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Blog: Birmingham

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As is my CUSTOM I took the love Chiltern Train to Birmingham, from Marylebone to Snow Hill, and as ever it was PACKED. It was the last train for their "Just £15" offer, so unsurprisingly so, but all was well and I spent most of the trip (and most of the rest of the spare minutes of the weekend) reading The Black Dossier, which I got on Thursday. REVIEW: it's very INTERESTING, but quite hard going, especially the BEAT bit, which i just gave up on. I needs to read the annotations i think!

Anyway, i got to Birmingham fine and impressed myself by getting NEARLY all the way to the venue using my BRANE instead of a MAP, and found Mr Ray Dann and Mr Timothy Pattison already there, with drums. We went downstairs to the cocktail bar and had some MOJITOS and as ALWAYS happens they took about 10 times as long to get made and be handed over than they did to actually drink, and the entire process was accompanied by the internatl THORT TRANE: "I wish I was having a PINT". I fear i am BEHIND in current bar trends.

Tom and Emma arrived and we piled into the Large Vegan Buffet provided by Ray, which was ACE, and then had a bit of PANIC re. Mr Frankie Machine arriving, also The Chickpeas In My Hummus - Frankie was stuck on a broken train for a couple of hours but made it just in time, while afforsaid Flour In My Muffin was met at the station by Ray. I rang to see if all was well and was ALARMED to hear that Ray was getting HASSLED BY THE PIGS, as a Drunk Man had claimed he'd followed him into the station. Ray turned up at the venue IRATE, weilding an Incidence Report!

We did the soundcheck fine, and people started to arrive, including The Lovely Mr & Mrs Bates, with whom we were staying, and Mr W Pilkington, erstwhile Merch Manager. We watched Winston Echo, who I've not seen in FAR too long, and then it was US, and we did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Post-Subsonic Bass
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Fight For History
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • We had a LOVELY time - it's been AGES, it seems, since we played in the full line-up, and it's always a joy so to do. I think the sound was a bit Crash Bang Wallop, but people seemed to get into it, and i did have a LOT of fun talking between the songs, especially when i got a SURPRISE during the first song. My Pal From School, Mr Mark Guest, SWOOPED in just as we were starting and said "I've got a surprise for you!" and indeed he did, for he was followed by MILEAGE, as featured in both The Gay Train and Do The Indie Kid. Hilariously, as ever, he absolutely refused to be phased by me singing about him, even when I pointed him out to everybody in the room and went ON about it, he smiled beautifically throughout.

    After us it was The Icicles, who were GRATE - and even better on the ALBUM which we all got ourselves copies of later - and also dead nice when we had a chat afterwards. TERRIFYINGLY there were playing IndieTracks the next night and then going straight to the airport to fly home to America, because some of them had to be in work today - YARGH!

    There was a LOT more chat and wandering around, as the room seemed to be FILLED with lovely people I'd not seen for ages, and it felt rather late when we piled into the Bates Mobile to head to their's, via a chippy. WHAT a nice evening!

    posted 3/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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