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Blog: MJ Hibbett Is Unwell

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Here's a salutory tale for you. I am a lover of BEER (BEER style BEER, that is), but normally when I am involved in ROCK i end up drinking GUINESS or LAGER, as that's usually all there IS that's available. Imagine my GLEE then when I turned up at The Interval Bar at Sheffield Students' Union last night to find they had not ONE but TWO Proper Real Ales on, and that one of them was the lovely MOONSHINE! "Mmmm!" i thought to myself, "This can only be a Good Thing. Indeed, there can be no possible DOWNSIDE to the easy availability of this lovely beer."

Reader, i was WRONG. Today i feel not so much HEAVY on this inside, more like someone has tied one end of a ROPE to my innards, and the other to the VERY CORE OF THE PLANET. Oh LUMME. But I am getting ahead of myself - for LO! all was sunshine and bank holiday NICENESS yesterday afternoon when i set off. A trouble free journey was followed by a BRACING stroll up the hill from Sheffield Station to the VERY NICE hotel i was staying in, RIGHT next door to The Crucible where all the SNOOKER was going on. I TRIED to be excited by my proximity to it, but to be honest i saw MORE snooker round my Nan's after school when i was eleven than i really NEEDED to last me the rest of my life, so couldn't quite muster it.

After settling in i headed for the glorious TRAM and thence to the University, where i wondered around a bit looking for the venue. I wasn't sure which part I was playing in, and was a bit AFEARED when i realised it was The Interval Bar, where I'd played once before some years ago. Just before that particular gig the Union Exec had BANNED Eminem from all areas of the building, and so i'd learned up "Stan" for the occasion. I'd expected it to be a GRATE EVENT, but the PA was so quiet that nobody even noticed I'd sung it, and the biggest applause of the evening went to a German student who borrowed my guitar and sang "Paradise City" after I'd finished. It was not the most auspicious occasion in my ROCK BIOGRAPHY. HANDILY all other gigs there have been REALLY QUITE GROOVY.

Anyway, I SAW the BEER as noted above, i saw PENNY who was, as ever, organising things, and i saw a surprising number of Lovely People who had come to see ME, which was reassuring. Wandering around just beforehand i bumped into NUMEROUS types who were there for that reason, and it made me feel all WARM inside. Thanks for that chaps! I've said it before but i shall say it again: if you DO come to one of my gigs, do please come and say hello won't you? I LIKE it!

Soon it was GIGTIME - Chris and Gill from Offbeat were DJing, and they played "Four Skinny Indie kids" for my intro music, and then i LAUNCHED headlong into SET ONE, thusly:
The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
Red And White Sockets
The Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers
Bands From London (are shit)
Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
The Fight For History
Things'll Be Different
Fucking Hippy
I'd TINKERED with the line-up a bit because i was acutely aware that I WASN'T going to be able indulge myself in some Gentle Acoustical Experimentation (you know, like i so often do) as i was going to have to GRAB these people from the start... which I think I managed to do. There was still a lot of background noise going on, but then there WAS a massive barbecue/all day piss-up going on outside, so i had to FOCUS myself on that. I was worrying about that and sound levels and all sorts for the first few songs, but i kept reminding myself that people WERE listening (many of whom were sat BEHIND me, which was a bit unnerving!), and that in such a big open space there was GOING to be a lot of chat.

All was WELL by the end, even tho i'd SHOUTED a bit too much and was a little HOARSE, so soothed myself with some BEER, and got ready for SET TWO, which went like this:
Hey Hey 16K
Work's All Right (when it's a proper job)
Never Going Back To Aldi's
The Perfect Love Song
Billy Jones Is Dead
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Clubbing In The Week
Easily Impressed
Boom Shake The Room
This all seemed to go JOLLY well, although i did PANIC during "Never Going Back To Aldi's" and cut out the last verse, then STICK IN "The Perfect Love Song" to make up the difference, but by the time we got to the Traditional Ending there was some VERY LOUD "Oi Hibbett!"s, a singalong with the "Trams Of Sheffield" bit, and some GRATE "BOOM!"s for a finale. Baby, it felt GOOD!

After that several people bought me BEER, which was very nice of them. I got my gear packed up then wandered next door to have a look at The Red Stripes. They are "Jamaica's foremost White Stripes Reggae Covers Band". Yes. When I got into the room they were just finishing "Hotel Yorba", and then said "We don't just do White Stripes songs in 'de' Reggae Style, we also do Reggae Songs in 'de' White Stripes style" (i think they may not actually have been from Jamaica...) and then did "Rat In The Kitchen" in the promised manner. It was all very jolly, tho i did worry about how they might keep this up for a whole hour, so LEFT, that i might not have to see things TURN.

And it was THUS that i tottered off back to the hotel room, only to wake VERY few hours later to a feeling of UNEASINESS on the insides that would only grow on the two hour journey back to London, and to WORK. Still, only a couple more hours to go before i'm back to St Pancras once again to head towards DERBY, for tonight's band practice. Oh Midland Mainline, WHEN OH WHEN will you introduce TRACK MILES for faithful customers such as me?

posted 3/5/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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