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Blog: Totally Acoustic

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I arrived at The Lamb last night full of TREPIDATION. Last time I'd been there Leigh The Manager had told me he was having the upstairs room refurbished, to be more MODERN. I crept upstairs thus full of FEAR, in case it turned out to be all BRUSHED STEEL and PASTEL SHADES (NB my idea of "modern" stalled in the late eighties) so was MIGHTILY RELIEVED to find that, actually, it was rather nice. It wasn't modern at ALL though, it was if anything slightly MORE old fashioned with more pictures on the wall and nice old fashioned tables, including a HUGE Boardroom-style one in the middle.

Ten minutes of re-arranging later I'd got the room NEARLY right - there is, i think, ONE too many tables up there - and went downstairs to find Mr Keith TOTP and his band already in situ, closely followed by Ben Superman Revenge Squad and his CELLIST. They were soon accompanied by PEOPLE and we gathered upstairs to start the evening off.

As ever I kicked off, and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • (insert title here)
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • I'd also practiced up my version of "Dreaming" by Allo Darlin' but as there was only one person there who KNEW the song (I asked) it seemed like a better idea to do some of my OWN songs. I always try and do a couple of UNUSUAL songs at Totally Acoustic, so as not to BORE the REGULARS, tho this time it was nearly all NEW people. New to Totally Acoustic, that is, including Mr D Green, Mr B Moor (CASING the joint for his appearance next time) and The Dave Green, so recently seen wandering the streets of Soho.

    It all seemed to go off quite well, especially the "AH-OO" bit in Dinosaur Planet, which benefited from rather more detailed explanation than usual. After the SHORT BREAK it was time for Superman Revenge Squad who, as I said in my introduction, i RECOMMEND to any gig bookers who will listen, for LO! they are GRATE. This was the first time I'd seen Ben accompanied by the cello and GOSH but it made it all seem dead classy. He did a couple of new (to me) songs, including one called "Old Man Reading A Pornographic Magazine" which managed to be funny, thought provoking and MOVING all at the same time. Like all his songs really - honestly, if you happen to have a gig or festival in need of PERKING UP, I heartily urge you to book him!

    After the Slightly Longer Break we were into the Keith Top Of The Pops and His Minor UK Indie Celebrity Allstar Backing Band EXPERIENCE. If you've not seen or heard of them before allow me to explain, in a way that will make you think, "That sounds TERRIBLE": it's Keith TOTP with a loosely assembled group of people from various London Indie bands playing songs which they have never rehearsed. Most of the band have played most of the songs before at previous gigs, but they've rarely played all at the same time before.

    It sounds like one of those Typical Annoying London Whacky Ideas, except for one thing: the songs are really really really GOOD, and the fun and excitement of playing them is INFECTIOUS. The line-up was vocals, FIVE guitars and a SAW, which sounded LOVELY, and the music itself was brilliant. The fact that they pretty much HAVE to have simple chord sequences and not many changes made for DIRECT songs that don't fanny around with difficult bits, but put all the Extra Cleverness into the WORDS, which are ACE.

    In the middle of it all I thought "But these songs are so GRATE, it's a shame he hides them behind the GIMMICK" but then QUESTIONED myself. Would I rather the songs were RUBBISH so that The Gimmick stood alone? And is it a BAD THING to HAVE such a "gimmick", when the gimmick is A Bunch Of People Actually Enjoying Playing Songs?

    As I say, this enjoyment was VERY infectious, and it was a HAPPY room full of people who, at about 9.45pm, indulged themselves in CHAT and BEER. Another Totally Acoustic succesfully completed!

    posted 21/4/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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