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Blog: Gig 60

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My sixtieth, and last, gig of 2007 was occurring on Saturday night in Lewisham, and as I wasn't needed until about nine o'clock I set off fairly late - usually I'm AWAY somewhere super early, but this time I got to have my TEA on the way there. When i first moved to London I popped into our local chippy to be met with FRANK ANGER when i DARED to ask for Curry Sauce, and THREATS OF VIOLENCE at the IDEA of Gravy, side orders which would at least have provided SOME taste to the grisly experience of eating them, but nearly six years and a change of management later (and now calling itself "Olympic", to tempt in those Marathon Runners in a few years I guess) it was time for a second chance. Good job too - they weren't HULL quality, but they were actually pretty nice, AND there was curry sauce. No pickled eggs as yet, but when demand flows in in 2012 I'm sure they'll sort it out.

So, I got to distant Lewisham well fed and met Mr N Dawes and Mr S ("C") Hewitt, followed by many MORE, for CHAT and also BEER. Another thing that has improved over time is the beer in The Fox & Firkin, which is now Actually All Right, where once it was RUN AWAY vile. I had a bit of a wander saying hello to the lovely sort of people you GET at The Fox, and soon it was time to go on and do THIS:
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • The Gay Train
  • We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home)
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • Easily Impressed

  • Before going on I'd been telling Steve and Nick about the FACT that EVERY time I've played The Fox someone has ALWAYS tried to come on stage and join in - either by DEMANDING specific cover versions ("I'll sing it for you!") or by wanting to HAVE A GO. This night was no exception - about halfway through an old skinhead guy, who'd been wandering round the room fairly clearly looking for trouble, came to the side of the stage and said "Can i borrow your guitar?" I smiled and just said "No", believing that a FIRM HAND is what is usually in ORDER. He persisted, wanting to sing "some Dylan" and i RATHER NAUGHTILY said "Ask the other band" - i know, i am a BAD person - but then handily Carl 2Bob, who was IN CHARGE, came over and led him away. Carl, brilliantly, STOOD GUARD for the whole gig and when the bloke came back after the next song had Kind But Firm WORDS.

    The rest of the set went fine - the nice thing about The Fox is there always LOADS of people who've just turned up for the fun of it, which means you get NEW people who are ready to GET INTO IT, but it also means there's people who are just there to see their pals - this, of course, is FINE, though they always seem to sit at the front and so have to SHOUT over the PA system. If I have learnt one thing in ROCK this year though it is to ACCEPT that that DOESN'T mean everybody hates me and wants me to GO, so I looked over and round them to people who were up for a listen, and had a HIGH old time. It was GRATE to be able to do The Advent Calendar Of FACT again (Standing Validator GAG: Why DON'T we do that song more often?) and i got a DEBUT PERFORMANCE for We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home), and was ESPECIALLY please to see a LAUGH for the "I'm missing Newsnight for this" bit... even tho that was TIM's IDEA.

    Sixty gigs thus DONE I settled down for some further CHAT with the many DELIGHTFUL types there, appreciating the skilful DJ SKILLZ of Mr Nathan Persad, who moved STEALTHILY from Christmassy Songs to Old Skool SKA, ready for the next band who were one of these Young People/Old Fashioned Ska bands. I never understand how these bands even FORM - do THE KIDS stand around in the school yard saying "Well, I play trombone and you play saxophone, let's form a SKA band"? I know it's TECHNICALLY no more unlikely than three friends HAPPENING to play bass, guitar and drums, but it seems ODD to me. we discussed whether this was the Ska Revival revival revival revival or just the Ska Revival revival revival and soon it was time to head home.

    On the way out I found that the bloke giving me the hassle earlier HAD been trying to cause trouble and had ended up FIGHTING the Bouncer. Ah! I wonder what would have happened if I HAD given him the guitar? INDEED, i wonder if maybe saying "YES!" to the people who do that would actually get rid of them quicker?

    With these thoughts in mind I set off on my weary way back home, sixty gigs done - I know I said this last year, but I'm REALLY not planning to do that many again!

    posted 23/12/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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    I've just been back in Rochdale for a week and I ate cheese'n'onion pie, chips and peas 4 (four) times to counterbalance London's paltry pasty offerings. I think I've gone off them now though.
    posted 23/12/2007 by shaz

    Congratulations on your mighty tally of popshows, sir. I thought I'd done pretty well playing 25 this year. Happy new year - see you in that Durham!
    posted 31/12/2007 by Pete Green

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