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Blog: Hibbettfest Completed!

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On Saturday I headed to distant DUDLEY to attend the final iterarion of HIBBETTFEST, that grand tradition what has occurred on the patio of Ray's Mum's Back Garden these many years.

I was joined by Mr S Hewitt at Marylebone station, who kept me up to date with The Football by listening to it on his phone and occasionally going "OOH!" and "YES!" It was like a live action TELETEXT. We then met with Mr FA Machine at Birmingham Moor Street and together we travelled to Cradley Heath, where Ray's Day picked us up for the final leg to the festival site.

We arrived to find a whole HEAP of lovely people, not least Ray, his Mum, tonnes of old pals, and performers in the shape of Mr T 'The Tiger' McClure, Mr G Williams aka Jasmine Allen Estate and Mrs SJ Newman aka Shelley From Finance. Shelley had originally been coming as part of Alex And The Christopher Hale Band but Alex was POORLY and so she STEPPED UP!

There had been some worries beforehand about the weather but, apart from a few spots of rain mid-afternoon it was lovely, and we had a DELIGHTFUL time standing around yacking surrounded by a new batch of BABIES and slightly less new batch of DOGS.

After an hour or so of this it was time to get going, with Gareth doing some (I think) NEW MATERIAL, as well as some HITS. Ray then opened the BUFFET, which was both MASSIVE and BRILLIANT, and once we were all suitably STUFFED it was then time for Shelley to ROCK the patio, which she very much DID. At this point the CAKES were brought out and we ate MORE food. It was GRATE!

Also, at some point during all this (there was so much FOOD going on it was hard to concentrate) there were GIFTS. Myself and Ray were presented with CUSHIONS by the Kirkham Estate, which was lovely, and EVERYONE got given a Hibbettfest Tote Bag which Ray had made himself. It was, as ever, LIKE a normal festival, but MUCH BETTER!

After all that excitement Steve and I got up and did a MEDLEY of songs from Dinosaur Planet. It was the same arrangement that we did at GIG ONE THOUSAND and, as then, I did wonder what on earth someone would make of it all who'd never seen the show. It was a LOT of fun though, especially watching Steve trying to change SONG SHEETS with dinosaur puppets on both hands!

I was then joined by Franke and Tom, and we took our turn to ROCK through a bunch of hits, THUS:
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • Easily Impressed
  • We Did It Anyway
  • Steve joined us for the last one, and then after all THAT we did an encore of Boom Shake The Room joined by Gareth, Shelley, and extra special guest Mr Dunc Vernon, which was a WHOLE HEAP of good times!

    It was, in short, BLOODY BRILLIANT and a wonderful send off for this most wonderful series of gigs. The party broke up not long after that, with a hearty slice of us heading off via MAGIC BUS or TIGERMOBILE to The Wellington for BEER, as is tradition. The last train home was PAINFULLY early so me, Steve and Rob had to leave quite quickly, but apart from that it had been an all round GRATE day. Thanks everybody for coming, it was ACE!

    posted 13/8/2023 by MJ Hibbett

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