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Blog: A Perfect Finish (for now)

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On Saturday night Mr S Hewitt and I were heading off to Cambridge to complete the current run of Hey Hey 16K. We'll be back for some more shows in February, but this would be GRAND FINALE for all the shows of 2015.

We got off to a good start with a healthy PINT in The Parcel Yard before zooming off to Cambridge and clambering into a TAXI. We were playing at The Centre For Computing History and last time I'd been I'd walked from the station but a) it was MILES and b) this time it was CHUCKING it down, so transport seemed SENSIBLE.

We were doing the show as part of "A Retro Gaming Night For Alli", a charity event raising money for Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield. The main draw of the evening was a chance for people to have a go on all the many and varied MACHINES (most loaded up with GAMES) that they have in the museum and, once we'd dropped our gear off, Steve and I took FULL ADVANTAGE of this - Steve had a go at Jet Set Willy while I, to paraphrase the song, very nearly got through Jetpac. It was GRATE!

Best of all though was a GIFT I received from some proud parents who presented me with pictures that their children, Wiley and Charlotte, had drawn based on Dinosaur Planet. They were BRILLIANT - Charlotte had drawn the meeting between Captain Keith and Muriel, while Wiley had drawn The Battle Of Peterborough (with a LOT of blood) and The Giant Robots. "We listen to it in the car," I was told, which pleased me NO END as, of course, that is where it is MEANT to be heard. I'm always EXTREMELY happy to hear that Actual Kids are listening to the album ESPECIALLY when there are drawings (which I always keep - I should do a GALLERY really). The only downside is that it does always make me think "Hey! Maybe doing ANOTHER concept album wouldn't be such a terrible idea after all!"

Soon it was SHOWTIME and, as with the last time I did a gig there, i felt REALLY guilty when Aidy from The British IBM had to go round the building ROUNDING people up, DRAGGING them away from the computers that they were there to play on. I had wondered whether anyone would bother coming into the classroom we were doing the show in, but as it was most people DID and we had people crowding in at the back STANDING UP because we hadn't put enough chairs out!

Steve and I were also a bit trepidatious because we weren't sure how the show would go down with this audience. As I point out at the beginning, it really ISN'T about The Home Computing Boom Of The 1980s, and I'd feared that at that point everyone would say "Sod that then, that's what I came for" and leave, but happily they did NOT. In fact, as it turned out, the audience were BLOODY LOVELY and laughed at all SORTS of stuff, almost as if they were a group of people who were mostly EXACTLY the right age to get all the jokes and references!

It was DELIGHTFUL, especially during the A.D.A. Lovelace / Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time section. Usually this is as close as we get to a bit of a LULL in proceedings but this time people WHOOPED it up - there was even a GASP of recognition when Ada appeared! I also thoroughly enjoyed the ACTING i have been doing lately (i.e. reacting AFTER Steve says a line, rather than during, and waggling my eyebrows at opportune moments) and there was an INCREASED level of tomfoolery throughout.

We had a BRILLIANT time, basically, and were only sorry to have to dash off in a taxi to get the last sensible train home, upon which we toasted our success with well-earned Train Beers. It was a great way to finish off a great year of Hey Hey 16K shows, let's hope that last few next year carry on in the same way!

posted 16/11/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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