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Blog: World International John Peel Day

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It was World International John Peel Day on Saturday, and i was HONOURED to be playing at the big event at the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. This was a somewhat KRAZY extravaganza organised by Mr G Gargan of Former Utopia, where he asked LOADS of London Indie Promoters to all pitch in to organise and promote the day, all suggesting an act to be part of it. It's a lovely idea, very much in the spirit of Everyone Working Together.

It also made for a MIND BENDING day as I wandered around bumping into all sorts of people - Stu Baboon, Tim from Freedom Of Expression, Rachel Silver Rocket, Sean Fortuna Pop, Rocker, George himself - who I've known for YEARS of organising gigs but never expected to see ALL bunched up together. It was like being at a gig where the band was ALL lead singers.

Actually, that's EXACTLY what it was like, it was LOVELY - to be honest I was TECHNICALLY a promoter as well (Totally Acoustic had chosen... er... ME) but as there were MANY people a LOT better than me at gig promoting involved I thought it was probably best to keep my head down and do what I was told when necessary. Luckily for me, and indeed the venue, this freed up a LOT of time for BEER, of which i had MUCH. I spent most of my time with Mr J Kell and Mr S Hewitt, who are TERRIBLE influences and, frankly, should take most of the blame for my parlous state the next day. I WAS LED ASTRAY.

It was a BRILLIANT day - it felt like a FESTIVAL. At normal gigs at the Bowling Lanes it feels a bit like that anyway, as as well as the GIG there's bowling, karaoke, pool and a mini-restaurant, but for this one they'd also opened up the "downstairs" room. I say "downstairs" because, as far as i could tell, it was actually UPSTAIRS from the "upstairs" room. It was all very confusing and so we eventually agreed to just say "this room" or "the other room". I "helpfully" wrote notes to this effect on running orders, but ended up confusing myself even more.

As is the nature of the all-dayer things ran later and back to front, so that at one point I came perilously close to playing in TWO rooms at the same time, but in the end I just did the ONE set, as follows:
  • The Gay Train
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It was a funny old gig - the stage had been set up at the end of the huge wide bar, DIRECTLY in from of six bowling lanes, where a huge crowd of people were busily bowling, laughing, and having a fine old time - the venue had kept taking bowling bookings for the day, which meant there were LOADS of people there who weren't there for INDIE. This actually worked out really nicely - it made the atmosphere a lot JOLLIER and many of them got into the bands too.

    The only downside was that i couldn't hear a SINGLE THING during my set apart from BOWLING. There were no monitors so it felt like I was playing SILENTLY in a crowd of people having MUCH TOO MUCH FUN to listen to me, and who also went CLUNK every five seconds. There were quite a few people watching, and everyone said afterwards you could hear me perfectly, but it felt very uncomfortable INDEED.

    Now, afterwards I bumped into Stu Baboon who asked how it'd gone and when i told him the above he gave me a big hug and said "I'm really sorry to hear that". I felt a bit ASHAMED of myself - the trouble is, you need to have a MASSIVE ROCK STAR EGO to do lots of gigs, and this is all well and good when they go well and INDEED when they don't (as then you can get over it with a STROP when you get home), but when things ARE going well but don't FEEL like they are you end up having an INNER BATTLE. Throughout the set part of me thought "ARGH! This is horrid, GET OFF STAGE!" whilst another, wiser part, replied "Don't be stupid, no it isn't, it's FINE - look at all those people SMILING. Stop being a WAZZOCK and get on with it!"

    The BIG smiling part came when Amelia Fletcher Of Tender Trap And Many Other Famous Indie Bands stopped by for a quick look on the way to Allo Darlin' (who were playing in the next room)... just as i was playing My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once. I don't think the irony, or DELIGHT, of this coincidence escaped anybody!

    So yes, it was all fine and lovely and i was made REALLY happy by several people i didn't know coming up to me later and saying they'd enjoyed it. It was LOVELY that, if anyone reads this who was there and DID that, thanks SO much, that was GRATE!

    And then the rest of the day seems to have flown by in BEER and SHOUTING about things. I don't think i actually saw any more bands, but did have several more beers and SHOUTED about things. It was like a Saturday Evening from about ten years ago, up to and including buying rubbish food on the way back to SCOFF when I got in.

    Unfortunately this meant that I woke up to enjoy the nostalgia of a Sunday Morning from about ten years ago too! OW!

    posted 12/10/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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    Mark, this isn't related to the blog post but I thought you might be interested in:

    Dunno if you like Mr G but he obviously likes ukes.
    posted 12/10/2009 by Dan H

    Ooh, thanks Dan, I've had a go at that!
    posted 17/10/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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