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Blog: Leicesterval

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I was back in Leicester on Sunday for the Sweeping The Nation All-Day-and-a-half-er, also known as LEICESTERVAL. This is an annual gig run by Simon from the Sweeping The Nation blog, the main part of which had happened on Saturday with a pretty GRATE line-up (Model Village, Superman Revenge Squad, Martha, Spook School, etc etc etc) the day before. I was there for the "comedown" on Sunday, an approved Totally Acoustic franchise in the basement of Cafe Bruxelles.

I walked through the market on the way, and smiled fondly at the doughnut stand which I remember seeing the very first time I came to Leicester. "Why, that must be nearly 16 years ago!" i MARVELLED... for about ten seconds before realising that, no, it was TWENTY SIX years ago!

Holy great gallons of moly! Can it really be over a quarter of a century since I first set foot in that fair city? I REELED from the knowledge, and staggered towards Cafe Bruxelles, where I found SImon and Various Chums ready to ROCK.

The gig felt like a Totally Acoustic ALL-STARS, though I only later realised that TWO of the four participants had never actually PLAYED a London Totally Acoustic. Mr Pete Green has, of course, played MANY of them, but Mr Alex Hale and Mr David Leach had NEVER done so. I am intending to get the gigs going again this summer, once my SCHOOLWORK is done, and when that happens I fully intend to rectify this situation!

A lovely afternoon of SETS was had by all, as was quite a bit of Belgian Beer which served to WARM and simultaenously CONFUSE, so that I made a couple of ERRORS when I took to the stage and did my bit, THUS:
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • We Did It Anyway
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • I made most of the errors in the OLD stuff, especially during Payday Is The Best Day - somebody had requested it, but hadn't actually come in to LISTEN to it, and it was while pondering this that I got distracted from the WORDS. The new stuff seemed to work, and I was especially pleased to do Can We Be Friends? with Pattisons in the audience, for the purpose of proposing it for future GIGS.

    The weirdest part was during Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something, which I'd decided to do because even MORE Leicester pubs have been knocked down/converted since I last played it (i.e. the final removal of the stage at The Charlotte and the total demolition of Leicester Poly Arena). It was only when I got to the last verse that I realised that it's actually about the need to move on from the same old places and SCENES, and that this could be construed to have CONNOTATIONS regarding some of the people I used to know in Leicester. Happily none of them were there to hear it, but I could see the same thought striking Tim as we got there!

    Afterwards there was all too little time for the BEST bit of Totally Acoustics i.e. sitting around YAKKING once the gig bit's out of the way, as I had to stride back across town for my train home. I said my farewells to a clearly SURPRISED Simon (the whole weekend had gone really well, I believe he was expecting disasters!) and set off, determined as never before to make Totally Acoustic return to the capital!

    posted 25/3/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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