt a bit TASTLESS rushing to get it out there, so let it lie for a while. As I said, i think the IDEA of the song is a VALID and IMPORTANT one, but didn't want to just shove it out there as a cash-in.

    Today, however, looks like as good a day as any to UNLEASH it tho, so here it is - sorry for the less than Hollywood PRODUCTION VALUES, but hopefully it does its job!

    posted 4/7/2011 by MJ Hibbett
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