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Blog: The Pop Art Fifth Birthday All-Dayer

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I rolled up in Bloomsbury on Sunday full of EXCITEMENT and laden down with PROPS, ready for the second of TWO all-dayers taking place at the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes in honour of the Pop-Art Collective's fifth birthday. I was very very happy to have been asked to be part of it, as they are a DELIGHTFUL bunch of people who always organise BRILLIANT gigs and was RIGHT looking forward to it.

I arrived to find Mr S Hewitt occupying a seat at the bar and together we enjoyed Keith Top Of The Pops And His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band being VERY LOUD INDEED. It was the first time I'd seen them when they sounded like how i EXPECTED they'd sound before i HAD ever seen them... if you see what I mean. It was VERY GRATE as well as volumistic, also PUNK. The only bit of it i DIDN'T like was when Keith asked if anyone had a guitar he could borrow. I LEAPT out with my travel guitar and PEOPLE OPENLY CHUCKLED! All right, it does look a bit small and it IS acoustical and so appears DAINTY amongst the eight electrical guitars it would be joining, but I would also point out that it FED BACK more LOUDLY than ANYTHING else on that stage! HA! And so he didn't use it after all, but still: that guitar is ROCK!

After that most of us moved into the side room for The Rees Review - "Leicester's Funny Man" Mr Dave Rees was intent on doing a TALK SHOW and had enlisted me, Mr David Barnett and Les From Carter to come and chat with him. To be completely totally honest I thought it was going to be a bit rubbish, but he FORCED it into happening and, actually, once we got going it was dead good! Dave had BRILLIANTLY placed an AGENDA for the CHAT in the middle of the chairs, so we all knew what was coming and - CRUCIALLY - how much was left to do, and the three of us seemed to very quickly get over feeling A Bit Awkward and DID IT PROPERLY. We talked of heroes, record shops, how to put records out online, band reunions and ALL sorts, i completely enjoyed, especially sitting with and listening to the other two. WHAT a good idea, give that man a TV series!

And then it was time for my GIG - this is what i did:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Gay Train
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Work's All Right (if it's a proper job)
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Perhaps foolishly i went into this WITHOUT setlist, which is always a bit risky as I often end up trying to work out what to play next whilst still in the middle of a song and forget the words, but it seemed to go OK this time - I knew what I was starting with (as usual) and then I'd talked about Hey Hey 16K in The Rees Review so thought I'd do it (I don't seem to play it very often anymore, for some reason) whihc led on to The Gay Train and then it was downhill to the Traditional Ending. I did Work's All Right (if it's a proper job) because someone ASKED for it and, once again, forgot the chords to the middle so got everyone to CLAP ALONG. That seemed to work out OK, and it led to some ACE joining in from all present for the rest of the set and a HECK of a lot of ME GABBLING ON. I seem to recall speaking at SOME LENGTH in an NEW YOIK accent, and also making MERRY with regards to an announcement that Mr Rees had made about The Laurel COllective needing an extra person for BOWLS. It seemed like a good idea at the time, people seemed happy and i CERTAINLY was!

    After that we came PERILOUSLY close to winning on Indie Bingo, then Steve went off to ANOTHER gig while I popped round the corner to drop my guitar off at work and go and have some TEA. I fancied a Chinese BUFFET but it was CLOSED, so i had CURRY instead. That might seem an excellent trade off, but it was one of those DOSA places, where everything is Quite Nice but just not as much FUN as proper/traditional CURRY style curries.

    Back to the bowling lanes I went and soon it was time for the GRAND FINALE: The Pop-Art Allstars! I had been out SHOPPING in the week to get some PROPS and so wandered around the audience handing people PARTY POPPERS and occasionally BUBBLE WANDS read, in order to make my song - "Live And Let Die", by Paul McCartney - EVEN MORE AMAZING than it already was. I was on third, and GOODNESS ME but it actually seemed to WORK! I was going to give people Proper Instructions on what to do, but ended up saying "Here is one party popper for the first time, and one for the second" and GOOD LORD it all worked out - the first "Live and let DIE", when Macca sets off the fireworks, saw a similar EXPLOSION of Party Poppers, then there were MANY BUBBLES during the instrumental sections, and mass SINGALONG for the reggae section (much to my relief, as it was A Bit Too High For My Voice) and the ANOTHER explosion of party popping for the final section. HOORAH!

    I then settled back for the rest of the gig with the highpoint, as ever, being Mr Solo, this time GRABBING "Modern Love" and making it entirely his own. It was AMAZING, and I staggered out once it was all over with a MIGHTY GRIN all over my face which lasted all the way back to Leytonstone. They ALWAYS do a good night, do the Pop Art Kids, and this was the very EPITOME of a good night. Well done team!

    posted 31/1/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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    AMAZING STUFF. I had bubble mix in my eye all night. Great summary of the day! xx
    posted 31/1/2011 by Dianne

    It only worked because you were there... A massive thanks once again.
    posted 1/2/2011 by PhoeniX PhiL

    It was particularly ace because I knew ALL the songs and some of the people I was with had NOT heard your Boom! Shake The Room (call it by its proper name) before, and therefore it was most gigglesome.
    posted 1/2/2011 by Penny

    I had to catch a train leaving from Euston at 6:55, so it was perfectly positioned and timed for me! My first MJ Hibbett experience and very enjoyable it was...I LOVED Boom Shake the Room, and Hey Hey 16k of course, pretty much everything really. It's a shame I missed the interview.
    posted 3/2/2011 by Alex

    P.S. I took a couple of videos, shall I whack 'em onto YouTube?
    posted 3/2/2011 by Alex

    Yes please!!!
    posted 3/2/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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