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Blog: Hello Islington!

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I STRODE through King's Cross last night, and once again found it Not Very Nice. As a regular user of St Pancras station i always imagine the area around it will be LOVELY, as St Pancras serves THE MIDLANDS and would therefore act as a Midlands Embassy, suffusing its environs with it's Midlands loveliness, also a regular supply of samosas.

This is not the case, and so i was quite relieved to get to the venue, where i bumped into THE FIGHTING COCKS, also preparing. We entered to discover that the first band were soundchecking, and LO! they were a BONGO and SITAR combo. Charlie had WARNED me of this, but I'd thought he was joking. I dropped a full pint glass upon the floor in horroseeing this... or maybe it just slipped, but STILL it was quite a sight, and it gave me the chance to INVESTIGATE the sitar a bit, as I've always wondered what those nobs along the side to. They appear to hold STRINGS. Aha!

The Cocks then soundchecked, so i went in search of FOOD, and instead found some PALS in the next room, so we did a bit of the PUB QUIZ. This was VERY OBVIOUSLY organised by some people who didn't do pub quizzes, as the questions were all Clever - not DIFFICULT, but CLEVER, i believe the quiz masters may have been some of Islington's famous Guardian Readers, and they were LOVELY - and they didn't take the prize money until AFTER we'd answered most of the questions. Also the prizes outnumbered the teams - everyone else seemed to know each other, although i don't think FIXING was the reason our team came third out of three... we just didn't have the knowledge of caribbean republics that they did.

During all this I did my soundcheck and soon it was time for the first band to go on... and on... and on. SUDDENLY we were drastically behind schedule, but the promoter didn't seem arsed about it. The second band came on eventually, and though they TOO seemed like nice enough chaps, they weren't really MY THING, and they especially weren't when they TOO played for longer than they OUGHT. ALSO their last song was called "Mediocrity" (which, really, is ASKING for trouble), and was about how TELLY is RUBBISH (which it isn't) and is full of GAME SHOWS, which it isn't. I got a bit PEEVED and asked the promoter what the PLAN was, as by now we were half an hour later. He seemed to think that if this band finished at 10, i could get on AT 10, do half an hour, and then the Cocks would start at half past - he didn't seem to realise there are CHANGEOVERS here in the world of ROCK, and went on to say "I don't know how it's got so late..." "Maybe it's because you haven't made anybody start, or indeed FINISH on time" i DIDN'T say, but i THOUGHT it very hard. I THEN asked if it'd be a problem if, in the eventuality that it took MORE than ZERO SECONDS to changeover, the Cocks went on past 11 o'clock, and he said there certainly wouldn't.

I was a bit RILED by now and anxious to get on, so it was nice to see that PEOPLE had arrived - thanks, by the way, to everyone who came, it was VERY much appreciated, especially to those people who had to LEAVE for TRANES before i eventually managed to get on! Band 2 came to a halt, having stood around INFURIATING me by DISCUSSING what song to do last for THREE HOURS (or so it seemed), and i DASHED HEADLONG into my SET. Here's what I did:
Work's All Right
Fucking Hippy
Red & White Sockets
The Perfect Love Song
Another Man's Laundry
Rock & Roll Mayhem
Bands From London
Billy Jones Is Dead
Peterborough All Saints
Clubbing In The Week
Easily Impressed
It went really well! I SPED through it, cutting out "Mr Right" and "Leave My Brother Alone" as i went along, because I wanted to keep it SWIFT and PUNCHY, and then adding "Easily Impressed" to the otherwise All-Warriors SET at the end because i was having FUN. Everyone there PROPER got into it, so it felt like i was fighting AGAINST the cheering between songs, just to get on with it - it was GRATE! I think "Fucking Hippy" will be making a re-entry into the Uber-Set, and the rest was FUN, especially "Easily Impressed" as i DIDN'T do the explanatory bit... everyone had done unprompted participation in "Bands From London" so i was feeling confident, until the "Oi HIBBETT" section APPROACHED, when FEAR gripped me. Luckily all was well, and i came off stage a HAPPY Hibbett. PHEW!

I'd come in under time, so cleared up FAST, and then AMAZINGLY it took The Cocks more than NO TIME AT ALL to get themselves set up, so it was quarter to eleven by the time they got going. They were LOVELY. Now boasting even MORE WOMEN than before, they're a bouncing dancing bunch of GLEE, with DANCE STEPS, with Charlie jumping up and down in the middle trying to look SCARY but, actually, looking sort of SWEET. This is NOT something that happened during previous incarnations. Brilliantly, Asha started introducing the band halfway through, it was GRATE to see them FUNCTIONING as a BAND of people all ENJOYING it, and shortly after Charlie said "It's GANGSTA Karaoke!" It was - and in a GOOD WAY too.

Just as it seemed JOY would flow untrammelled, a VERY apologetic soundman said it was no eleven o'clock, and so the show had to END. The Promoter, oddly, had CLEARED OFF well before then, it was discovered, and only after a lot of SHOUTING (NB of "Oh go on, let them do another one") did the Landlord RELENT.

So yeah, the evening was a FUNNY one. The actual DOING A GIG bits were GRATE, it was just the event itself that WOBBLED WONKILY at times. STILL, many beautiful people were there who it was LOVELY to see to talk to, especially the KOOBA chaps, with whom i talked VEGETABLES. Also, The Cocks have tentatively agreed to VOYAGE with me once more to THE MIDLANDS. Leicester! GIRD Thyself!

posted 24/2/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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