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I was off to SURREY last night, to play at Ms J Lockyer's new monthly residency "Jenny's Time Of The Month". I arrived to find a young lady near the station loudly complaining that people were looking DOWN at her. To be fair she was squatting on the floor drinking own brand vodka in the entrance to the co-op, but we mustn't judge. It turned out that the local under-age drinking club was just round the corner, heralded as ever by the heady cocktail of cheap perfume, extremely cheap after-shave, and SHRIEKING.

It was thus something of a relief to get into Native Tongue, the venue for the gig, which was a VERY nice little cafe/BAR with an impressively proper STAGE taking up about a third of the room. The best bit was that they had a row of GUITAR RACKS along the wall, so you could hang your AXE up after soundcheck, ready to be picked up again at showtime.

Whilst waiting I read a music newspaper, Stool Pigeon. Now, I may be terribly behind the times and that but I'd never heard of this before, and was astonished to find it GRATE. All right, I picked it up for the Paul McCartney interview, but the rest of it was FANTASTIC - LOADS of interesting bands written about InterestingLY with editorial bits that were ACTUALLY FUNNY and all done in the way that seemed to have some vague RESPECT for their readers. I stopped reading the NME MANY years when I realised that even then I was three times their target age (which going by the BRIGHTLY COLOURED SHIT it is filled with now is about TEN) and was a) excited b) amazed c) RELIEVED to find that there is something GOOD out there again in the world of Music Newspapers. HOORAH!

I TORE myself away from reading it when the evening kicked off with Jenny performing a THEME TUNE. I am, as you may be aware, entirely supportive of THEME TUNES and this one was GRATE - it not only explained the purpose of the evening AND the running order but managed to briefly describe each of the acts too. I was MOST impressed.

Things started properly with a chap billed as "The Singing Christmas Tree". Apparently he'd forgotten his costume, but he certainly LOOKED like a singing Christmas Tree to me as he did a medley of Christmas songs - I think he'd meant it to be a bit ARCH and CABARET, but he had too NICE a singing voice and did it too WELL so, by the end, we were all just singing along and feeling DEAD CHRISTMASSY. HOOPLA!

Next was a chap called Sleepy Ed Hicks, who did funny songs and played a MEAN banjo, he was sort of like Jonathan Richman a BIT doing comedy songs. It was all very lovely and he got the crowd singing along, which was GRATE but did rather mean I felt like THOM YORKE when I went on and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • If You're Too Turned On
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It all seemed to go over fine, despite the fact that, AFEARED by the comedy before, I tried to tell some jokes. To be fair to ME I did TRAIL these jokes by saying they were Rubbish "Dad Jokes" (e.g. I joined a Ceilidh band once - all the played were Marillion songs. Kayleigh? Do you see? I told you it was rubbish) but after the ACTUAL funny beforehand it didn't seem to work. Still, we did all have a singalong at the end!

    As soon as I finished the room CLEARED - within SECONDS everybody had GONE! I was a bit surprised - I knew that I had to dash off pretty quickly to get the train back to London, but surely everybody else lived locally, and would be sticking around? It was theorised that this was just a wholesale FAG BREAK - I hope so, there were two other acts to go!

    There was no time to find out, however, as I had to say my goodbyes quickly then DASH off to the train station to get home. As it was I didn't get home until 1.30AM - Surrey, it is DISTANT from my house!

    posted 5/12/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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    It's pretty good, that Stool Pigeon, isn't it? Alex Shadowplay used to write for it and did a lovely review of the gig that me and you played in Durham at the start of the year.
    posted 5/12/2008 by Pete Green

    Don't EVER joke about Marillion OK?
    posted 8/12/2008 by Francis

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