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Blog Archive: December 2021

Rainham Kent
On Saturday afternoon I travelled to Rainham in Kent to do a GIG! An ACTUAL GIG!

It had been set up by the fine people of Careful Now Promotions, who had arranged a bill featuring two musical acts (including me) and four poets. I must admit I was expecting it to get cancelled, especially with Everything Going On, and especially especially when they emailed to say they had "lost three poets overnight". It felt like one of those Saturday afternoon war films, with the pilot desperately trying to fly the plane when it keeps losing engines. "We're down to our last poet Captain, the gig can't make it!" "DAMMIT man, the gig HAS to make it!"

It DID make it, and (SPOILERS) I was very glad that it did! I have been excited about this gig for AGES, not just because, as stated previously, it was an ACTUAL GIG, but also because it meant that I would FINALLY be able to go to a gig DIRECTLY on the HIGH SPEED line from St Pancras to Kent. I don't like to talk about it much, but I do live in THE OLYMPICS and thus my local station is Stratford International on that line, so I have LONGED for an opportunity for ROCK and was DELIGHTED to finally have the chance so to do. It was dead quick, but also felt WEIRD waiting for a train on the southbound, "wrong", platform!

I had booked myself into the local Premier Inn - not to be confused, as I was several times, with the Premier Inn in Rainham ESSEX, which is a totally different one - which was LOVELY as ever, and thus it was a CLEAN and refreshed Hibbett who strolled down to The Oast House to find the Careful Now team eating some CHIPS. They smelt lovely (the chips - I did not sniff the promoters but I am sure they also smelt lovely), so once I'd done my soundcheck I headed over to Greg's Plaice across the road (PROPER name for a chippy) and had perhaps the LARGEST portion of chips I have ever had in my life. They just kept shovelling chips into the bag! They were DELICIOUS, but I had to LEAVE half of them, it was deeply upsetting!!

Back at the venue a small but delightful audience arrived and reclined on SOFAs as the evening kicked off with the first poet - I must admit I'm not sure which of the four listed she was but she was very good, and even did some LIMERICKS which I feel should very much be encouraged amongst ALL poets. Next it was Bob Collins who did a string of excellently FOOTNOTED songs from various Medway bands he'd been in, accompanied by a LOVELY 12-string guitar. It felt like an Illustrated Talk! He finished his set with a cover which he introduced as "A Christmas song that isn't about Christmas, from 1983." "HANG ON", I thought, I'm pretty sure this was the answer to a CHRISTMAS QUIZ question the other day". "It doesn't feature guitars at all," he said. "BLIMEY!" I continued inwardly, "He's going to do it! He's doing Grandma we love you!!"

It was "Only You" obviously, but still, I think "Grandma We Love You" is there for reappraisal. Anyway, then it was me and I did THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Thank Goodness For Christmas
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
  • People Are All Right (if they are given half a chance)
  • It's Hard To Be Hopeful
  • Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met)
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • I Think I Did OK
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • We Did It Anyway

  • It all seemed to go OK - I was a bit nervous, so made lots of mistakes, and felt weird using a microphone, but I REALLY enjoyed the talking in between bits. I can sing songs at home, but I can't MAKE HILARIOUS COMMENTS to an audience, and that's my favourite bit! As you can see, there were a couple of songs I've never done live before, which I managed NOT to chicken out of doing, although I did rehearse a few more Christmas songs that I DID step back from. I also intended to do "Hey Hey 16K" but, examining the audience, I wasn't sure whether anyone would really be bothered with it. It's a GRATE song to do if people ARE invested in the subject matter, but if they've never heard it and/or aren't really interested in home computers from 40 years ago then it tends to be nearly 4 minutes of me shouting at Visibly Perplexed People. However, rather than GUESS whether it would work I decided to ASK, which worked very well indeed (and I'll have a chance to do it next year anyway when I play at the JUST ANNOUNCED Spectrum 40 event).

    By the end I was having a WHALE of a time, and wished I'd practiced a few more songs so I could have felt confident in carrying on, especially some of the QUIETER ones which seem to work best in these settings. It was probably best to end when I did though - everybody seemed happy with how it had gone, and hopefully I'll be able to go back next year with The Validators.

    Basically, I had a lovely time showing off to some lovely people, and so after another drink and a bit of a chat it was a very happy Hibbett who staggered off into the night, still full of chips. Gigs are GRATE aren't they?

    posted 20/12/2021 by MJ Hibbett
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