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Blog: Lumb Farm

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One of the GRATE things about doing gigs on a Friday is that you can travel at a reasonable time of day for an only SLIGHTLY more ludicrously over-inflated price than normal. Any other week day, heading North means you have to be on a train before 4pm or it'll cost about TWO HUNDRED QUID (Note to people who don't use trains between London and The Midlands much: this is NOT an exaggeration, even though it sounds like one), but on a Friday you can get a "Weekender" ticket for only ten pounds more than normal and travel pretty much any time you want. This does rather beg the question WHY it's so much every other day (A spokesman MENTALLY replies: "Because it CAN be - AHAHAHAAAAHAHAHAHAA!!"), but still.

I got to Derby and checked into the Ashton Court Hotel, DIRECTLY opposite the station - hotels in Derby are a bit of a mystery to me as usually I'll kip at Machine Mansions, but as they're off getting all MARRIED at the moment it wasn't really an option. I'd originally intended to check out the Holiday Inn Express, where myself and The Kettle In My Room and I will be stay for the aforementioned wedding party in a couple of weeks, but Ashton Court is NEARER to the required bus stop, also CHEAPER. It was actually fine - one of those old-style hotels with BIG staircases and slightly stained carpets, but it was otherwise CLEAN and, unlike most of these sort of places that i have bedded down in ON THE ROAD, all the TV channels worked!

One cup of tea later I was AWAY, STRIDING through town to the bus stop where, for the second time this month, I got the 9.2 bus to Mansfield, ZOOMING through Denby Potteries and this time alighting in Marehay, where I was soon MARCHING up the drive to LUMB FARM, where this year's Blyth Power Ashes weekender was being held. Pretty much ALL my summer festival activity this year is taking place on Friday nights in RIPLEY: it is the only way forward.

I arrived the find a Weddings And Other Ceremonies venue FULL of Old Punks - it's always a LOVELY type of crowd this, especially as Old Punks (much like their successors, Old Goths) are LOVELY people who are DETERMINED that growing up doesn't mean growing boring THUS there were a LOT of tiddly dads trying to marshal HORDES of RAMPAGING CHILDREN, all of whom were up for a bit of POGOING.

When I got in Steve (Steve from Sheffield, that is, not Carsmile) told me that things were running a bit late, so I settled into a pint and then wandered in to watch Paul Carter, who was STORMING through a rather GRATE set, which involved a LOT of singing along. It culminated in a couple of GRATE cover versions including "Rentaghost" and finally "My Ding A Ling", with the whole room BELLOWING out the chorus. It was BRILLIANT. "Poor old POG" I thought, looking at the running order to see who was next, "I'm glad it's not ME who has to follow him!"

I went over to put my guitar away and was apprehended by Annie, one of the organisers, who said "Oh good, I'm really glad you're here - Pog are playing later, you're on next!" OOF! THUS I got myself tuned up, got another pint in, and did THIS:
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Gay Train
  • Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I was right to be a little nervous, as after THAT barnstorming performance people were correct to be WARY of some pillock coming on and singing about New York, but I think most people WARMED to me as we went along, and the audience participation was pretty good. I broke a string during I Did A Gig In New York, which hasn't happened for YEARS, so plans to do The Fight For History and It Only Works Because You're Here had to be ABANDONED.

    When writing the setlist I was SURE there was a song I'd missed out, and whilst looking at the MOSH PIT of four year-olds who'd gathered at the front I realised that, as they were jigging about ANYWAY (a career as a children's entertainer surely beckons?) I should do Do The Indie Kid. So I did - one little girl GAMELY had a try, though it was Steve who put in the most impressive display. Small children doing The Music Of The Future tho - FANTASTIC.

    Once it was all done I got me another pint, this time of STONES BITTER, which isn't a great drink BUT was my Grandad's constant choice of home tipple, so when I see it I always think I ought, and watched POG, who were as SMASHING as ever, although now appear to have almost completely different personel, and had a chat to Mr E Bewsher, who I'd not seen FOR AGES. It was LOVELY to see him, as it was to see several OTHER people I'd not seen for YONKS - especially when asked to provide a copy of Modern And Vivid to replace a CHEWED tape copy. ALWAYS a pleasure!

    Soon, however, the downside of my booking policy came into effect - ONLY playing the Friday night of Festivals (ONLY in Ripley) means I'm always leaving too early, this time having to dash off to get the last bus home. Sorry, I mean of course, PRIVATE HELICOPTER. Much to my relief my... er... HELICOPTER arrived, accepted the Day Ranger Pass Steve had leant me, and dropped me off in Derby City Centre. On alighting I got a bit confused, as it appeared to have CIRCLED ROUND and stopped on the same side of the road as it had left from five hours earlier, so rather than risk getting LOST again (which seems to be happening alarmingly regularly after gigs at the moment) i got a TAXI home.

    I felt oddly guilty about all this LAVISH travelling, as I'm sure it's somehow against The Spirit Of Punk, but next morning when I woke up (TERRIFYINGLY early, but still), i was very glad NOT to be doing so in a tent, where there probably weren't ensuite bathrooms or complimentary coffee!

    posted 17/8/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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