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Blog: A Night With The Orchestra

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On Saturday mighty forces gathered at The King & Queen in London's fashionable Fitzrovia area of London, for an event that will go down in history as BLOODY LOVELY.

For LO! The Validators AND A Little Orchestra were joining me there to play the 20th Anniversary gig of the aforesaid Validators, and we had picked a GORGEOUS day for it, the sort of day when you think "Sod it, let's just sit around and drink beer and have a natter in the sunshine."

There was work to be done though, so after a SMALL beer interlude we all headed upstairs to get set up for the evening ahead. As it was NOT an official Totally Acoustic gig I had BORROWED a PA system from Mr Shaun Hendry (who runs the Scaledown nights up there), as I am aware that an orchestra, even a little one, in full swing is FLIPPING LOUD!

It took a while to get the whole lot of us set up, but once done - in one big long line, basically, we had a practice of the whole SET that we'd be performing together. This was EXTREMELY useful, not least for me as I always find it dead confusing knowing when to come in, and unlike with The Validators, the other people involved couldn't just change things to fit in with ME!

Once done we all went in different directions, for lunch and, in my case, to GREET the many many lovely people who rolled up. I must admit I got a bit GIDDY with the excitement of it all, like I was the HOST of a fancy party full of people I really really liked!

Soon it was time to head back upstairs where, for a PACKED room, myself and The Validators performed a set of HITS (taken from our GRATEST HITS album which is out now!) thusly:

  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • Easily Impressed
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • We Did It Anyway


  • It sounded FAB, especially as a) we had the PA so I could SING rather than BELLOW and b) Tim had augmented his CAJON with CYMBALS, so he could SIGNAL to us during the songs. It was strange doing Easily Impressed and The Lesson Of The Smiths mid-set, as usually they're at the end, but other than that it was GRATE. I was astonished to find that I made NO mistakes until the very very end, when we had to do an extra chorus of We Did It Anyway because I'd got the words wrong. Pretty impressive!

    After a break we came back on, this time with A Little Orchestra, to do THIS:

  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • Cheer Up Love
  • I Want The World To Stop
  • Girlfriend Alarmed
  • We Can Start Having Fun
  • Two Nights, One Pub
  • One Last Party


  • It is an old adage that It Will Sound Different When People Are In, but goodness ME it was true in this case, as the musical extravaganza sounded EVEN LOVELIER with the audience there. Having the practice earlier meant that it wasn't quite such a SURPRISE to me how fab it sounded, though it seemed to be to the audience who were in AWE of the CLASSICAL MIGHT in front of them.

    Halfway through we also announced the SECRET PROJECT which we have been working on together i.e. that we're going to do a WHOLE ALBUM together, and will be setting up a Kickstarter campaign to do so. I have been in discussion with Ms A King of the Orchestra for some time about this, and we have MANY PLANS about stretch goals and incentives and all that sort of thing. It is going to be GRATE, I feel, and I will surely be talking about it MUCH more in future!

    With the gig successfully completed we packed things away and then returned downstairs to the pub, where a THOROUGHLY delightful evening drew to an equally delightful end. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the orchestra, to The Validators, and indeed to the AUDIENCE for making it so - if the ACTUAL ALBUM we make is even half as GRATE as the evening was, it is going to be INCREDIBLE!!

    posted 9/5/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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