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Blog: Billericay

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A tube and a train and I was in Billericay yesterday afternoon, Essex heartland, home of Harvey Proctor, and eerily reminiscent of the edges of PETERBOROUGH, at least to MINE EYES. It was a lovely afternoon, and I strolled round the edge of the town with bird song all around, it was all SPRINGY and DELIGHTFUL.

I was there to play at the launch party for Phoenix FM's Creative Sessions CD, which has my solo version of "The Symbol Of Our Nation". The organisers had specifically told the manufacturers of the CD that it HAD to be ready for this gig and had given them plenty of time to do so, so of course, as is THE LAW in such cases, the manufacturers had messed it up and not got it ready in time. This sort of thing is like GRAVITY: it is a CONSTANT in the universe.

Still, they had order forms for people and the gig was in full swing when i arrived to see Mr Charles Fighting Cocks enjoying iDou, new band of FRUITY from The Carters. The venue itself was a Community Centre, with obligatory basketball hoops at either end, so it felt like being on one of the minor stages at LollopaLooza, except with less tatoos and more small children running about. I said hello to Steve and Paul, the organisers of the event, CD, and indeed BROADCASTING LICENCE, and also to the nice chap from Creative Studio, who'd recorded all the bands. After doing 30 orso bands in three days I'd've thought he'd never want to look at a drumkit again, but he was a BRAVER MAN than I would have been in his situation!

After iDou there was another of the local bands from the CD, then it was ME. Here is the setlist:
  • Better Things To Do
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • Girlfriend Alarmed
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • Quite a bit of UNUSUALLITY in there - I haven't done "Girlfriend Alarmed" for AGES, and that's the first time I've done QOLED on my own. It seemed to go OK - the band before me and all their friends LEFT as soon as I'd started, which pretty much HALVED the audience, and it felt a bit odd being MILES away from everyone (the tables at which everybody say were against the walls, so it really did feel like a festival gig, with a big GAP down the front and a big ECHO in the room), but people seemed to get into it and there was a LOUD if CHAOTIC "Oi! Hibbett!" at the end.

    Afterwards the PA guy said I was like "Early Jasper Carrott" which I took as it was meant, as a compliment, and then Charlie and me watched a bit of the next band before it was time for a LIFT back to the station for me to travel on my merry way home. It had been a slightly peculiar night, all told, but a GOOD one!

    posted 24/4/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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