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Blog Archive: August 2016

Towersey Festival
Saturday afternoon saw me heading off for THE CHILTERNS, where I was due to play at The Towersey Festival. I was VERY MUCH looking forward to it, partly because I like gigs, partly because I LOVE playing festivals, but mostly because I was going to be doing a BIG SHOW with Mr G Osborn and Ms Grace Petrie!

I had to get there first though, and this took a bit of doing. The festival website had said that there were two stations equidistant from Towersey - Princes Risborough and Haddenham & Thame Parkway. I decided to go to Princes Risborough as, I reasoned, it's a TOWN and so more likely to have a taxi rank. When i got there, however, I found a taxi rank, a taxi portakabin, a very helpful taxi company bloke, but no taxis! "You should have gone to Haddenham & Thame" he said, "It's much closer and they have a rank!"

I duly bought a ticket, had a quick look at the local area (no normal shops but lots of ODD ones including a Soft Water Shop and a Garden Railway Specialist), took a five minute train journey, and found NO rank or taxis at Haddenham & Thame BUT a portakabin. The chap within locked up his office and drove me to The Travelodge - phew!

I was a bit ALARMED when the check-in lady said "We lock the doors at 10pm" but then when she saw my face said "Don't worry, there's no curfew - just ring the bell." I got unpacked and headed out to the festival site, but got about 3 feet before it LOBBED it down with rain, so DIVED into the adjacent Little Chef for some CHIPS. It was thus a FAT SATURATED Hibbett who waddled along the road to the festival site once the rain had stoped. It only took 15 minutes to get there, but then took another half hour of walking around the perimeter to find the Artists Entrance - I guess I might have been the only ARTIST walking there, so it wasn't really designed for pedestrian access!

Once in I dropped my gear off at the stage, put on a clean shirt (all the walking and CHIPS had got me a bit sweaty) then went to look for Gav and Grace. "Where can they be?" I thought. "Ah yes, here they are at THE BAR."

It was lovely to see them, also Mr J Hare who was there on Keyboard duties with Gav. What followed was a LOVELY afternoon and early evening during which there was BEER, chat, Shop Talk and GOSSIP. It was BRILLIANT to see them all and also to be able to wander round such a GRATE festival. Apparently it's been going 52 years so has had plenty of time to get things RIGHT - there were AMPLE bars, LOADS of food shops (including a TONNE of veggie places) and even plenty of places to sit down. Even the weather was perfect, though I suppose they couldn't really claim credit for that. It was an ACE place to be, full of happy people having a nice time, often across several generations.

After having such a lovely time it almost seemed like a shame to do our show. We were in The Big Club, one of those MASSIVE two-peaked big top style tents full of SEATS, the number of which I tried not to think about as I was quite SCARED enough already. We'd talked vaguely of what we were going to do at various points during the day, and had agreed that instead of our usual One Set After The Other arrangement this time we'd try ALL sitting on stage at the same time and doing one song at a time each. If I was just WATCHING I'd've thought "That sounds fine" but the idea of DOING it - and having to KEEP playing in between two people as BRILL as Gav and Grace - filled me with terror. Our slot was for 90 minutes, what if I needed the LOO?!?

We did a soundcheck, I went for a Nervous Wee, and then we trooped on again for SHOWTIME. We'd arranged three chairs on the stage with John off to the side with his keyboard, which meant that we were all there throughout watching each other and, actually, this made it EVEN MORE fun. Whenever I play with Gav and Grace I sit and LARF at their CHAT and enjoy their songs anyway, so it was absolutely no hassle to do this on stage - whenever I see a "songwriters circle" arrangement I always wonder how the people NOT singing manage to hold their Serious Songwriter Faces for the whole time, but I think we all ended up just GRINNING throughout.

There was a really big audience, who seemed to enjoy themselves too. Here they are, as seen from my seat, while Grace was ROCKING the tent:

I must admit my MAIN fear was of being a LULL between these TITANS, but my stuff seemed to hold up all right. I even managed to nip off for a WEE at one point, and then had time to get a PINT on the way back. You don't get that at normal gigs! Here's what I did:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • In The North Stand
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • It Only Works Because You're here

  • Originally we'd planned to do SEVEN songs each, but the CHAT rather took over, hence six. We'd also agreed to go Gav, Me, Grace throughout with Grace's last song as the FINALE, so I was a bit surprised when I sat down after It Only Works Because You're here to see the others putting down their AXES and getting ready to head off. They had - SENSIBLY - agreed to make that the last one and NIP OFF, which meant we got to STRIDE back on and do Grace's "Inspector Morse" as the BIG FINISH, which was AMAZING apart from the fact that "someone" (hem hem) did most of the choruses wrong. Sorry!

    We stormed off in TRIUMPH, before hurrying back out again to see if anyone wanted to buy some CDs. Some people did, including some old CHUMS I'd not seen for YEARS! I managed to deal with my customers at high speed, so ended up trying to channel other people towards payment - as ever when the ARTISTE does the MERCH you get some people who want to have a CHAT, and I always worry that other, more shy, people towards the back of the queue end up giving up. I think I managed to SERVICE everyone though!

    When all was done and dusted we packed up and prepared to go our separate ways, though not before Gav asked a kindly security guard to take a picture of us, THUS:

    Those are some happy faces! We said our farewells, agreeing that we should DEFINITELY do some more gigs together this way, and set off into the night. I had a long walk down a dark lane (I'd brought my torch!) and got back to find the Travelodge LOCKED... though not very firmly, as the door opened with a slight nudge. I congratulated myself on getting back without bothering anybody and decided to have a shower... wherein I pulled the EMERGENCY ALARM by mistake (I was in a disabled room) and ended up with a lady having to come into my room to switch it off while I tried to look business-like while DRUNK beneath a small towel at 2am.

    It was the perfect ROCK way to end what had been a fantastic day - can I come back and do it again next year please?

    posted 30/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Beer Festival
    I was in Peterborough last night - fittingly, after a day when (according to Mr P Myland) our new video was "going Viral in Peterborough" - to experience its greatest cultural event i.e. The Peterborough Beer Festival!

    I used to go to the Beer Festi EVERY year but haven't been as regularly in recent times, largely due to the fact that I tend to be up at The Edinburgh Fringe at this time of year or, if not, at home RECOVERING from same. I was thus DELIGHTED to be able to go and meet Mr P Myland, also Mr O Myland, off the BUS at Peterborough Bus Station and then stroll off in the general direction of the embankment. On the way we bought a cagoule for Oliver (and discovered that Young People In Shops have no idea what a cagoule is, but do if you say "Pacamac"), popped into Charters (aka "The Boat Place"), said hello to Mrs C Myland, handed over the aforesaid Oliver, and then continued on our way. It was an efficient use of time and energy, not least because I got to try a pint of Shiny Bitter in Charters, as brewed by young Mr J Machine, Son Of Frankie. It was nice!

    The festival site was much as it has always been i.e. three HUGE tents linked together with a bar all the way around the inner perimeter and LOADS of beers. We got pint glasses but Mileage suggested that this time we drink HALVES. I was unsure but he pointed out that you get MORE this way as bartenders were often "generous" with the measures. He was not wrong, we got LOADS of FREE BEER! ALSO it means that if you have something you don't like - e.g. that smells like old socks full of lavender - you don't have to drink a whole pint of it!

    We were soon joined by THE PARENTS and the four of us spend a very jolly evening wandering around, spotting people (excitingly, we saw Cynical Hippy Who Used To Work In The Comic Shop, who now looks like GANDALF), discussing beer and general YACKING. It was ace - what kind of fool would schedule a trip to an ARTS festival and miss out on all THIS?

    By 10pm it was time for me to head home, and I was reminded once again how TERRIFYING it can be when you're a LITTLE bit tiddly and have to navigate a two hour journey featuring walking and trains. It is A BIT terrifying! Still, it was TOTALLY worth it, and hopefully it won't be another year until I'm back again!

    posted 26/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    The 1980s How It Was
    Today I am a) proud b) DELIGHTED to share with you the brand new video for our song The 1980s How It Was, which you can see right HERE:

    All of the pictures were taken by Chris Porsz, who very kindly allowed us to use them, during the 1980s - all except for the last one, which is part of Chris's "Reunions" project, restaging some of his old pictures with the same people.ALL of his work is worth having a look at, as it's GORGEOUS!

    I was VERY pleased to be able to use Chris's pictures as the song was initially INSPIRED by seeing a book of his photographs, which captured growing up in the 1980s EXACTLY how I remembered it. The song was then used to express this very THORT in Hey Hey 16K, and I liked it so much that we ended up recording it for Still Valid.

    As ever, any mentions, tweets, links or just LOOKS would be very appreciated - hope you enjoy it!

    posted 24/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Annual Art And Architecture Adventure
    As I'm sure is clear by now, The Artworks In My Curation and I are WELL sophisticated and are out and about ALL the time looking at art and that and definitely NOT at home watching telly. The idea!

    Take this weekend, for example, when we went out for a WHOLE heap of culture. We kicked off with a trip to a new pop up cafe what has opened, a little place that calls itself Pret A Manger. Yes all right, but it was the VEGGIE Pret A Manger what has opened in Soho - it felt rude NOT to give it a go, as it's their experiment in trying new veggie/vegan recipes, and I must say the experiment is a SUCCESS as we ate TONNES!

    That done we staggered down the road to the National Portrait Gallery to see the BP Portrait Award. We've been to see this exhibition pretty much every year for AGES, so are qualified to say this wasn't a vintage one. It was OK and there were a couple of good things (I liked the portrait of the Dunkirk Glider Pilot), but nothing was particularly OUTSTANDING. There seems to be even more of that thing where you can't tell if it's a photo or not, which is quite impressive at first but after a while you think "Why not just take a photo?" The HIGHPOINT tho was bumping into Mr D Hill, late of Airport Gurl, who I'd not seen for YONKS.

    That done we headed off to distant West London to have a look at The Serpentine Pavilion. We go and see THIS every year too so are qualified to say that THIS one was pretty much the best pavilion EVER. It was AMAZING! It's a WALL of boxes which have been moved outwards to form a sort of curvy church of AIR and BOXES and - well, go and have a look at the architect's website or even better go and see the actual thing if you can, it was like something from a SCI-FI film, but also something that WORKED. A lot of previous pavilions have felt FLIMSY or UNCOMFORTABLE but this was a lovely place to BE inside and to look out from the outside. It's hard to put into words how AWESOME it was, kind of like a modern cathedral, or an ice cave, or space-age flats, or LEGO. Have a look!

    Duly impressed we had a quick walk roun the Alex Katz exhibition in the a gallery actual (DEAD good) and the "summer houses" linked to the Pavilion (OK) then wandered through the park. "There's a parrot!" said The Birds In My Spotters' Guide. "There's another one," I said, and suddenly we were SURROUNDED by them. The trees were FULL of bright green parrots which were flying around and LANDING on people all about us, I have never seen the LIKE!

    Finally we went and tried ANOTHER new restaurant - Mildreds' new veggie restaurant in Kings Cross, it was LOVELY - before heading home, FULLY cultured up. I think we can safely watch at least THREE full seasons of US sitcoms... I mean, Important Documentaries, before we need to get charged up again!

    posted 22/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Poetry On The Underground
    I travel to work on the tube most days and it's not the MOST calming of experiences, but it's made even WORSE when I see one of those bloody awful "poem" posters that are meant to promote Travel Etiquette. They're made by Travel Better London and you can see a selection of them here.

    The pictures are perfectly nice and I'm fine with the sentiment, what I object to is the fact that the "poems" DON'T EVEN BLOODY SCAN. This is fine for AVANT GARDE poetry but for these ones it is clear that they are meant to, they just DON'T, and it drives me up the WALL. Even THINKING about them makes me angry. Take this one:

    We're all eager to reach our destinations
    In crowded platforms and busy trains
    Remember to stop at the next station
    When feeling dizzy, sick or in pain
    Some water, a break or maybe a bandage
    Please don't suffer inside the carriage

    ARGH! Stop! It's so VERY SLIGHTLY wrong that it hurts MY BRANE! Did nobody try SAYING them out LOUD before putting them on posters? Did they all go "Poetry is a spontaneous outporing of powerful emotion therefore we can't do a second draft"? And bandage/carriage? WHAT THE?!?

    You can see LOADS more at their tumblr page but be warned, they are ALL SUBTLY WRONG and will make your MIND EXPLODE with RAGE.

    There is, however, ANOTHER set of adverts which use RHYME in a perfectly DELIGHTFUL way. I speak, of course, of the Just Eat adverts which mildly alter the lyrics of popular songs to suggest being excited about having a takeaway e.g. "Man, I feel Like a wonton", "Oh, I wanna dansak somebody" or "Sashimi rollin', they hatin'". What i like about these is that they are SIMPLE and they WORK and, actually, are MILDLY AMUSING. There doesn't even need to be a bit at the bottom to tell you what song they're copying, as they have been done in such a way that you can HEAR them in your head, FITTING the lyrics.

    I know none of this is VITAL or IMPORTANT but it is something I feel strongly about!

    posted 18/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Heavy Horses
    The Stalls At My Fete and I had a LOVELY weekend just gone, down in Cornwall with PARENTS. This featured MANY delightful aspects, including pub, fancy barbecue, olympics, paddling in the sea, pub, and a family CURRY outing, but perhaps the highest of the high points was a trip to the Tregony Heavy Horse Show.

    This was NOT, as one might expect, Red Rum, SeaBiscuit and Black Beauty sitting round watching The Monkee's "Head" at 2am saying "WHOA what if we're all a dream and our DREAMS are reality?" It was instead a PROPER slice of Traditional British Life, a big FIELD full of entire WORLDS to which most of us never gain access. There was a whole DOG show, CRAFT stalls, vintage sports cars, Viking re-enacters and all sorts of social worlds that clearly meant a LOT to their practitioners but which had never really entered into our consciences at all. A good example was the Viking guys who were all dressed up in specifically different eras of Viking clothing and who spoke very knowledgably about ALL of it. The best bit was when my Dad said "They never wore the curly horns did they?" and they ALL said "FALLACY!" as one.

    The main attraction though were the heavy horses, GINORMOUS animals that I am more used to seeing in porcelain on top of an elderly relative's fireplace in approx 1982. They were GORGEOUS great things who a) looked placid and calm but b) I would NOT want to get on the wrong side of. There was also a display of SHETLAND ponies, and one particular pair of horses that The Horses In My Stable took a great liking to - a great big Shire horse and a tiny Shetland called Harry, who apparently travelled together because the big one got scared if he had to go alone, but was fine if his tiny friend was with him.

    It was AMAZING, like finding four smaller Indietracks (which, after all, features train restoration AND indiepop) welded together in one place!

    The low point of the weekend, by the way, was our journey home being delayed by FOUR HOURS. Still, we did see a Steam Train at Bodmin Parkway, and there's always Delay Repay!

    posted 17/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Beneath The Surface, Frantic Action
    I don't seem to have blogged here much this week, for which many apologies - nobody has actually COMPLAINED but I'm sure you were all just being polite!

    The reason for this lack of communication is that, after the EXPLOITS of The Summer Of ROCK things have quietened down a bit, at least on the surface. Much like a SWAN who is late for a meeting with its Supervisor, however, underneath this image there has been ACTION.

    For LO! the next stage of the Still Valid Promotional Campaign is going to be a whole HEAP of videos, THREE (3) of which are in progress as we speak. As mentioned elsewhere, I FILMED the basics for We Did It Anyway while I was in Leicester, but have instead been concentrating on (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock as a) it is a bigger job b) I was rather enjoying it. The PLAN is to do it as a live action/animation HYBRID, with me doing a SORT OF Roobarb And Custard animation, basically in MSPAINT. What I've done so far looks GRATE, but it's taking ages!!

    With that in mind I have brought forward the THIRD planned video, for The 1980s How It Was. This song was partly inspired by Chris Porsz's book New England, which features AMAZING photographs of Peterborough in the 1980s that look EXACTLY how I remember it. I got in touch with Chris a few weeks ago and he very kindly agreed to let us USE some of his pictures to make a video with. I've thus spent the past few nights trying to choose which photographs fit best with which lines in the song. It's a LOVELY thing to do, even if it's sometimes hard to pick just one, and a LOT quicker than trying to draw animation, so hopefully that'll be out quite soon!

    There are vague plans for OTHER videos - Tim is very keen on us doing one for Burn It Down And Start Again, for instance - but I'm ALWAYS open to some of the more OLD FASHIONED avenues of promotion like GIGS and AIRPLAY, so as ever, if anyone has any IDEAS or OFFERS in that direction, they would be very much appreciated. We're really proud of this here album, we want to FOIST it onto as many new people as we can!

    posted 12/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Summer Of Rock Finale
    It was Pride weekend in Leeds this weekend, so when I rolled up I found it full of scantily clad people ALREADY DRUNK, being LOUD in the streets in search of good times and BOOZE and SHOUTING. There were also people getting ready for Pride! LEEDZ!

    I checked into the hotel with some time to spare, so flicked through the channels. "There's nothing ever on when I do this," I thought, but then was AMAZED to find that "The Birth Of The Beatles" was on! I haven't seen this for YEARS - it's a TERRIBLE/BRILLIANT telling of The Early Beatles, where EVERYTHING anybody says is A Famous Quote OR A Future Song Title. It is ACE/DREADFUL - SO much so that I made Mr FA Machine watch a few minutes of it when I went to collect him. He was delighted!

    Frankie, Mr T 'The Tiger' McClure and I were all staying in the same hotel, so we went together down the road to our venue for the evening's gig, The Wharf Chambers, which was ACE. It is a COLLECTIVE so had The Big Notice Board of EVENTS, VEGAN grub on the bar, LOADS of excellent beers and an all-round LOVELY atmosphere. It basically reminded me of The Mag in Leicester!

    Downstairs we found The Family Pattison and Mr S Gibb, who was promoting for the evening. We got ourselves soundchecked, had a beer and a chat (some of us hadn't seen each other for TWO weeks!!) then wandered off into Leeds Actual to pay a visit to Zam Zams. We'd last visited this establishment seven years ago, while touring 'Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez' and had enjoyed it so much that we took a picture, THUS:

    The return did NOT disappoint, as you can see BELOW:

    After a lovely curry tea and some DISCUSSION (possible London gig! this year's Christmas song!) it was a very FULL Validators that returned to the venue to the other acts, including an EXCELLENT Housemartins covers band. Cor, The Housemartins were good weren't they? Their set was FULL of HITS!

    Shortly after 10pm we were ready to get onstage, but Stu asked that we wait a bit. "People like to have a chat between acts, and they're all outside", he said. This reminded me of an OLD TRICK that we used to do when I was in VOON and we played at The Charlotte. We noticed that people would NOT come into the gig room UNTIL they heard music playing, so rather than have everybody miss our first song we would begin with some JAZZ IMPOVISATION, so there was a NOISE to bring everybody in. THUS The Validators set looked like THIS:

  • We Haven't Really Started Yet
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • I Want To Find Out How It Ends
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • We Did It Anyway

  • It worked! "This is amazing", I thought during the first song. "We are SO IN SYNC we can improvise a whole song!" I mentioned this later and Tom said "Yes, it's almost as if they're generic", which SURELY can't be right can it? I prefer my version!

    The set was THOROUGHLY enjoyable, for us at least - the sound was GRATE, we knew what we were doing (even when some people forgot the word to verse two of Do The Indie Kid and went the long way round to get to the chorus, everybody else managed to follow) and after WEEKS of (almost) CONSTANT touring it feels very natural to be YACKING onstage between ourselves and the audience. It was ACE!

    It was also very HOT, so a clean shirt was needed before I could enjoy the rest of the evening. The Pattisons left shortly after the show, but the rest of us STAYED UP until WELL past 1am! ROCK AND ROLL!

    The only sadness of the day was that this was the END of our SUMMER OF ROCK. The next Validators gig isn't until NOVEMBER now (we're supporting The Wave Pictures in Nottingham) which is MUCH too far away! It's been a LOVELY few weeks of saying "See you next weekend!" to The Validators, I don't really want it to end!

    posted 8/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Totally Acoustic SE08E11
    Last night was Totally Acoustic night, incredibly the ELEVENTH in the current series. That's a LOT of nights in The King & Queen, which can never be a bad thing!

    I arrived to find Mr B Botting and most of his band already arrived, so after a quick chat I took them upstairs so they could have a bit of a practice. I went back to the pub where I discovered Mr J Jervis, that delightful man, and we chatted SO HARD that I almost forgot the time, so showtime itself was nearly upon us before i remembered my responsibilities and was able to greet Mr D Leach and Mr B Dolan (aka Non Canon) and gather everybody upstairs for what would turn out to be an a) busy b) GRATE night.

    Not that it was without its SADNESS of course, for Mr S Hewitt was NOT in his usual seat - he is GADDING about in Edinburgh even as we speak - so he was MISSED, especially during the "Ooh" in the Totally Acoustic theme tune. I struggled on manfully, did 20 Things To Do Before You're 30 and (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock, then introduced David Leach onto the stage. Oh he's VERY good is David, taking the audience firmly yet kindly in the palm of his hand and not letting them go throughout. One of the many things I love about Totally Acoustic is when the audience is all mixed up, so they see people they normally wouldn't, especially when they end up being as ROYALLY won over as they were in this case.

    After a short break we returned for Non Canon which, it turns out, is pretty much an acoustical version of his more usual Oxygen Thief moniker. He was ENTHRALLING but what I enjoyed most was his OBSCURE references. "That last song," he said, "was called 'Splinter Of The Minds Eye', which is of course - " He turned to me, and I found myself saying "The Star Wars novel sequel written by Alan Dean Foster." Bearing in mind I often can't remember what DAY it is, I was very impressed by this!

    And then our final act was Bill with his backing band, which was something of a minor uk indie celebrity all-star group. I wonder where I've heard that before? Bill was MARVELLOUS and the band were GRATE - we don't often have GUITAR SOLOES at Totally Acoustic, but this was more than made up for during their set! It was a lovely sound, with eight people twanging along together, I could have listened to them all night!

    With that done we hugged our goodbyes, doled out the whip round, and then The Cash In My Glass and I headed out into the night. We've got ONE more show left for this run, on the first of September, then we'll be having a two month break before the next series starts. The way I feel today, I think a rest will be needed!

    posted 5/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Fortuna Pop Finale
    On Saturday afternoon in the Merch Tent at Indietracks I got chatting to Mr S Price of Fortuna Pop. "How's it going?" I asked. He looked surprised. "Haven't you heard? Fortuna Pop is ending - it's in the programme!"

    I WAS surprised - why on earth would he think somebody would have actually read the programme at this stage? The only pages anyone reads on-site are the band times, the rest of it is for, SHALL WE SAY, the next morning when you have some "quiet time" to deal with the events of the night before. Or when you have a poo.

    We had a brief chat about this news and I CONGRATULATED him on his 20 years in ROCK, as he has Done Really Well. All right, he may have BROKEN several rules along the way (e.g. making records people BUY by bands people LIKE - this is not The Indie Way!) but he's brought a lot of joy to a lot of people, done well by some pretty GRATE bands and HELPED a lot of us along the way too. The Fortuna Pop mailing list has been passed around from band to band and label to label so much along the years that it is probably not far off assuming SENTIENCE, and he's always been ready with ADVICE on how to do stuff. He has basiccaly been one of the tent poles that has held up the great big indiepop tent for the past couple of decades.

    I was surprised AGANE though about people's reaction to this news, in that they all seem to be SAD about it. It's not SAD - when a mighty WARRIOR lays down his arms and retires from the battlefield it is a source of HAPPINESS, surely? He's CONCLUDING, not being stopped, and he's doing it at his time of choosing, on his terms, rather than being FORCED to do so by life/money events. Retiring, rather than Retreating, is something very few people in this KRAZY BUSINESS ever get to do!

    So I say to one and all, congratulate, don't commiserate, and if you need to find a way to pay TRIBUTE to Sean and his work over the years, how about BUYING a TONNE of his stuff next time you see him? And not the acclaimed, popular stuff either - get some of the other records, lots of it is GOOD and I bet he's got LOADS of it left!

    posted 3/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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    Saturday lunchtime found a VERY excited me, Mr S Hewitt, Ms C Birkby and Mr T 'The Tiger' McClure ZOOMING towards Ripley on our way to INDIETRACKS. INDIETRACKS!

    As soon as we got to the car park we started bumping into people we knew, and this continued for THE WHOLE DAY. It was BRILL! Christina had not been before, so we explained to her that everything took AGES to do because, wherever you went, you would meet approx 300,000 people on the way and have to stop and chat to them. This proved very much to be the case!

    There were also BANDS playing, not least Mr FA Machine playing on the train in FULL BAND mode, which was RATHER excellent. We also saw The Numberz (I'm used to bands LOOKING like they're 10, so seeing a band who WERE about 10 was quite a relief) and The Just Joans (ACE) in the Merch Tent, and I spent half an hour GRINNING like a LOON at Po! in the Tram Shed, who were AMAZING. I also, I can now reveal, did a whole gig of my own in The Merch Tent, which went like this:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • We Did It Anyway
  • I was REALLY nervous beforehand and had been panicking about a) what I was going to play and b) whether anyone would turn up. Last time I played the Merch Tent was one of my favourite gigs EVER, I was scared that this one would be EMPTY. As it happened, it totally wasn't and we had a RIGHT good sing song, as you can see BELOW:

    It was GRATE - thanks to Mr J Jervis for allowing me to play, and to Frankie for lending me a guitar. ALSO thanks to everyone who bought a copy of the album, that was VERY much appreciated!

    With that done we partook of FOOD and GRUB and also witnessed the CAN CRUSHING. This is when they use a traction engine to flatten a load of cans. It happens every couple of hours and GOODNESS ME but the 9pm flattening was QUITE the raucous affair. There was a HUGE crowd who ROARED as the traction engine ploughed forward, it was a) exciting b) a bit alarming!

    It was a lovely day out, as it always is at Indietracks - though a day is ENOUGH for me, I would have DIED if I'd gone back, so "tired" was I on Sunday! It's a slightly different festival now to how it was nine years ago - there's a LOT more children, and also the People I Don't Know almost outnumber the People I Do - but it's still the beautiful event it always was. Thanks to the organisers for organising, and seeee you next year!

    posted 1/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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